Summer's end: Mark it with a B

Summer's end: Mark it with a B

As Labor Day weekend signified the end of summer for most folks — despite there being, technically, three more weeks of the sun-filled season — I must say my summer didn’t close with much of a bang. It did, though, end with a few other B words of note. A few of my favorite B words, in fact.

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Movie review: Book Club

Movie review: Book Club

I have never read the infamous 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James. I'll try not to judge (too much) those who have. From all I've heard, it just seems too trashy—not fun-trashy just trashy-trashy—for my tastes and time. There are far too many other books on my to-read list and far too little time in which to tackle them for me to squander even seconds on trashy-trashy.

The four 60-something, forever friends of BOOK CLUB initially seem to agree with me on such. Diane (Diane Keaton), Vivian (Jane Fonda), Sharon (Candice Bergen), and Carol (Mary Steenburgen) have met monthly for decades to discuss books—reading selections made on a rotating basis—men, and more. 50 Shades of Grey is not the sort of selection the refined readers read. Initially.

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A 'Disquiet Time' gem, plus GRAND Social No. 292 link party for grandparents

A 'Disquiet Time' gem, plus GRAND Social No. 292 link party for grandparents

I am a sucker for a good quote, as this post and this post attest. I recently checked out from the library Disquiet Time: Rants and Reflections on the Good Book by the Skeptical, the Faithful, and a few Scoundrels, edited by Jennifer Grant and Cathleen Falsani, and while reading Tracey Bianchi's touching (and truth-filled) essay "One Disgusting Mess," the following passage jumped right off the page and into my heart:

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10 rituals and rules I read by

Every avid reader has a favorite genre as well as a favorite reading spot for snuggling up with a book.

Every avid reader likely also has a few personal (private, perhaps) rituals and rules by which they read. The following are mine — some of which I hope you won't hold against me.


Printed books beat digital.
I get the attraction of books you can download and read anytime, anywhere. I actually own a...

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Here and now: July 29, 2016

This is what's up in my life... and an answer to why I've not been posting much "real writing" here on the blog.

clock and book

On my mind...

How to cheer up Jim after learning yesterday he is "not yet ready for prime time" after his foot surgery, according to his podiatrist. Meaning, he still cannot bear weight on his right foot. Meaning, he has yet another week left using crutches. Meaning, he must still sleep downstairs, must still go in the back door at work where they have a handicapped ramp for him to...

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GRAND guest post: 6 tips to keep grandchildren reading all summer

Dear readers: This article originally appeared on the GRAND Magazine website, one of my partners in providing grandparents with quality information and inspiration. I publish it here with their permission.

grandma and grandson reading together

Parents and grandparents are the child’s first and foremost teachers. They play an important role in teaching children to read and—maybe just as importantly—to love reading. Now that summer...

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Old books reborn, plus GRAND Social No. 143 link party for grandparents

Old books reborn

The Girl On The Train book coverI love books. I'm currently immersed in THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins. Have you read it? If you liked GONE GIRL, you will surely love this. I have about 80 pages left and just can't get there fast enough!

Artist Brian Dettmer loves books, too. He does far more than read books, though—he creates incredible pieces of art from them.

Take a look...

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Eating frogs and other edification

What I learned this week:

tree frog

A frog a day keeps procrastination away. Or something like that. I recently enjoyed lunch with a friend, and she shared with me a book that has helped her, a blogger and writer, accomplish more and procrastinate less. The book is Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy. The frog eating relates to Mark Twain's wisdom noting that if the first thing you do each day is eat a live frog, it's likely the worst thing that will happen all day. The author uses "eat that frog" as a...

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My addiction: The first step

They say the first step in overcoming an addiction is admitting you have a problem.

Well, I have a problem.

I'm addicted to books.

Here's proof—my rows upon rows, shelves upon shelves of books:

No, those aren't duplicates. I do indeed have that many books, that many bookcases and hiding places.

And no, I've not read them all. Most, but not all. I'm not addicted to reading them, just accumulating them.

I have no idea what the second step is, but I have a feeling it's not gonna be easy.

Today's question:

What is your addiction?

7 perfect things: My week in review

I have a tendency to focus on things that need improvement, ways I need to be better to make my life better. Not today, though. Today I'm taking a different tack and focusing on ways my life is already pretty darn good. Perfect, in fact—at least this past week, at least in these seven ways:

My bed sheets. I love my sheets. Don't ask me the thread count because I have no idea. I just know that each time I've pulled back my comforter this week, the color (a dusty purple of sorts) and the comfort when I climb in warms my heart.

Bedside stack o' books. I read before falling asleep, and my current "to read" stack is one of the best I've had in a while. Featured: The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman; Life Itself by Roger Ebert; Freedom by Jonathan Franzen; Labor Day by Joyce Maynard. Now if I could just stay awake long enough to get through the two I currently have in process—non-fiction courtesy Connie Schultz and fiction from Amy Hatvany—so I could delve into that stack. (Must be the afore-mentioned bed sheets sending me straight to slumber.)

Jim's continued support of my non-traditional career choice. My husband is my No. 1 fan and that helps in more ways than I usually tell him. Especially during times...<clears throat> this week....when I consider throwing in the towel and getting an office job.

Alcatraz. The new series featuring Hurley, er, Jorge Garcia and produced by Mr. Lost himself (J.J. Abrams for those who didn't succumb to Lost) premiered this week. It was thoroughly enjoyable, intriguing, and indicative of good things to come.

Clementines & kiwis. This week's bowl of fruit has been especially sweet. And perfect.

My new camera. I've not yet perfected even the smallest degree of its functions and potential, but the camera itself is perfect, and I'm so pleased with what I've been able to do with it so far, including the one above of Wednesday's sunset.

"The Sweetheart" jeans from Old Navy. Sure, they're hand-me-downs from Megan when she started losing all her weight, but they're broken in, they're soft, they're comfy as <cuss>. I love these jeans. And I think I look pretty darn okay in them to boot.

Today's question:

What was perfect for you this past week?