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SUMMER READING ASSIGNMENT (The rest)

After finishing our first month of school, I’m reminiscing about my summer escapes.  I let the kids watch videos longer than they should, to savor a few more words (WTF: Wait ’til finished!)!  Sure, they read books, too, but books feel different when optional vs. requisite!

I’m excited to share this 2nd part of my Summer 2016 reading list. PLUS, one I’m cracking open tonight AND one already Amazon wish-listed – containing unforeseen twists even before creasing the cover. Click on the links to check out the books!

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The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

My reading pattern alternates between (or reading concurrently) heavy and light-hearted stories. I visited local Dave’s Used Bookstore and found another Sparks book! Though a fairly recent film release, my #BookBeforeFilm mantra insisted I read this one before watching the film that same weekend. Sparks also wove the characters’ pets into the story, for a warm-fuzzy touch to this heart-squeezing story.

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A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle

(Daughter’s summer reading assignment #1) – I finished this book with my daughter – 4 years after starting it with my son. I wish I’d read this when I was in elementary school because the technology mentioned wasn’t as real then and IT’s power may have been more frightening. Though, on the heels of another internet security breach, the fear feels real. Movie remake coming soon!

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Rumble Fish by S.E. Hinton

(Daughter’s summer reading assignment #2) – Mentioning S.E. Hinton’s name makes me giddy a) Because she is female, b) Successful in her teens, c) And, wrote The Outsiders – THE most amazing story and hunk movie of my teenage years.  I feel like Hinton’s characters speak their truth so well, that you can’t help but empathize and join them in their journey – blow by blow.

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Three Weeks with My Brother by Nicholas Sparks and Micah Sparks 

I’m always curious to read different genres of my favorite authors to compare story construction. I thought each chapter would begin “Dear Diary, Today we…” Instead, it revealed their adulthood as a result of their childhood – perhaps many of our childhoods, when kids ran free. It was also exciting for me – as a writer – to learn where his life inspired his books (A Walk To Remember) and how he presented those personal stories.


NEXT IN MIND:

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The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

I mentioned starting this book on my Currently – September 2016 list.  Finally I’ll make an honest woman out of me, no kids, red wine, pjs, and grown up book by Jo sounds like the perfect reading environment!

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The Cuckoo’s Calling by Richard Galbraith

I salivate over juicy mysteries! This one starts in immediately with the author!  I’m the last person on the planet to learn that Richard is really Jo (see above)!  This set of 3  (and growing – named after the lead character/investigator), The Cormoran Strike series, are giving people chills and a thirst for blood pumping crime series!  

Here are the other two (don’t have to be read sequentially):

bookrgsilk2     bookrgcareer3

Though I can’t keep the summer reading pace during the school year, I hope to read one new one per “Currently” post. I want to hear what you’ve read in the comments below!

1st part of my list is HERE

What about you? What are you reading next?
Did you already know about Richard Galbraith?
Who is your favorite author?
What book is your guilty pleasure?
Are you a daily, nightly, weekly or sporadic reader?
Do you like when books change covers?

#Readabookday #NicholasSparks #MicahSparks #RomanceNovel #SciFi #Murder #Mystery #BookIsBetter #SummerReading #BookClub #TheCuckoosCalling #RobertGalbraith #JKRowling #MadeleineLEngel #SEHinton #Pseudonym #PenName #AWrinkleInTime #TheChoice #ThreeWeeksWithMyBrother #TheCasualVacancy #CuckoosCalling #Silkworm #CareerOfEvil #CormoranStrike #Detective

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SUMMER READING ASSIGNMENT

The last night before school started, both kids crammed to finish summer reading assignments.  Though I don’t get summers off, the reprieve from micro-momagering homework allowed me some personal reading time.  So, here’re my book reports (to check the books out, click on the book photos to be teleported to Amazon):

One With You by Sylvia Day

I bought this at Target while waiting to get tires fixed. I didn’t realize this book closed out the sultry Crossfire series. Briefly, I considered holding off on finishing this book to read the first few novels in the series. Honestly, I won’t… for a really stupid reason.  During all the hot scenes, there were lots of fantastic descriptors for the guy’s joystick but called the gal’s thunderdome her “sex.” Boring and irked me.

fg

Fast Girl: A Life Spent Running from Madness by Suzy Favor Hamilton 

One of my book-loving friends loaned me this book. This was a fascinating read braiding worlds I’ve never personally experienced: Olympic training, Bi-Polar Disorder and champion Vegas call girl.  I couldn’t put this book down. I felt like she was spilling her heart out to me over coffee so I couldn’t help but stay put and hear her out.

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A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

Another book-loving friend loaned me this book when they saw my bullet-journal page I’d created tracking Nicholas Sparks’ books and the few I’d yet to read.  Not sure what took me so long to read this – perhaps because I prefer to read books before seeing the movie. To make up for lost time, I read the book and watched the movie the same weekend!  Those weren’t allergies making my eyes puffy! Very touching too, to learn the inspiration behind this story too in a later book by Sparks…

Night by Elie Wiesel

(Son’s summer reading assignment #1) – This book is powerful, yet the length makes you confident that you’ll survive it with your heart and humanity intact.  This was my 2nd time reading it, the first time after seeing Elie on Oprah.  I wanted to re-read the book to be able to discuss it with my son.  It saddened me to learn that Elie Wiesel passed away while his voice was in my head.

I’m amazed to report, there are more books from my summer reading pile!  Check back in a few days to see what else occupied my mind and to learn the inspiration behind A Walk to Remember!

What did you read this summer?
How’d you hear about the book?
Hard copy or Kindle?
Autobiographical or Fiction?
Books or Movies better?
If I ask you to list what descriptors you would have used in One With You, will that create a whole new set of Adult ads on my page?!

#Readabookday #NicholasSparks #Vegas #Crossfire #Target #BookIsBetter #SummerReading #BookClub #SylviaDay #OneWithYou #ElieWiesel #Night #SuzyFavorHamilton #FastGirl #NicholasSparks #AWalktoRemember #BookReport #TearJerker

WANDERING THE PJ WILDERNESS

I, like many, worked to keep up with Cheryl Strayed on the Wild Pacific Crest Trail. I fell in love with three countries, traveling with Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat Pray Love. I was exhilarated reading of Michael Crichton‘s distant Travels that forged his career change. I stumbled upon the Appalachian Trail following Bill Bryson on A Walk in the Woods. After hungrily devouring each book, I’d sit back, relax my eyes and simmer in the beauty of their journey. Feeling refreshed, I’d inhale deeply, stretch out my hands bemoaning “What do these people do for work that they can afford to take off and wander?!”

Most of us don’t have 100 vacation days or money banked to afford 100-day detours from our lives! Our days overflow with work, shuttling kids to activities or building iron-clad networks. We cram in exercise to improve our quality of life and if we don’t run ’til we drop, our downtime consists of a DVR’d bedtime story, getting a high score or cuddling our kindle.

I feel somewhat accomplished surviving such days, having eradicated a respectable chunk of my to-do list. Ultimately, the kids were loved, fed and progressed one more step towards their next grade. Still, this isn’t what I personally envisioned when planning to conquer or contribute to my world.

Once we’re out of school it’s hard to measure what, if any, progress we’re making! (I know this after 2 years of grad school to prove that I was still progressing towards something). Yeah, I am a tough sell (hard-headed according to my family). I don’t heed advice and carry on. I only value advice once it’s tried and true and I’ve experienced the miracle of its ways.

So with the books planting a yearning for an open horizon of possibilities, I’ve taken the first step into the PJ Wilderness. PJ stands for both the Personal Journey and for the chosen attire. If you tag along, we will traverse the rocky terrain of Personal Journeys using the tips from these books from the comfort of our own surroundings.

While our paths will be individual, It will be a shared adventure.

Ready?! Let’s head out!

NEXT STEP:
Choosing a destination

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BEST DAY EVER – I WONDER AS I WANDER!

My son gave me a Valentine’s Day certificate for a day to do anything I want!  I carefully considered my plan, sorting events into two days – with or without kids. This reflects Part I of “My Day” (I go by hours, not calendar date).

Best gift ever - power to choose my day!

Picked up before cleaners: The early morning wake up, to chase down my kids’ toys running rampant throughout the house, was worth it when I left for my day of endless opportunities while someone else vacuumed behind my couch.

Grabbed coffee at 7-11: For someone who loves ordering the longest-named drink at Fivebucks, six pots of 7-11 flavored coffees, plus a lazy susan of creamers, thrills me.  I’ve had blueberry+cinnamon+vanilla coffee with caramel creamer. Today I had butter toffee+hazelnut with chocolate.  BONUS: It’s cheaper, faster and less bitter!

Trip to library: I located books from my wish list, strolled through new non-fiction – choosing a few about writers, then drooled over a cookbook Bacon! – a global collection of mouth-watering recipes that happened to use bacon, not just “slap bacon on anything and call it an improvement.”

So many books, so little time!

Napped: Rerouted my plans to home realizing I told the cleaners to not worry about locking the door when leaving. In our neighborhood, nobody’s going to walk in – EXCEPT a sign on my lawn says “For Rent – Apartment Open!” Later, while snoozing on my couch, someone walked smack into my locked door, then knocked asking to see the apartment.

Dinner with TNTers: For me to enjoy a meal with amazing people without thinking about marketing plans, the next event or volunteer roles to recruit them for, was a treat!  I really enjoyed listening to everyone’s stories …and got recruited for a Zombie Run.

Wine: I love red wine with a tiny square of chocolate.  I picked out two richer wines than usual thanks to a 30% off coupon. I did a social media Cheers! asking my Facebook friends to choose which wine to open first, and was invited to an online wine group.

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HANDS-DOWN WINNER: Malbec

I’m hoping Malbec goes well with shiny vampires – I still never made it past the bonus features. While watching I will find a new recipe to try – wanna bet it’ll involve bacon?!