Posts Tagged ‘reading’

seize the day

Seize the day, seize whatever you can
‘Cause life slips away just like hourglass sand
Seize the day, pray for grace from God’s hand
Then nothing will stand in your way
Seize the day

I love that song and yesterday was one of those days.  There were plenty of chores to be done, tasks on the list, but the sky wore blue and the sun was making an appearance after 17 days of rain and clouds.  After a stop at the library and a quick run to the grocery, I parked myself on a deck chair with a cup of iced coffee and three potential reads.  (I ended up beginning with The Story of Forgetting by Stefan Merrill Block which I just happened upon.)  And as I sit here this morning, listening to the sound of rain once again, I am happy to have seized the day, the moment, the time.

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Giving my arm time to heal means putting down the drumsticks and knitting needles and picking up the books.  I have been doing a lot of reading these last few weeks.  Yesterday it struck me how diverse my reading material has become.  The Persephone Book catalog arrived in the mail featuring reviews of books that take me back to a different time.  I have only read a few of these books but they are quite popular in the reading community these days.  Last night I went to hear Atul Gwande speak about health care and health reform.  Before the talk I picked up a copy of his newest book, The Checklist Manifesto: How to get things right.  I read his first book, Better: a surgeon’s notes on performance, a number of years ago and will tell you that this man is a great storyteller who has the capacity to make you think.  I look forward to starting this book as soon as I finish The Help.  The other books that arrived in my mailbox this week were my prize from the SOLC – an ABC book and a book about opposites from CincoPuntos Press.  Beautiful pictures!  Thanks again to Stacy and Ruth for a great challenge.  May your reading and writing bring you joy today.

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28 days of wonder #24

I am wondering a lot these days about how we communicate with parents.  There are some definite universals with young children, developmental stages haven’t changed.  But how parents understand those stages has most definitely changed.  So I am adding a few books to my pile, books that talk about this next generation of parents, how they were raised, and what they expect.  We also read this article recently at our admin team.  There is some comfort in knowing that there are some generational differences that I can come to understand and hopefully find ways to respond that will keep the lines of communication open.

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28 days of wonder #21

I am up early most mornings and I use that time to read.  I make a cup of coffee and pull a quilt over my lap.  I turn on the reading lamp and pick up a book from the pile on the table next to  my chair.  I was looking at that pile today and wondered what it says about me, at least me at this point in time.  I seem to be on a non-fiction journey for the last few months.  And my book choices are divided between ideas that will help me in my work with families and young children and books that speak to my struggle with spirituality and the church.  A friend asked me the other day if I missed reading novels.  I do miss the story written in novel form, but I am also finding that these works of non-fiction carry stories too.  And for today at least, those are the stories I am drawn to unravel.

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Moleskin monday

My little green moleskin – the 3×5″ size  – is perfect for collecting quotes from recent reads.  This morning I took time to write down a few pages of quotes from The Jesus Way by Eugene Peterson.  There are some great ideas in this book about language, prayer, and finding our way on the path.

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weekend plansI haven’t done a Sunday Salon post in a few weeks but this has been such a lovely weekend.

There was a knit-along at one of the local craft stores and all yarn related items were on sale.  I have been wanting to try my hand at a pair of socks so I went down and picked up some yarn and a little booklet on knitting socks.  Last night I managed to get the first stitches on the needles and began the process.  I have not knit with such small needles and it feels a bit awkward.  The yarn I bought is a bamboo and cotton blend and is very soft to the touch. 

I am also finishing up Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin.  This book has been compared to the First Ladies Detective Agency books and in some ways it is similar but the stories that Angel (the cake baker) hears are stories of genocide, families being torn apart, reconciliation, creating new relationships, and working toward lives of independence.  I am not going too quickly with this one because I don’t really want it to be over.

I have also been making soup this weekend as the air has that nip of fall.  Last night it was Butternut Squash and tonight will be black bean and sausage.  A wonderful way to spend the weekend.

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july 28

What would summer be without some hot days and good books?

It is a far cry from the central air of my Arizona childhood but this is what we rely on during those few days of terribly hot weather here in the Pacific Northwest.  How hot can it be you might ask?  Well it was already 74 degrees at 6:30am and heading toward 100 today and tomorrow.  These are the days that I am thankful for our deck that doesn’t get much sun after 2pm.  Yesterday I spent those later afternoon and evening hours in my deck chair, a glass of iced tea, and my books.  I finished reading The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister, a simple little story about a group of people who come together during a cooking class.  It reminded me a bit of Chocolat.  Lillian, the restaurant owner and cooking teacher, seems to know just what ingredient each participant needs.  A good read for a hot day.

Then I stared on Hungry Woman in Paris by Josefina Lopez, another cooking school story but with a very different flavor.  I already like the main character and since I will be settled back in my deck chair this evening, I might have another finish for the week.

Finally, I have been browsing through a cookbook I picked up at the library but I know I will need to own this one.  The Splendid Table: How to eat supper by Lynne Rossetto Kasper has some wonderful recipes and good side stories.  This would be a fun book to do a cook the book challenge.

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Sharing books

I am often reluctant to review or even share books with friends and family.  If  I really enjoy the book, I worry that the recipient may not like it and I always feel less than adequate in explaining what I liked so much about the book.  But I try to remember what my husband, a wine educator, says to his classes – “the best wine (or in this case book) is the one YOU like. “

homemade lifeBut I absolutely know who I will receive my copy of A Homemade Life  (after I finish the last bit and make copies of a few of the recipes). This book will go to my daughter and her new husband.  They love to cook together and they are a great blend of following the recipe and experimenting.  They are fun to watch as they create in the kitchen and since they are both drawing to a close of their summer courses (graduate school) it will be a good time for them to read it. 

I also finished A Mercy last night and I very much enjoyed this book.  As the story drew to an end and I could see there were just a few pages left, I worried that I would be left hanging, disappointed that there was something left, some uncertainty.  But the last paragraph closed it up for me.  It isn’t a spoiler but I won’t share it, just know that it spoke to me, and I loved it.

Now, off to the libary today to pick up a few holds.  Not sure where I will go next but I hope it too is a book I would be brave enough to share.

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Random reading

RandomReading_01-249x300August 1, 2009 – July 31, 2010 Are you stuck in a rut? Do you always find yourself reading from set lists or feeling committed to reading one book while another book screams at you from your TBR mountain? Has your reading become completely scheduled? If so, the Random Reading Challenge may be just the thing to put the spontaneity back into your reading. For this challenge, readers will be choosing books randomly from their TBR stacks.

You may select one of three levels of participation: I am signing on for Level II: You really want to break away from all those lists, but you do still have a responsibility to your reading groups, other challenges and all those review books. Six books is too little, but twelve is too much. Stretch a little and read nine books for the challenge.

So I went to my bookshelf and pulled 9 books that I have been wanting to read but keep putting off and I used Random Number Generator (per Wendy’s instructions) and my first random read will be Bread Alone: a novel by Judith Ryan Hendricks.  This is great because it will also count for the Spice of Life reading challenge.

I also read a great post this morning about the luxury of reading.  I have been thinking about this all day.  I have many friends who say they don’t have time for reading and I have claimed to be “too busy” during the school year to keep up with my reading lists.  But I am not going to use that excuse this year.  I am going to cling to the joy of reading that I have rediscovered this summer and give myself the gift of reading.  If reading is a luxury, I will be a very deserving recipient.

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more reading, less writing

I have been putting our library system to the test recently.  There is a limit of 25 holds at any given time and recently my list has come so very close to that number.  Of course about 6 of those holds are movies that I would like to see but many of these are also books that I have heard about but not enough that I am ready to purchase them.

And now I find that two of my holds have come in at once.

homeHome by Marilyn Robinson – This book won the Pulitzer Prize and I have heard that Robinson weaves a wonderful story.  So I picked this one up quickly but have not yet begun reading.



blue sweaterTonight I have a message from the library that this book is waiting for me.  This one appeals on a different level and I know that I have a week before it will be put back into circulation and the next person on the list will have a turn. 

So, can I read them both at the same time?  They are very different types of read.  Or, do I forgo one of these and read the other?  Such a dilemma but I know this much.  I think writing will take a back seat to reading for the next week.

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