Library Loot: April 07 2021

Loot from my local library included the following:

  • Belfast Diary – John Conroy (NF about 1980s Northern Ireland during the Troubles).
  • Sharks in the Time of Saviors – Kawai Strong Washburn (F). One of former Pres. Obama’s favorite books of 2020, apparently. If it’s good enough for him… 😉
  • A Caribbean Mystery – Agatha Christie (F/murder mystery). Love me some Christie.
  • The Secret River – Kate Grenville (F/Australian). I’ve heard good things…
  • Dolores Claiborne – Stephen King (F). I would like to read more King so seeing if I can handle his less-scary titles first.
  • Emma – Jane Austen (F). In the mood for a good classic.
  • The Water Museum – Luis Alberta Urrea (F/short stories). I don’t always get on that well with short stories but I’ll give them a go with Urrea’s work since he’s really good.)

Thrift Store Bounty…

thriftstorebooksAs I’m of the many who enjoy prowling through thrift shops, I had an hour to spare last weekend, so off I went to one of our local (and biggest) ones. I went with the intention of looking for things to put on Cowboy’s head. Found several objects which will help with the project, and heavens to Betsy, if I didn’t also accidentally on purpose find some books which were looking for a new home.

(Well, I had to buy them, right? Don’t want to be rude…)

So, as can be seen in the photo above, here is what made it home with me:

  • The Iceman Cometh – Eugene O’Neill (play)
  • The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins (F)
  • The Soul of an Octopus – Sy Montgomery (nature NF)
  • Full Catastrophe Living – Jon Kabat-Zinn (NF on meditation etc.)

I’ve been itching to read a play lately. We went to a local playhouse to see a version of an Agatha Christie murder-mystery, and it was surprisingly good for a local am-dram, and so I ended up with the O’Neill. I read him during my classes in graduate school, so I’m curious to see if if the experience will be similar or whether it will be radically different. I’m a very different person now, so I’m interested to find out how or if this impacts the reading of this play.

The Girl on the Train – loved the movie, so am v interested in reading the book the film was based upon.

The Soul of an Octopus – I rather like octopi and have heard only good things about the nature writing of Montgomery.

And the Jon Kabat-Zinn book is just going to be a good reminder about living a principled life through a Buddhist perspective.

So, I have some good finds there, and am glad that I can add them to the TBR pile, ever-growing as it may be. It’s good to have choices!

May 2017 Reading Review

So May has come and gone, and we’re at the halfway point to the year. Thought I’d do a round-up post to review last month’s read, and see where we are and what we’ve been up to. (Note the royal “we”.)

The reads for May included:

So to the numbers:

Total number of books read in January: 4

Total number of pages read: 1,462 pages (av. 365).

Fiction/Non-Fiction: 2 fiction / 2 non-fiction.

Diversity: 2 POC. 2 books by women.

Library books vs. books I owned (and thus removed from the home abode): 3 library books, 1 owned book and 0 e-books.

Plans for June: I’m planning not to plan. [Hollow laugh. We’ll see how that goes…!] 🙂

October 2016 Reading Review


October went well for reading. Just as in other recent years, it signaled the end of my summer reading slump which means that I now have some interesting titles on my list of completed books.

I hope that I am back into reading now. The slump seems to have become quite regular in the hot months over the past few years – perhaps it’s due to the really long summers that occur in Texas and I just get fed up with the high temperatures? You’d think if that was the case that I’d retreat into the air conditioning and read, but apparently I’m retreating into the AC and doing something else. No worries. I don’t live and die by the stats, so this is just me pondering…

Planning ahead, I’m off to England soon so I’m expecting bookie-related things around that visit. I’m sure we’ll find a bookshop or two, perhaps buy a title or two, and get some reading done (I hope). I’m still contemplating which titles to take, both on my Kindle and in RL. I’m thinking that I could leave any physical books that I complete in England, and then free up some packing space that way. We’ll see. Sometimes the best laid plans…. 🙂

November also signals the start of the U.S. Holiday Season (capitalized because it’s a months-long event), and I just saw Christmas stuff out at Barnes and Noble last weekend. Crikey. It gets earlier every year (or perhaps it’s just me.) The holidays (here in the US) always mean some time off from work for me, so I am looking forward to that. We get a break for Thanksgiving, and then we also get a healthy break from work over the Christmas holidays. I work for a large state university and the general campus shuts down completely between Christmas and New Year’s, so that’s a great present from the State of Texas. Yee-haw. Last year, I had brain surgery during that break. Not planning for that to happen this year, so should be a bit more fun for all involved!

So – to the books:

I read the following titles (with links to blog posts about said book where there is one):

Total number of books read in October: 6

Total number of pages read: 1725 pages (av. 246).

Fiction/Non-Fiction: 4 fiction / 1 non-fiction (including 1 graphic novel)

Diversity: 0 POC (Whoops. This will be addressed during November.)

Library books vs. books I owned (and thus removed from the home abode): 1 library book and 6 owned book. 0 ILL and 0 e-book.

My favorite book, by far, was the Dayton Duncan NF about the American contemporary frontier. Totes a good read.

TBR Reading List Update – January 2013 edition.


My Fall 2012 TBR suggested reading pile (updated). Blue arrows point to books read. 🙂


Way back in September-ish, I developed a list of potential TBR titles that I thought I might put into the reading spotlight and see how that went. (See this post here.)

I had a mixed result, but all good because even though I might not have actually read these exact titles, I did read something equivalent off the TBR pile so I can argue that it still counts. 🙂

  • The Ring of Bright Water trilogy – Gavin Maxwell. Non-fiction about a guy who lives alongside a family of otters in Scotland (I think). Supposed to be funny and sad. NOPE.
  • The Emperor of all Maladies – Siddhartha Mukherjee  (A continuation of the summer TBR pile.) NOPE.
  • Death at the Priory – James Ruddick. YUP.
  • Short Stories by O. Henry (or another book of essays or similar) NOPE. But did read other essays.
  • Cadillac Desert – Marc Reisner. NF about the ongoing water shortage in the American West. NOPE.
  • The Go-Between – L. P. Hartley. YUP.
  • Couple of books about Queen Victoria and hubby… YUP. Read one of these.
  • Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood – IN PROCESS Update: DNF.
  • Mrs. Hargreaves – Frank Baker.  HAD A GO. DNF.
  • How to be a Woman – Caitlin Moran (NF about modern-day feminism which has had good reviews) – YUP (although I would like to take back this time if possible)
  • The Worst Hard Time – Dust Bowl history – Timothy Egan – SORT OF DID THIS. Didn’t read the book, but did go to a lecture by him and see his PBS series about the Dust Bowl. That counts, doesn’t it?
  • Some odd bits and pieces of fiction that have been on the shelves for a while…  YUP. Read two of these.  (May Sarton and Annie Proulx.)

So – to continue with this format of book title rotation on the nightstand, I have chosen the following for the next quarter or so. Will update on progress as warranted.


My Fall 2012 TBR suggested reading pile (updated). Blue arrows point to books read. 🙂


It’s a large selection, but not intended for me as a list of Have-to-Reads. More of a “Here are some titles you haven’t looked at lately if you’re interested” type of list…. Titles are as follows:

  • Logavina Street – Barbara Demick (NF) – pick this up where I stopped prior to Christmas. READ. (updated 02/13)
  • Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism  – Natasha Walter (NF)
  • The Campaign for Domestic Happiness – Isabel Beeton (NF)
  • The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs. Beeton – Kathryn Hughes (NF bio)
  • Neverland: J. M. Barrie, the du Mauriers, and the Dark Side of Peter Pan – Piers Dudgeon (NF)
  • Time was Soft There (book about the Shakespeare Co. book shop in Paris) – Jeremy Mercer (NF)
  • Helen Keller: The Story of my Life – Helen Keller (NF autobio)
  • Level 4: Virus Hunters of the CDC – Joseph McCormick and Susan Fisher-Hoch (NF)
  • The Devil’s Highway – Luis Alberto Urea (NF)
  • As For Me and My House – Sinclair Ross (Canadian F)
  • Be the Pack Leader – Cesar Milan (NF)
  • Methland – The Death and Life of an American Small Town – Nick Reding (NF)
  • Becoming Queen Victoria – Kate Williams (you know Victoria would slip in there somewhere…) (NF)
  • Charles Dickens (bio) – Clare Tomalin (NF)
  • Chasing the Monsoon – Alexander Frater (NF)
  • Going to Extremes – Joe McGinnis (NF)
  • The Secret Life of Bletchley Park – Sinclair Mckay (NF)
  • The Grandmothers – Doris Lessing (F)
  • Strength in What Remains – Tracy Kidder (NF)
  • The Marie Curie Complex – Julie des Jardins
  • The Best American Sci and Nature Writing 2006 – Brian Greene (ed.) (NF)
  • Oryx and Crake – Margaret Atwood (F) READ (updated 02/13)

Not too many fiction titles there, so we’ll see. I try to have one F and one NF going at the same time, so we’ll see what pops up fiction-wise.  <Rubs hands with glee at new selection of books>