Thursday, November 7, 2019

Book Beginning: The Mountains of Paris: How Awe and Wonder Rewrote My Life

BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS
THANKS FOR JOINING ME ON FRIDAYS FOR BOOK BEGINNING FUN!

MY BOOK BEGINNING



By the time I reached the cemetery on its bluff south of town, the fog had disappeared and the beginnings of sunrise were lighting up the horizon.

The Mountains of Paris: How Awe and Wonder Rewrote My Life by David Oates, from OSU Press. This new memoir explores how living in Paris made the author "revise his life story from one of trudging and occasional woe into one punctuated by nourishing and sometimes unsettling brilliance." I'm all for that kind of transformation!



Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

SOCIAL MEDIA: If you are on Twitter, Instagram, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up. Please find me on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNING




TIE IN: The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.


MY FRIDAY 56
To breath here is to arise, in all simplicity, to that higher register. To be present with mystery, to allow it.


Thursday, October 31, 2019

Book Beginning: Beyond a Reasonable Stout

BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS
THANKS FOR JOINING ME ON FRIDAYS FOR BOOK BEGINNING FUN!

MY BOOK BEGINNING



"Can you hear that?" I asked Garrett as I dumped a box of fresh Chinook hops into the shiny stainless-steel fermenting tank.

Beyond a Reasonable Stout by Ellie Alexander, the third book in Alexander's cozy mystery series set in Leavenworth, Washington featuring beer maker and amateur sleuth Sloan Krause.




Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

SOCIAL MEDIA: If you are on Twitter, Instagram, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up. Please find me on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNING



TIE IN: The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.


MY FRIDAY 56

The benefit of brewing was that we never needed to worry about finely chopping or deshelling nuts or other fruits or berries we used in the brew. Everything would be strained out.



Monday, October 28, 2019

Mailbox Monday: Elegance, Toasts, and Colette

I got a handful of new (to me) books when I stopped by the Cat Thrift Store last week. What books came into your house last week?


Elegance by Kathleen Tessaro. This is her first novel, published in 2003. It’s the story of a woman inspired to makeover her life when she finds a copy of a French guide to style by Geneviève Antoine-Dariaux.

I haven't read any of Tessaro's books yet, but I snapped this up because back in college in the 1980s I found and devoured a copy of Dariaux’s 1964 Elegance: A Complete Guide for Every Women Who Wants to Be Well and Properly Dressed on All Occasions. I still have it and love it.

Toasts: Over 1,500 of the Best Toasts, Sentiments, Blessings, and Graces, compiled by Paul Dickson, illustrated by Rollin McGrail. I grabbed this one for fun.

Break of Day by Colette. I read a lot of Colette in college and have her earlier novels sitting on my shelves waiting to reread them, maybe. This is a later novella that I may or may not get to.

I wonder if Colette should only be read when young? I don't know if my 50-something self can tolerate what I think I remember Colette books to be like. But maybe I should give them another try. Or maybe I should start with the Keira Knightley movie about Colette to get in the proper frame of mind.

I found all three at the Cat Adoption Team thrift store, which is one of my favorite Portland book haunts. They keep a rotating stock of used books that are always in excellent condition.





Thanks for joining me for Mailbox Monday, a weekly "show & tell" blog event where participants share the books they acquired the week before. Visit the Mailbox Monday website to find links to all the participants' posts and read more about Books that Caught our Eye.

Mailbox Monday is graciously hosted by Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit, and Martha of Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

2019 Challenge: UPDATE on Combo Book Challenge: 2X19 and Mt TBR

Back in January book challenge season, I posted a dual challenge aimed at clearing out my TBR shelves.

2X19: One is a personal challenge I call 2X19 to read 38 books off my TBR shelves. I've done the same thing since 2013 -- tried to read a "two times the year" number of books off my shelves. It keeps getting more difficult! I plan to switch to one book for each year in 2020.

MtTBR: The second TBR challenge I do every year is the Mt. TBR Challenge Bev from My Reader's Block hosts on her blog.

Here is my update, now that we are roughly 85% of the way through the reading year.

2X19 CHALLENGE:
READ 38 TBR BOOKS IN 2019

COMPLETED



I intentionally chose short books for 2019 (short in pages, not height, but see below). I'm drawn to long novels, so intentionally picking short books made me read books that have been sitting on my TBR shelves for a long, long time.

I read one book from each of 38 separate shelves on various TBR bookcases. I read 29 fiction books and nine nonfiction books.

MY 2X19 BOOKS


I took this picture last December when I planned the challenge, which explains the Christmas theme.  I read them in the order listed below, which followed this plan: The first were my New Year's resolution books; the next two came early because I'm was excited to read them; the rest I read in order of height, from tallest to shortest, for no reason except whim. I realized I had two Françoise Sagan books, so I swapped one for a Wise Virgin.

A Year of Living Kindly: Choices That Will Change Your Life and the World Around You by Donna Cameron (my interview with Donna Cameron is here)

On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books by Karen Swallow Prior

The Girl from Oto by Amy Maroney (my interview with Amy Maroney is here)

The Shame of Losing by Sarah Cannon (my interview with Sarah Cannon is here)

An Affair with a House by Bunny Williams

Mark Hampton on Decorating by Mark Hampton

The Tenth Man by Graham Greene

Friend of My Springtime by Willa Cather

Licking Flames: Tales of a Half-Assed Hussy by Diana Kirk (my interview with Diana Kirk is here)

Queen of Spades by Michael Shou-Yung Shum

Zuckerman Unbound by Philip Roth

The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion

The Robineau Look by Kathleen Moore Knight

Agents and Patients by Anthony Powell

Sexing the Cherry by Jeanette Winterson

A Woman of Means by Peter Taylor

The Poorhouse Fair by John Updike

Girl, 20 by Kingsley Amis

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Slam by Nick Hornby

Lady Into Fox by David Garnett (James Tait Black Memorial Prize Winner)

Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot

Henri, le Chat Noir: The Existential Musings of an Angst-Filled Cat by William Bradon

The Great Mortdecai Moustache Mystery by Kyril Bonfiglioli

The Gift of a Letter by Alexandra Stoddard

Do the Windows Open? by Julie Hecht

Dirty Friends by Morris Lurie

Something Special by Iris Murdoch

The Imitation Game by Ian McEwan

The Small Room by May Sarton

I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life by Anne Bogel

Wise Virgin by A. N. Wilson

The Little Book of Lykke by Meik Wiking

The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy

The Heart-Keeper by Françoise Sagan

The Abbess of Crewe by Muriel Spark

Levels of Life by Julian Barnes

First Love by Joyce Carol Oates



THE MT. TBR CHALLENGE:
READ A TOTAL OF 60 TBR BOOKS IN 2019

56/60 FINISHED - ALMOST DONE



Every year, I join Bev at My Reader's Block in her Mt, TBR Challenge. This year, I am trying to reach the Mr. Kilimanjaro level of 60 books. I tried this in 2018 and fell sort by two books because I didn't get through all of my 2X18 books. This year, I have to read 22 in addition to the 38 from my 2X19 Challenge. It looks like I will make it, since I am at 56 books and still have a little over two months to go.

BOOKS READ SO FAR

In addition to the 38 books listed above, I've read:

Educated by Tara Westover

The Jewel in the Crown (The Raj Quartet, Book I) by Paul Scott

The Year of the French by Thomas Flanagan

The Day of the Scorpion (The Raj Quartet, Book II) by Paul Scott

The Towers of Silence (The Raj Quartet, Book III) by Paul Scott

A Division of Spoils (The Raj Quartet, Book IV) by Paul Scott

Staying On by Paul Scott (Booker Prize winner)

In the Woods by Tana French

Collected Poems by Kingsley Amis

A Man of Property (The Forsyte Saga, Book I) by John Galsworthy

In Chancery (The Forsyte Saga, Book II) by John Galsworthy

To Let (The Forsyte Saga, Book III) by John Galsworthy

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka

The Best of Friends by Joanna Trollope

A Sight for Sore Eyes by Ruth Rendell

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold John le Carre

Set in Darkness by Ian Rankin



NOTES

Updated as of October 27, 2019.















Saturday, October 26, 2019

Book Review: Parentshift: Ten Universal Truths that Will Change the Way You Raise Your Kids


Parentshift: Ten Universal Truths that Will Change the Way You Raise Your Kids by Ty and Linda Hatfield and Wendy Thomas Russell from Brown Paper Press. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Parentshift offers a paradigm shift for parents looking for a different parenting style for raising kids. The authors looked at how American parents usually fall into two categories -- controlling or permissive. Controlling parents tend to set too many limits, place unreasonably high expectations, and fail to demonstrate enough empathy with their kids. Permissive parents go the other way by tending to be weak limit and boundary setters, expecting too little, and being empathetic to the fault of treating their children’s problems as their own.

This book teaches a distinct parenting style that the authors describe as heart-centered. Heart-centered parents set strong limits and boundaries, know how to genuinely empathize with their kids, and have high and reasonable expectations of them. The authors show how these skills are associated with children who are kind, confident, compassionate, capable, resilient, and healthy.

They also explain why most adults need to learn this parenting style because most were not raised in a heart-centered way themselves. That’s why they describe it as a paradigm shift and call the book Parentshift.

The book is not about being a "perfect" parent. It is structured as a practical guidebook, with explanations of each of the ten basic "truths" followed by common-sense exercises for how to apply the lessons in real life. It is not aimed at solving one particular problem or navigating one particular age. In fact, much of the book’s advice applies to getting along with adults as much as it does with parenting. Parentshift aims to help parents identify and address virtually any challenge at any age, although it probably would be most helpful for parents, grandparents, caregivers, and teachers of children around age three to five.


OTHER REVIEWS

Midwest Book Reviews
Foreword Reviews

If you would like your review of ParentShift listed here, leave me a comment with your link and I will add it.

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