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?

Friday – The Best Day of the Week

Grab Your BookThe students return to the university next week and all this week, I have been prepping for their return. I am in communications so the week prior to the semester is a busy, busy time. I sort of fell off the edge of the earth. Or so it seems. This week has been a total blur but it’s finally Friday and although next week will be busy, it will be busy in a totally different way.

It’s been difficult to get much reading in but I’ve been snatching time here and there. I am in the final stretch with the Murakami book and I think I am going to start The Little Friend and I must also start Twelve Years a Slave as it was my book club pick and I have yet to read it.

What are you reading?

Also, it’s been very nice this week weather wise. Too bad I have been stuck in this building for most of it but I did feel a tiny tinge of fall in the air when I left the other night. This little taste of fall has me excited for all sorts of things:

  • Candles (I am a candle girl, light ‘em up!)
  • Pumpkin anything
  • Homemade soup!
  • Holiday coffee drinks
  • The super-fun October read-along that Sandy and I have planned (details to come)
  • Thanksgiving (yep, I am thinking about it)

What are you excited about?

The Sunday Salon: Our Super Dry Summer

Sunday Salon

My kids started school this past week and it all went fairly well.  It was a short week for them and they eased into it okay. Of course, today I got a notification that all of the high schools in the area have been openly threatened on Instagram. Not something that a parent wants to read. Ever. I feel uneasy about it. I’ve given The Teen the drill which he immediately shot down in typical teen fashion.

I’m a mom. I worry. I can’t help it. Especially with all the active shooter training I’ve taken. I’d rather talk about it than brush it under the rug and regret it later.

As for work, things are picking. Students return on the 25th but they will be on campus next week paying for parking and straightening out their schedules so I will be working the information counter. Fun! I don’t mind working with the students but in my twenty years there, I have never worked the information counter before. I’ve been pretty exhausted lately due to some health stuff so I hope I can get through the two weeks alright.

Yesterday, we dropped The Teen off at the lake for a church event and the lake was 80 feet below normal! The photo you see below is the boat launch. I took a look at the lake and almost cried. You don’t realize how bad the drought is until you see something like this.

Southern California is in dire need of water. If you are the praying type, can you pray some? We are in mandatory water restrictions now. I don’t know what will happen to our property as we have a large yard and most of it is hillside. If it dies, it will be a major fire concern and there is no water to fight brush fires which makes it even more alarming.

I mean, look at it! As I said, that is the boat launch which is supposed to be IN the water. I feel as if we are the subjects of a dystopian novel. It’s very scary to look around and take it all in.

Castaic Lake

Photo Credit: Castaic Lake

What am I reading?

I am reading Murakami of course! The other day I was chosen as a fan ambassador. I am taking “ambassador” to mean a “super fan” but the best part is that I get a signed copy of the book and four copies of another book to giveaway. I can’t wait to get that box.

As for the book, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is probably the most quiet novel of his that I’ve read. I am over halfway through it and so far, it’s very good but a little different.

People often ask me which book of his to read first. If you want the full Murakami experience, I suggest diving into the books that put him on the map, Kafka on the Shore or The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle but those can also turn a reader away if you aren’t used to speculative fiction. So to be safe, I often recommend his short stories or After Dark. But this new book, might be a good choice too.

I also finished Peter Heller’s The Painter. Very, very good I still have to write the review up but I really liked it

What am I cooking?

Again, I have no food in my house. What is up with that? Yesterday, we ate out but today I might cook-up a stir fry. Of course, that means I have to hit the market which I absolutely dread. Grilling, is a possibility too but it was 103 yesterday and today will probably be the same. Not sure I want to deal with the grill in this heat.

What am I watching?

We watched Catching Fire last night. I liked it better than the first movie and actually, The Girl was totally into it. When we saw the first movie, she was bored with it and did not like the few violent scenes that they showed. This time around, she understood the story better. The Teen refused to watch it and chose to hang out in his room. He’s being anti-social again. I know that he eventually reads my Sunday Salons so I will wave to him right now. Waving.

I am looking forward to TV this fall. The Walking Dead returns on October 12 and it feels as if the weeks are flying by so it will be here before we know it.  I am also looking forward to American Horror Story: Freak Show which premiers October 8th. That show is freaky on its own but the theme this season is FREAK SHOW and just the idea of it is freaking me out

Are you starting to think about your October reading? Sandy and I have a little something planned for October. More on that later.

What are you up to today?

Grab Your Book: What Are You Reading?

Grab Your Book

My reading has been going pretty well this summer. I haven’t hit a slump yet, which is good because last year I felt it coming on and man, it hit me full force. I am hoping to avoid that this year by not allowing ANY time to pass between books. So far, it’s working.

I just finished The Three. The Home Place and A Wild Sheep Chase. All, very different reads. All, a little difficult to write about.

California

I started California by Edan Lepucki and although I am only 5% in, I am hooked and will probably blow through it this weekend. It’s gotten a lot of attention lately, with the whole Colbert thing but it took me awhile to get a library copy so I am just getting to it now. In the opening pages, a popular shopping venue (one that I visit often) is mentioned. Have I told you before how much I enjoy reading about places I visit? Even if in the book,  the world has gone to hell, it’s fun to read about familiar places.

What will you be reading this weekend? Trying to fit anything in before school starts? I am also trying to get Desperation read for my Summer of King. It weighs in at 600+ pages but I am going to try to get it read before my kids start school on 8/13 because if I read it after, then it’s not really my Summer of King, is it?

The Sunday Salon: Book Club and a Concert

Concerts at the Park

It’s been a great weekend so far. Yesterday, my book club met to discuss The Goldfinch. I finished it in the nick of time. Seriously. I had a hard time reading that one steadily but I really, really enjoyed it and that last 5% on my Kindle was, well, amazing. It’s one of those books where you definitely feel as if you’ve been on a journey. I miss it a little bit.

Last night, we hit the first concert at the park. It was the largest crowd I’ve ever seen. You can see some of the crowd above. The band was a Journey tribute band and I must say, the lead singer sounded almost identical to Steve Perry. The music was awesome and the forty-somethings, holding each other and singing to Don’t Stop Believing was funny and cool at the same time. BOTH kids came with, which  made it extra nice. Yes, I am talking about The Teen!

Anyway, we snacked and lounged and hung out. It was the perfect way to end the day.

Today? No one feels like going to church except The Teen so he’ll go and I suspect we will end up at the bookstore or the market or both. You know how I hate the market. I really want the food to just appear but no matter how hard I wish, it never happens.

In other news, I entered this design contest to win a signed copy of Murakami’s new book. I’ve posted everywhere about it and will continue to do so until it ends on 8/8. I apologize in advance if you tire of seeing the posts but seriously, it’s two clicks and you don’t need to like a thing in order to vote. Voting can take place daily. I’ve seen  many of you vote already and I can’t tell you how grateful I am . To vote, click here.

Sunday Salon

What am I reading?

Now that I am done with The Goldfinch I am back to my Summer of King with The Regulators. I also realized that I never finished The Three. Probably not a good sign. I mean, I really thought I HAD finished it but looking at my Kindle I left it at 69%. Oops.

What am I cooking?

It has been pretty hot here. The only thing that sounds good right now, is maybe a foo-foo salad with candied pecans and feta or something like that.

What am I watching?

I got Better Off Dead in the mail yesterday from Netflix. I am anxious to share that one with The Girl and Teen.

What are you up to today? Are you reading a must-read book? If so, do tell.

Long Weekends, Mint Infused Limeade and a Birthday!

Grab Your Book

Guess what, guys? Today is my Friday! I know some people have to work over the holiday but I think many of you are off. What do you have planned for the long weekend? BBQs? Picnics? Trips to the beach? Initially I thought we might have some people over. At least, that is what The Girl thought. She dreams up these gatherings on her own. Unfortunately, after working all week the last thing I want to do is throw a party of any kind. Call me anti-social. I’ll forgive you.

Right now, the plan is to make a big pot of chili, grill some burgers and hot dogs and watch a bunch of movies. The movies? Haven’t picked them out yet but it doesn’t even matter. Me, in front of the TV with my feet up is all that matters and if that happens, all will be right in the world. I also plan to mix-up some Mint Infused Limeade. We sampled this drink a few weeks ago and it was very refreshing! This drink is non-alcoholic but you could add a little vodka if you wanted to add a little something to it.

 

Mint infused limeade

Photo & Recipe from Food & Style

Somewhere in all of this we will watch the Nathan’s hot dog Eating contest! It’s a tradition to watch but depending on who is in it, I sometimes have a mini-gag fest with myself. It’s just not attractive to watch a bunch of guys scarf food down in that manner. And yeah, it somehow does not affect our own hot dog eating, which is a little weird if you ask me.

Fireworks? We might all pile into the car last-minute to see the fireworks in progress,  but I doubt we will want to after the sloth of the day. None of us like crowds and we have the Otter Pup to consider and she’ll be 4 years-old tomorrow! We knew she was about 5-6 months old when we rescued her so we picked July 4th for her birthday. She has been a joy. I think she likes us too. Can you tell?

The Otter Pup and The Hub

The Otter Pup is 4 years old!

Oh, and I can’t forget the reading can I? That is a huge part of my weekend. Especially since I am still limping along with The Goldfinch. Much more fun to discuss is The Summer of King. I started The Regulators and it’s reminding me a bit of Mr. Mercedes, at least in its opening. It takes place in the summer so it’s the perfect read for me right now. I just want to drop everything to read it. I am not that far in, only about 15% but I can already tell that I am going to like it.

That said, grab your book, pour a refreshing drink and enjoy your weekend!

The Sunday Salon: Almost Done!

Sunday Salon

Hello there! I am in a good spot this weekend. One, I don’t have to hit the grocery store and two, we have absolutely nothing going on so we’ve all be resting up. It’s amazing how your outlook on life changes with just a little bit of rest.

Last week was hellish and I never want to repeat it. End of the school-year stresses, DRAMA, and just too much going on. This week has a lot going on too but I am hoping it goes a little smoother.  I’ll be dividing my time between summer school orientation, doctor’s appointments, an award ceremony, book club and rehearsals. Let’s hope The Girl gets a part in Grease! She finds out on Wednesday. Oh, and I can’t forget the upcoming track party. See how I almost forgot it?

Right now, I just finished watching church online. I was a little sluggish this morning but the message was awesome so I am glad I tuned in. I really wish I had attended the live service though. The guest band was awesome. Anyway, I’ll be sure to attend in-person next week.

What am I reading?

Folks, I am a reading machine. I have reviews scheduled through June. Unheard of for me! I am trying to finish The Tenant of Wildfell Hall for book club this Thursday. It’s really good and I am enjoying it but it’s a little slow. The only thing that I sort of forgot, was my book tour for June (All Day and a Night). I plan to start it today, if possible.

All Day and a Night

What am I cooking?

I just made cinnamon rolls for the family and I made some sausage and eggs for myself. Of course, I also made loads of coffee and I am about to enjoy cup #3. Later, we may go out for burgers or order in.

What am I watching?

I picked up a $5 copy of Hot Tub Time Machine yesterday so I may throw that in to enjoy later. Right now, I am not in much of a mood to watching anything. I’d rather hang out with a book. It’s too pretty out to just sit in front of the TV.

Anyway, that’s my weekend. School is almost out. The Teen’s last day is this Friday and The Girl does not get out until June 17th but her camp starts on June 16th. Go figure. I know it won’t seem like summer with The Teen taking THREE classes this summer between independent learning and the local college but he has no choice if he wants to continue all his activities next year.

What’s your day look like?

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