5 strange and unusual novels in my Nook

Oh, the joy of discovering I already own the books I want to read

The beginning of a new month typically finds me culling a list of new novels I’m looking forward to reading. However, it’s beyond time to get serious about reading my own damn books.

I’ve done okay so far this year. Of the 26 books I’ve read, 15 were already in my library. With more than 500 books in my digital collection and The-Lord-alone-knows how many on my shelves, I have to believe I can do better. So this month, I’m resisting the temptation to add new books to my to-be-read list. Continue reading “5 strange and unusual novels in my Nook”

7 Irish authors to read on St. Patrick’s Day

Four leaf clover

Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, the saying goes. I love this sentiment and its idea of open-heartedly sharing each other’s celebrations. Since parades aren’t really my thing, I do believe my bookish self will mark the holiday by reading Irish (and Irish-born) authors … and I might just help myself to some bangers and mash.

If you’re of a mind to honor the day in a similar fashion (perhaps with a group of like minded readers?), here are seven Irish-born authors from whom to choose. And for nourishing the body as you nourish the mind, St. Patrick’s Day style, enjoy a link to a yummy bangers and mash recipe.

Continue reading “7 Irish authors to read on St. Patrick’s Day”

5 new books to look for in March

New Books March 2016

I know, I know – Why am I looking at new books when I’m supposed to be focusing on my own damn books?

I’ll tell you why: Because I don’t want to let any serious gems slip by me. I mean, they will, inevitably. Think of how many books are published every week! But I have this thing called a wish list, and every item on it is books plus acres of free time to read said books.

So while I’m no longer endlessly scouring every conceivable book list, I’m still taking a little time each month to review new books. Here are five that will join my wish list this month. Continue reading “5 new books to look for in March”

10 times Because of Winn-Dixie moved me

Book heart

Book review - Because of Winn-DixieIt’s a curious exercise, thinking about why something moved you. Reading Kate DiCamillo’s Because of Winn-Dixie* last weekend, I wondered, Why can’t I stop the water from leaking out of my eyes?! (Something that also tends to happen when I read Brian Selznick’s books!) It wasn’t just during the sad bits, either. It was non-stop waterworks and sniffling and nose blowing. Sounds attractive, eh? Continue reading “10 times Because of Winn-Dixie moved me”

Thank you for To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird

Tributes have been pouring in for Harper Lee, who has died at the age of 89. I hope she will always be remembered for penning To Kill a Mockingbird, a great American novel if ever there was one.

For me, the soul of To Kill a Mockingbird is Atticus, who showed us what empathy for all human beings, regardless of whether we agree with, like, or identify with them, looks like. Atticus represents the ideal of American justice, meaning equal treatment under the law for all. This doesn’t mean we all need to be exactly the same or live exactly the same way or believe exactly the same things. For Atticus (and how beautiful if for all of us) it does mean having one standard of treatment grounded in respect, love, and belief that all human lives are of equal value.

This is, I believe, the ultimate American ideal. Continue reading “Thank you for To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee”

#BBAW: 5 books that inspired me to do and be better

Fireside reading

Today I feel inspired by The Estella Society’s Book Blogger Appreciation Week, going on Feb. 15 – 19. The day one challenge: “Introduce yourself by telling us about five books that represent you as a person or your interests/lifestyle.”

Beautiful old booksI love this because it feels so impossible. At first, I couldn’t think of any books and then I couldn’t narrow down the list. In the end, I picked five whose characters and stories have inspired me to do and be better, in some way. In my heart of hearts, I’d like these books to represent me as a person, but I’m happy for them to represent what I aspire to live up to and be. Continue reading “#BBAW: 5 books that inspired me to do and be better”

5 New Books to Look for in February

New books for February 2016

New month, new books! In the interest of pursuing my 2016 reading challenge to read the books I own, I’m restricting new purchases. I’m only buying books I’ll read in the near future. Or (*clears throat*) trying to, anyway. (January results were slightly less than stellar.)

Still, that doesn’t mean I can’t keep a running list of books to read in the unspecified future. And if I share said list with you, maybe you’ll read one (or three or all – whatever works!)? And tell me which I should move up to the top of my list? Continue reading “5 New Books to Look for in February”

“Groundhog Day” as Expressed by 7 Revered Writers

Groundhog Day makes for a festive mid-winter distraction, when it’s not going horribly wrong. But it’s not exactly the stuff around which writers have penned great books. It does, however, provide the backdrop for one of my favorite films, “Groundhog Day” starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell.

Murray plays self-absorbed Phil Connors who is grudgingly sent to Punxsutawney, PA to cover the goings on of a certain groundhog (with whom he shares a name). MacDowell is his loveable and sweet-natured news producer. Grumpy and derisive of everything around him, Phil can’t wait to leave Punxsutawney. But after a blizzard grounds him, he gets trapped in a time loop, reliving the same despised day over and over and over… and over … until he learns the lesson he’s meant to absorb. Which is a little something like what the following authors have touched on in their work. Continue reading ““Groundhog Day” as Expressed by 7 Revered Writers”