Friday, August 3, 2012

For the Record: July 2012

It's all Northern California
themed with the wine, the
poppy, the gold...and a
little bookishness for
good measure.
Vacation? What vacation? It's true that I was away from the [slave-driver that is my] house—for two whole weeks—but that has no relation to the amount of relaxing (or accomplishment of relaxing pursuits) I experienced.

The first week I could have [theoretically] blown through an audio book or two while I was assembling wedding reception favors ( brother teaches in Seoul, where he met and married an Australian girl, and they came to California for some sightseeing and a reception...) but I opted to screen a handful of documentaries in preparation for home-schooling an 11th grader this year instead.  It was very productive, which perhaps made up for not being relaxing.  Perhaps.

The second week of vacation I was treated to  visits from friends and family that I don't see often enough.  Two parents, two brothers, two sisters-in-law, two nieces; the house was full of wonderfulness.

And now we're in August.  So quickly does time pass!  On my plate this month: a lot of work for our home remodel, including making a final decision on a contractor, moving completely out of the house, and amping up the design decisions; a lot of school prep, both for the two I'll be home-schooling and for the two in middle school; amping up for a Christian music festival that we put on over Labor Day weekend, (not my style of music, but I love that it reaches teens and others that don't feel they belong anywhere,) though thankfully this requires less of my work now than it did before; also, I'm hoping, some reading along the way.  Here's what I read in July:

9 Books Read in July: (75 year-to-date)
2 for Book Club:
  - How Green Was My Valley, Richard Llewellyn (4.5) [A lovely reread from highschool.]
  - Maisie Dobbs, Jacqueline Winspear (4) [A wonderful series, reviewed here]

4 for Fun/Challenges:
  - The Age of Miracles, Karen Thompson Walker (3) [From Indiespensable, reviewed here]
  - Last Call, Daniel Okrent (5) [wonderful non-fiction, reviewed here]
  - Eli the Good, Silas House (4) [let's read more Silas House!  ...not yet reviewed]
  - On the Road, Jack Kerouac (3.5) [read-along, reviewed here]
  - She Who Remembers, Linda Lay Shuler (3) [I've been promising to read this for decades!  I finally did it, but I really would have enjoyed it much more back when my friend first told me to read it.  Too many "man parts" for this reader's enjoyment.]

2 Pre-Reads for home-school: [both reviewed here]
  - Lizard, Banana Yoshimoto (4)
  - Tunneling to the Center of the Earth, Kevin Wilson (4)


This month I read 2 books of 51 (26 year-to-date) for my various year-long challenges.
   - Short Stories: Lizard (done!)
   - Wishlist: Maisie Dobbs (7 more to go)

Because of the ensuing craziness in life, I've decided to let go of my Art of the Novella Challenge for August, and instead just try to get those novellas read when possible, continuing in chronological order. The second half of the year always has me feeling like I'm running out of time, so unfortunately this one is getting the axe.

2 Current Reads:
  - Different Seasons, Stephen King.  I'm pre-reading this for my son's Lit class.  I'm only in the first of the 4 stories (Rita Hayworth & the Shawshank Redemption) but am enjoying it.
  - A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley.  I have to get this read by Monday night for Book Club.  Yikes!  The good news is that I work well with deadlines, and this one has the added bonus of being a Pulitzer (I love crossing things off my list!)  The bad news is that I'm a terrific procrastinator.


On My Nightstand:
  - I still have some books to pre-read for my son's Lit class, notably the nonfiction (Booker T. Washington, David Foster Wallace).
  - A Long Long Way, Sebastian Barry.  I've been aching to re-read this one, probably because I want to combat my busy schedule by soaking in some poetry, but if I don't get to it soon the timing will pass me by.



  1. Hi Melody,
    Have you also seen the 1941 movie version of How Green was My Valley? It's one of my favorites. Especially when the sadistic schoolmaster gets his comeuppance. :-) my Mom grew up in a mining town (yes, she's a coal miner's daughter!) and perhaps this is why I like or identify with the movie.

    1. I haven't watched it yet, but did discover that I own the DVD (how terrible is that? I didn't even realize I owned it!) It's a beautiful book, so I'm glad to hear that the movie is a good one!


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