Friday, May 24, 2019

kay's week - 5.24.19

Happenings this last week...

I've been busy this last few days with the usual pursuits and a few family things.  May is a big month for family birthdays and we've been together with relatives more than once.  Add to that Mother's Day and seems like there's a meal at someone's house or out each week.  One more on Sunday and then a break.  I enjoyed a late Mother's Day Lunch with my daughter last Friday.  She's often working on Mother's Day and so it was nice to get to chat and try a new salad place with just the two of us.

Yoga continues and my WW friends are showing up at the class more and more.  We joked with the teacher that we weren't exactly staging a coup, but...ha!  Not sure that yoga will suit all my friends, but I'm glad to encourage them to try something new (and the free class allowed helps with that).  As for myself, I do feel stronger already in my arms and shoulders - able to hold positions longer.  And more flexible in my hips.

My library volunteering life has also been busy.  Summer is coming and that's always a challenge for libraries everywhere.  Summer reading programs and just more people walking in the door.  I volunteer at two local libraries and my main job at one of them is assisting with processing new materials.  That has meant a lot of kid stuff especially in the last few weeks.  My tasks at the other library (my former workplace) are all over the map.  When I walk in the door I never know exactly what their staffing levels will be for the day and what they will need me to assist with.  I do shelving and process holds mostly, but I can step up in other ways as well.

I went to a book club discussion of Lawrence Wright's God Save Texas Tuesday.  As I had suspected, it was an interesting time talking about various aspects of the book.  I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I had done a read/listen of it - the author narrates and does a decent job - and that I had agreed mostly and enjoyed parts and disagreed with a few conclusions.  The book group as a whole was OK with it, though there were several that became so angry with some of the government and political aspects that they were unaware of,  it colored their experience.  A couple of people wished that there had a been more discussion of Texas history (I would have liked that too) and some thought that it was too scattered and had little focus.  It was indeed filled with a lot of vignettes and took the reader from one side of the state to the other and from north to south.  I was glad that I read it and might check out other books by the author.

In upcoming days...

The book group I mentioned above will be discussing Naomi Alderman's book, The Power, in June.  We also received the schedule for the rest of 2019 at the meeting.  Some good books to come.  I volunteered to lead the discussion in July when the group will be reading The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See.  I've read other books by the author and have had this one on my list for a while.  Have you read it or other books by Lisa See?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

I'm hoping to have 3 posts talking about our Colorado trip.  I've been a bit slow getting my thoughts together about them.  Maybe next week or maybe later in the summer.  I'll be out again for a bit, but when I return, I'll try to share a little more about my reading. 

Hope everyone has a very nice Memorial Day weekend! 

Friday, May 17, 2019

Visiting the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver...

As you guys know, visiting libraries and bookstores on vacations is a big fun event for me.  On our recent trip to Colorado, I got the chance to stop by the Colfax location of Denver's famous Tattered Cover Bookstore.  My first time at this independent bookstore - hopefully not my last.  The original Tattered Cover opened in 1971 and this particular location on Colfax opened in 2006.  It was an old theater that had been renovated.  There's a cafe and many events are scheduled at this and other locations as well.

This a nice seating area in the center of the store.  My husband sat there for a while with a cup of coffee and had fun with the 5G that was available.  Not sure if those theater seats are from the original here, but perhaps.  In any case, I took my time looking around.

As one might expect, I started my shelf-looking in this section.  I know.  You're shocked.  Ha!  The Tattered Cover reminded me a bit in some ways of Powell's in Portland, Oregon.  They sell both new and used books and shelve them together.  That's a nice feature which I always liked about Powell's.  I was so engrossed in the shelves that it took me a bit to realize that I spilled part of my latte down the front of my shirt.  Sigh.  Off to find the restrooms downstairs to clean myself off as much as possible.

I'm not buying very many books in print these days, but I make exceptions for independent bookstores.  These were my two purchases.  Girl In Snow by Danya Kukafka was on a shelf section with 'Local Authors' at the top.  Not sure if the author lives in the Denver area, but the book is set in Colorado and it's a debut novel.  One Small Sacrifice is by Hilary Davidson, an author that I met at Left Coast Crime in Phoenix a few years ago.  She was appearing at an event at the bookstore the night after we were there.  I wish I could have attended that event, but I convinced the staff to sell me a paperback copy of the book.  Then I just had to figure out how to get the books into my suitcase for the flight home.

If you ever get a chance to visit The Tattered Cover, it's worth it.  I hope to go back one day.

Monday, May 13, 2019

What our mystery book group will read for the second half of 2019...

I thought several of you might be interested in what is scheduled for our mystery book group reading pleasure in upcoming months.  We meet at a local library branch and have done so for over 11 years now.  It's fun to visit with other crime novel lovers and discuss what we've read - mysteries, thrillers, suspense, cozies, true crime, and TV and movie adaptations. 

July 2019NEED TO KNOW by Karen Cleveland

August 2019The ‘I’s’ Have It! – Reading books set in countries or states beginning with the letter ‘I’

September 2019THE ESCAPE ARTIST by Brad Meltzer

October 2019SHIRLEY JACKSON Month – Choose any of her books or short stories


December 2019 - Annual Christmas Party, Favorite Reads for the Year, and Book Swap

Have you read any of these books?  You're welcome to join with us virtually and read along. 

Friday, May 10, 2019

A little of this and that...yoga class and some book group reading...

So, I guess the question is, what have I been doing lately?  Well, several things.  Some more fun than others, but I was happy to find that my dentist appointment went very well on Wednesday.  They said I was taking good care of my teeth and they would see me in November.  Yay!  I'm good with that.  Ha!

I've continued my walking journey and have moved to the outside part of the time.  We're in storm season here in Central Texas right now.  May is usually a stormy month for us.  Rain, thunderstorms, even hail and tornadoes.  And then there is the flash flooding that accompanies those things.  Some days I walk outside and some days not.

I did come to realize that even though my legs and lower body strength is good from all the walking and some hiking, my upper body has lost not only weight but muscle mass.  I never thought of myself as particularly strong.  However, my age (61) and losing a lot of weight have taken a toll on my arms and shoulders.  I had heard about a very affordable and good yoga class at a local rec center from a friend at church.  I took the one free class offered, loved it, and have signed up for more.  I've now been to several classes of Gentle Flow Yoga and it's going to be very good for me.  I talked about it at my Weight Watchers meeting a couple of times and two of my friends there have also joined and another has been to her free class.  We hope she comes back.  I've done yoga in the past and it was good for me mentally.  This time it will be good both mentally and physically.  I go Tuesday and Thursday mornings and can also attend another class late Sunday afternoons if it works out.

Some have wondered about what I've been reading.  Well, I have been reading and listening to audios, but maybe not as much as usual.  I've listened to a few books that were rereads - always a fun thing for me.  I've listened to a lot of music during my walking as well and a few podcasts.  Right now, I'm working on reading a couple of books for the afternoon book group that I attend most of the time.  I had to miss May's mystery book group meeting because of our Colorado trip and I'll also have to miss June's meeting.  It's good for the group to fend for themselves now and then without me and I have a fabulous substitute by the name of Gayle.  Her blog is It's a Mystery!  You should visit Gayle.  They discussed Memory Man by David Baldacci and had a good time.

I'm about to finish God Save Texas: A Journey Into the Soul of the Lone Star State by Lawrence Wright for discussion in a couple of weeks.  I've been very glad to read this book as Nan had gifted me a copy last year when she came to Austin for a trip.  I've done a read/listen and enjoyed it very much.  I haven't agreed completely with all the author says, but I think any person who has lived in Texas for a long time or is a native Texan will recognize and nod their heads at many aspects of this non-fiction book.  I look forward to the discussion.  Many of the regular members of the group are not from this area originally and many have not lived here very long.  Should be a 'vivid' time.  Ha!

The June selection for that book group is The Power by Naomi Alderman.  I'm going to do a read/listen of that one as well.  And I may just move right on into it because we have a busy early June.  We'll see how it goes.  I'll try to relate some of  the discussions of both of these books if I can.  Another group that I attend very sporadically is discussing The Dry by Jane Harper next week.  I've already read it as well as Force of Nature, the next book in the author's series.  Not sure I'll make that meeting, but I might try.

I'm going to attempt to get some posts written about our Colorado visit for next week.  Maybe 3 or 4 of them.  We shall see.  Those will have pictures.  I also would like to show you a couple of bookstores that I visited (well, a local one that I haven't made it to yet, but it's very new - plan to visit in the next few days).

Hope you all have a nice weekend and I'll see you soon!  And my plan for the blog here in upcoming days is to come and go as I have time.  I'll comment on your posts as I can and check them out event if I don't comment.     

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Checking back in...

Hello book friends!  I'm checking back in for just a minute today.  I've been quite busy with lots of things and I'll be back in a day or so to share about some of them.  We've been out of town as well for a few days.  Above is a picture from our trip - that's Pikes Peak and the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.  We had a great trip and I've got several posts in mind talking about it. 

However, today I am headed to the dentist - just a check-up and cleaning.  Hopefully, that's all.  Ha!  As I said, I'll be around a bit more for a while at least.  Have a good day and happy reading!!