It’s time for a short road trip to spend time walking on the beach. We’re headed to the Washington coast for a few days. I’m taking my good walking/hiking shoes, some warm sweaters, and some books to read. We don’t care if it’s cold and/or rainy…we’re just going to enjoy some time by the ocean! See you soon!
Someday I would love to go walking in Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom! I would love to explore the literary landscapes, visit the home of the Brontes, see for myself the moors described in The Secret Garden and in Wuthering Heights. But in the meantime, I have been doing some “virtual walking” around Yorkshire, and getting to know some of its famous landmarks.
This virtual walking is really a lot of fun! I have connected my Fitbit, which tracks my daily steps, to a non-profit website (and app) out of Scotland called “World Walking.” This organization was designed to help motivate people to walk more and focus on good health.
They have put together many different walks you can choose, and you can walk solo or create a team of walking friends to help you reach your chosen destination. It’s teamwork rather than competition. When you choose your walk, it is broken up into milestones, which are destinations you reach on your way to finishing the complete walk. For each milestone, there are photos and a written section that explains the historical and cultural significance of that location. There is also a link so you can see the street view on Google and look around you at almost any time!
I have loved getting to know more about Yorkshire! It has definitely encouraged and increased my walking — it takes 547,880 steps to complete my Yorkshire route!
Becoming more familiar with that part of England has also piqued my interest in the literature that comes from that area. There are many authors that are either from Yorkshire or who lived and died there, or who live there now. Susan Hill was born in Yorkshire. The Bronte sisters are perhaps the most famous writers who lived and died there. J.R.R. Tolkien, Alan Bennett, Winifred Holtby, Joanne Harris, Kate Atkinson, are all authors with connections to Yorkshire. I originally thought that as I did my virtual walking around Yorkshire (see the map of my route), that I would read books by these authors. I have been reading (and loving) some of Susan Hill’s books, and I am now listening to the audiobook of Charlotte Bronte’s, Jane Eyre, but I’m afraid I will finish my walking goal before I’m able to put much of a dent into my Reading_Yorkshire goal!
If you are a walker, or interested in doing more walking, you would find this site very motivating. Please do check out worldwalking.org!
It’s been an awfully busy week…so this afternoon is just for reading! No appointments, meetings, or interruptions. Just reading…
Road trip! We are heading to the Intermountain West to meet up with my brothers and my sisters-in-law. We have so much fun when we all get together! I am looking forward to lots of reminiscing, sharing photos of grandkids, endless talking about books and music, hopefully not too much time spent discussing politics, eating out, hiking in the canyons, walking in Red Butte Garden, shopping at The King’s English Bookshop, going to the Natural History Museum. I’m taking my Kindle and a couple of library books, but I’m sure I’ll come home with more books than I started with, and my TBR list will definitely be much longer. On the road again!
Books I’m taking with me:
This is all I want to do today! How about you?
I must start this post with an apology for disappearing into silence on this blog. April and May have been a particularly busy time for me as well as an emotional time. (We call May our “tender-hearted month” in my family.) Unfortunately, once I get off track with my posting, I find it hard to get “back in the groove” again. But I have continued with my reading, even being able to read on the porch again when time has allowed, and I am here now to say HI and to reflect on my May reading.
May has been a completely enjoyable reading month. I’ve squeezed in as much reading as I can in between multiple trips to Washington State helping our daughter move and get settled into her new home; helping my husband with his shed building project in our backyard (I’ve always been his construction assistant); trips to the State Legislature with my Moms Demand Action group; and my continuing efforts to get the yard and garden in shape (it still feels like a wilderness area!). I’ve read mostly mysteries, and all have been very enjoyable. I am also half-way through the audiobook of Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth, and am almost finished reading Tom Clancy’s Hunt for Red October which I wanted to read before Hubby and I watch the movie again (one of our favorites). I also downloaded the audiobook version (free) of the Mueller Report and am very slowly making my way through it. I feel it is a very important work to read, no matter how long it takes me.
Busy, busy time…and as my friend, Les (Coastal Horizons) said, “Who knew retirement would be so busy!”
Here are the covers of my completed May reads.
For the last few weeks, I’ve had my nose in some very interesting books, as my Dad used to say to me. And I’m enjoying every minute of my reading right now. Isn’t that a nice thing to be able to say!
I finished Louise Penny’s The Brutal Telling, a story of another murder in Three Pines (the murder capital of the world?). I loved the references to the artist Emily Carr, and the trip to the Queen Charlotte Islands made by Chief Inspector Gamache as he worked to understand and solve this mysterious death.
from the publisher:
Chaos is coming, old son.
With those words the peace of Three Pines is shattered. As families prepare to head back to the city and children say goodbye to summer, a stranger is found murdered in the village bistro and antiques store. Once again, Chief Inspector Gamache and his team are called in to strip back layers of lies, exposing both treasures and rancid secrets buried in the wilderness.
No one admits to knowing the murdered man, but as secrets are revealed, chaos begins to close in on the beloved bistro owner, Olivier. How did he make such a spectacular success of his business? What past did he leave behind and why has he buried himself in this tiny village? And why does every lead in the investigation find its way back to him?
As Olivier grows more frantic, a trail of clues and treasures— from first editions of Charlotte’s Web and Jane Eyre to a spider web with the word “WOE” woven in it—lead the Chief Inspector deep into the woods and across the continent in search of the truth, and finally back to Three Pines as the little village braces for the truth and the final, brutal telling.
Then I read another book by Nevil Shute, Mysterious Aviator, which kept me captivated for a couple of days. This book was published in 1928 under the title of So Disdained.
from the publisher:
When Peter Moran, a former World War I pilot, picks up a man on the roadside while driving through a bitter rainy night, he is startled to discover that the bedraggled man is a wartime comrade of his who has just survived a crash landing. As he learns more about his old friend’s strange mission, Moran finds himself entangled in treasonous international plots, flying adventures, and tests of both his bravery and his loyalty.
After the tragic fire at Notre Dame Cathedral, I decided to start listening to the audiobook version of Ken Follett’s, The Pillars of the Earth, the first book in his Kingsbridge Novels trilogy about the building of a medieval cathedral, and it has completely carried me away!
And as if listening to 44 hours of The Pillars of the Earth wasn’t keeping me busy enough, I read a lovely review by Jane @Beyond Eden Rock about Greengates, by R.C. Sherriff. It sounded so interesting that I searched for a copy but couldn’t find it at Powell’s or at my local libraries. I finally found that it was available for my Kindle so I downloaded it, started reading, and have loved every minute of it!
From the Persephone Books catalogue:
The plot is timeless and simple: a man retires from his job but finds that never were truer words said than ‘for better, for worse but not for lunch’. His boredom, his wife’s (suppressed and confused) dismay at the quiet orderliness of her life being destroyed, their growing tension with each other, is beautifully and kindly described. Then one day they do something they used to do more often – leave St John’s Wood and go out into the countryside for the day. And that walk changes their lives forever: they see a house for sale, decide to move there, and the nub of the book is a description of their leaving London, the move, and the new life they create for themselves.
I have so many more interesting books to read next, but I also have a garden to plant, much weeding to do, meetings with my Moms Demand Action team, my fitness class schedule, and a 5k race to walk on Sunday morning. All of a sudden, life is very busy!
My reading time in March was more limited than during the winter months. The nicest reason for that was the arrival of spring blooms and occasional warm-enough days to spend outside cleaning out garden areas, and preparing one area of former garden for the big construction project my husband is undertaking — building a half-garden and half-bicycle shed. That required some transplanting, which we did in the rain.
I also increased my walking time in March, preparing for and then participating in the Shamrock Run in downtown Portland. I was very proud of myself after being relatively sedentary during the cold and icy months. It felt so good to be outside (however soggy) and back in training!
Anyway, I did enjoy my March reading, I just wasn’t as focused on reading projects, which is really OK, I tell myself. And right now, I am happy to have some gardening time (between rainstorms) and as far as my reading goes, I am particularly enjoying reading mysteries again!
Books read in March:
Favorite quote from March reading:
Eugenia Lincoln was very fond of lists. They helped her think. Lists calmed her. They made the world seem orderly and reasonable and manageable, even though the world was none of those things.
~ from Eugenia Lincoln and the Unexpected Package, by Kate DiCamillo
Some photos from March:
A late welcome to the month of March! I’ve been awfully busy this week with other things, (grandson with the flu; daughter moving into her new home up north; doctor and dentist check-ups; exercise class three mornings a week; a return to morning power walks in preparation for a 5k race on the 17th). It’s made it a little difficult to get back to my blog as scheduled. It keeps calling to me, though, no matter how busy I get! And I have continued with my reading. Thank goodness I can listen while driving so I can continue enjoying my books despite the many errands.
Books Finished Since March 1st:
- A Mind of Her Own, by Paula McLain. An Audible novella about Marie Curie. Very interesting!
- The Cloud Searchers (Amulet, #3), by Kazu Kibuishi. A graphic novel series I am really enjoying.
- Shadow Over the Fens, by Joy Ellis. The second in the DI Nikki Galena series. I am completely addicted to this series already.
- Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens. A birthday gift from my brother and sister-in-law. Really well-written and quite a story!
- Trail of Lightning, by Rebecca Roanhorse. The first book in a new post-apocalyptic fantasy series that caught my attention.
Podcasts I’ve Been Enjoying:
- The Gardenangelists, with Carol Michel and Dee Nash. A wonderfully fun and informative gardening podcast.
- The Beginner’s Garden, with Jill McSheehy. Another very informative gardening podcast.
- The Rachel Maddow Show, from MSNBC.
Hopefully, Life will soon settle down a bit and I can get back to my usual routines. Maybe the temperatures will even warm up, although I know it will be awhile before I can get back to reading on the porch!