Friday, July 31, 2015

Literary Link Love: July 2015

I have had some fun links for you this month!  Read on and discover them for yourself!

Did you see this piece about writing your way to happiness?  I really enjoyed it and think I need to spend more time writing my own way to happiness.  I don't do it nearly enough.

These favorite quotes from Harry Potter were fun to revisit.  I really cannot get enough of Harry Potter in any form.

The Uptown Funk video of Unread Book is so addictive!  I find myself changing the words to the song when I hear it on the radio now!

Do you know your Myers-Briggs Personality Type?  If you do, this is an interesting recommendation guide based on your four-letter code.  Mine was spot on.  In fact, I re-read the book this spring and loved it!

Have you seen these pictures floating around Facebook about what each Harry Potter character taught us?  I agree with most of them.  I would even like a few of these framed for my future library.

Mark your calendars to help in celebrating Ivan Doig Day on August 18th!  I have not always been a fan of Doig's writing, but I will celebrate him every chance I get because he is a Montana author.  In fact, he is not just any Montana author, but an author that came from my hometown.  Celebrate away!

Earlier this month was the 8th anniversary of the final book release in the Harry Potter series.  I spent a little time reminiscing over on Facebook with my own memories of the big event.  And speaking of big events, don't forget to give Rowling and Potter a shout-out today for their birthday!!

That's a wrap for this month!  And, I will have lots more for you in August!

What is your favorite link I shared this time around?  What links did I miss that I must see?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: A Family of Turtles

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday!

I'm a bit obsessed with turtles!  I love this little family sunbathing on the rocks.

For more Wordless Wednesday selections, check out the dedicated blog.

Are you a fellow fan of turtles?  Is it weird that I think they are cute?!?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Monday Maunder: #HSReadathon Wrap-Up & #AtlasRAL Check-In

Welcome to another weekly ramblings!

I cannot believe how fast this summer is flying by!  Where is the time going?!?  Just slow down already!!

As I mentioned last week, I was participating in the High Summer Readathon, a week-long readathon that was designed for participants to read as much as you could and just have fun.  How did I end up doing?  In short, okay.  Let's take a closer look.

I was able to finish my audiobook of Mother Mother by Koren Zailckis, and I started a new listen of Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman.  I was truly pleased with my progress on my audiobooks.  I really had some great listening time available this last week, and I took advantage of it.

However, my big goal was to really dig into Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand for the readalong currently being hosted by Ti of Book Chatter.  I did pick it up a number of times, and I am completely engrossed with the story right now, but I did not get nearly as much read as I had hoped.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can renew it again this week at the library.  If I can't, I am not sure what I'm going to do.  I do have it on hold in audio, but I am not sure when it will become available.  Please keep your fingers crossed for me, too.  I am determined to get caught up on this chunkster for the readalong and finish it in the near future.

For those wondering the official statistics for the week, I will leave you with the numbers.  Enjoy!

Total Pages Read:  113 pages
Total Minutes Listened:  403 minutes
Total Books Completed:  1

Did you participate in the readathon this week?  If so, how did you do?  If not, what have you been reading lately?  Any other current Atlas Shrugged readers out there?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: The Lone Swing

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday!

The lone swing found next to an old one-room schoolhouse in Nevada City, Montana.  Yes, it is still swinging strong!

For more Wordless Wednesday selections, check out the dedicated blog.

Were you a fan of the swings when you were a kid?  Or, did you prefer to play something different?

Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday Maunder: Time For A Readathon!

Welcome to another Monday Maunder!

I was able to slightly pick up the pace last week here on the blog, with a whopping two posts last week.  I'm hoping to increase that again this week, and actually start bringing you some reviews that I have started writing.  In the meantime, I am here to tell you about my participation in the High Summer Readathon this week.

The High Summer Readathon is a week-long readathon with no parameters.  You just gotta read and have fun!  It kicked off today, and will run through Sunday.

What will be my plans for the week?!?  I usually tend to go with shorter, quicker reads.  This time around I am changing things up because I am also attempting to join in on the Atlas Shrugged Readalong and have managed to get myself behind.  So . . . I will be tackling Atlas Shrugged this week and attempting to make it as far as I possibly can.  I am not far into the story, so I still have a looonngg way to go!

Image shared on my Instagram account yesterday,
complete with my drink from the son's lemonade stand.

I will also be listening to my audiobook as much as possible.  I am currently listening to Mother Mother by Koren Zailckas.  I will likely finish that one in a couple of days.  I will have to keep you posted on what my new audiobook will be after that.  I am on hold for a number of books, including Atlas Shrugged, so we will see if my number comes up for one of those soon, or if I have to choose from something else that is currently available.

I will share my final results of the readathon next week on my weekly maunderings.  In the meantime, you can catch updates via Twitter and Instagram.

Completely unrelated to the readathon . . . I also hope to finally catch up on all these reviews I need to write and get them scheduled.  I was able to get to a couple of them last week, but it is time to sit down, focus, and get the huge stack finished.  Here's to a successful week reading AND writing!!

Will you be participating in the High Summer Readathon?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Sioux Falls

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday!

Here's a pic from the archives!  (I will actually be pulling from the archives for the next month or so as I work on finalizing some more recent pics.)  This one was taken in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on a little family road trip with my kids a couple of years ago.  We hit the park at the perfect time of evening for some great lighting effects.

For more Wordless Wednesday selections, check out the dedicated blog.

Have you ever seen the falls in Sioux Falls?

Monday, July 13, 2015

Monday Maunder: My Plate is Overflowing!

These last couple of weeks have been insane!  This last week has been beyond chaos!  Let me explain . . .

There have been a couple of things that have been on my radar now for a few months.  I guess you could kind of call them projects.  And these projects have been something that have been on my mind every single day, some days more so than others.  Well, in just the last week, these two projects have come to the very forefront and my days have been filled with lots of little things to help see these projects come to fruition.  They have come with surprises, and these surprises have been good or something that I have been able to take in stride.  In the next few weeks to come, I will get to see if all the time I have invested in them will actually pay off.  I really cannot say more than this at this time, but I can tell you that they relate to my goal of the year -- perseverance!  My year started out on a very rocky road.  I have been working hard to smooth out this road as much as I can on my own, and it is exciting to see that my smoothing is seeing some results AND I'm seeing others join in the smoothing!  (I know this is a horrible analogy, but just go with it!)

I know this all sounds so cryptic.  I know I sound like a tease.  BUT, I do hope to share more details with you all in the very near future because if all works out as I hope, they will involve books in a roundabout way!

Now to give you something that is NOT a mystery!  This last week, I had the great surprise and pleasure of taking my kids to the local water park for FREE.  Well, not really, but it felt like it!  Both of my kids are currently in swimming lessons and apparently, the pool partners with the water park to allow the last day of swimming lessons to be playing for the whole family.  The kids and I spent the morning floating on the lazy river and playing on the big water slide.  Let's be honest, I really did not get the lazy part.  I was chasing my daughter around most of the morning, and I was ready for a nap after we got home.  But, I did have a lot of fun.  It felt good to let loose, get all these things off my mind, and just play for a few hours.  I can't wait for another round in the near future!  I think I need to spend more time playing!

So, this week I'm checking in to say that ... Yes, I've been a bit absent.  But, it has been for good reasons.  My plate is truly overflowing.  And to top things off, I have been working on writing up some reviews to finally get this blog back into a groove again.  Stay tuned!!

How has your summer been going so far?  Have you been feeling some good mojo, or is it the exact opposite?  

Monday, July 6, 2015

Monday Maunder: June 2015 in Review

Since it is now July, it is time to chat about what happened around Tif Talks Books during the month of June!  I can tell you that both my reading and blogging took a hit, so I'm hoping to play some major catch-up this month in both categories.

Let's get to the details for June . . .

The TOP POST for the month in both hits and comments was my Bloggiesta announcement post.  No surprise there.  These kinds of events tend to generate more traffic.  In the past I usually post only my pieces that receive the most comments and hits, but I thought I would also share a little something from the other end of the spectrum as well . . . a post that I feel passed under the radar and could use a bit MORE LOVE.  This post did not receive the least number of hits or comments, but it is a review of a book that took me completely by surprise and I want to talk more about not only this book, but the author in general.  If you have a moment, swing by The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen and share your thoughts!

My TOP PIC for the month was once again book related.  No surprise there!  It's a classic chilling in my backyard.

The list of BOOKS READ this month was much smaller than it has been.  Thankfully, they were all good reads and I enjoyed each one of them.
  1. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
  2. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  3. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  4. The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore

Of course, if I had to choose just one to be my FAVORITE READ  of the month, I would probably have to go with The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd.  I was looking forward to that one, was a bit disappointed that it started out slow for me, but ended up loving it.  It has such depth on so many fronts!

As for the month of July, I've got all sorts of plans.  First and foremost is to get caught up on the stack of reviews I have sitting next to me.  Secondly, I plan to read a much larger stack of books.  Some possibilities include Atlas Shrugged for the read-along hosted by Ti of Book Chatter, as well as The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and Quiet by Susan Cain.  I also picked up a stack of graphics novels and comics from the library that I hope to get to.  I have a few others on my stack, but I will read whatever calls to me once I'm done with these ones.

How was your June?  What are your plans for the month of July?

Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday Maunder: Currently . . . (The First Edition)

I've seen this little template floating around the blogosphere for a while now and have been wanting to give it a go, but have never thought of it until it was too late.  Well, today is the day to explore what I am currently doing.

Time:  4:53 pm MST

The Scene:  Today has been a great catch-up day, filled with phone calls and paperwork.  It really did not start out on the greatest foot, but it has been improving.  I did take a break to take my kids to swimming lessons this morning and get beat in a game of UNO by my son this afternoon.

Drinking:  Water.  In fact, it is time for another refill.

Reading:  I am hoping to finish The Picture of Dorian Gray later this evening.  I am not sure yet what my next read will be after that.  I am debating between returning to the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris for a bit of fun or picking up the bestseller, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins or going with a book I've been wanting to read for a while, Quiet by Susan Cain.  Any recommendations?

I am also currently listening to Four by Veronica Roth on audiobook and still reading The Sea of Monsters with my kids.

Writing:  I currently have so many writing projects on my plate right now!  I have been working on some fun writing prompts inspired by my writing group.  I am starting some things for a secret writing project.  And, I really, really need to work on catching up on reviews for the blog.  I am trying to write a little bit each day.  I missed a few days last week, but I also have improved from previous weeks, so I am counting that as progress.

Watching:  I am really not watching a lot these days.  My husband did receive Kingsman for Father's Day and we watched that over the weekend.  Oh, and we did have a family movie night with Paul Blart, Mall Cop (the first one).  What I really want to get to is more Sherlock!  I can never get enough of that show!

Promoting:  Book Bloggers International!!  Have you seen the latest updates coming from the site these days?!?  We have a new book blogger community calendar and next week will be the release of our fun little newsletter!  If you haven't already checked it out, you will definitely want to!

Listening:  We have been on a "Happy" kick here at our house, particularly when watching the official video that accompanies it.  It just makes us all want to smile and dance!

What is currently going on in your lives?  Do you like seeing this format for weekly check-ins or do you prefer my usual randomness instead?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Literary Link Love: June 2015

I cannot believe it is already time for another round of Literary Link Love!  I don't have a lot of links for you again this month (because I have no idea where the time went), but as always, they are good ones!!

Wouldn't it be great to read one of your favorite books again for the first time?  What book would you choose if you could?

Have you seen this picture circulating the interwebz?  I cannot agree with it more!

Just this last weekend, I was a guest over at I'm Lost in Books talking about summer.  Stop by and see what my plans are as well as a handful of my other favorite bloggers!

Last, but not least, did you see this NEW amazing resource from Book Bloggers International?!?  Okay, I may be a bit biased on this one.  Nonetheless, I still think it is pretty awesome!

What great links did I miss this month?  What have been some of your favorites?