"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~Toni Morrison

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

My Fall TBR List


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

First I am planning to finish my current read, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, but after I complete that, I will start reading from my Fall TBR list....
A photo posted by Lisa (@lalocadesigns) on

The Girl with all the Gifts by Mike Carey
Recommended by a friend
One of the high school Battle of the Books choices

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley
Got a great deal on the Kindle version
I think the story sounds interesting

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Recommended by a friend
I have borrowed her signed copy

Teacher books
I have 4 teacher books I need to read
I like reading teacher books :)

What are you reading this fall?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Weekly Wrap-Up (September 25, 2016)... Another Round of ROW80 Ends

A new round of ROW80 has begun.
Progress on my goals is at the end of this post.
Blog Posts
I did not blog this week.

What I read
I am still reading The Shadow of the Wind.   I am really enjoying it.

Interesting Stuff I Found on the Internet
I have not been on the internet much.

ROW80 Goals
Round 3 of ROW80 has ended.  This round ran from July 4th to September 22nd.  I started a little late, so my number of weeks and days is a little different.  I did not accomplish any of my goals this round.  Here is my progress:

1.  Read 9 books (4/9)
I am currently reading The Shadow of the Wind.  Other books I have read this round are:
Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
Armada by Ernest Cline
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

2.  Continue with my blogging schedule (8/10 weeks)
You can check out my weekly posts through the links at the beginning of this post.

3.  Edit 5 chapters of ZF (0/5)
I would really like to complete this goal this round but I have not begun yet.

4.  Write daily (24/66 days)
Monday:  :(
Tuesday:  :(
Wednesday:  :(
Thursday: :(
Friday:  :(
Saturday: :(
Sunday:  :(

5.  Continue my Creative Every Day challenge
I started a Tardis baby blanket this week.

6.  Swim at least twice a week. (4/10 weeks)

Even though the pool has reopened, I still did not go swimming this week.

How did your week go?
Do you have a blog post or interesting link you'd like to share with me?

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Weekly Wrap-Up (September 18, 2016)

A new round of ROW80 has begun.
Progress on my goals is at the end of this post.
Blog Posts



Personal Stuff
I feel like I am starting to adjust to my work schedule, although I have been going to bed a lot earlier than usual.  I feel like I am making progress on a lot of projects.  I am still not writing every day, but I still try.  That's what's important.

What I read
I am still reading The Shadow of the Wind.   I am really enjoying it.

Interesting Stuff I Found on the Internet
I have not been on the internet much.

ROW80 Goals
Round 3 of ROW80 has begun.  This round runs from July 4th to September 22nd.  I started a little late, so my number of weeks and days is a little different.  Here is my progress so far:

1.  Read 9 books (4/9)
I am currently reading The Shadow of the Wind.  Other books I have read this round are:
Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
Armada by Ernest Cline
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

2.  Continue with my blogging schedule (8/10 weeks)
You can check out my weekly posts through the links at the beginning of this post.

3.  Edit 5 chapters of ZF (0/5)
I would really like to complete this goal this round but I have not begun yet.

4.  Write daily (24/66 days)
Monday:  Morning Pages and NaBloPoMo prompt
Tuesday:  Morning Pages and NaBloPoMo prompt
Wednesday:  :(
Thursday: :(
Friday:  :(
Saturday: :(
Sunday:  Letter to a new penpal

5.  Continue my Creative Every Day challenge
I finished a star baby blanket this week.

6.  Swim at least twice a week. (4/10 weeks)

Even though the pool has reopened, I still did not go swimming this week.

How did your week go?
Do you have a blog post or interesting link you'd like to share with me?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

What I'm Reading Wednesday #25 (September 14, 2016)

As usual, Wednesday ROW 80 check-ins will reflect on my reading goals.  I am still reading The Shadow of the Wind  by Carlos Ruiz Zafón.  Nothing has changed since my last update.

My goal for this round of ROW80 is 9 books.

Anyway, here is my progress so far... 
2016 Goal: 32 books
Books Read = 25/32
Books from TBR list: 5
Series completed: 1
ROW80 Round 3 Goal:  4/9
2016 Pinterest Board

January
1.  Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
2.  Foreign Gods, Inc by Okey Ndibe
3.  Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy by Dinty W. Moore
4.  Thunder and Lightning by Natalie Goldberg

February
1.  The Double Life of Fidel Castro
2.  Peeps by Scott Westerfeld (Started a new series)
3.  Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult (TBR)
4.  The Last Days by Scott Westerfeld (Completed a series!) 

March
1.  The Magician by Michael Scott (Book 2 of a series)
2.  The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr
3.  Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

April
1.  The Art of X-Ray Reading
1.  Doodle Art Handbook by Lana Karr
2.  Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

May
1.  Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (TBR)

June
1.  The Interior Circuit by Francisco Goldman
2.  The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison
3.  Frida's Bed by Slavenka Drakulic

July
1.  The Beach House by James Patterson and Peter De Jonge
2.  The Haters by Jesse Andrews
3.  Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis (TBR)
4.  Room by Emma Donoghue (TBR)
5.  The Sorceress by Michael Scott (Book 3 of a series)

August
1.  Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness (Book 2 of a series)
2.  Armada by Ernest Cline
3.  Wild by Cheryl Strayed (TBR)
4.  The Book Thief by Markus Zusak



What are you reading this week?  How are your reading goals going?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

August Book Reviews

This August I read four books.  Here are my reviews.

1.  Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness 
From Amazon:  "Picking up from A Discovery of Witches’ cliffhanger ending, Shadow of Night takes Diana and Matthew on a trip through time to Elizabethan London, where they are plunged into a world of spies, magic, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the School of Night. As the search for Ashmole 782 deepens and Diana seeks out a witch to tutor her in magic, the net of Matthew’s past tightens around them, and they embark on a very different—and vastly more dangerous—journey."

My thoughts: This took me a long time to read, but it was a great book.  I love reading different authors' interpretations of witch and vampire lore, and this one was very interesting.  It's the second book in the series and thankfully did not end with a cliffhanger like the first one did.  I don't think I could have handled that again.  I really like teh character Diana Bishop.  She does not let the controlling vampires control her life.  I also love that she is a historian who gets to time travel.  I am not a history buff, but I liked seeing her get excited about experienceing a different time and meeting all the people she had only read about before.  4/5 stars

2.  Armada by Ernest Cline
From Amazon:  "Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and videogames he’s spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure. 
But hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little escapism, right? After all, Zack tells himself, he knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He knows that here in the real world, aimless teenage gamers with anger issues don’t get chosen to save the universe. 
And then he sees the flying saucer. 
Even stranger, the alien ship he’s staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada—in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders.  
No, Zack hasn’t lost his mind. As impossible as it seems, what he’s seeing is all too real. And his skills—as well as those of millions of gamers across the world—are going to be needed to save the earth from what’s about to befall it.  
It’s Zack’s chance, at last, to play the hero. But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can’t help thinking back to all those science-fiction stories he grew up with, and wondering: Doesn’t something about this scenario seem a little…familiar? "

My thoughts: Like Ernest Cline's previous book, the story involves a video game and a lot of popular culture references from the 80s.  The story was entertaining, although familiar and, at times, predictable.  Overall I enjoyed the book and give it 3/5 stars.

3.  Wild by Cheryl Strayed
From Amazon:  "At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone. 
 
Strayed faces down rattlesnakes and black bears, intense heat and record snowfalls, and both the beauty and loneliness of the trail. Told with great suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild vividly captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her."

My thoughts:  Wow!  I loved this book!  It had me crying more than once, and the story was captivating.  It left me feeling inspired and glad to be human.  5/5  

4.  The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
From Amazon:  "It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement."

My thoughts:  It took me a while to get used to the writing style of this book.  The lists at the beginning of the chapters and the narrator's blunt foreshadowing distracted me at times, especially at the beginning.  Once I got used to the style, I enjoyed this book.  3/5 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Monday Musings: Family Stories

This post was inspired by the August NaBloPoMo prompts on Blogher.
Recently I read Wild by Cheryl Strayed.  As her mother is dying, in the beginning of the book, the author realizes that she knows everything there is to know about her mom.  She has asked her everything she wants to know, has memorized the details of every story, has learned who her mother was in the past.

Reading the passage, I was reminded of how little my sister and I ask about our families.  Now all our grandparents are dead, and their stories have died with them.  There are no stories in my family that have survived two generations.

I know that my great granny Doyle was strict and like people to sit up straight (she definitely would have hated me).  I know my granddad did not like my dad when he started dating my mom.  I know my dad was in at least one serious car accident.  I'm pretty sure that my granny Jordan had a little love triangle thing going as a youngster.  But I never heard the main characters tell their stories, well except my dad.  And now I wish I had.  I wish I could say what Cheryl Strayed wrote:

"All through my childhood and adolescence I'd asked and asked, making her describe those scenes and more, wanting to know who said what and how, what she'd felt inside while it was going on, where so-and-so stood and what time of day it was.  And she'd told me, with reluctance or relish, laughing and asking why on earth I wanted to know.  I wanted to know.  I couldn't explain."
-Cheryl Strayed, Wild

Weekly Wrap-Up (September 12, 2016)

A new round of ROW80 has begun.
Progress on my goals is at the end of this post.
Blog Posts




Personal Stuff
I am surrounded by injured people recently.  My cat injured her tail and won't stop chewing on it and reopening the wound, so she has a cone collar on.  She hates it. 
A photo posted by Lisa (@lalocadesigns) on
My husband started out with a sprained ankle and has now been diagnosed with Plantar Faciitis, so he has new shoes and stretches and splints and things.  I feel like the healthiest one in the house :)

What I read
I have been reading The Shadow of the Wind.  I tried reading it in Spanish a while ago but I couldn't make it through.  Now I know why.  The author uses very complex vocabulary that would have been difficult to wade through in a different language.  I am enjoying it more now that I am reading the book in English. 

Interesting Stuff I Found on the Internet
I have not been on the internet much.

ROW80 Goals
Round 3 of ROW80 has begun.  This round runs from July 4th to September 22nd.  I started a little late, so my number of weeks and days is a little different.  Here is my progress so far:


1.  Read 9 books (4/9)
I am currently reading The Shadow of the Wind.  Other books I have read this round are:
Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
Armada by Ernest Cline
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

2.  Continue with my blogging schedule (7/10 weeks)
You can check out my weekly posts through the links at the beginning of this post.

3.  Edit 5 chapters of ZF (0/5)
I would really like to complete this goal this round but I have not begun yet.

4.  Write daily (22/66 days)
Monday:  :(
Tuesday:  Morning Pages and NaBloPoMo prompt
Wednesday:  :(
Thursday: :(
Friday:  :(
Saturday: :(
Sunday:  Morning Pages and NaBloPoMo prompt

5.  Continue my Creative Every Day challenge
I've been working on writing a baby blanket this week.

6.  Swim at least twice a week. (4/10 weeks)

The pool is closed for maintenance.


How did your week go?
Do you have a blog post or interesting link you'd like to share with me?