Posts Categorized: Books

Reading Notes – August 27 ,2015

August 27, 2015 Books, Reading Notes 7

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I feel kind of weird doing a Reading Notes post, seeing as I’m still not doing a ton of reading, but it’s part of my new schedule and I want to get off on the right foot. I just typed food, so I think you can see where my mind is at.

fivedaysatmemorialAs for reading, I’ve been listening to Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink and Holy Cow Guacamole. The full title is Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink and for good reason. I knew Katrina was bad, who didn’t know Katrina was bad, but I HAD NO IDEA and I bet you didn’t either. The news focused so much on the looting and the mismanagement by the government that this story, and so many others I’m sure, went ignored. I’m glad it wasn’t ignored for long.

Emergencies are crucibles that contain and reveal the daily, slower-burning problems of medicine and beyond – our vulnerabilities; our trouble grappling with uncertainty, how we die, how we prioritize and divide what is most precious and vital and limited; even our biases and blindnesses.

And hopefully those that need to know, learned from it. I can’t wait to get back to my listening. And how serendipitous that I managed to be listening during the anniversary of the storm. Way to go me!

Another book I’m reading The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Syndey Padua. lovelaceandbabbageAda Lovelace and Charles Babbage were real people. Ada Lovelace was the daughter of Lord Byron and, somewhat surprisingly, something of a mathematical genius. Charles Babbage was something of an inventor who had the idea for a proto-computer, but never really built anything. I have been fascinated by Lovelace for a long time. How does the daughter of such a celebrated poet become interested in mathematics? How does she write what is basically the beginnings of computer programming theory? Where does that come from?

And what could she have done if she hadn’t died so very young?

This book explores that. I have just reached the end of what was real, and am entering the part of the book that imagines. I wish I had more time to pick it up. I can’t wait for the weekend!

therestofusLastly, being such an impatient cuss, I started The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness. I would say I feel a little apprehensive about this book and I’m pretty sure a few of you would understand why. I seriously LOVE Patrick Ness. Adore him. Feel he can do no wrong. And that can be dangerous, because more often that not, an author like that will let you down. Plus, I don’t read as much young adult as I used to because, well, it sometimes gets on my nerves.

Happily, even though I’m only about 25% into the book, it is NOT getting on my nerves. Unhappily, I’m not exactly sure what it is doing to me. The premise is great. What WOULD it be like to not be the star? To be the one on the outside of all the adventure? To be the one looking in, wondering what it’s like to be the hero?

I will let you know.

So, how is your reading week going?

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Capricious Travelist Visits…

August 26, 2015 Books, Travelist 7

Ireland

If I had the money, and the time, there are so many places I would love to visit. Some, because I’ve seen them in movies, some in books, and some…well…just because. The first place I would go would be Ireland. I have long had a fascination with it, mainly because, while I am a “mutt,” I am a lot “Irish.” I grew up hearing just how Irish I am from my grandmother, who was (obviously) more Irish than me. She knew a lot about our history and even had our family (Moore, derived from O’More, from County Kildare) coat of arms on her bedroom wall.

So, take all that hearing about Ireland while growing up, then reading an awesome book set there in my late, and slightly restless 20s and the deal was sealed. If I can ever afford to travel somewhere outside of the US, it will be Ireland.

IrelandDelaneyThe book? Ireland by Frank Delaney. You guys, this magical book touched something deep inside me.  I literally read this book 10 years ago, and, believe it or not, I actually reviewed it. This is me, 10 years ago, so it’s not that great, but I wanted to share my thoughts from then anyway:

Every once and awhile, a book comes along that takes you on the most beautiful, magical journey and in turn ruins you for any other book for the next several weeks. Ireland did this to me. This novel felt like coming home, there was such a sense of belonging and well being emanating from it. This novel is many ancient Irish folklore stories laid out in one big, beautiful story. And it made me realize the value of the oral tradition that many ancient civilizations depended on. My poor humble words can do it no justice.

Ronan O’Mara, age 9, met the most magical, mysterious man. The Storyteller, the only name the man will give anyone, came to his home for a few nights in the late 1940s and changed his world forever. Feeling a strange and inexplicable connection to this man, Ronan spends the next several years desperately trying to find him again, only to meet many roadblocks. Along the way, people share with him the stories the Storyteller shared with them; stories about Ireland’s ancient, rich and beautiful past. As the Ronan grows he learns many interesting things about his family and himself.

I’ve since read the book a couple of times (and now want to read it again!) and every time I find myself wanting to go to Ireland. I just…feel this connection to it, if that makes sense.

Other books I’ve read that only strengthened the urge?

princesofirelandcirecleoffriendsgalwaybay

Still others I’d like to read:

storytellerirelandfridgegraceomalley

How about you? Where would you like to visit? Have any great books about or set in Ireland for me?

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

August 24, 2015 Books, Meme 7

monday

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Last week:

You guys!! I finished books!!! Look! I’m so proud of me.

fivedaysatmemorial lovelaceandbabbage

This week:

I’m listening to Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink, which is much more interesting that I thought and I’m reading The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Syndey Padua, a comic/history/fantasy book about what could have happened to Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage if 1) she hadn’t tied too young and 2) he had finished his Difference Engine, or what would have been the first computer. It’s great. Seriously.

therestofusDeepSouth

Up next:

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness is high up on my list. I honestly can’t believe I haven’t read it yet. I also really want to get to Deep South by Paul Theroux. I can’t believe I’ve never read Theroux!

What are your plans for the reading week? Reading anything good this week?

It's Monday What Are You Reading

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

 

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The Shore by Sara Taylor

August 20, 2015 Books 8 ★★★★★

The Shore by Sara TaylorThe Shore
by Sara Taylor
Published by Hogarth
on May 26, 2015
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 320
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
five-stars
Situated off the coast of Virginia's Chesapeake Bay, the group of islands known as the Shore has been home to generations of fierce and resilient women. Sanctuary to some but nightmare to others, it's a place they've inhabited, fled, and returned to for hundreds of years. From a half-Shawnee Indian's bold choice to flee an abusive home only to find herself with a man who will one day try to kill her to a brave young girl's determination to protect her younger sister as methamphetamine ravages their family, to a lesson in summoning storm clouds to help end a drought, these women struggle against domestic violence, savage wilderness, and the corrosive effects of poverty and addiction to secure a sense of well-being for themselves and for those they love.

I received this book for free from Purchased in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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You know how sometimes you start a book and it feels like home? Sometimes it’s because it is so similar to home and sometimes you just feel like you belong there. For me, The Shore felt like home, probably because, being set in the South, it IS home. Taylor did an amazing job evoking the setting, the people, the absolute feeling – down to the cadence of words and, weirdly enough, accents – of living in the South.

I loved it. I loved the way the stories looped around each other, coming in to focus on one person, then another, then a family, or someone in the past, someone in the future, then back to the same person from the beginning; all told in short stories…. It just reminded me so much of what it is like being Southern (for me. I have no idea what life is like in other areas of the world). If the family gets together (at least in my family), so many generations are there, so many lost ones are discussed, with the future generation crawling around under your feet. It is how this book felt to me. Like a big family reunion with all the good, bad, and crazy invited in. Some of the family is mean, some are nice. Some are depressed and some are lecherous. Some would help y0u anyway they can and some would just as soon kill you as look at you.

See? Family.

Taylor is a terrific writer. I’ll be on the watch for more by her. Highly recommended.

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Bout of Books: Wednesday Update

August 19, 2015 Books 4

Bout of Books

So, yeah. Reading. I was supposed to be using this week to like, read, right?

Ha!

I have been, but, mostly of the…audiobook…sort. Monday I finished listening to What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe. It was pretty much everything that title makes you think it is. Readers submitted Absurd Hypothetical Questions (although, in listening to the questions, one gets the feeling some of these people were Absurdly Serious) to Munroe’s website and he answered them. With real science, real wit, and real laughs. I seriously loved it.

I always listen to a few podcasts or music after finishing an audiobook, so I listened to a couple. You know, to clean the palate. I started In the Heart of the Seas: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick yesterday morning and by bedtime last night I had listened to almost half of it. I’m over halfway through this morning. I cannot put it down and DUDE this is SO MUCH MORE exciting that Moby Dick. Wow.

As for physical books, this is such a busy week. I’ve reached 170 pages read in Mr. Mac and Me by Esther Freud but I’m not sure when if I’ll get to pick it up again until Friday. I almost pushed it aside, but somehow I got interested around 50 pages in.

So, that’s my Bout so far! How is yours going?

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

August 17, 2015 Books, Meme 8

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Last week: Zero. Zilch. Nada. NOTHING. ::sigh::

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This week: I’m trying this really novel approach where you read ONLY ONE BOOK AT A TIME. This is so not my style, but not reading at all is really really REALLY not my style either, so I thought what the hey? right? Also it’s the start of Bout of Books and yo, I gotta be reading, right?

I can hear you thinking…girl, you have two books pictured? Yes! You are right! One is my work audiobook. What If? is soooo hilariously informatively awesome and it’s read by Wil Wheaton. So made of win. Mr. Mac and Me is my read in print. Since my focus feels so scattered, we’re gonna try this for a bit. So far it’s working, I read quite a bit of Mr. Mac and Me yesterday. I’ll finish What If? at work today.

A Darker Shade final for Irene 22435497 missingreels

Up next: I’m taking this one day at a time. That being said, these are the ones catching my eye the most at the moment. It could change without notice. It’ll be Book Roulette again, as soon as I finish the two I’m working on.

What are your plans for the reading week? Reading anything good this week?

It's Monday What Are  You Reading

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

 

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Bout of Books 14!

August 14, 2015 Books 7

Bout of Books

Considering the last couple of (miserable) months for my reading, I debated on whether I would join in for this round of Bout of Books. Then I smacked myself in the forehead because DUH OF COURSE I AM.

I’m hoping it will reboot my reading.

I’m not making an official list because it would take a miracle to make me stick to it. It will probably be a week of playing Book Roulette. Thank God it’s a fun game.

Is there a Bout of Reviewing books? lol

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

August 10, 2015 Books, Meme 9

monday

Last week: I did not finish a book last week. :(

theoregontrailmrmacandmewhatif

This week: So. I am obviously not in a good reading place right now. I didn’t read a lick last week. I listened to podcasts and I colored, along with all the normal everyday life activities. So, I played a bit of Book Roulette and came up with two books that grabbed me (at least at that moment). We’ll see what happens.

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Up next: Honestly, I have no idea. I have a feeling I’ll be playing Book Roulette again to figure it out. I know WHAT I’d LIKE to read next, so that’s what I put here. Let’s hope one sticks.

What are your plans for the reading week? Reading anything good this week?

It's Monday What Are  You Reading

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

 

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Monthly Wrap – July 2015

August 6, 2015 Books, Monthly Wrap Up 6

monthlywrapupjuly

What the heck July! Why did you try to kill my reading? I recovered a bit at the end, but daggone! I’m disappointed. But also not. Because HA ON YOU, I read some excellent stuff! 😛

92. Pretty Deadly, Volume 1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick
93. The Fade Out, Issue 7 by Ed Brubaker
94. Grandville by Bryan Talbot
95. Armada by Ernest Cline, read by Wil Wheaton
96. Kitchens of the Great Midwestby J. Ryan Stradal read by Amy Ryan and Michael Stuhlbarg
97. The Shore by Sara Taylor

I’m pretty positive Kitchens and The Shore will be on my end of year lists. The Shore was just all kinds of excellent (you guys were so right, it works much better in book form…at least for the first read!) and Kitchens reminded me how utter delightful reading can be. Armada was pure Ernest Cline, which can be good and bad, and the graphic novels were so fun. So, even though I did little reading, the reading I did was awesome. Seriously, who can ask for more?

On to August!

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

July 27, 2015 Books, Meme 5

monday

armada

Last week: Slowly but surely, I’m finding ways to read! Apparently, my mind can only handle the audiobooks, which was just fine and dandy because THAT little jewel up there came out last week and I promptly devoured it. Ernest Cline did not disappoint (me!).

theshorekitchensofthegreatmidwestGoSetAWatchman

This week: I’m almost finished with The Shore! It has been great, I just have trouble picking it up. I’m flying through Kitchens of the Great Midwest. I’m listening to the audio and it is ALL KINDS OF DELIGHTFUL. Honestly, I haven’t picked up Go Set a Watchman in a week, but don’t take that as an indicator of my feelings on it. It’s totally my mood. I hope to get back to it.

wrathanddawnsorcerer_front mech.inddtheoregontrail

Up next: I’m not sure! These are the three I’m looking at hard. I’ll probably start The Wrath and the Dawn after I finish Kitchens of the Great Midwest. Since it’s an audiobook and it sounds sooooooooooooooo freaking good! I haven’t read any books like it in awhile, so I figure I’m due.

What are your plans for the reading week? Reading anything good this week?

It's Monday What Are  You Reading

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

 

 

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