Friday, February 5, 2016

Weekend reads and settling in...

We're slowly unpacking but have the major stuff done: work clothes hanging in closet, baby's toys strewn across the floor, and most importantly, the chaise couch assembled (life goal achieved!).

It promises to be a mucky weekend here in Boston -- four to eight inches of slushy snow! -- so I hope I get to stay in and do some serious reading and knitting. I'm juggling two books at the moment: Jessa Crispin's The Creative Tarot: A Modern Guide to an Inspired Life and Jacey Bedford's Winterwood. (And of course, my trusty e-reader should I feel finicky.)

What are you reading this weekend?

Friday, January 22, 2016

Weekend reads and unpacking...

It has been a whirlwind week, and I kind of don't believe it's real!

Last Friday, we closed on a condo in a fabulous neighborhood in Boston. We spent Saturday packing, and we moved in on Sunday! We're still in the midst of unpacking, but we're reveling in our new space -- we've gone from a tiny one bedroom to a three bedroom! The baby gets his own room now! Once the place is cleaner, I'll share some photos!

I'm reading The Blue Line by Ingrid Betancourt, and it's like Isabel Allende meets Susanna Kearsley. I just love it so far. It's Betancourt's debut novel, although she's written two other non-fiction books. For those who might not be familiar with her, Betancourt is a Colombian politician who was kidnapped and held hostage for almost seven years. I was captivated by her story and am delighted to see she's dipped her toe into fiction.

What are you reading this weekend?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Tuesday Memes featuring Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

I'm still way behind on blog stuff, especially my 2015 reviews and wrap up. At this point, I'm just going to lean in and embrace this new spirit of, I don't know, forgiveness and slow time because what else am I going to do?

As it is, life has been busy and complicated: this past Friday, we closed on a condo, and we moved into it on Sunday! Needless to say, I've been focused on packing and unpacking, and sadly haven't had the time -- or energy, if there was time --- to do any reading. Now that we're moved, hoping to find that time again!

I'm slowly working my way through Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist. I've wanted to read it since it was released, and decided to tackle this one as part of my 2016 Read Harder challenge (which I'll someday blog about!).

I'm loving it so far, and it makes a great book to use for today's bookish memes.

First Chapter First Paragraph, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea:

The world changes faster than we can fathom in ways that are complicated. these bewildering changes often leave us raw. The cultural climate is shifting, particularly for women as we contend with the retrenchment of reproductive freedom, the persistence of rape culture, and the flawed if not damaging represenations of women we're consuming in music, movies, and literature.

Teaser Tuesday, hosted by A Daily Rhythm:

How do we reconcile the imperfections of feminism with all the good it can do? In truth, feminism is flawed because it is a movement powered by people and people are inherently flawed. For whatever reason, we hold feminism to an unreasonable standard where the movement must be everything we want and must always make the best choices. When feminism falls short of our expectations, we decide the problem is with feminism rather than with the flawed people who act in the name of the movement. (p5)

What are you reading right now? Any teasers of your own to share?

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Tuesday Memes featuring The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth

I'm seriously dithering on post-2015 blog work and so I'm behind on 2016 blog work. I've resolved to give myself a pass on this.

My first read for 2016 is The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth, a challenging read to kick off the year with -- but one I've been curious about and have had blogger friends squee over.

It's a particularly interesting read for me at the moment, as aspects of our hero's feelings echo some of the sentiment shared by those engaged in the Oregon paramilitary standoff. (This is one of the many reasons I'm so passionate about historical fiction; I'm wrestling with complicated issues on politics, government, and self rule when I honestly might have otherwise resorted to glib shoulder shrugs.)

In addition to the current events-y connection, the language in this book has been very thought-provoking, as the author has invented a language meant to evoke Old English. So, some excerpts and teasers so you all can share in the linguistical snakiness!

First Chapter First Paragraph, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea:
the night was clere thought i slept i seen it. thought i slept i seen the calm hierde naht only the still. when i gan down to sleep all was clere in the land and my dreams was full of stillness by dreams did not cepe me still
Bananas, right??? After three days, I'm only 20 pages in, but it is getting easier.

Teaser Tuesday, hosted by A Daily Rhythm
our fathers was freer than us our fathers fathers stalcced the wilde fenns now the fenns is bean tamed efry thing gets smaller. for efry cilde born there is sum new law a man sceolde be free and alone on his land the world sceolde not cum in until he ascs it. freodom sceolde there be in angland again lic there was in the eald daegs in the first daegs of the anglisc (p4)

It was this passage that actually gave me pause and made me think of the standoff in Oregon; the situation evokes complicated feelings in me, and I'm grateful (if not a little discomfited) this novel is making me wrestle a little more with the issue.

What are you reading this week? Share your Teasers with me!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Midweek reads and wrapping up...

Dec/Jan TBR
I keep setting myself up for failure.

I want to write my top ten of 2015 blog post, but nearly half of my top ten reads have been unreviewed, so I keep putting that post off in hopes I'll rally and write those reviews. And I've got some thoughts on changes to this blog for 2016 I want to explore, but don't want to dive into that until I wrap up 2015 stuff. And I want to do some of that fun reading challenge geekiness but haven't nailed down my 2016 TBR.

This is what I do to myself all the time, be it blogging or writing or any other endeavor: lots of rules about how/when I do it. If I make one resolution in 2016, it'll be to give myself permission to just do what I want, the moment I want to do it.

Today is the first snow of the season in Boston, and it's deliciously dramatic from my living room window. My wife had to go to work in it, but I'm happily snuggled inside, although despite the wealth of books around me, I'm not entirely interested in reading (sadly). Apparently one doesn't have postpartum past one year, so I can't blame that, and I need to figure out why I'm still feeling so funky and numb and tired all the time. (Been on Paxil since June and it's helped with my crazy anxiety, but still feeling a bit cloudy and muted.)

I actually don't have much to say in this post, but felt like sharing a little -- I think others might feel as I do, and I could use a little blogger-ly "I hear ya"s.

I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year's -- if you've gotten anything good for the holidays, share in the comments so I can drool and grow my TBR! (A task that cheers me up no matter what!)

Thursday, December 24, 2015

2016 Reading Challenge: Book Riot's Read Harder

I was so intrigued by Book Riot's Read Harder challenge when it came out last year, but was not in the place to participate. But this year, with my goal to do more free-range reading, it seemed more reasonable. What I especially love about reading challenges like this one is that I'm forced to seek out some reads well beyond my regular reading -- and in this day and age when there's so much misunderstanding and lack of empathy toward those who are "other" than one's self, that feels very important.


Read Harder 2016

Read a horror book

Read a nonfiction book about science.

Read a collection of essays.

Read a book out loud to someone else.

Read a middle grade novel.

Read a biography (not memoir or autobiography).

Read a dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel.

Read a book originally published in the decade you were born.

Listen to an audiobook that has won an Audie Award.

Read a book over 500 pages long.

Read a book under 100 pages.

Read a book by or about a person that identifies as transgender.

Read a book that is set in the Middle East.

Read a book that is by an author from Southeast Asia.

Read a book of historical fiction set before 1900.

Read the first book in a series by a person of color..

Read a non-superhero comic that debuted in the last three years.

Read a book that was adapted into a movie, then watch the movie.
Debate which is better.

Read a nonfiction book about feminism or dealing with feminist themes.

Read a book about religion (fiction or nonfiction).

Read a book about politics, in your country or another (fiction or nonfiction).

Read a food memoir.

Read a play.

Read a book with a main character that has a mental illness.



Wednesday, December 23, 2015

2016 Reading Challenge: #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks

This is a book challenge designed for me, and I'm so very grateful that Andi at Estella's Revenge made it happen. #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks is exactly what it sounds like: a reading challenge that requires us to read our damn books!

I'm going to make my aspirational TBR as I unpack from our move, but I'm hoping to read 10 of my own damn books. And I'm planning to split it between my physical reads and my ebooks, especially as I've gotten spendy when it comes to ebooks. They're piling up on my hardrive while my physical bookshelves remain static, and I want to be sure I'm reading what I'm buying!