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.
February was a very wet month in my part of the world, with lots of rain and strong winds. Then this past Wednesday, it snowed--an extra rare occurrence. Okay, so maybe it was really graupel, which is not snow exactly, but is more like little pellets created when water freeze on falling snowflakes. It's much softer than hail and is sometimes called snow pellets. So, for this Southern Californian, my family, and all of my neighbors who rarely experience snow except for admiring it on the on the distant surrounding mountain tops (or when we visit said mountains), we are holding onto our delusion that it was snow.
Unfortunately, February also brought illness our way. My mom came down with COVID, which I was not a big surprise considering how it was running rampant through the community where she lives. Luckily, she only had a mild case. My husband, daughter and I all caught colds, which seemed to linger awhile. Mouse ended up having to miss one of her Girl Scout cookie booth days, but she made up for it last weekend, working two booths at our assigned store. Armed with umbrellas and warm coats to combat the freezing weather, we were better just in time to attend the open house at the local middle school that was held for incoming seventh graders. We had been on the campus before for Mouse's band concerts last year, but this was the first time we were able to visit different classrooms, meet a handful of the teachers, and get a feel for the campus. I think we all came away feeling a little less anxious (although not entirely) about the transition from elementary school to middle school. At least for now.
How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith
A Perilous Undertaking (Veronica Speedwell) by Deanna Raybourn
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).
I could use your help deciding which book to read next! I went with a ghost theme this time around. I did not realize how many ghost themed books I have! I narrowed it down to these three because they appeal to me most right now. Which of these three books do you think I should read next? Have you read any of them? If so, what did you think? I can't wait to see which book you select for me!
The Sentence asks what we owe to the living, the dead, to the reader and to the book.
A small independent bookstore in Minneapolis is haunted from November 2019 to November 2020 by the store's most annoying customer. Flora dies on All Souls' Day, but she simply won't leave the store. Tookie, who has landed a job selling books after years of incarceration that she survived by reading with murderous attention, must solve the mystery of this haunting while at the same time trying to understand all that occurs in Minneapolis during a year of grief, astonishment, isolation, and furious reckoning.
The Sentence begins on All Souls' Day 2019 and ends on All Souls' Day 2020. Its mystery and proliferating ghost stories during this one year propel a narrative as rich, emotional, and profound as anything Louise Erdrich has written. [Goodreads Summary]
Welcome to Charon's Crossing.
The tea is hot, the scones are fresh, and the dead are just passing through.
When a reaper comes to collect Wallace from his own funeral, Wallace begins to suspect he might be dead.
And when Hugo, the owner of a peculiar tea shop, promises to help him cross over, Wallace decides he’s definitely dead.
But even in death he’s not ready to abandon the life he barely lived, so when Wallace is given one week to cross over, he sets about living a lifetime in seven days.
Hilarious, haunting, and kind, Under the Whispering Door is an uplifting story about a life spent at the office and a death spent building a home. [Goodreads Summary]
Fade to Black is the newest hit ghost hunting reality TV show. Led by husband and wife team Matt and Claire Kirklin, it delivers weekly hauntings investigated by a dedicated team of ghost hunting experts.
Episode Thirteen takes them to every ghost hunter's holy grail: the Paranormal Research Foundation. This brooding, derelict mansion holds secrets and clues about bizarre experiments that took place there in the 1970s. It's also famously haunted, and the team hopes their scientific techniques and high tech gear will prove it.
But as the house begins to reveal itself to them, proof of an afterlife might not be everything Matt dreamed of.
A story told in broken pieces, in tapes, journals, and correspondence, this is the story of Episode Thirteen — and how everything went terribly, horribly wrong. [Goodreads Summary]
Thank you for voting!
March brings breezes loud and shrill,Stirs the dancing daffodil. [excerpt from "The Months" by Sarah Coleridge]
Below are a few snippets from poems that particularly moved me. I love the imagery of winter and the hope of spring to come that many of these poems speak of.
The trees are bare, the sun is cold,And seldom, seldom seen;The heavens have lost their zone of goldThe earth its robe of greenAnd ice upon the glancing streamHast cast its sombre shadeAnd distant hills and valleys seemIn frozen mist arrayed.[excerpt from "The Blue Bell is the Sweetest Flower," verses 3-4, by Emily Bronte]
★ ★ ★
Another day awakes, And who -Changing the world - is this?He comes at whiles, the winter through,West Wind! I would not missHis sudden tryst: the long, the newSurprises of his kiss.[excerpt from "West Wind in Winter" by Alice Meynell]
★ ★ ★
Bending from Heaven, in azure mirthIt kiss'd the forehead of the Earth,And smiled upon the silent sea,And bade the frozen streams be free,And waked to music all their fountains,And breathed upon the frozen mountainsAnd like a prophetess of MayStrewed flowers upon the barren way[except from "To Jane: The Invitation," verses 11-18, by Percy Bysshe Shelley]
★ ★ ★
How shall we open the door of SpringThat Winter is holding wearily shut?Though winds are calling and waters brawling,And snow decaying and light delaying,Yet will it now move in its yielding rutAnd back on its flowery hinges swing,Till wings are flappingAnd woodpeckers tappingWith sharp, clear rappingAt the door of Spring.[excerpt from "The Door of Spring" by Ethelyn Wetherald]
Do any of these snippets speak to you too? Have you read any poetry recently that you would recommend?
So far I have read the first three stories in this collection. "My Mother's Wedding Day" by Tessa Hadley was interesting. It is the story of a young woman on the verge of adulthood, set on the day of her mother's summer solstice wedding to a much younger man. Jane and her family lead an unconventional life--even the wedding will be atypical--and Jane is figuring out how she fits into the world. I really liked "My Mother's Wedding Day" and could see the same spirit in Hadley's Jane as Jane Eyre herself, even if the two stories are very different from one another.
Next I read Sarah Hall's "Luxury Hour" which is about a new mother who gets away for about an hour a day to swim and take some much needed time for herself. On this particular day, she runs into someone from her past and the memories come flooding back. A different time and life. An affair. While it was well written, I was not enamored with this story, admittedly.
My favorite of the three is Helen Dunmore's "Grace Poole Her Testimony" which was wild. Dunmore's portrayal of Grace Poole, an employee at Thornfield Hall. As much as I love the novel Jane Eyre (and the character), this take on the characters was truly inspired. The story is written from the viewpoint of Grace and so it is all about her impressions of Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester. I have no illusions about Mr. Rochester being a romantic hero, even as much as I love the novel, but he's even less likeable in this short story.
★ ★ ★
In the most recent issue there was an article about iyashikei manga by Katie Gill, a librarian and podcaster. I asked my husband and daughter who are much more in the know about manga, and neither had heard of it before. It's a type of manga in which there isn't much conflict and is low on tension. I can see why Katie Gill is drawn to this type of manga. There are times when all I want to do is read low stake novels. I will have to give iyashikei manga a try. Two examples given were The Flying Witch by Chihiro Ishizuka and Girls Last Tour by Tsukumizu, which my daughter has said she wants to read now that she knows about them. So, we may start with those!
Maggie Neal Doherty's article "On Not Marrying Our Books" is very relatable. She references reading Anne Fadiman's essay "Marrying Libraries" in Fadiman's book Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader. I remember reading that one too. Maggie and her husband decided not to mix their books, which I can completely understand. My husband and I did decide to merge our collections, and it was challenging at first. Especially when we came to duplicates because we each wanted to keep our own copies. But we did it. And that was that. For awhile. Our personal library today is not so much filled with his books as it is quite a bit more filled with mine; and we both have separate shelves that are strictly are own in another part of the house. I suppose that makes us somewhere in between Anne Fadiman and Maggie Neal Doherty--and still very much married.
What short stories have you read recently? Do you subscribe to any bookish magazines? Have you read any interesting articles or essays recently?
Mouse is reading the first in the Five Kingdom's series, Sky Riders by Brandon Mull. She had to take a brief break from it when she realized her copy jumped from page 152 to 185 and then double printed thirty-two pages--definite a printing error there. Has that ever happened to you? She now has a new copy and is enjoying it very much. On the manga front, Mouse is reading volume twelve in the Promised Neverland series by Kaiu Shirai and illustrated by Posuka Demizu.
She recently finished The Third Door by Emily Rodda. She thought the ending was a little bit confusing and said it was overall an okay read. She liked the first two books in the trilogy better.
What have you watched recently?
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We keep getting threatened with colder weather and snow too but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn't come to anything. I hope your mum feels better.ReplyDelete
Lauren - I hope the cold and snow do not hit your part of the world too hard, if at all. Snow is such a rarity where I live that we couldn't help but get excited about it. I don't think I would want to live in a climate where it was the norm in the winter though. I am not a fan of cold. My mom is feeling lots better, thank you! Thank you too for stopping by!Delete
I am so sorry to hear the family was sick but a lot here have been sick in February too! Also I voted for Under the Whispering Door LOLReplyDelete
Sophie - It seems like everyone I know was sick at some point in January or February. I am excited to see which book will win. Thank you for voting and visiting!Delete
I have Reader, I Married Him and hope I haven't given it away along with so many of my other books during my downsizing my home library. It's a great collection of stories. Must look for it and finish it. Have a good week.ReplyDelete
Harvee - I hope you can find your copy of Reader, I Married Him so you can finish it. I am looking forward to reading the other stories. Thank you for stopping by!Delete
I am glad to hear that you mom had a mild case! My dad just got over it as well, and also thankfully had a mild case. Have a good week!ReplyDelete
Erin - I am glad it wasn't worse for her too--and for your dad. I hope you have a good week too! Thank you for visiting!Delete
Ooooh, episode 13 sounds like some of the fiction podcasts I enjoy listening so I voted for that! I'm sorry to hear you and your family have been sick - I hope you'll all have more energy and stay healthy in March!ReplyDelete
Eustacia - I hope March will be better for us health wise too! Thank you for voting and stopping by!Delete
It's crazy because my family has always been fascinated with scifi but none of us have seen any of Doctor Who.ReplyDelete
I keep adding to my personal file of poems on Google (the file is here, if you are interested: https://docs.google.com/document/d/13HqVWZVIHIn60k3czeIERSY_U7491VAXe2mb8g-jM94/edit#heading=h.vhacu44bf0oz) and now it's over 500 pages.
It's nice that you were able to visit the middle school a little. It takes away a bit of the fear.
Deb - It's a fun show, if a bit campy. But that's part of its charm.Delete
Thank you for sharing your personal file of poems with me. You could publish your collection of poems. :-) I am glad to see you have a few of Emily Dickinson's poems there.
I am glad we got to visit the middle school too. Middle school years are difficult enough and it's such a huge transition. We ran into some of her school friends while there, and I think that helped too--seeing familiar faces and knowing they will be there too, even if they do not end up in the same classes.
Thank you for visiting!
First of all, call it snow. I understand the various 'definitions', but also being from an area where 'real' snow is rare, call it snow! Ha! Glad all in your family are better from the various illnesses and that Miss Mouse got to help out with the cookie sales. Also, glad you guys got to tour the middle school and get a taste for next year. Honestly, can't believe it's that time already. Who says these kids can grow up? Oh, right - mine did too - a long time ago. By the way, I voted for EPISODE THIRTEEN because I have that one on my Kindle and haven't read it yet. Maybe it will spur me on to try it soon. Have a good week, Wendy!ReplyDelete
Kay - It was quite a sight, all the neighbors out and about laughing and enjoying the snow while it lasted. :-) I am relieved cookie season are almost over. I think this will be Mouse's lowest cookie sale year, but it is what it is.Delete
Time just flies when it comes to kids growing up. I can't believe she'll be starting middle school this coming year. It seems too soon. I hated middle school but I hope her experience will be better.
Thank you for voting! Episode Thirteen seems to be a popular choice if the comments are anything to go by. :-) Thank you for stopping by!
Sorry to hear your mother caught covid. Glad it was a mild case! I have a book with a similar printing error, no missing pages but the first 30 are repeated- publication info, title page and all. It's not one of my favorite books, but I kept it on my shelf just because I find that so quirky.ReplyDelete
Jeane - Thank you. This was her first time and I am relieved it was mild. We will probably keep our misprinted book too--just because. :-) Thank you for visiting!Delete
Wow! What a week for you!! Have a good week!!ReplyDelete
Jo - I hope you have a good week too. Thank you for stopping by!Delete
Of your 3 'what should I read next books', I'm not a lot of help. I've only read the Klune one though the other 2 are on my TBR. While I enjoyed Klune, I didn't like it as much as Cerulean Sea.ReplyDelete
Terrie @ Bookshelf Journeys
Terrie - I hope to read The Cerulean Sea at some point. I hear it is very good. Thank you for visiting!Delete
Awww...sorry that you and your family got colds. Hope that everyone feels better! Also, glad you got some snow in your area!ReplyDelete
Here’s my Sunday Post
Rabbit Ears Book Blog: WORLD’S WEIRDEST BOOK BLOG!
Ronyell - Thank you. It seems to be going around--that and so many other illnesses. The snow was a real surprise! I am glad it isn't a regular event here--so cold and wet--but the rarity of it made it quite the special event! Thank you for stopping by!Delete
That looks like snow to me! We've been getting a lot of hail than usual, but thankfully, it's pea-size and nothing that could damage the roof or cars. But I'm growing very weary of the cold temps. Bring on spring!ReplyDelete
I've never watched Dr. Who, but I'm tempted to start. I'm currently watching New Amsterdam every evening and love it. My husband isn't interested, so I watch while he watching something else (usually a video on a guitar piece he's trying to master).
Thanks for sharing the poetry. I love the idea of reading one poem a day and that book appeals to me.
Have a good week!
Les - As wet and cold as it has been, I am ready for spring too. My tree in the front of the house is starting to bloom.Delete
I really like New Amsterdam. I was disappointed they decided not to air this final season on Hulu like they have past seasons since that's how I watch it. Hopefully I won't have to wait too long before it hits Netflix when it is over.
I am enjoying this collection of poetry and am glad Iliana recommended it. Ending the day with a poem was a good habit to get into.
Thank you for visiting!
So far this year we haven't had any snow and I'm just fine with that as I HATE the stuff. We're only really set up for drizzle in the UK, anyway. I recall a lot of the older Dr Who series with huge affection as I used to watch them with my beloved Grandpa, so I don't want to go near them as I'm afraid it will degrade some precious memories. Have a great week:).ReplyDelete
Sarah - I don't think I would want to live in a place where snow is a regular occurrence, but once in a couple of decades or so I can handle. It melted pretty fast when the sun came out.Delete
I can understand wanting to hold onto the memories and not want to rewatch the series. Those sound like great memories to have of your grandfather.
Thank you for stopping by!
I'm glad your mom had a mild case, I hope you all feel better soon! I like the idea of reading a poem per day and Reader, I Married Him looks good.ReplyDelete
Happy reading, Episode Thirteen is on my wishlist. And that looks like a pretty snowfall! We had a few inches this past week for the first time this Winter.
Naida - I am so glad her case was mild too. I'm back to my usual allergies, but otherwise we are all feeling better. Thank you. And thank you too for visiting!Delete
Take it from someone who deals with snow every single year, your "snow" looks like snow to me. I'd definitely count it, lol.ReplyDelete
My husband and I watched the season with the 9th doctor and then two episodes with the 10th doctor. We never watched anything further. I've always wanted to, though. I've never thought of watching the original series. I hope you enjoy it.
My Sunday News
Jenni Elyse - Thank you! I am glad you agree it is snow. :-) I much prefer the Doctor Who revival series, but it's been fun and interesting to watch the original. My husband and I have only seen through the 11th Doctor and some of the 12th. I kept meaning to watch more but we just never got around to it. I do want to though. Thank you for stopping by!Delete
Illness is no fun; I am glad you are all feeling better and that your mom's case was mild. What a relief.ReplyDelete
The transition to middle school is a big one, but Mouse will do well, I am sure. With her love of reading, she can always find a home in the library and she will know other kids from dance.
Helen - Thank you. We are all glad to be feeling better.Delete
We checked out the library while we were at the middle school--it's so nice. The librarian told us it's quite a popular spot during lunch time. :-) Thank you for visiting!
The weather has been a bit crazy in your neck of the woods. And I had to vote for Episode 13 because that's one that I really want to read. :D Have a great week!ReplyDelete
Lark - The weather has been all over the place. I heard another storm is coming in, but I doubt we will get any more snow. Probably just rain and wind. I hope you have a good week too! Thank you for stopping by and voting!Delete
Yup, I agree... you're more than entitled to just call it snow! Meanwhile, it been warmer than normal is SWFL. Even the overnight lows are almost 10 degrees too warm. My AC is getting a workout already! Glad your mom's case of covid was a mild one. Hope the cookie sales are going well. Have a good week!ReplyDelete
JoAnn - Thank you for agreeing with me. :-) Such weird whether everywhere! Hopefully you will get some cooler weather and I will get warmer weather soon. Thank you for your well wishes and for visiting!Delete
Pretty picture. and glad your mom's Covid was mild. It's scary when a loved one gets it.ReplyDelete
I love magazines, and also the idea of low key manga. Sometimes reading should just be relaxing!
Greg - Thank you. I took a lot of photos--snow here is extremely rare. And I am glad it was just a mild case too. I plan to check out the manga. Low stress reading is a necessity these days. Thank you for stopping by!Delete
The weather has been crazy everywhere, it doesn't seem like anyone is having a "normal" winter. Sorry to hear about the colds, hope you all are feeling better and your mom is over her Covid. We are currently watching Leverage Redemption, we will start season 2 this evening.ReplyDelete
Cindy - We are doing much better, thank you. I hope you have a great week and thank you for visiting!Delete
I voted for Whispering Door only because that is one of the coolest covers ever. LOLReplyDelete
I remember being SO JEALOUS that my Indiana cousins got to go to a completely different school for Jr High. We, in Arizona, just moved over to a different part of the same school.
Jinjer - I think it's a cool cover too. :-) I think my daughter is more anxious than excited about the idea of middle school. It's going to be so different, but she'll probably settle in quickly. Hopefully. Thank you for stopping by!Delete
The weather has been weird. It's a big change from elementary to middle school. I'm glad you got a preview.ReplyDelete
Anne - Books of My Heart This is my Sunday Post
Anne - With choosing electives and the school open house, it's all becoming more real that middle school is fast approaching. Thank you for visiting!Delete
I drove through some graupel while driving to So Cal on Wednesday. Luckily I avoided the snow. Have a great week, WendyReplyDelete
Anonymous - You must have avoided the mountain passes. That's probably a good thing! Thank you for stopping by!Delete
Sorry about all the illnesses. I hope everyone is feeling better. I haven't read any of those TBR books, but I chose Episode 13 as it sounds really good. Hope you have a great week!ReplyDelete
Yvonne - Thank you. We are feeling much better. Thank you for visiting and voting!Delete
I read Reader, I Married Him several years ago. I thought it was very clever as a writing prompt. I like short stories, too. I think you should pick The Sentence as your next book. It was written during the COVID shut down so it feel like it is part of all our reality. My Sunday Salon postReplyDelete
Anne - Yes, it really is a clever writing prompt. I am enjoying seeing the direction each of the others went with it. I definitely want to read The Sentence, although I admit I'm not sure I am ready to read a book set during the pandemic. I read one last year, a memoir, and that was tough. It's still so raw. But if it wins, I will definitely be reading it next. Thank you for stopping by!Delete
Sorry ya'll got sick. Ya know, I have never had a girl scout cookie. I don't have a car, haven't for years and I rarely go out anywhere so I don't see the stands around to buy any.ReplyDelete
Mary - They are hard to avoid here--coming to the door, sending e-mails and posting on social media, and at the stores. LOL Thank you for visiting!Delete
We don't get much snow here either and when we do the world basically completely shuts down! It is pretty - from a distance. Sorry you were all sick this month but glad it was all fairly minor - especially your mom's covid case. All 3 book choices this month look intriguing but I'm especially interested in Episode 13. I can't wait to see what you end up reading. Have a great week!ReplyDelete
Katherine - I agree, I like snow more so from a distance. :-) Thank you for the well wishes and voting! I hope you have a great week too.Delete
I have been meaning to the Veronica Speedwell series for sometime now.. haven't gotten around to it yet. Good to hear your mom only got a mild case of covid.ReplyDelete
Hena - I think I liked the first book better than the second of the Veronica Speedwell series, but I did enjoy both. They make me laugh. :-) Thank you for visiting!Delete
Hmm I don't know the Dr. Who series or the publication Oh Reader so thanks for mentioning these. I will check them out. I've seen the San Bernardino mountains on the news this week. Quite an unusual winter for SoCal but i hope it helps with the water supply. I plan to read Erdrich's novel The Sentence sometime since it involves a bookstore. It looks pretty good. Have a great week.ReplyDelete
Susan - Doctor Who is a British science fiction television series pr a science fiction television series broadcast. It had developed quite the fandom over the years resulting in books and merchandise and such. It involves time and space travel. It's not to everyone's taste, very campy and silly at times, but I really like it. Especially the revival series. It's just really fun. At least I think so!Delete
Yes, the San Bernardino Mountains have gotten quite a bit of press lately with the snow storms and people being stranded there without resources. I am relieved people are finally able to get in and out again. I really hope it helps the water supply too.
I hope you have a great week too. Thank you for stopping by!
I learned how to ski around Big Bear back in the 1970s. But I don't think we ever had snow like what is there now. Hmm. Crazy to think.Delete
I had to chime in when I saw your comment, Susan. I learned how to ski at Big Bear (Snow Summit) in the late 70s, too. Wonder if we were there at the same time. My folks had a cabin in Fawnskin. Crazy weather there this past month!Delete
Those snow pictures look pretty. There something about seeing snow fall that gives it a quiet vibe.ReplyDelete
Have a great week.
Snap Dragon - Thank you for visiting!Delete
I love watching it snow. Episode Thirteen sounds like a good book to read. Hope you have a great week!ReplyDelete
Jamie - It does sound good. I look forward to reading it--even if it doesn't win. ;-) Thank you for stopping by!Delete
Sorry to hear about sickness making the rounds through your family. I was so worried when my mom got Covid last year. She's 77 and lives alone. Thankfully she did okay after a rough week or so started getting her energy back. Crazy to see that snow when it's been over 80 degrees here all week!ReplyDelete
Tanya - I am so glad my mom's case was mild. She's up there in years too. Thank you for visiting!Delete
The weather has been crazy all over California! We're buried in snow and now it's supposed to rain the next two weeks. Glad to hear your mom only had mild symptoms. I agree, it's a little nerve racking to have you child enter middle school! Hope it all goes well. Happy reading and have a great week.ReplyDelete
Rachel - We've been getting rain off and on the last few days. I was half expecting them to cancel camp this coming week because they are expecting rain, but it's still on. Thank you for stopping by!Delete
Sounds like an up and down week for you! Good thing with getting to go into the school, but not so good with your mom getting sick. Glad she only had a mild case. The weather has been interesting to watch here in the midwest where we haven't gotten much snow, even though we usually do! Hope you have a good week!ReplyDelete
Lisa - Thank you for visiting!Delete