- Rockin' the USA!, USA
- member since December 21, 2008
Hey Mel! I dropped by the wayside working on getting a kidney transplant (still waiting). My historical fiction is really interrupting my own writing! How addictive is this? Plus, I scored advanced copies of several books from a library book sale. Dying to add them to my list, maybe start up a discussion.
Oops… a whole month gone and past. How time flies when you are having fun. Lol
Yes, I guess Mass. schools have a good reputation, mostly. There are also lots of people here who like to think outside the box, which might explain the home schooling trend. Anyway, your ds' reading and learning schedule sounds impressive. I don't know any of the books you mentioned for his reading and didn't know you were a teacher… but that explains a lot. As an experienced teacher, you are ideally suited for the home schooling task. Not everybody is, I think.
I hope all the storms and tornadoes that have recently hit the US have not affected you. We got away with some gusty wind and sleazy sleet, but that was a couple of weeks ago and nothing too dramatic. Have not had time to read much (an ongoing motif and a bore), but what's a person to do? Haven't even watched television in weeks. Still have to catch up on the Downton Abbey season 2, episodes 3-7, which I recorded. Did you happen to see this Masterpiece classic series on PBS? They are always so well done and worth watching! I know you said that you don't watch TV, but don't you make an exception once in a while? By the way, got an audio version of B. Kingsolver's 'The Lacuna' at the library the other day and have been listening to it. The narrator's voice takes some getting used to and the CD is scratched. I listen for a few minutes, hear a scratch... then my mind starts to wander – thinking about change of scenery, locus amoenus, Wanderlust… and I end up having to go back to where I started. Loopy. I think, I'll just return the audio and read the book at some point. It's been tough going lately, so as always when I'm overwhelmingly underwhelmed, listening to music and re-reading some favorite poems gets me to hang in there and shine on. Soothing rhythms for the chicken's soul really work wonders :)
March 20... and Spring has sprung. To hopeful new beginnings. == Andrea
Never tried an audio book before. Next time at the library, I'll go check what they have in the audio section…it's a good idea!!
Always wondered about home schooling. What made you decide to do it? Before we moved here, I never knew anyone who did this. But it seems to be pretty common here… such a big responsibility though. Cultural differences always fascinate me Do you teach your ds alone or share the task with other parents in a group? Our neighbors did home group teaching and it seems to have worked fairly well. Both of their sons are now in College and like to knit and cook :) They are rather creative, pretty good musicians, and competitive game players – Poker, Dungeons & Dragons – that kind of thing. That last bit is a little strange, I think, but maybe that's just me…
Now, re. the Barnes novel: I did not mean to twist your arm or wrist. Oh dear! Never thought I could be so forceful. Lol
Though it would be interesting to see what you make of the twists and turns in the story, please don't feel like you have to get to it right away and upset all your reading plans on my account.
Just read happy,
I don't really know how people do it, read over a hundred books a year, I mean. They must be speed readers or something.
Ach…too bad, you don’t have time to look at the Julian Barnes now. Would have really liked to hear what you think of it…
You are right, my work schedule is busy at the moment. Have to read a lot for work, so at the end of the day my eyes are usually sore and ready for the Petri dish. Lol
Let me know if you read something extraordinarily good, okay?
Always love to hear from you. xx Andrea
Happy New Year :) Hope all's well. Thanks for your note. The holidays went by so fast. Always wish they would last longer; it was nice to have a few days off.
You bought the Hugo for your ds…such a cool book. Will be interesting to see if the movie lives up to it.
Wow, you are aiming for a high reading score this year and have it all so well organized! Makes me feel like a lazy daisy. Lol
I've resisted setting reading goals this time around. Let's just say that I really wasn't a good Shelfarian this past year. Fell completely short of my reading goals. How did you manage to keep up with yours? Some of the books on my tbr list were such heavy weights; would they count double, I wonder?
You know, new year's resolutions have rarely worked for me, so this time, I guess, I'll go with the flow. No pressure… see what the new year brings… and just read when I have time and feel like it. Have you ever noticed that after reading so many (often not even very good) books, one after the other, they all seem to blend into one big blurry void. In some cases, I can barely remember particulars of the story, the characters, not to mention the author's name, or even the title of a book just a few weeks after reading it. Well, maybe it’s my mind that's going, oh god… or it could be, that I gulped the books down and not really appreciated, or took time to consider, what I was reading anymore because there was too much else on my plate. Does that ever happen to you?
Anyway, for now I've decided to take it just one book at a time and see how far I get.
My first book this year, by the way, turned out to be a very lucky choice. It was Julian Barnes', The Sense of an Ending, and it was fantastic! Barnes won the 2011 Man Booker Prize for it and more than deserved the award. The novel was truly one of the best I've read in many years. Call me nuts, but it was so good, that I had to go and read it a second time right after I'd finished it. It is one of the books that is going to stay with me and not be forgotten.
So Mel, in case this is not already on your tbr list and you have a bit of space left for an additional novel (it's not a long one), you've got to have a look at this book and let me know what you think of it. Happy reading.
Until next time, Andrea xx
Ach no. We didn't make it to the Cape because we got hit by that large storm (Irene) and had some damage we needed to deal with. Sighs! Now trying to plan something for October. I'll believe it when we actually go. Chuckles.
Anyway… fascinating about the Amish. They really let their kids do technical stuff as long as they are not in church yet and then take it all away later? I wonder how that works out for them in the long run. I mean, can you imagine knowing there are TVs, computers, telephones, and all that and you are not allowed to use them anymore…. ever. ---
On another note, loved the Hugo Cabret book. It's a bit like a silent movie… without the music but with words instead. It will be interesting to see how a child responds to it. Let me know what your ds makes of it.
Have you read anything outstanding lately? Something you would recommend and think I absolutely have to read? Just finished 'The Girl who Played with Fire' (no. 2 of a trilogy) by Stieg Larsson. Everyone around me was going crazy about it and telling me it was a must read. It really was suspenseful but I didn't care for all the violence. So, it's back to the classics for me. Picked up E. Gaskell's 'Ruth' a bit half-heartedly. Right now, I'm just not in much of a reading mood. Don't know why. Does that ever happen to you?
Hope all's well, Mel. Andrea
Actually, we haven't been to the Cape in years. Chatham and Provincetown are really lovely, traditional seaside resort towns but so is Bourne, and Wellfleet…and well, the Cape is just a beautiful part of New England. There are several great winding bike paths along the shore and around the island, if you like biking. Beaches are great too, however, the water is prrrreeetttttty cold. It's alright, I guess, for lobsters and hardy New Englanders, but since I am neither… a nice cozy beach chair and a book is more my thing for chilling out. LOL
Problem is, we're late making our vacation plans and don't know if we are going to find a place. In high season everything is typically booked. If you ever wanted to go, I would recommend that you find a place to stay way in advance! If we can't find a place, we might go to the Berkshires… and to a Tanglewood concert maybe… or to Acadia, Maine.
What did you do in Amish country in Ohio? Was it interesting? I imagine it must have been a quiet vacation away from it all (no cars, no phones, no computers, no electricity, a bit like camping but with good home cooking… something like that?). Had not a clue that you could even do that. I mean, that the Amish allowed strangers/outsiders into their community.
Hope you have a lovely summer. Wish us luck with our vacation. I have another reading tip. This is for you and your son: Brian Selznick, The Invention of Hugo Cabret. It's a beautifully illustrated mystery novel and a book for children and adults to enjoy together. Bought it for myself and love it. I just cannot resist illustrated books and in this case the pictures really tell part of the story. Very cool. There is much to explore in this book. You have to see this if you don't know it yet!
Happy reading, Mel. Until next time. Cheers, Andrea
Oh Mel, I'm sorry about the Major Pettigrew. I feel like an insensitive cow that I recommended it to you just now. Please forgive.
Here is a much better recommendation. I know you are into historical novels. I really liked Anita Diamant's The Red Tent. It was such a good book! If you don't know it yet, have a look.
For me too, this year is flying by fast… it's already midsummer and not much of a dream. More of a roller coaster nightmare. So many downs, and twists, and turns. I badly want to quit my job. Seriously! But in this economy, I just simply don't dare.
Are you going somewhere nice this summer? I think all we will be able to manage, is a couple of days on the Cape this year. Well, at least that will finally give me some time to read something… anything without falling asleep after the first two pages. Let's hope for some better times ahead and keep laughing just a little every day. Sending you good wishes. xx Andrea
I was really glad to hear that you and your ds are home and that you are doing better. That's very good news!
As you have probably figured by now, after the short break in April, I am back to my crazy work schedule with almost no time left for reading… or anything else, for that matter. I'm kind of losing it right now.
Hopefully, come mid June, things will slow down and I can catch up a bit. Every time I look at my Shelfari shelf these days, it reminds me that I am way behind my pace. Sighs!
Soooo understand your no-buy restriction, doing the same. My to-be-read pile has gotten to the point where I don't even remember what books are in it and am in danger of buying doubles. Told you, I'm losing it!
On another note, do you like classic mysteries? If you do, and don't know Josephine Tey yet, you've got to give her a try! She wrote great suspenseful stories. Brat Ferrar and The Franchise Affair were really good. Just finished Franchise Affair and gave it 4 stars.
Sorry it's been so long. Hope all is well with you. Write sometime. xx Andrea
How are you? I've been meaning to write, but I always seem to be running behind these days.
Just got back from a short vacation and finally had some time to read again. It was great! No computer, no phone, just beach, sunshine, and books. And you know what… I loved two!! of the books I finished. No. 1: Really liked Jane Gardam's 'The Man in the Wooden Hat' which is the follow-up novel to 'Old Filth' and, no. 2: just simply loved Helen Simonson's funny little love story 'Major Pettigrew's Last Stand'. You should have a look at that one for sure. It will make you laugh.
How is the home schooling project going? Hope all is well with you.
Sending you good vibes.
Hi Mel, I got a second opinion on Reesie Cup and found out he is probably a dog with Inflammatory Bowel disease. He does not have carcinomatosis and we are quite hopeful for the treatment to make him feel better. I may not ever get out of the hole I've dug financially, but the little guy is worth it.
Thanks. I want another dog, but I am torn about it right now. Since I have two other dogs, part of me thinks I should just stick with the two I have and not rush to get another one, but there are two black and tan cockers at the rescue right now that are only 1 year old, and healthy. So I don't know. I am playing it by ear. Will keep you posted. Thanks.
No, he is not in pain yet. I'm the one that is falling apart. I have to pull it together. They know when you are stressed, and I don't want him to feel stressed. We are checking with the vet school, but it looks real bad. I don't want to do anything heroic - he doesn't haev much time left, two months maybe. I want him to be happy up until the end. Thanks.
If it were your home think of the heating bills! lol I do genealogy too, good luck in finding the ancestor that may have owned it! I watched Downton Abbey and liked it.Loved the home! I am reading,even tho the "shelfari nag" says I am behind my pace for this year.It is a cold and snowy winter here,so I have been curling up with books. And buying books,there have been a few sales. I have to stop buying books! Otherwise just working. How abt you?
A (belated) very happy New Year to you too!! And sorry, I didn't answer you sooner. Can you believe that I have not been on Shelfari in 2 months or so? My new year started like the old one ended, just crazy busy… on top of which, we've had soooo much snow! It is bloody cold here and everything hurts from all the shoveling and ice scraping. Snap, crackle, pain. Lol… ouch! I'm dreaming of an island in the sun right now.
How are you?
Read anything outstanding lately?
I recently finished Jane Gardam's, Old Filth (Filth as in 'failed in London, tried Hong Kong') and liked it. Gave it a friendly 4 stars... but outstanding it wasn’t.
Until next time.
Hi Mel, how are you? We are good, have had some back issues going on with my husband's dog, trying to get David's brother lined up to move down here, and my best friend just buried her mother yesterday, but she made it home okay and her cats are glad to see her. I'm reading a very strange book right now that I happened up on at the thrift store the other day called Misfortune.