Showing posts from 2018

Summer Reading: Karen Made It Count

Intrepid Reader Karen had a great summer reading.

How great? Well, it looks like she consumed the entire Outlander series and immersed herself in cozy mysteries. 

Did you know "cozy mysteries" is a thing? I have been reading them for ages and just thought that was my author's pet name for her series. 

"Cozy mysteries" apparently involve cats saving humans from their own foolishness. (Maybe it's just me....) Well, I know my cats are exhausted each night after they keep me out of danger every day, even when I am at work — thanks to the Cat Networks.

At any rate, here is what Karen read this summer:

Troublemaker Outlander Dragonfly in Amber Voyager Drums of Autumn The Fiery CrossA Breath of Snow and Ashes An Echo in the BoneWritten in my Own Heart’s Blood Murder in the Art Gallery A Sip of Murder:A Japanese Tea Garden Mystery Cream Puff MurderGone with the Ghost You’ve Got TailThe Secret of Seaside Cruel Candy Marigolds and MurderWicked for Hire Sweets and a Stabbi…

Poetry Wednesday: Home

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.

All Hallows Poem: Mr. Macklin's Jack O'Lantern


Summer Reading: Did You Make it Count?

Summer is officially over in the Northern Hemisphere, and I have mixed feelings about that. On one hand, it means more time indoors curled up with books.

On the other hand, winter is coming.

But let's not focus on that just yet. Let's talk books.

I did not gobble them up like a glutton, as I have in years past. Instead, I read in fits and starts, trying out (and rejecting) title after title until I found one that fit. More often than not, I found YA novels helped smooth out the snags, and I was able to read steadily for a while before I floundered around for another book.

I am a firm believer in jettisoning books that don't work for the reader. Nothing against the book: my friend Carole has read books I have been unable to get into — but I'll try again. (And thank heavens for that, or I would have missed The Dinner and Less.)

So, without further ado, here is what I read during the 2018 summer reading program from May 25 to September 23:

The Public Libraryđź“– The Book With No …

Summer Reading, Continued...

I'm taking some time to catch up on my reading. If you can't decide what to read next, I have a few suggestions:

A Man Named OveThe Sun is Also a StarAn American Marriage

What are some books you recommend? List them in the suggestions below!

See you in the autumn, and keep reading!

Summer Reading: Poking Along

Not to brag, but my reading is poking along at a speed that would get it run off the road in any country.

Just kidding. 

About the bragging part, that is. Seriously, I am putting along at an embarrassingly slow pace.

So far, in the nine weeks of summer reading, I've read a whopping 11 books.


Please note that last year, I read more than two dozen books. Granted, quite a few were graphic novels, but we established that such a fete is not "cheating" because the visual details in a graphic novel are intense and must be studied carefully.

I am mixing it up this summer. I just finished the book for Dear Evan Hansen, which required listening to the soundtrack as well as reading the story. It's more than dialogue. It's also stage direction. That &$%# ain't easy.

I am cutting myself some slack because the book I read immediately before that was The Devil's Arithmetic. I have to thank The New Yorker article on Holocaust books for children for that amazing disc…

Summer Reading: What Karen is Reading This Summer

I hope your summer reading is coming along swimmingly. 

If you are in the areas on the globe experiencing record rains and/or record heat, hopefully you can spend extra time indoors and get more reading done.

Intrepid Reader Karen has planned her summer reading carefully, and I see at least one or two books from her list that dovetail with titles I find interesting. Who among us has not salivated over adventure tales or time-travel stories? I rest my case.

So, without further ado, here is Karen's reading list (also fondly referred to as TBR, or to be read, stack):

Pope Francis’ Little Book of CompassionTroublemaker Never Broken: Songs are Only Half the Story Outlander series books 1-8The Case of the Green-Dressed Ghost Beyond the Fortune Teller’s TentLegend of the Jade Dragon The Pocket WatchHoly Bible Morna’s Legacy The Ruby Red Trilogy Dragon BonesLost City of ZThe Source The Secret ScrollMan & Horse: The Long Ride Across America Elixir: A Teen-Genius Medical Thriller 

I adored t…

Summer Reading: Getting the 'Pages' in This Summer

Summer is the perfect time to read. Even though summer days remain 24 hours, they feel longer, which is a delicious situation for readers.

School is out, work very well could slow down, and summer vacations away from the distractions of life present ample opportunities to bury yourself in a book.

We can create opportunities to increase the amount of time we read with a few tweaks to our habits.

(By the way, feel free to apply these practices appropriately to other activities you'd like to spend more time doing.)

Put down the social media. Take the summer off of your personal social media use. Trust me, it will still be there when you get back — and chances are, it will be easier to use, less intrusive, and maybe even a little more civil. Can't step away from personal  social media use? First, see a professional about this issue, then set limits for social media use:set a timer for only a few minutes, then stop when the timer goes offonly read social media in certain situations tha…

Summer Reading: What's on My TBR 'List'

Summer reading is fraught with peril.

Choose the wrong books and you've wasted your summer reading bad books. Choose nothing at all, and you may read nothing.

Choose too many books and you could be paralyzed with fear at the tide of books you face, and the possibility that you may not finish. Choose only a handful of books and so many are left unread.

Choose books, then risk not reading those particular tomes because you stumbled across other books.

Okay, "peril" is a strong word — but you get my drift. With choice comes limitation, or responsibility, or paralysis. Or, in my case, failure.

Last year, I listed 45 books I wanted to read. Of the 26 books I read last summer, eight were on the original list. Some books have been on the list for years. Some books are pies in the sky. Some books will always be on my TBR shelf.

However, this year, I decided to take a different approach. Instead of rustling up gobs of books from my bookshelves, scouring my library and my wish lis…

Summer Reading: Getting with the Program

Summer reading means hot days and humid nights reading any book you darn well please.

Reading with friends makes it even better — so get with the Program!

That's the whole reason for the Summer Reading Program: to gather friends, make new friends, and READ.

The Summer Reading Program lasts from the Friday before Memorial Day and the first weekend in autumn. In 2018, that is Friday, May 25 through Sunday, September 23. 

If you read the most of anyone in our program, I will give you a book. (I know, right?)

So, to get in on this sweet deal, what do you have to do? Not much. Contact me directly or leave a comment below. 

We programmers can tell each other what we are reading, what we plan to read, what we actually read, and what we would read if we had way more time.

What kind of books count? All kinds! Mix a few graphic novels in with non-graphic novels, catch up on your comics, toss in some audiobooks, and front-load the e-reader of your choice. (We are equal opportunity here at the Summe…

Summer Reading: Join the Club!

I hope you had a good Memorial Day, stacking up your books on the nightstand or desk, putting them in order for —

Oh, maybe that was just me. 

Anyway, summer reading has begun, so join the club!

Summer reading means long days and humid nights reading any book you darned well choose. The club counts books read between the Friday before Memorial Day and the first weekend in autumn. This year, that is Friday, May 25 through Sunday, September 23.

I am still trying to decide what's on my reading list. After reviewing last year's list and realizing how many of those books remain in my TBR pile, I may skip the list and just wait for the Fall for the Book participant list. (Please note; I always welcome suggestions.)

Visit your library (public or private), your local bookstores and thrift shops, yard sales and online book suppliers, friends and family, and choose what books look like they need to be read this summer.

Join the Summer Reading Club and put yourself in the running for a new boo…