Saturday, January 14, 2023

Weekly Mews: More Rain and Good Books

I am linking up to the Sunday Post hosted by Kim of Caffeinated Book Reviewer and The Sunday Salon (TSS) hosted by Deb Nance of Readerbuzz  where participants 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 also linking It's Monday! What Are you Reading? hosted by Kathryn of Book Date where readers talk about what they have been, are and will be reading.






It has been raining nonstop most of the day. We enjoyed a couple of sunny days this past week, and I even opened the windows for a couple hours the day before yesterday (I ended up wrapped in a blanket, so maybe that wasn't the best idea).

Our plans to put together my new desk last weekend fell through. At least it was for a good reason. Mouse was hoping to help with the construction, but she got a last minute invite to go with a friend to see the musical Mean Girls at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. That's not something you pass up if you can help it, and so off she went. Her dad and I had a nice quiet day at home; we're only partially jealous we couldn't go too. I promised we would hold off on putting the desk together until this weekend so that she could help. It's been a slow process, involving rearranging furniture around, but what we did not get done today will definitely get done tomorrow. I am in the office this next week and so won't be able to try it out for work just yet. 



Helping to put away the holiday decorations

What have you been up to this weekend?

This past week I finished two books. I finished my first read of the year, A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab. I loved it! I am ready to jump into the second book, A Gathering of Shadows, but it seems to have disappeared. Mouse scampered off with it, wanting to read it before I do. Unfortunately, it's still in her TBR stack, and so it may be awhile before I see it again. I also recently finished Amy Lea's Exes & O's, which was a delightful slow burn romance. 


That leaves me reading my more long term books--not because they are long (they aren't) but because they are not my primary reads. Dreyer's English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer. It may sound dry, but it is anything but. I may not have the best track record with audiobooks, but I figured Jenny Lawson would be good company while I do my physical therapy exercises every day. At least that was the plan. It has not quite worked out that way, but hopefully I can fit Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things in more often than not during those sessions. 



My TBR List is hosted by the awesome Michelle  at Because Reading. It’s a fun way to choose a book from your TBR pile to read. The 1st Saturday of every month, I will list 3 books I am considering reading and let you vote for my next read during that month. My review will follow (unfortunately, not likely in the same month, but eventually--that's all I can promise). 

Many thanks to everyone who voted in this month's TBR List Poll. Enlisting your help in choosing my next read is one of my favorite monthly events. January's contenders all had a bookish theme but a very different feel. While I plan to read all three, I will only be reading one this month. I held off peeking to see which one was winning all week even though I was tempted. Let's find out which one came out on top!


Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew J. Sullivan received 9 votes, coming in third place (it's also the book my daughter voted for).  Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks by Annie Spence got 11 votes. And the winner is The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams, coming in with 12 votes! It was a close race. I look forward to starting The Reading List soon!


What have you been reading lately?


I fell a little behind in my nightly poetry reading, but I was able to catch up without too much trouble. Of this past week's poems in A Nature Poem for Every Night of the Year, a couple in particular stood out for me.

I loved "The Lake" by John Foster in its simplicity and description of a lake at various stages during different kinds of weather.
On a winter's day
The lake
Hides itself
Under a frozen blanket
And refuses to budge
Until it is warm enough
To come out again. [excerpt from "The Lake"]
I cannot help but read more into those words, how sometimes I wish I could do just that, hide and not budge until I feel comfortable enough to venture out again--whether because of the literal cold or in a metaphoric way.

The other poem that spoke to me was Oscar Wilde's poem, "Impressions I: Les Silhouettes"--the imagery is beautiful and I like the way it sounds when read out loud. 
   The sea is flecked with bars of grey
   The dull dead wind is out of tune,
   And like a withered leaf the moon
Is blown across the stormy bay. 
[excerpt from "Impressions I: Les Silhouettes"]

 

I was looking through my poetry books to see if one called to me and I have landed on Find Her. Keep Her. by Renaada Williams to read next. 
Renaada Williams beckons readers into her deepest thoughts and most intimate experiences as a queer black woman living in America with her latest collection of poetry. Much like her first book, Williams presents themes like sexuality and acceptance through her stunningly arranged words, but this time she dives much deeper. find her. keep her. delivers an amplitude of emotion and rawness; reading her poetry feels as if you’ve stumbled upon her secret journal and are reading words that were never meant to be found. [Goodreads Summary]


I mentioned it last weekend, but this week I really do plan to read the graphic memoir Guts by Reina Telgemeier. My daughter and I have enjoyed many of Telgemeier's books, and this is one she highly recommends I read. 

Raina wakes up one night with a terrible upset stomach. Her mom has one, too, so it's probably just a bug. Raina eventually returns to school, where she's dealing with the usual highs and lows: friends, not-friends, and classmates who think the school year is just one long gross-out session. It soon becomes clear that Raina's tummy trouble isn't going away... and it coincides with her worries about food, school, and changing friendships. What's going on?

Raina Telgemeier once again brings us a thoughtful, charming, and funny true story about growing up and gathering the courage to face—and conquer—her fears. [Goodreads Summary]


Mouse is currently reading book 8.5 in Shannon Messenger's Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Unlocked. It is less of an actual novel and more of a companion book. She's enjoying reading the character studies, recipes, the registry files (her favorite is Keefe's registry file because he let Dex hack into it and change some of the information around), looking at the illustrations and maps, and working her way up to a novel portion at the end.  


She just finished reading Reign of the Seven Spellblades, Vol. 3 (manga) by Sakae Esuno, Ruria, Mikuki, and Bokuto Uno. Mouse described it as being a little gorier than the first two volumes, but she thought it was good. 


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57 comments:

  1. The "Novella" is that Keeper of the Lost Cities book is 350 pages. Most people would consider that a novel, but for this series, it's a novella. I enjoyed all the background stuff on the universe and characters in it as well.

    I didn't try to open any windows when the sun was out here this week, but I did go for a run on one of those days. It was nice to enjoy some sunshine, although I do know we need the rain.

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    1. Mark - I haven't read the series and was only going off what my daughter told me about the books. Considering their size, I guess a 350 page story would seem like a novella. LOL I love the rain, but the occasional sun day in between is nice :-) Thank you for visiting!

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  2. It's been very gray here. Ugh winter. I love your cat pictures! They're beautiful kitties. :) And that first poem definitely captures my feeling lately. I just want to hibernate until it warms here and take a break from life. Ha ha

    Thanks for your comment on my blog. :)

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    1. Greg - It was nice to have a brief break here with sunshine after so much rain. I do enjoy the rain though--and we desperately need it. I was glad I was able to get decent photos of the cats for a change. :-) I so agree--I just want to hibernate too. Thank you for stopping by!

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  3. Reign of the Seven Spellblades sounds interesting. I like reading manga (sometimes, not all the times) and I might have to add this one to my TBR list.

    My Sunday Post.

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    1. Manjanka - My daughter seems to enjoy it Reign of the Seven Spellblades. I enjoy reading manga sometimes too--she's much more into it and more series than I've tried. Thank you for visiting!

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  4. I love the Theatre! Haven't been for many years but hopefully when my son is older...

    I hope you enjoy you and mouse enjoy your books.

    Have a good weekend

    Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog
    My post:
    https://budgettalesblog.wordpress.com/2023/01/15/sunday-post-64/

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    1. Emily - We love the theater too, but don't get to go often. Thank you for stopping by!

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  5. Reading along with your daughter and having this in common sounds very lovely.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Mae - I'm treasuring this time while we have it. :-) Thank you for visiting!

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  6. Being able to go see Mean Girls sounds amazing, I hope Mouse had! a great time! Looking forward to seeing how you enjoy The Reading List (:

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    1. Eustacia - I hope my husband and I will be able to see it some day--Mouse said she'd go with us again. :-) Thank you for stopping by!

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  7. I know what it's like to get so much rain at once; it's horribly uncomfortable.

    Crazy that your daughter has appropriated your next book, but it's kind of cool, too. Good thing you've got some backup books.

    I love your Poetry Corner. I am reading (at least) a poem every day. To guide my poetry reading, I ended up making my own collection of favorites and shaping it into an ebook to read on my Kindle.

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    1. Deb - I am actually enjoying all this rain. I think I live in the wrong climate. It's so rare for us to get this much. Mouse is sneaky like that. LOL She hates it when I get to a book before her. I think that's why she is so reluctant to read Amari, which I know she'll love when she finally does. I am glad you are reading a poem a day too. I think it's good for our souls. :-) Thank you for visiting!

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  8. We have that poetry book too!

    Your kitties are so cute!

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  9. Your cat looks so pretty. Darker Shade of Magic is on my tbr.
    Have a great week.

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    1. Snapdragon - Thank you! I hope you enjoy A Darker Shade of Magic when you read it. I hope you have a great week too!

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  10. I hope the rains not too bad by you. The cat pics are so cute! Good luck with the desk, it's alot of work putting together but totally worth it. A few months ago we got a new dresser from IKEA that took us the whole weekend to put together but I love it. Happy reading to you and Mouse, the Jenny Lawson looks like a good one and I like the Oscar Wilde snippet.

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    1. Naida - Fortunately it hasn't been too bad, although I have heard there's been flooding and mudslides further west. This desk has been a lot work--lots of different parts. My husband and I put together all of our bookcases and most of our other desks, cabinets and nightstands. Thank you for stopping by and have a great weekend!

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  11. Ooh I would love to go to a theater in Hollywood too!

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    1. Sophie - The Pantages is a nice theatre with a lot of history. We've seen several shows there. Maybe someday you will be able to experience it for yourself! Thank you for visiting!

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  12. Your So Cal rain is coming over to AZ and dumping snow on us! My sisters live in So Cal, and they have been complaining about the rain too. They know they need it, but it sure has been a LOT of rain this year so far. I hope you stay dry. I love your "holiday helpers". They really are beautiful cats.

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    1. Wendy - The mountains around us have been getting a lot of snow too. Hopefully this will be good for getting us closer to being out of the drought. My cats are help in their own way. :-) Thank you for stopping by!

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  13. Yay for getting the desk together, sunny days and great books.

    Anne - Books of My Heart This is my Sunday Post

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    1. Anne - We still have to put in the drawers, but it's shaping up nicely. It's a really nice desk--and so much bigger than I am used to. It'll work perfectly. Thank you for visiting!

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  14. I do love a new desk (or really, anything school supply related items) and hope you get it all built and installed. Enjoy!

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    1. Helen - Me too, to be honest. :-) Thank you for visiting!

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  15. We've had snowy weather the past few days but the sun is shining bright today! I hope you enjoy your next reads. Have a great week!

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    1. Cindy - I imagine you are enjoying that sunshine today! I hope you have a great week too. Thank you for stopping by!

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  16. I loved A Darker Shade of Magic, too! It's a very fun and unique fantasy read. And I've got The Reading List on my TBR list and hope to read it this year. Enjoy your week! :D

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    1. Lark - I hope you do get a chance to read The Reading List. I started it last night and like it so far. Thank you for visiting!

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  17. Beautiful cats! I hope you enjoy your week!

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  18. We've had a grey, blustery week here. Love to her about your poetry reads. I read a poem a day too and absolutely love it. Going to check out the collections you mentioned. Have a lovely week.

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    1. Lisa - I think a poem a day is good for the soul. :-) Thank you for stopping by!

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  19. I agree Darker Shade of Magic was amazing and I've yet to read the next one - I've got to remedy that! And though I didn't vote, I would have voted for Reading List - it's an extraordinary book. Hope you enjoy it.
    Terrie @ Bookshelf Journeys

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    1. Terrie - At least I'm not the only one who hasn't read the second one who has read the first. :-) I am not sure when my daughter will let me have my book back. LOL Thank you for visiting!

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  20. I put away the rest of the Christmas decorations this week. My daughter was supposed to do it but she's so busy with work.

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    1. Mary - I think we have a couple of Christmas decorations that we missed when putting ours away. Thank you for stopping by!

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  21. Sneaky Mouse taking off with the next book! I loved that trilogy and don't think I could have patiently waited to read book 2. Mouse is lucky you don't steal it back ;) Speaking of lucky - how cool that she got to see Mean Girls! I hope she enjoyed it.

    I hope you enjoy your winning book - I had voted for the 2nd place book, but they all looked good. Have a great week!

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    1. Berls - It's tempting to steal it back and I probably will if she doesn't decide to read it soon. :-) She really enjoyed seeing Mean Girls.

      Thank you for stopping by!

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  22. I liked Dear Fahrenheit 451, at least in the beginning. I remember getting kind of tired of it as it went on. Here is my rather clever book review (if I do say so myself) if you care to read it: https://headfullofbooks.blogspot.com/2018/04/dear-dear-fahrenheit-451.html

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    1. Anne - I look forward to reading it someday. Thank you for sharing the link to your review and for visiting!

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  23. I'm glad The Reading List won...that book is wonderful! Is that VE Schwab and adult book? Lillie really loved the Cassidy Blake series and I'd like to find something else from Schwab that she might like. The problem is that she reads and an adult level, but she has a middle grade/early YA interest level, and it is getting harder to find books that hit both notes. She has enjoyed the Enola Holmes books and I got her the first 4 books in another series, which is YA but is supposed to be very Agatha Christie-ish, but she hasn't started those yet so I don't know if they will work.

    Anyway, have a wonderful week and good luck with the desk project!

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  24. I have not read VE Schwab yet but I do have the first book on my tbr. It is nice that you were able to have a quiet day with your husband even if it means you missed the play. I hope that you have a fantastic week!

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  25. My son and I do buddy reads when we can. It's interesting as we both choose such different genres. LOL

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  26. You're in Northern Cal right? Sounds like a terrible amount of rain yikes! I'm originally from Southern Cal and we always need it. I did read the Dreyer's English book you pictured and as a former copy editor I loved it and underlined many good sections. I hope you find it useful. Enjoy your week!

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  27. Ooo I'm jealous of your daughter, too! The Pantages is one of the few historic theatres in L.A. that I have NOT been to, YET.

    Love your beautiful kitties so much!

    I hope The Reading List is good. It's on my TBR as well.

    Currently waiting for the rain here in Arkansas.

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  28. I tried reading a book by Victoria Schwab, is that the same author? I couldn't get into it. We've had a lot of colder days but not much rain. We do need the rain though. Exes and Ohs is on my TBR, glad to hear it was good! I get the having to put off the new desk. It took me about 6 hours to put my new desk together. Of course I did it by myself and had a few times of dealing with my dogs during the process. Hope you have a good week!

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  29. Hope Mouse had a great time at the theater! It feels like forever since we've gone out and done anything like that (pre-pandemic for sure!). Really looking forward to your thoughts on Find Her, Keep Her. I love discovering new poets and I haven't heard of her before. Once I finish up at least one of my current reads I'll probably add a Joy Harjo collection. Hope you have a great week ahead!

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  30. That's so fun that you and Mouse can share books! And lucky Mouse going to see Mean Girls! What a fantastic experience. Reading List looks good. I read Dear Fahrenheit 451 and it was cute but not the most memorable and it's a super quick read so you might be able to fit that in. Have a great week!

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  31. I love A Darker Shade Of Magic and Furiously Happy. I hope you're having a great week!

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  32. Thank you for the lovely Christmas card. I love receiving your cards. I got sick this year and although I made a very lame attempt at doing a card this year it was weird since I had no recent pics of the fam so I just gave up. Empty nesting is still weird to me.

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  33. Your poll didn't help! lol Happy reading. Here's my latest:
    http://www.lyndonperrywriter.com/2023/01/review-of-feast-of-fools-anthology.html

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  34. Love your kitties pics. They're adorable!
    Speaking of audio books, I'd only listened to once and that's it for me. It might be the narrator's accent or the speed was a bit fast but it just didn't work for me. I guess I better stick to physical or e-books though the former is always the best choice. :)

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  35. I saw MEAN GIRLS the musical in Chicago and loved it! Definitely a good choice for her not to miss it!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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