Top Ten Tuesday: Which posts best reflect me?

Way back in August, I saw a meme on BookSpeakVolumes which I always meant to try. So, on the first Tuesday of the new year, I offer my own Top Ten. (And I thank Leah for the inspiration, even though it took me months to use it.)

top ten tuesday

Which 10 posts best reflect my blog? I’ve tried to combine personal favorites plus those that struck a chord with readers. Surprisingly, they aren’t primarily book/review related. The ones that stick are those that reflect my real life outside of books. Go figure.

1. Love and Guacamole ~ March 22, 2012

One of my first WordPress posts, it remains one of my favorites. It reflects my love of family and tradition. Plus, my Lita made the best guacamole ever and I provide the recipe.

2. World Book Night with a little help from my son ~ April 24, 2012

In one post I was able to combine so many passions — my sons, books, sharing my opinions about books, photography and Twitter. Really, it’s a doozy.

3. Goodbye Dad ~ September 17, 2012

Opening up about my father’s illness and death was a natural part of grieving for me. I am still so grateful for the love and prayers I received in response to this post.

4. I said “yes.” Now what? ~ May 23, 2012

I laid my insecurities bare and felt the immediate love of the blogging community. As my life took a sharp, blind turn, I was consoled by my ability to write as a way to process fear.

5. Monday Quote: Say Yes ~ May 7, 2012

Somewhat related to the above, I really enjoyed the few months when I always started my week with a quote from literature and personal reflection. This was one of my favorites.

6. Monday Quote: Resilience ~ July 16, 2012

First and foremost, I am a mom. I make a conscious effort not to write “too much” about my boys (for both their sakes and mine), but when I do write about them, it always turns out well.

7. Secret Relief ~ March 29, 2012

And then there’s mom-guilt, always a great topic for a blog post. This is one of those posts that touched a nerve with other people. I think we’ve all been here as parents.

 

My favorite book reviews of the year  round out my list. These are the cases where I really took my time to provide a thoughtful and intriguing review.

8. Girlchild sparks a raw memory ~ July 7, 2012

9. The Best Book I’ve Read All Year – Tell the Wolves I’m Home ~ November 19, 2012

10. Just as great the second time: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake ~ June 20, 2012

 

It was amazingly difficult to choose 10 posts that best reflect Alena’s life. How’d I do?

W…W…W…Wednesday

It’s still Wednesday, right? Luckily, I still have time to play a little book game. Just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading? I’m having trouble getting into Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. I don’t think it’s the fault of the book. I just think I’m too tired to pay close attention. I do like the smart, funny style of the writing as well as the modern-day mania inherent in the story-line. About 1/3 of the way done. Plus, I’m still Listening to The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown. Will this book never end? I alternate between really liking the sisters and the writing style and despairing over the bad narration and self-aware overkill of some of the passages. On the last disk so I should finish tomorrow.

What did you recently finish reading? Posted a review of Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins yesterday, but I will repeat that I loved it. It’s a book which you can totally judge by its cover (also intoxicating). Also read In the Shadow of the Banyan this week. This is a worthy read about a young girl’s trauma in Cambodia. (That doesn’t sound very enticing, I know, but it’s a good read.)

What do you think you’ll read next? It’s a complete mystery to me (which never happens.) I have a title from Jonathan Tropper sitting on my shelf, along with Bent Road, which has gotten good reviews. I also really want to read The Forgetting Tree. I’ll have to see what strikes my fancy…that is if I ever have time to read again.

What are your W…W…W… titles?

W…W…W…Wednesday

Wow, Wednesday came fast in this shortened week. I guess it’s time to play a little book game. Just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading? In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner is the fictionalized retelling of the author’s childhood in Cambodia when the Khmer Rouge overthrows the government and basically steals the life she’s known. Not an easy read, but compelling and well-written. Listening to The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown, which is only so-so a third of the way through. It’s fine for background while I drive, but maybe a little too clever and self-aware for my taste.

What did you recently finish reading? Still obsessing over We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. I posted a review if you want more of my thoughts, but I’m glad my Goodreads book club has a discussion thread going because it’s definitely the kind of book I need to “talk about” with other people. Also finished Beautiful Ruins, which was completely different, but also excellent. It’s romantic and cinematic and mysterious and intelligent. Just lovely.

What do you think you’ll read next? I may turn to Where’d You Go, Bernadette based on the strong reviews from people I know and my desire for something more lighthearted. But I also have a library book, Love Anthony by Lisa Genova. It’s gotten some fairly dispiriting reviews from friends, but I loved Still Alice so much — I want to give it a shot.

What are your W…W…W… titles?

W… W… W… Wednesdays

Since people seemed to enjoy this last week (and since I haven’t finished my latest book review…), I return with a book-themed play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

Special thanks to Should be Reading for this weekly meme.

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading? “A Hologram for the King” by Dave Eggers. I’m only 60 pages in and it’s off to a slow start, but I’m going to give it a little time because this is kind of like an Eggers tie-breaker for me. I really did not enjoy “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” but I loved “Zeitoun.” Plus I won this book from a library book club giveaway so I feel a sense of responsibility to give it an honest effort. I’m also listening to “Sacre Bleu” by Christopher Moore which is seriously hilarious.

What did you recently finish reading?The Magician’s Assistant” by Ann Patchett. This was my least favorite of all her novels I’ve read to date, but still an interesting story. “A Walk Across the Sun” by Corban Addison was a very powerful novel about human trafficking. Enjoy is the wrong word, but this is a marvelous book. (And the unfinished review for a future blog post.)

What do you think you’ll read next? Just ordered 6 more books at the library, to go with the 5 that haven’t come in. But I did pick up “Prodigal Summer” because my Goodreads group is reading Kingsolver this month and this is one of the few books by her that I haven’t read yet.

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W… W… W… Wednesdays

Another book-themed play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…thanks to Should be Reading

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?The Magician’s Assistant” by Ann Patchett, which is a lovely story. As part of my 2012 Ann Patchett Project, I am determined to finish reading all of her books this year. Getting close, I only have “Taft”  and the very slim “What Now” left after this one.

What did you recently finish reading?This is Where I Leave You” by Jonathan Tropper. I just posted a review of this book yesterday, but I will say again that I just loved it.

What do you think you’ll read next?I am starting my very first audio book and chose “Sacre Bleu! A Comedy d’Art” by Christopher Moore. He’s an author I’ve meant to read for a long time. Hoping it’s narrated well. I also plan to read “A Walk Across the Sun” by Corban Addison in hardcover for an on-line book group challenge.

Teaser Tuesday: The Next Best Thing

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. I actually discovered the idea on one of my favorite blogs, Up All Night Reading.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read.
Open to a random page.
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week’s teaser is from Jennifer Weiner‘s latest, The Next Best Thing. Even though I’ve only begun reading, I see another familiar Weiner Chick Lit. That’s not a criticism by the way. Reading her books feels like wrapping myself in a fuzzy bathrobe. No challenge, not exactly flattering, but really comfortable.

“The next morning, I woke up with the sun and looked around the wreckage of my room, the piles of unwashed clothes, the streaked mirror, the dusty hardwood floors, the boxes of scripts and memos and printed out e-mails from Rob that I’d hauled from The Girls’ Room‘s office. My cotton nightshirt was stuck to my chest, either with sweat or with tears, and my hair hung in chlorine-smelling clumps against my face. You can do this, I told myself, and swung my legs out of bed, first the right one, then the left, feeling the hooked wool rug beneath my feet, the one my grandmother had worked on in a series of doctors’ offices and hospital waiting rooms during my surgeries when I was a girl. I had survived all of that. I would survive this too.”

Perfect for an easy summer read.

Teaser Tuesday: My Hollywood

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. I actually discovered the idea on one of my favorite blogs, Up All Night Reading.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read.
Open to a random page.
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week’s teaser is from My Hollywood, by Mona Simpson, which has been sitting on my bookshelf staring at me for some time now. Mixed reviews, but I’m hopeful.

Men had to keep working. But for a woman an unblemished record is best, even if that record is brief.

There were too many virginities.”

And, technically, I cheated. There are 3 sentences. I hope the Teaser Police don’t come after me.

Happy reading.

cover image from Goodreads