I finally managed to finish piecing together the backing for my Rainbow Pinwheels quilt after sitting on my butt for over a week. It’s nothing elaborate, just a lot of fun happy white polka dots on a red background.
Once I baste, quilt and bind this baby I can get it sent off to Mama and baby, hopefully before baby arrives! Then I still have two more baby quilts, a boy due in July and a girl due in September. I want to finish the July one before I move. Who knows how long it will take me to get my quilting room set up in the new house?? But I’m not going to push myself too hard… if it happens, it happens.
I also received some batting and interfacing for my birthday that I can use to make a quilt from my late husband’s t-shirts. Another project I’m definitely not rushing into. I want to make absolutely sure of what I’m doing before I go ahead and cut into such precious fabric.
Instead of sewing, I’ve been spending a lot of time reading. Some people like to binge watch TV shows… I love to binge read books. I’m an extremely fast reader and I can usually finish a simple romance novel in a day, during Henry’s naps and then after bed time. So far this year I’ve read 24 books, and four of those were re-reads. If you’re interested in what I’m reading, feel free to check out my GoodReads profile. I’ve got shelves for each year, so if you go to my “Read in 2017” shelf you’ll see what I’ve read so far this year.
That’s what I’m working on this week! Visit Patchwork Times to find out what others are working on this week.
Another one of my hobbies is reading. I actually graduated from university with a BA in English, my focus was Victorian Literature. If you know anything about Victorian Literature, you know they liked to drone on and on and on, most of the books were very long and we were reading them at a pretty quick clip so I got to be a fairly fast reader. Depending on the book, it’s not unusual for me to finish a 100-150 page ebook in an evening. It makes me kind of laugh to look at my most current list of books read, given my background. I don’t read a whole lot of “literature” these days, I enjoy mysteries, romances, Young Adult novels, etc. Feel free to follow me on GoodReads to find out what I’m reading.
Every year, GoodReads lets you pick a number of books you’d like to finish by the end of the year to “challenge” yourself. The last time I successfully completed a challenge was in 2011, my goal was 50 books and I read 60. My goal for this year is 50 and so far I’ve read 38 books, which apparently means I’m on track. I’m sure I’ll go off the rails again once the baby arrives.
This past week I took a break from quilting and read some books. I love reading on my ereader, a 1st edition Nook by Barnes and Noble. I believe my husband bought it for me for Christmas the year it came out. I love the e-ink technology, there is no backlighting at all which makes my eyes stressed and tired (and twitchy, I hate that!) This week I read 4 romances, a mystery and a finished a horror/thriller that I started a while ago. You can check out all of the books I’ve read this year here.
Usually when I’ve read a lot of light, fluffy books I try to buckle down and read a “serious” book so I’m not completely embarrassed by my reading list, lol. I read Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov earlier this year for that reason and absolutely hated it.
Now I’ve decided to read Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I haven’t spent much time with American literature and this was gifted to me earlier this year so I thought I’d give it a try. Most people probably wouldn’t consider this a “serious” read but it is considered an American classic anyway. It’s tremendously long so hopefully I can get through it!
I have to say, I’m really loving this link up. It’s really pushing me to read so I can have something new to report each week! With that said, let’s take a look at the shelf…
Lolita, The Road Less Traveled, Break, Blow, Burn are gathering dust. But I do have a finish to report!
I finished Beautiful Redemption, the final book in the Caster Chronicles series. I wanted to finish it before I could forget any plotlines!!
This was a great finish to the series and I really enjoyed the writing in this one, too. Lots of beautiful imagery and strong character development. You can definitely tell that the writers took inspiration from Dante’s Inferno with this book.
I’m linking up over at Patchwork Times! Check out what others are reading!
Again, shelf looks much the same as last week:
Still got Break, Blow, Burn, The Road Less Traveled and Lolita on the shelf. However! I did make some progress.
A couple of weeks ago I talked about how I left off on Beauiful Chaos because I couldn’t remember the story line. Well, I re-read the first book in the series, Beautiful Creatures (now coming to a theatre near you!), read a summary on the second book and got back on track with the third novel, Beautiful Chaos and finished that Sunday night.
Beautiful Creatures is a Southern gothic Young Adult novel, the first in The Caster Chronicles series. The book starts out with a young man named Ethan who falls in love with a girl named Lena… who is not all she appears to be. Turns out she is what is called a Caster, or a person with magical powers. On her sixteenth birthday she, like all of the members of her family before her, will become either a Light (good) Caster or a Dark (evil) Caster. Other Casters can choose which side they will become but in Lena’s family, fate chooses for them. However, when it comes to her birthday she is able to choose for herself, throwing the world out of balance and resulting in the deaths of people close to her. The next two books, Beautiful Darkness and Beautiful Chaos explore the consequences of her choice. There is a fourth book in the series which (I think) wraps up the story.
Lots of people compare the books to the Twilight series but I actually think they are better. If you enjoy reading YA books I definitely recommend them!
I’m linking up today with other readers over at Patchwork Times. Check them out!
Well my currently reading shelf looks much the same as last week…
I did make some progress on Lolita and I put my copy of Beautiful Chaos in my purse to read during the Super Bowl (not a football fan) but I didn’t end up touching it.
I saw this book at Sam’s Club the other day and bought it. I finished it within a couple of days so I will go ahead and review it.
I am a huge fan of Janet Evanovich’s books. I read the Stephanie Plum series whenever a new one comes out and I’ve also been scouring used book stores for her older romance novels. This book, The Husband List, is (as far as I know) Evanovich’s first foray into period fiction but not the first time she’s teamed up with another writer.
The main character, Caroline Maxwell, is a wealthy American heiress whose mother is determined to marry her off to an English Lord. Caroline, however, has other ideas… mostly involving her brother’s best friend, entrepreneur Jack Culhane. I think you can guess how it ends but it was fun getting there. I love Evanovich’s novels; nothing too terrible ever happens and it’s just a fun, funny, easy, romantic read and I enjoy reading them.
Linking up over at Patchwork Times! Check out what other people are reading!
I’m excited to start participating in Judy’s weekly reading link up!
I like to read a wide variety of books from classics, Young Adult novels, memoirs, chicklit; you name it, I’ve probably read it! I keep track of my reading progress on GoodReads. It’s a great site for readers.
So let’s take a look at what’s on my currently reading shelf…
Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. This YA book is the third in the Caster Chronicles series. I read the others before the third one came out and started this one right when it came out; however, I’m having a hard time remembering what happened in the other books so I’m a little lost reading it! I need to do a refresher on the plot points of the first two books then pick this one up again.
Break, Blow, Burn by Camille Paglia. One of my professors in college recommended this book and I started reading it a while ago. It analyzes poems in the Western Canon. I love this book because it reminds me of being in school (I’m one of those freaks that loved school!) but it takes a lot of concentration and usually I don’t have enough to tackle this book.
The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck. Honestly, I thought I finished this one!! It’s about people taking all kinds of paths towards finding their life’s passion and working at it. I’ll have to double check whether I finished it or not. I definitely recommend it.
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. This is the newest addition to my list. This book falls under what I call my shame category: books that I probably should have read at some point in my academic career, but never did either because it was never assigned, or it was assigned but I didn’t have time to read it. You’ve, no doubt, heard of this book. It’s disturbing to be sure and I can only read it when I’m in the mood. I suspect this book will be on my currently reading shelf for a while.
I’m linking up overt at Patchwork Times. Head over to see what others are reading!
On Sunday, October 2 I attended the OC Children’s Book Festival at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, CA. I headed straight to the Young Adult stage and got some books signed!
Heather Cocks, Jessica Morgan and I
First off, I got my copy of Spoiled signed by the authors, Jessica Morgan and Heather Cocks. They also write the hilarious site, Go Fug Yourself.
Kami Garcia and I
I listened to some other authors talk and then the awesome Kami Garcia took the stage, one of the authors of the Caster Chronicles: Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness and the upcoming Beautiful Chaos. Unfortunately the other author, Margaret Stohl wasn’t there. 🙁 Hopefully I’ll get to meet her someday. I can’t wait to read the new book!!
Overall it was a great and exciting day! I have plans to see Kate Beaton of Hark A Vagrant when she comes to Los Angeles on Oct 23rd. Tell me, do you like to meet authors of books you love? If you haven’t, who would you like to meet?
Last night I drove down to the Barnes & Noble in Mira Mesa (San Diego) to meet the lovely Jen Lancaster!
Jen Lancaster Reading from her new book.
I arrived at 4:30 and got in line to get my numbered wristband, which would dictate my place in line during the signing. I started reading the book while waiting and after I chuckled (I believe after reading the first ORNESTEGA incident) a group of ladies behind me started talking to me. After we got our wristbands I wandered around the store for a bit before realizing I had two hours to kill until the event, so I left the store.
I spied an On The Border, so I decided to stop in for a margarita and some grub while I waited. Lo and behold, I walk into the bar and the ladies from the line are there! They invited me to join them for margaritas and we had a lovely couple hours chatting.
Finally we went back to the store to start the Reading/Q&A/Book Signing Session. Jen was as awesome and funny in real life as she is in her books and on her blog & twitter. I had an awesome time!
I had a great time! I hope Jen comes back to San Diego on her next book tour (and brings Fletch with her next time)!
In the past couple of weeks I’ve discovered two used book stores, I don’t know if they are new or just new to me. They were all $1 (the second store had hardcovers for $2). I got:
- Farenheit 451, Ray Bradbury (I’ve read this, but it was a long time ago so I think I’ll read again)
- Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman
- Girl with the Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier
- The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
- Catch 22, Joseph Heller
- Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert
- The Bridges of Madison County, Robert James Waller (I borrowed my mom’s copy, wanted one of my own)
Before you BAWWW at me for omg not having read such an so novel, know that I am already aware of the strange gaps in my education. Some of it is my fault, for example, taking every British lit class I possibly could in college left me woefully ignorant of American Lit in general. Also, I sometimes straight up skipped reading some assigned texts, simply because I didn’t have enough time to complete all of my assigned readings. Some of it was the result of progressive teachers I had in high school, who exposed me to contemporary authors (Keri Hulme, Alan Lightman, etc) instead of more “canon” authors, which got pushed by the wayside.
That’s why I’m excited about these used book stores, it will give me a chance to fill in the gaps of my education. Plus my goal this year was to read mostly ~literature~, so it seems this will help.
Me at the wedding
Look at at that, as soon as NaBloPoMo ends, I go M.I.A. for over a week!
Well, I was in a wedding last weekend as the matron of honor. I was so nervous about it, but everything went off beautifully and the couple was very happy in the end. Here is the speech I nearly had an aneurysm writing. I also started crying mid way through it!
Good Evening everyone, my name is Erin and I am proud to be the matron of honor. Bride and Groom*, congratulations on your marriage. I know you two will be really happy together.
Groom and I have known each other since high school, and I first met Bride when she started dating him in college. I liked her right away because I saw how happy my friend was when he was with her, and then I could see why he was so happy. Groom, I don’t have to tell you what a sweet, caring, thoughtful person Bride is and I can’t begin to thank you enough for bringing someone like her into my life. Bride is the kind of person whose “effect […] on those around her [is] incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life” like Bride (Middlemarch).
And actually, our meeting was pre-destined. Bride and I lived a block away from each other when we were in elementary school and we went to the same middle school, but never knew each other. In fact, when we were in middle school we both took a quiz sponsored by our student council that was supposed to tell us who our friend matches were. For some reason I kept mine and came across it a couple years ago, and guess who my number one friend match was? Some girl named Bride. So, see? I did learn something in middle school.
At this point it’s usually customary to offer up some quote or a tidbit of advice about love and married life. Unfortunately, having been married for two years now I know that there’s nothing new I can tell you that you haven’t heard already. Being married is hard work. And there will probably be days when you are so annoyed by your spouse, you may wonder what in the hell you were thinking getting yourself into this whole marriage gig to begin with. Ephesians says to “Patiently put up with each other and love each other.” (Eph 4:2) Because then you’ll remember the time he tried to make you soup when you were sick, or how you told jokes in the dark before sleeping and laughed until your sides hurt, and it’s all worth it.
“Rejoice in the wife of your youth […] may you always be captivated by her love.” Prov 5:18-19
As your relationship began among books, it is fitting that it continues in “Marriage, which has been the bourne of so many narratives, [and] is still a great beginning, as it was to Adam and Eve,” (Middlemarch).
Here is to the beginning of the next chapter of your narrative. Cheers, to Bride and Groom.
*Named changed to protect the innocent!
Next week I am flying to Knoxville, TN to attend another wedding. Fortunately, this time I am not in it, just a guest!