What we’re reading…

Books to readFor me:

BooksI’m loving the Agatha Christie one so far, about to start the mystery stories, and I’m in total agreement with this post about Crazy Rich Asians. Oh and I had to quit The Clasp. I read about 150 pages and finally gave up after B convinced me to pick something else. I think he was tired of me rolling my eyes and sighing loudly in frustration about the language and story line of the book.

B is reading:

Books to readHe picked it out on a suggestion from a friend and is about half way through the book. So far, he’s really enjoying it. I was wondering if it would be similar to castaway…here I am sitting on a planet hanging out, talking to a volleyball, but B said it’s not.

A is reading so much I can hardly keep up, here are his current favorite series:

Books to readEach of these has at least 30 plus books in the series and several have super/extra editions. A has an on-going list of the ones he wants to read and I’m continually putting a stack on hold at the library to pick up on my way to work.

And here are some of J’s current favorite series:

Books to readJ has learned from A that if there is one book of a type that he likes, there are probably more. He will tell me “I want to find all the Pete the Cat books!” and I happily oblige working on creating a library list on Sundays and then picking them up later in the week.

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Notebook favorites

Part of my path to organization (and stopping the on going list from running constantly in my head when I’m trying to go to sleep) is keeping great notebooks around. Here are my favorite planner, list book, and recipe index:

Favorite notebooks[Recipe book] [Notebook] [Planner]

I love the notebook because it’s pretty, but also has wide lines for making lots of lists (before I create a typed copy to hand out to family members…cause I do that.):

Notebook ListMy favorite thing about the planner (besides the tabbed edges) is that it has both full month view and day by day conversions:

Planner PlannerWhich is helpful if I need to organize day by day appointments or activities, but also to put items on the list for months out planning.

After years of using this recipe folder:

Recipe folderI needed something that was not as clunky and was updated with recipes we don’t use. I love the Kate Spade recipe book because it’s cute:

Recipe BookBut also super functional:

Recipe bookSo I can stop being kicked out of Pinterest when I try to make bagels:

BagelsWhich makes recipe conversion to my new book much easier! Happy organizing, planning, and baking!

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On my nightstand…

Reading ListRead it, reading it, reading it next.

My Salinger Year is a terrific read if you ever read The Catcher in the Rye or any other book by J.D. Salinger. It is an intriguing look into the publishing and agent book industry and about Salinger and his fans. I was a bit bogged down with the author’s boyfriend in the book who was pretentious…I have to say I skimmed a lot of the sections he was in.

If you are intrigued by creative thinking, writing, drawing, anything Big Magic is great insight into the ideas surrounding creativity. I just started this book two days ago and I’m already half way through it. It’s a great read.

I grabbed The Clasp on a whim when I was picking up Big Magic because Mindy Kaling said EVERYONE was reading it. So I’m mainly going to see what all the hype is about.

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Summer Reading

Summer ReadingSince summer is already feeling like it’s flying by, I’ve gathered a shorter list of reads before the boys go back to school and I head back to work. Plus I still have plans to read The Girl on the Train, the book that continues to allude me in possibilities of checking out from the library. HA!

1. A recommended read from a blog that sounds insightful and intriguing.

2. Different from my normal book genres, this one combines a graphic novel quality to describe a girl’s adventure of taking her grandparents on vacation.

3. Hercule Poirot’s last case….how have I not read this yet?

4. A boy’s search to create power for his home and community before and after a famine in Malawi. I’m reading this right now and it is excellent.

5. I’m always looking for books to reference for my business class, and this one seems on mark.

6. And because B has said over and over “Since you’ve read Jurassic Park, you’ve got to read The Lost World.” Plus it’s fitting for this summer, right?

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Spring Reading Wrap-Up

Spring Reading ListMy Spring Reading plan was fairly successful. I read 7 of the 8 books on my list, though not for a lack of trying to read all 8. I’m still on the hold list for Girl on the Train at our local library, so when it comes in, I’ll be finishing up! I wasn’t sure if it was a book I’d read again, so I couldn’t bring myself to buy it.

A few thoughts on my spring reading list…

1. Sasha Martin’s a Life from Scratch was my download to iPad book. I loved the story behind this book (and the blog), and I read the whole thing in three days. I have hopes for making many of the internationally inspired meals to make for my family.

2. The Monogram Murders was everything you hope from an Agatha Christie influenced book. It was a little hard handed at times in it’s characterization of Hercule Poirot, but it captured the essence of the “twist” that are in many of Christie’s books.

4. All the Light we Cannot See is a book that appears daunting at first (500 plus pages!), but was one of my very favorites that I read this spring. The picture that it portrays of two children’s experiences (on both sides) of WWII in Germany is as frightening as it is poignant.

5. Yes, Please was humorous and fun, however, I kind of wished I had waited until I could have checked it out at the library. While I enjoyed reading it, it’s not one that I think I will read again. I’m planning to send it on to our family circle of reading.

6. Turn Right at Machu Picchu was my favorite of my spring reading. It’s very well written and thoughtfully weaves the author’s journey with the history of Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail.

7. Wild was good, but I have to admit there were times where I began to skim through the back story. I really enjoyed the stories from when she was on the trail, however, a lot of the back story is redundant at times, and I kept waiting for the author to stop making the same mistakes.

8. Jurassic Park, the book B convinced me I needed to read, was really fun. It also makes you realize how different the movie is from the book. Take away the “kind old man who just wants to make a Flinestone-esque theme park” and you’ve got a much darker and twisted tale.

And that’s it! I’ll be featuring my summer reads soon! I’ve got a short turn around this time, so I better start reading!

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Spring Reading

I’m not confident that I can complete all of these before the start of summer, but I’m going to try! I have until June, right?? The attempt to clean off my ever crowded nightstand is good motivation. Here’s my choices and a few thoughts about them.

Spring Reading ListBooks 4, 6, & 7 are all Costco picks. My Mom, sister, and I frequently pick up stacks of books from Costco and then pass them around as we read them. My Mom has already read 6 & 7, however, I’m way behind and only about half-way through book 4. In my defense it’s about 600 pages. While seemingly all different, they each share a common bond in that they are about a “journey” and create a distinct sense of place.

Book 1: I’m always excited when I find a new foodie book that combines recipes with memoir, and this one is available not only through print, but also at a great price digitally.

Books 2 & 3: You all know I’m a sucker for anything Agatha Christie, and The Girl on a Train is recommended by Gillian Flynn (the author of Gone Girl), and is supposed to include a lot of great twists and surprises.

Book 5: After trying for months to check out Yes, Please from the library (it’s on hold beyond hold) I gave up and bought it. It’s been a great in between read for a break from All the Light We Cannot See.

Book 8: If you didn’t know this there is a new Jurassic Park movie coming out this summer, and B is insisting that I actually read the first book in anticipation of the new movie (that is not based on any of the books by the way…but that’s B’s best persuasive appeal).

Spring reading list, check! If there’s anything you think I missed, let me know! Happy Wednesday!

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Items for our permanent bookshelf

BookshelfAs I’ve discussed in the past the library is one of mine and the boys favorite places to go in town. Both of the boys have grown up attending story time since they were toddling around and we have a designated shelf in our living room for our rotating check-outs. There are many books that the boys (and myself) check-out over and over. I thought I would share some of our very favorites that I have ended up either purchasing or have on my list to add to our permanent collection.

Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull

I mentioned this book a few months ago as part of my Friday Favorites and it definitely did not disappoint. I want to add it to my personal collection because it has such a great number of insights on communication within a business and building creativity while also being profitable (perfect for me to share with the business communication class I teach).

A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg

I not only loved the dialogue of this book, but I remember writing down several of the recipes and then returning it, only to check it back out, so I could copy down a few more to use at home. Definitely worth keeping…but I can’t figure out whether I would store it in my kitchen or in the study!

Let’s Go For a Drive! by Mo Willems

By far the boys favorite Elephant & Piggie book, J got not one, but two copies for Christmas…because that’s how popular it is with them! They giggle incessantly throughout it (although A always notes that Gerald should really say “please” more often).

Lllama Lllama Hoppity Hop by Anna Dewdney

This is the simplest of board books, but there was about three months that we renewed this book as many times as we could before having to turn it in. And when we did return it J would immediately ask every night after “What about Llama Llama Hoppity Hop?” Thankfully we now own it, so he can read it anytime he wants.

The Noisy Paint Box by Barb Rosenstock

In my opinion one of the best artist books for kids. The dialogue is simple in tone, but detailed in description, the illustrations are colorful and whimsical, and it includes actual paintings by Kandinsky at the end. It is a book have check out many times for inspiration and guidance on different projects.

Along, A Long Road by Frank Viva

This is one of the first books that A could read all of the words and read to J. Now J has it memorized and they both read it together. It’s one of those books that just looks like a classic, even though it’s fairly new.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

To be honest if B hadn’t bought this book for me I don’t think I could have ever checked it out enough times to finish it. The notoriety of the book means it is almost always on hold, which means when you do get it checked out you have two weeks to read it. Unless you are the fastest reader in the world (and have lots of available reading time) there is no way you can finish that book in two weeks.

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Why we love the library

I know I have said this before, but I’ll say it again, J loves the library. He especially loves story time, but he also loves picking out books and movies. Some weeks we’ll pick out one or two books, but other weeks…

Library StackWe’ll return with a whole stack! The book “Dog Biscuit” and “Secret Pizza Party” have been the two favorites of his choices, but we have read all of them most days. J was not an eager reader when he was a baby, but we were really persistent and read around him with A. This lead to him being more interested in books and now he brings more books for me to read than A does!

In addition I had one book on my list to check-out and ended up with three…

Library BooksI am already about 50 pages in to Mindy Kaling’s book and it is hilarious. I had read some good reviews on it and needed a break from Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch. While I do like The Goldfinch I am struggling with A) How a thirteen year old boy has some many pointedly descriptive thoughts and B) When this book is going to start moving in a bit faster direction. I am determined to finish it, but decided to take a one book break with Minday Kaling’s book. Well one book turned into three books. David Sedaris’ book has been on my list as well, and when I saw it sitting near Mindy Kaling’s book I scooped it up. Then as J and I were wandering about (J likes to walk around through all of the books after story time…mind you I was carrying the stack of books above along with my choices at this time..I need to get smart and carry a tote bag) I saw they had gotten in a new selection of Agatha Christie novels. Here’s hoping I can finish all of these in a month! And then back to The Goldfinch.

Happy Reading!

reading 2

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How I persuaded J to leave the library….and a summer reading update

libraryJ LOVES the library and story time. J does not love leaving the library and story time. Therefore, I have to find an opportune window to leave in which I do not have to carry him out mid-temper tantrum. On Wednesday it was a Monster’s University DVD. That we already own at home. But he wanted to watch it and carried it around in his hands the whole time. So we checked out that DVD. Because it meant I could leave without a tantrum. And entering and leaving the library tantrum free is a good day. So now on to an update of summer reading…

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