Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Reader's Workout - May in Review

I was doing post earlier in the month with goals for the month and realized I wasn't hitting those goals.  So now I'm going to just focus on how the month went.

For May, I wanted to really try to make my step goal every day. Weekends are normally really hard for me (I'm lazy) but it was a busy month.  So as of today (5/26) there have only been 3 days where I haven't hit my step goal. I went on vacation for a long weekend Thursday-Monday and averaged around 13,500 steps a day.  My best day was Saturday where I hit 20,718.  Even with all the walking I did, I must have done more eating since I gained 3.8 lbs..

I started to do a modified bullet journal and it's been keeping me on track with tracking my calories. I had been slacking on tracking my calorie intake. I started the month with asking myself to track just breakfast and lunch.  I did really well with that for a week so I added a checkbox for dinner. I only required myself to track two of the meals.  Once that wasn't a problem I'm now up to tracking all three meals.

I haven't been getting to the gym, I hurt my ankle (which made for an interesting vacation of walking). I've been trying to stretch each night, but it's not going well.  I haven't seen the inside of the gym in a month, but I have a plan to get back in June. Again I'll ease myself back into it, taking care not to mess my ankle up.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Book Review - A Nice Little Place on the North Side

A Nice Little Place on the North Side: A History of Triumph, Mostly Defeat, and Incurable Hope at Wrigley FieldA Nice Little Place on the North Side: A History of Triumph, Mostly Defeat, and Incurable Hope at Wrigley Field by George F. Will
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am a baseball fan. I wouldn't say I was a Cubs fan, but they are well respected in my family. My mother is a Cubs fan.  Every Spring we hear the common anthem of "This is our year" and every Fall we hear "Next year will be our year." I feel safe saying this chant could probably be heard in the households of many members of  Cubs Nation.  The other similar trait is the love of Wrigley Field.  I have a deep love of Wrigley Field. It is one of my favorite places to watch a ball game.

I was a believer in The Curse of the Billy Goat before reading this book, but now I fear the curse goes back even further. I fear the curse dates back to 1914 and the opening of Wrigley Field. The history of Wrigley is wrapped in so much more history.  This book covers the history of the team, the city, key players, owners and others associated with our beloved stadium.

The book jumped around a bit, but it tells an entertaining story. I enjoyed the history of baseball in Chicago and the history of the team. It was interesting to learn that William Wrigley was interested in making money, not in baseball.  His push to make money and not in putting together a winning team was the foundation of the modern fandom of this team.  Cubs Nation loves the team, but statistics show that when the team wins there is less love than when the team loses.

Most baseball fans know the story of Babe Ruth calling his shot. I knew that story, but I don't think I ever really knew that took place at Wrigley. I didn't know the history behind that game and the animosity that was brewing between the two teams.  This was a great story to read.

A not so great was the bubble popped for the idea that "Tinkers to Evers to Chance" is just a pretty poem.  While the three of them did turn a number of double plays, they were not the legends baseball myth they are sometimes believed to be, sadly.  Again the history behind the group was really interesting.

I think baseball fans, fans of any team, will enjoy this book on the history of one of the most iconic stadiums in baseball history.

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Finish The Series Challenge - Kell Sabin by Linda Howard

Kell Sabin by Linda Howard
#3 Heartbreaker
#4 White Lies

Linda Howard Collection (Heartbreaker & White Lies)Linda Howard Collection by Linda Howard
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A number of years ago I was on a Linda Howard kick and read everything the library owned.  They had books 1 and 2 in this series but not books 3 and 4.  I thought now would be a good time to finish the series.  I liked the first two books and I liked these two books.  They are clearly 80's romances.  They have the overly dominate older male and he pretty much forces himself onto a woman at least 5 years younger who is kind of willing.  That aside, they were good stories.

Heartbreaker was connected to the story in book 2. I kind of remembered the book but it wasn't really necessary to read this story.  Michelle and John have circled around each other for years, since Michelle was too young John kind of kept his distance.  They both have the wrong impression of each other and this time around they both are learning the truth about each other.  Things seems to be going smoothly until Michelle's ex starts trouble, of course John is there to help her save the day.

White Lies is connected through Kell Sabin and his super secret spy group that kind of works for the government. Jay is called upon to identify a badly bruised man as her ex-husband.  He's not the man she remembers but figures they government has a reason they want everyone to thin he's her ex, so she goes along with their plan.  Along the way she falls for this mystery man who can't remember anything.  As his memory comes back, trouble finds them. They both have to decided if they can build a relationship with his past now known by both of them.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Read Harder - A graphic novel, a graphic memoir or a collection of comics of any kind

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm a princess fan. I grew up with them and but I never wanted to be one. This is one princess I wouldn't mind being. Adrienne might have been born a princess, but she doesn't want to be a princess. In her world a princess comes of age and then gets locked in a tower with a dragon to guard her.  There she waits until a prince comes to save her.

Adrienne doesn't want that life, but her father doesn't give her a choice.  Stuck in her tower Adrienne gets the idea to use her dragon to free herself and go free her sisters. This turns into a humorous adventure. Adrienne is joined by the daughter of an armor maker who wants to design for women. This was one of my favorite sections in the book.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The story continues with Adrienne and her small troupe head off to save her sister Angelica.  While the group is trying to find Angelica's tower, the King is sending people after the 'knight' who killed his daughter, Adrienne. Things get hilarious when they can't find Angelica.  When they finally locate her, they find a small town has formed around her town. Artists, bards and the like have flocked to her tower; she is their muse.

I can't wait to see where this adventure goes!

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What can one say about Lumberjanes? It's great. It's weird. It's weirdly great in so many ways. The girls of Miss Qiunzilla Thiskwin Penniquiqual Thistle Crumpte's camp for hard-core lady-types want an awesome summer but Jo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley are in for a summer they probably weren't expecting. There are some weird going ons in the woods around the camp, like three eyed foxes, monsters in the river and a mystery to solve.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Read Harder Challenge - Poetry

With April being National Poetry Month, I thought it would be a good time to get this requirement crossed off the list.  I would have gone back to some of my favorite collections or poets that I already knew so I reached out to the Twitter hive mind for some suggestions. I got what I could from the library and picked up one other.

Small PoemsSmall Poems by Valerie Worth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thought these poems were really cute and I think a great way to start kids off with poetry.  These are simple poems about everyday objects, animals, and I think some foods stuffs.

Pug: And Other Animal PoemsPug: And Other Animal Poems by Valerie Worth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I was looking in the library catalog for I saw this book.  Being a pug mom I had to check it out. Again some great poems for children. Personally I think the pug poem was the best!

Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My PrettyPoisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Heppermann
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was intrigued by this collection of retold fairy tales.  Some of them were a little odd, but I think it would really speak to teens today. I really liked the poem titled To My Sheep, Wherever You Are. I chose it as the poem for Poem In Your Pocket Day.

Motherland Fatherland HomelandsexualsMotherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals by Patricia Lockwood
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Nope. I didn't understand most of what was written in this collection.  The few things that either made sense or just sounded pretty are what saved this collection from either bring a DNF or a 1 star book.

Selected PoemsSelected Poems by Federico GarcĂ­a Lorca
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked a good number of the poems, but I think something was lost in the translation.

Apparently I liked the children's poems better than the more adult collections.  Does that say something about poetry or about me?

Monday, May 4, 2015

Daily Themes - May 4

"Did you get what you wanted?"

"Then let’s get out of here."

He sighed in relief as his brother came out of the store, a confident stride to his walk. He watched as his brother easily slid into the driver’s seat holding a takeout bag. He rolled his eyes once the door closed and his bother quickly opened the bag to retrieve what was inside.

“Did you get what you wanted?”

His brother looked over at him with a big smile. “Yes.”

“Then let’s get out of here.”

His smile turned into a mischievous grin as he pulled a fork out of the bag and started to eat a piece of pie.

The challenge was getting this to be vague yet recognizable to fans of a certain show and also keeping it to 100 words. I think I was successful on both fronts.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Writing Prompt 21

Write Your Obituary 

I based my obituary on one of the obituaries written for Jane Austen. It reads: 

Courier (July 22, 1817, no. 7744, p. 4), makes the first published admission of Jane Austen’s authorship of the four novels then published: “On the 18th inst. at Winchester, Miss Jane Austen, youngest daughter of the late Rev. George Austen, Rector of Steventon, in Hampshire, and the Authoress of Emma, Mansfield Park, Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility. Her manners were most gentle; her affections ardent; her candor was not to be surpassed, and she lived and died as became a humble Christian.” 

I also went with the idea that I was writing in now with areas where someone could fill in once I pass away. 

Times of Trenton (Mon. ?, 20??, no. ?, p. ?), On the ??th inst. at Hamilton, Miss [hopefully this can be changed to Mrs.] Amelia [with any luck a nee will be here] Rodriguez, daughter of the late Mr. Fernando Rodriguez, Auditor with the State, in New Jersey, [wife of Mr. First Last Name], and Authoress of [novel title], [novel title], [title of short story collection], and the popular [nonfiction title]. Her manner was mild and quite, and she was a helpful ear when needed. She lived and died a good Christian woman. [Hopefully they'll believe and print this.]