29 April 2020

May book drop

Good afternoon,

For those of you that follow my reading club on Facebook, I wanted to let you know that I am dropping the May book so you can get it in your hands if you would like to read along.  I started this book a few days ago and I wish I could devote all my time to it because the plot is very exciting.  This one has a unique plot, a dystopian vibe, and a big brother/social media plot that at times turned my stomach.

Mays book is:

Followers: A Novel 
by Megan Angelo

What if the internet is broken?  What if the government runs a town and we "follow" it?  There is a timeline that takes place in 2015 and another is 2051.  You will see how the characters from each timeline will intersect piece by piece (I really liked how things were revealed).  This is a page-turner for me.

24 April 2020

A book journal and other musings

Good Morning from Kentucky!

We are working hard on staying healthy at home but with all the cheesecake and cookie-baking, along with all the pots of macaroni and cheese, we are running out of butter.  It is not a desperate situation yet, but we are getting close.  What is getting to a desperate level is the lack of cleaning wipes.  I don't use them to clean the house, but I do use them to clean my Cricut mats, have you ever tried that?  They are great for cleaning off little bits of paper and reviving the stickiness of the mat.  If you have a better method, I am all ears because I cannot buy these wipes anywhere.

I wanted to talk to you today about reading not so much about cleaning wipes.  I have been keeping a reading journal since 1996.  This was necessary for me because I read so many books I could not remember what each book was about, not even to mention the title or author's name.  At first, I just recorded the name of the book and the author's name along with the dates read.  I started adding a smiley face if I enjoyed the read and did not record any abandoned books.  This was the source of my recordings for about 15 years.  As a matter of fact, most of it was recorded in a single journal book that I started in 1996.  I have done a post with it before, but it is worth a revisit, here is that very first reading journal. (My handwriting is atrocious)

Once I got an e-reader my reading doubled from what it had been and I needed a better system. I started a graph for my book part and an excel spreadsheet too.

The spreadsheet calculates how many books I have read for that year, how many of all time, how many of that year were paper, ebook or audio, and how many of all time were paper, ebook, and audio.  I love the stats part.  This system does not give me a clue as to what the book was about, it is purely for that stats thing I love.

My paper journal evolved around that time as well, I started keeping more details and looking online for a good system.  I discovered Modern Mrs. Darcy's blog.  She had a free journal that she gave you, I took it and redid it for the things that I wished to retain.  I made this one in pages and printed it on cardstock, then bound it in a book that I wished to retain forever.  I used it for a few years but decided I really wanted to have it in a journal type book with a leather cover. I took apart a leather bound book amd inserted my own pages, but it still wasn't what I wanted.

 I looked into having a moleskin book printed with my journal blocks, but that was too expensive.  I mentioned it to my friend Amy that I needed a system and she said: "make a stamp".  PERFECT!! That is just what I did. I got the stamp on Amazon for $15....worth every dime.  Here is what that looks like, both the stamp and how it looks stamped on my page.

I am currently using a leather-bound owl book with deckle pages and it is working out great for me.

If only I could stamp straight.   Nope, I shall always do things a little off kilter.

22 April 2020

Podcasts during your healthy at home time

I love to listen to podcasts at work.  Especially if the office is quiet and you just like some background noise.  If you have tried them you know there are tons of different topics that you can choose from.  If you have not, you really should try.  There are some devoted to tv shows, like The Office or Dateline (I love both the Dateline and Date with Dateline ones), movies, human interests, and my favorite, books!!!

Today I was going to tell you some of my favorite podcasts in hopes to inspire you to give them a go.

1.  The first two on my list are by the same person.... "What should I read next? or "One Great Book" both by Anne Bogel.  Anyone that knows my reading loves knows that I absolutely adore Anne.  She is a fellow Kentuckian that writes books, does podcast, wears cool clothing and has the best laugh, EVER!  I discovered her online with her blog Modern Mrs. Darcy (also worthy of your time) and then discovered the podcasts.

2. Dateline and A Date with Dateline-Dateline is just the episodes in podcast form.  It is perfect for me to listen to at work because I have seen the shows so if the phone rings I don't fall behind.  A Date with Dateline is by Kimberly and Katie.  Two super fans that pretty much run a commentary about each episode.

3. Hamilcast-This was actually my very first podcast ever.  There are tons of interviews with teachers  and they talk about history, but also cast members from all the different casts, conversations about the book and interviews with LMM.  My favorite episodes so far are the Alex Lacamore shows.  He played clips, unedited items and played live.  I loved those episodes!  Behind those are the Lintober episodes.  In these Lin is very candid about everything but very open about how and why he created this masterpiece.  He also drops an unrealeased song!!

4.  The Office Ladies is fantastic if you love The Office.  Don't listen if you don't love the show.  Jenna and Angela take you through each episode starting at show #1 and so far they have not skipped one episode of the show.

5.  My last favorite one (but not the end of my list) is called He read, she read.  It is a married couple that love to read and I think they are adorable.  I have just started this so I am not very far along, but I think if you love books you should check this out. 

I would love to hear from you if you have some favorites.

14 April 2020

Michelle's Musings Reading Challenge

I have a few goals for 2020 that I would like to achieve, one is to get more people reading and less time on social media. I thought I would achieve that by doing a Reading Challenge.  I made it kind of simple because I am trying to encourage the non-reader to read, I am certain that the readers I knew will read without any encouragement, but feel free to play along too if you would like, the more the merrier.

The other way I am going to try to encourage reading is to pick my own book of the month.  I want to choose a book that I will read and invite you to join in with me.  When we finish we can discuss or simply mark it down on our challenge or reading journal as being complete.  We could have a lot of fun with this.

I am going to try to give you the book I will read a few days before the month so you can go about procuring the book BEFORE the month starts (I hate book clubs that wait until after it starts, what if it takes you more than 30 days to read the book?).  Anyway, here is my book for January.

I did choose the book for two reasons, #1 is that great cover!  I have no idea what this girl is running from but she already has me curious.  #2 is that the reviews I have read are wonderful!  We are supposed to get sucked into the characters and be very interested in what happens to them.  We are supposed to cry and one reader described it as living up to every expectation she had.

I hope it is as wonderful as it sounds.  We shall see.  I hope you read along.  Look around here for a blog post updating you on the books I pick and please let me know how your reading progresses. 

As for my reading challenge, this would for sure be a cover that I love.  Your challenge entry may be different, that is what is going to be so fun about us reading together.

Use this to mark your place.  I will do more bookmarks later (at various sizes)

update on my challenge as of 4/14/20


Reading with Michelle-online book club January through April

In January I started a book club on Facebook.  I decided to pick a book every month and you could read along, or pick and choose what you wanted to read or whatever.  It is your club, do what you like, I am just providing some guidance.  I did not think of adding it to my blog until now..so here it goes.

January's pick was a beautiful book.  I admit I picked it because I LOVE the cover, but also because I had seen advertisements saying it was going to be GREAT.  I admit I had no idea what it was about because I rarely read the synopsis on a book cover.  The book is about Selina who seems to have it all.  She does fall for a penniless young man, but of course she has to marry the rich guy because that is what people in her social class do.  The book will take you through her love affair with the painter, and her marriage and then up to a death.  It was beautiful!!

February's book was almost as good as January's pick. I admit I was inspired to pick this because Jenna Bush Hager said it was fabulous, but also because the cover looked so fun.  Ok, that is where the fun ended, Edward is the sole survivor of a plane crash.  This book talks about how he copes with this life knowing he is the only one to make it.  It also zig zags back to the day of the plane crash.  You get to know many of the passengers and see what rescue workers experienced when they found the wreckage and how they felt about finding Edward.

March started this whole Covid 19 thing.   I was looking for something that would be an escape from what was happening to take over life, no thoughts, just words and hopefully a good story.  March's pick was the Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.  I was attracted to it because it said it had an old Hollywood/Elizabeth Taylor idea.  I loved that idea.  Evelyn pretty much summed up what I thought Elizabeth was like in terms of husbands, pretty much changed at the drop of a hat.  Evelyn married for reasons every time though, love, convenience, a child, but she never married her true love.  You do get to experience what her life was like with the love of her life and why they broke up and what life or fate had in store for them later.  While it was different than I expected, I did like it and there was a twist I was NOT expecting. I love twists.

April's book dropped a little early because of the Covid 19 virus, and because everything was off kilter I dropped two books in April.  Woo hoo!  The first one was They called it Camelot by Stephanie Marie Thornton.  I love her books!  She always tends to choose a topic that interests me and I tend to devour her books in a day or two.  This one I read last year and could not wait for it to be released so I could share it with the world.  It is all about Jackie Kennedy and her meeting, courtship and life with JFK.  The conversations they have make you feel like you were there with them watching their relationship unfold.  It was kind of magical and it was a bit like I thought their relationship would be. I think any Kennedy or Jackie fan would love this, maybe someone that doesn't know much about the Kennedy family would too because this is a great fresh take on how they operate and how much family means to them.

My second pick for April was Recipe for the  Perfect Wife by Karma Brown.  OH WOW!! I simply could not put this one down.  It takes place in two time periods.  One is Alice in present day.  She and her husband, Nate just bought this cute little house in the suburbs.  Alice immediately finds boxes of vintage 1955 stuff in the basement and her life will change dramatically because of that box.  The other timeline is the 1955 story, which takes place in the same house.  The box of stuff in Alice's basement belonged to Nellie, who in 1955 was married to Richard.  I did predict what would happen,  but I still LOVED it!  I adored this book!

If you want to join  the club, find us on Facebook. May's book will be coming soon.