Saturday, July 30, 2016

Sunday Post: July Wrap Up, Roses & Another Month of the Comment Challenge!

The Sunday Post is hosted by the wonderful Kimba, the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, and gives us all a chance to recap our week, talk about what we are reading, share any new books that have come our way, and whatever else we want to talk about. 

I am still playing catch up with my blog reading. We spent all day Saturday at Knott's Berry Farm, which was lot of fun, but it also meant my initial plans to do a little blogging fell by the wayside. That is partly why this post may seem a bit shorter too.

What are you to this weekend? Did you have a good week? What are you reading right now? Anything you would recommend?

Book Blogger Hop


Every Friday Coffee Addicted Writer from Coffee Addicted Writer poses a question which participants respond on their own blogs within the week (Friday through Thursday). They then share their links at the main site and visit other participants blogs.


Do you give books as gifts? (submitted by Elizabeth
Oh, yes! I love to give books as gifts. I love shopping for books for the special people in my life too. My mother and both of my in-laws love to read. My husband enjoys reading. And, of course, I like to give books as gifts to the children in my life, whether it be my own, a relative or the children of friends.


What I Am Reading: I finished reading Amanda Quick's 'Til Death Do Us Part this past week and started on P.J. Tracy's latest mystery, The Sixth Idea. I'm a bit behind in the series, and am hoping my jumping in with the most recent in the Monkeewrench series won't prove to be a problem. I've really missed the Monkeewrench crew and am enjoying visiting with them again.

My July was an average reading month for me number-wise. I read five books. I had been hoping for more, but my mother's visit, the dreaded conjunctivitis, and work obligations made both blogging and reading take a back seat.

In July I finished reading:
The Magician's Lie by Greer Macallister
In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware (audio)
The American Girl by Kate Horsley
The Fireman by Joe Hill
'Til Death Do Us Part by Amanda Quick

There was not a bad one in the bunch, really. I especially liked Imogen Church's narration of In a Dark, Dark Wood, and so would probably have to say that is my favorite.

What was your favorite book you read in the month of July?


What I Am Watching: I have not had a chance to watch much of anything recently, other than The Care Bears (the recent Netflix version), which my daughter has just discovered. I really hope I can watch Stranger Things soon, as it sounds like something I would enjoy.  I did watch a live Western stunt show at Knott's Berry Farm Saturday, which was entertaining.
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It's time for the final month of the Summer 2016 Comment Challenge hosted by Lonna of FLYLēF and Alicia of A Kernel of Nonsense. I enjoyed being a part of the July Challenge, getting the opportunity to meet Jean of Howling Frog Books (isn't that an awesome blog title? It's from Daniel Pinkwater's The Snarkout Boys and the Baconburg Horror, which is now on my wish list). Jean and I are both live in California, although at different ends of the state. I especially enjoyed hearing all about Jean's adventures in the United Kingdom this month, which she wrote extensively about in a series of posts. I wanted to travel there before, but her posts make me want to do so even more. The photos she shared are beautiful and the history quite fascinating. I highly recommend you check out her blog. She's smart and insightful, not to mention well read.

For August, I have been paired with Nina from By Page or By Plane, who I am looking forward to getting to know. From the peek I have had of her blog so far, I already like her. 

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Mouse started her new summer program this week, and so far so good. She is having a great time, although the no nap time during the day is having an effect. She's not so pleasant in the evenings. We are in the process of adjusting her bedtime to be sure she's getting enough sleep. She was able to visit her friends at her old daycare Friday; we arrived just in time for water play. Her old friends were happy to see her and she them. I took Mouse out for lunch at Mimi's afterward. She ordered the chocolate chip pancakes, of course.

I had to give a presentation to a group of new employees at work Tuesday. I think it went okay. I am not a public speaker of any kind, and so admit I was not thrilled about doing it in the first place. Still, it's good experience, and I know my subject matter well.

A rose from one of my rose bush this week.

 Another rose from one of my rose bushes this week.

  Waiting for the Log Ride

This Past Week In Reading Mews:

I hope you all have a great week! Happy Reading!


© 2016, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

46 comments:

  1. I like giving books as gifts too, or gift cards for B&N or wherever. But then I always asked for and got gift cards growing up, so now I enjoy doing it!

    I just finished up The woman in Cabin 10 and loved it! Good mystery. And Stranger things was pretty good- a bit creepy at times!

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    1. Greg - I wish more people in my family gave me gift cards. My mom is better about it now that she realizes asking me for a list doesn't work as it once did (when I was a child). It's only taken her 20+ years. :-)

      I watched the first couple of episodes of Stranger Things this week and thought it was great. I'm glad I watched it when my daughte wasn't around though.

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  2. I've only been to Knott's once and it was yeeeeears ago. Oh, I love giving bookish gifts too. Stranger Things ... I'll have to check that out. An what pretty pictures. Have a great week!

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    1. Christy - The last time I had gone was when I was a child--some thirty or so years ago. I hardly remember it, really. We had a fun time, although I think we still prefer Disneyland--if only the prices were more comparable! I hope you had a great week too!

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  3. I'm sure you all had a wonderful time at the farm, Wendy. I know my girls and I will, too. It's definitely an eye-opening experience to us, considering we live in a city and farms are such a rare existence around here.

    I love your roses! They're so pretty and of different tones, too! Hope you've a great week ahead!

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    1. Melody - It was fun. It isn't a farm in the traditional sense anymore, unfortunately. It's all amusement park now. Lots of concrete and rides. They really need more trees and grass, but that could be just me. :-)

      I think that's my favorite rose of my bushes. So pretty.

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  4. There aren't many people who enjoy public speaking so you're in good company. July was an average reading month for me, too. I think my favorite book of the month was Stir by Jessica Fechtor.

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    1. Kathy - I imagine not. I have such anxiety when it comes to public speaking. I freeze up and my mind goes completely blank. That's why I need detailed notes to keep me on track.

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  5. Oh, I can relate to how reading and blogging fall by the wayside when you have family visits and other activities. Or illnesses.

    This next week, I'm going to the beach community where my son and DIL live...and taking my granddaughter. We leave tomorrow morning very early! It's a 10 hour drive.

    Gorgeous roses...and cute photo of Mouse.

    Enjoy the new week, and here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

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    1. Laurel-Rain - I feel like my blogging took a backseat this week just because of work. I'm still catching up on comments and blog visits. :-S

      I hope you had a wonderful time at the beach community with your son and daughter-in-law! How did the drive go? I hope you and your granddaughter enjoyed the time together. :-)

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  6. Hi Wendy! I'm looking forward to get to know you as well; I love that you read books that are different from what I usually read since I have a bit of difficulty venturing out of my comfort zone.

    Your roses look lovely! I'm still waiting on my lone hydrangea bush to flower, haha. And the favorite book I read last month is probably Shakespeare's Twelfth Night!

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    1. Nina - I don't venture outside my comfort zones much either, although I've been rewarded when I do. (And also stung.)

      I was surprised my roses were still blooming in the heat we've been having, but they are a hardy bunch. They have to be as I'm terrible with plants!

      I haven't read Twelfth Night. I am not a fan of Shakespeare, I confess. I take his plays better in film form than actually reading them.

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  7. No one in my house likes to read! I have such a boring family ;) Well my daughter does but she is still learning.

    The roses are beautiful!!!

    The school adjustment is always hard. I don't know how I am going to get my kids to bed early and up early. The first few weeks will be a complete nightmare. Can't wait lol

    Have a great week, Wendy! Happy Reading!!!

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    1. Michelle - I hope my daughter will grow into a reader. Right now it's all about the tablet. I hate forcing the reading, but she can't be on the tablet all the time.

      we still have three weeks to work on getting her to bed earlier. So far, we've managed to get her into bed half an hour earlier and it seems to be working. Fingers crossed it continues!

      I hope you had a great week too!

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  8. Your roses are gorgeous, it sound like you have been busy. Enjoy!

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    1. Kim - Thank you! I'm surprised they are still blooming in this heat.

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  9. I've been trying to talk the Tornado into watching Care Bears because I was the right age the first time around but he has turned me down flat. So instead I'm stuck with Super Mario Brothers (which is so awful), Star Wars Clone Wars (which isn't too bad) and Pokemon (I can't even...). Wasn't Imogen Church amazing! I loved the book but I really loved her. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she does the audio for Cabin 10 but I haven't seen one way or the other. I'm curious about the Amanda Quick book. It's been tempting me. Have a great week!

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    1. Katherine - Haha! Mouse is quite taken with them right now. It's better than Masha and Bear. Don't let Tornado near Masha and Bear. Or Masha's Tales. I'm surprised Mouse hasn't begun asking more about Pokemon since I know she's being exposed to it at her summer program. I should be grateful. Haha

      I am glad to hear Imogen Church does Cabin 10 too! I think I have an e-copy of that one, but I may have to use a credit to get the audio just because.

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  10. Stranger Things is really good! My husband and I binge watched it when it came out hehe! Your roses are beautiful. :)

    http://natalieslife.com/2016/07/book-blogger-hop

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    1. Natalie - I was able to watch the first couple episodes of Stranger Things so far and love it. I can't wait to get back to it. Not sure when I will now that the Olympics are one. :-S

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  11. I have to say, Mouse always looks impeccable, even in the heat! Always a freshly pressed dress and not a hair out of place, lol-- so adorable!

    I have watched just two Stranger Things but plan on catching up this week. I also added Northern Exposure into my viewing rotation, thanks to a reminder from Katherine, so now I have several shows to watch in free time.

    Love your roses! When we moved in here a couple of months ago, they had a rose bush out front, but it was already dying from no one caring for it, and the sprinkler system is broken, and hubs has been trying to fix it. In the mean time he waters the bush, but I think it might be too late. The heat wave we keep rolling in and out of, with the temps above 100 on occasion, must be hurting it.

    I love to give books too as a gift, and as someone who has belonged to Amazon since its inception year, I've sent caboodles of books over that time because what's easier than one-clicking a specially chosen gift to folks? Though I also visit B & N store frequently in the fall/winter and buy gifts for those I will hand them out. No indie shops by me :( only used book shops.

    I can't wait to get the new PJ Tracy book. I keep losing track of this series because they take a long time between installments, but I think I read somewhere that personal issues delayed this latest one. Anyway, enjoy it and share your thoughts, please :)

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    1. Rita - Ah, thanks! Mouse was the only one of us that wasn't melting that Saturday. Haha And her hair! It's so straight and perfect. My hair was like that when I was her age too and now mine's a wavy mess all the time.

      I'm where you were with Stranger Things when you wrote your comment. :-) I am enjoying it so far. I watched Northern Exposure when it first airred. At least part of it. I remember liking it then.

      I'm not sure how my roses are surviving. We do water them, but I often forget to prune them. My mom does it when she visits, but that's not often. Maybe that's enough. Haha I was really surprised to still be getting roses in this hot weather--but they keep coming.

      One-clicking on Amazon is way too convenient. Haha We have a Barnes and Noble in town, but I don't visit it like I did pre-Mouse. I don't buy nearly as many books period.

      I hadn't realized how many books had come out in the Monkeewrench series for just that reason. I am glad they are still writing and publishing books.

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  12. Thanks for the lovely comments! I'm out of town just now but I will get there....also I want to watch Stranger Things too. :)

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    1. Jean - I hope you are settled back at home again and had a nice trip!

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  13. Your roses are lovely Wendy! I read Fireman and In a Dark Dark Wood and enjoyed both.

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    1. Diane - Thank you! It's amazing they are doing so well in this heat.

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  14. I greatly enjoy giving books as gifts, but sadly, I'm not surrounded by bookish people. Well, my mom is an exception to this, but she doesn't read that much nowadays. From time to time, though, I do give her a book as a present.

    I firmly believe that one shouldn't assume that people will love receiving books as gifts, just because one does. So I always try to find out first what the person I'm giving a present to really likes. This is for such things as "Secret Santa" gift exchanges. For family members, of course I already know what they like. Only my mom would be interested in a book. My two sisters are not readers, and neither is my husband. As for the rest of the family, sad to say, they're not readers, either. :(

    Even when I'm giving a present to someone who loves books (a very rare occurrence, believe me!) I still need to find out what genre(s) they enjoy reading. In such cases, I will just give them a B&N or Amazon gift card. That's really the best thing to do!

    You read FIVE books in July?! Oh, I ENVY you!! I'm lucky if I can get in three. I just happen to be a rather slow reader. I get so annoyed about this, too.... So CONGRATS to you!! I'll be checking out all the books you read!

    That comment challenge looks REALLY good, and I might start participating in it. Let's see how it goes....

    So Mouse started her summer program this week? AWESOME. I hope things are really going well for her, and that soon she'll be getting more sleep. I know how cranky I can get when I don't get enough shuteye, and hubby is even worse! Lol.

    How wonderful that she connected with all of her former classmates at the daycare, too! I hope you can continue to take her there, just so she can see them! She must have been VERY happy!!

    As for the presentation, I would have been nervous, too. I think this is very natural. I step in front of a class of ESOL students four nights a week, and am not nervous or scared at all, but I think I'd be telling a whole different story if I were to give a lecture or speech in front of my peers! Lol. My students need me in order to learn English, so it's not quite the same thing. Believe me, I can definitely relate to your experience! But I'm sure you really WOWED them! WOOT, WOOT!! :)

    BTW, your roses are SO lovely!! You should enter them in some sort of contest, as I'm sure they'd win a prize!

    Thanks for sharing all of your bookish and family news!! Hope you had a GREAT weekend, and will have an even GREATER week!! HUGS!!! <3 :)

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    1. Maria - Thank you for your wonderful comment. You are always so thoughtful. I appreciate it.

      As many people as I have in my family who enjoy reading, I do try to buy them other things besides books from time to time. Unlike me who would like books all the time, I imagine they wouldn't. Haha

      It's easy to forget that I do read a lot when I see everyone else has read ten or more books in the same amount of time it takes me to read five. There's something to be said for being a slow reader, Maria, so don't you do the same thing I do and compare yourself, okay? You're probably a much more careful reader than most.

      Mouse has had a better week this week, now that she's going to bed earlier. With my new work schedule starting in another week, I imagine I'll be in the same boat if I don't get myself to bed at a decent hour.

      I imagine you standing up in front of your ESOL students to teach is similar to my leading unit meetings with my own staff in that the public speaking in those cases are something we do so often it comes naturally. We're comfortable with the peoople we're speaking in front of.

      I hope you had a great week. I'm just now catching up with comments. So late!

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  15. Mouse is growing up so fast! I hope August is a great month for you and the family. :)

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    1. Kelly - She is growing so fast. I can't believe she's going to be starting kindergarten!

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  16. You've reminded me I haven't read any of Tracy's books for a while. It wasn't until you mentioned the Monkeywrench crew I even remembered them! Must check out when I read my last one!

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    1. Deborah - I hadn't even known there were books out beyond where I ended last in the series. I was really out of the loop.

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  17. Lovely photos of your roses! I am starting to think about bookish gifts lately. Have a great week and enjoy the rest of the summer!

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    1. Pat - Thank you! I need to start thinking of what to get my in-laws and mother for their birthdays this month . . . Books? Hmm.

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  18. I've thoroughly enjoyed the Monkeewrench series and look forward to this new one. Had to laugh at your viewing pleasure with Mouse's input keeping your priorities straight!

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    1. Jenclair - It's a fun series, isn't it? This one had an extra surprise in it. :-)

      Mouse rules the television set more often than not, if only because what I tend to like to watch isn't the best viewing for such a young child. :-)

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  19. Beautiful roses! When I get in my forever home, I hope to have roses. I think everyone in the education system should have naps. It's necessary! Sounds like things are going great with the transition!

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    1. Charlie - Thank you! I've always wanted a rose garden and I enjoy my bushes. I am hoping to plant more, but it has yet to happen yet. I am not in the education system, but I could use a nap too. LOL

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  20. Isn't it a great feeling gifted books too your family members and friends who love too read as well. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog hop.

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    1. Katiria - I especially love it when a book I give as a gift is loved by the recipient. :-)

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  21. I do occasionally give books as gifts, when I know the person loves to read. I also sometimes give a non-fiction book I think would be helpful.

    Sunday Summary #13

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    1. Jeanene - My father-in-law enjoys nonfiction and so I often will gift him a book along those lines. It's harder to find a good fiction pick for him.

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  22. Chocolate chip pancakes? I think Mouse has great taste! :)

    Glad you had a good reading month and here's to lots of great reads in August. I can't believe how fast the summer is going by. I love to give books too. I tend not to receive to many because friends are always afraid I already own the book or have read it. Love the roses by the way - so beautiful.

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    1. Iliana - I love chocolate chip pancakes too. With whipped cream. :-)

      I have the same problem in terms of my family and friends not wanting to get me books because they think I might already have it.

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