The Sunday Salon [5.1.16]: What I’ve Been Reading

My “book blog” has not discussed books in two months, so I figured I’d at least pop on by and let you all know what I’ve been reading. Frankly, I’ve not done much reading at all in the two months since I posted my February recap (which seemed so promising). In March, I decided to do a daily yoga challenge so my daily reading resolution went right out the window (apparently I cannot accomplish two daily commitments at a time) and then it stayed away in April when life suddenly felt even busier than usual.

I’ve been reading my current print book (Illuminae) for at least two months (I know I’ve renewed it twice from the library) and I am only on page 200. I got through a few audiobooks but then I gave up on those in favor of podcasts the last few weeks because (a) I haven’t bothered to move any from itunes to my phone and (b) my brain is too tired for a full book.

So, since you last saw me, I have finished three audiobooks and two comic books:

An Ember in the Ashes | Sabaa Tahir | audio | 4 stars

This was the Forever YA book club book in February. I wasn’t sure about it when I first read the description but I ended up really liking it. I was a bit disappointed to learn it is the first in a series but I will definitely be reading on.

After You | Jojo Moyes | audio | 4 stars

I read Me Before You in print but I knew I’d get to the follow-up sooner in audio so I switched to that medium. I didn’t really think that I needed a follow-up but Jojo Moyes sucked me back into Louisa’s world and made me see that I did.

Who’s ready for the movie?

Descender (Vol. 1) | Jeff Lemire | print | 4.5 stars

Many thanks to SuziQOregon for the recommendation on this oneIt was just what I needed to feel like I accomplished something while being thoroughly entertained. I am eagerly anticipating volume 2 in a few weeks.

The Girl Who Stopped Swimming | Joshilyn Jackson | audio | 4 stars

The latest in my quest to read everything Joshilyn Jackson has written did not leave me disappointed. I highly recommend reading Jackson’s books in audio as she reads them herself and makes for a wonderful southern storyteller.

Ms. Marvel: Generation Why (Vol. 2) | G. Willow Wilson & Jacob Wyatt/Adrian Alphona | print | 3.5 stars

I am still trying to figure out if I like comics but this one keeps me entertained enough to keep going. 

*****

What have YOU all been reading? Let me live vicariously through you until my kids are in college and/or I win the lottery.

The Sunday Salon.com

February 2016: Month In Review

Did February fly by or what? That extra day didn’t slow it down at all!

I read four books in February:

Need | Joelle Charbonneau | print | 3.5 stars

Need was an exciting read. Need is a new social network which grants member “requests” after asking them to perform tasks, which quickly turn deadly. I rarely encounter a book I can call a “page-turner” these days but this was it. I kept sneaking a few pages every chance I could and I read it very quickly. Perhaps that is why I thought the ending was rushed and unsatisfying. It was disappointing to race through this book and be left without all of the answers I was looking for.

The Royal We | Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan | print | 5 stars

I loved this one to the point that I became slightly obsessed with this book while I was reading it. It was the Forever YA Book Club pick in February so I kept texting my friend who was also reading it. The Royal We follows Bex – an American studying abroad – as she navigates a complicated relationship with Nick  – the future King of England. It was a big book for me and it was not a quick read, but I found myself carving out time for it. The boys were sick one weekend and I read for hours and hours while they were couch-bound and napping. It also inspired me to do quite a bit of Kate and William research (which my book club appreciated). I’d recommend this one for sure.

Carry On | Rainbow Rowell | audio | 2.5 stars

It turns out that Rainbow Rowell is really hit or miss for me. I adored Eleanor & Park, FanGirl, and Attachments, but had to drag myself through Landline and Carry On. It was a little surreal to be reading fictional fan fiction and I never really felt like I belonged in the world of mages. It really did feel like we were plopped into this already existing story (which I suppose was the point). By the time the adventure really got going in the last third of the book, I was finally interested, but it was too late to totally save the book in my view. If I had been reading this in print, I wouldn’t have made it that far.

Isla and the Happily Ever After | Stephanie Perkins | print | 5 stars

When I read Stephanie Perkins story in My True Love Gave to Me at Christmas, I was reminded how great she is at writing a story of young love and of the fact that I still had to read this one…so I did. It was a fun, easy read of teenage love in Paris. There wasn’t much not to like. Anna will always have my heart, but Isla comes in a pretty close second.

January 2016: Month in Review

In January, I read three books:

Armada was a very enjoyable audio experience. Wil Wheaton is always a fun listen. While this was not as good as Ready Player One (can anything ever be as good as Ready Player One), I thought Armada was very well done.

I finally finished My True Love Gave to Me. I do not recommend reading a book of Christmas stories unless you are sure you can finish it BEFORE Christmas. I did not enjoy this once it was January 10 and I was still trudging through it. That said, I did enjoy some of the stories in here a lot (most importantly, I was reminded that Stephanie Perkins is amazing and I needed to request Isla and the Happily Ever After from the library).

 

Finally, I finished Winter. Stars, I love this series. 😉 I almost always find the final book in a series to be a disappointment, but not here. Marissa Meyer is so unbelievably talented at creating fantastic characters, writing intricate but workable plots, and building a complicated world in which to place them both.  Rebecca Soler has done an excellent job narrating this series to top it off. I was so pleased to find that I still have a little bit left to look forward to in this world with Stars Above – a collection of old and new stories. I HIGHLY recommend this series to everyone (and I am actively campaigning for Ben to read it). Don’t let the lunar cyborgs scare you off.

I also read the first volume of Ms. Marvel (I am not sure whether to count this as a book read or not). I liked it. I’m still experimenting with comics but it’s quick to read and smart and funny at the same time.

In other news, I spent the month starting Parenthood’s final season, watching the entirety of Making a Murder, starting the first season of House of Cards, and reluctantly doing a Star Wars re-watch. And I remained obsessed with the Hamilton soundtrack. I started bullet journaling. I went to my first ballet class since LAST January. Kai learned to crawl, got his first two teeth, and ate a whole piece of pizza. The four of us stayed as busy as always.

What was your favorite read in January?

The Sunday Salon: October in Review [11.2.14]

In October, I read:

  • All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner
  • A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  • Runaways Vol. 4: True Believers
  • Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

At the moment, I am reading Rooms by Lauren Oliver and listening to Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger.

This month I reviewed Girls in White Dresses; shared how and why I am getting out of debt; where books have made me want to visit; and shared photos from the pumpkin patch.

How was your October?

The Sunday Salon.com

The Sunday Salon: September in Review [10.12.14]

Seeing as it is October 12, it is probably time to quickly recap September. It was a busy month yet again, despite the absence of airports and hotels. I read a little, I blogged a little, I worked a lot, I parented a lot, I watched my college football team fall apart, and that’s about it.

I shared my favorite Gilmore Girls episodes; gave a one star review; shared a photo of Vanderbilt Beach; listed the books I am most looking forward to this fall; read and reviewed my first comic book; bloggiesta-d; hid Green Eggs and Ham; reviewed the last book in a recommended series; and shared another one of Evan’s current favorites.

I read these:

Time is just flying. Pretty sure Evan will be 16 next week.

The Sunday Salon.com

TSS: July in Review

Well that was an unproductive blogging month. Not even worth recapping. But life still went on.

Evan and I had a busy month together.

I read four books, which I may or may not ever tell you about.

We met Ben in Minneapolis.

My mom came to visit.

And we went on a little road trip to Bonita Springs.

We discovered some new places around town.

We went to Santa Fe.

 

 

Where we watched Ben receive his Masters in English.

 

And Ben came home.

That’s what I was doing while I wasn’t blogging.

TSS: June in Review

It’s hard to believe the year is half over and it’s time to wrap up June. Well, I’m a day early. But I won’t finish a book by tomorrow. So here I am.

Books/Blogging

YOU GUYS. I had my best reading month all year! I finished 5 books and it was amazing. I am sticking with YA for awhile to keep this up.

  • The One by Kiera Cass
  • Siren’s Song by Heather McCollum
  • This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready
  • Hemingway’s Girl by Erika Roburn
  • The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wicker

Look for those reviews soon…

I also reviewed:

And shared:

Health

I am actually going for a run this morning. A real, legit run. I got injured in early April so it’s been nearly 3 months since I’ve gone on one. And I have suffered for it. But I’m excited to hit the pavement again. Despite the humidity and heat.

I tried to do that ab challenge in June that everyone was doing – and I made it much further than everyone else I knew – but I gave up around Day 22. It just got too hard. Thinking about doing a yoga challenge in July to stay active while I can’t actually get to the gym or dance class.

Evan

Evan is a handful. Ben left and he seems to be pretty terrified that I am also going to leave. Other than daycare (where he has always been comfortable with me dropping him off), he barely lets me leave the room. Ben’s sister is here this weekend helping me out (she was getting me ice cream as I typed this), which is great, we’re going to see Ben next weekend in Minnesota for a wedding (where I plan on promptly handing Evan over to someone and then running away), my mom will be here the weekend after that, then just one more weekend on my own before we head to New Mexico for Ben’s graduation. I can do that. Right?

The Sunday Salon.com

TSS: May In Review

It’s time to wrap up May!

Reading

Well, I thought I was having a good reading month, but when I looked back I had only read 3 books (two print and one audio).

Turns out, this is my new definition of a “good reading month.” I really did feel like I got a little of my reading mojo back. I stayed up late finishing We Were Liars one day. I looked forward to some alone time in the car to listen to Dreams of Gods and Monsters. And Raven Boys, though it started slow for me, turned into a real page-turner. So, I’m just going to stick with YA for awhile since that seems to be my current cup of tea.

Blogging

I haven’t really gotten my blogging mojo back though, have I?

I reviewed Attachments and I tried to catch up on book reviews a little by doing three little reviews of The Cuckoo’s Calling, Astray, and Inferno. I am hoping to have at least one book review for you each week of June.

Health

I’m itching to put my running shoes on but I know that as soon as I do, my foot pain will come back. But, it seems that all this rest has given it time to heal, so now I just have to be patient and wait for my custom orthotics to be made before I can hit the pavement again (and, by then, it will be far to hot to do so). I’ve accepted that this running season is over for me and I’ll hopefully get back at it in the fall.

I tried swimming and biking and found each to be quite the challenge. I’ve been skipping yoga (May was BUSY) but I will try to get back to a few classes when I can. Once Ben leaves on the 13th, I’m pretty limited in my opportunities to work out or dance (I’m pretty much stuck with the gym and only when the daycare is open).

Photography

I shared some more photos from our trip to DC (though I’m still not done editing them all – the problem with shooting in RAW is that every photo has to be edited). I sort of took a break from snapping photos this month, but I’m starting to feel the draw to the camera again.

Evan

Evan turned two! What a fun and challenging journey it has been so far. I can’t believe my little baby is now a little boy. I will hopefully blog about it in June (I am still waiting on some photos) but we had a very successful Mickey Mouse party for him.

The Sunday Salon.com

February In Review

Meant to have this up on Sunday. Nope

It seems a bit silly to do a monthly recap for February. I read a grand total of 1 audiobook. Cress.  That’s it. I also only reviewed three books: The Dangerous Animals Club, The Circle and Salt, Sugar, Fat.

I am feeling great, healthwise, though. I am still watching the scale go down and I discovered I’ve lost two inches off my waist since September. I can fit into my favorite jeans now. I really feel great.

I ran my first 8k and I’m running a 10k this month. And I’ve been pretty good at making my weekly yoga class.

I also found a new dance studio. The class I had been taking is now on the night Ben has class, so I took this as an opportunity to see what else was out there. I found a great studio and a great class.

I am still out there practicing with the camera. I became obsessed with the moon this month. And I can’t stop taking photos of Evan.

Evan is at such a fun age (I say this at every age). He has strong opinions about everything. He learns at least one word every day it seem. He loves to help me and he loves to do things himself. He is still rising early, but now he has a friendly owl to tell him when it’s time to wake up. He is finally showing a real interest in books. And, of course, he still loves Mickey.

 

January in Review

In January, I read 4 books: one print and three audio. But this is somewhat misleading as I finished two books on January 1 that I had been reading for awhile. So this was really a pretty awful reading month for me. Life felt extra busy and I’m not convinced there has been a single day that my entire family was healthy since Thanksgiving. So my reading has suffered.

The books I finished in January:

I’ve kept up with blogging at least.

I reviewed:

Now, at some point I will theoretically need to read more to have something to blog about. But we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. I have enough content for two reviews a week for a little while still. I’ve stuck with my new blogging plan pretty well (although I keep forgetting about the health posts on Fridays).

I also shared four Wordless Wednesday posts:

and mentioned my new photography toys.

I wrote about my 2014 goalsbecoming a runner again and accepting myself and the positive changes I’ve made, even if I’m not to my goal yet.  I went for 11 runs in January, two yoga classes (falling a little shy of  my goal there), and two dance classes. Despite the germs invading our home, I finally feel like I’m getting somewhere with running and I am looking forward to my first 8k later this month.

Evan is 20 months old now. He’s speaking in phrases and telling me what he thinks of the world. It’s amazing. I wrote about the bittersweet end of our breastfeeding relationship (which I am very much regretting after this winter’s germ invasion) earlier this month.

PS – Sorry for the lack of pictures on this post. I am having some technical difficulties with my new photo organization. I will try to have it figured out for next month.