What cha reading?

It’s the end of the school year, so things are hectic around here. I READ the first two books in Steifvaters Raven Cycle and I’ve been burning through Audible credits:
History of the World in Six Glasses Kitchen Confidental Echo in the Bone and Suttree are the most recent…

Also dabbled in some writing of my own, and I plan on getting back here regularly starting tomorrow 🙂

Happy Reading!



To quote:  “I’m not dead yet…”

Sorry about the hiatus. I’ve missed blogging and the research. Hopefully I can get back into the swing of things this week. Happy New Year’s!

Madrid in my memories….

This post made me wish I were in college again, enjoying my semester in Madrid. Someday I’ll get back! Thanks for the smile & memories. 🙂 The posts for parts 1 & 3 were awesome too.

Duane Pandorf Travel Blog

We continued our walk west towards Plaza Mayor from the Parque del Retiro and I took many photos along the way to try and show a little bit of what life is like for those that live and work here.

Day 1 Part 3 continued….

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Memorial Day reads

We’re still out of town, so this is a quick post-let:

1. Thank a veteran today & take the time to listen to the old family stories for the millionth time.

2. If you’re a military history buff, check out THIS post I did a while back.

3. For a really interesting perspective on the aftermath of war, check out these authors, and then thank a vet again.

4. Randomly, I always thought of Memorial day as a general day of remembrance, not just for vets (not that I disagree at all) and ALL the graves in the local cemeteries will get spiffed up… is this a regional thing?

Late to the party, again.

The question of the week over at The Broke and The Bookish is: What are the top 10 sites you visit that AREN’T about books?

In the spirit of wasting time, here’s my list:

1. Facebook.- duh. I love being able to talk to friends & family, lurk and know what’s going on, etc. We all know the game. I DON’T play any of the games though…just not my thing. I also ignore all game requests.

2. Assorted knitting blogs: yarnharlot.ca, textisles.com, and Brooklyn Tweed are my current favorites.

3. Knitty & Ravelry are also great knitting time-sucks inspiration.

4. my wordpress reader (when it’s working. ahem.) I follow the knitting, cooking, weaving, and travel sections among others. fun times.

5. The Pioneer Woman & All-recipes.com

6. CNN, USAToday, & NPR.org. I love the news.

7. The Charlotte Observer & the Knoxville News Sentinel.

8. Google. Anytime I need to know, I start there. Call me a lemming.

Value book shopping….

One aspect of book awards is that it’s immediately eye-catching to see that shiny gold sticker, or “award-winning….” plastered across the front. I admit, I have been suckered into picking up a book with those accolades, only to wonder after reading it, “Why?”  IMHO, this makes the book less than a true “value.” (take that with a grain of salt, as I have rarely met a book I didn’t like (Billy Budd, I’m talking to you)). I’ve been pleased to find though, that most of the awards I’ve talked about have been earnest attempts to applaud merit and only a COUPLE have been blatant marketing schemes. 🙂

That said, I was recently stalking the iBook store while at work, and given my non-existent budget, was pondering which purchase to make: the next installment of a series, a “new” book/author, a beloved favorite I don’t actually own, one of the “$3.99 or less” books, a free book….the options were endless. 🙂 I love book shopping.

And then, I found myself narrowing things down by doing quick math to see how much the book was per “page” on the theory that if I can only buy ONE,  by golly it needs to last a while.  (I love long books, especially when I’m at work and can’t raid the bookshelf as soon as I finish.) When I caught myself doing this I laughed. Book purchasing on par with examining the supersize price vs. two smaller packages at the grocery, squinting at the price per item/oz label fine print?!?!?!

So that leads me to my next questions for you:


Discuss at will. I’m off book shopping.

News from the News…

Head and shoulders photo of a greying man with a small moustache, wearing a suit, arms folded.

Carlos Fuentes has passed away. This Mexican author is frequently mentioned in the same sentences as Gabriel Garcia Marquez. He wrote during an era when much of Mexico’s literature focused on finding identity, defining a culture, race, civilization that was equally Aztec/Mayan/European, and somehow none of the above. There’s a great transcript of an interview with him HERE. I haven’t read a lot of his work, mainly excerpts, but I HAVE read The Death of Artemio Cruz & Aura. Wow. I’m sure this is not an original idea, but you could do a whole semester comparing/contrasting Artemio with Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying and Light in August. (If you pick up Artemio, reading the wikipedia article about the Mexican Revolution/Civil War would be good. Lots of history not usually covered in our US courses.) ***be warned, Mr. Flores is NOT afraid of strong language. Namely the F*bomb. If this offends you, be aware you were warned***. I found his work to be gripping, occasionally disturbing,  and memorable. excellent stuff. I hate that it took an article about his death to make me remember that I always meant to read more of his stuff. I may do a whole post on him after I’ve researched a little more.

And, on a lighter note, Amazon has tallied up sales and divided them by per-capita population to come up with the biggest cities for reading. In order, they were:

1. Alexandria, Virginia

2. Cambridge, Massachusetts

3. Berkeley, California

4. Ann Arbor, Michigan

5. Boulder, Colorado

6. Miami, Florida

7. Arlington, Virginia

8. Gainesville, Florida

9. Washington, D.C.

10. Salt Lake City, Utah

11. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

12. Knoxville, Tennessee (Woot! Go Knox-vegas!)

13. Seattle, Washington

14. Orlando, Florida

15. Columbia, South Carolina

16. Bellevue, Washington

17. Cincinnati, Ohio

18. St. Louis, Missouri

19. Atlanta, Georgia

20. Richmond, Virginia

Click HERE for the full story on CNN. I agree w/ the Amazon exec that what I like best about the list is that the list covers our WHOLE country, not just big cities, or certain regions. We’re all bookworms.