The Sparrow – Midway Check-in

The Sparrow Read Along

I’ve already finished the book and my review posts soon but here is my midway check-in without any spoilers so I can be a good read-alonger and not be called a cheater cheater! Trish, just poking fun at ya.

1. How is The Sparrow matching up with your expectations going into the book? Are you surprised by anything?

I had no expectations going into this book and actually knew very little about the story but I must say, it took a me a very  long time to get into the story. From everyone’s comments, I expected to be pulled in a little quicker.

2. Do you feel the switching back and forth between past and present to be effective?

I am not a fan of jumping back and forth between past and present but I do feel it worked for this book. It felt a little cheater-ish to know up-front that something horrible happened and then not be told what for a very long time, but it did increase the suspense factor quite a bit by doing it this way.

3. Which characters do you want to hug and squeeze? Any you’d like to strangle?

I liked Anna and George a lot but I tired of Sofia and her uptight ways. I also did not care all that much for Emilio.

4. Any other thoughts? 

It was written some time ago but not all that long ago. I thought it was written in the 80s. I was way off there. It was written in ’96 and has a sequel, Children of God.

I can’t say too much more without giving stuff away so I’ll stop here. I can’t wait for the others to finish so I can discuss it with them. The ending. Oh, the ending. Gotta discuss it.

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: The Murakami Unboxing

Sunday Salon

Hello friends! OMG! Last week was THE most difficult week. Lots of stuff to deal with. Lots of deadlines. I was running all over heck with my head partially cut-off. I tend to hold it all in, so looking at me, most probably thought I was okay but inside I was losing my $hit. No kidding.

The highlight of the week was receiving my Murakami prize pack for the Fan Ambassador thing. I received it, fawned over the package and then fell into bed in an almost comatose state because I was so tired. The next day, I was going to tear it open but I thought it might be fun to record it even though I cannot stand myself on video. See how much I love you all?

Here is the “unboxing” in all its glory. This is a straight out of the camera recording and unfortunately, The Teen was out of focus with his camera skills in some places but that is what I get when I ask him to do it right after he wakes up.

As mentioned in the video, the giveaway details I am still pondering so look for it soon.

What am I reading?

With Murakami behind me (wiping a tear) I am diving into The Little Friend by Donna Tartt. I typically read more than one book at a time but I haven’t figured out which two to add to the one I noted above.

I keep mentioning an October read-along. It’s coming. It will be fun. It promises to fit the season perfectly. We will announce it soon.

What am I cooking?

I bought the most delicious Italian sausage to make some pasta. Sausage, sautéed with onions, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms and a tiny bit of cream.

What am I watching?

We watched The Lego Movie which was actually very good. The Hub was not a fan at first, but he changed his mind about a quarter of the way through. It’s very different and very clever but still “kiddish” unless you are a huge fan of Legos. I know a lot of adults are.

I hope to hit church this morning and then the rest of the day is open. What do you have planned for today?

Agree

Plato on libraries

Photo credit: vi.sualize.us

 

The Sunday Salon: Almost Missed It

Sunday Salon

What is it about weekends? We wait for them all week long and then before we know it, they’ve passed us by. I had a little stress this past week to deal with so the weekend could not come soon enough.

The Girl’s track meet on Saturday was great. A little long, but fun even though I was freezing the entire time I was there. I. Could. Not. Get. Warm.  I had a jacket on, a blanket AND a tent shelter thingy and it took all night for my body to feel warm again. It’s fun to sit up in the stands with the other parents though, cheering our kids on. It’s been a great season.

Winter Soldier

Me, cold as heck!

This morning, we went to church and it was a really great service. After church, The Teen had to go to a dress rehearsal for The Drowsy Chaperone. The show is this Thursday, Friday and Saturday. We can’t wait to see it. It’s going to be quite entertaining with him tap dancing and roller skating his way through the show.

The rest of this week will be filled with more rehearsals, more track practices and I believe my book club meets this Thursday. I have yet to finish the book!

What am I reading?

As I mentioned above, I still haven’t finished my book club book (And the Mountains Echoed). I have to finish it this week but I am not looking forward to it. Still reading A Wild Sheep Chase. I am having a little trouble with it. I tend to read it at night and I cannot seem to keep my eyes open, or I’ll read a chapter and not remember what I just read. So I have been going back and forth which is taking me a lot longer than I anticipated.

What am I cooking?

I wanted something simple for tonight but I ending up making a real mess of the kitchen. I hate when that happens. I roasted some chicken, mashed some potatoes and we had it with corn and roasted carrots.

What am I watching?

My daughter and I started up with Lost again. We are on Season 1 and we just finished Episode 17. Now, we are watching Mean Girls. She loves that movie.

Hope you had a nice weekend and for those that participated in the read-a-thon, I hope you got to sleep in.

The Sunday Salon: An Easter Hello

Sunday Salon

Hello all. How’ve you all been?

It’s been busy around here. Mostly, good stuff but with nightly activities and the spring break that came up  out of nowhere, I felt as if I was Fred Flintstone in his floorless car, running  just to keep up.

A few updates. I had some health stuff going on and the biopsy came back NORMAL. I was very relieved to get those results. I really started to think about what I’d do if they came back abnormal. Not a fun topic of discussion right before vacation so it was a huge relief that the news came in right before I left. Thank you for the prayers and support.

I also alluded to stuff going on at work. I have been known to feel a re-org coming on and sure enough, I returned from break and it happened. The details are not solid yet but my job, it-is-a-changing. Again. Wish me luck with that.

Oh and one other thing, one BIG thing. I got baptized this past Friday! Let’s just say that as a child, my childhood was less than ideal. I had guardian angels along the way that steered me in the right direction so I always felt a spiritual connection but could never find a church that I felt comfortable going to. About a year ago, we went to a special service that a local church was holding and for the next couple of months we’d either watch the service online or go every once in awhile. It’s not traditional. There’s music and lights and a coffee shop, but the Pastor really clicked with us and although the message is what you’d expect to get in church, it’s delivered in a comfortable, friendly way.

On Good Friday, my family and I decided to take the plunge and participate in the baptism celebration. It was SO not me. Cameras, lights and lots of people cheering us on. I was so embarrassed but at the same time, very happy to have finally found a church that we love.

Here we are, freshly dunked! The Hub was getting the car but he participated too.  It’s a horrible pic of me, but you all know me so I know you will forgive the matted hair and the lack of make-up which seemed to disappear once dunked. Not pretty but that’s okay. 

Just baptized!

Just baptized!!

In case you are wondering, The Teen did not participate but he went with us. He has been going to the Mormon church and although I had hoped that he’d join us, he decided not to. Religion is a very personal thing, and I don’t like it to be jammed down my throat so I am letting him take this journey on his own. As a mom, there are lots of decisions I have had to make recently that have been difficult, but knowing my own struggle with religion, his choice of religion should not be one of them.

I was so worried about stupid stuff like the temperature of the water and looking like a dork once dunked but with everyone cheering you on, you stand there dripping wet, but happy. I thought The Girl would get scared last-minute but nope, she wanted to be first!

So, that was my excitement this past week. Yesterday , The Girl had a track meet. It was held on a really old, dirt track and none of the kids knew how to run on it. Out by us, all of the tracks are turf so The Girl struggled a little with her times, but still enjoyed herself. We then had her best friend over for dinner and a sleepover. It was a fun night. They colored eggs and got barked at by the Otter Pup.

The Teen had to work the prom last night so he’s not up yet. I suspect he’ll sleep right into the afternoon.

Here are a couple of photos from yesterday:

Chatsworth Track Meet

The Girls at the track meet. Mine, is the one in the middle.

Dinner with the Girls

A fun dinner with The Girl and her BFF.

What am I reading?

I am reading A Wild Sheep Chase in bits and pieces. Murakami is always so enjoyable and thought-provoking that I find myself savoring his writing. It’s not a book to blow through quickly. I am also reading The Walking Dead governor books. VERY good. I am in the middle of And The Mountains Echoed, a good story but my interest is waning.

What am I cooking?

I wasn’t going to make anything special but then last minute decided to cook-up a ham. I saw a recipe for a peach & brown sugar glaze and I was craving greens so we’ll have the peach-glazed ham, collard greens, mac & cheese (both gluten-free and non), mashed potatoes, carrots and rolls. I picked up a peach pie for the Fam and then I got a creme brûlée for myself. Yum.

What am I watching?

I’ve been watching Chrisley Knows Best. Have you seen that show?? It’s crazy but I can’t stop watching it.

That’s my week and weekend. I am helping myself to another cup of coffee and then hopefully I can take a nap later. What’s your plan for today? I am glad I went to church on Friday because I am dragging this morning.

Cover Lust

New Murakami Covers

I am shaking my head because this is so unfair.

I finally, FINALLY own all of Murakami’s novels in paperback and what happens?? They come out with these awesome new covers.

If you look closely, the images on the cover contain clues:

The Elephant Vanishes

See how that center image resembles an elephant’s trunk? Clever, huh?

I. Need. These.

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