Tag Archives: books

What I’m Reading: Two Books at Once?!

Looking through my Goodreads friends, it seems that everyone but me is reading several books at once! It’s really not my style – I prefer getting wrapped up in one story at a time, savoring it, living in it, and fully putting it aside before I embark on a (usually completely different) new journey through the next book. I always wonder how they do it – keeping stories and characters and plot lines straight.

Well, this past Saturday, as Nate was watching the 4,839,025th football game of the day, I decided I wanted to read a book. I’ve been reading Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men, and I have really been enjoying it. It is the first book in quite a while where the writing is as good as the story. Warren tends to drift off into descriptive and explanatory passages without me even noticing, then he ties it back into the story seamlessly and easily. But All the King’s Men takes a bit of mental energy to read. Not much, but I lose focus pretty easily especially if the TV is on, so I knew it would be useless to try reading it while watching football.

All The King's Men

Luckily, I had just been to the library to pick up a few books that had arrived off my (incredibly long) reserves list. One book that arrived was The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. I reserved it because it was another book on my reading list but I didn’t expect to like it. I’m not a huge fan of science fiction or fantasy and I certainly would not have read it if it hadn’t made the magic list. But, as soon as it came (and I saw how short it was) I really wanted to read it!

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

And so, when I was looking for a book to fill my football-watching time, I picked up The Hitchhiker’s Guide and started reading. I’m not entirely sure this counts as reading multiple books at once, since I finished the book the same day. But I did enjoy The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It was fun, easy, and short. I think the most interesting part was the different technologies Adams wrote about in the 1970’s that actually exist today! The Hitchhiker’s Guide itself exists on a small box with a screen and buttons, which I saw in my mind as a clunky smart phone, and there is a passage describing how volume knobs on the radio progressed from knobs to buttons to touchscreen to waving your hand around. Very interesting. Of course, there are many technologies we haven’t quite figured out yet!

There are several more Hitchhiker’s Guide books, so I might put them on my reading list too – after I finish the first 140 or so books, of course. And! The best part! Nate seemed interested in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy too! I always get excited when I can share my love of reading.

Now I just have to finish the FIRST book. Which I don’t think will be too much of a chore. Then it’s on to The Secret History by Donna Tartt.

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Back in the Swing of Things

After two whirlwind weeks and one week of recovery, I’m back to feeling like I have a little control again!

On Tuesday the movers came. Unfortunately there was no directing from the couch for me. I wasn’t incredibly surprised, especially since I figured the furniture would be last. I had to check off each box that came in, so I couldn’t get anything unpacked while they were moving stuff in. On Wednesday, I spent the majority of the day cleaning our last apartment. On Thursday I unpacked like a crazy, but made a surprisingly small dent in the disaster. On Friday, bright and early, we hopped on a plane for Ohio! We spent the weekend there for a friends wedding, and returned late Monday night. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I unpacked, cleaned, worked on finding a job, etc. Friday Nate had off from work, so I was super excited about getting a large chunk of unpacking done over our three day weekend! Until I got sick. Boo hiss. So I was knocked out until about Tuesday. My two whirlwind weeks. The next few days I took off. It was nice.


When we moved into our (first) temporary apartment, they left us a little goody basket, complete with a welcome package of microwave popcorn. Unfortunately they didn’t also provide a microwave, so this popcorn has been waiting patiently for us to get one. Thankfully, this apartment has a microwave, so I popped it just a soon as I could and enjoyed the popcorn AND the convenience of a microwave.


This little guy was hiding behind the hamper in our bedroom. I about fell over when he started moving, but I caught him and placed him outside where he belongs. Our apartment was completely open almost all of moving day, so I’m surprised I’ve only found one intruder! (Umm, so far, I guess.)

Toe Nails Polished

Painted like Easter eggs in the fall. I was just excited to get my nail polishes back.

Hub Lamps

We took our first Ohio visitor (a friend who was in Tucson for work) to Hub, a trendy restaurant downtown. They have these awesome upside-down lamps as part of their decor.


Danger! I do stuff like this all the time (liquids on electronics – what can go wrong?) and it drives Nate NUTS! Understandably, of course. But I’ve fried exactly 0 electronics this way. I looked up while unpacking, saw what I had done, chuckled, took a picture, and then moved my mug. (Right? Right. We’ll go with that.)


I love when books take the time to describe the font used. It’s the design nerd in me. This one is from The Cloud Atlas, which I just finished reading.

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What I’m Reading

One of my favorite things about having all this extra time on my hands is that I FINALLY get to read again! I grew up literally with my nose in a book – at lunch, walking down the halls, when I was supposed to be paying attention in math class, weekends, holidays, all summer long. And then I met DAAP, and all (novel) reading (for fun) ceased.

Thesis Books

Bookshelf of reading for my thesis

I didn’t even have time to read the required reading for my classes how was I supposed to devour a good novel? In short, I didn’t. I probably read 5 (non-school-related) books the whole time I was in school, and 3 of those were while I was on planes and trains in Europe.

Reading in the Airport

Reading in the Airport – it’s a terrible picture, but the only one of anyone reading. We flew home the day the last (I think?) Harry Potter book came out.


Because we were doing things like looking out at Paris from the Eiffel Tower

Sacre Coeur

And climbing to the top of Sacre Coeur.


And seeing the Colosseum


And riding the canals of Venice


And eating at amazing cafes.

Airport Sleeping

Here’s an awful picture from the Harry Potter reading night – when we spent the night in the Dublin Airport and it was probably about 3am at this point.

Even after I graduated I was super busy. Wedding planning! Getting Married! Figuring Out How To Live With Nate! Moving! Buying a House! So, when I made my list of resolutions in January, I put reading on it. Then, I had to find a good reading list. Since I moved around so much in high school, I missed a lot of the required reading. I read some books twice, many not at all, and ended up running out of English and Literature classes. I also skipped all the college lit classes, thanks to AP (see: running out of English and Literature classes and making up AP classes for myself) and a major that is not all that concerned with “literature.” Although I think it should be, architecture is very steeped in culture. However, there were a lot of classes to pack into those 6 years, so I was not sad. Until I graduated and realized how many classics I had missed.

And where did I turn for a list of classics I must read? The BBC, of course. Isn’t that where everyone goes? Actually, I think it was just the first list that popped up in Google, and it looked pretty good, so I went with it. I used this list (that I actually found here first, then tracked back to its original, which it didn’t exactly match, so I mixed them together) and added books from my Goodreads feed that look interesting. Which means that my list grows significantly faster than I can read the books off it. But that is OK, I am enjoying making the list and reading the books and keeping the library in business. I currently have 144 classics on my list and maybe 40 or so currently popular books. I have read 22 books since I picked up The Paris Wife by Paula McLain in March. Pretty good progress, if I say so myself.

The start of my second reading career.

I’m not really going to review books here. If you want book reviews, go see Mary Jo at MeReader or check out Goodreads (and if you do that, be my friend), but I do like to track my progress and at least offer whether or not I liked a book and would recommend it. For example, I started Animal Farm last night. At about 12 pages in, I’m not amused. I will finish it because those are THE RULES, but so far I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, classic or not. It will be interesting to read, for sure, as will 1984, which is packaged in the same book. But there is a difference between “interesting” and “I would recommend this book.”

Anyway, I just finished The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. They were so much fun to read! I can see why they inspired such a following, as readers can easily get wrapped up in the adventures of the characters. I enjoy reading because I get to create my own pictures of the characters (especially the villans – trolls and orcs and black riders) so I don’t think I will watch the movies. I enjoyed creating images of the hobbits and elves, the talking and walking trees, and the ring itself.


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Books for a Dreary Monday

I love this!  It’s so fun and whimsical.  I especially like the book reading the book at 1:20.  It’s amazing how much time and energy went into this production.  Their first video is pretty fun too.

via: Swiss Miss, as usual

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It’s APW Book Buy Day!

Hooray!  The day is here to purchase your very own copy of Meg Keene’s very first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration!  As much as I enjoy reading her blog posts and tweets on a daily basis, I  am beyond sure that this book will be amazing.

So, despite being well past my own wedding planning, I am buying a copy of the first sane and practical wedding book, one that encourages you to embrace the traditions that are right for you, dump the one’s that don’t work, and not drive yourself crazy planning your wedding.  And I’m 100% sure these lessons can be applied to approximately EVERY OTHER part of your life.

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