July 2017 Quick Lit

Not to brag, but I have not read a bad book all month. It has been a great reading summer so far, and we've only just begun!

Each month I link with Modern Mrs. Darcy's Quick Lit as a way to talk about the books I liked, but didn't review. Here are the best of them:

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie -- This book was everything I love: a coming of age story set in an far away location. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a genius, and I can't wait to read more of her books.

The Wanderers by Meg Howrey -- This book was billed as Station 11 meets The Martian, which it wasn't, at all. Those books had a lot of action, and this one mostly took part in the astronauts minds. Still, I liked most of the characters, so I liked this book.

Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith -- A perfect summer read. Two creepy people meet each other on a train with murderous results. I liked this one a lot.

The Shining by Stephen King -- I HAD to re-read this after driving through Estes Park, CO.  I had forgotten how different it was from the movie. When I finished I was so creeped out I jumped at my husband's shadow. That doesn't usually happen to me.

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Books that are saving my life right now...

I've been in a funk since December. Nothing major has happened to me personally, but there has been a churning persistence of drama that seems to follow me wherever I go.  I got robbed, I've been sick for weeks, too many nice people in my life have died, and then there is the news. Thank goodness I have books to keep me going.

I've been incapable of sticking to any sort of reading list. Instead I have been turning to some old favorites for escape.

The Martian by Andy Weir - I've been embracing the spirit of Mark Watney lately when faced with tasks that seem impossible. If he could get off Mars, I can get my work projects done.

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt - This is, of course, a pretty grim book. But McCourt tells it with a sense of humor, something I've lost, but am trying to get back right now.

Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani - I really like Ave Maria, the main character in this book. My favorite thing about her is that she doesn't see her life set in stone. She considers herself an old maid, but is willing to change it all. The audiobook read by the author added another layer of greatness to this book.

Any books saving your life lately?

Note: This post is linked to Modern Mrs. Darcy's mid-winter list of things that are saving her life.

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What happened when I tried to do a read-a-thon

Since I joined Litsy I've been reading about all sorts of intriguing book clubs and read-a-thons. I decided it might be fun to try the 24 in 48 read-a-thon, and since I live near DC I had a 3 day weekend for the Inauguration. The essence of the thing is you should spend 24 out of 48 hours reading. I figured since I had an extra day that weekend I could spend it reading.

Here's what happened:

Saturday:

4 am - My plans were dashed almost right away when I found out I would have to work on my 3 day weekend. Still I gave it a go with 103 minutes of audiobooks and programming before the kids got up.

7:30 am - After the kids were fed and the husband left for the day I spent 90 minutes reading on the couch

9 am - We had a ton of errands to run, so I spent 40 minutes in the car in between listening to audiobooks with the kids

1:30 pm - Husband is back home, we eat lunch, and putter around. I listen to more audiobooks while I clean, and spend some time on the couch reading a guide book. This amounts to 127 minutes.

5 pm - I cuddle in the bed downstairs and read out loud to the kids for 50 minutes.

6 pm - Our day is over, no one is hungry for dinner, and the kids are settled in with Minecraft. Now is when the real reading starts. I read for an estimated 300 minutes before I fall into a deep sleep and don't wake up again until the next morning.

I ended my read-a-thon though I realized that I probably needed sleep more than reading, and gave up tracking my reading time on Sunday. Still I enjoyed what reading I did do. By forcing myself to sit and read, I had a renewed energy the next day. Sleeping 13 hours might have helped too...

Books I read at least part of:

There's another read-a-thon in July. I think I'll do it again.

Have you ever done a read-a-thon?

Note: my computer keeps changing read-a-thon to read-a-thin. I wish!

January 2017 Audiobooks

Hiking the Delaware Water Gap, Jan. 1, 2017

Hiking the Delaware Water Gap, Jan. 1, 2017

Happy New Year readers!

I have finally broken away from my Inspector Gamache binge long enough to listen to a few new things and one audiobook that I have listened to a minimum of 1 billion times now. (Not Harry Potter. My Overdrive hold that I put on in November still hasn't come through.)

A Thousand Miles to Freedom by Eunsun Kim - I have been meaning to read something about North Korea for a long time now, and this was my first introduction. This was a powerful story, but I think something was lost in translation. Not being allowed to watch TV was reported in the same tones as being forced to have a baby in exchange for room and board. Still, I recommend this book if you also want to learn more about life in North Korea.

Packing for Mars by Mary Roach - I thought I would LOVE this book, but just found it so-so. Too much talk about poop and vomit, and not enough about space.

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson - Yes, again. I just listened to this last summer with my brother, and didn't say no when my husband wanted to listen to it on our New Year's trip. There's just something about hiking parts of the Appalachian Trail that makes you want to hear Bryson's take on it. Most of his books have worn on me, but this one still resonates.

Life According to Steph

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