Week One #NonFicNov

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Week 1: November 2 to 6 (Hosted by Kim the Sophisticated Dork)

Your Year in Nonfiction: Take a look back at your year of nonfiction and reflect on the following questions – What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year? What nonfiction book have you recommended the most? What is one topic or type of nonfiction you haven’t read enough of yet? What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?

So far this year, I’ve read 12. Not quite 20% which is often my average. This month will boost that.

Two I rated FIVE star (Bad Feminist and H is for Hawk) with quite a few at FOUR star. The Oscar Wilde bio was disappointing and I had troubles with a few but not necessarily disappointing reads. Three were comedienne treats (Poehler, Handler and Lawson) and two more took to me far away lands (Bookseller and Color). Three were audiobooks – Yes Please, Five Days, and H is for Hawk. Every author was new to me.

FAVORITE:  H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

MOST RECOMMENDED by me:  H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald, followed by Bad Feminist and Yes Please

NOT-READ-ENOUGH-OF NONFICTION:   “important to know” books, history and biography

WHAT I HOPE TO GET OUT OF #NonFicNov:  More illumination on a few important issues. For the list of books I want to get to yet this month, read my post here.

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Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Welcome to the Departure Lounge

Thoughts wttdlbymf Adventures in Mothering Mother by Meg Frederico, Random House 2009, 191 pages

From the goodreads.com blurb:

A fresh, funny new voice, Meg Federico showcases her keen eye for the absurd in this poignant, hilarious, and timely account of one daughter’s tumultuous journey caring for her aging parents.

When Meg Federico’s eighty-year-old mother and newly minted step-father were forced to accept full-time home care, she imagined them settling into a Norman-Rockwellian life of docile dependency. With a family of her own and a full time career in Nova Scotia – a thousand miles away from her parents – Federico hoped they would be able to take care of themselves for the most part, and call on their children when they really needed them – but of course that’s not quite what happens.

As she watches with horror from the sidelines, Federico’s parents turn into terrible teens. Fighting off onslaughts of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, Addie and Walter, forbidden by doctors to drink, conspire to order cases of scotch by phone; Addie’s attendant accuses the evening staff of midnight voodoo; Walter’s inhibitions decline as dementia increases and mail-order sex aides arrive at the front door. The list of absurdities goes on and on as Federico tries to take some control over her parents’ lives – and her own.

This is a story for the huge generation – nearly 76 million people – now dealing with the care of their parents. You’ll laugh and cry as you read this powerful and important debut.

I know I grabbed this one off the shelf because it was short, it  had lived on my shelf for some years and I was hoping it would be funny. Well. I should have known better. Attempting to insert this as a stopgap read while stalling the ending to Salem’s Lot, I realized once again that the horrors of real life always trump the scary nasty monstor du jour created by the mind of Stephen King.

Hats off to Jenny –who has convinced me that Reading-the-End-Before-Reading-the-Middle has its advantages; I skipped over the 4th-7th chapters, read the last two plus Epilogue and then skimmed back over whatever I had to to place it all in context. The book didn’t suffer.

In fact, I thank Frederico for the care and compassion she showed her mother and shares here with her readers. I appreciated the advice on some key isuses. Some GOOD ADVICE that I didn’t know: important to choose hospice at ‘that time’ because they have powers and options that smooth the process for dying at home; like access to pain meds and death pronouncement. Saves a bunch of hassle apparently. No one needs more hassle at that time when you really all need peace. The author’s experiences were interesting, both crazy sad and funny, and she is an excellent writer.

However, I can’t quite imagine who this book is for. Those who are in the midst of going through the challenges of taking care of parents might not want to read about it and those who are not near this phase of life, probably don’t want to know about it.

I encourage anyone interested in the slightest to click on the cover and read the goodreads.com reviews – many are just SPOT ON and thus I won’t attempt to recreate my own review.

Rating:  Three slices of pie.

wian15 Could count for two categories of this year’s What’s in a Name Challenge! familial relation and title with ING.

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Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Cheers of a Reading Saturday

And there is always this:  My entire tweet-cheer history!

Read-A-Thon

Every BOOK you take
Every PAGE TURN you make
Every cookie you break
Every COFFEE you take
I’ll be CHEERing you.

<— 48 RTs, 68 LIKES

We’re READing together But still it’s almost farewell And maybe we’ll come back To , who can tell? +

I guess there is no one left to CHEER We’re leaving ground (gonna get some sleep) Will things ever be the same again? +

[Hook] It’s the final countdown The final countdown Ohh! *\0/*

 

They say you got a bookshelf You’re with it every weekend They’re talkin’ about you and it’s bringin’ me UP!

 

You’re ready and set Take that BOOK over the line, You bet! First and ten First and ten Do it again! *\0/*

 

STRAIGHT UP NOW TELL ME are ya really gonna read for 24 hours? OR are you just havin’ FUN?

 

Ten pages, ten more pages, For our team, it’s not hard! Give me a P-A-G-E T-U-R-N!!

We Twitter back together To say “SO LONG” It is almost over Another tremendous

 

All you need is , all you need is love, All you need is books, love. BOOKS are all you need. Love, CHEER, love, , love,

*\0/*

I’ve never seen an author in the flesh I cut my teeth on classics or the movies And I’m not proud of my reading choices +

in the genre that I’ve found No Dewey decimal envy +

But every BOOK’s like gold teeth, READin’ in bathroom Scary stories, trashin’ hotel room We don’t care, we’re READing ATWOOD in our dreams +

But everybody’s like Franzen, Sparks on your mantle Jet planes, islands, tigers on gold leash We don’t care, not caught up in love affair +

And we’ll ALWAYS be READERS (readers) It time for That kind of stuff just ain’t for us We crave a different kind of buzz +

Let me be your CHEERer (Cheerer) can call me Queen Bee And baby I’ll rule (I’ll rule I’ll rule I’ll rule) Let me live fantasy +

*\0/*

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter Dancing through the fire ‘Cause I am a -er, and you’re gonna hear me roar Louder, louder!

TWO FOUR SIX EIGHT Who do we appreciate?! CANDY CORN and Heather BOO-yah!!!! and

We’re in the final hour Let’s rally to the end You read, I’ll cheer – we’ll sing and dance and all be friend/s. ! *\0/*

came in like a pile of books I never hit the so hard All I wanted was to read the stories All you ever did was CHEER me! *\0/*

You once thought of me As a boring book on a shelf. Now you know how happy I can be. Oh, and our good times start and end with !!

Jump up and down, stand on your head, just a quick break, THEN get that book READ. Happy !!

We read for fun, we read to learn, up all night, hours to burn.

I love books I love to cheer – it’s fun! So grab a book and Join this awesome ! *\o/*. ()

 

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Stranger in a Strange Land

Thoughts siaslbyrh by Robert Heinlein, Blackstone Audio 2009 (orig 1961), 16 hours 21 minutes

Narrated by Christopher Hurt.

FOR CLASSIC CLUB – might fit the humor category of the the Classics Challenge, too?  (or maybe not)

What is this ABOUT:  A child had been born to a Mars Exploration team and was eventually brought back to Earth – he really does not have any idea of his Earthly human heritage but once secured into a place with humans who allow him to thrive and learn, he manages to REALLY get carried away with combining his Mars knowledge with what it means to be human.

It’s a wild ride and after reading Atlas Shrugged immediately prior, it was especially philosophically wild.

I am still trying to wrestle with the concepts and ideas between the two books AND the idea that the books were written a few years apart. Honestly, Atlas Shrugged holds up better. Stranger definitely had a 60s feel to it.

How lucky for our Martian friend that he met Jubal Harshaw! Otherwise, the story would be vastly different. In fact, this book is more a book about Jubal than Michael from Mars.

Finally, a science fiction book about space travel and aliens! I listened to this on a trip from North Carolina to Rhode Island. I didn’t quite have enough road to finish the book, but walking the pups around Newport afforded me the opportunity to finish the book without too much delay.

The first third is rollicking fun!

The next third was rather tedious when it gets bogged down in religion – though very cleverly explained.

The last third was the eye-rolling WTH!? free-love craziness and to be totally honest, I don’t even remember how it ends. Happy ever after? Golly, I really do not recall.

I expect a lit class on this text would be enlightening and hot with discussion. I almost stopped the car on one tiny but powerful little hiccup about rape but I had to just power through and though not forgive – I am just trying (and obviously failing) to pretend he really didn’t say that. Ugh. Heinlein seems to say that women can be smart and do whatever they want; of course, they are quite capable but they really only want to be loved, be pretty and have babies. Despite that…

RATING:  I rate it 4 stars. I don’t think this book would appeal to many of my friends but it was fascinating and it is one more title I am glad to say that I finally ‘know’ and can say, “Yep, read it.”

 

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Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Good Lord Bird

Thoughts tglbbyjm The Good Lord Bird by James McBride, (2013,417 pages)

Do you like HISTORICAL FICTION?

Do you appreciate National Book Award Winners?

Did you ever read The Color of Water (and liked it)?

Do you appreciate wry humor and satire?

I recommend this book. Everyone in our club enjoyed it (though our discussion* was a bit boring comparatively.)

This is a fascinating rollicking-good time read that will make you laugh and learn a lot about an interesting event and personality in U.S. History: The Raid on Harpers Ferry by John Brown. You also get cameos of Harriet Tubman (vote for her to be on the $20 bill?) and Frederick Douglass.

I know of John Brown because of this raid but also because he was known for fighting for Kansas’ right to NOT have slaves in the border wars with Missouri before the Civil War. My club asked me if I studied John Brown in my Kansas schooling years but I can’t remember. How/why do I know of John Brown? Not sure.

I do think of a mural in the Kansas State House so maybe I saw it first on a tour? I really don’t remember if I did a school field trip to Topeka while in grade school, but I know I have seen this:

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The narrator of the story is a very young black slave, possibly age ~10, that is “freed” by Brown in one of the Kansas raids and he stays with Brown because he really has no place else to go. The odd thing is, the Brown is confused at the beginning, thinking that our boy named Henry is actually a girl named Henrietta. So Henry keeps up the ruse for a variety of reasons. In fact, one of the themes explored in this, in addition to race and slavery, is identity. McBride is a brilliant author on many levels, in my opinion, and I will now read everything he writes. Or, I want to; he’s now on the list.     image

Do know, I am one of those that laughs when most inappropriate, I see the absurd in the sad situations to thus avoid the crying. So it’s not that I love laughing at serious subjects, but. I do, I guess. I think that is why I like satire. (when I get it!)

If you want something a little different, something historical (researching this, it seems the author was quite attune to many of the true facts while having a creative imagination for the rest of it.) READ this book!

Rating: Five slices of Buttered Apple Pie.

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Other reviews:  Naomi’s at Consumed by Ink and Rory’s at Fourth Street Review.

* Factoid that I didn’t know until book club:  a few of the ladies (of a generation (or two) prior to mine) started to sing a song “John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering in the grave” to the tune of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. Apparently Julia Ward Howe wrote the lyrics to the Battle Hymn after hearing the John Brown version. Our book club leader passed out paperwork of her research and had us sing a few verses! Too funny.

Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

How To Build a Girl

Thoughts HtBaGbyCM How To Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran, Harper 2014, 352 pages

WHY I read this: I think it might have been on sale. I had it on my Kindle. Amazon tells me when but not how much I spent; the when was January of this year. When we took off for a long weekend to Kentucky, I realized that I hadn’t brought any other books with me besides Pet Sematary. Well. I had been limiting my reading to 30 pages per day of PS and the long car ride meant that I would have more time than book. So upon opening my Kindle app on the iPad, I saw How to Build a Girl. Perfect antidote to King, was my first thought.

Truthfully, I forget about books hiding in the eBook apparatuses.* They are so silent and unobtrusive. I had to move this book to last priority, though, when I realized a book club book that was SITTING in the OBVIOUS SPOT right on the stairs was jumping up and down screaming not to be forgotten like good little visible hard copy BookBooks tend to do (unlike eBooks which hide, do not jump up and down, nor scream.)

Initial CONFUSIONS: However, I was instantly confused because I had it in my head that this book was Moran’s memoir. Funny that the main character was named Johanna and more odd that it started with what it started with. I had to check goodreads to see what was the what. Yep, I had confused this novel with her How to Build a Woman book. Oops.

What It’s ABOUT: Johanna is a mere child with thoughts in her head most unlike any thoughts I had in my head at that age. Oh my. I liked her. I probably had the same tendency to talk too much and talk too much about myself but we did not have similar ideas about what we wanted when we grew up.

She is brave and fearful. She has a positive spirit. She is ambitious and naive (I was naive.) She manages to get a writing gig for a rock and roll magazine. She did things with no moral compass and yet her morality-humanity did suggest an extremely kind soul. Except when she was skewering bands she didn’t like. She was one big fierce imaginative force.

What’s GOOD: Many laugh out loud passages. Many keen observations about how life could/should be approached.

What’s NOT so good: The jarring switch in viewpoint from her teen self to her smarter older self, every so often.

FINAL Thoughts: The goodreads reviews that hated this are an interesting contrast to the ones that loved it. I just really liked Johanna, a refreshing bold new character to cheer for.

RATING: Four slices of Shepherd’s Pie.

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“I’m going to need a bigger boat. This is my recurrent problem.”  p.75

“We must away, to pastures new.” also p.75

DODDLE – easy

SCALLY – a low life loser

Book Connection- Links to Dept. of Speculation!  “I resolve that for the rest of my life, at least once a day, I wil remember this. I think it must be most cheering thought I have ever had.” p.143 [Both books try to savor and file away a happy memory for possible reference at a later time as needed.]

Book Reference – Norwegian Wood (I have no idea nor do I think I want to know what this really was a reference to…) p.149

“I think I cry for at least half an hour – the kind of crying that is like rain where it starts without warning, and violently, but eases off into sudden rainbows, and blackbirds calling out in gratitude as they swoop across wet lawns. The weeping of relief.” p.154

“For someone who lives in a house without mirrors, seeing yourself talked about by others is exhilariing. I’d alwasy had a slight worry that I might not exist – that I was a very long dream I was having.”  p.207

“”I keep breaking penises,” I think to myself dolorously on the 37 heading toward Euston station.” p.239

SCOPEY – “I simply wept, exhaustedly, in the bath, feeling very, very scopey.” p.256

“Pain has made me older and wiser. Yesterday, when I found this house messy, I cleanedit from top to bottom, like a good girl. Today, they can all go fuck themselves. Housework is endless. I am never opting in again.” p. 258

“we are all breakable. So just be kind.” p.262

“This is the terrible thing about learning everything from books – sometimes you don’t know how to say the words.” p.289

“The point of life is joy – to make it, to receive it.” p.304

“Pig Pye (14th century): Flea Pyg and cut him in pieces. Practically nothing is wasted in a good pig. A pig killed in November would still provide fresh meat, brawn and pie until Christmas.” p.311

“There is a leaving party for me, at Uncle Jim’s house – “Because we’re not having a party here,” my mother says, firmly, dishing out shepherd’s pie in the front room.” p.326

* The interwebs are frowning on my plural use of apparatus. Nope, not apparati but pieces of apparatus. Whatever. My blog, my misuse of the English language. I own it.

Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

Thoughts lptnhbyjl Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson – The Bloggess, Amy Einhorn Books/Putman/Penguin 2012, 319 pages

This won’t be a review as such.

I began reading this the day my book club was to discuss it. I finished it the next day – it certainly reads fast! I might have skipped a few chapters and I did read the end before the middle; I kept thinking “Oh, I don’t need to read ALL of it.” But I would often find myself with the book in my hands reading or skimming yet another chapter. So, I feel I read enough of it to count.

It’s funny. It is everything the book jacket says it will be. Over the top, OMG, “no way!!!”,  LOL, etc.

I have only a few things to point out from the reading. Early in the book, she mentions how tough her sister is and there is a reference to squatting and popping out a child while working in the fields. RIGHT OUT OF The Good Earth! Right? Yep. So that is a Copley Connection that thrilled me because our book club had recently read The Good Earth! I have no idea if anyone else noticed this, too, because I was unable to attend the meeting.

And my new book club almost chose to read The Good Earth – but that is too hard of a story to explain. Let’s just say, the title seems to be popping up for me lately.

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And then there is the reference to the Blue Pie Piece from Trivial Pursuit. So with my ever odd idea to track pie references in my reading, I rate this book FOUR

fourpie  slices of blue pie.

The end.

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Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Still Here…

Hello,

I’ve missed you, my little blog…

IMG_3520 IMG_3524 IMG_3522  Newport RI.

You take a little unplanned break and then come back to find a new WordPress editor. Let’s see what happens. I can share a few thoughts on the books I’ve managed to read lately. I’ll tell you that my audiobook-listening has ground to a halt – but I can explain, I think. And just say howdy.

Plus send a big hearty welcome to SomeWhereInABook! I hope I can soon find a few past blog posts to re-link to, if that’s not too much to ask. (Specifically, the Gone Girl one…)

Um, where’s the SAVE-DRAFT button?!

Moving on, just keep going, right?

A Walk in the Woods awitwbybb by Bill Bryson – I liked it very much. Learned a lot about trees and flora and geology, too. Recommended.

 

Out of My Mind oommbysd by Sharon M Draper – Loaned to me from a friend, very apropos of my latest class for school. This is the story from the viewpoint of a 5th grader with cerebral palsy who is very smart but cannot communicate her smarts until she finds an Assistive Technology device that allows her a voice. The book has some very good points to share and perhaps some misses in the delivery and odd plot points. Read through the goodreads.com reviews for examples. I enjoyed meeting Melody and reminded again that we all want to belong and contribute. Respect.

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy hhgttg by Douglas Adams is exactly what I feared it might be. Sadly, I feel too late to the introduction of it in my life with the story over-hyped for me to truly appreciate its brilliance. Overall, a fun read. 42 (And I think I should plug Jenn Thorson’s There Goes the Galaxy which I read last December and which (now I realize) obviously took inspiration from Adams and his famous book/series. I gave that 4 stars.)

And now, obviously, I recognize that I have been too long away from blabbing about books. I’ll try to do better with my next East Of Eden post. Whoops – that was probably due today?

Carry on. Toodles.

loveCare

I really can’t explain why I haven’t been in the mood to listen to a book. I’ve been BUSY? and got out of the habit. I’ll mow the lawn tomorrow, plug in to The Count of Monte Cristo and see if I remember much. I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Humans

Very Quick Thoughts thbymh by Matt Haig, Canongate Books 2013, 304 pages, eBook

I liked this very much.

It had a fun premise – alien must come to earth and destroy some information that earthlings are not yet ready for. The alien decides that he actually likes these primitive people and must make a choice.

I really liked the philosophy. It was witty and warm and wise.

I loved the dog.

I appreciate my friend Nancy who told me to read this. You can read her review here.

Life is crazy for me right now; ask any questions if you have any. For example, QUESTION: ‘Hey Care, is this science fiction?’ ANSWER: ‘Ya know, I have such a tough time that question because I don’t know what frame of reference you are asking that question through. I can tell you that it is a very HUMAN book, more than a book about aliens.’

The book cover above (another cute dog on a cover!!) will link you to goodreads, if you need to know more.

Have a nice day!

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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Books in the House

I thought I posted this! Oooops. I’m going through my post drafts.

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – FINALLY. And links well to my Bryson A Walk in the Woods (doh – hiking.)

James and the Giant Peach – gift from a friend, read and probably won’t review

Out of My Mind by Sharon M Draper – YA, loaned by a friend

Michael Chabon’s Pulitzer Winner The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay – Thanks Fizzy! I’m a bit intimidated, actually.

Home by Marilynn Robinson, because I was so impressed with Gilead. Purchased at an Independent Book Store Bargain Shelf “Previously Read”.

East of Eden – Readalong!!!

The Secret Life of Violet Grant – selected solely on loving the name/color Violet.

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More random stuff about books and reading:

I have pushed on with my audiobook of The Count of Monte Cristo and despite the. halting. odd intonations. of. the narrATOR! I am quite swept up in the story and even dreamed about Royalist vs Bonapartist ideology. Yikes, right?

“Oh the heartless scoundrels!  … Is the world filled with tigers and crocodiles?!”

I downloaded the audiobook for East of Eden. Ready to go!

A long time ago which I failed to note with my not quite established habit to secure a post-it note in the front cover of books loaned to me, MBR gave me Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods. I have dipped into it often but it never ‘took’. Finally, I left it at the treadmill and have been regularly reading as I walk the Weight Loss 2 setting (30 minutes, ~1.72 miles) and now I’m on a push to finish the damn thing. I’m on to the Massachusetts chapter, about 25% remains. Though I have heard it is SO FUNNY, I’m actually finding it quite sad. The Park Service has limited funds or misuses it, the aphids are eating the hemlocks, unsolved brutal murders…  I have no ambitions to hike the AT but I am inspired to visit Mt. Greylock in Mass.

Side note: yesterday, I read about his visit to Harper’s Ferry and, of course, the name John Brown was mentioned. That is more motivation or a clue to get McBride’s The Good Lord Bird. (If any of my family is reading this, think Christmas present.)

School started two days ago. I will be alternating between feeling successful that I finished a project on time and stressing about doing such  — over the next four weeks. Right now I’m on the happy side of that pendulum. I have nothing due for two days and it is only commenting/responding. I suppose I should read what will come after that…

I got me a new laptop! A Microsoft Lenovo ThinkPad just so I can practice on this style – nothing more embarrassing than to sit at somebody’s computer and not know how to work that crazy mouse. I need to be fluent in all kinds computers for my job. I’m excited to play with it. I will create a nutty picture doing my homework surrounded by a Macbook, a ThinkPad, two iPads and an iPhone just to search the internet. I’m SO prepared. Bring it on.

Also yesterday (yesterday was a kick ass day overall – did lots of good things), I read on Iris’ blog that she has exceeded the 100 book count on the list of 1001 Books to Read Before You Die and it occurred to me that I didn’t know MY count. According to my shelf in goodreads, I’m at 50. But that might not be all on the READ shelf, so I am astonished at 100+. Way to go!

OK, this was supposed to be a short update post. Gotta run.

loveCare

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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.