"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts

1. I have been wondering why I am so resistant to writing book reviews lately. Every New Year's resolution I make has something to do with writing book reviews for the books I've read. This year I started off with a bang---writing a review for the first six books I read in the new year and then I fell off from there. I've only written on 33 reviews for the 70 books read. I keep making lists of books I want to review, then I read another book and the original list starts to become overwhelming so I don't write anything. Sigh.

2. Along the lines of #1, I attended a bookish workshop this past February and three of the presenters were authors whose books I had read for book club. I was psyched to meet them and enjoyed their presentations. When I got home, I ran to my blog to see what I written in my reviews about the books. I hadn't written reviews for any of them. I resolved at that moment I would at least write reviews for my book club books, and attempt to do so before the club meeting to help me crystallize my thoughts. Well...I haven't done so well on that score.  I've only reviewed half of the club books read so far this year. (Which is actually more than I thought when I started writing.)

3. Sticking with the review theme of #1 and #2, I wonder what the sticking point is? Do I resist writing reviews because I know that it will require some thought and perhaps a bit of research? Do I doubt my own thoughts and opinions? Of all my blog posts, it is my reviews that generate the least amount of traffic but are the posts for which I feel the most pride. Often I find that as I write a review, I end up liking the book more or less than when I was reflecting on it before I started the writing process. Oddly, that may be the biggest obstacle. When I write a review I have to hold an opinion and not be all wishy-washy about thoughts... writing the review forces me to decide how I feel about the book and to defend that decision.
Recipe: Gingerbread scones. Two notes. One from October 1997 in my handwriting, the other from 2017 in my daughter's script.
4. Enough on reviews. I was digging around in my cupboard a few months ago and found this tiny scone cookbook which I've had since the mid-1990s. At that time I would write notes to myself in the margins for future reference. Those notes and the small cookbook have been a joy this summer, as have the scones I've made. Yesterday's scones, mocha chip, were a little dry and the texture a little off, but very delicious.

Eating banana cake with two fists full
5. Ian, my 10-month grandson, has finally decided that eating is good. He really wasn't interested in food until about a month ago, which seemed really late to me. Yesterday, he and his mom were hanging out at my house around lunch time and his mom gave him a small piece of banana cake, which is like banana bread with frosting, and he crammed it all in his mouth at once. Such joy!

Bingley, five weeks old.
6. My sister is visiting my puppy right now and sending me photos. I chose him from a litter of pups from one of her friends. He can come home to us next month. We are all getting pretty excited for him to join our family. I've already named him after an Austen character, Bingley. Since he is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, he needed a British name.

7. This meme is hosted at Bookishly Boisterous. I'm feeling so much better about my reviews...since I got all my feelings off my chest, I think I will close this post down and go write up a review.  SHould I write one for the Bear and the Nightingale or Eleanor Oliphant first?  Bye!

PS...I just wrote myself a list of the books I've read this year that I still want to review.: 13. My plan is to write at least two reviews a week of past books and attempt to stay current as finish up books. It will take me into September, but I think that is a workable plan.


  1. Oh, what a sweet puppy! Hoping I can come visit him next month. I think it's your blog and you can do what you want, whenever you feel like it. You are the one putting the pressure and expectations on yourself. xoxo

  2. I agree that writing (or talking) about how we feel helps resolve things for us...such closure can come.

    I love scones! I've never made them...in fact, I haven't done any baking for years! And only a little bit of cooking. I fix meals for myself, but simple ones and a lot of microwaveable ones.

    All of this comes from years of nightly cooking for a family after a long day at work. So I "retired" from cooking after my kids all left, and after the last divorce. LOL. Plus, my daughter loves to cook and does most of our family get-togethers.

    Ian is gorgeous!

    Thanks for visiting my blog...and I so love ABBA's music and dance to it (my CD player). I call it exercise.

  3. Your puppy is adorable, I am sure he will bring both chaos and pure joy to your home. I don't find reviews so difficult, but I also don't do any research. I do go back sometimes and realize that how I feel about a book upon finishing it doesn't necessarily hold into the future, but I've become okay with that, rationalizing that my reviews capture a moment in time with that book.

  4. Bingley is gorgeous, and great choice of name for him! I try to write a review for every book I read but sometimes it does feel like a chore. I enjoy writing glowing reviews or slamming a book I hated - it's the OK ones in the middle I struggle to find anything interesting to say about...

    1. I don't even try to review all books I read. I really only want to review books I have something to say about. I think my problem is if I delay writing the reviews then I move on to other books and I forget what I wanted to say, which then requires a bit of back research on my part.


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