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Posts Tagged ‘books’

I finally bit the bullet and bought an app for my MacBook Pro to try and get myself blogging more often. My problem isn’t ideas or concepts to blog about, my problem has always been logistics and functionality. Pictures, videos, and links have always been so time consuming for me that I just would avoid blogging altogether. Even when I had some fantastic ideas, I would avoid the computer because just thinking about how frustrating I would become when I couldn’t get the photos/post to look the way I wanted would deter me from even writing altogether.

Testing the picture

Writing is something I have always loved to do. I was one of those kids who loved the essay question on test because it allowed me an opportunity to expouse on and on about whatever. I know I’m usually all over the place on the blog, so a name change might be coming, but in the meantime I’m going to test this app out. It was only $30 so if it’s a success, then it’s money well spent and if it isn’t a success, then I’m out only a small amount of money.

Coming soon: What I’ve been reading lately, another attempt at Weight Watchers and why I think this will be the time that I get back to Lifetime with them. Also, fun with fitness. Or rather, how I’m not having fun and I’m not getting much fitness done. The pedometer tells the truth even when I don’t.

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I was listening to the Book on the Nightstand podcast the other day and one of the segments focused on backlist. What it is, what it means, and why it’s definitely an enjoyable thing.  I found myself nodding along to Ann and Michael’s comments on the topic and realized that this is it. This is what I wanted to focus on for 2015.  We (my husband and I) bought a new home in 2014 and when we moved I came to the realization that I had a lot of books. Enough books to keep me reading the next 5-6 years or so without purchasing another book. While we all know that isn’t going to happen, I decided that I would blog backlist style for 2015.  That would give me something to constantly write about as well as help me get rid of some of the Mount TBR I have growing in our office.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture right now but I will remedy that with the next post.  The reason MTBR is all over the office is that the cheap ladder shelf I bought from Target buckled and broke. It’s a safety hazard to use right now. So my vow to backlistblog couldn’t have come at a better time.  I’ve got stacks in my living room and in the office not to mention a busting bookcase by the front door. They all have books that at one time or another I was dying to read. I’m going to get on that right away.  My reading plans for February include: Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, 1st to Die by James Patterson, Inferno by Dan Brown, and finishing Dreamers and Deceivers by Glenn Beck. Which isn’t a backlist book at all. It was released in December and was a Christmas present. I’m also participating in a few reading challenges which will also be helpful in reading strictly backlist.

Meanwhile, I’m keeping a list of new releases that I want to read. By the time I get to them, they too will be considered backlist.

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I saw this at A Guy’s Moleskine Notebook as well as Facebook ( I think) and I thought it would be fun to go through and do a true or false. Let me know how you feel in the comments. I like to hear from you two 🙂

1. Book is your general outlook on life. People are cool but reading is your preferred social activity.
True. With an explanation. I love to be hanging around the house or the pool with my loved one and our kids with a book in my hand. 

2. You know what a book hangover is and you have them frequently.
True. Sometimes, after a particularly engrossing book, I need to take time off between reads. That’s when I’ll squeeze in a couple of graphic novels. They are always a good palette cleanser for me.

3. You plan whole afternoons around browsing bookstores.
True. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of bookstore options around where I live, but weekends are always planned with a trip to the bookstore and library included in those plans.  In South Florida, it rains every afternoon in the summer, so those are usually the perfect time to go visit the bookstore.

4. If you go too long without buying or reading a book you feel a huge sense of withdrawal and are thinking of the next time you can get away to a bookstore or library.
True. I probably bring at least 3 books into the house on a weekly basis. Much to the consternation of my fiance.

5. You have trouble functioning at work or school sometimes because you stayed up late reading.
False-ish. I usually fall asleep WHILE I’m reading, so I’m usually able to function. I however, have been late to work on many occasion because I prefer to read while I’m drinking my coffee in the morning.

6. You’re constantly sharing your favorite book quotes on social media and have either a Pinterest board or Tumblr dedicated to these quotes.
False. Sometimes I’ll share a quote or two, but usually I’m too involved in the book to stop reading to go online.

7. You’re always looking forward to the weekend but mostly because you can’t wait to get 2 whole days for unadulterated alone time with a new book.
True. I won’t read non-stop thought. I’ll read for an hour or so in the morning, then another hour or two in the afternoon. Depends on the plans and errands I have. If I’m really good and get all the chores done Sat morning, I’ll definitely be able to get in a couple of hours of reading in the afternoon. Also, all bets are off on Sunday. That’s our lazy-do-anything day.

8. You carry a book with you at all times because you never know when you’ll have a spare minute to do some extra reading.
True. Seriously, I read every chance I get. I always have an actual book with me, but then I’ve got the kobo app, the kindle app, the nook app as well as a subscription to Oyster Books. I subscribe to the Book Riot Quarterly Box and that’s where I got the free subscription. I am TOTALLY going to keep it and keep paying. It’s $10 bucks and basically there is enough backlist there that I want to read to last me a life time. Seriously, I love Oyster. And they aren’t sponsoring me. Neither is Book Riot. I just love them both.

9. Your friends and family have stopped asking you what you want for Christmas or birthdays because they know you’ll always say books.
False.  They still ask because they know all I want is books, but they don’t want to get me books that they know I already own.  Since I spend all my money on books, it’s a good bet I need clothes or perfume, which I never buy for myself. The hubs, he buys me gift cards to my favorite book store. Because, you know, he loves me.

10. You take your book clubs seriously. If you show up and you haven’t read the book?
False. I’m slightly anti-social and would just rather read the books I want and talk to my internet friends about it.

11. When you go out to dinner you find yourself wanting to gush about a book you’re reading and the characters in the story. You’ve been spending so much time with them you feel like they’ve become a part of your life just as much as anyone else.
True I’ve dreamt about the books I’m reading before.  And I wish I had a nickel for everytime I started a sentence with “That happened in this book I’m reading (read)…”

12. You don’t mind layovers so much because you know it’s a perfect time to get in extra reading.
True. This is so so true.

13. When you travel you always bring as least two books because you’re not sure what kind of mood you’ll be in or what sort of story you’ll feel like reading.
True. Not so much because of my “mood” but rather, what if I finish one. Since I own two e-readers as well as an iPad and an iPhone, I feel like I’m always with plenty of books. I still always bring two physical books with me. Because, you know, technology isn’t perfect but pages are.

14. And if you don’t have a Kindle you just sort of assume half of your luggage will be all books.
False. See my precious gushing about nooks, iPads, IPhones and Oyster.

15. When someone talks smack about one of your favorite writers you instantly get defensive and suggest they try reading another work by them.
True. Do not put down Jane Austen.

16. You legitimately don’t understand people who say they don’t read.
True. True, I mean, how much TV and internet browsing can you watch??

17. When the movie version of a book comes out you’ll go see it but you know there isn’t any way the movie could be better than the book.
True. I do remember though, one time, that I thought the movie was better. Of course, now that I’m trying to think of it I can’t remember.

18. One of your favorite things to do when arriving in a new city is to check out the local bookstores.
True. I look that up as soon as I’ve booked my flight.

19. You actually have a bookstore bucket list of amazing bookstores around the world you absolutely want and need to visit before you die.
True-ish.  The only place I want to travel to internationally is the UK, so other than those bookstores (hello Charing Cross Road) the ones I mostly want to go to are the ones in the US. 

20. You’ve stopped lending books to friends because you know they just won’t care for the books in the way they should be cared for.
False. I don’t keep most of my books so if someone wants to borrow it, I’m more than happy to lend them out. I just ask that they pass it forward. If it’s a book I want to keep, then all bets are off. I don’t let that out of my sight.

21. You don’t understand how people can be lonely when they have books.
Uh, false. I hope they don’t make me turn in my book-addict card for this but I love my honey and while he knows how special my books are, nothing will replace the feel of a hug from him. Or a hug from one of my kiddos.

22. You’ve skipped over entire meals or canceled plans just so you could finish a book.
True. I won’t elaborate.

23. You honestly can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday than reading a book and drinking coffee or tea.
True. That’s what I do. Sunday mornings are for coffee reading. Then breakfast and family time.

24. You buy all your friends and family a book for Christmas.
Absolutely true. I spend hundreds of dollars at the bookstore during the holidays. One for them, one for me.

25. You always check out the max amount of books you can at the library and get annoyed when someone asks you if you’ll actually be able to read all of those by the due date. Hello, do you even know me?
True.  Especially when all the holds come in at once. I know you can relate!!

26. You have words from your favorite author or book tattooed on your body somewhere.
False I have tattoos but sadly, none of literary.

27. You buy more books even if you have a stack of books that haven’t been read yet.
True. Although, I have been trying lately, to have the one book in one book out policy. So far, epic fail.

28. And you feel sort of guilty that you haven’t read those books yet but you will! Someday!
True. I’ll get them soon enough!!

29. Pretty much your entire apartment is filled with stacks of books.
False-ish. I have managed to keep them quarantined to the book shelves. Except for that corner in the bedroom. Pay no attention to that corner.

30. You sort of hate when a book is 250 pages or under because you know you’ll just end up reading it within a day or two and will have to find something else to read when it’s finished.
True. But I do enjoy reading a few series and they often are less than 300 pages. But I enjoy it so, what’s it matter.

31. But that’s okay because you always have at least a few emergency books you can choose from if you have nothing else to read.
True. I am always organizing my TBR pile.

32. When people can’t find you they just assume you’re at a bookstore.
False.  I can always be found.

33. You love seeing people in public with books and you’re always try and catch a peek at the title to see what they’re into.
True. I love seeing other people read. It’s like we are a member of a special club.

34. When the ending of a book sucks you feel seriously betrayed by the author. I mean, how could they do this to me?
True. I think I slammed down Gone Girl onto the floor.

35. You think the only way you can truly get to know an old, used book is by smelling it. Ahh, old book smell.
False. While I love the smell of a bookstore and books, my allergies keep me from truly enjoying that.

36. When you find a used bookstore you get ridiculously excited. The level of excitement can sometimes trump excitement over other awesome things like pizza places, ice-cream shops, etc. Your enthusiasm for used bookstores knows no bounds.
True. I want to open a used book store, but sadly I fear that won’t pay the bills.

37. You take it personally when you recommend a book to a friend and 6 months later they still haven’t read it. What are they even waiting for?

False. I don’t really care.

38. You wake up in the morning thinking about the characters in a book and wondering what will happen.
True. Sort of. I have woken up in the morning thinking, I can’t wait to get back to my book.

39. You own a variety of different editions of your favorite book. If you see it in a foreign bookstore or with a new cover you can’t help but want it for your collection.
True. I can’t tell you how many copies of Pride and Prejudice I own.

40. You’ve yelled at a book in public.
True. Also, see above throwing of Gone GIrl.

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I read Rebecca’s post (she’s an amazing BookRiot editor and book lady extraordinaire) about letting go of the TBR list and actually commented that my list doesn’t give me any grief. And as I was listening to a podcast this morning (there might be a recurring theme here) I realized that I do let my TBR cause me grief, stress and guilt. But I didn’t realize it when I first read her post as I was thinking in literal terms. I use Goodreads to keep track of my reading. I do that only because I tend to forget books I’ve read and I have bought books in the past to read, gotten 3 chapters in, and had such strong deja vu before I remembered, oh yea, I read this book already. So, when I first read that post I thought of my To Read list on Goodreads and was like, eh, I don’t even go on there unless it’s just to check if I own a book already. (I keep track of that too–own and unread) 

 

I also go to the library quite a bit, and this is where the stress and guilt come in. I tend to place holds on a lot of books, and I also wander through the stacks and grab whatever suits me at the moment. I like the combination of serendipity and planning. However, they only allow you to check out a book for three weeks. Two if it is new or a bestseller. Most of mine tend to be just that. And you can only renew for one cycle before having to return the book. And if there is a hold on it? You can forget the renewing part then. Which leads me to stack these books (sometimes 20 of them at once) by my bedside in the order that I need to read them in based on their return dates. THIS is what stresses me out because even in a perfect world where I don’t have to do anything but read, I can’t get through more than 2 in a week. And a lot of the books I read are chunksters and those take a bit longer to plow through. So what’s a book nerd to do? Constantly go over the TBR stack from the library. Meanwhile, during this time, I stress that I’m ignoring all the 400+ books I own and sitting on my shelves and not reading because I am stressing about the library books. And don’t get me started on the stack of books on my ereaders.

 

When I listened to Rebecca and Rita (not me) on the Dear Book Nerd podcast this morning I realized I was doing this to myself and I didn’t even realize it. I get stressed about which book to read next because of the library. I then get stressed that I’m not reading anything I currently own and then I started stressing about the Tournament of Books and how I wanted to read all those books by March. Which is completely unrealistic!  I decided right there and then, sipping my coffee in my car, that 2014 is going to be the year of serendipitous reading. I will continue to check out 20 books at a time, but only so I can have free reign at home to read whatever calls to me in that moment.  Good thing my other half doesn’t mind all the piles. This year for us is going to be one of planning and some change, so letting go of my book guilt feels very freeing! 

 

 

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This book was released a year ago and it’s just as relevant now as it was then. Obviously, our economic recovery isn’t progressing as quickly as some would like. For some reason I put this aside and only just picked it up last week. I’m not sure what made me wait, but I’m glad I finally read it. All of the marketing materials say that this is a story of a financial disaster that relates to the 2008 banking and finance crisis but really, what it boils down to is that this is a story about family and the different characters that make up a family.

This story is told in a third person narrative from several points of view. That proved to be a little challenging from time to time as there were many characters and it would often take me a page or so of a new chapter to figure out whose perspective we were hearing at that moment. It wasn’t until I was half-way through the book before I could start a new chapter and immediately know whose point of view we were getting. The story begins and takes off. Someone, it appears has killed himself. But you aren’t sure who. And even when you get told who is is you still wonder who i n the world was telling the story from the beginning. The finance aspect of the story is intriguing, especially since I work for the CFO of a publicly traded company and have spoken to the SEC on many occasions.  Fortunately, there was just enough finance in this book to explain the problems that the family was in, but it didn’t overdo it like some other books. (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo–I’m looking at you). There was quite a bit of foreshadowing in this book though and I have to say I read the signs pretty easily. That usually doesn’t happen to me. I wasn’t sure whether I should be happy about this or not and then I realized that I was glad. It was like trying to put together a puzzle and finishing it before the timer goes off.  The good thing too, is that I was right about somethings and wrong about others.  I did enjoy the character development too as these characters could have been easy not to like but Alger gives us some insight to their inner workings and makes them sympathetic at some times. Which made what could have been unlikeable characters redeemable.

This book was a good palette cleanser.

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I’m not sure what I expected when I started reading this book. I guess I figured it would be a literary legal thriller and I suppose to a certain extent it was. And while everyone was talking about the twist in Gone Girl by Jillian Flynn, they totally overlooked the surprise ending in this book.  I don’t want to say too much, however, if you haven’t read this book yet and don’t want spoilers you should probably stop reading now. Not the book you dolt, this blog. Go finish the book. I’ll still be here.

 

 

 

Alright, now that they have gone, we can carry on.  I went into this book expecting a Grisham type story. I don’t know why I had this predisposition to it, but I did. I was not disappointed. (Secret–I like most Grisham novels).  This story kept having transcripts of a Grand Jury session in it for a crime that you think you know. Except there are little hints sprinkled throughout the narrative that are microscopic at first and then eventually even I had to take notice and finally actually say out loud, “hey! This isn’t what it seems.” Well, it definitely wasn’t what it seemed at all. The characters weren’t always likable but isn’t that the way life is? You realize half-way through that there is something not right about this story and you keep hoping to get the answers to what is wrong. As a parent, I definitely wanted a positive outcome. As I said before, I did not see the ending coming. Even though the author led us there, it wasn’t obvious where he was headed with this story. And I think that’s the part that I liked the most about this book.  I can usually read through the foreshadowing and guess what is going to happen. I hate when I do that. I do it with books, movies and tv shows and it annoys the hell out of those watching with me. I’m the only one who gets annoyed when it happens with books. It did not happen with this book.

 

As the parent of three children, I may have not wanted to see those foreshadowing sentences. While most of read to escape, I often find myself relating to the book in whatever way possible. My next read might be a travel memoir.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Or Baby’s Got Back! Either way, it fits. I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve posted.  Hopefully, the three people who used to read me are still around!!

 

I could try and tell you everything that’s going on in my life these days, but sadly, I could probably tell you everything in the characters Twitter gives us.  I’ve read a lot of books (check me out on Goodreads to see which ones), I’ve seen some good movies and tv shoes (check me out on Get Glue to see which ones) and I’ve been to gymnastics events (check me out on Twitter and Facebook to see how that went).  Wow, am I an advertisement for social media slutiness or what?

 

Seriously, I’m going to make an effort to post regularly, especially since this is an election year. I’ll try not to bore you or incense you.  I have been known to be a little opinionated.  No, really, I can be. <please read with the sarcastic overtones intended).

 

In other just as exciting (not) news, I’ve lost 15 pounds since we last spoke.  Not a bunch, I realize, however, I’ve fought hard for each and every one of those pounds. Ok, maybe a little hard, but hopefully I’ll get to the point where I exercise more than once a week. I mean, it’s not like exercise is church. Oh wait, I don’t do that regularly either.

 

Clearly, interwebs, I need an overhaul and an intervention.

 

And coffee, lots of coffee!

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