The Sunday Salon [5.8.2011]

The Sunday
This is going to be an odds and ends kind of Sunday Salon today.


Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there. You all impress me every day. I will be seeing my mom next weekend in Las Vegas for her wedding, which is the start of my crazy few months of traveling. Two weeks after Vegas, I am taking a 48-hour trip to St. Louis to visit my best friend from law school who needs some cheering up (I’m hoping my company + Buffy + chocolate helps). And a month from today we leave for Europe. Still deciding what to do with the blog while I am away, so stay tuned. I guess I’ll sleep in July?


My new reading plan was going well until I hit a snag. Review copies. I kind of forgot about them and I apparently did not plan well. So I’m taking a little break from The Plan to read a few books I feel like I HAVE to read (or SHOULD read at least). Oh well.


So what am I reading? Well I just finished Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away by Christie Watson, which I will be reviewing tomorrow. And now I am starting The Ninth Wife by Amy Stolls.


You can still enter to win a copy of The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O’Connor McNees. Two copies are up for grabs until Friday. I will announce the winner in next week’s Sunday Salon.


And finally, I want to brag a little. I ran my third 5k this morning at the I Love Mother’s Day Race in Palm Harbor. I set a personal record by more than 4+ minutes by finishing with a time of 28:50. This was the first race Ben and I ran together and I stayed with him the whole way. It was a beautiful, cool morning here and a lovely day for a race.


So that’s it from me. What are you doing/reading today?

The Sunday Salon [3.20.2011]

My Life

We are still enjoying beautiful March weather down here in Florida. I am trying to savor it before it gets crazy hot again. Thus, March weekends are full of visits to the beach, reading by the pool, and baseball games. It’s pretty awesome.

In other news, Jen from Devourer of Books convinced me to try the Game On Diet with her for Lent. We’re playing it a little modified and for 6 weeks instead of 4. I am not actually trying to lose weight but I am trying to get my body into a healthier state. For those who don’t know, the rules are basically:

  • 5 small meals a day which include a carb, a protein, and a fat (two meals have to include veggies)
  • 3 liters of water a day
  • 7 hours of sleep each night
  • 20 minutes of exercise each day
  • Develop one good habit and get rid of one bad habit

I’m doing alright with the meals but I am being a little flexible, especially where it comes to protein because I am rather limited in my options and I normally wouldn’t try to eat protein at every meal. The water was tough at first but I’m getting used to it. Sleep isn’t a real issue for me nor is exercise, although I normally exercise 4 days a week so I had to throw in some extra workouts. My bad habit is leaving clothes/shoes strewn about the apartment so I am putting them in their proper place immediately. My good habit is to read for 30 minutes every single day (I normally don’t read much during the week). I will probably let you all know how it’s going because it is consuming a lot of my life right now.

My Books

Given the slow speed at which I read, you’d think I’d be able to keep up on reviews. You would be mistaken. I am woefully behind. But as always, I hope and plan to catch up.

This week I finished The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (after you all told me I really had to) and The Inimitable Jeeves by PG Wodehouse (audio).

I am currently reading Picking Bones from Ash by Marie Mutsuki Mockett (loving it) and listening to Bonobo Handshake by Vanessa Woods.

You can expect (I make no promises but I shall try) reviews this week on Wither by Lauren deStephano, Picking Bones from Ash, and an undecided older book for Thursday.

That’s it from me this week. Enjoy your Sundays, everyone.

The Sunday Salon [10.31.10]

Happy Halloween! People are probably going to disown me for saying this, but I’m not really a fan of the holiday. I don’t like being scared, I don’t like the stress of planning a costume, and…did I mention I REALLY don’t like being scared? So I didn’t do anything Halloween related this weekend and I don’t plan on it today. Take that, people who like to jump out at me at haunted houses.

I do plan on reading today. I’d love to finish Betsy in Spite of Herself for two reasons: (1) I’d really like to finish the Maud Hart Lovelace Challenge and it ends today and (2) it would be my 10th book this month and I’ve never hit double digits in one month before (7 print, 3 audio).

So, onto the recap so that I can go read.

Most Recently Finished:



Currently Reading


(Betsy in Spite of Herself)


On Deck



I have no idea. Recommendations?

Are you reading anything interesting this weekend? Do you want to to try to convince me that Halloween is awesome?

The Sunday Salon [10.24.10]

What is it about fall that just makes the days fly by? I apologize for my sporadic posting and my inconsistent commenting lately. It just seems like by the time I settle down from my day, it’s 10pm and I can’t bring myself to finally get around to this blogging stuff. This week, my in laws are visiting so I don’t expect to be much better. Maybe I’ll get caught up on life in November?

For those who were following the Gatsby drama last week, he is home and doing well. He’s still recovering from a respiratory infection he picked up while at the hospital, but he seems to have recovered from whatever mystery illness sent him there. Now we have the fun task of keeping the two cats separated for awhile in our little apartment (with additional guests at the moment). Life is interesting.

(Gatsby on his first night back home – doesn’t the shaved arm make him look like he’s wearing uggs?)

I’m still finding some time to read (apparently not enough as I have to return 3 unread books to the library today which is becoming a habit), so let’s just move on to a little summary of that.

Most Recently Finished:



Currently Reading



On Deck

I’ve also added an “In the Wings” section to the sidebar so you can see what I’m thinking about reading in the near future.


(Betsy in Spite of Herself)


I started to listen to the Bill Bryson playaway and a few hours in, I realized that it was abridged so I put it down and requested the unabridged cds. I’m annoyed that it was not written clearly on the front of the box. I’m also annoyed that abridged books exist.

What are you reading this weekend?

The Sunday Salon: The Post-Readathon Edition

The Sunday

Good morning everyone! Have I mentioned how much I love waking up to open windows and fresh air? Love that we have some cooler nights now.

Congratulations to all the Readathon participants: readers, cheerleadersĀ  (I heart the cheerleaders), and organizers. I hope everyone had a blast as usual.

How did I do? Well, I kind of failed at the readathon this time around. My heart just wasn’t in it. I finished two books, but I could probably do that on any lazy Saturday if I really wanted. I only gave you one update, didn’t participate in any mini-challenges, and didn’t really cheer that much at all. But, as usual, I had still had a lot of fun.

My day went something like this:

  • Start reading at 8am for an hour.
  • Half hour break.
  • Read for an hour.
  • Half hour break.
  • Read off and on until 2pm when I finish Paranormalcy.
  • Go to the grocery store for snacks and dinner.
  • Sit anxiously on the couch awaiting the start of the Michigan game.
  • Attempt to start a new book but unable to really get into it because of the Michigan game.
  • Take an incredibly long break to watch the Michigan game.
  • Grow more and more depressed as my team collapses and eventually loses to it’s second-biggest rival for the third year in a row.
  • Too devastated by first loss of the season to read.
  • Beer.
  • Calm down enough to read a little.
  • Still restless so read in the bath to calm down further.
  • Read the saddest thing ever while taking the bath and end up sobbing uncontrollably.
  • Continue to read while watching a little hockey and baseball.
  • Finally finish Hurt Go Happy around midnight.
  • Put on audiobook while going to bed.
  • Fall asleep in less than 5 minutes.
  • Wake up at 7:53 to congratulate those who did not sleep through 1/3 of the event.

See what I mean? I’m a bit of a Readathon failure. But it’s ok. I went into it expecting to have a more relaxed day than normal. And now I have two library books that I don’t have to return unread.

Today, I am hoping to write some reviews, start Never Let Me Go, get various things done around the house., and maybe catch a movie. As I am well-rested, that should be possible. Any fun post-readathon plans for you?

The Sunday Salon 9.5.10

The Sunday Salon.comGood morning. I am enjoying my long weekend (aren’t Sundays so much better when they feel like Saturdays?) and I hope you all are having a pleasant weekend, whether long or not. I’m going to keep this short and just go through my current books this week. But first, can we take a moment to enjoy this?

Ok, on to books. I’m organizing it a bit differently this week but it’s all the same info.

Most Recently Finished:



Currently Reading



On Deck



New Additions to my TBR

I’m being really selective these days and trying not to add too many books to the list, but these two caught my eye.

Recommended by S.Krishna’s Books

Recommended by Devourer of Books

The Sunday Salon 8.22.2010 – Comfort Reads and a Surprise

The Sunday

I didn’t actually get that much reading done this week so if I did my normal Sunday Salon, it would look much like last week’s. Instead, I wanted to focus on one of my books specifically.


But first, I must share with you the Wonderful Thing I received in the mail yesterday. A few days ago, I got an email from Michelle of Le Mei Muse, telling me that she found something at Goodwill for $0.75 and bought it with me in mind and that she’d send it to me if I liked. Naturally, I immediately wanted whatever it was more than anything else in the world. So I waited a few days until this showed up:

I LOVE it! The little “Reading is Sexy” mug has become my internet presence and now I can take it out into the real world (plus, Rory wore this shirt on an episode of Gilmore Girls).

So thank you, thank you, thank you, Michelle. I love it. I want to wear it immediately. Also, you should all be following Michelle’s blog – she’s hilarious and artsy and just a joy to know.


Ok, on to the discussion.

For the past few weeks, I have been listening to the Harry Potter series. It’s my first time through the audio but certainly not my first time through the series. I find myself drawn to reread these books every few years. In fact, I am currently listening to Prisoner of Azkaban, and I would bet that I’ve probably read this book at least 5 times previously (it’s my favorite so I think I’ve read it more than any other).

Harry Potter makes me feel happy. I love being back in this world that I now know so well. I miss the characters when I’m away too long. Harry Potter is officially my newest “comfort read.” I read it when I want something I know, something I love. But Harry Potter is simply the newest in a long line of comfort reads.

The first comfort read I can remember is Charlotte’s Web. I used to read it when I was sad (of course, it made me cry, but I think I find that’s true with a lot of my comfort reads). I would flip to my favorite parts and lose myself in the story of Wilbur and Fern. At a very young age, I understood the need for a comfort read. I even managed to salvage the tattered copy from my childhood.

When I got a little older, that book because Little Women. A few years ago, when I was rereading it, my mom caught a glance of it in my bag and asked, “how many times have you read that book?” I couldn’t answer that question other than saying “a lot.” When I read Little Women, I felt like a part of the March family. And sometimes that’s what I needed – to escape into their story for awhile and leave real life behind.

When I was a little older still, my comfort read became The Starlight Crystal by Christoper Pike. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve read this book either but it’s probably even more than Little Women. I have such fond memories of rereading this book that I’m afraid to read it again for fear that it won’t be very good (what I call The Last Unicorn effect). But even if it isn’t, it helped me through some of those early teen angst-filled years and that is the most important thing.

After that, I don’t think I had a comfort read for awhile. I was at a stage in my life when I turned to my friends or movies or music when I needed to escape and not to books. I was still reading, but I don’t remember going back to a specific book over and over again.

I’m sure there were more along the way, but those are my comfort reads that stand out. They are the books I have opened time and time again because of their familiarity.

What are/were your comfort reads?

The Sunday Salon 8.15.10

The Sunday

It’s that time again. I had a pretty uneventful week so let’s jump right in to the summary.

Just Finished:


Currently Reading:

(this one may be on here for quite a few Sunday Salons)

Currently Listing To:

On Deck:

I am going to skip this one this week because every time I put something on here, I lose my desire to read it and I make myself a liar.

New Addition to TBR:

I was kind of a failure at blog reading this week, so I’ve just got this one.

New Bookish Accessories:

While Ben and I were out enjoying the tax-free holiday, we found these fabulous items:

Bed Wedge

e-Pad Portable Laptop Desk

The two items were packaged together for $50 and who am I to pass up a good deal. I do most of my blogging on the couch and because my computer (if it ever returns from the netherworld to which the ever-competent Geek Squad has sent it) is about 1000 degrees, it usually sits on a pillow on my lap anyway. This seems much more practical. And while I LOVE the big Brookstone bed wedge I got for Christmas, it’s too big to use on the couch and I’m usually left stuffing a pillow behind me for support. I’m hoping this gives my back a bit more comfort while I’m reading and blogging.

How was your week? Reading anything interesting this Sunday?

The Sunday Salon 8.8.10

The Sunday Salon.comI slept for 9 1/2 hours last night after spending the day at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I woke up to a very quiet house. I have my tea and a few hours before yoga. Perfect Sunday Salon time.

Harry Potter was pretty great. I think it deserves its own post, so look for that this week, but a quick summary is: hot, crowded, still worth the trip.

I haven’t been able to read a lot this week/weekend, but I have some hopes about today. My sister-in-law, Melissa, is visiting us right now and she is among my favorite visitors. Her trips always include a lot of sitting around and reading (maybe to balance out the trip to an amusement park we always end up taking). And when she leaves, we send her home with books. I’m still thinking of which books she should take with her tomorrow. I’m on a YA kick as her pile so far includes The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, The Disreputable Histpry of Frankie Landau-Banks, and Before I Fall. She has already started and finished the third Mysterious Benedict Society.

As for me, I:

Just Finished (and by just, I mean two weeks ago):

am Currently Reading:

am Currently Listening to:

have On Deck:

and Recently added to my TBR:

Recommended by Galleysmith

Recommended by Chick Loves Lit

Recommended by Devourer of Books

Recommended by KellyVision

As I was writing this post, Melissa woke up, came out to the living room, grabbed a drink, and sat down with The Hunger Games. Best guest ever, right?

What are you reading today?

Question: do you guys like when I incorporate my TBR books into this post or do you prefer they get their own post? I’m still deciding which I like better.

TSS – Books: July [Recap]

Remember when I said I would read a ton of books this summer while Ben was away at school? Well, that didn’t quite happen. Somehow, I ended up being busier on my own than I am when he’s here. I went out of town twice, I saw many of my friends, I got the all clear from PT and took up yoga and dance again, and I read ONE more book in July than I usually do. But, I had a fantastic summer and I wouldn’t change a thing, Even for more reading.

So here they are, my the seven books I finished in July (sorry, no fancy collage today – my computer is being held hostage by the Geek Squad for a few weeks and I’m doing everything from web uploads). Perhaps I will review them someday (for the two I did manage to review, click on the hyperlinked title to read)

1. Stardust by Neil Gaiman (audio)

2. The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy

3. Delirium by Lauren Oliver

4. Finny by Justin Kramon

5. The Vampire Diaries: The Fury by LJ Smith

6. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (audio)

7. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater