Thursday, April 30, 2015


Remember this? Well I have been happily documenting my progress and I thought it would be fun to meet up and have book talk. See what we have been reading and swap recommendations. So here is what I have completed (*=poor, **=good, ***=great):

1. Storm Front by Jim Butcher **(Dresden Files series about a wizard PI in Chicago- funny!) 
2. The Giver by Lois Lowry ** (Have not seen the movie, should I?)
4. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell ** (The ending was kinda "meh" for me, tainting the story a bit.)
6. The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer *** (Really interesting book about a boy clone and nature vs nurture).
8. The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare (Not rating yet because this is my current read. Is that cheating? Thank you Tricia for lending it to me!!)
9. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt ** (Disturbing, poignant, but again the ending ruined it. Too much philosophical pining for my liking.)
10. Elizabeth I by Margaret George ** (This beast took me about 4-5 weeks to read. It offered a view of her life in the last 20 or so years of her reign.)

12. Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater ** (The third book from the Raven Cycle but left ho-hum, hoping the final book will make up for what this one lacked. I do recommend the series for YA fun. This has witches so it counts.)
13. Cinder by Marissa Meyer ** (Neat fairytale twist where Cinderella is a cyborg and aliens form the moon come to Earth to rule.)
15. Odes to Common Things by Pablo Neruda*** (Poetry, who'da thunk it. I loved it. In fact so much I am sharing an excerpt with you. Because it is my blog. And I can.)

"Ode to a Cluster of Violets"

Crisp cluster
plunged in shadow.
Drops of violet water 
and raw sunlight
floated up with your scent.
A fresh
subterranean beauty
climbed up from your buds,
thrilling my eyes and my life.

One at a time, flowers
that stretched forward
silvery stalks,
creeping closer to an obscure light
shoot by shoot in the shadows,
till they crowned
the mysterious mass
with an intense weight of perfume
and together
formed a single star
with a far-off scent and purple center.

Poignant cluster,
of nature,
you resemble
a wave, or a head of hair,
or the gaze
of a ruined water nymph
sunk in the depths. 
But up close,
in your fragrance's
blue brazenness,
you exhale the earth,
an earthly flower, an earthen
smell and your ultraviolet
is volcanoes' faraway fires.

Into your loveliness I sink
a weathered face,
a face that dust has often abused.
You deliver
something out of the soil.
It isn't simply perfume,
nor simply the perfect cry
of your entire color, no: it's
a word sprinkled with dew,
a flowering wetness with roots.

Fragile cluster of starry
tiny, mysterious
of marine phosphorescence,
nocturnal bouquet nestled in green leaves:
the truth is
there is no blue word to express you.

Better than any word
is the pulse of your scent.

17. Four Seasons of Marriage by Gary Chapman ** (It made me smarter about my marriage, the most important question it gave me was to ask Adam "What can I do to make you feel more loved?" We ask each other that from time to time and it has moved mountains.)
18. The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon *** (A story built around a mentally handicapped institute held white woman and her deaf African American lover who fight to keep their love and sweet baby child safe from the dreaded hospital they run from. Read this.)
19. Anne of Green Gabels by L.M. Montgomery** (Late to the party on this one I know, but there are tons I never read in school that others seem to have read. Cute heart warming story that made me smile and gaze on my own spunky girls with affection.)
21. The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler** (The adolescent feminine power that developed kept me turning the pages on an otherwise so-so story. Opening line "Froggy Welsh the Fourth is trying to get up my shirt.")
22. The Real Boy by Anne Ursu*** (A beautifully written and illustrated story about an alternate telling of Pinocchio.)
25. The Hound of Baskervilles by Sir Arther Conan Doyle*** (I may be biased but as a huge Sherlock fan, I loved this story. Published in 1902, I think this fits as over 10 years old.)

Whew! What a post! So I have about ten more to go before I finish this challenge. Have you been reading much? What do you recommend? I need to fill more spots!!!!


  1. I'm on the fifth and final book of the Percy Jackson series. I'm enjoying them and thought I'd dive right into Rick Riordan's other Olympian series but now I'm feeling I need a break and want to jump over to something else on my TBR pile. Not sure what though.


    1. I understand needing a break from a series. I saw I have Heroes for Olympus stashed in my nightstand. Putting it on top so I can see it and read it soon.

  2. For a book set in the summer I remember liking Three Junes, which takes place in June of different years. I don't remember a lot about the plot actually, I should probably reread it since I own it. I bet this is a category with a lot of options.

    1. Three Junes sounds cool! I will see if my library has it. Have you been reading much lately?

    2. I have a stack of library books on my nightstand, mostly non-fiction and a book of short stories by Liz Gilbert. Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your picks for the year.

    3. The book you read on marriage, great takeaway. I can see that question strengthening family relationships also.

    4. Absolutely!!!! And when there is discord and harsh feelings, that is the most difficult, but most needed, time to ask.

  3. I love your list! Ann Of Green Gables! Gush! I don't know why this book touches my heart. I also own the entire DVD series. You and I, my sister are kindred spirits! <3

    1. It is such a sweet story. Savanna is going to read it this summer. We are kindred spirits! <3

      Love you!!!

  4. You are kicking butt and I love the diversity in the books you've read so far! Thank you for sharing. Makes this book lovet's heart sooo happy :-)

  5. Also - I love Neruda! And I really didn't like The Goldfinch when I turned the last page but have come to have a respect for it. Agree with your assessment!

    1. Hi Erin!! Thank you for stopping by! I love your challenge and I am having a blast completing it. I think I will make it! Your list allows for a lot of exploring I may not have initially done.

      Neruda constructs poetry so beautifully. I am going to look out for more of his work. I respect Goldfinch too. I guess the end just felt forced or out of place. I hope you do another challenge next year!

  6. Thank you for sharing "Ode to a Cluster of Violets" with us. Beautiful.

    I had set a reading goal earlier this year, but it appears I'll be lucky to get a few read. I just completed large project #2 this year so I'm happy that my lack of reading is due to getting a lot accomplished. I miss reading!!! (I'm the type that gets so caught up in a project that it's all or nothing).

    Julie, have you read The Red Tent?

    1. I think competing huge projects like you have under taken is very worthwhile. I desperately need to start transferring my digital photos to CDs and start a folder for just my blog photos.

      I have not read The Red Tent but I absolutely will if you recommend it!

    2. The Red Tentdefinitely comes highly recommended <3

  7. Great job on your list! My reading has been sporatic lately, but I'm not reading as much as I used to. This thing called work is cutting in to my reading time!! And I'm sooooo tired in the evenings! I have been listening to Cinder (through the library/Overdrive program. It's good so far, better than I expected. I heard it was really good, but I'm not usually a fan of cyborgs (or robots, or aliens, or zombies). I liked Blue Lily but not as much as the other books in the series -- like it was just a filler until the finale but with more unanswered questions! I enjoyed some of the stories in The Bane Chronicles and some were just okay or "meh". I listened to a couple of them & the narrators had great accents which made the stories better! You're making want to re-read Anne of Green Gables! I read it many many years ago & don't remember much other than I really liked it!! :-)

    1. I agree with your bookish assessments. Sorry work is keeping you so busy that you miss out in reading. I hope it calms soon enough for you to dive back in. I really need to try the audiobook thing. Definitely reread AoGG. It is sulcus a mood lifting book. Miss you!!!