Welcome to Marjay's reading blog.

The Feeling of Litch

This week I was almost overwhelmed by the feeling of litch (another fun new word). Traveling by Main Street Book Ends and then later that same day by Gibson’s was almost painful.  I am surprised my car didn’t pull over on its own.  I thought I was home free when I didn’t stop.

Until, I was in line at the grocery store and found myself being pulled to the book display. Luckily, someone pulled behind me blocking me from the display and I was able to to pull myself away. Even all day as I was catching up on my reviews and downloads I kept finding myself looking at other books - drawn to them like a cat to a mouse, or a dog to a bone.

I find it hard to explain to people how owning books can become a need so strong.  You know - just in case you find yourself snowed in for two years or so and might need enough to read that whole time.  There are so many wonderful stories to be read and each one can move you to see the world differently or take you someplace new!

My kindle has a huge bunch of books and I have even more I can download without leaving home. I have a couple of stacks of unread books and already read books I can reread to my heart’s content.   Books to read are not the problem.  It is the love of owning and having them around to be read.  I mean doesn’t everyone decorate with books?  

I survived my weekend without buying books.  None for me and none for gifts.  I was able to to live with the litch all weekend.  I think I am happy with that conclusion...maybe…

Books read this week:

The Island House by Nancy Thayer

When all the Girls are Gone by Jayne Ann Krentz

Christmas Romance by Natalie-Nicole Bates, Sharon Kleves, Jennifer Connor and Angela Ford.  

Seaside Whispers by Melissa Foster

Riddick by Kathy Coopmans

Big Secret

I am about to share a big secret with you….  BIG.  It takes a lot of organization and work to keep on top of the books I am reading, going to read, want to read, hope to read and/or already read. I have lists everywhere, both on paper and electronically.  I do rely on a number of web sites to help, but one site doesn’t solve everything.

I use Fictfact to keep track of the series I read and new books that are coming out in the series. Netgalley has a “bookshelf” to keep track of the books that are shared with me and their publishing date from their site.  Rock Star Lit PR actually has a calendar on its site that we both can use.  The library keeps lists of what books are out and when they are due as well as all the books on my waiting list. TRSOR does not seem to have any method to keep track available to the user.  They do send out information about a week ahead of the due date. Even Amazon keeps lists of what you have bought already and keeps lists of books for you on their site.  
It is Goodreads that I mostly rely on.  Here I can keep track of reading, want to read and have already read books.  But even this site doesn’t do it all,  so I have lists on paper and on “sticky notes” on the desktop.  I have a list of all the books I am reading and when they are due.  There are lists of books by specific authors that some day I would like to read, or hope go on sale so I can read.  
Reading about new books coming out and paying attention to to the various series takes a couple of hours each week. I am constantly updating the lists.  Sometimes it is exhausting and overwhelming - because let’s face facts - I am a random thinker.  I don’t necessarily do things one at a time or in order.  I do something which leads to something else which leads to - well you get the idea.  This week I had a full page of books to investigate - most of them were able to be put on the library list, but some are still on my list for having to find them from different sources. SIGH - I sometimes wonder what I have got myself into, and then I remember how much I love to read and then share the knowledge with all of you!   Wait - maybe this isn’t a secret.... 

Read this week:

Turbo Twenty-Three by Janet Evanovich

Chase by Sidney Bristol

Bad Boys After Dark: Mick

Turbulent Desire by Melody Anne

Tied to his Betrayal by Stacey Kennedy

This One Did

Time off to me equals time to read.  More time off, more time to read… The problems then becomes more reviews to write.  Which means having to wait until the weekend, which cuts into reading time.  It is an circle of things to do, but a joyous circle nonetheless.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my time with friends and family.  I love seeing them and do not mind traveling to see them.  I don’t even really mind running errands.  But I do live for down time over the weekends.  This time of year, I hit a bonanza of time. No ballgames - so more time to read, which means more reviews… I know you are understanding the pattern of my life.  

This last week I finished some fun books, but one book really wiped me out.  Me Before You by JoJo Moyer was a special book,  It really put some things in perspective:  the importance of living to the fullest, loving to the fullest and caring about people.  The poignancy of the book has made it hard for me to read another book.  It is like I can not move on, and let the book go.  Even writing the review was a difficult task, with all the emotions coming back up.  

I love the books I read.  I love having a bunch of book boyfriends and series that I follow without missing a book.  All that seems so meaningless, when you read a book that wrings you out with all the emotions of of a good meaningful book. Sometimes a book just rearrange the axis of your world. This one did.

Books read this week:

Campbell’s Redemption by Sharon Cullen

To His Betrayal by Stacey Kennedy

JC and the Bijoux Jolis by Katy Regnery

The Reluctant Cowboy by Kate Pearce

Turbulent Desires by Melody Anne

Wind River Wrangler by Lindsay McKenna

Love Always and Forever by Alexis Morgan (an ARC read way too early)

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

My New Badge from Net Galley for over 200 reviews

Bookcases

I saw a pin this weekend with a series of bookcases.  Each bookcase had a name under it suggesting the type of owner that belongs to the book case.  The names were all ironic and silly. However, for me, the best part was all the comments from booklovers. Pretty much everyone made a comment about how their bookshelves are double stacked or overstuffed.  For me, this made me chuckle - as I have stacks and stacks.  

I have emptied books and books out of my place, bringing them to the historical society barn sale, the transfer station, and to anyone and everyone! The book cases in the hall are much clearer and do not have many books on them - which was my goal.  In the living room, I do have some books on shelves, but I have to admit, they are set up to be decorative - with some of my favorite authors. 

It is the extra room that is a huge, huge problem.  The shelves have books on top of the books. There are stacks in baskets and stacks on tables and stacks on stacks.  There is no rhyme or reason to the stacks, except for the lack of organization.  To make everything even more fun,  I still have some boxes down in the storage room of children’s books. (Although those are a short term storage as they have a place to go.)  

Not all book lovers have storage problems - some people’s shelves are pristine. I am never sure how they pull that off.  My bestie does not let books stay.  Once they are read, they are donated or given away, but the majority of her books come from the library, so they do not stay for long. A couple of other people have “public bookcases” - where they can be seen, but stacks in other places. A skill I am trying to cultivate without having stacks in other places.  But let’s face it - it is really really hard when you can’t pass a bookstore without going in.

I have noticed in several design magazines and on Pinterest that there are people who actually store their books based on color. All the books of each color are placed next to each other.  Or in one case the books were arranged by color in a pattern. I know in some places, interior decorators buy books for the looks not by what is read. Simply out of my understanding!

My most recent bookcase is too small to see.  It is on the kindle and it is growing.  I have lots more books on my account and not downloaded.  Sometimes this is awesome - no need to dust. Sometimes it is a pain, because you can not find what you are looking for by size and color and where you have stacked the last set of books.  Next weekend the books in the storage room leave and I will feel another weight gone and (wait for it) another page in my life turned!  

Meanwhile there are very few things in my life that give me the same pleasure as reading books. Storage issues and dusting be damned.  

Books this week:

Dirty Sexy Sinner by Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde

Tru Blue by Melissa Foster

Someone to Love by Mary Balogh

Woman of God by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

The Promise of Rayne by Nicole Deece

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A 'Bookclipse' Week

bookclipse :  A phenomenon in which a book is so engrossing that it completely obscures one’s perception of time.

I love watching baseball, but it is over. There are very few shows left on TV that I watch. I have felt overwhelmed by the commercials on TV and even Facebook for politicians. (Sorry to my Words with Friends people - political commercial after each play!) I do not answer my phone - either one and lately only responding to texts.  Thank heavens, political season is almost over.  I look forward to moving forward with our President Elect.   This week was a ‘bookclipse’ week

A ‘bookclipse’ week means I read every night after finishing up what I needed to accomplish.  Reading skews my perception of time totally!  I do read quickly. (Although not as fast as some.) I do not usually read books that are heavy with complex sentences and awkward clauses.  I tend to like more straight-forward text with shorter chapters that leave you in the midst of something.  And time before you know it has moved on and it is suddenly late at night and I should be asleep.  

I love that about books.  Stories that can take you away places, out of your surroundings and into other realities.  I feel like I have been reading more and more romantic thrillers, where Person A has been saving Person B from dastardly deeds and then they fall in love (if they haven’t already.)  The cool part is that usually they both save each other.  

When I am reading the pervasive negative energy from this election season cannot enter.  The name calling and lying doesn’t touch my cocoon. All that time that was sucked up by TV and people fade away as you read.  Realities such as bills, a broken tooth, too many errands, the holidays coming fade away as well.  Soon you are hanging on each and every word worrying about people you never have met or will meet except in books.  Then the book ends and you suddenly realize it is 12:00 or 1:00 am and you have to get up at 6.  SIGH….the rest of the world returns. I think ‘bookclipse’ is a wonderful word that describes what happens.

What I read this week:

A Whole Latte Murder by Caroline Fardig

Lover’s Lane by Jill Marie Landis

Three Weeks to Wed by Julia Quinn

Widow by Chuck Gleason

Nitro by Nina Levine (not reviewed yet)

And in the Gray Wolf Security - Texas Series by Glenna Sinclair  Book 1: Defending Tierney (also not reviewed yet)

BTW:  If you are driving through Wilmington, VT Bartleby's Books is an awesome bookstore.

 

That Look

Sometimes books make you feel that you are lost and sometimes they help you find home.  This weekend one of the books I read made me realize how much I love home.  My home, such as it is, is my preference. I prefer to read instead of clean, so most of the time my home is cluttered and stacked.  There are piles of clothes to put away, dishes to wash, and lessons plans to finish, but it is where I feel the most comfortable.   The only time of year this changes is when I can be outside at the lake or in the yard.

This weekend, two of the books I read were about the main characters coming home. Each had challenges around how difficult it is to come home or return home after years of being away.  In many cases, the person returning home is doing so under duress.  They run into old friends and love is rekindled.  Suddenly, everything is good - that is what “happily ever after” means - according to the story.

I find the whole idea of moving to an entirely new place unsettling at best.  More and more of my neighbors move here for the lack of hustle and bustle.  My town is a quintessential New England town.  Not the town I grew up in, but close enough for me.  I have never really left home.  I mean there were a four years when I left for college and there were another couple of years when I lived away.  Each time I came home to New Hampshire gratefully.  

Dreams are such a strong motivator.  Many of the people in the books who leave home went to find their dreams.  They wanted bright lights and cities.  They fell in love and stayed until the world changed around them. I think the whole idea of chasing your dreams is awesome.  I guess I am just one of those with my dreams of hanging at home and reading a book or maybe be putting away the clean clothes.  Perhaps not all dreams have to be big and bold, some can be just be moving to a goal here at home, but I guess that would not make a book as interesting...

 

Books this week:

Wind River Wrangler by Lindsay McKenna

Dangling by a Thread by Lea Wait

DeClan by Caitlyn O’Leary

Devil’s Honor by Megan Crane

Dreams

Sometimes books make you feel that you are lost and sometimes they help you find home.  This weekend one of the books I read made me realize how much I love home.  My home, such as it is, is my preference. I prefer to read instead of clean, so most of the time my home is cluttered and stacked.  There are piles of clothes to put away, dishes to wash, and lessons plans to finish, but it is where I feel the most comfortable.   The only time of year this changes is when I can be outside at the lake or in the yard.

This weekend, two of the books I read were about the main characters coming home. Each had challenges around how difficult it is to come home or return home after years of being away.  In many cases, the person returning home is doing so under duress.  They run into old friends and love is rekindled.  Suddenly, everything is good - that is what “happily ever after” means - according to the story.

I find the whole idea of moving to an entirely new place unsettling at best.  More and more of my neighbors move here for the lack of hustle and bustle.  My town is a quintessential New England town.  Not the town I grew up in, but close enough for me.  I have never really left home.  I mean there were a four years when I left for college and there were another couple of years when I lived away.  Each time I came home to New Hampshire gratefully.  

Dreams are such a strong motivator.  Many of the people in the books who leave home went to find their dreams.  They wanted bright lights and cities.  They fell in love and stayed until the world changed around them. I think the whole idea of chasing your dreams is awesome.  I guess I am just one of those with my dreams of hanging at home and reading a book or maybe be putting away the clean clothes.  Perhaps not all dreams have to be big and bold, some can be just be moving to a goal here at home, but I guess that would not make a book as interesting...

 

Books this week:

Wind River Wrangler by Lindsay McKenna

Dangling by a Thread by Lea Wait

DeClan by Caitlyn O’Leary

Devil’s Honor by Megan Crane

Planning Winter Reading

Fall in New England is with us.  The leaves on the trees near the swamp are glorious in color and shining with nature’s paint brushes.  To me they hold the same promise as a rainbow - the promise of the cycle of life.   However, they also mark the end of easy pickings for books.  Last weekend the library held its used book sale and this weekend the historical society held its last barn sale.  All sales of used books where I pick up books are done for the season.   My purse will be thankful, even if I am not.

While I was looking for books and chatting with the other customers, I heard the familiar refrain.  Winter is coming and I need to have my stack of books ready or the stack of reading material needs to be buffed up.  My favorite of all was the one person who said that she only had enough books to get her through February, so she needed to cover March.  I shouldn’t have chuckled, because I am guilty of the same thing!

I do have a stack of about 15 books that I want to read.  I also have a list that I update monthly at the library - new books I want to read that are coming out.  The longest list is on my kindle.  It is full of novellas and novels.  I have a variety of historical romance and contemporary fiction, murder mysteries and cosy mysteries, children's, teens and young adult stories, women’s fiction, new adult fiction and regular fiction.  I think I figured out recently that if I just read from my kindle it would take me three years to read it all.  That figure does not include adding new books from my favorite authors and series and anything added from Net Galley.  

I am fully planned book wise for winter.  Now for the details, putting on snow tires, storm windows and finding my winter clothes.  

Words

I have had to think about words and word usage this last month.  In my job, I have to read many reports from outside evaluations, state regulations, and common core standards.  On top of this I have to put out my own comments, evaluations and curriculum goals and standards using those same level of language.  It is difficult to express what is truly meant at times even with the world of words that we have in our lexicon.   The students have been writing poetry and I have been asking them to stretch their language, to describe things in new ways and to evoke the feelings from words. Sometimes with better results than other times.

It was into this mix of words that some things came clearer to me.  We use words to harm more often than heal.  We use words with anger at ourselves but not words to uplift ourselves.  We use “tones” of voice that show feeling when things are difficult, but not when they are wonderful.  Negativity seems to rule most days.  When something unexpected happens, people respond with anger, not with caring or concern.

Perhaps that is part and parcel of the times.  Perhaps we have moved into a land where we only feel superior when we can belittle others.  Perhaps it is the result of our political season with the constant negative ads and bickering that causes the negativity.  Perhaps even it is part of our DNA - trust nothing - everything might lead to danger.  

We give people barbs, not blessings. We taunt each other, not praise each other.  Our language, our gift that supposedly makes us different than animals has become more adversarial and antagonistic.  We lack the cordialness and graciousness that we should use with ourselves and others.

I think that is why I am drawn to books with happily ever after endings.  They are not nasty and destructive.  They are not hazardous and malignant.  They often have characters that are cheerful and upbeat, who see the world as a wondrous place and people who are kind and generous of spirit.   That is the world I want to live in, a place where life is more gentle and kind.  

I fell in love three times this weekend

I fell in love this weekend - three times… with three different men in three new novels.   All of the men are from new books that are coming out this month! The authors of these new books with the hot men are Jamie Farrell (hot), Katy Regnery (hotter) and Carly Phillips (hottest) and if you have not read any of their books, you might want to reconsider.  

Jamie Farrell writes romances with a twist of humor.  She has several books out about the town of Bliss - the bridal capital of the Midwest.  A whole town dedicated to weddings can cause a surprising amount of fun and romance.  Her newest book that comes out next week is Merried (Misfit Brides #5). Max works in his family’s jewelry shot and is cursed in love.  He is hot, sexy and fun. (Merried comes out the 4th)

Katy Regnery writes books that can steal your soul.  Her books in the series called Modern Fairytales are so full of love and emotions and hope.  The newest book she has coming out is part of the Blueberry Lane series.  These books are more light hearted, but no less wonderful and romantic and HOT.  She is presently writing about the Rousseau family in her newest book, Marry Me Mad. A wonderful story about two people who have always had a thing for each other, even if they didn’t always realize it.  Cort is the leading man, who is a musician and a hot hot one at that. (Marry Me Mad comes out the 21st)

Carly Phillips is also quite prolific in her writing.  She has several series out and her books always add a new level of steaminess to your reading!  She always finds the hottest men for her books and it is no different in this stand alone novel, Going Down Fast.  It is here we meet Lucas, the really, really, hot billionaire software designer who is an alpha male.  (Going Down Fast comes out on the 11th)

Falling in love with three different men over a weekend takes time.  Cleaning, cooking and mid quarter grades have all taken a backseat to the three hot men named Max, Cort and Lucas!  Luckily it is a cool, rainy weekend, because all three stories carry their own heat.  I hope you enjoy the new books when they come out.  I sure did.

A couple of housekeeping items.  

Welcome to all the new readers.  Thanks for stopping by. Please leave me a message  or send me note if you wish to get a weekly update when the new blog comes out.  

October’s book review’s page is set up a little differently - let me know if you like the looks of it.

Pigs and Heresy

It has finally happened. The pigs will be flying by at any time – so be prepared.  After years of so carefully protecting and guarding all my electronic wires for all the devices.  It has happened.  I am missing them – now that is not the surprising part.  I lose everything – these are gone – gone.  Totally missing. I even checked the fridge and the freezer.  Nope. Nada. Nothing.

They could have been ‘borrowed’ from me, without permission.  They could have rolled out of my workbag and left no trace.  (Did I mention that I keep them in a Talenti Jar?) They could have grown legs and gone on vacation.  Whatever... they are gone and my kindle is dangerously low on power. I might have to actually read a book this weekend.

I did order a new cord and plug in and they will be here Tuesday – I just need to last that long...  OH and I can read on my phone if desperate.  Really all I want to do is to stamp my feet with frustration.  I have so much to do.  This week I am juggling so many books and have a bunch of reviews to write... Two students are reading separate books and I do not have hard copies of the books.  I have a couple of books I was part way through and now I have to figure out where I was... sigh

It is a beautiful New England Day, sunny and bright with blue skies and puffy white clouds.  The leaves are slowly changing and it is glorious outside... Maybe I will not read this weekend.

I think I just committed heresy... pig flying zone ahead.

Letter to my Readers

Dear Readers,

I know when I ended my blog a week ago Sunday, I told you all I was taking a week off.  I was at the Highland Games up at Loon Mountain with family all weekend and did not think I would have time.   Well, I don’t have time, but I am writing anyway!  Why, you ask.  I just need to thank everyone!  

For the past two weeks I have had a HUGE amount of hits.  I am not sure what has changed but I am forever grateful!  It is not easy doing this, even though it is a labor of love. I constantly worry I am not being relevant or interesting.  I worry I will run out of things to say, or great books to highlight.  I guess I need to let that go and just keep writing and take the gifts that are given.

Your continued reading and support mean the world to me, so thank you!!!

 

Life is good with good books.

Reading this week has been a challenge.  I have come home a couple of nights and actually fell asleep reading on the couch waiting for the ballgame.  I guess that tells you one of two things.  I am either not sleeping at night or I am not going to bed early enough.  Both are correct, not that I like admitting it.  It doesn’t help that this was a full week at work and it is always exhausting the first few days with all new students and changes that occur over the summer.  

That doesn’t take anything away from the books I read this week. They all have been good!  Three of them come out in the next couple of weeks and I am on a review crew - so I can not give too much away.  Playing It Cool takes a man who is a star athlete falling love with a woman who thinks, she is not beautiful or loveable.  Her family will just make you cringe with their meanness. Justice for Boone is about Hayden Yates - a sheriff’s deputy and Boone Hatcher, a hot rancher.  It was interesting watching them both trying to take care of the other one while falling for each other. I enjoyed how Hayden was the Sheriff’s Deputy and how protective she was.  Substitute by Nicholson Baker is the one I am working on slowly.  It is not grasping me and holding me enthralled like the others, but is interesting in smaller doses.  The fact it is nonfiction might explain that.  It is Nicholson Baker’s memories of a year spent substitute teaching in Maine.  It is interesting, especially because I have done that and know how hard it can be. 

Anywhere You Are was a great read by Elisabeth Barrett.  It was a lovely story about two people Grace and Marcus.  They are brought together by an unexpected fall and a few days later another meet because of a large Great Dane with penchant to chase squirrels.  The Tea Planter’s Wife by Dinah Jefferies was a story between two people - both keeping secrets that are life changing! I enjoyed the story.  The last of the new books I finished was Pumpkin Festival about the last twenty five years of the Pumpkin Festival here in New Hampshire. (I do have to admit, My sister Nancy is the author and my sister Anne had a number of photographs within the book.)

Right now I am reading one of my favorite authors J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts pseudonym.  Her newest book, Apprentice in Death is quite good.  I love the characters of Eve Dallas and Roarke along with their multitude of friends and colleagues working to save the people of New York City from a serial killer.  

Life is good when you have good books to read!!!

PS:  There will be no blog next week as I will be at the Highland Games up in Loon Mountain, watching men in kilts and hearing loads of bagpipes.  

PSS:  If you are interested in ordering Nancy’s book. The link is below:

http://www.its-not-about-the-hike.com/book/pumpkin-book-blue.html

Labor Day Reading

Labor Day…  a day designed to celebrate the hard work that many Americans do on a daily basis.  A day designed to remind us of the difficulties of the labor laws in history and be relieved by better working conditions now.  Maybe even a moment to remind us what we need to continue to work to and for.  

Most people celebrate it with big cookouts, last beach days and family parties.  However, as you have learned, I am not a big party goer.  I celebrated two of the days, by hanging out on my deck under an umbrella enjoying the majesty of the day and okay - a book - or two.  Yup, I tried to be laborless and enjoy. However life does intrude and I worked on cleaning the kitchen and tomorrow - my bedroom.  Not big bold and fabulous plans by anyone’s imagination, but my plans none-the-less, in between reading.

Reading is my biggest plan.  The last couple of months, I have been reading straight out books from various authors for NetGalley and Rock Star.  This weekend is mostly for me, books that I found for CHEAP on Amazon or other places.  It is lovely.  

Although as always I have books I am reading with various students and I do need to keep up with those as well. I also have a couple of books for NetGalley to read soon.  Oh and Eva Charles newest ARC needed to be read (Petite Madeline).  I also did work on the scope and sequence of the curriculum - I needed to rearrange the lessons, so that we speak about elections during the elections and I did read the Globe and other newspapers.  OK - I read a bunch of stuff that wasn’t on my original agenda.  Thankfully - I am flexible.  

Enjoy tomorrow and the extra day during the best time of the year.  

Balancing

The leaves in the big maple tree are starting to show a couple of patches of orange.  The deck is shaded longer now and the nights are cooling. All hallmarks of what is coming.  School starts this week.

A few years ago, I retired from teaching and worked at the Historical Society.  My book reading skyrocketed and I was able to read so many fabulous (and a few not so fabulous) books.  I began to start tutoring at Parker with just a couple of students.  The next year, I began working at the Academy and tutoring for them.  My reading slowed down, but still I was able to read so many - over 200.  Last year I worked even more hours between the two and my book reading crept up again.  

This year… well I have been behind all year... only two books at this time, with more changes coming.  I agreed to work full time this year for the Academy.  I am balancing a couple of different hats, but full time!  I am wondering if working a more regular shift will help or hurt with my reading.

I am not sure why I actually pay attention to how many books I read.  I think it started as a lark, but somewhere along the line my thinking changed to more is better.  I have to rethink that!  We all can think of different examples where having more is not better.  It certainly does not follow the thought process that balance is important.  Living in the moment is better.  Following the middle path is a more healthy choice.  

This next week, when I have time to read, I will keep that in mind and disregard the numbers.  Not that I am going to stop that category on Goodreads - no need to be silly about it.  After all, I have some of my favorite authors coming out with new books. I have 14 books to read and review in the next couple of months for Net Galley. Perhaps I will make it, after all.

Connections

Well, this is it. The final weekend. The fat lady is singing. The stopping of the buck. The last weekend before I go back to work full time again.  SIGH.  I know that sounds funky as I have been working quite regularly all along.  A very brief review of information for those with a score card, retired from public school and worked at the Historical Society, subbed for Kearsarge and then tutored and taught at Parker. The last couple of years I have worked lots of hours for Parker, but working in a variety of positions, doing combinations between tutoring and teaching.  This year, I am now considered full time and teacher work days start tomorrow!

What a strange ride I have been on the last few years.  This blog has kept me sane and connected many times.  The contact many of you have made to me about books and reading has meant a lot.  I have had the time for reading and still more reading.  I am not sure if I will have as much time for reading, but I am not going to stop this blog.  Connecting with all of you makes it so worthwhile!

This week I have read a some awesome books.  My favorites being The One Man by Andrew Gross and Family Tree by Susan Wiggs.  Both books were great stories that really identified the connections between humans and how important those connections are.  The two books had different plots, settings, timelines and feelings, but that human connection is so important in these books. Andrew Gross introduces us to a man who is willing to sacrifice his freedom to help his country because of his connections.  Susan Wiggs introduces us to Annie Harlow who has to start her life all over again and depend on her connections from the past.  Look Again by Lisa Scottoline has the reader on the edge of their seat when the question of  connections between people might unravel Ellen’s entire life.  R. C. Boldt series called Teach Me shows with her group of couples how together these people can make their bonds of friendship so tight that they are family.   

There are people who enjoy reading descriptions of people and events.  There are people who like to read biographies about people, but to me it is all about the interaction between people that makes or breaks a book.  After all, isn’t that one thing that makes us human - our connections and interactions with others. Especially in our world as things move faster and faster and families are separated by distance and time.  The connections between the characters, people with all their quirks make us unique and human, yet stronger together in groups. I wish that for the world.  People making connections and our world being stronger because we are together - not apart.

Books:

The One Man by Andrew Gross - comes out on Tuesday

Family Tree by Susan Wiggs

Looking Again by Lisa Scottoline

Series: Teach Me by R.C. Boldt

  1. Wildest Dream

  2. Hard to Handle

  3. Remember When

  4. Laws of Attraction

Push Pause

I love weekend mornings!  The knowledge that I do not have to rush off anywhere is so comforting to me.  It is like the world knows I am on break from it, even if it is just for a little while.  

Weekend mornings I like to hang around in my PJs.  If necessary, I will get dressed for the Farmer’s Market or other important adventures.  Sometimes, there is the necessity to forage for immediate food, but that too can be overlooked for a while. Completing important errands is a slippery slope when I am wanting to be home, especially if the weather is cold, wet or combinations thereof.  

The couch becomes my favorite piece of real estate.  The chaise part is arranged in such a way that I can sit kitty-corner and put up my feet.  The correct angle is important to obtain for reading purposes, but lately I just remove my glasses and all is well.  The other reason the angle needs to be precise is that I will need to sip my iced tea while I read.  With my hair pulled off my face and my PJ, I am sure I am a sight to behold, but who cares - it is a weekend morning.

Mostly Oscar runs out and then returns quickly.  His idea of weekend mornings means lots of cat kisses and laying across my chest.  It is a constant battle between us for him to allow me to read, while cuddling him, and sipping ice tea.  Sometimes he wins and sometimes I do. His loud purring helps maintain the proper atmosphere those mornings.  

I can hear my neighbors out and about.  The early ones off to work, the later ones going off on errands like laundry and groceries. And yet I lie reposed upon the edge of the world reading.  What a luxury this is… I know there are many who do not have the time for this, but don’t worry - I can do this for you, if you need me to.  

The day can begin without my presence.  My reality is firmly ensconced in the book with all thoughts totally involved with the main characters and the plot of the story.  Occasionally people will text, call or knock looking for me and my time ends suddenly and dramatically.  Gone until the next weekend day, when I can once again push pause for a little while.

Live Longer - Read

Several newspapers this weekend reported a study done out of Yale that spoke to book readers living longer.

Becca R. Levy, a professor of epidemiology at Yale, is quoted in The New York Times as saying, “People who report as little as a half-hour a day of book reading had a significant survival advantage over those who did not read.” “And the survival advantage remained after adjusting for wealth, education, cognitive ability and many other variables.”

From my point of view this new study is awesome.  I work with students  in reading, not just to help them decode difficult words, or understand convoluted plots, but to find the joy in reading. The worlds that students can open by reading, the new information they can find, and the increased understanding of people.  Now I have another tool to add to my tool box.  I can tell them they will live longer if they read for at least a half-hour a day.  Keeping in mind the age group I work with and their beliefs that they are immune to death, old age and diseases, perhaps this might not be helpful information.

The study goes on to say that reading magazines and newspapers are good, but books are better. I feel, as do many others that there are days where reading the headlines is all I can complete. The are many articles that list all the important things to do to prolong life.  Good diets, exercise, less stress and other important items all lead to a stronger body and better health.  I don’t think many people actually realize the importance of reading.

I have to admit, now that it is summer and my schedule has freed up, that I do read much more than one half hour a day. On days off I tend to poke through the news in two or three newspapers and then I will pick up a book.  However, baseball games and the Olympics will definitely cut down on the reading time. (Bet you didn’t know I was a sports junkie for the Olympics - did you?)  I have no problem reading for hours each day.  I wonder how many years I have added with all my reading - I bet it is years and years...it is that other pesky important health stuff that is in my way.  SIGH

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Jeannie | Reply 21.11.2016 14.30

I read the sequel After You and am reading One Plus One. Can't wait to discuss the book at book club. So glad you were provoked!!!

Jeannie | Reply 10.10.2016 00.18

Gee, Marti, sounds like you need a hug! Escape this negative world and just read! We love you and would never give you a hard time, unless you merited it! LOL.

Eva Charles | Reply 05.10.2016 18.04

I love Katy Regnery's fairy tales too! All her stories are great. Congratulations on the uptick of traffic on the blog.

Eva Charles | Reply 05.09.2016 10.08

So glad you read Petite Madeleine! Thank you! I hope you enjoyed the similarities between the Blues and your beloved Sox 😉

Marjay 05.09.2016 14.33

I did enjoy the similarities between the Sox and the Blues. Loved the story. Loved the characters. The review will go up on the day it is released!

Jeannie | Reply 18.07.2016 10.12

Right on! Sad state of global reality, but we must live on. . .

Jeannie | Reply 09.05.2016 21.12

Tune out all around you. Go into another world. Yes, meditative!

Jeannie | Reply 18.04.2016 10.04

Will read Georgia. I have always been intrigued by her art, raises questions which this book might answer!

Kathy-CT | Reply 13.04.2016 20.05

According to Pew Research, nearly a quarter of American adults have not read a single book in the past year. How sad! Thanks for picking up the slack!

Ronda | Reply 22.02.2016 15.06

Thank you for sharing the wonderful and personal story about your mother and her effect on you as a reader. May you continue to find comfort in reading.

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Latest comments

21.11 | 14:30

I read the sequel After You and am reading One Plus One. Can't wait to discuss the book at book club. So glad you were provoked!!!

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10.10 | 00:18

Gee, Marti, sounds like you need a hug! Escape this negative world and just read! We love you and would never give you a hard time, unless you merited it! LOL.

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05.10 | 18:04

I love Katy Regnery's fairy tales too! All her stories are great. Congratulations on the uptick of traffic on the blog.

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14.09 | 09:34

Thank you for the lovely review! Like the Blues, I hope your team (and mine) is still playing in October!

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