Is anyone still out there???
It's a new year, and I'm announcing a return to blogging after a rather lackluster 6 months of the occasional post. I think I did a good job maintaining this blog for the first three years (way longer that I ever thought I would last), but then the last six months I just, well, stopped. I think life was just starting to move in a different direction. I felt like was (am) in a transitional phase. The girls are in school a bit more, I started working my Arbonne business, and I started looking to new hobbies and ways to spend my time.
That said, I look back on this blog and I see so much valuable documentation of day-to-day life. I see how wonderful reading these words will be for my girls as they grow, as they become women and mothers. I don't want to say to them that I only thought the first three/five years of their lives were worth talking about.
I also really enjoy writing and sharing photos. I've missed it. So, I'm returning to this blog as a semi-weekly activity. It will be more of the same-- recipes, kids, sewing, scrapping-- more every day life.
First topic-- Books! I think in the last six months I traded blogging and scrapbooking, for Arbonne and books. I only have a finite amount of time, so I have to choose what I do with it. For far too long, reading had fallen off the table. I used to be a voracious reader. I remember so clearly getting books from the library when I was a tween, and just curling up on my bed for hours and hours until the book was done. As a grown up I always had a book on the go, but somehow having kids addled my brain, and I can probably count on one hand the number of books I read after Audrey came along...until now.
I bought an e-reader. I know! I never thought I would like an e-reader. What about the feel of the paper? The smell? The cover with the curled edge? I thought I was far too much a romantic to ever enjoy reading on an e-reader. I bought a Kobo Vox as a cheap alternative to an ipad. ($199) It's an e-reader that also has full browser and video capabilities. (It doesn't have a camera, though.)
I thought I would use it mostly when I was doing Arbonne parties and didn't want to lug my laptop all over. Turns out, I use it almost exclusively as a book and magazine reader. I find that if I keep it handy I read for 15 minutes, when I used to surf the internet. I read at night in front of the fire, instead of watching tv. I want to switch every magazine subscription to an e-subscription, because I really enjoy reading them on Zinio, the magazine app.
What am I reading? I would love to share it with you! Here's what I've read and what I'm currently reading:
What I've read:
(I've taken screen shots of all of these books, hence the battery power symbol, etc.)
This was my first book on my Kobo, and I just loved it. So charming, so witty, so well-written. The banter between characters is straight out of an old black and white movie. (In fact, I will eat my hat if this doesn't get made into a film in the next year or two.) The characters are rich, and the plot is unexpected. I highly recommend this one.
I was completely unaware of the whole Young Adult/Dystopian genre. If I had read the back of this book, I wouldn't have picked it up in a million years. However, it was recommended by someone who knows her fiction, so I gave it a shot. I stayed up reading until midnight several nights in a row to finish this one. Unheard of! I don't really want to go into what it's about-- click the link-- but trust me, it's a good read.
This one was good-- not fantastic. The characters and story were good enough to keep me reading, but it wasn't a life changer. I picked it up because it was set in Paris, of course. The story is quite tragic, but the historical details are important ones to know.
Another good story-- thought not really a great novel. A story of a ballerina, going back and forth between her young days in Stalin's Soviet Union, and at the end of her life in Boston. Ballet, Moscow, jewels, love... an enjoyable page turner.
A fictionalized account of the true love affair between Frank Lloyd Wright and the wife of one of his early clients. This was also a recommendation from a friend, and it is beautifully written. I'm only a few chapters in, and already it speaks to the role of women in the early 20th century, and how trapped a lot of women were in a life that was not their own. Brilliant.
A mysterious circus appears in the middle of the night and draws people in with its wonders. This is a fantastical feast for the mind, and a star-crossed love story. I'm savouring it.
One of the features I like on the Kobo is that I can download previews of most books. Some of these previews are just a chapter, others are 70+ pages! If I read that much of a book and want to read more, then it's worth getting. This book, "The Birth House", came up as a suggestion on the Kobo website, so I downloaded the preview. The prose is evocative, and I'm intrigued by the story of a young girl learning the ways of midwifery from an old Acadian woman, Miss Babineau. At least, that's what it's about so far...
The only non-fiction selection on my list, this one is about memory. I have a horrendous memory, and it only seems to be getting worse. This author talks about the history of memory, techniques used throughout history to memorize things, how a good memory has become less important with all our digital gadgets that remember things for us, and how important it is to cultivate a good memory-- for what are we, if not a collection of our memories? I've only just begun this one...will report back on how good it is...if I remember.