Life, The Universe and Everything

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 5/29/17

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

The Book Diet

I swear I’m starting my book diet June 1st. This week I’ve acquired some kindle daily deals and some not so daily deals. Unfortunately, the reading of one book usually leads to the purchase of 2 more books. In this case, The Ten-cent Plague led to the purchase of the Mad titles.

  • Schadenfreude, A Love Story: Me, the Germans, and 20 Years of Attempted Transformations, Unfortunate Miscommunications, and Humiliating Situations That Only They Have Words For by Rebecca Schuman
  • So Far From God by Ana Castillo
  • Mad Magazine #1
  • Mad about the Sixties
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Book Mail!

I also have some book mail. I haven’t opened them yet. I’m hoping I will get off my butt and make a post out of the opening of each box.

 

Last week I read and heard

I am officially in a slump. The last week of school is basically 5 days of no structure. Some kids take exams, some are exempt. Students are checking in and out of school all day long. It’s annoying and I don’t do well in those conditions.

Anyhoo… I did manage to finish the 3rd volume of Princess Jellyfish so now I am carrying the 4th volume around (still not really opening it or reading it.)

I did finish listening to The Ten-Cent Plague. I paid attention to perhaps 85 percent of it? That’s pretty good for me. Especially considering my lack of focus for the last two weeks.

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On Saturday there was a marathon listening and knitting session and I got quite a bit done on a kitchen towel AND I finished listening to Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas. I think memoirs read by the authors are my never-fail listens. I always manage to pay attention to those.

I’m currently reading

After my success with Funny in Farsi, I decided to finally read It Ain’t So Awful Falafel which has been languishing on a shelf for a year (also by Firoozeh Dumas.) I’m also poking around in The Liberal Redneck’s Manifesto and some other kindle books. Like I said, my focus is all over the place.

I’m currently Listening to…

I’m going way out on a limb and listening to TWO different books: God is Disappointed in You by Mark Russell and White Rage by Carol Anderson.

What I’m Watching

We’re still watching The Lonely Shining Goblin. My husband is really enjoying the comedic elements. I’m enjoying it as well, but could do with a little less lingering and longing.

I’m still watching alllll the telenovela things and there’s a new one on the horizon: Totalmente Diva. It’s Brazilian and according to Wikipedia it’s loosely based on Pygmalion. I can’t resist that!

In the kitchen

Some Portobello mushroom “bacon” set off the fire alarm. Other than that I’ve felt like Julia Child…even if I was just searing chicken and making salad.

On the needles

I’m still just in a frenzy of dish cloths, but I feel the need for a shawl. I can’t decide if I want to do Thyme after Thyme or Saffron. (Clearly I’m looking for some spice….)

Yarn has been acquired for the Campfire Cardigan and the Kenzie Kimono.

School is over. Summer has begun. I have 8 weeks to overcome the slump and get my zen and focus back.

Life, The Universe and Everything

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 5/22/17

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

The Book Diet

Let’s not talk about that, shall we? Suffice to say daily deals are the devil and  there are new books on my kindle. I’m giving myself props for at least having enough control to stick to daily deals (it’s under $2) and not buying hard copy books. There’s just no more space.

Some recent acquisitions:

  • Vida
  • Drama is Her Middle Name
  • Beauty and the Geek (#blameitonlitsy)
  • Crime Does Not Pay Archives (all right all right… I confess. It wasn’t a daily deal. My audiobook made me do it.)
  • Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book (IT’S NOT MY FAULT!! This is all the fault of Crime Does Not Pay Archives. Matt Fraction *told* me to read it in the introduction!)
  • Welcome to the Ballroom (also not a deal but one does not simply say no to a Manga about competitive ballroom dancing.)

Where I’m Lurking

Right now I feel like even on Litsy I’m lurking. I’m trying to at least post once a day. I don’t feel like I’m interacting as much as I should. So many interesting Littens, but I can’t seem to muster more than a tap on the heart. I’m so lazy and unfocused these days.

Last week I read and heard

All I managed to finish last week was Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood. It’s the first book in the Phryne Fisher series. I can’t say it was a fun experience for me. I could not pay attention to the audiobook. I did much better reading on the kindle. I decided to give another Phryne Fisher book a try (#9 Raisins and Almonds), but this time only in book form.

I’m currently reading

I’m still  carrying around Princess Jellyfish Vol. 3 and The Hate U Give and I haven’t made progress on either one of them.

I’m currently Listening to…

As hard as it was for me to focus on Phryne, I am not giving up on my quest to become a better listener. (I don’t have much choice. See: Audiobook hoarder)

I think I may have found a winner in The Ten-Cent Plague. My husband is a comic book fan and watched a documentary about Batman and Bill Finger over the weekend. I was napping on the couch at the time, but it must have subconsciously piqued my interest in comic book history.

What I’m Watching

In the absence of Bosch, my husband and I started watching Goliath. We finished it up this weekend.

I did get kind of behind and had a 10 hour marathon on Sunday. (I love them, but sometimes I wish they didn’t air 5 days a week!) It did cut into the reading time. Hopefully I can balance the TV and book a little better when school is out (FRIDAY!)

Summer vacation also means K-drama. I don’t know why, but my husband and I always seem to watch K-drama in the summer. And then we end up going to our neighborhood Korean restaurant and getting Bi bim bap and kimbap. We started Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (we just call it “Goblin”) on Saturday. We’ve only seen 2 episodes, but we are hooked!

In the kitchen

I’m discovering that I find cooking relaxing…and I’m not half bad at it. Ok, so the meal delivery company actually does everything for me except chop the vegetables and cook the food. Let me have my fantasy.

Thanks to Home Chef we’ve enjoyed individual Turkey meatloaves (sooo gooood) and shrimp and grits.

With Blue Apron we got to enjoy Tandoori Chicken and Stir-fried Wonton Noodles.

Update: Blue Apron lost me when they sent an entire bulb of garlic when I only needed two cloves. This happened with 2 different deliveries. I loathe peeling garlic. And now I have two more or less full bulbs of garlic sitting on my counter. They also sent a package of squid ink spaghetti noodles that weren’t part of any recipe. Some poor person is looking for their ink spaghetti. While all the food has been delicious, I find myself more annoyed by them than other services. I mean, they don’t even have an Android app??? I can’t even.

Sooo, we have decided to stick with Home Chef and Plated and just rotate weeks for variety.

On the needles

I’m still plugging away on dish towels and baby blankets, but I found this cardigan and I want to give it a whirl.

So on the book front a rather sluggish week, but the TV has gotten a workout.

Life, The Universe and Everything

Random Thoughts 1 (5/16/17)

My brain is always “on”. It’s not really doing anything productive. It just wanders along.  I need some content. Why not share my wondering wanders on unsuspecting victims with you?

  • Can you post too much on Litsy? How many posts per day would constitute spamming?
  • When I’m linking a book, what should I use? Amazon? Goodreads? Publisher? Or do I even want to bother? (Because lazy.)
  • Is it OK that Slack completely overwhelms me?
  • There’s got to be a way to hide my blog stats. I need to protect myself from obsessing since THEY AREN’T IMPORTANT STOP SHOWING THEM TO ME.
  • I have no problem DNF-ing a print book or kindle. Why is it so hard for me to DNF an audiobook?
  • It’s ok if all I have is 10 minutes. I can’t interact with everyone every day. Dear self, repeat after you, BALANCE.
  • What the hell is the difference between page views and visitors? How is it even possible that they are different?
  • I like “pre-fab” posts (Like “It’s Monday!” and “Top Ten Tuesday”) It really helps me create content and find new blogs to read.
  • I’m pretty uncomfortable about self-promotion. I mean, I’m just rambling over here. What’s there to promote?
Life, The Universe and Everything

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 5/15/17

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

The Book Diet

I had done pretty well. I hadn’t purchased a book for 6 days.  So I rewarded myself…pretty much with 1 book for each day I didn’t buy a book. I swear I can’t resist when all these “bargains” cross my path. “It’s less than $2!” I tell myself while buying 10 of them…

Here’s the list:

  • God is Disappointed in You (I blame my brother-in-law for this one….)
  • Fortune Favors the Wicked (Blame this on BookBub)
  • Outside the Limelight (Really this is a Kindle Unlimited book. Does that count? …and what the hell? How did I not notice that this was book 2?)
  • La Americana
  • And quite a few audiobooks.

Goal Check 

How on earth did I get so many books on my Litsy TBR list???? I’ve been trying to sit down every day for 10 minutes and get them on my Goodreads list and I still have so.many.more to go!!!

Where I’m Lurking

I’m slowly coming to the realization that challenges, -alongs and bingo just aren’t for me. Theat doesn’t stop me from lurking and using the ideas I come across to broaden my reading horizons. Last week Asian Lit Bingo was on my radar. Watch my TBR garden grow.

A friend recently sent me a link to an article about raising bilingual readers on the La Phoenikera blog. I’ve been lurking over there ever since.

Last week I read and heard

I finished up Me Talk Pretty One Day. I can’t say that I loved the Hoopla experience, but oh mylanta I loved David Sedaris. I may have to actually buy this on Audible because I could listen to it again and again and again. I just love his English translations of the French of someone learning the language (oh, that was convoluted.) I have so many hangups about my Spanish, I’m sure I sound the same way. At least now I can laugh at myself.

After Me Talk Pretty One Day, I decided to try When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris. It was available through my library on OverDrive. I like the OverDrive experience so much more than Hoopla

I’m currently reading

I don’t feel like I’m currently reading anything. I keep carrying around Princess Jellyfish Vol. 3 and The Hate U Give, but I haven’t actually read them. I fear a slump. I really do.

Most of my focus has been on catching up with the chapters of Ramona on Serial Reader.

On the kindle I’ve been in and out of Royal Scandal by Marquita Valentine and Alma by Menchu Garcerán.

I started Alphabet Juice by Roy Blount Jr. We didn’t get along. I bailed.

I’m currently Listening to…

When my daughter was here last summer she introduced us to the Phrynne Fisher mysteries on Netflix. I’ve been meaning to try the books ever since. I’m trying out Cocaine Blues while I work on some knitting projects.

What I’m Watching

Meh. I’m probably still watching too much TV. (Which is why I fear the reading slump.) There have been all kinds of schedule changes in Telenovelalandia, with one show going to Saturday and another airing for 2 hours a night. AND a Turkish thriller started as well (daily for 2 hours.) I can’t keep up with it all, but I can’t seem to quit any of them.

Can you still consider yourself a reader if you are spending more time watching TV?

In the kitchen

Home Chef is a winner. We are sticking with them no matter what. We are still debating whether to just stick to one or chose a second just for variety’s sake.

Along with the fixings for two fabulous meals, Plated sent instructions for origami flowers. How can I drop them if they are sending me origami???? Although they are pricey and the serving sizes do seem a little smaller. (but…origami….)

We got our first Blue Apron on Saturday. I had every intention of cooking one of the meals on Sunday, but I got lazy and pulled the Mother’s Day card. My husband went out and got Chinese take out for us. Such a provider.

I only set off the smoke alarm once.

On the needles

I decided I needed a kitchen towel. Chili Pepper to the rescue! Some people meditate. I knit mindless patterns. I actually started two. One in a mercerized, sport-weight cotton and another in worsted weight cotton. I’m not sure the mercerized was a good choice.

So on the book front a rather sluggish week, but the TV has gotten a workout.

Books and Reading

Library Stories 

I have to make a confession.

I’m almost 50 years old and in my lifetime I’ve barely used the library. I absolutely love the idea of the public library. It’s fundamental to democracy and literacy. I just don’t use it much. Partly because I’m lazy (ugh. Get dressed? Go somewhere?) And partly because I just read so damn slow and in the past I just never knew what I was in the mood to read. But I decided to get off my ass after I heard about The Budget Cuts. The Library needs me!!

The first step I took was to get in the habit of always checking my library catalog online before going to Amazon. For the most part this works. I’ve got a shortcut on my phone home screen and I can sign in and add a book to my library wish list wherever I am. Still it’s been a little frustrating.

Even with Hoopla and Overdrive, my library doesn’t seem to have a lot of recent bestsellers and books I like to call viral (you know what I’m talking about…the ones that are all over Goodreads and Litsy for a period of time until the next one comes along.) Worse, I would sometimes find the book, but they only had it in CD format. Maybe I’m not understanding something, but it still feels strange to me that The Mothers by Brit Bennett was only purchased on CD. Of course the Littens helped me out. Many asked if I could get in interlibrary loan.

Next confession: I had to get the school librarian to show me how to request an interlibrary loan.  I decided to request You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain from a library about two hours away. (The Mothers? Oh. Um. Yeah. I had already purchased it…) We hit “request” and I didn’t get anything. No confirmation e-mail, no “success!” pop up. We both found it odd, shrugged our shoulders and moved on.

Fast forward a week or two…

I get a call. It’s not a number I recognize so hell no I’m not picking it up. They left a voicemail. It was the library. First they apologized for not getting back to me sooner. Then they explained that they had received my request, but since the book was so new they weren’t able to get it. Books less than a year old are generally not eligible for ILL. BUT they were going to order the book for our library because it was one they really should have. Since I was the one who requested it, they will contact me as soon as it comes in!

I am in awe. I am cynical by nature so when all the Littens were saying that libraries really want to help the patrons and get what they want I sort of scoffed. I have been proven gloriously wrong.