Update

Hi everyone,

My blog got off to a great start in January but unfortunately there have been some things going on in my life that have made it difficult to continue with it the way I would like to. One major event has been getting a new job. This is a new teaching job. I’m very passionate and excited about this new endeavor, but it has left me little time to read for pleasure lately.

I hope to update with reviews of books I read for pleasure as much as possible, but it won’t be as consistent as many of you out there in the blogosphere, or as I would hope to.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day weekend.

Printer’s Row Lit Fest and Summer Reading

Last weekend I got to experience the Printer’s Row Lit Fest here in Chicago. It is the biggest book fair in the midwest. I signed up to volunteer, although I did more shopping than volunteering! It really was a great festival with more books than I could have imagined. There were all sorts of author events, readings, and music. I was just a “greeter” this year, which wasn’t a very demanding job, but next year maybe I’ll take on a more active role.

I bought a handful of used books while there including:

  • Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout
  • A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
  • Personal Injuries by Scott Turow
  • Love Walked In by Maria de Santos
  • Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler
  • Empire Falls by Richard Russo

I’m really looking forward to diving into some of these this week. I’m going on a cruise with my entire family, 18 of us. It will be busy and we will be doing lots of the excursions, but hopefully there will also be some time for some quality reading, preferably by the pool! There is also a beautiful two story library on board that I’m looking forward to checking out!

I’ve been reading a decent amount since school ended, but I really want to make it a goal to read at least a book a week this summer, but hopefully more. I have so many books sitting on my shelf just waiting to be read. In addition to the ones listed above, I also have Old Filth by Jane Gardam, The Stormchasers by Jenna Blum, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian, Innocent by Scott Turow, The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen, and Columbine by David Cullen. Not to mention I still have to buy and read The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson. There have just been too many good book sales lately!

Ah, so much reading to do, so little time. I probably won’t update for over a week since I’ll be cruising, but I hope to have many reviews to write when I return home!

May in Review

Okay, so May was not a very good month in terms of blogging or reading. I only got through 4 books, two read and two audio. I had a lot going on in my personal life and the second half of the month I was MIA from my blog. But now I am back! My summer vacation has officially started which mean lots of time to read! In the past few days I have bought 7 new books, so there will be plenty to keep me busy.

Here is what I read in May:

My favorite was The Girl Who Played with Fire and I am very much looking forward to The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. Secrets of Eden was fantastic as well.

I am currently reading The Red Tent which is great so far. This month I plan to read To Kill a Mockingbird which I have never read! I also have Columbine, Half a Yellow Sun, The Stormchasers, and Innocent in sight. We shall see what I get to. I am going on a family cruise for a week at the end of the month and have to decide what to bring with!

I have been flirting with the idea of reading a graphic novel. I don’t have any, but I think I might start with Persepolis. If anyone has suggestions for a graphic novel which would be good to start with I’m all ears.

While May has not been a productive reading/blogging month, I hope that I can redeem myself in June! Happy Summer everyone!

April in Review

May already? Wow. First I want to apologize for being MIA lately. I had a computer malfunction last weekend. I’m back up and running, but things are a little tricky and I’m working out some kinks.

That being said, April was a pretty good month. I started doing Soundtrack Saturday and Sunday and hope to continue that. I am such a music lover and the idea from alita.reads is a great one! I got through 6 books, 4 read, 2 audio, and 1 movie based on a book. Here is what I read:

In April I also got to go see Billy Elliot the musical and Ben Folds, my all time favorite musician!

My favorite book of the month was Let the Great World Spin, but Ella Minnow Pea comes in a close second. Very different books, but both great.

I am currently reading The Girl Who Played with Fire by Steig Larsson and Mudbound by Hilary Jordan. I am listening to Secrets of Eden by Chris Bohjalian. All of them are great so far.

May is my last month of school, and I really don’t have much planned for the summer except a one week cruise with the family. I’m hoping to fit in a ton of reading during this summer, maybe fitting in some big ones like Beach Music or Pillars of the Earth. We shall see.

I hope everyone had a great month!

Good Luck during the Read-a-Thon!

Unfortunately, I am not able to participate in the read-a-thon tomorrow. It is my cousin’s 60th birthday and all the women in my family are going to see the musical Billy Elliot and going to dinner in the city. I’m sad about missing the event but excited to see this show. I’m a big musical fan.

I just wanted to wish everyone luck tomorrow! I hope you all get a lot of reading done and have some wonderful books to share!!! I’m having a hard time trying to decide what to read next, so maybe some of your entries during the read-a-thon will give me some ideas. Have fun everyone!  -Julie

March in Review

I know I will say this every month, but wow March went by fast. Doesn’t it feel like it was just New Year’s Eve? How are we already a quarter of the way through the year?

March had it’s ups and downs in terms of blogging and life. I only read two books this month, and listened to three. Unfortunately, I was pretty distracted due to work related issues which made it difficult to read as much as I would have liked. However, I did write more blog entries than I have in previous months which is a trend I hope to continue.  Here are the books I read/listened to:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Little Bee were my favorites for the month, both being really good reads. I did give up on a book this month, which is rare, although I might go back to it. The book is Thinking in Pictures by Temple Grandin. It’s non fiction and really interesting, but fiction just kept calling me and putting this book on hold. Maybe I will finish it in April. We shall see.

One of the most interesting literary things done with month was here Lionel Shriver speak. It definitely inspired me to look into hearing more authors speak.

I looking forward to lots of good reading in April. I have spring break coming up next week so hopefully I will have lots of quality reading time. Right now I am reading Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn and next up is Let The Great World Spin by Colum McCann. In the audio book world I am going to start with City of Thieves by David Benioff then possibly on to The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood.

How was your March?

And The Winner Is…

Thanks to everyone who entered for a chance to win my personal copy of Cutting For Stone.

The winner, chosen by Random.org, is#2….Amused by Books!

Congrats and Enjoy!

I will be doing more giveaways soon!!!

Julie