Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Operation #ReadSherlock is Coming!!!!

October is almost here, which means that Operation #ReadSherlock is on its way!!  Are you as excited as I am?!?  In case you missed the original announcement, you can view it here.  In short, all month long, I will be featuring all things Sherlock:  giveaways, a Sherlock instagram challenge, guest posts, and more.  We will be sharing our thoughts on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's work in written form, as well as chatting up his work on-screen.  It is going to be so much fun, and I can't wait to kick off the event on the first day of October.

Details are forthcoming on some short readalongs, watchalongs, and the instagram challenge this weekend.  In the meantime, however, I am looking for a handful of Sherlock fans who may be interested in writing a guest piece.  If you are, fill out this quick little form and I will be in touch shortly to discuss details.

How can you plan to participate?  As little or as much as you would like!  For those who like to plan, watch for the upcoming schedule.  For those who like to fly by the seat of your pants, then you can just roll with it and/or contribute your own thoughts on the works as you see fit.  Tif Talks Books will serve as the #ReadSherlock hub, but I encourage all things Sherlock to be discussed throughout the month on social media, particularly Twitter and Instagram using the #ReadSherlock hashtag.

I'm looking forward to some Sherlock fun in October!

How about you?  Will you be joining in the fun?

Monday, September 19, 2016

#Bloggiesta Wrap-Up: September 2016

The Bloggiesta weekend is officially over and it is time to look at my progress.  Here's the original list with a few comments interspersed . . .
  • Back-up Blog -- DONE!
  • Back-up Template -- DONE!
  • Update Books Read in 2016 -- DONE! (Click here to see it!)
  • Update A-Z Review Index -- DONE!  (Click here to see it!)
  • Update BBI Blog Index -- DONE!  (Click here to see it!)
  • Update BBI Guest Post Index -- DONE!  (Click here to see it!)
  • Clean Out TO READ Notebook (currently at 5) -- DONE!
  • Clean Out FB Saves  (currently at 20)
  • Catch Up on Blog Reading/Commenting (Feedly currently at 114)
  • Catch Up on Reviews (too many to count!)
  • Clean Out Email (currently at 54) -- DONE! (When I went to bed, inbox was at 0!)

I was also working on two additional projects over the weekend.  I was able to make some progress in this area, but will really be working on it some more as the week progresses.  October will be here before you know it!
  • Operation #ReadSherlock:  I am hosting a month completely devoted to the infamous Sherlock during October!  We will be reading, watching, writing, and chatting about all things Sherlock and Watson, and I need to get the final details scheduled as well as starting to get the monthly specials scheduled as well!  In fact, I still have spots available for guests, so if you are interested let me know!!  (I'm a bit more organized here, but still have a lot left to do!)
  • Book Bloggers International (BBI) hosts RIP Reads:  Also during October, I am hosting a month of RIP Reads over at Book Bloggers International.  All the spooky, thrilling, suspenseful reads is what we will be chatting about, and sadly, I am just getting started on this project.  I have a lot of work to do, and we have LOTS of guest spots available for this one.  Holler at me if you want to talk about a specific book, a list of books, characters, or elements in any way!  (I was able to secure a number of guests interested in sharing throughout the month, but I still need to get more.)

Overall, I would consider it a successful weekend.  I was able to get my garage sale done.  I didn't sell as much as I had hoped, so I will try to store things away until the spring and have another then.  I was able to also complete a couple more household tasks, including some painting and I cleaned my bathrooms.  Add those to the list above, and I will say it was definitely productive.  I still plan to work on a few of these things throughout the week though.  I feel like my schedule is beginning to open up again now that we have adjusted being back to school, and I look forward to making reading and writing a priority again.

Did you participate in Bloggiesta?  How did you do?

Saturday, September 17, 2016

#Bloggiesta Time: September 2016

Good Saturday Morning!  I have been up since the dark hours of 5:00 a.m., and simply could not fall back asleep.  In my mind, thoughts of all that I had to do this weekend kept stirring through my mind.  I finally decided to pull myself out of bed, and get to work.  So, I'm here to begin work on my blog, and then head outside to have a little garage sale.  I've got high hopes for lots of productivity today!

Conveniently, it also so happens to be Bloggiesta weekend!!  The event actually began on Thursday, but life has been so hectic the last couple of days that I have not been able to join in until today.  For those who are not familiar with Bloggiesta, it is a weekend devoted to improving and catching up on your blog.  And, here is my plan for the weekend . . .

  • Back-up Blog 
  • Back-up Template 
  • Update Books Read in 2016 
  • Update A-Z Review Index 
  • Update BBI Blog Index 
  • Update BBI Guest Post Index
  • Clean Out TO READ Notebook (currently at 5)
  • Clean Out FB Saves  (currently at 20)
  • Catch Up on Blog Reading/Commenting (Feedly currently at 114)
  • Catch Up on Reviews (too many to count!)
  • Clean Out Email (currently at 54)

This list is my usual list of things to do, but really there are two additional projects that I will be focusing on this weekend . . . 
  • Operation #ReadSherlock:  I am hosting a month completely devoted to the infamous Sherlock during October!  We will be reading, watching, writing, and chatting about all things Sherlock and Watson, and I need to get the final details scheduled as well as starting to get the monthly specials scheduled as well!  In fact, I still have spots available for guests, so if you are interested let me know!!
  • Book Bloggers International (BBI) hosts RIP Reads:  Also during October, I am hosting a month of RIP Reads over at Book Bloggers International.  All the spooky, thrilling, suspenseful reads is what we will be chatting about, and sadly, I am just getting started on this project.  I have a lot of work to do, and we have LOTS of guest spots available for this one.  Holler at me if you want to talk about a specific book, a list of books, characters, or elements in any way!

Alright, it's time to open those garage doors for my garage sale, so I'm off.  I will be checking in periodically during the weekend on Twitter, so be sure to be following there.  I look forward to chatting with all of you!

Are you participating in Bloggiesta?  What are your plans for the weekend?

Thursday, September 8, 2016

#30Authors Presents Sara Dobie Bauer on The Book Thief


#30Authors is an event started by The Book Wheel that connects readers, bloggers, and authors. In it, 30 authors review their favorite recent reads on 30 blogs in 30 days. It takes place annually during the month of September and has been met with incredible support from and success in the literary community. It has also been turned into an anthology, which is currently available on Amazon and all author proceeds go to charity. Previous #30Authors contributors include Celeste Ng, Cynthia Bond, Brian Panowich, and M.O. Walsh. To see this year’s full line-up, visit www.thebookwheelblog.com/30authors or follow along on Twitter @30Authors.


How can you possibly write a relatable book with Death as the all-knowing, unseen narrator? I admit, the first chapter or so of Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief was a bit jarring, especially (maybe even more so) once you actually figure out Death is telling the story. Soon, though, you’re sucked into the conversational tone, creepy observations, and accidental heroine of World War II Germany.

Liesel Meminger doesn’t know how to read, but she learns after stealing her first book—aptly, The Grave Digger’s Handbook—and is sent away to live with a foster family where it’s expected she’ll be safe from an ever-escalating war. In her new town, she’s surrounded by Hitler Youth and is horrified when her village decides to burn books. At the bonfire, she saves one, while making unlikely friends with the mayor’s wife; a Jewish man hiding in her basement; and fellow child, Rudy, who doesn’t understand why pretending to be Jesse Owens is so offensive.

Through all the violence, the fear, and the threats of living in Nazi Germany, Liesel continues to read, and she learns the power of words from her foster family’s Jewish stowaway, Max. Don’t forget about Death, because in World War II, Death was very busy indeed.

What struck me first about The Book Thief was the idea that I’d never given much thought to what it was like being German in World War II. When your country—your leader—is the one spearheadiing the bloody battle, how does it feel? For Liesel, it doesn’t feel good, especially as she learns to care more and more for Max, not understanding why his religion should spell his death sentence.

Of further importance, though, is the relationship I developed with Death. At the beginning, Death is how we might expect: cold, uncaring, tossing bodies left and right. Then, he begins to change. Death grows tired. He doesn’t want to carry bodies anymore. He says, “It’s so ugly I can’t stand it.”

I wonder if Death is tired right now, with the tragedies running rampant around us. I wonder if we live once again in a world rocked by war, even if bombs aren’t falling on our heads. Yes, The Book Thief takes place in World War II Germany. Yes, it talks about Nazis and burning books, but the presence of Death makes it powerful now and always. He does walk among us, as does hate and fear—so much so that we sometimes must steal hope, love, and peace to survive. Like Liesel, we must reach out and pull these ideals from the burning pile, because although she literally stole books, she figuratively stole beautiful truths and held them close.

Markus Zusak convinced me that Death could be a great narrator in The Book Thief. Hope could prevail, even in war, because one little girl deemed it so. Now, today, we can be free if we stand up when pushed to the ground—if we love when others hate.




Monday, September 5, 2016

BOOK CHAT: August 2016 in Review

Fall is coming!  Fall is coming!!  And, summer is disappearing.  Such a bittersweet moment.  The end of August is so exciting ... school is back in session, routines return and sanity is (somewhat) restored, but that also means that I'm back to work and schedules get crazy, and reading tends to decrease.  I'm hoping that this latter disadvantage will not be the case for me this year though because I still have a LOT of reading to catch up for the year.  And, speaking of the end of August, let's take a look at how the month went in reading and blogging . . .

The TOP POST for the month was both For the Love of Harry Potter (because of the number of hits) and Back to School & Bout of Books (because of the number of comments).  The former was so much fun to write, so I am so glad to see that one in particular on the list.  I was a bit disappointed to see that my upcoming Sherlock event was not on this list, so if you haven't seen it yet go check it out now . . . Operation #ReadSherlock Coming in October!!!

The TOP PIC for the month was only slightly a surprise . . .

My pictures from my trip to Glacier National Park definitely had some good interaction in August, and that was definitely a highlight of the month for me.  However, my book pics tend to get higher hits overall, and I really love seeing all the book love!

Now, for the list of BOOKS READ in August:

  1. Why I Can't Read Wallace Stegner and Other Stories:  A Tribal Voice by Elizabeth Cook-Lynn
  2. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  3. Wild:  From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
  4. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
  5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

A good month of reading!  I'm still 14 books behind schedule for the year, but I'm good with it.  I'm beginning to think (and accept) that I will not catch up with my goal for the year, but I am okay with it.  I'm just going to keep on reading and enjoying every minute of it!

Trying to pick a FAVORITE READ for the month is a hard one.  I am going to say Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire because I read it with my kids.  It took us a while to get through it because of our crazy schedules, but those last pages were intense.  Both kids were sitting on the edge of their seats as I was reading, and it was so much like reading it for the first time while I raced through the book to find out what happened with them.  It was such an amazing experience!  Beyond that, I will choose another title just for fun . . . Wild was so much better than I had ever expected it to be.  I listened to it on audio, and it was such a great listen!

What's coming in SEPTEMBER?  Outside of the books, I'm hoping to finish cleaning out my garage, hold a garage sale to get rid of my piles of junk, and finish the renovations and painting of my office.  I am also looking forward to getting caught up on journaling and blogging.  I have a number of reviews that I'm working on getting written, and #30Authors is returning and I will be back later this week with a fun little surprise for the event!  I will also have more information coming soon for the Sherlock event that I mentioned above.  In the books, I'm hoping to read as much as I can.  I have some ideas of what I'm reading, but I'm going to leave it as a surprise . . . even to myself! 

How was life in August for you?  What are your plans for the month of September?

Monday, August 29, 2016

Bout of Books 17 Wrap-Up

Last week, I participated in Bout of Books 17.  It was really quite convenient timing because today was my day to return back to work, with my kids going back to school on Wednesday.  I thought it was the perfect time to get in some last minute reading.  Before I share with you my overall thoughts, let's take a look at my daily breakdown with a bit of a different touch ... my daily tweets!


Overall, I am happy with my statistics.  I would have liked more, but I also have to take into account all the other things that I was able to accomplish in addition to these numbers.  I cleaned out my office at work and re-organized and decorated for the new school year.  I finally finished the kids' hangout room and sorted through all their toys (purging a LOT).  And, I worked on getting some other items off my to-do list before the chaos of the school year commences.  Now that the routine has begun again, I'm hoping that my writing schedule will kick back in and you will finally get to see all the dozens of reviews I've been wanting to write and get posted.

For now though, I am going to head to bed after a very long first day back.  I'm going to crack open my latest book, Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs and read until I can't hold my eyes open any longer.  And, I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that I can finally finish Atlas Shrugged before it expires on me again tomorrow afternoon.  I only have about 5 hours left!  Good night and happy reading!

Did you participate in Bout of Books 17?  How did your week in reading go?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Back to School & Bout of Books 17

One week.  That is the time I have left of summer vacation.  Exactly one week from today, I return to work at school, and a couple days later, my kids have their first day.  Where has the summer gone?!?

At the beginning of the summer, I had high hopes and expectations.  I had hoped to catch up in my reading for the year.  I had planned to complete so much around the house -- the kids' play area (we call it the hangout room now that they are older!), the office, and get started on my library.  I had hoped to spend a ton of time reading in my hammock and hanging out with my kids.  I had hoped to have a garage sale to get rid of some of this clutter.  In reality, the time flew by and I didn't quite meet all those expectations.  I am still currently 13 books behind schedule to meet my goal for the year.  I did spontaneously create a reading nook.  I am almost done with the kids' hangout room.  The office is almost ready to paint after we put in a new ceiling over the weekend.  And, the library is a hot mess of storage.  I did not spend a lot of time reading and relaxing in my new hammock, but I have had some great time with my kids and my husband.  I did also join a local committee on suicide prevention that a good chunk of my time has been devoted.  And now, I only have one week left before the crazy schedules of the school year returns.  I have one week left to finally finish that hangout room, get the painting started in the office, get prepared for a garage sale that I will hopefully still have next month, and read as much as I can.

That's where Bout of Books 17 comes into play because they have great timing!  In this last week before I return to work, they are hosting their next week-long readathon in this final week of my summer!  Thank you Bout of Books!!

The last week-long readathon I did, I went in with no plan at all.  I read what I wanted, when I wanted, and in the end, I thought it went pretty well.  I liked the relaxed and spontaneous feel to the week, and vowed that I would do it again.  But, it will not be this week!  This week, I've got plans.  And, if I can get through my planned reading, then I will switch to spontaneity again.

What are these plans?

I hope to finally finish Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand on audiobook.  I've been working on this book here and there for more than a year and am just ready to be done with it!  I'm really hoping that I don't have to request the audio again, so I will be attempting to get through a little more than 18 hours over the next 7 days.  It will honestly be my main focus of the week because I can work on those household items at the same time as listening.

I hope to finish a couple of books that I am currently in the middle of -- Hollow City by Ransom Riggs and The Brothers Grimm:  101 Fairy Tales.  The latter is mainly re-reads, but I can never really get enough of Grimm's tales!  I am almost done with the former, so that one should be easy.

I hope to read a friend's manuscript that she gave me.  I'm reading it with editing and feedback eyes, so it will likely take me a bit longer than usual to get through this one.  Plus, I want to get it back to her sooner rather than later.

Lastly, I want to finish with the Ransom Riggs series and dive into Library of Souls.  Let's hope I can get through all of these, and then some!

I will not be posting updates here on the blog, but rather via Twitter and Instagram.  I will post a wrap-up post here on the blog next week.  And, if I'm feeling lucky, I might actually get more blogging done and scheduled along the way!

Has your summer been all that you expected, or have you been like me?  Will you be joining in on the Bout of Books readathon?  If so, what are your plans?

Monday, August 8, 2016

Mark Your Calendars: Operation #ReadSherlock Coming Soon!

Mark your calendars now for Operation #ReadSherlock!

During the month of October, I will be hosting a month all about Sherlock, created by the one and only Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  There will be a number of different aspects to the event, so let's break it down.
  1. READ SHERLOCK.  Read one story.  Read a couple of them.  Or, read the entire collection.  It is completely up to you.
  2. WATCH SHERLOCK.  There are so many adaptations of Doyle's stories out there, and some of them are absolutely brilliant.  My personal favorite is BBC's Sherlock, but you do not need to limit yourself to just that one.  
  3. WRITE SHERLOCK.  I am looking for guests to write about all things Sherlock to be featured here on the site throughout the month.  I will have only a limited number of spots available, so let me know ASAP if you are interested.  You can contact me via all things social media or email me at tiftalksbooks (at) gmail (dot) com.  I will also have a weekly link-up for all those who want to write something on their own platforms to share.
  4. TALK SHERLOCK.  While we are reading, watching, and writing about Sherlock, let's also be talking about Sherlock with each other throughout social media.  The blog will be the hub for the event, but I encourage you all to use the hashtag #ReadSherlock for your commentary, photos, rantings, ravings, and more for the real-time action.

As we approach October, I will be sharing more information and details along the way.  In the meantime, dig out those copies of Sherlock, reserve them at the library, and get excited to be Sherlocked!

Will you be joining in?  What most excites you about Operation #ReadSherlock?

Thursday, August 4, 2016

BOOK CHAT: For the Love of Harry Potter!

Unless you are living under a rock or hidden in the mountains like a troll, you know that a new Harry Potter book hit shelves this last weekend.  Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is J.K. Rowling's new book, written alongside with Jack Thorne and John Tiffany.  It is a book that was highly anticipated by Harry Potter fans, including this one, and those fans had very high expectations.  And, from what I am hearing, reading, and discussing with those that have read the book, Cursed Child is receiving some pretty mixed reviews.  Some people love it.  Some people hate it.  Some people believe it has too much of a fanfiction feel.  Others are annoyed with the script format.  I am not here today to talk specifics about the book, but I will get into some general feelings.  However, we must first start with a little history . . .

I was first recommended this book by a friend a few years after the book was first released, but before the series became a huge hit.  I read the first book as I traveled down Highway 101 of the Oregon coast on my honeymoon, and I immediately fell in love . . . while my love that I just married asked if I was going to spend some time with him instead of having my nose in a book!

I attended my first midnight release party during the release of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.  I attended the second for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince as an employee at my local indie bookstore, dressed up alongside my fellow fans and running a photo station at Platform 9 3/4.  Both times, I found myself reading my new book as soon as I hit the couch at home.  The second time with a nursing baby in my arms.

Then, it seemed to take forever for that final book being released.  By that time, I had moved to the Midwest and was working at a small university.  An opportunity fell in my lap to teach a class on any book I wanted.  I chose Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and it was the semester before the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  We examined the story:  why fans became super fans, why people chose to challenge it, and what we thought was going to come in the final installment of this much anticipated story.  I even wrote a devoted Harry Potter blog for a while (it still exists, but is currently hidden).

My Crystal Cheese Ball
Before I knew it, the release of the book was here and another midnight release party was planned.  But, I decided to change things up a bit, and throw my own Harry Potter party for my friends and their families!  I made a bunch of themed treats, we played a bit of trivia, and theorized the ending of the story.  Wrapping it up before midnight, I then rushed down to the local bookstore to pick up my own copy, started reading it that night, and had the book finished within the first 48 hours of its release.

Midnight release parties came to end for me.  I would periodically pick up the books as a re-read, especially during the difficult times of my life.  I couldn't focus on much of anything when my grandfather's cancer progressed very quickly at the end of his life and I eventually lost him to the illness.  Harry Potter came to the rescue.  I was able to immediately escape into a fictional land, and was able to deal with my grief as Harry dealt with his own.

When my father died, I experienced another dry spell in my reading.  My eyes hurt from all the crying and I simply could not focus on reading more than a single page at a time.  I turned to the movies, letting them play over and over and over again in the background.

I then pulled Harry out again a couple of years ago as a read-aloud with my children.  I got to experience his beginnings again through the eyes of my children, and today, I am continuing my read-alouds with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Harry has been there for me for years, about 16 years to be exact.  So, when I heard that there was going to be another book released after all these years, I knew that I would be there to buy it as soon as I had the chance.  Luck had it, it would be at another midnight release party!

On Saturday night, my husband and I had a rare date night at the movies.  We went to a late movie because that is when the sitter was available.  The movie finished and midnight was only about 30 minutes away.  The bookstore was across the street.  My husband offered for us to go check it out, and we did.  I walked in feeling old, though I was not the oldest one there.  I also was tired.  It had been a long day.  I saw the long line awaiting their copies, and I began to question if this was a good idea.  Afterall, I could have picked up my copy the next morning with no problem.  But, we stayed, and I received my book.  I even stayed up to read for a bit before going to bed.  It was only about 10 pages, but I felt I owed it to Harry for all those times he was there for me.  On Sunday, on Harry's and J.K.'s birthday, I completed the story.  And, I closed the book with satisfaction.  I felt like I just had a nice long conversation with a friend that I hadn't seen in years.

Over the last few days, I have had the opportunity to chat with others who have read the book.  It was then that I came to discover that not all fans enjoyed the story.  One of the main complaints that I have heard is that they didn't like the format.  They wanted a novel because the script format was too simple.  There was not enough detail and the story could not be completely conveyed or live up to its full potential.  The other main grievance for fans is that it feels too much like fanfiction.  I have not read any fanfiction, and so I don't feel qualified to address this too much.  However, I do have one question . . . if a story comes from the original author herself, can it really be fanfiction?  Doesn't fanfiction come from the fans?!?

I may eventually write a full review, complete with an opportunity to discuss the details and the spoilers.  I may not.  I haven't decided yet.  But, I will say that I enjoyed the book.  I went into the story knowing that it was a different format.  I was willing to accept anything from the mind of Rowling to feed my desire to know where the characters may be 19+ years later.  And, what I got satisfied me.  It is not without its flaws.  The characters are not without their flaws.  I enjoyed revisiting familiar characters, for the good and the bad.  And, I thoroughly enjoyed one new character wholeheartedly.  I closed the book with a warm heart, and will add the book to my collection, will read it to my children as we progress through the series, and will re-read it with the novels in the future.

Because it is Harry.  Harry has been there for me through the roller coaster ride of my life.  I will continue to be there for him again and again and again.

Do you have a Harry Potter story you want to share?  Have you picked up a copy of Cursed Child yet?  If so, what are your general thoughts (no spoilers please)?

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

BOOK CHAT: July 2016 in Review

How can it already be August?!?  This summer is flying by a little too fast!  However, looking back at July, I must say that I am pleased more than I expected.  Let's take a look at the details to see why!

I participated in a number of events during the month of July.  There were a couple of readathons (results here!), a readalong (a review of the book, The Fireman by Joe Hill will be coming soon), and Sit Down & Write.  This last event was a month-long writing event.  I had big plans to get back to writing, to catch up on blogging, and return to journaling on a regular basis.  Honestly, the month did not go as planned -- because it flew by -- but I did make some progress.  I have been blogging more than previously.  I have written a bit on the side.  I'm hoping that this is a start to a daily writing routine, so I will consider it progress!  Now, let's move onto the usual July details . . .

The TOP POST was twofold;  June 2016 in Review received the most comments, yet A Slew of July Events received the most hits.  I believe there is one post that needs more attention though; afterall, it was my first review that I have written in far too long and it is for a book that is really fun.  If you haven't checked it out yet, here it is:  Bite Somebody by Sara Dobie Bauer.

The TOP PIC was a fun one!  We spotted this beauty during a day fishing on the river.  My picture of my new reading nook almost took the cake, but not quite!

My month of BOOKS READ was good.  I finished a total of seven (7) books during the month!!  I still have some catching up to do, but I am totally happy with this number.

  1. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
  2. Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum
  3. The Fireman by Joe Hill
  4. The Underwater Welder by Jeff Lemire
  5. Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian
  6. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling
  7. The Giver by Lois Lowry

For all that know me, my FAVORITE READ seems to be pretty obvious ... Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.  I really enjoyed diving back into the wizarding world, but I will save my full thoughts for a review in the near future.  In the meantime, I will also share my second favorite ... Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian ... because it was an exceptional read.  I hope to share my thoughts on this one as well very soon!

August is filled with a LOT, and I cannot wait!  I will be continuing on home renovations.  If all goes as planned, or as I hope they do, I will finally get to start on the renovations for my new library!  I will also be going on a little adventure, attending some back-to-school trainings, and of course, returning to work at the end of the month when school resumes.  Whew!  I have a feeling that August will fly by faster than July did!!

What were your July highlights?  What are you most excited for in August?