Thursday, June 7, 2018


School's out for summer!!  I cannot tell you enough how much I am in need of this break.  Life has been so chaotic, and though it will remain so, it will also slow down just a bit for me to catch my breath.  But not yet!!  I have been helping out with a Girl Scout camp this week, and will be heading to an Usborne Books and More Convention for the weekend.  I will then head into a couple days of training for work before that little breather can take place. 

In the meantime, I will be attempting to get caught up on reading.  According to my Goodreads goal for the year, I am currently 14 books behind schedule.  Yikes!  So, along my adventures over the next week, here is a peek on what I will be working on . . .

I have started the first two, the first in physical form and the second in audio.  I hope to finish those, especially with my time spent in airports.  The third will be my next audiobook.  I have plans for reading other books, but these will be my priorities for now.  I will be taking the rest of the week off here on the blog, but will be back next week to share my adventures and then get back to posting here on a regular basis again.  I really do miss writing here on a regular basis and hope to get back into a good routine during these summer hours.

YOUR TURN:  How is your reading going so far this year?  Any great reads you would recommend?

Sunday, May 27, 2018

BOOK CHAT: April 2018 in Review

It's my final monthly review to get myself all caught up ... at least in this area!  Let's take a look at the month, and then I can mark one more thing off of my to-do list!

As I mentioned yesterday, APRIL proved to be another month of chaos.  We had track and piano and Girl Scouts and meetings and more.  It had me begin counting down the days of how much of school remained, and anxiously awaiting a break to get in a little rest and relaxation.  This weekend is finally the weekend that I get to do just that, and I only have four more days left of work.  Well, sort of!  I do have some workshops and meetings scattered throughout the summer, but that's not too bad.  But, now I'm getting ahead of myself.  Let's move to the usual wrap-up . . .

The TOP PIC for the month was actually the TOP PICS for the month.  The first one was the latest progress on my library bookshelves.  Aren't they gorgeous?!  The second is from the library book sale that I was helping to set up.  Nothing beats being surrounded by books!

The number of BOOKS READ for the month improved over last month, but not by much.  I had three total this time, compared to the previous month's two.
  1. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  2. Dragons at Crumbling Castle by Terry Pratchett
  3. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

My FAVE BOOK of those read was probably Dragons at Crumbling Castle by Terry Pratchett.  The book was an audiobook collection of short stories.  I didn't enjoy all of them, but there were some really great imaginative treasures within.

MAY will pretty much be my final month of work before my summer break.  I am greatly looking forward to a break, and will power through this month the best I can!

YOUR TURN:  How was your month of April in reading?

Saturday, May 26, 2018

BOOK CHAT: March 2018 in Review

I am finally back to getting caught up.  I'm only at March, but I'm determined to have these monthly reviews completed before the end of the weekend!  Let's get to it!

MARCH was a crazy month, but ended with a bang.  We took a long weekend away, hitting some hot springs and Yellowstone National Park.  Even better, I finally got to meet my niece in person.  Best weekend ever!!  Who knew being an aunt could be so great?!!

The TOP PIC for the month was one of my highlights mentioned above ... Yellowstone National Park.  The picture was particularly of Mammoth Hot Springs.  There was still so much snow over that weekend, and it just seemed to make the colors pop even more than usual.  It was so gorgeous!

Though March proved to be an unforgettable month, it did not prove to be a very good one when it came to reading.  The BOOKS READ only amounted to two, and both of them were audiobooks.
  1. China Dolls by Lisa See
  2. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

My FAVE BOOK of those two reads was probably The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare.  I am sure I read this book as a kid, but I enjoyed it so much more as a re-read.  It has actually inspired me to read even more about the Salem Witch Trials.

APRIL started out on a positive note, but it proved to be yet another month of chaos.  I never imagined that my schedule would get crazier as my kids got older, but I was wrong.  Despite the craziness, I wouldn't change my schedule for a second.  It is busy and exhausting, but it is also so much fun, filled with pride and happiness.

YOUR TURN:  Do you remember what your March was like? 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

WEEKLY WANDERINGS: #BoutofBooks in Tweets

Last week was Bout of Books, and I decided to throw myself in on the action a bit last minute.  I knew that I would not get a lot done due to a crazy schedule, but I wasn't really in it for the numbers this time around.  I have decided to just wrap up that readathon here with a quick review of my tweets from the week.  Enjoy!

YOUR TURN:  Did you participate in Bout of Books?  How was your reading for the week?

Monday, May 14, 2018

WEEKLY WANDERINGS: #BoutofBooks 22 is Here!

Bout of Books 22 started today.  I have been wavering about joining for weeks now because this week is a beast.  I have something going on every single night this week, and I was assuming that I was not going to get much time for reading.  However, on my walk tonight I decided to join in the fun.  Why not?!  I don't have to have outrageous goals or ambitions.  I can keep it simple, just make it a point to get in a little reading every day, and enjoy it for enjoyment sake.  And with that conclusion, I'm throwing myself in on the action!

Here is my plan for the week . . .

Yes, that is a very small stack of books.  As I mentioned, I'm keeping it simple.  I plan to finish Strange Weather by Joe Hill.  I am already more than halfway done with that one.  I plan to finish my current audiobook of The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff.  That one is almost done as well.  And, I plan to dive into Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.  That's my entire plan this week.  Well, that and to survive the chaos!

YOUR TURN:  Are you reading for Bout of Books, or are you reading on your usual schedule?

Thursday, May 10, 2018

BOOK CHAT: February 2018 in Review

You may think that you are reading that title incorrectly.  Or, you may be thinking that I am losing my mind.  Neither of those are correct.  I am just really that far behind in posting my monthly wrap-ups, and I am determined to get them posted over the next few days.  At first, I thought I would just combine them all into one post.  Then, I decided I didn't want to.  So, bear with me as I post three months individually to get caught up.

FEBRUARY proved to be a whirlwind of a month.  My family was sick.  We went on some adventures.  And, I became an aunt for the very first time!  That last item was obviously the biggest news of the month, and one that I am absolutely loving even as I write this today!

The TOP PIC for the month came from one of the adventures our family took.  We started our day with a little snow-shoeing and ended it with some cross-country skiing.  I left the hill with back pain that had me in physical therapy, and deciding to stick with snow-shoeing from now on!

My list of BOOKS READ for the month proved to be a lower number than January, but still not too bad considering that it was a short month and that we had a lot going on.  Here's the full list:
  1. The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson #4) by Rick Riordan
  2. Whatever You Are, Be A Good One by Lisa Congdon
  3. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

My FAVE BOOK of the bunch was The Battle of the Labyrinth.  I have so much fun with this series for a number of reasons.  Percy Jackson is fun, action-packed, and I read these aloud with my kids.  Such a great combination!

MARCH would prove to be another whirlwind month for much of the same reasons, but I will save that one for later.  Keeping my fingers crossed that I can write more tomorrow and get all these monthly wrap-ups caught up before the end of the weekend.  Wish me luck!

YOUR TURN:  What do you remember from February?  Anything exciting or worth sharing, even a few months later?

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

WEEKLY WANDERINGS: Can We Talk About Infinity War?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Avengers: Infinity War may be one of the most anticipated films of the year.  After the awesomeness of Black Panther, I know that I personally was very curious to see where Marvel would take us in this next chapter of the Avenger world.  This last weekend I finally had the chance, and now I really need to talk about it!!

Let's start with the quick trailer of the film.

That looks amazing, right?  Now, in order to proceed, I must warn you that spoilers will be in abundance from here on out.  Proceed with caution beyond this point.

The one thing that I loved about this movie was the action.  From the very first scene until the very last, the movie was packed with action scenes that were on point.  They had me on the edge of my seat, anticipating what was going to come next.

The other thing that I loved was the mash-up of characters.  To see Thor and Starlord face off was hilarious and priceless.  Thor and Rocket made a great team, especially when you combined the teenage Groot.  Doctor Strange and Iron Man were my personal faves, but I believe that was a result of my personal adoration of Benedict Cumberbatch.

Beyond those two items, my mind becomes a blur.  When the movie ended, my daughter turned to me and screeched, "WHAT?!?"  My own personal thought was similar with "WTF?!!"  And, as soon as I walked out of the theater, I had to start researching everything that I could come up with for future Marvel movies.  Of course, then my mind began considering all the different Marvel universes that the characters appear in, and that research went out the window.

Two days later, I'm still thinking about this movie and trying to come up with how I truly feel about it.  I still do not know.  I tend to be at a loss of words, and I am left with question after question.  Therefore, I am going to leave those questions for you here . . . 

Did all those characters really just die?  Or, did they just disappear into an alternate universe?  (One of my kids mentioned this one to me when I did try to discuss the movie with them!)

After Black Panther, one of my all-time favorite Marvel films, I was really desiring more from Wakanda.  Are you now telling me that I may not get this?

Did Gamora truly die?  She said that she had something that Thanos didn't know she had.  Was it truly the location of the soul stone, or was it something else entirely?  (I may just be wishful thinking here because I adore this character so much.)

Who in the world did Fury contact?  I personally did not recognize the symbol, but my son has theories on this one.  

Why did Marvel have to completely break my heart?  I'm not just talking one time, but multiple times throughout the movie.  Why?  Why?  Why?

I can probably come up with more questions, but I will leave it at that.  I feel like I need to watch the movie again, but I'm not sure I want to go through the heartache again at least while it is still in theaters.  I think I need a little time and space before diving back in.  Until then, I want to hear your thoughts on the film.  Do share!

YOUR TURN:  What did you think about the movie?  Were you left with as many questions as I was?