"Unearthed" by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Sunday, January 24, 2021
"Unearthed" by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Sunday, January 17, 2021
Very rarely do I really dislike a book. This is my first disliked book of 2021. "The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison.
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
I finished my 2nd book of 2021. I read the book "Big Lies in a Small Town," by Diane Chamberlain for my Book Hive Book Club. If you're a new reader on this blog, the Book Hive Book Club is pretty different. There are 12 people in a group. We all choose a book we want to read and buy that book and a journal. We read the book, journal about it, then send the book and the journal through the mail to the next reader. I've read so many books I never would've even considered picking up and I have met some really interesting people as well. Here's a link to The Book Hive Book Club on Facebook in case you might want to check it out. So, the book....
I have never read anything by this author, so this book was a pleasant surprise. I really enjoyed the character development, the plot, the relationships that developed over time and the story being told through multiple perspectives.
Monday, January 4, 2021
Happy New Year! New Year, new goals. My reading goals this year will be somewhat reduced from last year. I would like to read more books, but do less challenges. I wasn't going to participate in any reading challenges this year, but then a woman from my book club tagged me in this group and I thought, "Wow, that looks fun." (Except for the steamy read. Not a huge romance fan.)
For my Goodreads challenge this year, I would like to read 75 books. I didn't read quite as many in 2020, but I was also emotionally and mentally exhausted at times. I'm hoping to read a lot this year. We all know we'll have some time this year when there is not much else to do.
Thursday, December 31, 2020
- We are lucky that none of the people we know have died or been gravely affected by Covid-19. Obviously all of our lives have been affected, and a few people we know were sick, but everybody we know is okay, which I'm grateful for.
- Our blessings could not have been more evident. We moved 10/2019 from a small, run down apartment into a house that doesn't need a lot done and is more than spacious for our family. Both my husband and I have jobs. We have a happy family and enjoy spending time together.
-Two of my favorite hobbies are penpalling and reading. These are great hobbies to have in 2020. Penpalling kept me connected to other people across the world and helped to feel not so isolated. Reading could take me to other worlds when I wanted to be alone.
- This doesn't mean 2020 was always easy. I'm pretty conservative so I've felt comfortable staying in while some people were really suffering from the fear of missing out on things. I don't think I was particularly scared that I was going to get the virus from being out in public, but I'm kind of higher risk and I figured it's kind of like wearing your seat belt in the car- if you can do something to help keep you safe (even if you're not in full control of that), why wouldn't you? So, being home when we wanted to do things like travel, see friends/family, drive to another state, etc has been inconvenient and sometimes hard. People across the US were divided about so many issues. It was hard to go online to any social media platform without seeing negativity, disagreements and disrespect. Racial tension, political tension, coronavirus issues, mask issues, education issues- it was all too much for me. I can understand people having differences in opinions, but I struggle with lack of decency amongst people.
- I lost a good friend of mine in August. Her name was Mary. We met in our book club and became fast friends. Very close to the start of quarantine, she found out that she had liver cancer, which then led to the discovery of pancreatic cancer. It was a quick decline and heartbreaking. She tried Chemo but reacted badly. She passed away right before school started. I miss her very much. Although I would've never expected a friendship to blossom between us when we first met, we were sort of kindred spirits. Secondly, teaching music online- not a fan, though I have grown as an educator and learned new skills.
-I have made my faith a greater priority. I've been attending a church online and I feel like it's making me think about my life in some new ways, not that the old ways were necessarily bad, but it has been good for me. I have also joined a women's group online, kind of like a Bible study. That has provided me with some new friends and fellowship. I'm very thankful for all of this.
-I have also learned to sit still- with God, with myself, with an empty schedule. I miss being busy every second of the day, but I have enjoyed slow times with my children, completing my thoughts without feeling totally frantic or rushed and taking joy from observing the world around me.
As always, I have lots of goals for the new year. Perhaps I'll come back tomorrow and write about some of them. I have not been blogging much because I'm not 100% sure if anybody is getting anything out of this blog, or even reading it. I thought about starting a new one, on a more secure site, but I'm not sure. I'll see how blogging goes over the next few months. I anticipate writing about various subjects- my goals, reading, penpalling, life in general. I really like connecting with new people, so if you're a person who just stumbles upon the blog by chance, please feel free to say hello.
Happy New Year!
Monday, August 31, 2020
Hello! As school is approaching my mind is all over the place. Maybe later I'll write a post about teaching during the time of a pandemic, but I just can't right now. To say I'm conflicted about how I feel about returning to school in an understatement. I hope you all know that I truly love my job and my students, and miss them dearly, but I also have concerns for myself and my own family. Sigh. I'd appreciate your prayers about this. On to books, which are way less scary...
This was a book on Tim's options for required summer reading. As I mentioned in my July post, I like to read at least 1 book with the boys and talk about it with them/see what they're being asked to read. This is the book Tim chose, which was a bit of a surprise to me, but it ended up being a good choice. Frank Li is a Korean-American whose parents came to the United States from South Korea. They own a store where the father is always working to try to provide a good life for his family. Monthly, they attend "The Gathering," where all of the Korean families who came to the US around the same time meet for dinner at one of the houses of the families. Frank is a kid in his senior year of high school- dealing with preparing for college, learning how to manage relationships and, in his case, struggling to distinctly feel both Korean and American at the same time. In addition to these struggles, Frank also runs into a problem when he starts becoming interested in a girl named Brit. She seems like the perfect girl, except for one thing-she's white. He's fine with it, but his parents would not be since they expect him to marry a Korean girl, most likely a Korean American girl, which were pretty scarce in his area. He knows this will be a problem because his sister, Hanna, was already disowned for dating and then marrying a black man. To complicate his feelings even more, Frank's best friend is Q, a black boy in his grade. His parents like Q because he's "not like other blacks." One night at The Gathering he realizes that a lot of his acquaintances, who might even be able to be considered friends, have some of the same problems. For example, his friend Joy has been sneaking around dating a Chinese guy named Wu for the past few years. He and Joy decide to pretend to be dating each other to mollify their parents and also allow them to sneak out with their significant others for dates.
This book provided a lot of opportunity for discussion, especially during these times were racial tension is so obvious. We talked about racial issues at school, expectations for certain cultures, how Tim thinks we'd react if he brought home a girl that was from a different culture, parental expectations, dating (which he hasn't done), pressures of being a teen, honestly, how the events of the story may feel from the teen's/parent's point of view, etc. It was actually pretty cool to hear his opinions. We had a socially distanced dinner where 2 of my former students came to visit. They are Indian and the topic of arranged marriages came up. Tim heard that conversation as well so we also discussed that. We both thought the ending kind of wrapped up too quickly, but there's a second book so maybe that's why it was done that way.
This was a book for my Bee Hive Book Club. The main character, Weylyn Grey, is quite unusual. First of all, when his parents died in a car accident, he went into the woods and was raised by wolves. Secondly, he seems to have a connection with the weather. When he was a teenager, he became friends with an 11 year old named Mary, who met him while she was delivering meat to him from her father's butcher shop. This relationship drives a lot of the book. The story is told from the perspectives of different characters that meet Weylyn throughout his life: Mary- whom I've already mentioned, Roarke- a teenage boy who meets Weylen as an older adult. He meets him after a dare from some of his friends. Lydia- Whose family were foster parents for Weylyn for a while. Bobby Quinn Jr- The mayor of a small town who contacts Weylyn to see if he can help with preparations for hurricanes in the area, and Duanne Fordham- a logger in Montana. Then there's Merlin, Weylyn's horned pig and a few other likeable characters (and maybe 1 or two unlikable ones) thrown into the mix. I thought this book would be a little too "fantasy" for me, but I found it kind of touching in some ways. I actually stopped reading for a few days because I didn't want the story to be done. There are some questions I still have about the story and some things you don't ever get answered but it didn't stop me from liking the book. The other people in my book club who read the book before me also really enjoyed it.
Have you ever wondered what it would take for you to be happier in your everyday life? Well, Gretchen Rubin spent a lot of time thinking about improving herself and seeing if she could increase her level of daily happiness. She decided to take a year to focus on 11 different areas, one per month. (The last month she was implementing all the rules/attempts from the 11 previous months together.) Some of the areas she examined were her marriage, parenthood, work, eternity, etc. She laughed at the fact that she wasn't really unhappy, but she also realized her moods affected everybody around her and she could probably improve on how she related to people.
I'm reading this book with David. It is about 3 kids who discover 3 kids with their same names and birthdays have been kidnapped. They think this is very strange, but get very disturbed when their mother then needs to take an emergency trip from work and leaves them with a family they don't really know at all. It becomes obvious that something is not right and the kids, along with the help of Natalie Morales (the girl whose mother they are staying with), try to figure out the whole situation. This book was pretty good. It might be bad for kids who are afraid that something could happen to a parent because one parent has died and the other goes missing. Natalie's parents are also split up. This is the first book in the series. David has already started the second book and is enjoying it a lot.