Millennial Blur

I swear, once you hit 30, all your days, weeks, months, and even years, become a major blur. I don’t know where May went … and June is halfway over. I’d like to think that as a teacher, my summers would be full of adventure and fun, but uhm, I’m still just doing a lot of cleaning and cooking. I don’t actually mind it, but time flies even when you aren’t having fun.

millennialguideI got a new book today and am looking forward to reading through it.

Even though I’m on the cusp of being a Millennial, I’m working through a book by Alison Lea Sher titled The Millennial’s Guide to Changing the World A New Generation’s Handbook to Being Yourself & Living With Purpose. If the title isn’t long enough for you, the 288 pages of handbook material might be.

I’m only a few pages into Sher’s book, but am enjoying her friendy tone, her down-to-earth style of writing, and her reminder that as Millennial’s, we can be more. I look forward to more work through the book and seeing what other advice Sher has to offer her readers.

I’ll be in touch with a full review of this book soon enough, but wanted to let you know I am being more than just a stay-at-home-stepmom; I’m doing things, too!

What are you doing? What are you reading?

Books of Late

I’ve been keeping myself busy with forcing out words and taking in words. The outwardly forced words aren’t quite ready to be shared, but the words I’m taking in have been interesting and worth sharing.

I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll was a thriller/mystery that had me rushing through the pages. A woman overhears (and oversees?) something on a train that leads to her “accidental” involvement in a young girl’s disappearance. Worth the read, 3.5/5.

#METOO: A Supernatural Thriller by L. Seifert was a fun read. During the current #MeToo movement, a story that takes a magical look at methods of dealing with sexual pressures from men. I have more to say about this book, but want to give it its own entry, as the author deserves a deeper review than It was a fun read. I tore through it trying to figure out ‘whodunit.’ I was impressed by the new take on “cell phones” and a feminist movement. More soon. 🙂

Lies that Bind Us by Andrew Hart wrapped me up and dragged me into its story. A third of the way through the story, we learn that our narrative is pathologically untrustworthy. This threw me for a HUGE loop as the entire book is “based” on the lies that wrap us within the lives of those around us. However, if my narrator is lying about lying, who is actually lying? Great read; 5/5 no qualms.

The Selection by Kiera Cass was a young adult fiction piece I’ve seen my former students reading. I was offered it free and thought I’d give it a chance. It was an easy read, pretty stereotypical girl meets boy, girl falls in love with boy, girl shouldn’t be in love with boy, don’t know the ending of boy and girl because it’s a series. Most of me is not even interested in picking up the second in the series, so that might tell you a bit about how serious this entertainment is. (Hey, at least I’m honest.)

What have you been reading?

Home Sweet Home

I absolutely love to travel. I don’t just enjoy the vacationing part of travel, but I enjoy the adventure of getting to my destination.dogears

Driving the 1 and the 101 north from California into Oregon provided me with a lot of thinking-time, and a lot of beautiful sights. I stopped almost every hour (either for a potty or photography break) and I enjoyed the simplicity of traveling solo. I got to choose the route, the music, the volume of the music, and where I stopped. It was perfect travel for me.

Stephen King’s End of Watch set the tone for my drive north, and I finished the book before I made it to my final destination. I previously tore through Mr. Mercedes (another King, book) and loved the story. End of Watch is not quite a sequel, but it’s more of the story of Mr. Mercedes. If you like Stephen King’s newer materials, this book is definitely a pleasure to read or listen to.

What are you currently reading?

A Book Survey, II

A Book Survey, part 1

Part II

  1. Favorite genre of book? True crime. I’m fascinated by the minds of those who think they’ll get away with murder.
  2. Favorite biography? Clapton: The Biography by Broadway Books. I laughed, I cried, I still talk about a favorite story from his life. It’s a good (and easy!) read.
  3. Favorite cookbook? Alton Brown’s Everyday Cook is one of the best cookbooks I’ve ever used. I love seeing the science behind recipes, and Alton Brown’s hilarious writing only add to the amusement.
  4. Favorite poet? Oh, this is an interesting question. I have read a lot of Rumi’s poetry and love a lot of it. I’ve also read most of Emily Dickinson’s writing, too. I connect specifically with this Margaret Atwood’s You Fit Into Me poem, though.
  5. Favorite reading snack? Sweets, lemon bars, Skittles, pretzels, and always, a cup of coffee, too!
  6. pexels-photo.jpgMost inspirational book you’ve read this year? This year? None that I can think of. Leave me a suggestion if you’ve read an inspirational book this year!
  7. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. This is one of my top five favorite books, until everyone read it and decided they needed to take every bit apart and compare it to how the Americans live now. I’m not way into that. I love the writing, the story behind the writing, and the “theology” of the situation … but I don’t actually want to connect it to what I’m truly living!
  8. How often do you agree with critics about a book? Depending on the book, I’m normally pretty close to their thoughts. I know that critics love Anna Karenina, but I hated it, so I don’t always agree.
  9. How do you feel about giving bad or negative reviews? If the book is poorly written or deserves a “bad” or “negative” review, I never feel poorly about writing it. I am tactful but honest, and sometimes author’s need to know that their stuff isn’t up to snuff!
  10. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you choose? I have a degree in German, but it’s definitely not as fluid as it was in college, so I would love to be able to fluently read in auf Deutsch again. (I read Siddhartha by Herman Hesse in German the first time I read it. That was complicated.)

A Book Survey

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  1. Favorite childhood books? The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, The Cay by Theodore Taylor, The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill.pexels-photo-373465.jpeg
  2. What books do you have on request at the library? Currently three of them. Life As A Pioneer on the Oregon Trail by Jeri Freedman, Frontier Grit: The Unlikely True Stories of Daring Pioneer Women by Marianne Monson, and Surviving the Journey: The Story of the Oregon Trail by Danny Kravitz.
  3. What do you currently have checked out at the library? Strangely enough, I have two books out right now, but my online account says only one. Good thing I’ve read Oregon Trail Revisited by Gregory Franzwa before and will return it. I also have Pioneer Children on the Journey West by Emmy E. Werner.
  4. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once? Ultimately I prefer to read one at a time in order to keep the story lines straight; but oftentimes I have multiple books going because I read for different aspects of my life.
  5. How often do you read out of your comfort zone? I think I’d say “regularly,” at this point. Growing up I avoided anything out of my comfort zone, but now-a-days I am willing to pick up and give any book a shot.
  6. What is your reading comfort zone? Anything but science fiction, but as I said in number five, I’ll read that now, too.
  7. Can you read on the bus? Yes. Also in a car, on a train, in an airplane, while walking, and quite possibly I could read a book while I ride my bike. I’m pretty talented.
  8. Do you ever dog-ear books? Yes; I see no problem in making a book mine if it’s going to be mine.
  9. Do you ever write in the margins of your books? All. The. Time. I love to “close read” and annotate while I have a new books. Many of my nonfiction books are both dog-eared AND written all over. Love on your books, they’re just paper!
  10. What will inspire you to recommend a book? If I can’t stop thinking about a book after I’ve finished it, I want to share it. If I stay up too late at night reading a book, I’ll recommend it. If a book made me think, cry, or question my own life, I’ll tell other people about it!

WWW Wednesday, 4/25/18

“For those of you who don’t know, WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words.” Today, I found this lovely meme at Peaks and Pages. To particippexels-photo-261909.jpegate, just answer the following questions:

1. What did you read last?

The last book I was reading is Pioneer Children on the Journey West by Emmy E. Werner. I went to the library ALONE last night and got to pick out some historical nonfiction to help my own word count. Recounting a child’s trek across the out-West trails is an insight I gladly welcome.

2. What are you currently reading?

The words on this screen? Okay, so I guess the first question and this question deserve different answers, even if they are close to the same question. For pleasure, I am reading The Rendezvous Series by Win Blevins which I blogged about a few days back. Sam is on his adventure to St. Louis at this point, and he’s already had a few tough twists and turns in his life. Pick it up if you’re into well-written and cleanly described historical fiction.

3. What will you read next?

I don’t know. I rarely plan which book comes after the one I’m working on. The Rendezvous Series is a series, though, so if I’m loving the first part of Sam’s trek out West this much, I would bet that books 2-6 (yes, there are SIX! of them) will be right behind the first of the series.

So Wild a Dream – Win Blevins

To help inspire my own narrative, I’ve been reading a bit of historical fiction. My novel is set in the early 1830s with a family trekking the newly routed “Oregon” trail.

The Rendezvous Series by Win Blevins

As an avid reader, I utilize both Kindle Unlimited and Prime Reading with Amazon and a few days ago I discovered Win Blevins’ The Rendezvous Series. I started reading So Wild a Dream night before last and I cannot put it down.

Sam Morgan decides that he’s done with the halters and reigns of East coast gentlemen. He’s been badly hurt by one of his closest friends and decides to leave the safety of his family and friends to trek across the new nation.

I’m eight chapters into So Wild a Dream right now and I’m already emotionally involved in Sam’s adventure. I am pulling details, inspiration, and encouragement from Blevins’ beautiful writing.

If you are interested in stories about truly human characters, So Wild a Dream is a great series to get into. If you are looking for historically accurate pictures of the wild “West,” this is a solid introduction. If you’re looking for romance, adventure, and lesson in the Oregon Trail, you’ll enjoy this book! (More once I’ve finished the first book!)


Solving Problems with the Wizard

I have trouble with audio books.pexels-photo-373945.jpeg

love reading.

I hate being read to …

… even when the reader is skilled and engaged.

I get stressed out listening to how slowly and clearly every. syllable. is. perfectly. enunciated. while reading for an audio book.

Last night, in an insomnia-ridden haze, exfoliator in my eye prevented me from reading my Kindle.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum has been a favorite tale since preschool, and while I have read the book, seen all the movie variations, own the graphic novels, and regularly belt out “Over the Rainbow,” in my car I had never listened to the book. Until last night.  Miraculously, I fell asleep on two separate moments to Phil Chenevert’s voice reading L. Frank Baum’s words!

Knowing the story line behind the chapters, anticipating Dorothy’s actions, or miming the Wizard’s words kept me an active listener. I was able to enjoy the story instead of rushing through the plot!  The conundrum with audio books may have been solved by that magical Wizard of Oz.

An Introduction

coffeeliquidhugI think the last time I did one of these memes I was still in college. That was like two decades ago. I’m not new to this scene.


Author you’ve read the most books from: Patricia Cornwell, easily. In high school I started with Postmortem and through college I read her books. Almost 20 years later, when a new one appears at the library even now, I tear through it.

Best Sequel Ever: J.R.R. Tolkien’s Return of the King; it was a sequel to the second in the series. That works, right?

Currently Reading: The Troop by Nick Cutter

Drink of Choice While Reading: strong coffee; though a cold San Pellegrino is right behind that.

E-reader or Physical Book? I prefer my Kindle Paperwhite, but I love to read a physical book. I love to take notes in books and that’s hard with a Paperwhite, but I love being able to take hundreds of books with me in a single pocket and that’s hard with physical books.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:  Charlie Kelmeckis, the narrator in The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance: Hugh Howey’s Wool; absolutely worth the read!

Hidden Gem Book: The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber

Important Moment in your Reading Life: I was barely four years old, and my dad took me on a job site with him. I asked a stranger “may I read a book to you?” and while the stranger was willing to let this little kid “read” a book to her, I read the actual words from the page to her and still (31 years later!) remember her shocked expression as I told her The Story of Ferdinand.

Just Finished: I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll.

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read: *smells something stinky face* What? I’d read anything. I can find the good in any book.

Longest Book You’ve Read: Centennial by James Michner (1,056 pages; read it multiple times, too!)

Major book hangover because of: She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb. I go back to this book when I’m stuck in a place where I’m feeling low emotion … this book always restarts an emotional journey for me.

Number of Bookcases You Own: Just one, but my entire hallways is built-in bookshelves, Kal’s office has three seven-foot bookcases, we have a bookshelf in the kitchen (yes), and there are five built-in library shelves in my office. I also have PILES of books around because I don’t always put them on the bookcase shelves I do have!

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times: Just one? The Phantom Tollbooth is one of my favorites since fourth grade. Norton Juster’s wordplay is beautiful.

Preferred Place To Read: alone, near the ocean in a hammock in 78* weather with a slight breeze. Most often I read in or on the bed, though. Now that I’m not teaching I plan to read EVERYWHERE again.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read: “‘Only the rocks live forever,’ Gray Wolf said.” from Michner’s Centennial. (Thanks Mr. Thomas for making me read this book; it changed my life.)

Reading Regret: not trying science fiction as a high school student; I was set completely against it and I wish that I had been exposed to more “boy” books as a kid.

Series You Started And Need To Finish (all books are out in series): The Magicians series from Lev Grossman; it got too dark and sexual for me and I had to quit reading.

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books: (I’m only mentioning ones that weren’t previously mentioned … I have a lot of “all-time favorite” books.) 1) I Am Charlotte Simmons: A Novel by Tom Wolfe     2) Made in America: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States by Bill Bryson     3) Wonder by R.J. Palacio.

Unapologetic Fangirl For: John Green’s books … I like them all.

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others: uh, I don’t actually keep up with book releases; I just pick up what strikes me as something I might enjoy. I don’t think that’s a weird or bad thing.

Worst Bookish Habit: most people think this is terrible, but I actually DO NOT. I write in my books. I write in all my physical reading books. I once lent a very well and close-read copy of Made in America to a boy. He didn’t return it and I regret ever sharing that book with him. LOL

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book: I had to get up to do this, you owe me a coffee. Marvel’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz graphic novel; it’s one of my more recent purchases!

Your latest book purchase: HAH! It wasn’t for me, but last weekend I bought Moo My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: Wondercolts Forever: The Diary of Celestia and Luna by Hasbro. The last book I bought for myself was National Geographic The Greeks: An Illustrated History by Diane Harris Cline. I like ancient civilizations.

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late): Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan.
this meme discovered on The Perpetual Page Turner