Wednesday, June 21, 2017

What I've Been Reading Lately (or six months ago)

I desperately need to get to my quick book reviews because I'm about 30 books behind! But on the other post material! Have you read any of these? Am I nuts? Let me know all your bookish thoughts.

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple

This book didn't land for me, and I'm still trying to pinpoint why exactly. It's written in the same quick, witty style as Semple's first novel, Where'd You Go, Bernadette, which I enjoyed so much. It tells the story of one day in the life of a Seattle woman, her family quirks are delved into, a funny child comes along for the ride, and a marital mystery is solved. But for some reason this story didn't feel as emotionally poignant or compelling as Bernadette. I didn't love the anti-Catholic jibes on every other page, and I'm just not sure how I should feel about the ending. I just feel conflicted about the entire book and I'm not sure why!

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

This is a slim book compiled of the letters between a book buyer and a book seller separated by the Atlantic. It's perfectly charming and the fact it's the real letters between two people make it even more enjoyable. I just love books of letters, I love the by-gone culture of letter writing, and I definitely love buying books so I loved this book. If you're not a lover of any of those things though, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't love it as much.

The Warden by Anthony Trollope

My Trollope book of 2016, it was a often times hilarious introduction to the Barcetshire chronicles, Trollope's masterpiece series. Trollope is an acquired taste. Or maybe not so much acquired, but a practiced taste. He's so rich in societal commentary, character studies, and witticisms that reading his books is worth it. But it does take time to get used to the Victorian prose, the lengthy development of plot, and being transported to another world. Now I want to go read more Trollope.

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante

The third instalment of the Neapolitan Novels, this book was intense. I still don't know if I should be making judgements on the characters yet, but I found this novel to be so packed with emotion and conflict on so many levels it really held my attention. I totally get why these novels aren't some readers cup of tea, but to me they are just un-put-down-able. I'm even putting off reading the last book because I don't want them to end somehow, maybe for fear of being disappointed that all this complex story telling will have an unsatisfying ending. I'll let you know!

Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny

The sixth book in the series and I think the novel that I enjoyed the most. The setting of Quebec City was so perfectly set that I loved each scene. I also thought that structurally this is Penny's finest work in the series yet. The only negative comment I would add is that I feel Penny's Canadian history is pretty biased and it stuck out to me like a sore thumb within the story. But the pacing was perfectly done, an almost-perfect mystery!

This was quick. I'm going to post more soon! Until then I'm linking this up with Modern Mrs Darcy and Quick Lit!

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Friday, June 16, 2017

Seven Quick Takes vol. 159

After a long absence, I'm hitting the SQT's hard with Kelly.


Been painting my front door!

Well, two months really goes quickly doesn't it guys?
It's been over two months since I've blogged and it feel like a blur because things have been so busy. 

Here's a quick catch up for you though: April was a big, fat mess of weather. So much snow over Easter, it never left, I was such a complaining basket case I wouldn't let myself blog at all because I was so negative. 
May: We did a million things, birthdays, travelled, sucked up the finally snow-less weather.
June: Soccer practices, extra games, fun things on every weekend, it's half over and I could cry!


But what really impacted my very limited time to scribble and type up some bloggity blog business was an extra writing project I was working on. It still shocks me how little spare time I have until I try to take on even one more extra, not that big, project. I really enjoyed the writing though once I got into the swing of writing more often and under a deadline. 

In further shocking news I was asked to speak at an NFP fundraiser dinner last week in Calgary! I'm not a speaker but it is a topic that I have a lot to say about, so after I finished the writing project it was straight to working on a talk. I think it turned out alright and although I'll never be a professional speaker I'm proud of myself for doing it.  I didn't faint from fear so I've gotta be proud. If the talk is ever put online I'll try to share it with you if you're interested.


We've done so much in the last two months it's hard to know what to share! 

We did go on a quick family road trip to Calgary and Drumheller at the beginning of May and we all had a really great time. The kids saw the dinosaur museum for the first time, enjoyed the luxuries of a waterslide and the endless fruit loops of a chain hotel's continental breakfast, we enjoyed no crowds and nice weather. 

It's still shocking to me how we have to schedule even short trips away a ways in advance or they will never happen with things coming up every weekend. But we had a really nice time!


The kids have been in swimming and soccer during April, May, and June so it has made my week's feel packed even though it's just me driving them places. The life of a mother, amiright? They've all had a great time, and the time's of the practices have made my life a little less exhausting than past years, but I'm driving a lot. Because everything's at least half an hour away - if I'm lucky! 



May and June have been so lovely! Especially after the world's worst April! It's been so nice to have things growing and green and kids outside. We planted our garden the week after May long weekend, and it's coming up sporadically which is always a pisser-offer, but fingers crossed we get some produce before September. I still have to hold myself back from buying an entire greenhouse worth of flowers every spring and all the funky planters I see. I did however, buy the best planter in the world; Rhonda. A Greek bust that's been turned into a planter. Best HomeSense buy I've ever had and it still makes me ridiculously happy. 


We officially finished all school this week and it could not come any slower. Math has been sucking the life out of me while simultaneously making me an angry gargoyle. I'm basically done for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, next school year I'm going to have 4 kids needing instruction so we are shaking up the curriculum for sure. The rest of the school year was pretty successful actually. The kids are going to still be doing workbooks and Latin over the summer, and hopefully some more nature journalling. But really, I could go for a nanny this summer. I know regular moms are freaking out because they've got their kids home all day everyday since school's out, but it's even more bitterly disappointing when your a homeschool mom and basically nothing changes as you go into summer! I'm feeling a bit burnt out and exhausted, but I think that could be the culmination of the last couple busy months. My solution is a nanny. It's not going to happen but I'm going to try for at least a morning a week off, if I can make it happen somehow! Pray for me and a miraculous nanny to fall from the sky!


The podcast is still up and kicking and we're planning on new episodes into July! Because we're organized?? I know, I can't believe it either. We've had so many excellent episodes the past couple months because of the great guests who have been gracious enough to come on and chat with us. I've really enjoyed talking to each and every one of them and I hope they've been as awesome to listen to.

It's off for another busy weekend this weekend with a First Holy Communion for Dom and Father's Day, but I'm going to be getting back in some kind of blogging groove next week...probably because that magical nanny is going to drop by any time Mary Poppins style. Dare to dream! 

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