Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Sedona Panoramas

My sister taught my husband and me how to take panorama shots when we were in Sedona last fall. After that, every very time we turned a corner..."Panorama!" Here are some of our favorites.








Tuesday, January 26, 2021

New-to-Me Authors I Read and Loved in 2020




Christina Soontornvat. I first ran across Soontornvat's All Thirteen, a middle grade nonfiction book about the rescue of the Thai boys' soccer team trapped in a cave, and I enjoyed it so much that I picked up her elementary/middle grade speculative fiction book, A Wish in the Dark. I loved them both so much that I nominated them both for their respective categories in the Cybils, and they both ended up as finalists! @soontornvat

Matt Haig. A friend recommended A Reason to Stay Alive, a memoir by Matt Haig about his time with depression. I thought it was marvelous, and I immediately picked up The Midnight Library, an adult speculative fiction novel. Marvelous, too. @matthaig1

Simon Barnes. No beginning birdwatcher could resist Simon Barnes' How to Be a Bad Birdwatcher. I followed it with A Bad Birdwatcher's Companion. Now I'm eager to read his book, Wilding and A History of the World in 100 Animals. @simonbarneswild

Robert B. Reich. I heard Robert B. Reich speak at Houston's Progressive Forum and was delighted to find that one of his books, The Common Good, was at my public library. I've got his latest book, The System, which I hope to read soon. Reich is one of the first people I've heard speak in a long time who calls it like it is, and yet offers hope. @RBReich

Richard Rohr. How have I missed renown Christian mystic Richard Rohr? I read his book, The Naked Now, last year, and I'm reading a book of his daily meditations, Yes, And... this year. @RichardRohrOFM

Elizabeth Acevedo. I missed her first book and I haven't read her most recent book, but if With the Fire on High is any indication, I should get both of those and read them as soon as possible.

Krista Tippett. Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living not only led to a great author, Krista Tippett, but it also led me to her wonderful podcast, On Being. @kristatippett

Sy Montgomery. How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals, a work of elementary nonfiction, is my first Sy Montgomery, but I couldn't let it be my last. I sought out and read The Soul of an Octopus, adult nonfiction, next. I hope to read more. @SyTheAuthor

Antoine Laurain. I've read Antoine Laurain before, but this year I enjoyed his book, The Reader's Room, so much that I decided to try and read all of his clever stories.

Maggie O'Farrell. I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes With Death
, a memoir of her close calls with death, was my introduction to Maggie O'Farrell. Later in the year I read her fabulous historical fiction novel, Hamnet. More please.



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.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

The Sunday Salon: 🌟A Reread of A Gentleman in Moscow🌟, 🌟The Bookmobile🌟, and 🌟"Even the Air Feels Cleaner Now"🌟

 



It happened. And it took place peacefully. I don't know about you, but I cried all through the ceremony, as our new vice-president was sworn in, as our new president was sworn in, as beautiful songs were sung, as our new president spoke about his promises, as our new national poet laureate read. As my sister-in-law said to me, "Even the air feels cleaner now."










The Moon Was the Best by Charlotte Zolotow (Picture Book; Paris)
Paddle-to-the-Sea by Holling C. Holling (Picture book; Caldecott finalist)
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (Reread)
The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford (Classic)
Miss Benson's Beetle by Rachel Joyce (Fiction)





Be More Japan by DK Travel (Nonfiction)
Rabbityness by Jo Empson (Picture Book)


A good reading week in which I finished three excellent novels. The reread of A Gentleman in Moscow---I noted good quotes, thought about the idea of a gentleman, considered America from Russia-of-the-time's point-of-view, discussed the book with our book club---was especially wonderful.






The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri (Chapter-a-Day Read-along)
Yes, and...Daily Meditations by Richard Rohr (Daily Meditation Reading)
Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi (Japanese Literature Challenge)
Ex Libris: 100+ Books to Read and Reread (Book-About-Books)
The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson (Naturalist Book Club)
The Atlas of Happiness by Helen Russell (Nonfiction)
On the Narrow Road to the Deep North by Leslie Downer (Japanese Lit Challenge; Nonfiction)







Take a look at this story of one middle-grade reading teacher, our friend Wendy from Falconer's Library, @WendyGassaway, delivering books to her students: The Bookmobile.




Coming Soon! Multicultural Children's Book Day on January 29, 2021. #readyourworld. A chance to get more diversity into homes, libraries, schools.









We saw all the All Creatures Great and Small (original series) that our library had on DVD, so we had to subscribe to BritBox to finish the last four seasons. We are so enjoying this old tv series. Have you seen it? Have you watched any of the new series? 





Good Thing #1:
"Before God and all of you, I give you my word I will always level with you. I will defend the Constitution. I’ll defend our democracy. I’ll defend America. And I will give all, all of you, keep everything you--I do in your service, thinking not of power but of possibilities, not of personal interest but the public good. And together, we shall write an American story of hope, not fear; of unity, not division; of light, not darkness; a story of decency and dignity, love and healing, greatness and goodness."

Good Thing #2:
"But the American story depends not in any one of us, not on some of us, but on all of us. On we, the people who seek a more perfect union. This is a great nation. We are good people. And over the centuries, through storm and strife, in peace and in war, we’ve come so far, but we still have far to go."

Good Thing #3:
"Some days when you need a hand, there are other days when we are called to lend a hand. That is how it has to be, and that is what we do for one another, and if we are this way, our country will be stronger, more prosperous, more ready for the future, and we can still disagree."





I'm happy you found your way to the Sunday Salon. Sunday Salon is a place for us to link up and to share what we have been doing during the week. It's a great way to visit other blogs and join in the conversations going on there. 

Some of the things we often talk about at the Sunday Salon:

  • What was your week like?
  • Read any good books? Tell us about them.
  • What other bookish things did you do? 
  • What else is going on in your life?

Other places where you may like to link up over the weekend are below. Click on the picture to visit the site.


My linkup for Sunday Salon is below.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Wondrous Words: Ichigo Ichie

 



It's probably too late for me to start learning Japanese, but it's at the top of my list if I end up in the Language School section of heaven. 

I'm fascinated with languages. I'm especially fascinated with words in languages that do not appear to have a good equivalent in English.

One of these words is ichigo ichie.

I ran across ichigo ichie last week in a book called, appropriately, The Book of Ichigo Ichie. I'm fascinated with ideas about happiness, and ichigo ichie is a word that is all about happiness. It is a Japanese word that means the art of making the most of every moment, and that's what this little book is all about.

The authors begin by reminding us that life is impermanent. My wonderful friend and comadre Diana passed away last week. She was my age. I know that life is impermanent.

The authors share the secrets they have found for making the most of every moment from the Japanese---paying attention...listening...looking...touching...tasting...smelling...returning to now...being mindful...slowing down.

Here I go. I'm making the most of every moment. Starting now.



Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered, or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative! It was first created by Kathy over at Bermuda Onion and is now hosted at Elza Reads.




Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Cacti (and Other Plants) in Sedona














 

Books I Meant to Read In 2020 but Didn’t Get To: Novels

I blame the pandemic. My reading was off in 2020. Not in numbers, mind you; I read and reviewed 709 books in 2020, Goodreads tells me, and no one would be less than proud to share that. But what percentage was fiction books? 



I couldn't read adult fiction last year. Only 14% of my reading was adult fiction. And only half of that, a mere 7% of my reading, was contemporary adult fiction; the rest were classics. 

Here are novels I wanted to read but did not read in 2020. Please talk me into reading these.


Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Reading in Bed by Sue Gee

Jack by Marilynne Robinson

Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ask Me Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane








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.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Weekly Wrap-Up: My Small Morning Routine, Challenge Updates, and Let Us Dream

 




I'm still thinking about that awful attack on the Capitol, and my wonderful friend and comadre, Diana, passed away after a two month struggle with cancer. Forgive me if I stuck my head in the sand this week, and read and wrote in my journal, and watched birds. 






The Great Godden by Meg Rosoff (YA Fiction)
Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future by Pope Francis (Nonfiction)

The Book of Ichigo Ichie by Hector Garcia Puigcerver (Nonfiction)
Alone by Megan E. Freeman (YA Fiction)
How to Attract Birds to Your Garden by Dan Rouse (Nonfiction)
Remarkable Trees of the World by Thomas Pakenham (Nonfiction)






The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri (Chapter-a-Day Read-along)
Yes, and...Daily Meditations by Richard Rohr (Daily Meditation Reading)
The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford (Classics Club)
Ex Libris: 100+ Books to Read and Reread
Miss Benson's Beetle by Rachel Joyce
The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson (Naturalist Book Club)



















Good Thing #1: 
meditation;
yoga/stretching/walking;
creation.



Good Thing #2:
My first post for the new rendition of Wondrous Words,
formerly hosted by Kathy of Bermuda Onion,
now hosted by Elza Reads,
coming on Wednesday.



Good Thing #3:
I wrote my first post for the 2021 Discussion Challenge:
I'd love to have you stop by and share your two cents.






I'm happy you found your way to the Sunday Salon. Sunday Salon is a place for us to link up and to share what we have been doing during the week. It's a great way to visit other blogs and join in the conversations going on there. 

Some of the things we often talk about at the Sunday Salon:

  • What was your week like?
  • Read any good books? Tell us about them.
  • What other bookish things did you do? 
  • What else is going on in your life?

Other places where you may like to link up over the weekend are below. Click on the picture to visit the site.


My linkup for Sunday Salon is below.