Down the TBR Hole #15

Image: hjl

Down the TBR Hole was started by Lia over at Lost in a Story.  All book covers are linked to Goodreads unless otherwise noted.

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

I will be repeating this process every week until I’ve filtered out my entire TBR.  I still have 566 books on my to-read shelf.

This week’s five books:

The Dreaming Place by Charles de Lint – GO.  I added this one to my wish list thanks to a random friend of a friend of a friend I met at a Christmas party a few years ago.  While I definitely want to read some de Lint at some point, I think I would rather not start with book #14 of a series.  Instead, I have a collection of his short stories in an ebook and I’ve added the first book of the “Newford” series to my wish list.

The Shadow Garden by Allen Houston – KEEP.  This is the 2nd book of the “Nightfall Gardens” series, and I already own it.  I was given the 1st book, Nightfall Gardens, by the author and I enjoyed it enough to save up my free $1 credits on Amazon to buy this one (I was on a strict book buying ban at the time and could only use credits, gift cards, etc. to support my reading addiction).

Buan: Company of Heroes by Reece Bridger – KEEP.  This is another instance where I was sent the first book, Buan: The Perfect Mortals, but in this case, I loved it so much that I anxiously awaited the publishing of the 2nd book.  I don’t know how it happened that I added it to my TBR and then never got around to reading it.

Dragon Prince by Melanie Rawn – GO.  Both the synopsis and the cover give me the impression that this book is ridiculously trope-filled and formulaic. No thanks.

The Mirror of Her Dreams by Stephen R. Donaldson – GO.  Any synopsis that opens with something like “changed the face of fantasy fiction forever” is automatically suspect to me, especially when those words are bolded AND italicized.  The rest of the synopsis did not remove my suspicions that this book is not worth my time or money.

My to-read shelf is down to 564 books.  That’s the 3rd week in a row that I’ve made my TBR just a smidgen shorter!  Hopefully the trend will continue next weekend when I start with book #116.

#FitReaders Check-In

fitreaders-2017-1

  • This check-in is for September 29th – October 5th.
  • I started Damn Early Days on Monday, and it’s been rough!  It’s so hard to get out of bed at 5 am when I don’t HAVE to get up.  So far, I’ve managed to haul my butt out of bed though.  While I haven’t gotten any time on the treadmill in, I’ve gotten a lot of burpies done.  I hate burpies, but they really get the blood flowing when I need it most.
  • If you have a FitBit, you can find me HERE.

 

  • Steps: 19,942/70,000
  • Miles: 8.20/35
  • Total Miles: 372.50
  • Active Minutes: 62/210
  • Virtual 5Ks: 0/10
  • Total Money Donated: $4.40/$10.00

Thursday’s Things: October Country

“Thursday’s Things” is a roundup of book related links I’ve come across while wandering down the rabbit hole that is the internet.

Wednesday’s Words: Sylvia Plath

  

“Wednesday’s Words” is all about the quotes that inspire me or are relevant to my life in some way.

When most people think about living life positively or constructively, I doubt the first person to come to mind for inspiration is Sylvia Plath.  However, I’m more Emily than Pollyanna, and my brain tends to aim for the minor key when I want to find guidance for maneuvering through life’s obstacles.

Right now, the major obstacle in my life is how to live as if I knew it were my last day.  The idea was presented in yesterday’s Damn Early Days morning post and I’ve been thinking about it since.  There was a question that Steve Jobs supposedly asked himself every morning: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”  He said that if the answer was “No” for too many mornings, he knew he had to change something.  I asked myself the same question yesterday and my answer would definitely be “No” when it comes to my job.

“Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals

On both Monday and yesterday mornings I found myself feeling resentful of having to stop writing and get ready for work.  I was especially annoyed at having to work overtime.  While I may not be able to just up and quit the job that pays my bills, I can do quite a lot every morning about making sure I’m not stuck spending most of my time working in a job I don’t love.  I can harness the energy behind that resentment and put it to work towards change.  I can spend my free time doing what I love, instead of wasting it being grumpy.

“I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my lids and all is born again.” – Sylvia Plath, Mad Girl’s Love Song

Though “Mad Girl’s Love Song” has nothing to do with meditation, this line makes me think about the session I did yesterday morning.  It was a guided meditation titled “Creating an Extraordinary Day”.  Several things Gael Chiarella said during that meditation gave me the same feeling Plath’s quote generates: “I am the Master of my life.  I am courage in action.  I have infinite creative power.”  This goes back to how I spend my time.  Obviously, I can’t blink my job into one that I love, but I can create small changes that eventually lead to me having work that makes me want to get out of bed in the morning, rather than hit the snooze button a million times.

“Out of the ashes, I rise with my red hair…” – Sylvia Plath, Lady Lazarus

Lady Lazarus is another of Plath’s poems that has little to do with the feeling this line gives me.  Not only does it make me think of Jean Grey as the Phoenix, but it makes me feel as if the garbage thrown at me in my life will not succeed in keeping me down.  I will rise up and I will triumph.  It may take a while, but as a line from one of my favorite album introductions, “Piano and I” by Alicia Keys, “No matter how long that sh*t takes….What ever stops you from dreaming, whatever tries to stop you from living…flip it.”

Here’s an even more fitting song:

Image from clip of Youtube video.

Monday’s Minutes

“Monday’s Minutes” is a weekly post in which I track my bookish life.  All book covers are linked to Goodreads unless otherwise noted.

Currently Reading:

  • The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Do it! Let’s Get Off Our Buts by Peter McWilliams
  • Wildwood by Colin Melot
  • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

  

Finished:

Challenges:

Total pages read this week: 455

Total # of books for the year: 76 of 85.  This morning is the 1st of Damn Early Days, and I am ridiculously tired thanks to the same feeling I used to get the night before the first day of school.  My brain wouldn’t shut up and let me sleep.  Sigh.  This is also the beginning of another week of mandatory overtime so even if I allowed myself to nap, I don’t have the time for even 20 minutes of shuteye.  Apparently, there is no rest for the wicked.

What are you reading this week?

Down the TBR Hole #14

Image: hjl

Down the TBR Hole was started by Lia over at Lost in a Story.  All book covers are linked to Goodreads unless otherwise noted.

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

I will be repeating this process every week until I’ve filtered out my entire TBR.  I have 566 books on my to-read shelf.

This week’s five books:

Probably Monsters by Ray Cluley – KEEP.  I will eventually buy this Horror short story collection, but for now it’s staying on my wish list.

Farewell, Dorothy Parker by Ellen Meister – GO.  This one has been on my wish list for years and I always pass it up every time I’m looking for a book to buy.  I realize now that I’m just not that interested in reading it, so it goes.  Maybe some day I’ll try to find it at the library, but then again, maybe not.

Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman – KEEP.  This one is an ARC I never got around to reading and reviewing because I haven’t read the first book of the series yet.  Yes, I feel guilty about that.

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly – KEEP.  There’s no way I’m going to get rid of a Fantasy story involving books 🙂

My Man Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse – KEEP.  I already own this one and it’s a fairly short read, so I’ll give it a chance sometime next year.

My to-read shelf is down one book to 565 books.  That’s 2 weeks in a row that I haven’t added any more books to the mountain!  Hopefully I’ll be able to get a couple more pulled off of the shelf by next weekend when I start with book #111.

#FitReaders Check-In

fitreaders-2017-1

  • This check-in is for September 22nd – 28th.
  • I’m working overtime again this week, but I’m also starting Damn Early Days on Monday, so I’ll be getting at least some time in on the treadmill every morning.
  • The Boyfriend and I have started walking to the grocery store down the street to get stuff for a date night dinner on Fridays instead of going to a restaurant.  While the main reason is to save money, it also means we’re both getting some extra exercise before we eat pizza or some other calorie laden dinner.
  • If you have a FitBit, you can find me HERE.

 

  • Steps: 17,550/70,000
  • Miles: 7.20/35
  • Total Miles: 364.30
  • Active Minutes: 75/210
  • Virtual 5Ks: 0/10
  • Total Money Donated: $4.36/$10.00

Monday’s Minutes

“Monday’s Minutes” is a weekly post in which I track my bookish life.  All book covers are linked to Goodreads unless otherwise noted.

Currently Reading:

  • The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Do it! Let’s Get Off Our Buts by Peter McWilliams
  • Wildwood by Colin Melot
  • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

  

Finished:

  • The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan
  • The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle by Janet Fox
  • The Once and Future King by T.H. White – I only finished The Sword in the Stone which is it’s own book, but Part One of this one.  I got several chapters into Part Two (“The Queen of Air and Darkness” in this book, but it’s The Witch in the Wood on it’s own) and then lost interest in continuing.
  • Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs

  

Challenges:

Total pages read this week: 1163

Total # of books for the year: 76 of 85.  I’ve got mandatory overtime for the next two weeks, so I mostly read and napped this weekend.  Also, I’ve got another flat tire.  The Boyfriend put the spare on for me, but none of the shops were open yesterday.  He’s going to take the car in for me sometime today so I can get back to being able to go where I want, when I want.  This isn’t the only reason why I love him, but it’s another reason on the ever growing list! 🙂

What are you reading this week?

Sunday’s Sundries: Damn Early Days

“Sunday’s Sundries” is my chance to discuss things that are going on in my life but might not be book or blog related.

Months ago I wrote about how I wanted to get back into regular blogging and posting book reviews instead of the two or three weekly posts I’ve been doing lately.  I don’t know what happened, but I definitely didn’t do what I planned.  The Boyfriend brought to my attention several times that I hadn’t written a review in quite awhile.  I had tons of excuses: I was tired, I was working a lot and didn’t have time, I didn’t know what to write, I didn’t want to review a particular book I had just finished reading, I was too busy finishing books from my TBR, etc.

“You wanna fly, you got to give up the sh*t that weighs you down.” – Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

That’s going to change.  I signed up for Damn Early Days, the 21 day program to get back to what matters by getting up before the butt crack of dawn and working on one or two goals before doing anything else.  The sign up is still open, but I don’t know for how long.  They recommend 4:30 am, but I convinced The Boyfriend to do this crazy thing with me and he takes issue with going to bed prior to 9 pm as if he’s a 6 year old on a school night.  I tend to agree, and the program does allow you to choose the time you’re going to get up.  So, starting October 2nd, we’ll be getting up at 5 am…every morning…for 21 days.

“Eighty percent of success is showing up.” – Woody Allen, quoted in Do It! Let’s Get Off Our Buts by Peter McWilliams

My primary goal is to write at least one blog post every morning and get it scheduled.  There won’t necessarily be a post to read from me every single day, but by time I’m done, there will 21 blog posts scheduled and/or posted.  My secondary goal is all about walking.  Since I started working from home, I haven’t gone walking during any of my breaks; mostly because I’m still in my pajamas, but whatever.  After I get my writing done, I will put my shoes on and get out the door for at least 30 minutes of walking.  I’ll either head over to the fitness center and get on a treadmill or I’ll walk around the apartment complex, but regardless of how I do it, I’m getting as many steps as I can before I have to get ready for work.

To prep for October 2nd, I’m playing around with a possible schedule to successfully get me through each day.  I’m also reading Do It! Let’s Get Off Our Buts by Peter McWilliams.  Do you want to know something hilarious?  I’ve owned this motivational “get stuff done” book for over a decade (since 2003, in fact) and I have never once opened it!  I think that makes me the Queen of Procrastination.  Hopefully Damn Early Days will help me abdicate the thrown.

Down the TBR Hole #13

Image: hjl

Down the TBR Hole was started by Lia over at Lost in a Story.  All book covers are linked to Goodreads unless otherwise noted.

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

I will be repeating this process every week until I’ve filtered out my entire TBR.  I have 568 books on my to-read shelf, thanks to starting The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

This week’s five books:

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman – KEEP.  How could anyone get rid of a book about a library?!

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin – KEEP.  I got this paperback a couple of years ago when I realized Le Guin is one of those authors that every Fantasy fan should read.  I know I won’t get to it before the end of the year, but I’ll probably take it off the shelf early next year.

Dooms Day Book by Connie Willis – KEEP.  This was recommended to me by The Boyfriend’s Aunt.  I’ve been saving it for #SciFiSummer, but it’s ended up at the bottom of the stack both years that I’ve hosted the challenge.

How to Travel the World on $50 a Day by Matt Kepnes – GO.  I’m only taking this off of my wish list because it was published in 2013; which means it’s probably out of date.  I might try to find a copy at the library or in a used bookstore at some point, but for now, it’s off the list.

The Sons of Macha by John Lenahan – KEEP.  The only reason I haven’t read this one yet is because I found out that Lenahan has been recording the audio book, and I absolutely LOVED the audio books of the 1st two books, Shadowmagic and Prince of Hazel and Oak.  I already own the ebook, but I’m more than willing to wait for the magic of the audio.

My to-read shelf is down one book to 567 books.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get a couple more pulled off of the shelf by next week when I start with book #106.