Sunday, September 22, 2019

Book Notes: Last, Now, Next - What I'm Reading in September

books stacked on pillow

I've enjoyed playing around with Instagram book posts lately. Instagram inspires me to take more pictures, obviously, and the bookstagrammers start discussions or post hashtag challenges that give me ideas for blog posts and the creative energy to sit down and write them.

This morning I had fun with a hashtag challenge on Instagram called #lastnownextread where participants list the book they just finished, the book they are currently reading, and the book they plan to read next.

My last read was The Little Book of Lykke: The Danish Search for the World's Happiest People by Meik Wiking. I thought it was interesting, approached important ideas in a creative way, and was more substantive than his earlier book, The Little Book of Hygge, which I adore. I didn't agree with all his conclusions. For instance, while some programs might work in Denmark, I don't know that they would transfer or scale up for other countries. But I like that he is thinking about and discussing what makes people happy and how to achieve that on a broad scale. It’s a book I’d like to discuss with people face to face, which would be a very lykke thing to do.

My current read is The Small Room by May Sarton. I’m enjoying this one a lot because I love “campus novels” and middlebrow, Midcentury fiction. This is set in a women’s college in upstate New York, contemporaneous to when it was published in 1961. So this one is my exact cup of tea! I keep this list of campus novels if others share my enjoyment for Ivy Tower fiction.

My next read is Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy. I read this in college, and I’m slowly, in fits and starts, rereading some of the classics I read so long ago.

The three are stacked on one of my favorite needlepoint pillows because fall is here and I dug out that pillow to toss on the living room sofa.

So, what are your three? Feel free to share.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Book Beginning: Generation Share: The Change Makers Building the Sharing Economy by Benita Matofska & Sophie Sheinwald

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

MY BOOK BEGINNING



What is the sharing economy? What does sharing mean to you?

Generation Share: The Change Makers Building the Sharing Economy by Benita Matofska and Sophie Sheinwald, a new release from Policy Press. Interviews and photos highlighting 200 case studies of the new worldwide sharing movement.



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. Sorry I didn't get the post up early this week! My law partner and I had our office party yesterday evening to celebrate her becoming a partner, changing our firm name to Dumas & Vaughn, and our firm's fifth anniversary. We were setting up for the party and I forgot to post!

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

In this 24/7, on-demand, screen-obsessed era, we are exposed to more information in one day than our predecessors experienced in a lifetime. For Gen Z, the Sharing Economy is the economy -- as much a part of them as they are of it and so innate they may not realize it.

It's hard to know from this snippet where this idea is going. I can imagine, but don't know, how modern technology and sharing fit together.

While I read on to figure it out, I'll share this picture of me and my law partner Ashley Vaughn, from our party last night. I hope you share your Book Beginnings and Friday 56 teasers!



Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Teaser Tuesday: Winded: A Memoir in Four Stages by Dawn Newton



I didn't like to tell strangers who learned about my cancer that I was a non-smoker. Dealing with strangers was always tricky.

Winded: A Memoir in Four Stages by Dawn Newton. In her new memoir, Dawn Newton writes about living life to the fullest after she was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer.

Winded is available for pre-order. It releases on October 1, 2019 from Apprentice House Press, the nation's first entirely student-managed publishing house, located at Loyola University Maryland.

PUBLISHER'S DESCRIPTION
When Dawn Newton, an adjunct professor and mother of three, gets a terminal lung cancer diagnosis, the path forward appears rutted. The Great Recession has left her exhausted and juggling multiple jobs. Then she learns of her cancer's mutation. She can take a pill each day to live longer.

Fifteen months into survival, she feels overwhelmed by the effort of staying alive. She longs to embrace moments and display gratitude yet can't find words to articulate her needs. Regardless of any control she exerts over her body's frailties, her emotional life asserts its own disruptive trajectory. Even as she labors to anchor herself to the love of family, she faces a blasphemous question: "If no cure is available, and death lurks around the next corner, is more time really worth it?"

In Winded, Newton describes life with terminal disease, exploring dark crevices of the psyche as she tries to assess the value of a life. The final lessons she imparts to her family may not be about resilience but about illuminating vulnerability and embracing the imperfect.


Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by The Purple Booker, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Mailbox Monday: Books with Friendly Connections



I'm often inspired to buy a book or borrow it from the library because I see it on social media. But I realize that my real life friends also add to my sagging TBR shelves. Do your friends influence what book you buy and read?

I cleaned up my office this weekend (a seismic event for me) and realized I've gathered a random assortment of books in the last couple of weeks, all here in my life because of some connection with a friend. In some cases, the connection was direct, in some it was attenuated, but all of these books were here because of a friend.

Going clockwise:

Sunnylands: America’s Midcentury Masterpiece by Janice Lyle. I’ve had my eye on this gorgeous coffee table book ever since my friend showed it to me at her house a few months ago. It will always remind me of her.

The Compleat Squash: A Passionate Grower’s Guide to Pumpkins, Squashes, and Gourds by Amy Goldman. My book publicist friend Mary Bisbee-Beek give me a review copy of Goldman’s luscious new book, The Melon, and I love it so much I had to go looking for all of Goldman’s earlier books.

A Better Man and Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny. The only friend connection here is that my neighbor (and friend) recently brought me a couple of books while he was out filling Little Free Libraries, which reminded me to take a bunch of my books to our closest neighborhood LFL, where I found these two perfect copies of Chief Inspector Gamache mysteries that I have not read yet.

Choosing Diversity by Lance Izumi. A friend of mine introduced me to Lance because of my volunteer work for the Children's Scholarship Fund of Oregon, which provides scholarships for low-income families, elementary through high school, and is run out of the Cascade Policy Institute where I sit on on the board. Lance gave me a copy of his book when we met for lunch last week.

Culture Counts: Faith & Feeling in a World Besieged by Roger Scruton. A while back, my friend Steve Hayward posted a picture on Facebook of himself with Sir Roger Scruton. So when I saw this cover, I was curious to read the book. What a mug!

And as I was drafting this post, I got another friendly book surprise through the mail slot on my office door:


The Preserve by Steve Anderson. Set in 1948 in the US Territory of Hawaii, a WWII vet seeks to cure his combat fatigue at a mysterious facility called the Preserve, but gets pulled in on a deadly plot that runs all the way to General MacArthur.

Steve writes WWII thrillers that are are exciting, a little quirky, and based on true events. I'd read them even if Steve and I weren't friends because the stories are so good! I was just lucky to get my friends' copy early.

The Preserve launches this week and is available for pre-order. For Portlanders, the launch event for The Preserve is Thursday at Powell's Books on Hawthorne at 7:30.



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.






Thursday, September 12, 2019

Book Beginning: The Woman in the Park by Teresa Sorkin and Tullan Holmqvist

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

MY BOOK BEGINNING



When the doorbell rang, neither of them reacted right away.

– The Woman in the Park by Teresa Sorkin and Tullan Holmqvist. This short, fast-paced thriller finds Sarah Rock the prime suspect in a woman's disappearance and her fancy Manhattan life falling apart. It's an exciting story of love and madness.

The Woman in the Park is published by Beaufort Books and is available now. Teresa Sorkin is a television producer. Tullan Holqvist is an investigator, writer, and actor. This is their first novel.



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

Sorry for the lack of linky! I’m traveling for work without my laptop and can’t figure out how to do it on my phone. Please leave your link in a comment this week.




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 teacher was unlike most she had encountered, with their forced-calm voices and thinly veiled judgments. He liked to dispense droplets of a dour sort of wisdom in between his more usual litany of sarcastic remarks and inappropriate jokes.



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