For the second year in a row I am taking part in our library’s Summer Reading Program (see last year’s progress here), which runs from May 6th thru August 21st. Last year I was a Rock Star and this year I’m a Rocketeer! To date, participants have clocked 11,314,826 minutes of reading and counting. I am proud to say I’ve contributed 4460 minutes of that total (or .0004% for you matheteers) and am thinking I can log another 2,500 – minutes not books – before the program ends… Continue reading “If a 6 turned out to be 9…”
Summer officially begins on Friday, which means it’s travel time for me! I’ve got three weekend trips planned and I hope to get away with bringing nothing more than an overnight bag for each. Mix-and-match outfits, some lip gloss, and a good book are about all I need – besides a loved one or two – to enjoy my time away…
Bling Jewelry 2CT Solitaire CZ Studs| Just Class Patterned Shark Bite Dress | Circus by Sam Edelman Carolina Sling-Back Sandals| Lifestyle Attitude Tie Front Top| Time and Tru Ocean Stripe Swimsuit| Levi’s Classic Short| Tommy Hilfiger Beauty Perfume| Clinique Two Ton Tomato Chubby Lip Color Balm| Comfort by Brinley Co. Espardrille Wedge| Bowlaway: A Novel by Elizabeth McCracken| Kendall & Kylie Red Patent Tote
First up is a weekend trip to Gatlinburg, where the plan is to tour the Old Forge Distillery and The Salt-and-Pepper Shaker Museum, walk across the new pedestrian suspension bridge (if I can a suspend – ha ha – my fear of heights) and soak up some rays by the pool…
Falari Pashima Wrap| SA106 Tortoise Butterfly Sunglasses| Love Sadie Hawaiian Print Ruffled Romper| Palm Beach Jewelry Concave Cigar Band Gold Ring| Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner | Bling Jewelry Tortoise Shell Hoops| Elizabeth Arden Sunflowers Body Mist | Time and Tru Deep V Swimsuit| Unique Bargains Stacked Heel Tassel Ankle Strap Sandals| Love Sadie Halter Shift Sundress| C. Wonder Michaela Suede Espadrilles| Eliza May Rose White Stripe Ultimate Tote | Revlon Ultra HD Embrace Matte Lipgloss
My second adventure is taking me to Denver to spend time with two of my favorite peeps, where we’ll tune in and turn on at the Dead & Co show, followed by a day enjoying Mother Nature at Garden of the Gods. Since my flight doesn’t leave til late Monday night I am going to play solo tourist and check out some art and some books at the Denver Art Museum and the Tattered Cover Bookstore…
Gottex Sinatra Bathing Suit| Brinley Co. Bow-Accent Slip On Flat| Gorjana Power Gemstone Turquoise Charm Gold Ring| Sofia Vergara Faux Wrap Front Maxi| Textile Lacey Flutter Skirt| Fate Rainbow Knit Sweater| Lux Turquoise & Coral Inlay Medallion Drop Earrings| Eliza May Rose Toile Basket Tote| L’Oreal Infallible 320 Red Fatale Lip Gloss| Three Women by Lisa Taddeo| Anne Cole Crochet All Day Swim Cover Up
Finally, at some point before Labor Day I’m going to make it to Charleston for a long weekend. I’d like to spend the time exploring the architecture and cemeteries through walking tours, drop in at SCAD, get some tan time in at Folly Beach, and visit the basket ladies at Charleston City Market…
How about you? Any travel plans for the summer? Do you like to visit new places when you go on holiday or do you stick with the tried-and-true spots that make you feel nostalgically happy? Drop me a line…..I’d love to know.
*Feel Good Inc – The Gorillaz
I thought I’d be able to settle into 2019 focused on a year-long daily art project I am undertaking with any leftover time devoted to more frequent blogging. Ha! Turns out I’ve been spending most of my free time helping one of my children secure their very first ‘grown up’ job. That said, no matter how busy I am I always find time to read every day… Continue reading “Oh I talk too loose…..”
Do you have a gift you receive every year? Some item which if not received taints the occasion just a bit? For me, that gift is a book, or even better, books. Each Christmas my momma gifts me with a selection from my ‘2b or not 2b read’ list (past gift selections can be found here and here). My mom was a little under the weather over the holidays and so her 2018 gift was delayed, but no less appreciated when I finally opened my box of books this weekend. Thanks Mom.
Ma patronne – Louis Welden Hawkins ca. 1903
I love the time between Christmas and New Year’s since I can hang out with the family and live life at a slower than normal pace…
One of my greatest gifts is the time to go to the movies or snuggle up on the couch to bingewatch whatever catches my fancy. This week, I’ve seen The Favorite (highly recommended), The Death of Stalin (darkly funny), the win-at-all-costs sports doping documentary Icarus, The Marvelous Mrs. Meisel (season 2), The Wire (season 3), Maniac, lots of sports (Go Eagles! Go Notre Dame! Go Sixers!), and the newest seasons of The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition and Great British Baking Show. I am still planning on seeing The Mule, Mary Queen of Scots, and The Green Book before I head back to work later this week….
Speaking of the Great British Baking Show, here’s a fascinating article about the artist who creates the dessert drawings…
I am not a big believer in New Year’s resolutions but last year I did decide to track how many books I read during 2018. I am part of a Book Club at work (with our current pick – Tara Westover’s Educated – up for discussion in January) and took part in a summer reading challenge, achieving ‘Reading Rockstar’ status. Turns out I’ve read over 130 books this past year…
My favorite reads of 2018 (in no particular order) include: James Frey’s Katerina, Christina Dalcher’s Vox, Sarah Bird’s Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen, Josh Malerman’s Unbury Carol, Jonathan Miles Anatomy of a Miracle: the True* Story of a Paralyzed Veteran, a Mississippi Convenience Store, a Vatican Investigation, and the Spectacular Perils of Grace, John Connelly’s He, and Dara Horn’s Eternal Life…
I may not believe in resolutions but I am a big planner. I’ve got some personal art projects I am working on, a few art installations to oversee (including the January ArtLab and April ‘Autism Arts’ shows), and continued travel (Miami, Denver, Mobile, and Philly for sure with more day trips and weekend getaways to follow).
How about you? Do you make resolutions? What kinds of dreams do you have for the new year? Here’s hoping you achieve success in whatever you set out to do next year. All the best for 2019!
I know I’ve been complaining about not having enough time to get it all done so it might surprise you to learn I have gone and joined a book club, because why not? Even if I get nothing else done – and a LOT is not getting done at the moment – joining a book group which meets once every few months isn’t the time commitment it might seem, especially since I read a few chapters of a book every night anyway.
Our club is interested in exploring utopian/dystopian perspectives and chose The Power by Naomi Alderman as our first read. Set five thousand years in the future, The Power explores an alternative reality in which women become the dominant sex as the result of a latent genetic trait which suddenly becomes active. Most of the book is presented as a manuscript which follows 7 character story arcs over the 10-year period from when the ‘power’ first emerged until the revolution occurred, ending in a matriarchal society. The rest of the story involves an exchange of letters between the manuscript’s male writer (Neil Adam Armon) and his female colleague (Naomi) in which they discuss the manuscript and their latent feelings for each other (because no matter who is in charge the love – and hate – shared between the sexes is timeless.
Ms. Alderman’s novel centers around the question of power: who has it, how do you get it, what does it do to you when you’ve got it? And when you wield the power, how long will it be before the power wields you? She also writes that two of the illustrations in the book are the key to the entire story. I haven’t researched those but hope to have done so in time for our discussion in two weeks.
How about you? Have you read The Power? What did you think? Whose story line did you like the most? And the least? I’d love to know your thoughts…
Being a voracious reader with almost no topic boundaries I am an indiscriminate reader of books from any country in the world. It started many years ago with Russian and Spanish authors, before I branched out to include middle Europe, African and Asian writers, and in the last ten years Middle Eastern autobiographies and fiction.
Amazingly, I am drawn to the same sorts of ‘foreign’ as ‘American’ stories regardless of the author’s nationality: anything about the quest for freedom, education, family, and/or love keeps me engaged and invested in the plot. Turns out, these universal themes have persisted and prevailed over thousands of years, in fable, fiction and fact.
Along with comedy and music I believe books to be our greatest unifiers. We really aren’t that different although the details of our individual experiences can be staggeringly unique. On this, 2018 World Book Day (#worldbookday), do yourself a favor and pick up a book about someone in China, Ecuador, Iraq, Botswana, or one of the other 191 countries that make up humanity – you may be surprised at how much you have in common with someone on the other side of the world!
How serendipitous that I scored ALL of these books from my local library yesterday, which coincidentally was also the first day of National Library Week!
I grew up in a house full of books and was reading before I entered first grade. At age 7 I was given free rein to roam the reading rooms of Philadelphia’s Parkway Central Library while my dad explored the microfiche reels for his aviation research. By 9 my sister and I were riding our bikes to the Ridley Park library to get our weekly reading stash, which we would devour during lazy summer afternoons after our chores were finished.
There were numerous trips to D.C. and the Smithsonian Institute’s National Air and Space Museum archives, where I helped my mom and dad research pre-WWII insignia (and once opened a drawer to find a logbook from Charles Lindbergh). I worked as a help-desk clerk at the Baltimore County Public Library during my first year of college. I even spent one year organizing bake sales, weekly Friday dances, and monthly Parent Night Out events to restock our local elementary school’s shelves with $12,000 of new books. If all of that weren’t enough, my momma was a librarian for close to 30 years. So when I say my love for libraries runs deep I am truly speaking from the heart.
Think about it. Anyone, of any age, color, sex, sexuality, income level, education level, or any other descriptor you care to identify with can access one of 119,487 US libraries and learn a new language, brush up on computer skills, watch a movie, take part in community activities, surf the web, vote, or even check out a book. For free. It’s really quite amazing!
Does your town have a library? How often do you visit ? If you haven’t been in awhile (or ever) take five minutes to check out what your library has to offer. Get a card. Prowl around. Discover all the great things just waiting for you to explore. I guarantee – you will not be disappointed.
A belated Happy New Year to one and all. My 2018 began just like my 2017 ended, with me driving thousands of miles to see loved ones spread far and wide. I’ve been wondering why I haven’t been as creative as I had hoped and then calculated between Thanksgiving and January 6th I drove just a tad over 7,000 miles. I guess that’s a good reason for not getting much done, huh? Thank god for rental cars with heated seats and satellite radio along with kids I adore who had hours of far-ranging playlists and podcasts which combined to make those miles a pleasure to drive.
On the downside, so much driving meant a lack of time for any substantive reading. I spent most of December lost in Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan, a story I really enjoyed and was sorry to finish. When I reached over for my next read I realized my bedside stash had dwindled to a crisis level. That’s why I was so excited by the nine books that Santa (aka my Momma) gave me for Christmas. I always say the only present I really want is to spend time with my family but I will never say no to the gift of a book.
After I finish the two library books I am currently reading I can begin to get lost in my newest set of 9 (past ‘nines’ can be found here). Have you read any of these books? Which would you recommend I read first? I’d love to know…
While the exact number escapes me I have read a LOT of books this year. I love our library system (believing it is one of the best ways our tax dollars are used) and typically check out 6-12 books each month, as well as buy or ‘inherit’ others, all of which total around 100 (give or take a few). Going forward, I’ve decided to track my reading to determine an exact number, details of which I will share with you this time next year.
As for 2017, I can truly say that the five books pictured above were my absolute favorite reads of the year. Each writer delivered a fresh perspective on love, loss, pain, yearning, and family. I came to care about the main characters, hating some and loving others, always curious to see what was in store for each. These books kept me reading late into the night in expectation of what would happen next and I was sorry when I finished the last page. Even more astonishing, these books have stuck with me as I continue to reflect on issues as varied as as rape, slavery, abortion, crime, and religion – none of them light topics but all treated with respect and curiosity through the author’s engaging, dramatic, and unique story-telling.
How about you? What were your favorite books of 2017? Are you looking forward to reading anything special in 2018? I’d love to know…