Currently // Watching the Clock

November 22, 2015 Currently, Miscellaneous 7

Right this minute | I’m sitting on the couch and writing up this post. I’m watching the clock because it’s almost time to get ready for church.

Feeling | Nervous. My boys (the big one and the small one) are both getting baptised today. Quite the thing for a father and son to do together, yes? I’m nervous, because you just never know what my mischievous little one is going to do….

Reading | I’m supposed to be reading something, right? Ugh. I went brain dead around Wednesday and haven’t read a thing. Work has just taken all my energy this week.

Listening | Mostly music. A healthy dose of Jamestown Revival.

Watching | I am so behind on all my shows. I haven’t watched a thing.

Blogging | I did some of that. Last week, right? Geez, I can’t remember and am too lazy to go look.

Promoting | Andi started a hashtag on Twitter. #Thanks2BookBloggers. You should check it out. It will make you glad to be a book blogger.

Loving | That I’m off started Wednesday!!! I love Thanksgiving.

Hating | That Christmas is already everywhere. I’m not a Scrooge, per say, but I do like a gap between my holidays.

Eating | I’m waiting for Wednesday and Thursday. lol

Exercising | I didn’t get to walk as much this week. Just too busy at work. I hope to pick it back up after Thanksgiving, when this huge job will be finished.

Anticipating | Turkey! Stuffing! Potatoes!

Meal Planning| I didn’t do that this week. I’ll be winging it until Wednesday, when I’ll be cooking the turkey for my family. Plus a pie. And gravy. Yay Thanksgiving!



#NonficNov: Nontraditional Nonfiction

November 20, 2015 Books 3


If there is one thing I can credit with getting me more into reading nonfiction, it was audiobooks. I’m not a fan of first person point of view, which a lot of nonfiction is written in, but surprisingly I don’t mind it when it’s an audiobook. They really opened the genre up for me!

Then, thanks to nonfiction, I really got into graphic novels. The very first graphic novel I ever read was Maus by Art Spiegelman and I’ve never looked back.

Now, I’m going to share some of my favorites with you!



1. AVM just changed my life. I can’t rave about it enough. 2. Same with Quiet. It showed me that quiet is…just fine! 3. Midwife is just so interesting! As are it’s sequels! 4. Unbroken taught me so much about WWII in the Pacific! I had NO IDEA. 5. At Home is just hella interesting. The history of the home. Who knew? 6. H is for Hawk was a complete surprise. A delightful one. I did not expect to love this one as much as I do. 7. With a title like The Sex Lives of Cannibals, how can it not be awesome? 8. Girl in the Dark is fascinating. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have to live in the dark. 9. Kitchen Confidential! Anthony Bourdain! Bad Ass! 10. Julia Child! The ORIGINAL BAD ASS.

Graphic Novels:


1. Maus. One of the most powerful books I’ve ever read and made all the richer for its format. 2. Persepolis. See Maus. 3. Hyperbole and a Half will make you laugh, cry, and commiserate. 4. I love all of Lucy Knisley’s autobiographical graphic novels, but Displacement may be my favorite. 5. March: Book One. Wow. Just…wow. 6. Pride of Baghdad. Also wow. 7. Blankets will give you college flashbacks. In a good way. 8. Feynman was brilliant and helped build the atomic bomb. Great look at part of his life. 9. If you’ve ever had braces, or major dental surgery, or a childhood, you will love Smile. 10. Ethel and Ernest, the life of the author’s parents, beautifully told.

What are your favorite nontraditional ways to read nonfiction? What are some of your favorite titles?



Top Ten Tuesday – You Can Quote Me On That

November 17, 2015 Books, Lists, Meme 3


It was so hard to pick just ten. I have noted some pretty awesome quotes this year!

“Once you’ve held a book and really loved it, you forever remember the feel of it, its specific weight, the way it sits in your hand.”  ― Erika Swyler, The Book of Speculation: A Novel

“It’s an inconvenience, true enough, and I don’t like it at all, but I know that you do it for everyone, Mister Death. Is there any other way?’

“My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all, I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise. I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cup mushroom. Everyone else in our family is dead.”  ― Shirley Jackson, We Have Always Lived in the Castle

“Do not try any of this at home. The author of this book is an Internet cartoonist, not a health or safety expert. He likes it when things catch fire or explode, which means he does not have your best interests in mind. The publisher and the author disclaim responsibility for any adverse effects resulting, directly or indirectly, from information contained in this book.” ― Randall Munroe, What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

“But race is the child of racism, not the father. And the process of naming “the people” has never been a matter of genealogy and physiognomy so much as one of hierarchy. Difference in hue and hair is old. But the belief in the preeminence of hue and hair, the notion that these factors can correctly organize a society and that they signify deeper attributes, which are indelible—this is the new idea at the heart of these new people who have been brought up hopelessly, tragically, deceitfully, to believe that they are white.” ― Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me

“Some foods are so comforting, so nourishing of body and soul, that to eat them is to be home again after a long journey. To eat such a meal is to remember that, though the world is full of knives and storms, the body is built for kindness. The angels, who know no hunger, have never been as satisfied.” ― Eli Brown, Cinnamon and Gunpowder

“The women also put my life of privilege, opportunity, independence, and freedom into perspective. As an American woman, I was spoiled: to work, to make decisions, to be independent, to have relationships with men, to feel sexy, to fall in love, to fall out of love, to travel. I was only twenty-six, and I had already enjoyed a lifetime of new experiences.” ― Lynsey Addario, It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War

“But then again I wonder if what we feel in our hearts today isn’t like these raindrops still falling on us from the soaked leaves above, even though the sky itself long stopped raining. I’m wondering if without our memories, there’s nothing for it but for our love to fade and die.” ― Kazuo Ishiguro, The Buried Giant

“My ears become my conduit to the world. In the darkness I listen—to thrillers, to detective novels, to romances; to family sagas, potboilers and historical novels; to ghost stories and classic fiction and chick lit; to bonkbusters and history books. I listen to good books and bad books, great books and terrible books; I do not discriminate. Steadily, hour after hour, in the darkness I consume them all. By way of this unprecedented, unbridled literary promiscuity, I have made some pleasant discoveries.”  ― Anna Lyndsey, Girl in the Dark

“She felt the panic rising in her then. She knew. She knew how quickly things could break. You did the things you could. You tended to the world for the world’s sake. You hoped you would be safe. But still she knew. It could come crashing down and there was nothing you could do. And yes, she knew she wasn’t right. She knew her everything was canted wrong. She knew her head was all unkilter. She knew she wasn’t true inside. She knew.” ― Patrick Rothfuss, The Slow Regard of Silent Things

What are some of your favorite quotes from your reading this year?


Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. More HERE.



Currently // The Monday Blahs

November 16, 2015 Currently, Miscellaneous 5

Right this minute | I’m just overjoyed it’s Monday again. This is going to be one heck of a busy week and I’m already ready for Friday.

Feeling | Pretty good irregardless! Let’s do this thing!

Reading | I’m currently still reading Leaving Orbit by Margaret Lazarus Dean, which is utterly fantastic but, because I’m reading the actually book, I’m having a hard time finding time to read it. The main issue is light. I can’t have it on past a certain time because with the layout of our house, it would be in someone’s sleeping eyes. I can’t wait to move.

Because of this, I started On the Trail of Genghis Khan: An Epic Journey Through the Land of the Nomads by Tim Cope because it’s on my iPad.

Both of these reads are for Nonfiction November.

Lastly, I was able to nail my son down long enough to read the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to him. He was begging for more, so I think I hooked him. Yay!

Listening | I’m currently listening to Dr. Mütter’s Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz. It’s crazy good. After that, most likely Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff. 

Watching | I watched movies this weekend! The hubby and I had a “home date” since the kids were at my inlaws. We watched Horrible Bosses 2 and Vacation. Both were stupid, but in a funny way. It was nice to sit down and laugh with him.

Blogging | Let’s see…last week I shared what I was reading, put together a top ten list of books to movies I’m actually looking forward to, posted a couple of fiction/nonfiction pairings for Nonfiction November, discussed The Penguin Lessons, which surprised me by being about more than just a penguin and his human mate, and shared my meal plan for the week. Hey, I did a pretty good job of posting last week! Go me!

Promoting | Hey, there is still plenty of time to join the Potter Binge. You don’t have to read the whole series! Start wherever you like!


Loving | The weather. It was a glorious weekend of sunshine and mid 60s. I am not looking forward to the rain in the forecast later this week.

Hating | Rain. Seriously yo. I’ve had enough.

Exercising | I did some! Really, I swear! I walked a mile and a half Thursday and Friday before work and I walked two miles Sunday. Go me!

Anticipating | The holidays. I love Thanksgiving!

Have a great week!



This Week For Dinner – Week of November 15th

November 14, 2015 Food, Weekend Cooking 11


Hi guys. I feel like such a failure. That list I made last week? Didn’t happen. Not a bit of it. Unfortunately, my bronchitis took a turn for the worse and I had to get some codeine to open up my bronchial tubes. Luckily, three nights of that (and no coughing!) worked like a charm and I’m all better. Unfortunately, those three days made for a mom who didn’t want t cook. The hubby cooked Monday. Tuesday I picked up pizza. And Wednesday…honestly, I don’t remember. Wow. Glad my head finally cleared! After trying to cook several of these meals for weeks, I am throwing them into the backup meal plan and creating a whole new one. Maybe a fresh start will get me excited to be in the kitchen again.

Today – I don’t usually cook on Saturdays, but, we’ll be home and I feel like making it happen. Maybe this is a good sign? Plus, Amanda from Fig and Thistle posted her meal plan for the week and made mention of something called Cider Roasted Chicken. My mouth salivated. Then I remembered finding The Food Lab’s recipe for Ultra-Gooey Stovetop Mac and Cheese and a meal plan was begun.

Sunday – Most likely leftovers! I’m saving the chicken for Tuesday, but I expect we’ll have mac and cheese left over. I may cook that kielbasa from last week to go with it. I don’t want it to go bad.

Monday – Next week promises to be absolutely crazy at work. And most Monday’s I’m too tired to cook anyway. So I plan to make these French Bread Pizzas for the fam and a regular gluten free pizza for myself. Yay easy!

Tuesday –  We’re looking at cold temperatures and another weekend of rain, so I thought a A Proper Pot of Chicken Stew sounded perfect. Yum, yum, give me some.

Wednesday – I figure by Wednesday, my busy week will be starting to catch up on me. We have 38,000 packets to print for the Alumni department at my university and we have to get it done fast. I’m really hoping I’m not late getting home all week! I plan to have a simple Spinach, Mushroom, and Feta Crustless Quiche Wednesday. Perhaps with a salad on the side? Does that even make sense?

Thursday – Tacos with my family. Yay. (I hate home cooked taco meat because everyone in my family uses taco seasoning packets instead of making their own. It makes me irrationally angry. It’s so easy and much healthier to make! *end rant*)

Friday – Just me! Break time!

Let’s hope making this list will help me stay organized, focuses, and get it done quickly! How do you plan for the week?

I’m linking up to Weekend Cooking this week. Visit for more on all things food!

weekendcookingWeekend Cooking hosted by BethFishReads every weekend.  It is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog’s home page. For more information, see the welcome post.



That Time When a Book was More Than I Thought….

November 13, 2015 Audio Books, Book Reviews, Books 3 ★★★★★

That Time When a Book was More Than I Thought….The Penguin Lessons: What I Learned from a Remarkable Bird
Narrator: Bill Nighy
Length: 6 hours 6 minutes
Published by Random House Audio
on October 27, 2015
Genres: Memoir
Pages: 240
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible
I was hoping against hope that the penguin would survive because as of that instant he had a name, and with his name came the beginning of a bond which would last a life-time.'

Tom Michell is in his roaring twenties: single, free-spirited and seeking adventure. He has a plane ticket to South America, a teaching position in a prestigious Argentine boarding school, and endless summer holidays. He even has a motorbike, Che Guevara style. What he doesn't need is a pet. What he really doesn't need is a pet penguin. Set against Argentina's turbulent years following the collapse of the corrupt Perónist regime, this is the heart-warming story of Juan Salvador the penguin, rescued by Tom from an oil slick in Uruguay just days before a new term. When the bird refuses to leave Tom's side, the young teacher has no choice but to smuggle it across the border, through customs, and back to school.

Whether it's as the rugby team's mascot, the housekeeper's confidant, the host at Tom's parties or the most flamboyant swimming coach in world history, Juan Salvador transforms the lives of all he meets - in particular one homesick school boy. And as for Tom, he discovers in Juan Salvador a compadre like no other... The Penguin Lessons is a unique and moving true story which has captured imaginations around the globe - for all those who dreamed as a child they might one day talk to the animals.

Okay, I admit it. I picked this book for the cover. So sue me. In my defense, LOOK at that cover. Is there anything cuter than a penguin wearing a long scarf? Okay, I could probably go for an owl or a fox wearing a long scarf, or a Doctor (wink), but not many animals, or people, can pull off this look.

Judging by the cover, I was expecting a sweet, slightly whimsical, and completely charming story of a man and his penguin. I got all of that. But I also got so much more, for during the time Michell owned his pet penguin, he lived in Argentina and it was an Argentina in turmoil. It is the post-Perón years and it is a time period I absolutely knew nothing about. So, intermingled with adorable stories of a penguin who rules a boarding school in Argentina are stories of coups and all the problems of living in an impoverished country where violence, deprivation, and uncertainty run rampant.

Now really. Is there a better way to learn some history about a time period and place you know little about? Surround any history lesson with stories of a cute penguin (or an owl, fox, or octopus to name a few others) and I think one could teach anybody anything.

The absolutely icing on the cake, for me, was Bill Nighy’s narration. Yes, ole Davy Jones himself reads the book and he reads it masterfully. He can read to me, anything, anytime. Loved it.



Nonfiction November – Book Pairings

November 12, 2015 Books 14


Let’s play a little game of read this? Read that. Shall we?

Beryl Markham

Beryl Markham was one interesting lady. I haven’t read Circling the Sun (yet) but West with the Night is fantastic. I read it all the way back in 2008 and I’ve never forgotten it. Markham was truly a revolutionary of a woman, becoming the first licensed female horse trainer in Kenya, marrying several times (and having a couple affairs besides), and became the first person (not woman, PERSON) first to fly solo and nonstop across the Atlantic from east to west, which is against the wind. You guys, trust me when I say she was one of hell of an interesting woman.

I plan to read both of these in January for a project I’m doing. More on that later.


I read In the Heart of the Sea earlier this year and dude. It is EDGE. OF. YOUR. SEAT. Made all the more so because it’s a true story AND the story that INSPIRED Moby Dick. About 14 years ago, I tried to read Moby Dick. My eyes cross just thinking about it. I made it through 200 pages and, while it hurt to do it after all that work, I had to put it down. I just couldn’t go any further. Now, I surprise no one more than myself when I say I’m tempted to try again. Now that I know the story that inspired it, I can’t help but be more interested.

Have you read any of these books? Do you maybe want to now?



Top Ten Tuesday – Books to Movies!

November 10, 2015 Meme 7


Like most readers (I imagine), I am ambivalent about books to movies. I think once you’ve been burned a couple of times, it’s hard to trust Hollywood to do my favorite words justice. That said, I am cautiously optimistic about these books to movies…

In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick – I listened to this book earlier this year and it was amazing. The movie trailer looks promising. Having Chris Helmsworth in the cast doesn’t hurt either. Wet shirt contest!

The Martian by Andy Weir – Loved this book so surprisingly much. And I really like Matt Damon’s acting. It’s getting good reviews, so yeah, eventually, I’ll see this one. And I’m dying to know if they changed the ending or not.

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson – Robert Redford and Nick Nolte walking the Appalachian Trail? I wouldn’t normally care, but I loved A Walk in the Woods and I can see these two pulling it off.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – Tim Burton bring to life one of my favorite YA novels? YES PLEASE.

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling – Benedict. Cumberbatch. Nuff said.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater – I loved this book so very hard. I just hope they do it justice.

Ready Player One by Ernest Kline – Spielberg!!!! Seriously y’all. Spielberg.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness – Liam Neeson is in it. I can only imagine he’s the tree. Holy guacamole.

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon  by David Grann – This book was such a nail-biter. If done right, it will make a great movie.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – Ron Howard is now the rumored director. I can stand this, but only if Andrew Scott plays Our Man Jack. After the full cast audio, he’s the only person I can picture playing that part.

Are there any books to movies you are excited about? Have you seen any of these? You know, the ones that have been made so far?




Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. More HERE.



It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week?

November 9, 2015 Books, Meme 5


It is official. I am Nonfiction November Obsessed. I added over 40 nonfiction recommendations to my want to read list last week. I also read two nonfiction books and am halfway through two others.

I love November.

Since I stayed home yesterday with a migraine (it is much better, thank your for all the comments!) I managed to get a little reading done. I made it over halfway through Hold Still by Sally Mann (read by the audio, I listened to it during the hide in the dark part of the migraine) and then over halfway through Leaving Orbit by Margaret Lazarus Dean once I could come out into some light and it not kill my eyes. Both are good, but I find myself wishing Hold Still would hurry up and savoring Leaving Orbit.

Up next I have Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff and American Bloomsbury by Susan Cheever out from the NC Digital Library. I hope to listen to both this week. And I still have a lovely pile checked out from the library. I may read The Perfection of the Paper Clip by James Ward from it.


What’s going on in your reading world today?

It's Monday What Are You Reading

It’s Monday, What are you Reading is hosted weekly by super-awesome Sheila from BookJourney.




Currently // Pain, pain, go away….

November 8, 2015 Currently, Miscellaneous 9

Right this minute | Migraine

Feeling | Migraine

Reading | Nothing at the moment. Migraine.

Listening | The sound of silence.

Watching | Nothing. Migraine.

Blogging | This. Barely.

Promoting | There is still time to join us for the #PotterBinge! Details at The Estella Society.


Loving | The silence.

Hating | Gluten.

Eating | No more donuts, that’s for sure. I had a bit of chocolate Chex cereal, to go with the drugs.

Exercising | I can barely walk in a straight line. No, actually I really can’t.

Anticipating | This migraine going away.

Sorry for the whiny post! Just, ugh.