Why, Hello There!

Reading Gives Us Someplace to Go

Seen at Amy Miles Books

It’s one of those weeks.

After a glorious birthday weekend, I am in a funk. Too much to keep track of and I am feeling a tad overwhelmed. It happens this time of year. My brain is ready to move into fall but the weather says otherwise so I am all out of whack.

I really need to sit down and write all of the reviews that I’ve worked out in my head. I think I am at least six books behind. One good thing, is that the reading continues. I am nearing the finish line with The Sparrow. I am not sure what to make of this book. It’s not at ALL what I imagined it to be. Some chapters I love, some…not so much. I think I need to finish it before I say more because everyone who has read it says it blew their mind. Thank goodness for reading or I’d lose my mind.

I am trying to get stuff in order this week because everything seems to be starting up next week. Choir, drama, community theater, cheer camp, booster club meetings, my promise to build a webpage, bake sales… it’s all starting up and it’s time to dust off the calendar (I still use paper in addition to an app).

None of this new but as I get older I seem less able to deal with it all. I know some of you can relate. I think it’s a lack of patience on my part.

Just so I don’t leave you all on a down note, I am going to make a list of all the things I am looking forward to. You can add your own items in comments if you’d like to jump on board with me.

Looking forward to…( in no particular order)

  • Dinner with friends this weekend.
  • Next week’s kick-off of Annie. Both kids will be auditioning for roles.
  • Football, high school and professional. Can’t say I follow the games too well but I enjoy watching.
  • Seeing The Teen in The 39 Steps later this year.
  • Taking The Girl to see Wicked. I have seen it twice but she was too young when it hit town the first time.
  • Celebrating The Girl’s birthday in October.
  • Candles! I love candles. I can’t wait until the weather cools off a little so I can light them up.
  • The Something Wicked This Way Comes read along that Sandy and I are hosting in October! Bradbury! Carnival setting! LOVE it.
  • Spiced cider.
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds.
  • Scary movies.
  • Scary reading. RIP IX? Yep.
  • Fall back (time change)
  • Holiday time off. Vacation requests, approved! YES!
  • The November release of Revival by King. I plan to do a read along for that one too.
  • The new short novel that Haruki Murakami will be releasing in December (The Strange Library). I kid you not.
  • Had to add American Horror Story, Season 4 and The Walking Dead, Season 5. Lordy! Cannot forget them!

I will leave it at that but I could go on and on. What are you looking forward to?

 

The Sunday Salon: Celebrating

Sunday Salon

Happy Sunday! I am tired and happy, which is a good feeling after a wonderful weekend. The weekend started with me taking Friday off, which happened to be my birthday. I did absolutely nothing! I slept and read and that’s about it.

Saturday, we headed out to breakfast and then drove up to Ojai. It was a gorgeous, but hot day and Ojai was showing signs of drought (in a big way). We browsed the little shops and the outdoor bookstore and then just couldn’t take the heat anymore, so we piled back into the car and headed to Santa Barbara.

We shopped, had pizza, treated ourselves to McConnell’s ice cream and then we called the In-laws who happened to be staying in Santa Barbara for the weekend and they invited us to dinner! We didn’t get home until very late but it was a wonderful day.

Santa Barbara

I also bought myself a little gift, which I never do. I usually carry a backpack to work and since I work on a college campus it works but it’s bulky. I saw that Timbuk2 recently redesigned their messenger bag so… I picked one up. My biggest “if” right now is if I should return it for a small. I got a medium which fits my laptop but most days, I am not taking my laptop with me. Decisions.

Messenger Bag

What am I reading?

I am reading The Sparrow for a read along (#SparrowRAL). It’s gotten very good, but also a little strange. I am also reading The Little Friend (still). I am really loving it but I put it aside so I could catch-up with the read along.

I announced it last week but a group of us will be reading Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury in October (#EnterTheRingmaster). If you’d like to join us, click on the badge below for details.

Something Wicked

What am I cooking?

Uh, no food in the house (again). Sad huh? But, I am craving Chicken Tortilla soup so maybe I will hit the store to buy the ingredients I need. We are expecting rain today and tomorrow but it’s already hot and does not look like rain AT ALL. Oh my gosh. My yard really needs some water.

What am I watching?

Not much. I did watch Pacific Rim this week and it was really good. We have a free movie preview right now but nothing is on that I really want to see. We watched Funny Farm and of course, football is on right now so the TV is not mine to mess with.

What are you up to this weekend? I am trying to get The Girl up so we can go to church and then the rest of the day is a big question mark.

R.I.P. IX – Are you in?

RIP IX

I think a lot of us look forward to this “challenge” each year. I put challenge in quotes because even though I am the official loser at challenges, even I can do this one.

Carl over at Stainless Steel Droppings has all of the details for R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril, but in a nutshell, this is what it’s about:

  • The event runs from September 1 – October 31
  • Read or watch movies that fall into the following categories:
    • Mystery
    • Suspense
    • Thriller
    • Dark Fantasy
    • Gothic
    • Horror
    • Supernatural
  • Have fun reading and watching
  • Share that fun with others

There are lots of different challenge levels to select. Heck, there is even a level for one book to be read. Like I said, anyone can do it. Here is what I am signing up for:

Peril the Second

Peril the Second. Read two books of any length that you believe fit within the R.I.P. categories. Post reviews on the review site. I am signing up for two books but will mostly likely read more.

Peril the Screen

Peril the Screen. This is for those of us that like to watch suitably scary, eerie, mysterious gothic fare during this time of year. It may be something on the small screen or large. It might be a television show or your favorite film. If you are so inclined, please post links to any R.I.P.-related viewing you do on to the Review Site as well.

There is also a group read planned for The Haunting of Hill House this month so be sure to check it out if that is something you’re interested in as well.

Hill House read along

And then after that read along, join ours (see below)! Because, there is always time for a read along with friends. Especially one that includes a creepy carnival setting. And guess what? You can count it towards the R.I.P Challenge.

What I plan to read:

Something Wicked This Way Comes button

  • Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. If you want to join the read along, click the image above for details.
  • Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes (this one scared the heck out of Stephen King, hope I can get a copy)
  • The Little Friend by Donna Tartt (this may be a stretch but there is mystery, a hint of the supernatural, and I am getting creeped out while reading it)

What I plan to watch:

  • Halloween (I watch it every year. It is not Halloween without seeing it at least twice.)
  • Halloween II (Who can resist Jamie Lee Curtis limping around with that busted ankle?)
  • The Shining (Seen it, love it. Jack is the life of the party!)
  • (I need a new movie to watch, suggestions?)

If this sounds like fun (and it is), then head on over to Carl’s to sign up.

Spending Some Time With ‘The Sparrow’

The Sparrow Read Along

Everyone talks about this book and I’ve never been able to participate in the conversation because I HAVE NOT READ IT!

But, luckily, Trish has come to my rescue by hosting this read along! Yay! Here’s some info from Trish:

“If you missed the details, we will be reading The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell throughout the month of September. I’ll put up a midway (linky) post on September 15th and a finale (linky) post on September 30th. It’s not too late to join us for the readalong and feel free to pick up the book anytime during the month.”

To sign-up, go here.

Announcing the ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ Read Along

Something Wicked This Way Comes button

This is what happens when you talk-up scary books on social media. A read along is born! Sandy and I were talking about our Summer of King reads and scary books in general and somehow this book came up. I think I was looking up the scariest reads ever and Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes was on the list. I remember jotting down a few others as well but this one, this one I have NEVER read.

When I read the blurb for the book I immediate saw, small town, a carnival/circus like setting,  Halloween Eve and thought…YESSSSSS. Plus, for you busy folks, it’s a short read. (300 pages give or take depending on what version you pick-up).

Details:

-Hosted by Ti (Book Chatter) and Sandy (You’ve Gotta Read This!)

-The read along begins on October 1, 2014 and ends on October 31, 2014 (Halloween, muahahaha!)

-This read along will take place mostly on Twitter using the hashtag #EnterTheRingmaster. Use the hashtag to share your thoughts while reading. Search for that hashtag on Twitter to see what readers are saying.

-The book is short and broken down into three sections but with my Kindle version I don’t have page numbers so for those who want structure, here are some guidelines:

  • Finish Section 1 (Chapters 1-24) by Friday, October 10th
  • Finish Section 2 (Chapters 25-44) by Friday, October 24th
  • Finish Section 3 (Chapters 45-54) by Friday, October 31st

-On each of those dates, I will try to post a little update on the blog for anyone who’d rather chat there.

Sound like fun? I believe the book cover is being redesigned, at least, all of his other books have been redesigned so give yourself some time to either buy a copy or order it from the library so that you will have it for October. Right now, the Kindle version is very reasonable.

Sign-ups

If you have a blog, click on Mr. Linky below, otherwise just leave me a comment.

Grab Your Book! It’s a Long Weekend!

Grab Your BookI literally forgot about the long weekend! Thankfully, Bryan clued me in when he was talking about it the other day. Normally I begin stacking my piles up in anticipation but since it surprised me, I have no stack prepared. I want something really good to read. I am in that awkward “I want something amazing but can’t seem to find it” stage.

I am 25% into Twelve Years a Slave, and it’s good and all, but it’s not a book to get all crazy excited about. I also have Euphoria started but I can tell that one is going to take a little bit of time to get going. I call this my Murakami hangover. I tend to hit a funk after reading his books. It’s like, my brain stops working and needs to be jump-started. I did read Station Eleven right after Murakami because I knew if I didn’t read something fast, I’d fall into that well of despair where nothing sounds good but even with the quick read right after, I am still feeling a little untethered.

I want a book that will make me put off everything else. A book that will make me ignore the very loud cricket that is hiding somewhere in my house. A book that will cause the laundry to pile up. A book that will have me feeding the kids cereal in lieu of cooking a meal. Do you know of any books like that? What will you be reading this weekend?

Review: A Wild Sheep Chase


A Wild Sheep Chase
A Wild Sheep Chase
By Haruki Murakami
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375718946, April 2002, 368pp.)

The Short of It:

Quirky, thought-provoking and strange. In other words, classic Murakami.

The Rest of It:

I’m not sure why it took me so long to finish this one. I purposely held this one back so that I’d have a novel to read before his new book came out, but when I finally allowed myself to read it, I think it took me almost three months to finish it! Unheard of. Seriously.

Why? Well, it’s one of his more quirky ones. It’s very dreamy and surreal in a lot of ways, but at the same time, it’s very “normal” and domestic, if you know what I mean. There is a lot of eating, and thinking and yes…drinking. The main character is sent on a wild sheep chase. No, seriously. He’s sent to find a sheep with a peculiar mark upon its rump. He meets all sorts of strange people, including a woman with magical, seductive ears and a man who likes to dress-up in a sheep costume. It’s all very bizarre but also fascinating. I marveled at each paragraph. Maybe that’s why it took me so long to read.

The story itself did not pull me in like some of his other stories have, but that’s not to say that it wasn’t good because it was. It’s definitely a book to ponder and coming here to share the review, well, is a bit of a challenge. What do you say about a book that is just so odd in so many ways? As I have said before, Murakami has a way of working all the parts of your brain that you haven’t used in awhile. He’s great for putting an end to a reading rut and his writing is somehow comforting in all its strange, little ways. I find myself seeking him out, after reading a lot of mainstream fiction.

After all my Murakami gushing over the years, some of you have taken the plunge and read him. Many of you have come back to tell me that you enjoy his writing. The rest? Some are too intimidated by him to give him a try, but I have hope.

Source: Purchased
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 524 other followers