Wednesday, August 08, 2018

More Books You Really Should Read

I never intend to take huge blogging breaks but life goes on and I'm too distracted by actually living it to blog about it and then, ooops, there goes another month with no post. But if anything can get me to blog again it's blathering on about good books I've read lately so here you go -- another post about more books you really should read.

I'm addressing these books in the order I read them in because I don't know how to rank them otherwise.
 
I read Alyssa Mastromonaco's book in one sitting on the flight to Saskatchewan. Thankfully the kids were self-entertaining because this book sucked me in. I LOVED it. It made me want to go work in politics -- sort of. I really appreciated Mastromonaco's honesty about how much she loved her job and how much of a toll it took on her schedule, her relationships, her health, and her life. This book was such a great inside look at working in politics without giving away any secrets.
This is a book everyone should read. But it was really hard to read. Considering it's a book of essays on rape -- mostly from survivors' points of view -- I flew through this book but I could only read it in small chunks. But I wanted to read it, while at the same time I didn't want to read it. Does any of this make sense? Read this book. And then go out and change our ridiculous culture which has people sharing their stories of violation with the caveat that "it wasn't that bad."
Okay, I know this book is fiction but it's one of those books where I spent a few hours on Google, reading more about the Kennedys, especially JFK. I may have a few more non-fiction books on my TBR to tackle about this family and this era. I think not living in the Kennedy era, I had this golden version of Camelot. And now it may be a little more tarnished, but a lot more realistic.
This is another one of those books where I spent some time on Google after I'd finished it. I don't how many unique World War II stories there are left to tell, but this was another of them. Pino's story broke my heart. And made me question what I would have done at 17 if I'd been in his situation. If you are looking for another story of the war which you likely haven't read about, pick up this book.
This book was just an enjoyable love story after a few tough reads. It felt a little more deep than "regular chick lit" but was not a book which left me questioning my life and my choices. This might be a good, somewhat light book, to get someone out of a reading slump.
I had to read this book because I'd reached the limit on my library renewals and it was due in three days. Then I read it in one sitting. Then I told Dave he should read it. And he read it in two days, which rarely happens. What happens when a couple gets married and one of their wedding gifts is more than they expected? Since it's told from the husband's point of view, I thought Dave would like it too. And he did. Just don't start this one at nine at night, not that I'm speaking from experience or anything...

So this is what I've read over the past few weeks. It's been a good reading time.

Monday, July 02, 2018

Photo Of The Day -- June 11 - 25, 2018

I missed more than a few days in this chunk, but I still took some fun (maybe!) photos.

June 11, 2018 -- The only photo I took this day was of a book I finished. I really liked this one.

June 12, 2018 -- Since our friends were coming to visit from Kenya the next day, Dave vacuumed the basement which basically only happens when we have overnight guests. Ha!

June 13, 2018 -- I was too busy baking a cake, trying to get some work done, visiting with our friends, and going to a women's evening to take a picture. Ooops.

June 14, 2018 -- These five kids together again!!! Whoo hooo!!! Last year we saw them in Kenya, and this year we saw them here. Ella was trying to figure out what country we should meet in next year. I like the way she thinks!

June 15, 2018 -- We had to run errands right after school and we all got ice cream because the errands went smoothly.

June 16, 2018 -- Rachel wanted an Under The Sea party. I made a fish cake.

June 17, 2018 -- For Rachel's actual birthday she wanted to go to church and then have a pizza party at the pool with Tim, Janice, Willem, and Tessa. Done and done!

June 18, 2018 -- I forgot to get a picture this day too. The days when I work away from home, and then we have a busy evening, are the hardest days for me to take pictures. However, this was the last day for me to work away from home until September so it felt a little bit like summer vacation to me. Wheeeee!!!

June 19, 2018 -- It was our first CSA pickup of the year. It was also the first flower share pickup of the year. I LOVE BBQ and CSA greens for supper.

June 20, 2018 -- As the school year wound down, more and more artwork came home. Our office is a little eclectic so some kids artwork fit right in.

June 21, 2018 -- The sunset was gorgeous this night. With the flash on the colours were washed out and with the flash off it was blurry. Thus you get the blurry picture, but check out those colours!

June 22, 2018 -- The first day lily of the summer bloomed this day. I was sooooo excited!!!

June 23, 2018 -- We celebrated Sam and his friends who were the consolation champs and are all superstars so this sign was perfect!

June 24, 2018 -- We went to the grocery store and it was freezing so the kids shared Dave's fleece.

June 25, 2018 -- Siblings at neighbourhood soccer

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

What's Up Wednesday: June 2018

It's What's Up Wednesday time again so it's time to fill you in on some of our happenings.

 
image from here

What we're eating this week... Our CSA started last week and I could not be more excited!!! Whooo hooo!!! Bring on all the fresh veggies, eggs, and locally grown flowers. Okay, we don't usually eat the flowers :)

What I'm reminiscing about... Dave and I got married ten years ago on Friday, so I've been remembering the time around our wedding for about a month now. I loved our wedding day and marriage has been a bigger adventure than I could have imagined!
 
What I'm loving... Sam has played in the same ball league for three seasons now. The first year he didn't know anyone. Last year we asked one of his friends if he'd be interested in playing and word got around. Sam knew three other kids on his team. This year seven kids from his school were on the team. They finished first in their division but won the consolation prize in the playoffs. We had a party for these boys on Saturday night and it was so fun to celebrate them!

What we've been up to...We hosted our dear friends from Kenya for a few days. Rachel turned 7! Sam wrapped up his ball season. There's been a lot going on :)

What I'm dreading... I'm dreading having to wade through all the schoolwork which has been coming home this week. Every day it's been piles and piles and, eventually, I'll have to go through it all. Blah.

What I'm working on... During the school year I work 15 to 20 hours a week. In the summer I only need to work 10 to 15 hours a week. So this last week of school, I am trying to take advantage of getting all the work done so that I can slow down (a little) for the next two months.

What I'm excited about... Tomorrow is finally the last day of school around here. I'm so excited for our summer routine.
 The kids on the first day of school, 
almost ten months ago.

What I'm watching/reading... If you've read around here for any length of time you will know that we don't watch TV, but sometimes I have other things I'm watching. This month however, unless you count watching the piles of schoolwork grow, I haven't been watching anything. Ha!

However, I have read some great books this month. My latest favourite is the one below where the author write letters to various books. I LOVED it! If you want to see what else I've been reading, you can check out my last book related blog post here.

What I'm listening to... As always, I've been listening to the Blue Jays on the radio. Currently, they are holding on against the Astros. Go Jays!!!

What I'm wearing... I don't know that I've been wearing anything exciting. I'm just enjoying my skirts and t-shirts and shorts, you know, all the summer clothes!

What I'm doing this weekend... We've invited a few dear friends over on Friday night (our actual anniversary) for a party. I can't wait!!! It's also July 1st, Canada's national holiday, so we'll hopefully watch some fireworks on Sunday.

What I'm looking forward to next month... I have a bunch of travel in the works. First, Dave and I are going on a getaway to celebrate our tenth anniversary. (And I can't wait!!!!!) Then the kids and I are flying to Saskatchewan to spend a week with my parents and celebrate my aunt and uncle's 50th anniversary. In and around that, the kids have two weeks of VBS and I'll be participating in the 24in48 readathon. It's going to be a busy month!

What else is new... I can't think of anything else. We're just holding on until the last day of school which, in case you have forgotten, is TOMORROW!!! Bring on summer!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Celebrating 100 #natashareadsonfridays Posts

Today I posted my 100th #natashareadsonfridays post on Instagram. If you click on the hashtag it looks like it was my 101st post but I used the hashtag in a comment once so I'm not counting that one :)

My first post was on August 5, 2017 and I had just decided to post every Friday about a book I was reading and where I was reading it. The first post was taken at my parents' house in Saskatchewan and I was reading a book on grammar (Between You & Me by Mary Norris).

In October 2016 I decided to change the format to a post featuring all the books I'd read during the previous week. So for the past almost two years, every book I've read has appeared in one of these posts. I sometimes miss a week (or two) but it's been so fun to track my reading this way.

In April I wrote my first blog post about #natashareadsonfridays because I had way too much to say for an Instagram post. And my reading these past two weeks has caused me to write another blog post because, yet again, I have too much to say for an Instagram post.
I really liked this book. It was sweet and funny and made me cry, although that might have been because I was reading it at 2am and I was tired :) I also loved being able to revisit the characters from Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I want to read more books from this author.

Okay, I read these two books one right after the other. Have you read these books? Did they seem similar to you? They both talk about people isolating themselves, preparing for the end times, and how the daughters in the families tried to escape. Sadly, they both also have abuse as one theme among many. The Great Alone is fiction and Educated is not. They are both good reads.

I don't know where I first saw this book. I'm sure it was during a readathon sometime :) This book was hilarious and hard at the same time. I was also surprised by the inclusion of the erotic stories, which for some reason, I wasn't expecting. This is a good book but if you pick it up, be warned parts of it should carry an "R" rating.

Yes, reading at the pool season has started again! Yay!!! I saw so many people recommending My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman and was shocked when I discovered our library didn't carry it. This turned out to be one of those cases where Canada carries the British version and not the American version. (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is another one of those books.)

Anyways, once I finally found the book, it took me about one hundred pages to get into it, and then I couldn't put it down. The weaving of a significant fairy tale Elsa and her grandmother share and how it affects Elsa's reality was so engaging.

I loved the Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy and was so excited to hear it was continuing. This book was a quick read and makes me want to re-read the original trilogy again. This was just a short novella and I can't wait for the next full length book in the series to be released.

It was a good batch of reads to mark my 100th #natashareadsonfridays post. Thank you for being a part of this journey with me and I can't wait to see what the next 100 reading posts hold!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Photo Of The Day -- June 1 - 10, 2018 (And May 29 Special Edition!)

While I may not be posting my photos on a regular basis my PAD2018 project is still going strong -- most of the time. Really it should be called "A Photo Four Out Of Every Five Days" but that just doesn't have the same ring! Ha!

I'm starting this post with a photo from May 29 which, as you may remember from my last post, I didn't think I had taken one that day. It turns out I was wrong.

May 29, 2018 -- Sam has his own radio in his room and he has started listening to Blue Jays games up there. Even though you can't tell that's what he is doing in this picture, I wanted to capture this moment.

June 1, 2018 -- About mid-May I was really frustrated with the kids and took the iPad away for the rest of the month. Sam was really good about not asking for iPad but you can imagine that the first chance he had on June 1, he was ready to go!

And actually, I think the break was a good thing because he hasn't used it, or asked for it, all that often since.

June 2, 2018 -- We were doing yard work this day and Sam picked me a bouquet of miniature flowers. Awwwww!

June 3, 2018 -- Speaking of flowers, I was having a conversation after church with a friend about the symbiotic relationship between ants and peonies. So I took a closer look at our peonies after church and, sure enough, they were covered with ants. I took this picture (even though close ups of insects are not my favourite) to remember that conversation.

June 4, 2018 -- After about a week of extreme heat, we went back down to cooler temperatures and Rachel decided that her new pool cover up was her sweater. Ha!

June 5, 2018 -- Sam can almost balance a beer bottle on his nose :)

June 6, 2018 -- Janice gave me NovelTeas for my birthday and here was the wisdom on my teabag this day. I LOVE this!!!
 

June 7, 2018 -- Our province had a vote this day. I loved that the kids got to see us cast our vote and then feed the ballot into the ballot reader. I think it's important to involve them in the political process as much as possible.

June 8, 2018 -- I've been posting every book I read on Instagram on Fridays. This was my #natashareadsonfridays post for this day. It was a week of good books.

June 9. 2018 -- Since we didn't celebrate Father's Day last year, and Rachel's birthday was on Father's Day this year, I surprised Dave with an early Father's Day celebration this day. Dave loves breakfast so I made this delicious frittata. Yum!

June 10, 2018 -- Wow -- this one could have been called "A Photo For Nine Out Of Every Ten Days!" That's pretty good for me :)

Monday, June 04, 2018

Photo Of The Day -- May 24 - 31, 2018

May 24, 2018 -- I was so excited to find out food trucks were back! Yay! We weren't planning on going but Dave locked himself out of the house and couldn't start making supper so this was excellent timing.

May 25, 2018 -- We went to a very fun 70th birthday party for one of our friends' parents.

May 26, 2018 -- I was excited to be able to get to a nursery this day and I actually got the majority of these 64 annuals planted that same day.

May 27, 2018 -- I've said this before but I'm so happy that Dave doesn't have sciatica this spring and is able to contribute to yard work.

May 28, 2018 -- Don't tell my neighbours but I stole some lilacs off their bush so I could enjoy them inside. I did only cut the flowers from the branches which hang into our yard so I'm sure a good lawyer could make an argument for them being mine, right?!?

May 29, 2018 -- Sadly, I didn't take a picture this day. Boo. I can't even remember what was going on.
 
May 30, 2018 -- Here is stack of library books to get into. (If it makes you feel better I haven't added any yet, and I've read two of these and am well into a third one already!)

May 31, 2018 -- We were driving to get haircuts when we were caught in a complete downpour. But then we were rewarded with a glorious rainbow.

Sorry a few of these were Instagram/blog post repeats. It's complicated to take numerous pictures a day sometimes :)