Seven Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes – Florida Life Edition

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  1. Got my flu shot during my physical this year. I’ve always been a believer in the flu shot (especially in the quadrivalent flu shot), but now that I have a baby, I think that everyone should get flu shots. Since baby girl was too young to get a flu shot during last year’s flu season, I was hyper-aware of the flu since it could potentially kill her. By the way, a babies can get them at 6 months, she was just too young. I wouldn’t let people come take care of her if they didn’t have a flu shot. You can never be too careful. This year, like every year, my husband and I got our shots, and baby girl is getting hers in two weeks. So, go get your flu shots everyone!
  2. Tropical Storm Nate is now threatening the panhandle of Florida again. Yay… So far, it looks like it’s going to turn into a Cat 1 hurricane, but the path has it heading towards Louisiana. Hopefully, it won’t shift eastward towards us. St. Medard, patron saint of bad weather, don’t let a second hurricane hit us. Pretty please. update-we just got rain
  3. Cecilia’s birthday party is next weekend, and it kind of snuck up on me. It’s vintage Winnie the Pooh themed, so get excited for a flood of pictures.
  4. We also went to the pumpkin patch this weekend. Was it 90 degrees? Maybe. Baby girl was definitely over it after 10 minutes, but we did get a ton of cute pumpkins to decorate our apartment. She was not a fan of the crying, screaming children also getting their picture taken.
  5. I’m dying in this heat. It need to get below 80 degrees sometime soon. It’s kind of ridiculous.
  6. I’ve recently been super into tea. I drink multiple cups at work to keep myself awake, but I need tea suggestions. I drink both caffeinated teas and herbal teas. My faves are from Mystic Monk, but I just wanted input.
  7. We’re planning a November beach trip with some of our trad friends here, and I am SO EXCITED! It will be Cecilia’s first time at the beach, so if you have any beach baby tips, let me know.

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Visit Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum for more Quick Takes.

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challenges

2017 Challenges Quarterly Update

Looking at the first 3 quarters of the year, I’m doing pretty good. I’m farthest along in my Goodreads Challenge and least farthest along in the Dewey Decimal Challenge. However, the Dewey Decimal Challenge has 1,000 books to be read. That’s a whole lot.

The first five challenges in the table below are multi-year challenges because of the magnitude of the books to be read. The other four are for this specific calendar year. I’m not doing that bad. I’m pretty proud of myself for having read so much especially with my hectic personal and professional life. Yay, Sofi!

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100 Best Books 14 100 14%
Pulitzer Prize Winners 12 100 12%
Dewey Decimal Challenge 12 1000 1%
The Classics Club 3 75 4%
Year of Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli 3 23 13%
Book Bingo 7 25 28%
Modern Mrs. Darcy Challenge 7 13 54%
Alphabet Soup 8 26 31%
Goodreads 11 15 73%
Read-a-thons

Banned/Challenged Books Read-a-thon Wrap-Up

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I completed 2 of my 3 goals! YAY! I’m pretty proud of myself. I definitely read more than I wanted, but I didn’t get to any of the books on my TBR. Oh well, I still read. That’s what really counts. Maybe I can host this read-a-thon next year….

Total Pages Read: 430 / 300

Total Books Read: 3 / 2

Total Time Read:  2:32:00 / 4:00:00

Seven Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes – Super Late Edition

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  1. Life is slowly coming back to normal after Irma.
  2. Sadly, the earthquake in Mexico hit a little too close for home. I was born in Mexico City, and most of my family still lives there. Everyone is fine (thank God!), but the city is absolute chaos. Thankfully, people have been so generous with their money and with their times that they have had to turn volunteers down. The true heroes in all of this are the rescue dogs that have been finding people left and right. Other countries have been aiding by sending in their rescue animals to try to find people under all the rubble.
  3. On a lighter note, my daughter is about to transition to the next daycare classroom, but can’t have bottles. She can only use a sippy cup. We have tried a couple, and she does use them, but I was just wondering what sippy cups you guys use.
  4. Additionally, she has to wear shoes because they take them to a covered playground. She’s not walking yet, but she is cruising on the furniture. We’ve bought her a couple of moccasins and other soft-soled shoes, but we’ve been struggling a bit because she has such small feet. She wears a size 2 which is roughly 3-6 month shoes. Most of the shoes we have found are crib shoes. Recommendations?
  5. Recently, my dad got an Apple watch and let me keep his Fitbit. I’m obsessed!
  6. I’ve recently also gotten into skin care. I realize that as I approach 30, my skin doesn’t bounce back as it use to. I have to really dedicate time to taking care of my face. I’ve been using this Face oil and serum because my face has been kind of dry lately even though the humidity is off the walls here in la Florida. I have combination skin that tends on the oily side, but my non-oily areas have been dry lately. I’ve also started using this Pixie Glow Tonic as a toner at night because I can’t justify dropping $40 on this  Toner. I’ve seen a couple of people talk about this face mist, and I’m interested. Let me know if what you guys use to take care of your face.
  7. I am currently reading Stella by Starlight. It’s one of the picks for the Diverse Books Club. I’m really enjoying it. It’s a middle-grade book set in 1930s North Carolina. It’s from the perspective of an African-American girl and deals with the KKK. I don’t usually read middle-grade books, but the Diverse Books Clubs offers an adult fiction, YA, and a middle-grade pick. They have been really good so far, and I’m excited to dive into the October picks that deal with the theme of immigration and refugees.

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Visit Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum for more Quick Takes.

Read-a-thons

Banned/Challenged Books Read-a-thon Check-in

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I haven’t started any of the books on the TBR that set for this read-a-thon, but I have been reading. I’m pretty pleased with myself that I’ve been able to read as much as I have. Baby steps.

Total Pages Read: 201 / 300

Total Books Read: 1 / 2

Total Time Read:  1:12:00 / 4:00:00

Top Ten

Top Ten Books with Elderly Characters

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Top Ten Tuesday 919

  1. The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
  2. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
  3. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
  4. The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
  5. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson
  6. Still Alice by Lisa Genova
  7. The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa
  8. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  9. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
  10. No One Writes to the Colonel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Let me know in the comments below if you have read any of these books or know of more books with elderly characters.

Read-a-thons, Uncategorized

Banned/Challenged Books Read-a-thon TBR and Goals

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I’m going to be participating in the Banned/Challenged Books Read-a-thon hosted by Book Dragon’s Lair. I haven’t really heard much about this, so I’m not sure it’s actually happening. HOWEVER, I’m still going to participate because I have a ton of banned or challenged books that I could pound through. Why not? Also, read-a-thons are a huge motivation for me. So, I’m doing this read-a-thon for myself.

I set myself three goals that set the bar really, really low. Like, so low. So, so low.

Goals:

  • Read 300 pages
  • Finish 2 books
  • Read for 4 hours

TBR:

  • Perks of Being a Wallflower
  • The House on Mango Street
  • Elanor and Parks
  • Whatever book I haven’t finish

If you want to join, let know in the comments below. I’m going to do a check-in once during the read-a-thon and a wrap-up at the end. Keeping it simple. I’ll be using the hastag #BCBReadathon on instagram to keep track of these posts. I’m pretty sure I’ll be the only one using it, but oh well!

Top Ten

Top Ten Books on my Fall TBR

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Top Ten Tuesday 9.19

  1. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead: This is a Diverse Books Club read for September and I have yet to read it. I’m really excited to get to it next.
  2. Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson: I’ve seen hearing about this series for quite a while. I recently picked up Paper Girls, and it was not really for me, but that prompted me to pick up Lumberjanes. I’ve wanted to get into a new graphic novel series for a while now.
  3. Rise & Shine, Benedict Stone by Phaedra Patrick: I adored The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, so I was very excited to see that Phaedra Patrick had another book out. I haven’t heard as much buzz on this books, but we shall have to wait and see.
  4. Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky: This is one of the books I am reading for the Banned/Challenged Books Read-a-thon I am going to participate in. It has been on my shelf for at least 4 year, and I really need to read it. I have seen the movie, and I’m curious to see how it compares.
  5. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisnero: This is another book for the Banned/Challenged Books Read-a-thon. I needed to incorporate some Hispanic authors for Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept 15-Oct 15).
  6. Approval Junkie by Faith Salie: I got this from Blogging for Books a month or two ago, and I have been putting it off. I need to get to this.
  7. In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende: I just got this Oct 31st release from NetGalley, and I need to read it before the release. Motivation ACTIVATE!
  8. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan: I have this book on hold from the library and can’t wait to read it.
  9. Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout: I read My Name is Lucy Barton, and I;m curious about this book. It’s not a sequel. Rather, it’s an exploration of the small town where Lucy grew up. I wasn’t a super fan of My Name is Lucy Barton, but I’m intrigued and willing to give it a chance.
  10. The Complete Father Brown Stories by G. K. Chesterton: I LOVE G. K. Chesterton, and I picked up this book because of the BBC series that is now on Netflix. I want to read the book before watching it. I might convince my brother to buddy read these with me. We’ll see.

Let me know in the comments below if you have read any of these books or have suggestions about similar books that I can add to my TBR. I do a quarterly TBR instead of a monthly one.

Seven Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes – Hurricane Edition

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1. Oh Hurricane Irma… Why? I missed last weeks link up because we were evacuating. It was a last minute decision, but we decided to leave on Friday. Y’all. The traffic was awful! We live in the panhandle of Florida, and it took us 12 hours to drive to Memphis where my parents live. On Friday morning, it looked like it was going to be a Category 2 or 3 when it hit. So, peace out, Florida!

2. Driving for that long with a 10-month-old is hard, but we decided to bring our cat because we weren’t going to leave her behind. We’re not savages! It was a little rough for the first couple of hours. Overall, everyone did great, and we could not have asked more from the baby and the cat. They were such troopers.

3. I’m honestly shocked at the people who stayed in South Florida. As soon as it was coming towards us, we left. I know people who were taking pictures and video of the rain and winds while it was happening. Y’all crazy. tenor

4. Thankfully, our apartment and my car (we only took my husband’s car to Memphis) were fine. I just have to go get my car washed. When we arrived, the power was back, so the A/C was already running. All the happy emojis.

5. The cat and the baby are the happiest to be back to a carpeted floor. This is the face of a cat who is so happy to be home. #herkingdom

6. Now, we just have to restock the whole fridge because we had to throw everything away. Publix, I’m coming for ya!

7. Life is back to normal which is so weird to me. It feels like nothing happened, but a Category 4 Hurricane hit my state a couple of days ago. I’m so grateful and feel blessed that we were not impacted as much as we had feared.

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Visit Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum for more Quick Takes.

Top Ten

Top Ten Books That Were Hard to Get Through

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Top Ten Tuesday 9.5

  1. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand): I really dislike this book. Not only is this book long, but I could not connect to the characters at all. I don’t always have to connect or like characters to like a book, but their actions were irrational to me. I also just don’t like Ayn Rand and her writing, but I had to finish this book for my sophomore high school English class.
  2. A Deep Dark Secret (Kimberla Lawson Roby): I got this book at a library sale that they were having. It was so so so poorly written, and I’m not even sure if I got through it all. I think this was a DNF.
  3. The Metamorphosis (Franz Kafka): This was another required reading for high school, and I just did not understand the meaning behind the story or the characters. If I don’t like a book, it makes it so much harder to read through it.
  4. 1984 (George Orwell): Again, I did not like the characters or the story which made the reading process a chore.
  5. Great Expectations (Charles Dickens): I kind of liked this book, but one of the issues for me was that it was so long, that I got a little lost. This made me have to stop and look stuff up because I could not remember the plot or some characters.
  6. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood): I did not like this book, but we had to read it for high school (I see a pattern…). I don’t like Margaret Atwood’s writing style, and
  7. This is How You Lose Her (Junot Diaz): This book had different plot lines that kept jumping around. I found it hard to follow.
  8. Grendel (John Gardner): This book was horrible which made it so hard to get through. It literally takes one of the scariest monsters in all of literature, and it makes it such a whimp!
  9. Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy): This is one of my favorite books ever. However, there were complete chapters on harvesting that could have been taken out. That is what made it hard to get through.

Let me know in the comments below what were some of the books that you found hard to get through.

Seven Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes – Baby Cold Edition

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  1. The baby woke up with a cold today, so that’s going to be oodles of fun to deal with this weekend. Ya’ll, a sick baby is the saddest little thing ever. You just feel so powerless with a cold. You can’t do anything to help her. Let me know if you have any tips for how to make your little one more comfortable when they get a cold.
  2. 28230461._UY200_I’m currently reading Everyone Brave is Forgive by Chris Cleave. So far so good. I do need to finish it by next Saturday, so that’s the goal for this weekend.
  3. I’m so over the heat. Living in Florida, I’m just so ready for some cooler weather. I will literally take any temperature that does not make me instantly shiny in the face or sweat while walking from my car to my office (aka anything less than 80). Sadly, we won’t get that until December.
  4. I’ve recently starting saying a decade of the rosary with my 10-month-old in the car while we drive to daycare. I hope the prayers stick with her at least on some subconscious way, but I do want to incorporate more prayer into our family life. How do you guys pray as a family?
  5. I’m trying to come up with some cheap date night ideas. We are trying to use babysitters, and we usually end up just going to get dinner. What are some fun indoor ideas? It’s too hot to do anything outside.
  6. My child bit me for the first time ever on my arm yesterday. Teething, I see you, and I don’t like you.
  7. I recently joined the Diverse Books Club to try to diversify my reading. This month, we will be reading the Underground Railroad and Stella by Starlight. Definitely check them out.

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Visit Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum for more Quick Takes.

Featured Tags, Top Ten

Top Ten Hidden Gem Books in Classics

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Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

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  1. Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Eugene O’Neill): This play touches on addiction and what does to a family. I read it in high school (way way back in the day), and I hope kids are still reading it today.
  2. Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe): If you are looking for diverse reads, look no further. It is written by a Nigerian author about the colonization of East Africa. It is a modern classic for sure.
  3. Collected Novellas (Gabriel Garcia Marquez): Pretty much anything that GGM writes, I will read. He is most known for Love in the Time of Cholera and One Hundred Years of Solitude, but I think he is a much better novella and short story writer. He really grabs your attention from the beginning and completely engulfs you in the world he has created.
  4. The Pearl (John Steinbeck): I also read this in high school, and I loved it. Like many of Steinbeck’s books, this is not a happy book with a happy ending, but it is short and very poignant. Definitely check it out.
  5. Madame Bovary (Gustave Flaubert): One of my favorite authors. Love this book. Adultery. France.
  6. Chronicle of a Death Foretold (Gabriel Garcia Marquez): Again, if GGM writes it, I will read it. This is my absolute favorite novella that I have read from him. It looks at a community after something happens and how the community deals with it. Want to explore the mob mentality? Read it.
  7. Brideshead Revisited (Evelyn Waugh): One of the BEST Catholic fiction out there. Even if you are not Catholic, this story is absolutely amazing. If you don’t want to read it, listen to the audiobook narrated by Jeremy Irons or watch the miniseries with Jeremy Irons. By the way, this is the miniseries that all other BBC miniseries is modeled after. It is so true to the book.
  8. A Good Man is Hard to Find (Flannery O’Conner): I feel like Flannery O’Conner (aka the Queen of Southern Gothic Literature) is not as widely read as I like. Maybe it’s because I live in the South, that people know her, but not many have read her work. It is dark. Really dark. However, her writing is amazing, and she packs so much meaning into her stories.
  9. The Hobbit (J.R.R. Tolkein): A true modern classic.
  10. In Cold Blood (Truman Capote): I don’t know if people consider this a classic, but I do. It explores the murders of a family in Kansas and the motives of their killer. It is fascinating and a page-turner.

Let me know what you think of these books or what your top ten hidden gems are. Leave a comment below!

Read-a-thons

Bout of Books 20 Wrap-up

Bout of Books
It’s done! Another Bout of Books Read-a-thon is under the belt. The graphic below shows my progress. While I didn’t meet my reading goals, I am very proud of my progress. Plus, it gave me the boost I needed to begin blogging again.
 If anyone was curious, Bout of Books 21 will be held  on Jan. 8-14, 2018. The next read-a-thon I will probably participate in will be the Banned/Challenged Books Read-a-thon on Sept. 24-30.
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Read-a-thons

Bout of Books: Friday Update

Bout of Books

Pages Read: 0
Total Pages Read: 149/500
Books Read: 1
Books in Progress: 2
Daily Challenge: FAIL
Comment on 2 blogs: FAIL
Time Read: 0
Total Time Read: 2:04:57

We’ve had company over, and no reading has gotten. That’s ok.

Read-a-thons

Bout of Books: Thursday Update

Bout of Books

Pages Read: 0
Total Pages Read: 149/500
Books Read: 1
Books in Progress: 2
Daily Challenge:

  • If you like Brideshead Revisited, try Kristin Lavransdatter, In This House of Brede, and Sword of Honour.

Book Flight 1

Comment on 2 blogs: Bahnreads and Creative Deeds Reads
Time Read: 0
Total Time Read: 2:04:57