Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Bookish Resolutions

I love making lists of books I want to read during the upcoming year. I love adding books to my TBR. I love thinking about posts I might write on my book blog. I love to reorganize my book stacks according to what I want to read first. I love to decide on book challenges for the year.

But book resolutions?

I hereby resolve to make no bookish resolutions.

That is...

I will read what I want.

I will read when I want.

I reserve the right to give up on a book at any point, even if I am on the very last page.

I will not feel compelled to read any book a publisher may send to me or a friend may give to me.

I will read at will.







Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Classics Club: (Approximately) 68 Classic-ish Books I Will Read in the Next Five Years

Many thanks to Kay of Kay's Reading Life who nudged me toward The Classics Club this year.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love reading. But another, less obvious truth about me is that I love to plan, to make lists, to research my reading almost as much as I love to actually read.

How could I resist joining in this challenge? I'm in my final twenty years of reading on earth, I think, and it's time to devote myself to reading some of the best writing in these last years.

What is the Classics Club? From the blog:


  • choose 50+ classics
  • list them at your blog
  • choose a reading completion goal date up to five years in the future and note that date on your classics list of 50+ titles
  • e-mail the moderators of this blog (theclassicsclubblog@gmail.com) with your list link and information and it will be posted on the Members Page!
  • write about each title on your list as you finish reading it, and link it to your main list
  • when you’ve written about every single title, let us know.
I devoted a complete day to preparing the list. Because I am very much an overlapper (a self-created designation for a person who loves to do activities that check off as many lists at once as possible) I created most of this list from books I had already challenged myself to read, from the 1001 Children's Books You Must Read list and the 1001 Books You Must Read list, as well as from the various award-winning book lists I'm perpetually trying to read. Books marked in bold print are completed and have links to reviews.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Any Human Heart by William Boyd
Appointment in Samarra by John O'Hara
Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald
Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
Bleak House by Charles Dickens
Candide by Voltaire
Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov
Christ Stopped at Eboli by Carlo Levi
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes
Emma by Jane Austen
Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Excellent Women by Barbara Pym
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
Howards End by E. M. Forster
It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis
Italian Folktales by Italo Calvino
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Mythology by Edith Hamilton
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Now We Are Six by A. A. Milne
Old Filth by Jane Gardam
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
One Thousand and One Arabian Nights
Passage to India by E. M. Forster
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
Selected Essays by Michel de Montaigne
Selected Stories by O. Henry
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
The Black Corsair by Emilio Salgari
The Castle by Franz Kafka
The Doll's House by Rumer Godden
The End of the Affair by Graham Greene
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan 
The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain
The Quiet American by Graham Greene
The Razor's Edge by Somerset Maugham
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Trial by Franz Kafka
The Water-Babies by Charles L. Kingsley
The Wonderful "O" by James Thurber
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
White Fang by Jack London
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte



Are you a member of the Classics Club? What books do you want to read first? Are there any on this list that I should read soon? 




What are you reading today?



What is the Sunday SalonImagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them,and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. Click here to join the Salon.

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news and recap the past week.


Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week. 
 It is now being hosted here.

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is now being hosted at The Book Date.




Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Books I Meant To Read In 2017 But Didn't Get To

I do hereby vow to read the following books in 2018 or give them away. I have copies of all of these sitting under my bed.

I will read these in 2018.

The Night Circus


Appointment in Samarra


A Little Life


The Eight


Turtles All the Way Down


Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds


Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys





I will read these. What should I read first? Have you read any of these? 




Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists

Sunday, January 7, 2018

2018: Wildly Imperfect

It's the start of a brand-new year. It's a chance to start fresh, to start anew, to try new things, a do-over.

In the past few weeks, I've been busy here on my blog, posting my list of favorite reads of 2017, my favorite children's picture books of 2017 and announcing our Cybils finalists, choosing my word for the year, and planning my reading for 2018.










I started out 2018 like I start every year; I finished ten books the first day. It's a technique (trick?) I use every year to kickstart my reading. I finish off the year's reading at the end of November and I start reading ten books that I can finish on the first day of the new year. Here's what I've finished in 2018 so far:





I committed to writing every day for ten minutes this year. No goals. No careful criticism of what I write. Just writing. Every day. Ten minutes. #WildlyImperfect.

And thank you, Helen of Helen's Book Blog, for sharing the calendar from Great Britain's Action for Happiness. I hope to follow the calendar in 2018.






What are you reading today?



What is the Sunday SalonImagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them,and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. Click here to join the Salon.

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news and recap the past week.

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week. 
 It is now being hosted here.


Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is now being hosted at The Book Date.


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Martha Stewart's Slow Cooker

Martha Stewart admits she did not grow up with a slow cooker nor did she ever use a slow cooker until she decided to write this book. But she's a convert now.

The second cookbook I received (after, of course, the ubiquitous Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook) at my wedding shower was a crockpot recipe book. This was the 70's and I was determined to both work and cook well for my man. The crockpot cookbook was perfect for us. I'd start it up at seven before I left for work and, when we arrived home at five, we had a pot of amazing food.

So we (my man has learned to use the slow cooker, too, over the years) have continued to use this cookbook for the past forty years. I thought I knew everything about crockpots.

Then I read this book. 

Martha Stewart had the luxury of having a panel of editors and recipe developers create and test recipes that enhanced the strengths of a crockpot for more than a year. Martha shares a list of ten Slow Cooker Commandments, all new to me, and a list of tips for best using the crockpot (all new to me). These alone are worth the price of the book.

Then I tried out the recipes. My husband and I sticky-noted recipes that sounded good to us---Chili Chicken Tacos, Sausage and Vegetable Ciambotta, Brisket and Onions---and over a few weeks, we tested Martha's testers.

Our results? 

We've set our tattered and splattered forty-year-old crockpot standard in the pantry for now, and replaced it with Martha's shiny new book in our cookbook stand. 

Here's one of our (new) favorites:


Martha Stewart's Slow-Cooker Brisket and Onions

Ingredients 






For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy ReadsTo participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken and then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky at West Metro Mommy Reads.

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.