Saturday, January 4, 2020

Weekly Wrap-Up: War and Peace and Kindness and Wonder




Are you like me? Do you experience a huge sense of possibility at the beginning of a new year? I'm very excited about 2020, and I can't wait to see what happens. I'm keeping my resolutions simple this year: to exercise at least twice a week, to read and review at least 100 books in the year, to write each day, and to talk less and listen more (most difficult for me).

You may have noticed that my blog header is different. There is a reason for this. At the end of this month, I am going to Paris for sixteen days. Paris. Sixteen days. I'm a little kid when I think about it. 





I started 2020 off with a bang, as I usually do. In December, I started a big stack of twenty books, and on January 1st, I finished as many of them as I could, fourteen of them. I think I learned to do this during teacher training, and it probably has a fancy name. All I know is that it makes me feel like I'm well on the way to achieving my goals. I set my Goodreads 2020 Reading Challenge at 100 books, and I've already met 14% of my goal. 

Did you choose to participate in the Goodreads challenge this year? How many books do you hope to read?





I'm reading the rest of the books I started in December, plus a few more. All of them (perhaps, though, not War and Peace) are on one person or another's list of mood-boosting books. It's my hope that these will provide a nice barrier of insulation for me against the toxic world this year. So far, it seems to be quite effective.












Sheila at Book Journey did her seventh annual First Book of the Year posting. I chose to start my year by reading Kindness and Wonder: Why Mister Rogers Matters Now More Than Ever. For a look at all the First Books chosen, take a look here.






The finalists of the Cybils Awards were announced on January 1st. I'm very proud of the work my panel did in choosing top seven favorites for each category from over two hundred picture book and board book nominees. I feel happy to have nominated books chosen as finalists in three different categories: Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson (Poetry); The Wicked King (Young Adult Speculative Fiction); and New Kid (Elementary/Middle Grade Graphic Novels). For a complete list of winners, take a look here. Here are the finalists for Fiction Picture Books and Board Books:




My post about the Fiction Picture Book and Board Book finalists is here.




Can I read one book all year long? I decided to try Nick's 2020 War and Peace Chapter-a-Day Read-along








We so enjoyed watching the Up series of movies, borrowed from our public library, that we decided to take on another huge series of movies. I borrowed all the Star Wars movies from the public library (except the last movie, of course) just before the end of the year. We are well into these:

  • Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace (1999)
  • Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones (2002)
  • Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith (2005)
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
  • Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope (1977)
  • Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  • Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi (1983)
  • Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Star Wars: Episode VIII —The Last Jedi (2017)
  • Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
When we finish with Last Jedi, we plan to see the last movie at the theater.



I'd love to hear about your week.




I'm very happy you found your way to the Sunday Salon. There are no real requirements to linking up at Sunday Salon. Sunday Salon is simply a place for us to link up and to share what we have been doing during the week. Sunday Salon is 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.

75 comments:

  1. How exciting that you're going to Paris! I'll look forward to hearing about it. Watching all the Star Wars movies would be a big project. We've seen the new one (and I guess it's the last). We liked it, but that's all I'll say to not share any spoilers. I will admit that for these 'old' folks here in Central Texas, the first three (episodes IV, V, and VI) are still our favorites. That initial Star Wars movie was so different in 1977 and the sound? Wow! Does anyone else remember that? I can recall standing in line for tickets. Bet some can recall doing that too. Enjoy!

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    1. Kay, my husband (my boyfriend then) and I saw Star Wars (we are like you and consider IV, V, and VI to be the real SW) at the Galleria in Houston on opening night.

      I will say that everything makes much more sense, watching the movies in order.

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  2. Paris for 16 days sounds divine!! I haven't been there in years but have loved it every time I've visited. I'm reading The Sweet Life in Paris right now and will probably be tempted to squeeze myself in your suitcase once I'm done with it.

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    1. C'mon and join us! Wouldn't it be fun to spend two weeks reading in Paris?

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  3. So exciting! I'd love to go to anywhere in France, having read some memoirs and fiction set there. I hope you love it!

    I set up a Sunday Salon post on my blog today. Thanks for hosting.

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  4. I've only read Chapters 4, 5, and 6 of the Star Wars movies. I loved them so much, but am worried I won't like the others. I am loving starting to read the CYBILS finalists. The YA fiction section has some great books.

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    1. I can't wait to see what you like best in the Cybils.

      I think Episode 2 may be my favorite of all, though we have only gotten to Episode 4.

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  5. There does seem to be a since of a fresh start that comes this time of year, I agree. I am so excited for your trip to Paris! A couple of my friends are there now with their families and I am looking forward to hearing how their trips went. Your first book of the year sounds like the perfect opening to the new year. If you recommend it, I may have to give it a try. I hope you enjoy War and Peace. It was a certainly a challenge, but I enjoyed it overall. I read it the year before last over the course of a year.

    I hope you have a great weekend, Deb. Happy New Year!

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  6. I did immediately notice the change in your header - what a great reason! Will you visit bookshops while you are there?

    Bon voyage!

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  7. War and Peace is sort of mood-boosting, but at a chapter-a-day probably only in time for next winter solstice...enjoy! (Particularly Paris!)

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    1. I may pick up the pace after a while. I did with Moby Dick. It's nice to read just a few pages a day, though.

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  8. Oh wow, Paris for 16 days! That's wonderful! I'm sure you will have a great time. I can't wait to hear all about it. Have a great week!

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  9. Enjoy your time in Paris. Take lots of pictures!

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  10. Wow you read a lot of books already! You're way ahead of your challenge, haha.

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  11. I hope you love your time in Paris!

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    1. I'm a little worried about the cold, but hopefully I'll prepare well.

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  12. Sixteen days in Paris sounds like a dream! How exciting :) The Mr. Rogers book looks interesting. I still haven't seen the movie. I definitely need some mood boosting books. This election year has already got me in a funk, news-wise.

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    1. It was the most recent election that threw me into this funk, I think.

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  13. Paris??!! That is SO exciting... definitely worth changing your header over ;-)

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  14. I hope you are enjoying your Star Wars marathon! I still need to watch Solo: A Star Wars Story.
    If I had the time I would love to join the War and Peace read-along, I hope you'll enjoy it!

    Have a wonderful week!

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    1. It's only a few pages a day, Lynn. It's certainly not too late to join in!

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  15. I like your First Book choice. We could all use more kindness in our lives.

    Wow, you are off to a great start with your 2020 Challenge! I've read two of mine so far, lol.

    Have a great week!

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  16. How exciting to be going to Paris! Congrats too on all the hard work you put in with the Cybils.
    My Goodreads goal is 220, and I’ve read 4 books so far, so I’m 2 books ahead of schedule right now :)

    Wishing you a great reading week

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    1. I always set my goal at 100. It's a nice way to feel like I'm meeting my goals.

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  17. A huge sense of possibility and also responsibility, mainly to myself. Like you, I kept my resolutions (fairly) simple this year. Already I am starting well, but it's...well...early yet. We'll miss you here when you're away, but can't wait to hear about your trip when you return.

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    1. I plan to schedule Sunday Salon while I am in Paris. I will have Internet access there, and I will have my laptop with me. It should not be a problem (fingers crossed). Hope I remember to add the Linky!

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  18. What a lovely upcoming treat - Paris is a magical city:)). And good for you to have made such a very strong start on your 2020 Reading Challenge, though I'm not surprised. Have a great week, Deb.

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    1. Maybe I can bring a little of that magic home with me.

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  19. Oh I wish you could pack me in your bag and take me with you :) Paris is somewhere I would love to visit someday.

    Have a great week!

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    1. I promise to take you with me, at least through my blog.

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  20. Oh yeah, I see a ton of possibility in 2020. But I'm trying to live in the moment as well. It's a fine balance. (sighs)

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  21. I wanted to do 100 books but I set mine for 60 but still hope to hit 100 before next year :)

    I hope you have a wonderful week! Happy Reading!

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    1. I think it's good to set our goals a little low so that we can achieve them.

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  22. Last year my goal was to read 100 books and I made it. So I hope you reach your goal this year too. My goal this year is to read 150 books.

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  23. PARIS? HOW EXCITING!!! I'll be waiting to hear all about it! I've wanted to go to Paris since I was a little girl and watched I'm watching the Up series too.

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    1. Can't wait to see what you think about the Up series.

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  24. I'm so happy for you to get to visit Paris! It's definitely on my list. Then again, my travel list is as unrealistic as my TBR, so who knows. Great work with the Cybils project--the ones that moved on all look fantastic. I'm excited to start my round 2 duties.

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    1. It's hard to think about a lot of travel when you are right in the middle of work and family.

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  25. I love the beginning of the year too I know it's just another day but it feels different! How exciting about your trip to Paris. Have a great week!

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    1. I feel like I'm drinking champagne all day at the beginning of the year.

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  26. Enjoy your trip to Paris! Those books do look uplifting and we do need more uplifting books in our world. My son loves all the Star Wars movies...to the point he talks about it way too much....

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    1. I loved Episode 2, though episode 3 was terribly dark and sad.

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  27. Enjoy Paris! It sounds like it’s going to be an awesome trip. I have finished 0 books so far this year. I probably should have done your reading strategy.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  28. I've finished nine books so far. I'm thrilled to see "You are Light" on the Cybils short list. It's one of the best intro to color books I've ever seen.

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  29. The hubby and Daughter 1 went to see the new Star Wars movie while I and Daughter 2 went to see Little Women. I've seen almost all the Star Wars Series though. I've signed up for some TBR Challenges this year. I plan to read 26 books but secretly hope for 52 this year! lol I hope you can stop by:

    https://collettaskitchensink.blogspot.com/2020/01/happy-homemaker-monday-1620.html

    Colletta

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  30. I'm so excited for you about going to Paris. It's my very favorite city on Earth. I've been three different times and am hoping to go for about 3 months when I finally retire in a few more years. I'll look forward to hearing all about your adventures there.

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    1. Paris is my favorite city, too. I would love to go for three months, but I'm not sure I could be away from my family that long.

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  31. The only challenge I do each year is the Goodreads one. This year I set my goal at 240 books which might be a stretch at my new, slower reading pace. I also have an exercise resolution. Come see my week here and Happy New Year!

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    1. I really missed the Y last week...so glad to be back this week.

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  32. I love your list of link-ups! My Goodreads goal is more than last year. In 2019 I read 87, so my 2020 goal is 88 :) I've finished two and a half so far!

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  33. Oh days in Paris, how wonderful and all those Paris books will come to life that you have read. Your first book sounds like a very wise pick.

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  34. Happy New Year!!! And congrats about Paris!!

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  35. Paris is on our must-visit list so someday soon.. but until then it is through books, movies, and others! Enjoy your trip... and ur star-warathon!

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  36. Wow Paris for 16 days! That's wonderful. I hope you enjoy every moment there. I like your goals & resolutions -- they sound good to me.

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  37. My husband and I watched all of the Star Wars movies a few years ago, but now we're behind again. I sure do remember sitting in the theater with my brothers, watching that very first episode. I was so confused! :)

    I'm so excited for you and your upcoming trip to Paris. I've never been and I don't know if I'll ever get there, so please take a lot of pictures. Rod and I are in the middle of planning our next big road trip and we plan to spend several week in Utah. I can't wait!!

    My first book of the year was The River by Peter Heller and it was outstanding. Just shy of a perfect 5-star read. I have a book that I plan to read over the course of an entire year. It's called The Rural Life by Verlyn Klinkenborg. I saw on Goodreads that you read it, but didn't care for it too much. I don't if it's a good idea to read it slowly or quickly, but I'll make notes as I go along. It's only been a little over a week since I read the first chapter and I've already forgotten what it was about!

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    1. My sister and her husband want in on our Star Wars extravaganza, so we have decided to start over with all of them so we can watch them together.

      Oh, my, we had so much fun in Utah. I can't wait to see your photos.

      I will look for The River.

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Sharing thoughts and experiences about books and reading is why I blog. Thank you for sharing yours.