Friday, January 30, 2015

Saturday Snapshot - January 31

To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky below. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

We've had some surprisingly good weather for January here.  I would love to have a bunch of pictures of blue skies to show you, but we're still recovering (and my husband now has the flu), so my outings have pretty much been taking the kids to school and back.

However, both kids did get out in the back today and they were so adorable.  They had set up a little table and decided to play restaurant--my daughter made menus and everything (the choices were pistachios, apple slices, and string cheese).

I'm not sure how much longer the non-rainy weather will continue, so I've been encouraging the kids to get out as much as they can!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Book Review: "Benjamin Franklin's Bastard" by Sally Cabot (Gunning)

Benjamin Franklin's Bastard Sally Cabot (Gunning)*
Published: May 7. 2013
ISBN: 9780062241924
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4 / 5

*I have seen the author of this book credited as both Sally Cabot and Sally Cabot Gunning.

Benjamin Franklin's Bastard by Sally Cabot is an absorbing and compelling work of literary historical fiction that brings to life a little-known chapter of the American Revolution -- the story of Benjamin Franklin and his bastard son, and the women who loved them both.

William Franklin, the son of Benjamin and his favorite mistress, Anne, is raised by Deborah, Benjamin's wife. A steadfast loyalist, he and his father cannot reconcile their wildly disparate views, causing a rift in the bond both thought unbreakable.

Fascinating and heartbreaking, Benjamin Franklin's Bastard is a gripping tale of family, love, and war, set against one of America's most fascinating periods of history. 

My Thoughts:
Ah, good old Benjamin Franklin--the guy we all love even though we know he was a bit, well, smarmy.  He was, of course, our Bacchanalian Founding Father and we all can identify that balding old man with the Mona Lisa smile who seems just so charming and eccentric.

Let's start with the fact upon which this novel is based.  Benjamin Franklin had a long relationship with a woman named Deborah Read.  They were never legally married, but she became his common-law wife after they had lived together for 7 years.  Into this relationship, he brought his illegitimate son, William (my guess is that Franklin had more than one illegitimate child, but William is the only one he acknowledged).  Benjamin and Deborah also had two children together, Francis and Sally.  The identity of William's biological mother is not known.

This is where Cabot starts her novel.  She begins with Deborah meeting Benjamin, who soon leaves for England and, in doing so, leaves Deborah in the lurch.  Cabot then introduces Anne, a woman born into the lower classes and, while working in a tavern, meets Benjamin Franklin and the two begin a relationship which results in William.  I don't want to go too much into the plot because I think in doing so I would be ruining part of the experience of reading this book.

I do want to talk about how Cabot handles her characters.  None of the major characters are heroes or heroines are ever completely likable (there is one secondary character, Grissom, who I did find very sweet).  But they also are not unlikable. It is easy to see how Deborah develops into the woman she ultimately becomes because, well, almost anyone in her position would do the same.  It is also easy to understand the motivation behind many of Anne's decisions.

This novel is written in 3rd person, but Cabot goes into the minds of Deborah, Anne, and, later, William.  She does not, however, go into the mind of Benjamin and I think that was a very wise choice on her part.  Most readers will go into this book with an idea about Benjamin Franklin and, while she doesn't destroy this view, she definitely adds dimension to it and makes you think about him in a bit of a different way.  She does knock Benjamin Franklin off his pedestal and puts him down among the rest of the humans--something Franklin himself probably would have hated, but, hey...not even Benjamin Franklin can escape humanity.

There was another thing about this book I really appreciated and I'm going to be a bit vague about it as I don't want to reveal any plot points for readers not familiar with the Franklin family, but stay with me.  Both Patriot and Loyalist views are expressed in this book and Cabot very skillfully illustrates that both of these views have value and that one side is not right and the other is not wrong.  In my reading experience, the American Revolution and the European theater of World War II are really the only two conflicts where writers are able to get away with clearly labeling "good guys" and "bad guys."  I'll leave the Nazis out of this, but I find this really frustrating when it comes to the American Revolution. I find it really frustrating that characters who have Loyalist sentiments are always painted as villains (with the exception of one book I read a year or so ago, where the Patriots were the bad was still annoying on the other side of the table).  Cabot, however, doesn't do that and I believe that is a very important take away from this book.

All in all, Cabot's writing is readable and enjoyable.  I did feel, in the second half of the book, she tended to drop and pick up Anne a bit and wish she had a bit more continuity with that character, but other than that, I have no complaints--but plenty of admiration--for this novel.

I really would recommend this book to anyone to read.  Yes, it is a historical novel set during the Colonial and Revolutionary period, but I do believe it transcends its setting and genre and makes for an excellent read.

I was not solicited for this review and I received no compensation for this post.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Book Review: "Girl Before a Mirror" by Liza Palmer

Girl Before a Mirror Liza Palmer
Published: January 27, 2015
ISBN: 9780062297242
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: TLC Book Tours
Rating: 2 / 5

An account executive in a Mad Men world, Anna Wyatt is at a crossroads. Recently divorced, she’s done a lot of emotional housecleaning, including a self-imposed dating sabbatical. But now that she’s turned forty, she’s struggling to figure out what her life needs. Brainstorming to win over an important new client, she discovers a self-help book—Be the Heroine, Find Your Hero—that offers her unexpected insights and leads her to a most unlikely place: a romance writers’ conference. If she can sign the Romance Cover Model of the Year Pageant winner for her campaign—and meet the author who has inspired her to take control of her life—she’ll win the account. 

For Anna, taking control means taking chances, including getting to know Sasha, her pretty young colleague on the project, and indulging in a steamy elevator ride with Lincoln Mallory, a dashing financial consultant she meets in the hotel. When the conference ends, Anna and Lincoln must decide if their intense connection is strong enough to survive outside the romantic fantasy they’ve created. Yet Lincoln is only one of Anna’s dilemmas. Now that her campaign is off the ground, others in the office want to steal her success, and her alcoholic brother, Ferdie, is spiraling out of control. 

To have the life she wants-to be happy without guilt, to be accepted for herself, to love and to be loved, to just be—she has to put herself first, accept her imperfections, embrace her passions, and finally be the heroine of her own story. 

My Thoughts:
It has only been in the last year or so that I discovered Liza Palmer and I've enjoyed how she is willing to dig into deeper issues than many contemporary writers.  When I read the synopsis of this novel, I will admit that it did sound a little light, but I figured that Palmer would be able to go deeper than first appearances.  I do believe that Palmer tried to flesh this plot out as much as possible.  Unfortunately, the pieces of this book just didn't fit together as well as I would have liked.

There were definitely positives to this book.  I thought Anna was a well drawn character and I did relate to her and all her issues.  Palmer was successful in creating a realistic character in Anna and she is worthy of her own book.

Palmer's writing style does shine--she can deal with tough issues and still throw out a biting line of dry humor.  If someone was looking for a book to bridge from "chick lit" to something a little heavier, I would recommend one of Palmer's books and, in that area, this book fits the bill.

But here's where the trouble started for me.  There are a lot of pieces to the plot of this book, which in itself if not necessarily a bad thing.  However, I never felt like the pieces all came together as we should.  For example, a big chunk of this book revolves around Anna and Sasha trying to set up a marketing campaign for a body wash and, to do this, they are somehow enlisting some male romance cover models.  The theme of the campaign is "Just Be."  Folks, I have absolutely no idea how this works.  I think the gist is that women are all great the way they are and they should "just be."  Okay, then, what is with the male models and how does that fit in?  I tried over and over again while reading this book and I could never come up with any idea of what this campaign is.

Anna's relationship with Lincoln could work, but it really just feels shoe-horned into this book.  I think that Lincoln could have fit well with Anna and her "issues," but there was something--and it may have been the fact that the relationship starts as a one- (or three-) night stand while Anna is staying at a hotel for a Romance Novelists convention--that was just too cliche and I couldn't completely buy it.

Then, in the midst of all this, we have Anna's addict brother--an issue that just sort of pops up on you-- and her toxic friends.  All these floating pieces really kept me from enjoying this book the way I wish I had.

I'm the first to admit that I'm a critical reader and my experience with this book may have been negatively impacted by that.  Other readers may not have the issues that I did with this book.  I still consider my self a fan of Liza Palmer, but this one just didn't work for me.

About the Author:
Liza Palmer is the author of the international bestseller Conversations with the Fat Girl, as well as Seeing Me Naked, A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents, and More Like Her. An Emmy-nominated writer, she lives in Los Angeles, California, and is hard at work on her next novel and several film and television projects.

Find out more about Liza at her website and connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.

I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review.  I received no other compensation for this post.

Want to read some more thoughts on this book?  Please visit some of the other stops on the book tour (links go to the blogs, not the specific review):

Wednesday, January 28th: A Bookworm’s World
Thursday, January 29th: Walking With Nora
Friday, January 30th: Vox Libris
Monday, February 2nd: Drey’s Library
Tuesday, February 3rd: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Wednesday, February 4th: Thoughts On This ‘n That
Thursday, February 5th: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Monday, February 9th: Unshelfish
Tuesday, February 10th: Kritters Ramblings
Wednesday, February 11th: Peeking Between the Pages
Monday, February 16th: 5 Minutes For Books

Monday, January 26, 2015

It's Monday...What Are You Reading? (1/26)

Well, I'm glad to say that I think I've kicked the flu.  Now, I 'm just dealing with the lingering nasty cold, but I'll take that over what I was dealing with last week.  My daughter is now dealing with a fever and I can't tell if she now has the flu or if it is something else.  According to my mother, we have a case of the "Januaries" where we all just pass germs around to each other.  My son was sick a bit last week, although he's 100% now, and my husband has been dealing with a lingering cold with his own, so I'm going to agree with my mother's diagnosis.

I was not able to truly participate in National Read-a-thon day.  I tried, but I conked out a couple of times.  Also, my husband decided to come down and watch television where I was reading so, you know, that happened.  All that being said, I still think it is a fabulous idea and I put feelers out to a Book Bloggers group about putting a team together for next year's event (if they have it again).

I will say I didn't get as much reading done as I would have liked this week.  For a couple of days, I was just too sick to even read.  Still, here is how my week shaped up:

Last week on the blog, I posted:

Right now, I'm reading:
Murder at the Brightwell by Ashley Weaver
I'm actually starting this (Sunday) evening, so I don't have much to say about it yet .  I did see this recommended on a BookTube video and thought it looked fun.  I almost didn't get it--I had it on hold at the library and today was the last day to pick it up. Yes, I dragged myself out of the house to go to the library (and the grocery store...)

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (translated by Alison Anderson)
This is for my February book club and I was very glad it was selected because I already had it sitting in that pile of books.  I'm enjoying it, but it is pretty dense, so I reverted to a method I used to use when I was trying to keep myself to a schedule.  I broke the book into 7 equal parts and I read one section a day.  I know, it's a little OCD.  However, it really helps with this book.

Iscariot by Tosca Lee
I have to admit that I didn't make much progress on this one this week.  There is really no reason for this other than my Kindle (how I'm reading this) was not near my recliner.  Some weeks are just like that, folks.

Pippi Longstockings by Astrid Lindgren
Another book I haven't made progress on, although my excuse is less pathetic.  Or maybe it is more pathetic, I don't know.  My voice did not hold up during this bout of the flu and I couldn't read aloud to my daughter.  We have 2 chapters left, so I'm hoping to finish it up this week.

Right now, I'm listening to:
1776 by David McCullough
Yep, still working on it.  You would think that I would have gotten at least some listening done this week, but no. You see, I try to limit my kids' TV viewing under normal circumstances.  However, when sickness is in the house, all bets are off.  If the kids are sick, I let them watch TV to keep them quiet.  When I'm sick, I use it to keep the kids out of my hair.  Boy, my son is going to go through withdrawals when the TV goes off.....

This week, I read:
A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor
I've seen a lot of bloggers saying that they are waiting on pins and needles to read this book.  I almost felt a little bad about reading it when they were all waiting, but, well, not THAT bad.  Anyway, I won't go into too much detail about it as I have my review waiting to go.  It will be posted on February 9.

The Midwife of Hope River by Patricia Harman
I feel like there should be a drum roll with this one.  I've had this book sitting in that pile for more than 2 years...and I finally read it!  What made me take the leap?  Well, I agreed to review the sequel (The Reluctant Midwife) for a blog tour and thought I'd better read this one first.  In fact, I agreed to read the second book so that I would be sure to finally read this one!  My review will be posted on February 17.

The Lovers Set Down Their Spoons by Heather A. Slomski
I'm kind of in love with short story collections right now.  I'm in 2 postal book clubs and, for both of them, I received short story collections as my first book of the year!  It was nice because my reading schedule is a little cluttered at the beginning of the year (I have 4 blog tour books, plus The Midwife of Hope River, and my book club books) and the short story collections I could easily read alongside my other books.  Because I have 3 novels going right now (yes, I'm crazy), I'm not doing a short story collection at the moment, but I have a couple waiting in the wings.  The review for this one will be posted on February 19.

So, that's my week.  I'm really hoping this week is more productive--and healthier--than the last week!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Saturday Snapshot - January 24

To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky below. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

Yes, today is National Readathon Day (as well as Saturday Snapshot day).  And, here is a picture of my print TBR pile:

It's only 87 books!  Do you think I can get through them all during my read-a-thon.  I won't even mention the 283 titles on my kindle.

Not likely.  In fact, as excited as I am about the Read-a-Thon, it's not even likely that I'll be able to truly do it.  Remember last week when I said that my kids were sick so all I could post were pictures of my cat?  Well, the kids are all healed up (which is good), but now it is my turn to be sick.  Really sick.  Unlike my kids, who seemed to just have bad colds, I have the honest-to-goodness flu!  (You can see some evidence of that from the wads of tissues!).  If I'm able to stay awake between noon and 4, that will be an accomplishment.  I'll try to read as much as I can during that time, but we'll see how it goes.

At least I didn't bore you with more pictures of my cat this time!

I probably won't get to visiting all your SS posts until later in the week when, HOPEFULLY, I feel human again.  Now, however, I'm going to try to nap...or just lie still so the room stops spinning.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Book Review: "The World's Strongest Librarian" by Josh Hanagarne

The World's Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family Josh Hanagarne
Published: May 2, 2013
ISBN: 9781592407873
Genre: Memoir
Source: Personal Copy / January Book Club Selection
Rating: 4 / 5

Josh Hanagarne couldn't be invisible if he tried. Although he wouldn't officially be diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome until his freshman year of high school, Josh was six years old and onstage in a school Thanksgiving play when he first began exhibiting symptoms. By the time he was twenty, the young Mormon had reached his towering adult height of 6'7" when — while serving on a mission for the Church of Latter Day Saints — his Tourette's tics escalated to nightmarish levels.

Determined to conquer his affliction, Josh underwent everything from quack remedies to lethargy-inducing drug regimes to Botox injections that paralyzed his vocal cords and left him voiceless for three years. Undeterred, Josh persevered to marry and earn a degree in Library Science. At last, an eccentric, autistic strongman — and former Air Force Tech Sergeant and guard at an Iraqi prison — taught Josh how to "throttle" his tics into submission through strength-training.

Today, Josh is a librarian in the main branch of Salt Lake City's public library and founder of a popular blog about books and weight lifting—and the proud father of four-year-old Max, who has already started to show his own symptoms of Tourette's.

The World's Strongest Librarian illuminates the mysteries of this little-understood disorder, as well as the very different worlds of strongman training and modern libraries. With humor and candor, this unlikely hero traces his journey to overcome his disability — and navigate his wavering Mormon faith — to find love and create a life worth living.

My Thoughts:
This was one of those book that I've been meaning to read for over a year.  People have raved about it and recommended it.  I've had it out of the library at least 3 times, every time it returned unread due to my "reading load."  And then, finally, it ended up on the 2015 schedule for my book club!  Now, I had to read it!

And, boy, was the wait worth it.  I worried a bit about it not living up to the hype, but this book fared that storm admirably. I am chalking that up to the fact that this is, at its core, a humble and personal story from someone who strives only to live his best life.

There is a lot in here.  I'll admit that I know very little about Tourette's and I know enough about strength training to know that it is not my favorite form of exercise.  I do, however, know quite a bit about libraries--of all the jobs I've held in my life, my favorite is that first one right out of college--at the public library!

Hanagarne is an incredibly likable guy--I sincerely want to be this guy's friend.  And get access to his reading list (beyond Stephen King).  I related to his childhood in that I was also that kid who never quite fit in and had to find my own world (mine through writing and his through reading).  He was a normal teenage guy with normal teenage guy feelings who just happened to have a syndrome that makes life much more of a challenge.

I appreciated that Hanagarne was honest--with and about himself.  Something that I find common, and annoying, in memoirs is that people tend to hold themselves in a better light than they should.  When I find a writer who does not do this, I want to shout, "Look!  THIS is how to write a memoir!"  I don't want to read about perfect beings, I want to read about real people and Hanagarne is one of those people.

This book is very readable--each chapter begins with a scene from the library and then goes back into an episode in his life.  I found this structure very unifying for the book--it tied Hanagarne's current place in life to where he was, which I think is important in a memoir.

I will admit that there were sections--okay, they dealt with the nuts and bolts of his strength training--where things got a little slow for me.  However, I think this is a preference issue more than any defect of the book.  I'm sure that there are readers who found the library sections tedious, but I loved them.

This is one of those books that has something for everyone and it is one that I feel that I could recommend to anyone--however, I feel it is an especially good book to recommend to those who do not normally read memoirs, as I feel that this is a good "gateway" book to the genre.  But, even if memoirs are your genre of choice, this should be a fulfilling read for you.

 I was not solicited for this review and I received no compensation for this post.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Book Review: "I Love You More" by Jennifer Murphy

I Love You More Jennifer Murphy
Published: June 17, 2014
ISBN: 9780385538558
Genre: Mystery
Source: Goodreads First Reads Program
Rating: 4 / 5

Picasso Lane is twelve years old when her father, Oliver, is murdered at their summer beach house. Her mother, Diana, is the primary suspect—until the police discover his second wife, and then his third. The women say they have never met—but Picasso knows otherwise. Picasso remembers the morning beautiful Jewels showed up at their house, carrying the same purse as her mother, and a family portrait featuring her father with two strange boys. Picasso remembers lifting the phone, listening to late night calls with Bert, a woman heavily pregnant with Oliver's fourth child. As the police circle and a detective named Kyle Kennedy becomes a regular fixture in their home, Picasso tries to make sense of her father's death, the depth of his deceit, and the secrets that bind these three women. Cunningly paced and plotted, I Love You More is a riveting novel of misplaced loyalty, jealousy, and revenge.

My Thoughts:
Lately, I've been drawn to mysteries and I've labeled this book as mystery, but I'm not sure that is an accurate description.  There is, of course, a murder mystery...but that isn't what this book is about.  Instead, this is a book about relationships.  There is precocious Picasso's relationship ith her father and her relationship with her mother.  Then we have Kyle's relationships with Picasso and Picasso's mother. And, finally, we have the wives' relationships--with each other and with their shared husband.

Murphy chooses to tell this story in an interesting way.  The narration is shared between Picasso, Kyle, and the corporate voice of the wives.  It sounds weird, I know.  And, frankly, I thought I would hate it, but it was actually very effective.  I also found the individual narratives fascinating.  Kyle's voice is fairly straight-forward.  The reader has no reason to question him, although it is clear he doesn't know everything that is going on. Picasso is an unreliable narrator, which I like.  You are always wondering if she is telling you the truth--after all, she states early on that she is an accomplished liar.  Then, we have the wives.  This was the most fascinating narration of the three.  Three women talking as one is tricky, and it is even trickier to tell their individual stories through this, but Murphy succeeds completely on this point.

I was captured most by Picasso.  Murphy expertly draws Picasso out just enough at a time to keep the reader guessing.  She is a girl at an age when children begin to really try to figure out their world, and her world is turned upside down. As I said, she's unreliable as a narrator, but it makes sense that she would be so.

I did have a few quibbles about the book.  For one thing, I suspected the resolution of Oliver's death early on in the novel, even though I still found the ending satisfying.  I also had a hard time believing that Picasso was only 11 or 12 years old.  She came across as a girl in her mid-teens, instead.

But, those were minor faults in my experience with this book.  Ultimately, I enjoyed this a great deal and would readily recommend it to others.

I won a copy of this book through the Goodreads First Reads program.  I was encouraged, but not required, to post an honest review. I received no other compensation for this post.

Monday, January 19, 2015

It's Monday...What Are You Reading? (1/19)

So, bummer over here.  The Pack went down.  I actually didn't expect for them to win--Rodgers was injured, but the came close and they played well (except for the last part of the 4th quarter.  Seriously, what was up with that?).

Oh well, I have at least chosen my hashtag for the Super Bowl: #imjustinitforthecommercials

Last week on the blog, I posted:
1/13 - Book Review The Magician's Lie by Greer Macallister
1/14 - Book Review: The Divorce Diet by Ellen Hawley
1/16 - Book Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
1/16 - Winter Mini-Bloggiesta 2015
1/17 - Saturday Snapshot

Right now, I'm reading:
A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor
I was worried when I started this one that it would be too saccharine for my tastes--lately, I've been wanting a bit more, I don't know, "edge" to my reading.  While I won't say it has edge, I don't find it overly sweet and it's keeping my attention.

The Lovers Set Down Their Spoons by Heather A. Slomski
This is a collection of short stories that won the 2014 Iowa Short Fiction Award.  I've really gotten into short story collections lately--in no small part because I can read them along with my other books--I can read a story or two a day and then go back to my novels and non-fiction.  I'm only a couple of stories into this on yet, but it is delightfully quirky (so that I've said that, it might morph into gothic horror or something...)

Iscariot by Tosca Lee
I'm reading this one for my church's book club.  I think it recently won an award for best Christian Fiction--and it is definitely better written than a lot of Inspirational fiction.  I'm not that far into it, but I'm enjoying it so far.

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
I thought my daughter and I would be done with this one by now but, as I said in my Saturday Snapshot post, this has been a rough week at our house.  My daughter is definitely enjoying it and I'm pretty sure we will be reading the sequel soon.

Right now, I'm listening to:
1776 by David McCullogh
I'm making pretty good time with this one and I think it is a good audio book for people who enjoy history.  However, I wouldn't recommend it for non-History people as this is pretty straight down the line and a little academic.

Last week, I read:
Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Yes, I finally finished it!  I waffled a bit about whether or not I would review this one, as it is a but on the "unreviewable" side, but I will have a post up about it on February 6.  I will say this, though:  If I never see another footnote, it will be too soon.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Well, at least it was a quick read.  My review will go up on February 12.

A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor
I really enjoyed this one--I had been wanting to read O'Connor for a while--but I won't be reviewing it right now.  I have The Complete Stories waiting on my Kindle and, since all the stories in this collection are included that collection, I'll get them all at once.

In Other News:
I am doing two challenges this year--although I'm cheating just a bit because there is a lot of overlap between the two.  I'm doing the Book Riot "Read Harder" challenge and the Pop Sugar challenge--I've put up tabs for both challenges so that I can keep track of what I've done and still need to do.

I'm not normally a fan of reading challenges as I've found it just adds extra pressure to my reading.  However, I liked how these were structured and I feel that it will help guide my reading instead of controlling it.

There is one item on the Pop Sugar challenge that worries me--a book set in my hometown.  As far as I know, the only book set in my hometown is One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and I have no desire to read that.  So, if anyone knows of any other book set in Salem, Oregon, please let me know!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Saturday Snapshot - January 17

To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky below. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

Well, folks....I've had a rough week.  Both my kids were sick, although not a the same time.  My daughter was out with some mystery bug at the beginning of the week (body aches and fever).  She was back to normal on Wednesday and was able to go back to school.  Then, on Wednesday night, my son got sick...all over the floor.  Ugh!  Thanks to all this, there was nothing picture-worthy from this week, so you know what that means.  It means you get to see more pictures of my cat.  Enjoy!

Picture #1 - And we are not off to a good start....

Picture 2 - That of the gigantic ear

Picture 3 - Took this one when I was, ahem, TRYING to get some blogging done!
Picture 4 - Aaaaand, apparently I won't be doing any more computer work for a while....

Winter Mini-Bloggiesta 2015

Yes, a second post in one day!  Don't worry, folks, this is a quick one.

After saying I'll do Bloggiesta for months (er...maybe years?), I'm finally doing it this time.  I was all gung ho and then I realized that this was a busy weekend--a long-overdue girls night on Saturday, a playoff game on Sunday (which will either shut my husband up or ring in yet another year of gloating) but, Jennifer over at The Relentless Reader convinced me to give it a try anyway.

Okay, is my task list for this weekend:

  1. Clean Up my Twitter Feed (This is sort of a freebie as I did it not too long ago.  We'll see if I can make myself unfollow Robin Williams this time). (Completed 1/17--and, no, I did not unfollow Robin Williams)
  2. Update My Index Tab (This one is two fold.  First off, I haven't been great about adding titles to my index, so I need to get caught up there.  I also want to create tabs for 4 and 5 star reviews and group titles by year). (Completed 1/18 - opted not to do an additional tab--I tried it, but it looked junky)
  3. Catch up my "Novels By State" Tab (Like my index, I'm behind on this one).(Completed 1/17)
  4. Create tabs for the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge and the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge (Yep, I'm doing both of them. Because I'm insane). (Completed 1/17)
So, come Tuesday, things should be a bit improved around here.