Category Archives: Blogging

A Special Visit

A panorama of the view from our hotel…

This week, Hubby and I are vacationing on the Oregon coast to celebrate my upcoming birthday. It’s been a nice trip although January weather on the coast has been gray, rainy and windy. That’s okay with us, though, because it is just so beautiful here!

But the best thing about this trip happened this morning when we visited my long-time blogging friend, Les (@Coastal Horizons) and her husband, Rod, and her mother, Andrea. It’s an amazing experience to finally meet in person someone you’ve gotten to know quite well online over a 10-year period of time! It was a very special visit for me!

A wonderful dream: I would just love to travel the world to meet all of my book blogging friends!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, dear friends! I am so happy to leave 2017 behind and make the great leap into 2018!  I am looking forward to my 2018 reading, and am planning on taking on some longer books that have been waiting on my bookshelves forever.

There are a few reading “resolutions” I’m going to make for 2018. One is to read at least 10 of the classics on my Classics Club list of 50 books to read in 5 years. I’m also going to focus on my TBR pile of already owned books. To help with motivation and accountability, I’ve decided to join Adam’s (@roofbeamreader) TBR Pile Challenge. I will post about it shortly.

I plan to blog as often as I can, knowing that when the weather warms up and I can get out into the garden or work on my training for 5k races, I won’t have as much time to sit in front of the computer. It’s funny how at this stage of life (retirement), I absolutely love being outdoors and am spending much more time out there than I have since I was a child!  It feels like a really healthy thing to do…and it’s fun!

I’m also looking forward to seeing what your 2018 plans are and what books you choose for your first reads of this new year.

Happy reading, dear friends!

Painting by Charles James Lewis. “Reading by the Window, Hastings.”

Autumn Reading

My blogging dropped off the radar again during September and October, but my reading continued! Life was rich during those months with family and many outdoor activities. Our Grandson and his mother were able to resume normal life again after the awful fire in the Columbia River Gorge was *mostly* contained.  My daughter and I traveled to Utah to visit my 98-year-old mother. I spent a lot of time outdoors in our beautiful autumn weather either walking or gardening!  I participated in three 5k races (walking, not running since my knee injury last year). Our gardening project of preparing and planting a Butterfly Garden took a tremendous amount of time and energy. So when coming inside from all my outside activities, it just felt good to sit in the recliner with my feet up and read a good book. My blog posts are long overdue, but I’m here to catch up a bit and share with you my reading enjoyment of the last few months.

Books read in September and October:

My Favorite Autumn Read:

I really enjoy reading each of these books, but I particularly enjoyed the little book, A Month in the Country, by J.L. Carr. It was short, beautifully written, and very moving!

My Least Favorite Autumn Read:

Perhaps I just wasn’t in the mood for this one, but my least favorite Autumn read was Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey! This is the only Jane Austen I haven’t loved, and I’m not sure exactly why! I’ll have try it again, perhaps in the wintertime, so that I can figure out what it is that bothers me about it and why I don’t love it like her other works.

Rereading the Harry Potter Series:

I am loving this re-read of the entire Harry Potter series!! It will take me a long time to complete this project because I’m just reading a little bit each day, enjoying immersing myself in that magical world, not hurrying through it at all.

Favorite Quotes from my Autumn Reading:

“But why’s she got to go to the library?” “Because that’s what Hermione does,” said Ron, shrugging. “When in doubt, go to the library.”
~from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J.K. Rowling

I leaned back on my elbows and basked in the warming spring sun. There was a curious peace in this day, a sense of things working quietly in their proper courses, nothing minding the upsets and turmoils of human concerns. Perhaps it was the peace that one always finds outdoors, far enough away from buildings and clatter. Maybe it was the result of gardening, that quiet sense of pleasure in touching growing things, the satisfaction of helping them thrive.
~from Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon

A Summer of Reading

Woman Reading, by Frederick Childe Hassam

For me, this has been a summer of reading! While my blogging lagged, my reading continued and has been a real pleasure. I often copy down quotes that resonate with me from the books I’m reading, so I thought I’d share with you a few of those summer favorites so you can see where my reading journey has taken me.

“The house was refreshingly peaceful, and I pottered about enjoying my leisure and solitude. It is deeply satisfying to me, after spending so much of my time among a number of energetic young people, to hear the clink of a hot coal and the whisper of flames  in my own chimney, the purring of Tibby delighting in company, and the chiming of the clock on the mantelpiece.”
~ from Storm in the Village, by Miss Read

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“Far above the Ephel Dúath in the West the night-sky was still dim and pale. There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
~ from The Return of the King, by J.R.R. Tolkien

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“The truth.” Dumbledore sighed. “It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.”
~ from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling

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“At the very beginning, anticipatory obedience means adapting instinctively, without reflecting, to a new situation.”
~ from On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, by Timothy Snyder

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“To those who will decide if he should be tried for ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ -the House of Representatives-
And to those who would sit in judgment at such a trial if the House impeaches -the Senate-
And to the man who would preside at such an impeachment trial -the Chief Justice of the United States, Warren Burger-
And to the nation…
The President said, ‘I want you to know that I have no intention whatever of ever walking away from the job that the American people elected me to do for the people of the United States.’
~ from All the President’s Men, by Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward”

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“She could teach them to face whatever came with calmness and courage, to love their families and their friends with unswerving loyalty, and to relish the lovely face of the countryside in which they lived.”
~ from Miss Clare Remembers, by Miss Read

What Happened to May?

What happened to May? It just flew by for me in a rush of travel, gardening, visits with family and meeting with old/new friends, 5k races, and unfortunately, spending evenings being completely sucked into the news of the day. It was overall a lovely month and especially nice to have some sunshine and warmth arrive after such a long winter and wet spring!

During May, both my reading and blogging took back seat to all the other activities. However, I did manage to finish reading 4 books, two of them mysteries by Donna Leon, and I’m getting close to the end of my rereading of J.R.R. Tolkien’s, The Lord of the Rings.

Welcome June! I’m looking forward to getting back to my books this month and to being able to read them on the front porch!

January Reflections

goodbye-january

My reading January was very enjoyable this year. I started the month with determination to get back to both my reading and my blogging. I’ve let many things interfere with both activities recently so the recommitment was important to me. i figured that if i could post a photo each day on Instagram, that I could certainly put a little more energy and time into reading and reflecting on my reading life. I am delighted to report that I read eight books in January and posted on my blog almost every day.

I didn’t set any specific reading goals at the first of the month, but there are a number of directions I want my reading to take in 2017. I’d like to read some of the books published in my birth year, 1949. I am also starting to read books that I am calling my “resistance reading” — books that help me as I try to understand this current political climate in my country, and books that help me better define my own beliefs. I was pleased to discover that the book I checked out of the library last week, 1984 by George Orwell, fit into both categories! Also, I would like to read, or reread, many of the classics on @roofbeamreader’s Classic Book-a-Month challenge list.

It is lovely to say that I am really enjoying my reading at this time. I loved the books I read in January, and I’m looking forward to seeing where February takes me!

Here are the covers of my January reads:

 

10 Years Ago: A Shy Blogger

Books and reading are such an important part of my life. Recently, I’ve become fascinated by the many reading blogs on the internet–the wonderful sharing of ideas and the love of reading. Thinking to myself…I’d like to share some of my passion for books, and some of my experiences as a reader. So, shyly, I begin a blog.

Ten years ago this morning I sat down at my computer and started this blog with that first very short post. I had fallen in love with the new book blogging world online, and although I’m a shy and very private person, I wanted to take part in the celebration of books and reading that was happening at that moment in time. It’s been a wonderful ten years full of books and bookish friends!

So this morning I celebrate a decade of sharing with you my thoughts, memories, and ideas from a lifetime of reading! A heartfelt thank you to all of my readers/followers for being part of my reading life!

10-years

A Classics Challenge

cbam2017

I used to take on a lot of reading challenges, but I’ve almost completely stopped doing them. Even though I love the planning process, I haven’t been very successful in the last few years at finishing those lofty plans, so I’ve just stopped signing up for them. However, my friend, Adam @roofbeamreader is doing a classics book-a- month challenge this year, and he has some books on the reading list that I really want to either read or reread. So…here I go. I’ll give it my best shot and see how many of his classics list I can finish this year. I may not finish all of them, but I know I will enjoy the ones I DO read!

The List:

  • January: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • February: The Three Theban Plays by Sophocles
  • March: The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
  • April: Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • May: A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
  • June: The Confidence-Man by Herman Melville
  • July: Paradise Lost by John Milton
  • August: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • September: Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
  • October: Angels in America by Tony Kushner
  • November: The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • December: Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
little-women

New Year’s Day morning…knitting and listening to Little Women. Delightful!

Reflections on Reading

R and B

A moment to reflect on what reading means to me as this new year, 2017, begins…

It’s hard for me to believe, but it’s been three-and-a-half years since my husband and I retired and moved to our beautiful old home in Oregon. Retirement, for us, continues to be an adventure. There are all kinds of things we are enjoying as “retired people” — shopping at Costco when it first opens on a weekday morning; traveling at non-peak times; getting discounts at local restaurants; immersing ourselves in a project without having to wait for the weekend!. Simply put, we love to get up every morning and “set our own agenda,” a phrase my mother shared with us.

I thought my retirement would be filled with lots of extra reading time, but I’m surprised to discover that I’m actually reading less than I did during my busy career years. There are many days now that I’ve been “too busy” doing other things to sit down and read. My time and attention are focused on many different things: gardening, going for long walks, spending time at the gym, knitting, playing Minecraft with the Grandboy.

Oh I still love my reading and it’s a major part of my life.  I’m just not concerned anymore about the numbers of books I read or that there might be books I should read. I read for the joy of it.

May 2017 be a year of joyful reading for all of us!

 

Goodbye January

readingJanuary was an enjoyable reading month for me — I read seven books and also celebrated my own birthday as well as the 9th anniversary of the birth of this blog. As usual, my reading was all over the place, from Gloria Steinem’s My Life on the Road, to Anthony Trollope’s The Warden, and each of the 7 books was a good choice for me.

As far as reading challenges go, I usually sign up for a few starting in January, but this year I’ve decided to keep those commitments to a minimum and just focus on my own reading. So I am focusing on my own Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge, planning on reading at least 75 books, and I joined Emma Watson’s Goodreads feminist book club, “Our Shared Shelf,” and will read the 12 books she chooses for this year. Also, my Mom and I continue our daily phone chats, mostly talking about books, so my reading is strong and healthy and off to a good start for the year. It continues to bring me great joy.

So it is goodbye to January and hello to February which includes an extra day this year for extra reading!

Here are my January reads: