Reading lately – September

Linking up today with my friend Alison at Puppies and Pretties  where we are sharing what we’ve been reading lately.

 (Some links are affiliate links. If you purchase through the links you help support this blog so thank you for that! )

I have been really cranking on the audio books!

I’ve been binge listening to the Don Tillman series. First up is The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. Don Tillman is a brilliant yet socially challenged genetics professor who decides to find a wife. His approach is quite humorous! I don’t know why I’m on an Australian kick right now, but apparently I am. The narrator of the version I got from the library is great! 4 stars.

Once I finished that I immediately got the sequel: The Rosie Effect which continues Don’s story with more humor and problem solving. I’m not finished with it yet but I’m enjoying it. I’ve been getting a lot of laundry, cooking and cleaning done with all these audio book “reading.” 4 stars.

I had started listening to Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg after hearing about it on this podcast, but my Overdrive app freezed up and I had to delete it and reinstall it. When I did, the book was gone and I had to request it. It hasn’t come in yet but I was enjoying it! No rating yet.

I have also been listening, in the car’s CD player, to It’s All Too Much by Peter Walsh (another Australian!) which is motivating me to continue decluttering. I have already done a good sweep but I’m going back through and finding more that I don’t need. 3.5 stars.

Another audio book that I listened to was Before the Fall by Noah Hawley. I liked the story line and the mystery but I did NOT like the sex and language. It was R rated and I don’t care for that. 2 stars.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield was the only book I actually read and didn’t listen to. Audio books have really upped my ability to get stuff done and read! This book came highly recommended but something about it fell a little flat for me. 3 stars.

Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh is a classic and one that I’ve meant to read for years. I was thrilled to find it on audio and enjoyed it. I can see rereading it on vacation at the beach sometime. 4 stars.

What have you been reading lately? Come back on the second Friday in October for READ::WATCH::LISTEN::FOLLOW!

Styled by Someone Else

I’m joining some Blended Blog ladies in the series “Styled by Someone Else” where we recruit someone with styling help. Some ladies have been styled by their children, their sisters or their mothers. To catch the past posts go here, here and here.styled by someone else

My plan was to ask my 16 year old daughter if she would be my stylist as I think she has good taste. Unfortunately she was busy so I moved to plan B. My husband was a good sport and he jumped right in as a substitute.

Here’s what he came up with…

Outfit number one

floral top and skinny jeans
He likes my skinny jeans so he started with those. Then he added this lightweight floral Cabi top layered over a white tank. He even picked out thisChico’s necklace.

Outfit number two

black and white outfit
He swapped the skinny jeans for white jeans and the floral top for a black checked shirt and the silver necklace for a bold white one. I like the black and white outfit he came up with!

Well done sweetie! I’d wear both of these outfits! Now, more importantly, where are you going to take me if I wear them?

Now hop on over to Sarah’s blog to see who styled her!

Five Ways To Be a Better Cook! {times 2!)

So you wanna be a better cook? Maybe you never learned? Or maybe you are stuck in a rut? I am by no means a trained chef, but I did snag my man thanks to my cooking {wink} so I do have a few tips to share with you ! Hop on over to The Blended Blog to get my 5 tips (times two)! I’m running a BOGO deal over there! HA!self-help-graphic-cook

Also, I am taking the Write 31 Days Challenge again this year which will run the whole month of October. Last year I blogged about fashion. This year I’ve decided my topic will be 31 Days in my Italian Kitchen! I’ll be sharing recipes (of course!) as well as cooking tips, stocking an Italian pantry, and the best food brands in the US. Don’t forget to stop by every day in October and see what I’m sharing that day!

italian-kitchen

 

 

10 Iconic Restaurants in Gainesville

Since having a son in college at the University of Florida in Gainesville, we’ve been back a few times to visit. It’s been fun to drive around and tell stories of how we met, and reminisce about places we’d frequent. Ahhh nostalgia! I counted up 10 places that are still in business after 25 years! Some places have had a little face lift, change of venue or change of owners. If you are a Gator, see if you remember any of these places!  (I also thought of some classics that are no longer around -separate post coming soon!)

10 Iconic Gainesville Restaurants

  1. Burrito Brothers – Although the location has changed (just around the corner from the original location on 13th Street), the place still serves really good burritos. And guac. Get the guac. The place is a little more upscale from the dive it used to be.Krispy Kreme in Gainesville
  2. Krispy Kreme – This place doesn’t look like it’s changed much since I went to school here in the mid 80s. I love to tell the story of how during freshman year my friend, Nancy, and I rode our bikes here in the middle of an all-nighter to buy BOGO dozen donuts and how we EACH finished off a whole box. Yep. A.whole.dozen. (See that building going up in the background? That’s where Burrito Bros USED to be located! Now those building are gone and this behemoth is going up!)
  3. Copper Monkey – Right across the street from campus, I only remember eating here once, on a date. I don’t remember the food at all, just that the guy was weird. I think that tarnished the place for me but I’d probably give it a try again. It’s amazing to me that THIS place “made it” when so many other places didn’t (post coming soon!)El Indio Gainesville
  4. El Indio – This place gave Burrito Bros a run for their money! Another Mexican eatery close to campus with affordable pricing.
  5. Emiliano’s – I remember eating here a few times when I was in school here. It was a little swankier than I could usually afford, being a college student and all. I was happy to see it was still going strong after all these years!
  6. Steak and Shake – Although this is a chain fast food restaurant, it has been here forever (a McDonald’s and a Burger King have come and gone!) My husband remembers eating here when he was a kid and his family would come to Gainesville from Ocala to shop. I remember there was a murder in this restaurant when I went to school here.
  7. Wine and Cheese Gallery – We bought the wine for our wedding at this little shop on Main Street (a nice Montepulciano d’Abruzzo). I was so happy to see it’s still in business! (Actually, in looking up the shop I found out it had closed down last year but reopened under a new owner. It looks like it’s a food place too now! I guess I’ll have to check it out next time I’m in town!)706
  8. Leonardo’s 706 – Actually Leonardo’s has three locations around Gainesville: one VERY close to campus, one a few blocks down (that’s the 706 location) and one in Milhopper. Rumor has it that the one by campus will be closing soon since the university bought that block. I remember that 706 was famous for their garlic knots.
  9. Mr. Han’s – I remember going here to celebrate a few times. It was a fancy Chinese restaurant. According to one Yelper, “The restaurant itself is a little tired looking and a bit past its glory, but nice enough I suppose. The food quality still makes it well worth a visit.”
  10. Market Street Pub – We used to come hang out here, drink beer and shoot darts. When we stopped by recently to celebrate his 21st birthday we found the location closed (it was a Sunday). According to the website, a few things have changed, one of which is that it is now a performance venue offering cabaret and belly dancing. So although the place has changed, it’s still in operation!

25 iconic restaurants in Gainesville

Pin this graphic to remember which of these restaurants is your favorite! If you attended the University of Florida in the 80s and early 90s, what places would you add to my list?

Ballard Designs Tailgating Class

Remember when I shared about a Ballard Designs class that I had attended for Christmas decorating? Somehow I did not get on the email list after that (I wasn’t the only one) so I did not know when their other classes were being held. I missed quite a few of them and just happened to find out last week that there was one coming up on tailgating, so I quickly called the store and signed up to attend. The class is free but you do need to sign up ahead of time.

As I expected, it did not disappoint!  They offer a lovely buffet of pastries and snacks and coffee. Everyone gets a gift; this time it was one of their medium-sized, aqua-colored burlap totes. I have one of the larger totes and I love it! I use it all the time! So I was so glad to get a smaller version and in a fun color to boot!

As they did for the Christmas class, they featured three different vignettes. I took notes in my bullet journal so that I wouldn’t forget the things I learned.tailgating-graphic

Tailgating with Color

The first one focused on Tailgating With Color. This scenario is for when you are tailgating out of your car at the game. Here are my take-aways:

  • Stick to three colors
  • Fill cellophane bags with single serving snack items and tie with cute ribbon
  • Look around the house to find things to display your silverware and creative ways (they used a wooden letter sorter/desk organizer – so clever! The yellow napkins were “penalty flags.”)
  • A three-tier wire basket add height to a table
  • Use a galvanized bucket to hold drinks
  • Display a menu so guess know what they are eating
  • Look for ways to add a touch of whimsy (in this case, the celophane bags, the banner and the penalty flags)tailgating-with-color

Tailgating at Home

The second vignette focused on Tailgating at Home, which, as the name implies, is for when you are hosting a football party at home.

  • Pull items from around your home such as urns and vases to use as display pieces (they used urns to hold snacks, etc)
  • Use real plates and glasses since you can use a dishwasher to clean up
  • Bring in live plants to your display
  • A plant stand can double as an ice bucket
  • A black, white, and gold color theme will lend itself to any team
  • A (clean) indoor/outdoor turf doormat adds that touch of whimsy
  • Layer pieces such as a paper or linen table runner with wooden boards or trays
  • Make a whimsical banner out of twine, ribbons, and papertailgating-at-home

Luxury Look

The third vignette was a Luxury Look. this look is centered around the idea of tailgating at the game out of a camper or RV.

  • Bring a temporary table to serve as a serving station
  • A fitted (tailored) burlap table skirt lends classic yet rustic elegance
  • The bonus is you can hide unsightly items – such as empty serving trays – underneath the skirt
  • Serve a team-colored cocktail from a pitcher
  • A plaid table runner adds a fall feel to the display
  • Display items such as lanterns (with fake candles) give a cozy ambiance
  • Wooden folding chairs (rather than plastic) add seating with a luxurious feel
  • Drape cozy throws (such as cashmere) on chairs for those cooler temperatures (that will be a while yet here in Florida)luxury-look

Although I do not host Football parties or tailgate at games, there was still so much that I could take away about hosting parties at my house. So it was still a win! (Even if I don’t have an RV or cashmere throw.)

Another gift you receive in your tote bag is a percentage-off coupon that you can spend that day only. This time it was 25% off anything in the store so of course I had to find something to spend it on! I decided to get a large glass cloche that I can use to cover a large three/layer cake, or when not in use covering food items, I can use in decorating. As soon as I got home I played around and came up with this: glass-cake-dome-marked

As I’m sure you are getting tired of hearing, we are celebrating our 25th anniversary this year and my parents are celebrating their 50th. We are going to have a large party at our house complete with dancing and catered foods. I took away lots of great ideas for creating attractive displays of food and drinks that I can apply to this big party that I will be hosting.

I’m grateful that stores like Ballard Designs offers free decorating classes. It’s always good to learn something new!

And now that we have ESPN at home, who knows? Maybe we will start watching football every Saturday and hosting big parties!

But somehow, I doubt it. Can you really teach an old dog new tricks? Really?

This is NOT a sponsored post. I am receiving no compensation from BD. Some links may be affiliate links with companies who participate in affiliate programs which means I may receive a small commission if your purchase through my link. BD is not such a company. 

How Well Do You Know Your Man?

As part of our 25th Anniversary, I thought it would be fun to answer this questionnaire that I saw on Andrea’s blog. We were in the car together driving to St. Augustine to go sailing when I asked the question, answered it and then he  would tell me if I was right or wrong. It was fun and the verdict is that I *do* know my man pretty well!sailing in st aug

1. He’s sitting in front of the TV, what is on? Gator or Clemson football (we *just* got ESPN for the first time in our together history!)
2. You’re out to eat; what kind of dressing does he get on his salad? Blue cheese (or vinaigrette)
3. What’s one food he doesn’t like? Mushrooms (but he will eat them if they are present unlike me and my hangups)
4. You go out to eat and have a drink; what does he order? PBR or Bud Light (he said Blue Moon. But he does often order what I said…)
5. Where did he go to high school? St. John’s Lutheran
6. What is his nickname for you? She-rah, Master of the Jungle Women
7. If he were to collect anything, what would it be? Race medals (he actually does collect them because he runs so many races! He said sailboats.)
8. What would he eat every day if he could? Homemade pizza (I’ve been making it weekly lately)
9. What is his favorite cereal? Granola
10. What would he never wear? A black turtleneck (we had a good laugh over this one! He can’t stand turtlenecks!)
11. What is his favorite sports team? Clemson (and Gators…)
12. Who did he vote for? Haven’t voted yet but there’s no one that looks promising.
13. Who is his best friend? Me and his twin, John.
14. What do you do that bothers him? Worry about my weight/looks (he said he had a hard time coming up with something [I’m so perfect-HA!] but when I gave my answer he agreed.)
15. What is his heritage? Spain and Italy
16. You bake him a cake for his birthday; what kind of cake? Key lime pie (I also make this regularly. My goal to to have him yell uncle. So far, he’s a tough nut to crack.)
17. Did he play sports in high school? Yes!
18. What could he spend hours doing? Running
19. How does he make you feel special? He makes me coffee every morning, tells me I’m beautiful, writes me notes, takes me on dates, brings me flowers, spends time with me doing ANYTHING! Surprises me with fun stuff (trip to Paris!)
20. What is one unique talent he has? He can chart a flood zone map, talk to anyone and do an Ironman. (oops. I guess that’s three talents. What can I say, he’s a talented guy!)

disney beer flightloving lifeworking hard in the booth

This was so fun! Glad to know that I *do* know my man! Here’s a little story…

Our anniversary this year was during Hurricane Hermine. We had made plans to go to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants – Bistro Aix. I had called a few days earlier to make reservations (and mentioned that it was our silver anniversary) and then called again a few hours before to make sure they were going to be open. (You know, a hurricane was coming…) They assured us that they were. When we arrived they showed us to our table and there was a card there with “Happy Anniversary” on the front and it was signed by the whole staff. And they gave us dessert on the house! Isn’t that so nice?dessert at bistro aixbistro aix dinner

I had told Michael that his gifts would be coming at intervals. I gave him one in the morning, one at night and one arrived the following day. Coincidentally, he was home Friday afternoon when the UPS man rang the doorbell. Usually they ring and run but this time he rang, waited and rang again. Michael and I both went to the door. A tall narrow box was being delivered. I turned to Michael and blurted, “Happy Anniversary!” He was taken by surprise! The UPS man had read what I had written as a message and he waited around to see Michael’s reaction! I hope we made his day!

(When we got engaged, Michael – of course – gave me an engagement ring. I gave him a gift too! A Pawley’s Island Hammock! 25 years later I gave him another one!)

Speaking of anniversaries…the Blended Blog is celebrating its one year anniversary this week and in celebration we are having a blog scavenger hunt! If you play along you can be entered to win a $150 gift certificate to the store of your choice! Be sure to hop over and play [HINT: I’m one of the featured bloggers today!]. While you’re there check out our new look and let me know what you think! (I love it!)

READ::WATCH::LISTEN::FOLLOW {a linkup}

Welcome to a new linkup that will highlight the things we are currently reading, watching, listening and following. It will be a place where we can discover new books or article; shows or videos (or even sermons!); music or podcasts or audio books; and blogs, Instagram or Pinterest accounts. We can share what we like and what we don’t like and that way each person will find new things worth pursuing and steer clear of those that are not. So let’s get to it, shall we?Read

READ

I mentioned a few days ago that I am currently listening to Before the Fall on Overdrive. Although I like the story so far, I’m having a hard time with all the language. I may end up abandoning it if it gets to be too much. I wish books had a rating like the movies do! This would be an ‘R’ for sure.

I also mentioned the other books I have on Overdrive and what I’m reading at night before bed on this post. I’m still working through all those.

WATCHstranger-things

I confess that I don’t watch much TV and I haven’t been to the movies in quite some time. However, we did watch Stranger Things on Netflix recently. It’s not my usual thing but my son, Timothy, had us watch it. I’m just glad I didn’t have nightmares. It’s a little spookier and creepier than I like. Regardless, now I’m hooked so I will probably watch season 2 when it comes out. gilmore-girls

I’m also almost finished with Gilmore Girls. I’m in Season 7. Can’t believe how long it’s taken me! This is a show I watch on my own, so I usually watch it while I’m doing something.ask-it

 

The other thing I’m watching is an Andy Stanley series called Ask It. Our Life Group is watching it as homework and then we discuss the questions when we meet on every other Sunday night. Did you know there’s a question that makes it easy to determine the answer to all the other questions? Should I stay? Should I go? Buy it? Sell it? Start it? Stop it? All you have to do is ask it! We are on week 2 this week and I’ve already put it into practice this past week. Good stuff!

LISTEN

Besides books, which I’ve already mentioned, I like to listen to podcasts. My hands-down favorite right now is What Should I Read Next? with Anne Bogel. I just love the interaction between Anne and her guests as she asks for three books they love, one book they hate, what they’ve been reading lately and then she gives them three books to choose from to read next. My GoodReads TBR list has grown significantly from listening to this podcast!

FOLLOW

One area that I like to read about, because I don’t feel I’m very good at, is home decorating. One of my favorite blogs regarding all things home (and some DIY) is Ann Drake’s On Sutton Place. Her blog is classy and all the posts she shares are simply lovely. It is my muse and motivates me to keep trying to decorate, to keep decluttering, to keep making my space as lovely as possible, on a shoestring budget. Although her design style is “classically vintage” and mine is more “coastal cottage” I still get a lot of ideas for design from her blog. For example, here’s a recent, easy DIY project that I just love!

diy-holiday-pinecone-garland-pin

I think I need to go collect some pinecones soon!

And this gingerbread cake…doesn’t it look amazing!?

old-fashioned-gingerbred-cake-recipe

I pin like crazy from her blog! Check out On Sutton Place and let me know what you think!


Be sure to add your own link to the linkup below!

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, you don’t pay anything more, but I will make a small commission. Thank you for supporting this blog!

Currently…

Joining in the “currently” link up for the first time! Here’s what I’m currently doing…

reading…

…so many things! I have Before the Fall going on my Overdrive App.

Come back on Friday where I’ll share what else I’m reading!

trying…

…to discern the Lord’s leading in an area of my life. Let’s just leave it at that. Also trying to get more organized at life in general. I’m decluttering, filing, purging…

hoping…

…that I get inspired to do something to get back on eating track. I can’t seem to pull myself up by my bootstraps with this one. I have lost my mojo…

decorating…

…the house for fall, despite the fact that it’s still in the 90s here. But Hermine brought down the humidity just slightly so the air DOES feel different!

to-do listing…

…in my bullet journal! Thanks to Michael Ann’s guidance, I finally got it going for me. Like her, my bullet journal is not all fancy, but it IS working and I’m happy for that!

So what have you been currently up to? Tell me in the comments! Be sure to come back on Friday to see what I’m currently Reading, Watching, Listening and Following and share what you are by linking up with me! You might give me a new book, show, podcast or blog to follow!

What’s In My Pantry

The Blended Bloggers are running a series called What’s in My…. So far they have done What’s in My Handbag, Junk Drawer, Make Up Bag and now it’s my turn to participate. I signed up for What’s in My Pantry. I knew I needed to give my pantry a good cleaning so be signing up I forced myself to do it and boy, was I right! Do I know myself, or what?what_s_in_my_announcement_graphic_1024

PANTRY BEFORE

In the spirit of openness and transparency, here are the before pictures. A busy season of life caused my usually organized pantry to become a jumbled mess. We were stuffing stuff anywhere it would fit which didn’t leave the space very organized. Let’s take a look, shall we? My pantry has three sides. This is what you see when you look straight in the door. This area is supposed to hold canned goods, bottles, tea and coffee.messy front view of pantryIt is doing that, for the most part, but the spices had outgrown their designated area and the tea too for that matter. They were spilling into other areas! There was some extra baking stuff on the top shelf. Just a mess, I tell ya!messy bottom half of pantryThe floor was littered with over-sized containers. We could barely walk in! But where could these large pieces fit?messy left side of pantrySpices, sauces, oils and vinegars were supposed to live on the left side of the pantry, but the whole situation had gotten out of hand. messy bottom left side of pantrySome spice bottles were just too big to live on the shelf they were assigned to so they relocated to other areas. That made it so hard to find stuff when I need it!messy top right side of pantryNow, on to the right side where there are four deep shelves. Originally, paper goods were assigned the top shelf. The next shelf down was supposed to hold baking supplies.messy bottom right side of pantryThe third shelf from the top used to house boxes: cake mixes, cereal, crackers, and the like. We no longer have much of that kind of stuff anymore since changing the way we eat. Finally, the bottom shelf held legumes and pasta.

KITCHEN DURING

Thanks to Hurricane Hermine, we didn’t go sailing on Saturday morning like we had originally planned. Instead, I spent three hours pulling everything out of the pantry and wiping down every wire surface (boy did it need it!)IMG_8774I was a little worried I’d never get my surfaces cleaned again! This was just the left side! I had already replaced the middle section. Oh, the chaos!IMG_8773(See those roses in the background? Yeah, my sweet husband brought them home from work on our 25th wedding anniversary! He really loves me! I also know he really loves me because he didn’t freak out too much when he walked in from working on the sailboat to find this disaster!)

PANTRY AFTER

When each section of the pantry was clean, I reorganized what each shelf should hold and put things back in their new locations. Obviously, I did a little culling; I threw out old and expired stuff, set some things aside to donate, and repackaged a few things. Ahhhh… it feels so good! I’m sure you want to see, right?pantry shelves 1 and 2The top shelf is now for drinks: tea, coffee, lemonade, etc. The second shelf holds all the small baking supplies such as baking powder, baking soda, baking chocolates, cocoa, and chocolate chips (don’t judge! I got those on sale!)pantry shelves 3 and 4The next shelf down is for jars of grains, nuts, raisins, etc. Then canned goods and jars of nut butters go under that. (You didn’t know Nutella was a nut butter? What? Yes, it is! Hazelnuts! Now you know! You’re welcome!)img_8786The next shelf holds our essential oils and all our canned tomatoes. Hey, I’m Italian! We go through a lot of tomatoes! (And when I say “all our canned tomatoes” I don’t mean ALL. I have four boxes stored at my mom’s house. This is just what I have keep on the pantry shelves.)bottom shelf of pantryThe bottom shelf has all our oils as well as pancake syrup and honey. The floor is much better now, don’t you think?! It only has buckets of wheat, onions/garlic and potatoes. Oh, and dog treats.IMG_8778The spice rack is much improved! The top shelf now corrals all those large spice containers. The next shelf has some “healthy stuff” as well as spice mixes. The third shelf holds the “sweet spices” like nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger, while the fourth shelf has savory/leafy spices such as tumeric, celery seed, oregano, marjoram, summer savory.IMG_8779The fifth shelf has all the salt and peppers: from popcorn and pink Himalayan salt to white, black and red pepper. The shelf below that one has all our extracts and as well as some bottled items.IMG_8780The final two shelves contain more bottles. Sauces such as mirin and fish sauces on the sixth shelf and various vinegars on the very bottom shelf. Does anyone else have balsamic, apple cider, white wine, rice, and white distilled vinegars? (This is my pared down collection. I’ve also had red wine, champagne and several flavored vinegars.)IMG_8781Now the right side: the top still holds our paper plates and napkins but I moved the utensils caddy here. I also moved some plastic stuff to the bottom drawer.IMG_8782The next shelf down still holds our baking stuff but now it’s only for flours and sweeteners in large containers. All that small stuff is on the narrow shelf I already showed you. Now we’ll be able to find that stuff a lot easier!IMG_8783Since we no longer have a lot of boxes, this next shelf holds just a few boxes of pasta, granola bars and graham crackers (to feed my husband’s key lime addiction). I’m keeping some overstock items in the back. I also put the protein powder and large bottle of white wine vinegar here to get it off the floor. When I get around to opening those THM bags, they will go in jars. I just put them here for now.IMG_8784The bottom shelf didn’t get too much rearranging. It still houses our dried beans, popcorn and oatmeal. Then there are two drawers. The top, shallow drawer, used to be our bread drawer. Now it holds pita, low-carb tortillas and Michael’s lunch bags. The bottom drawer used to be our chip drawer but now it’s holding plastic cups, plastic forks and some paper bowls. We (sadly) don’t eat chips anymore.growth chartWhen we first moved into this house 16 years ago, it didn’t have a pantry. We “stole” some room from the living room to create this life-saver! When we did that, we started recording our kids’ growth on the inside door frame. If we ever move from this house, I’m ripping out this piece of framing and taking it with me! This was before the days of Pinterest and all the cute ideas on there! So there you have it folks! What's in My Pantry
So I gotta ask…what’s in yours?? Link up with us below! Also be sure to check out what is in Leslie’s kitchen and in Katie’s pantry! I can’t wait to see theirs!

Summer Reading – August

Welcome back to August’s edition of Summer Reading. The summer reading link up is over (because summer is over, not because reading is over) but I will continue sharing what I’ve been reading. In fact, beginning next week, I will host a “What I’ve been Reading, Watching, Listening, and Following” series! So if you like to read books, watch shows/movies/videos, listen to podcasts or audio books and follow interesting bloggers or Instagrammers, you should consider linking up the second Friday of each month! Let me know you are interested in the comments and I’ll add you to my email list so I can send you out a reminder the week before. (I sure do need those prods!)

summer reading graphic

What I read in August:

  • A String in the Harp by Nancy Bond. 3 stars. I finished it so that’s saying something but I did NOT love it. I found that the plot dragged a bit and I didn’t identify with the characters. Because the book dragged I didn’t tear through it which affected the number of books I read this month. Not many.

  • Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I liked it! 5 stars. I really got into the story and was rooting for the characters. It made me more aware of quadripligics and their struggles. I don’t know if I’ll see the movie but I’m glad I read the book. (Actually I listened to it on audio.)

 

Technically these are the only book I read in August. However I did start reading four other ones.

What I started reading in August

    • The Thirteenth’s Tale by Diane Setterfield. This came so highly recommended by several friends that I just couldn’t WAIT  to dive in. Then I came to a screeching halt in the chapter that had a lot of sadism in it. I had to ask said friends if it got better and they urged me to keep going. We’ll see. The sadistic activity is disturbing.

  • Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindburgh. I’ve had this book for a while but never got around to reading it. I was looking for a new audio book to replace Me Before You. Of course three came in at once. This is one of them. It is so rich and deep that I can only nibble on it a little at a time.

    • Night by Elie Wiesel. I couldn’t just plow through this story. It is a hard story that requires the right frame of mind and the time to devote to it. I have to be able to focus.

  • The Real Thing by Ellen McCarthy. I had gotten this book from the library earlier in the summer but ran out of time and had to turn it back in as it had a hold on it. I finally got it back and since yesterday was my silver anniversary, I’m going to enjoy reading about “lessons on love and life from a wedding reporter’s notebook.” I’ll see how many I agree with and if I would add anything!

There was an audio book I started but quickly abandoned.

What I abandoned in August

  • Someone by Alice McDermott. It wasn’t the story I didn’t like. I didn’t get very far at all actually. It was the narrator. I could not get over how she read. EVERY sentence ended on an up NOTE? Like she was asking a QUESTION? But it was really a STATEMENT? Like THIS? Yeah. I couldn’t stand it. Has anyone read it? Or read any Alice McDermott? I haven’t and I wonder if it’s worth reading for myself.

Be sure to check out the ladies below to see what they’ve been reading lately and you might just find your next great read! Then come back next week for Read, Watch, Listen, Follow! What have you been reading this last month?

As Anne Bogel says: Happy reading everyone!

Michael Ann

Leslie

Christy

Joy