Saturday, April 6, 2019

Weekly Wrap Up: Grow-a-Reader Bookring, Read My Own Books Challenge Update, and the April Happiness Calendar


I am a new fan of North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, which I finished this week. It's the story of a family's move to the industrial north of England after the pastor father has doubts about his convictions, and about the strike that takes place in the mills shortly after the family's arrival. The antagonism between mill owners and mill workers is contemporary, and it left me thinking about working relations in a new way. My review of North and South is here.

I finished the very fun North American Pirates and Their Lost Treasure by W. C. Jameson. It's published by August House, a company that focuses on storytelling. What kid wouldn't love to read this book about pirates and lost treasure? My review of North American Pirates is here.

I wavered and wavered on my rating of An American Marriage: A Novel by Tayari Jones. Chapter one left me breathless. Has anyone captured the dynamics of a marriage as well as Tayari Jones in chapter one? Five stars. I wasn't as pleased with the ensuing chapters, the time Roy spent in prison. Roy's reaction to being in prison and the reactions of his family and friends to his being in prison seemed muted. Three stars. And then my rating changed further at the end of the story. My full review is here.


I also read and reviewed these children's picture books:

Mom Loves Little Jumbo by Yasushi Muraki
The Blue Pebble by Anne-Galle Balpe and Eve Tharlet
My Little Chick by Geraldine Elschner and Eve Tharlet
The Wild Wombat by Udo Weigelt and Melanie Freund
I Need to Wee! by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet

Click the links to go to the full reviews.


Tales from Shakespeare 
by Charles and Mary Lamb


I opened an old copy of A Kiss for Little Bear I had on my shelf last week, and I became awash in memories. This book was part of a bookbox sent to families around America through my Grow-a-Reader Bookring on BookCrossing. The parent read the books with the children, and parent and child signed the inside front cover of the books they read. Then they passed the books on to another person. In the end, the books returned home to me. Happy memories.

I've finished six of ten books in My Own Books Reading Challenge set by Anne of My Head is Full of Books. The challenge ends on May 15th. 

I heard poets Fady Joudah and Carmen Giménez Smith at the Margaret Root Brown Reading Series last week. My post about the event is here.

Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon began at 7 am CST on Saturday, April 6 and runs through Sunday at 7 am. I'm hoping to read at least some of the stack of eleven books I put together for the 'Thon.

Baking, photography, drawing, happiness, and other projects...

I've downloaded my April Action for Happiness Calendar. You can download or print your own calendar here. 

The Sunday Salon 

Last Sunday I visited Anne's blog, My Head is Full of Books, and I read her post about attending the Michelle Obama book event. I loved hearing her thoughts about the event and Obama's book. I was especially struck with this thought from her blog post: 

"There was a moment during the campaign, which she described in the book, where she was sitting in someone's living room. She looked around at the doilies on the tables. The doilies reminded her of her great-aunt and it was at this point that she realized we are all the same, really. It changed the way she campaigned." 

I worked for the Census Bureau twenty years ago, and I had a similar experience. Being welcomed into people's homes and sitting with them and asking questions and recording their answers was a profound experience for me. Over and over, I told myself that this is what politicians need to do. 

This is what I want for Sunday Salon. I want it to be a place where we can hold little conversations with others, and share our experiences. We can talk about books and speak about the ideas we are thinking about and have a time to talk together. We can, look around and see the doilies on others' tables.

I would encourage you to stop by my blog, Readerbuzz, here and post a link to your blog each week. I hope you can visit other blogs and share your thoughts with others. The Sunday Salon was created twelve years ago to spark conversations, and I hope to do the same by sharing links and visiting others’ blogs. I will keep also the Facebook group for Sunday Salon for the same purpose.

I would be very happy if you would spread the word about the Sunday Salon. Encourage others to post here and/or on Facebook. Post the graphic on social media. 

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

My linkup for Sunday Salon is below. If you wish to also post a link at Facebook, you can also do that. My hope is that you will post here and/or at FB and then visit other bloggers. Sunday Salon is to encourage conversations about books and book-ish things.


  1. I was just mentioning Book Crossings (or something similar) to someone yesterday. I remember there was a website when we registered books then we left them somewhere public for someone to read. Each reader left the book out in public for its next reader.

    1. Yes, it is still there. I still occasionally bookcross books.

  2. I worked for the Census last time. I had planned to work this time but given the current state of things, I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable or safe doing it.

  3. What a busy, fun week for you! I really want to get my hands on a copy of An American Marriage.

    1. I have a copy I am finished with, if you would like it.

  4. It looks like you've had a busy week and enjoyed some wonderful books. Those children's books look adorable:)

  5. I miss my daughter's interest in picture books as now she tends to gravitate towards chapter books. She still prefers the ones with some pictures at least though. I especially love the sound of The Blue Pebble.

    What an awesome idea the Grow-a-Reader Bookring is! And what a treasure all those signed books would be, with the names of those whose lives they have touched.

    I hope you had a good readathon!

    I love that you have given new life to The Reading Salon. I have ideas for future Sunday posts that I hope to do. Making the time will be my challenge.

    Have a wonderful week, Deb.

    Have a wonderful week,

  6. I have the Michelle Obama book on my list of books I want to read. Now to make time to read it :) I hope you have a great week!

  7. I'm disappointed that you didn't share the ending of American Marriage in your review. ;) Also good thin you're posting now on Saturdays since you'll have to be off your screens next Sunday. Again ;) Seriously, though, I like the idea of an action for happiness calendar. I like how you describe what you want the Sunday Salon to be. The only thing is that I don't have any doilies.

    1. Wait, that's what I get for skimming...I do have (metaphorical) doilies. :)

    2. Lol. We all have (metaphorical) doilies, I think.

  8. You had a busy week. Michelle Obama's book is on my wish list. I feel like I am the last one to get a copy. LOL

  9. I love the example about Michelle Obama and the doilies. My social work took me into lots of homes, and helped establish connections with everyone I met.

    Thanks for sharing your version of the Sunday Salon.

    I loved what you wrote on my blog about not wanting to leave your home. Even though my current residence is a condo and not the home where I lived for many years, I've already been here 12 years, and my familiar surroundings are keeping me rooted.

  10. Wow! You sure were busy this week! Hope you have great week!

  11. That Active calendar is a great resource!

    I’ve joined Sunday Salon, thanks for the invite

    Have a great reading week
    Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out

  12. I loved North and South! And I had the Little Bear books when I was young. I was unable to do the Readathon, but I know it's a lot of fun.

  13. Sounds like you had a good week. I liked the variety of books you chose. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  14. The Pirates book looks great, and I have a soft spot for Little Bear.

  15. Creating a community of people who post about books is a good idea. I posted one of my recent favorites. I will visit at least some of the others.

    best... mae at

  16. Oh the Little Bear book sounds so sweet. What a wonderful book to have all the love of reading stored in. The past few weekends have been crazy and I haven't had much online time but I linked up today (just a few days late!) Hope you have a wonderful week!

  17. It's great to get your impressions on An American Marriage. I have that one on audio. I had Little Bear books back in the day. I think they were my brother's books and I read them to him actually. Have a great reading week

    Anne - Books of My Heart Here is my Sunday Post   


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