quick lit – next page, please {september 2020}

Quick Lit - Next Page , Please {September 2020}

I read so much this month. I really surprised myself. I am 9 books ahead of schedule in my goal to read 40 books this year. I have only have 2 more left to reach my goal.

On the other hand, my Modern Mrs. Darcy 2020 Reading Challenge is not going nearly as well. I have only read 6 of the 10 categories and am missing the following: (1) a book by a local author-I’m not sure how to categorize this-local in my city or my state, (2) a book in translation-does British English to American English count? (3) A book nominated for an award in 2020 and (4) a classic you didn’t read in school.

Here’s what I read last month and what I am currently reading now.

Read

  • The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis. This was THE pick from Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Summer Reading Guide. And I liked it; didn’t love it but I did like it. The storyline was a bit more serious so it wasn’t a light-hearted read that I expected but I did like it and am happy to have read it.
  • The Heiress: The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh by Molly Greeley. This book imagines the life of Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s daughter, Anne, whom we know next to nothing except that she is sickly. Well, Greeley, fills in those gaps for you and gives us an idea of what might have happened when she didn’t wed Darcy. It was very interest. Thanks to William Morrow for the Advanced Reader’s Edition.
  • Untamed by Glennon Doyle. I have finished my reread of this one. And will probably read it again.
  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. I identified with the main character, Nora Seed, I have not experienced anything like the death of parent, the total estrangement of a sibling, or my cat dying but I did once have a sense of an overall dissatisfaction, a malaise, with my life and some of the choices that I believed had led me to that point. I have dealt with guilt and regret which are teh true villains in this story. I enjoyed this tale of Nora moving from regret to acceptance and the lessons Haig teaches on the journey. I plan on rereading this again at some point. I have also added one of his backlist, How to Stop Time, to my TBR. Thanks to Netgalley for the advanced reader’s digital copy.
  • Crazy Stupid Bromance (Bromance Book Club #3) by Lyssa Kay Adams. I love the premise of the Bromance Book Club series; a bunch of guys get together to read romance novels to help them with their relationships with their spouses/significant others. Can’t wait for #4. Thanks to Snail on the Wall via Edelweis for the advanced reader’s digital copy.
  • What You Wish For by Katherine Center. She joined Brene Brown at a virtual event and said that people mistakenly believed that Katherine Center was Brene Brown’s pen name for writing fiction. I had to admit that the thought had occurred to me as well. Her stories often deal with issues of vulnerability and forgiveness. While I liked this novel, my favorite of her’s is still Happiness for Beginners. Thanks to Netgally for the advanced reader’s digital copy. Just took me a while to get to it.
  • The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. This is my first novel-in-verse. I don’t really count myself as a poetry girl but I really enjoyed this one. And she was delightful when she joined the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club last month.

Currently Reading

  • The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth. Anne’s pick from my time as a guest on the What Should I Read Next podcast and the current pick of the Rocket City Mom Virtual Book Club. I am halfway through it with just one sitting so, yeah, it’s good!
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. This is the classic that I didn’t read that everyone tells me I will just love. I started giving it a go last month and haven’t really made much progress. We will see but I don’t know if I’m going to finish since I have another book in my mind for that classic category.

DNF’d (Did Not Finish Reading)

  • A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes #1) by Brittany Cavallaro. Charlotte is the sister of Sherlock Holmes, one of my favorite fictional characters but, at some point, you have to decide whether a book is for you at this time or not. I read the first few chapters and if I didn’t have so many anticipated reads I might have finished it. A book for another time, perhaps.
  • Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks. I started this on audio. I had it in my head that these were short stories from Tom Hank’s life and I don’t think that was the case. I read/listened to the first two stories and then had to return it to library.
  • Midnight Sun (The Twilight Saga #5) by Stephenie Meyer. This is a very thick hardback (and I generally like my fiction the shorter side) and it is in demand at my local library so I was unable to finish it before I had to return it. I don’t know if I am particularly interested in finishing it. After all, I know how the story ends.

Anticipated Reading

Check out the Rocket City Mom Virtual Book Club if you need some more reading inspiration. If you are a member of the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club, you can check out Anne’s interview with the delightful Elizabeth Acevedo here. If you’re not a member, join the fun.

Anne also does a Quick Lit post every month discussing what she is currently reading, to which I am linking this post. If you’re here because of her, I thank you and her.

What have you been reading lately?

enjoy life…

what i’m into – keeping me sane {april-september 2020}

What I'm Into {April-September 2020}

It has been a very long time since I have done one of these posts. My last one was April 1st and thanks to Barbara and my mommy for encouraging me to post again.

The truth is that I have not been my best during the uncertainty that has been 2020. And it just hasn’t been the fear of getting sick with THE virus but the fear of its implications on our lives.  I am an Event Manager and most in-person events were being cancelled.  What did that mean for me? Then my country noticed (probably because it had nowhere else to look) that it was not wholly living up to one of its core tenets, “all men are created equal”. Did this mean anything to me? Should I do something? This past winter, the Hubby and I had been thrilled when the Buddy Man was accepted into a magnet program for the start of his academic life but with the virus, were we going to need to educate him at home? Most of that responsibility would fall to me and what would that mean for my work and my energy?

As I grappled with these questions, and others,  I didn’t have the mental capacity to write anything for the blog.  It was difficult just trying to stay sane much less, write coherent sentences about any of this.  But, no matter what happens or how long of a break I take, the truth remains:  I am a writer.  And what is a writer without a reader? So, I am back to share what I have been doing, in the hopes that it might encourage someone else to be intentional about how they move through the world.  Besides, sharing with you provides me accountability, which is always beneficial to me.

So here’s a few ways I’ve been staying sane.

  • I tend to eat when I am stressed and I have been eating as a way to cope. But I am proud I have exercised regularly (more times than I haven’t) throughout this entire year, getting up as early as 4:30 AM to make sure that it gets done before the rest of my day takes over and I’m too tried to do it later.
  • I have been very selective of my activities, and yes, I count virtual ones also because, for me, they incur almost as much trepidation and anxiety as the in-person ones. This was particularly difficult in late August because Mompreneur, which I was honored to be a speaker for and a member of the planning committee last year, took place a few weeks ago, and I just KNEW that I didn’t have the mental energy to devote to it.  And so, I stepped away.
  • I have been very selective of my media inputs, including news and social media, and have dramatically reduced my consumption of both. Of course, this has led me to wonder if, since I am reducing the number of things that I read, I should even post on my blog? Am I just adding to all the noise? Does anyone even care? Does it help anyone? Existential questions for another day.
  • I have been reading, obviously from my Quick Lit posts which I have been proud that I have managed to continue, but I have focused on reading for fun. I have tended to read a lot of nonfiction, inspiration, memoir, etc., in the hopes of improving my life and my world. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great, I like to do it and probably always will. However, my brain has not been able to handle a lot of “should do’s” to improve life.  This year, I feel like I have been treading water most of the time, and so, I have been reading some great romance novels just to shut down the analytical side and escape into something that feels good and makes me happy. I believe it has helped.

What about you?  How have you been coping? Comment below and if you have a monthly recap post, link it in the comments.  I always enjoy reading them and let’s plan to do it again on Monday, November 2ndFingers crossed.

enjoy life…

quick lit – next page, please {august 2020}

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I am 3 books ahead of schedule in my goal to read 40 books this year.  Here’s what I read last month and what I am currently reading now.

Read

  • The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner. I had the honor and privilege to interview Natalie Jenner for the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club last month! Insert excited and shocked face emoji! And after talking with the author, I love this book so much! I was struggling with reading words on a page, but I flew through it on audio.
  • A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny. Finished my fourth book in the Inspector Gamache series. And with the weather slowly beginning to get cooler, I will soon be on to the fifth, which is set in autumn. I read this by going back and forth between the digital copy and the audio copy which improved my French pronunciations immensely.
  • Escaping Dreamland by Charlie Lovett. My review of this book is going to be biased because I heart Charlie Lovett. His novels are always impeccably researched and he is the master of historical setting. His books are literary tales meaning they are about books and stories and writers, which I absolutely love.  Further, he features two diverging timelines, one in the past and on in the present and I find myself really enjoying those kinds of books.  Finally, I always want to read “just one more page!” This book was all of those things.

Currently Reading

You can listen to my episode of What Should I Read Next here and check out the Rocket City Mom Virtual Book Club here. If you are a member of the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club, you can check out the interview with Natalie Jenner here.  If you’re not a member, join. It’s so much fun.

Anne also does a Quick Lit post every month discussing what she is currently reading, to which I am linking this post.  If you’re here because of her,  I thank you and her.

What have you been reading lately. And as Anne would say, “Happy Reading”.

enjoy life…