Thursday, June 24, 2010

Library Loot XX

Library Loot is a weekly blog event that encourages bloggers to share what books they borrowed from the library that week. To participate, simply make your Library Loot post on your blog and link it using the Mr. Linky link at Marg's blog Reading Adventures or Eva's blog A Striped Armchair. This week's link up is at Marg's.

Things have been quite busy around here the last several days. Mostly due to end of the school year activities for my daughters. My youngest "graduated" 5th grade yesterday and is off to middle school in September. I'm so proud of her! I'm also happy-- and a bit relieved-- that she's looking forward to the changes that middle school will bring. She's usually my worrier, but I think she's got this one under control. Hopefully she'll still feel this way when the new school year rolls around. For me, I'm feeling a little sad (and old) that after a decade I won't have at least one kid in elementary school ever again. Three. Two. One. Okay, I'm over it. :D

My eldest daughter finished her freshman year in high school. I still can't believe she's actually in high school, let alone a sophomore come September. How did that happen? Her freshman year was an academically challenging one with all honors courses which produced a ton of homework and papers and lab reports that at times had me feeling sorry for her. Other times I was grateful that all that homework prevented her from texting and facebooking the whole night. Instead, she just did those things for half the night. :/

My days have been pretty full lately, too. I've been working out nearly every day, getting up at 5:20 am to exercise before everyone goes off to school and work. This shift in my workout schedule from 9 am to 6 am was brought on initially because we can't leave my father-in-law home alone, and me not wanting to hire a sitter for him every day. So I started to workout early a couple of days a week and then all of a sudden I was doing it every day. As difficult as it is to get up so early, I have to say it feels good to get moving and energized and still have a full day ahead of me when I'm done. The downfall is that by 10 pm I am practically falling over in exhaustion ... all just to do it all over again the next day. Which is fine... but it has been cutting into my reading time. I used to do the majority of my reading between 9 pm and 1 am. These days I'm barely reading for an hour before I drift... no, not drift... collapse into deep sleep. This hasn't stopped me, however, from visiting the library three times in the last week to pick up some loot that I've been waiting on... plus a few unplanned picks. Hopefully, now that school is out for the summer, things wind down a bit during the days and I'll make some progress into my huge reading pile that has accumulated.

Last night my youngest daughter and I joined the summer reading program at the library. She joined the one in the children's department and I joined a brand new summer reading program for adults! How cool is that? I just need to fill out this little index card with the title and author for each book I read plus a few sentence book review and drop it in a box near the front desk. Each book I read and report is an entry into a weekly drawing for some neat prizes like certificates to local coffee shops, restaurants and gourmet food stores. The grand prize at the end of the summer is a $100 gift card to an upscale local restaurant. If I want to improve my chances of winning that, I'd better get reading!

Here is my latest library loot:

In Adult fiction:

A Bad Day for Sorry by Sophie Littlefield

I saw this author mentioned I think on Carolyn Crane's blog a while ago and something about the title and cover called to me, plus I wholeheartedly trust Carolyn's recommendations--she's so passionate about the books and authors she admires. Anyway, this book is crime fiction and it sounds really interesting. The main character, Stella Hardesty runs her own sewing shop in rural Missouri while helping women deal with their abusive husbands and boyfriends like she dealt with her husband years ago. She ends up getting involved in solving some crime while helping a woman and I believe there may be a little love interest going between Stella and the local sheriff, too.

Fantasy Medley edited by Yanni Kuznia

I came across this little anthology of short stories while browsing the new fiction shelves in search of any book with the name of a body of water in the title. No kidding. Anyway, it caught my eye since I've heard of all four authors, but have never read any of their work. I thought this might be a fun, quick read to help me see if I want to pick up more by any of the authors. The four authors who have stories in this book are Robinn Hobb, Kelley Armstrong, C.E. Murphy and Kate Elliot.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

In Young Adult fiction:

Looking for Alaska by John Green

I have heard great things about this book and about the author John Green, in general, and became determined to read this one upon reading a recommendation by my BookSmugglers.

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa.

Every review I read for this debut novel has been excellent. I've been loving the fey stories lately. I can't wait to read this.

The Heart Is Not a Size by Beth Kephart

I read Nothing But Ghosts by this author a month or two ago and really enjoyed it. The writing flowed nicely and the lessons the story told were honest and insightful. I'm imagining the same will hold true for this one. Let's hope so.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

In non fiction:

The Complete Chile Pepper Book by Dave DeWitt & Paul W. Bosland
A Gardener's Guide to Choosing, Growing, Preserving, and Cooking.

That title and subtitle pretty much sums up what this book is about. I love the complexity, heat and spice that chile peppers bring to a lot of different dishes, plus I love to grow my own specialty produce when I can so this book was right up my alley for an all in one chile book. I have been tossing around the idea of making my own jalapeno pepper jelly later this summer, and I may just try the recipe in this book for that project. While it is too late for me to plant my own chile pepper plants in my garden for this season, the farmer's markets are usually loaded with these hot babies come August and September. I'll be ready!

Slim & Scrumptious by Joy Bauer
This is a cookbook with more than 75 healthy recipes for healthy, low calorie eating. I already thumbed through the cookbook and see a handful of recipes I'd like to try--including the recipe for that gorgeous red tropical sangria on the cover (see photo in the upper left hand corner).

The English Roses by David Austin
Classic Favorites & New Selections

I just love roses in a garden and have lived in my home for thirteen years without a single rose bush in my yard. I've been thinking a lot lately about my grandmother's home and the time I spent there as a kid. I loved the fragrance of the roses she grew in her small rose garden in her side yard. I remember sniffing each rose variety with my eyes closed trying to decide which one I liked best. I don't think I ever made up my mind! My grandmother had maybe half a dozen rose bushes and I'm hoping this book will inspire me to choose some fragrant roses for my own yard.

And that's my library loot for this week! I can't wait to get reading!

Does your library have a summer reading program for adults?

What are you reading this week?


  1. So inspiring to hear about how tenacious you're being to get that exercise in!! You rock! And congrats to the grad!!

    Hey, you did hear about that book on my blog, but as a release I'm excited about. I love how the plot sounds, and it won an award, but I haven't read it yet, so I look forward to seeing what you say! Also, I met the author at RT and she was all kinds of wonderful. Definitely in my reading future.

  2. Sadly my library only has a summer reading program for kids. My library is quite small, but we will be getting a remodel soon. So maybe there will be eventually.

    I discovered on my last trip to the library that they've been hiding the YA section all this time. They have some in the children section so I thought that was it. But the sneaky people hide the YA section at the end of the adult fiction section.

    I loved The Iron King! I had to get A Fantasy Medley from the library to. It sold out fast. I read the Kelley Armstrong story, which I really enjoyed. :)

  3. Christine, you go, go, go! You're such a busy-bee! Congratulations to your daughter on her graduation. They grow way to fast, don't they?

    A Bad Day for Sorry really looks interesting. Hope to hear/read your thoughts on that one. :)

  4. Yay! for you on being persistent on your exercise routine. I'm trying to get into one myself...first I have to get myself motivated. ;)

    You have some good picks there. I know I want to read The Iron King and A Fantasy Medley. Enjoy!

  5. I am in awe of your exercise determination and practice! Especially getting up SO early and working out, I can understand why you're tired at the end of the day.
    Congratulations to your new MIddle Schooler!

    Our library has a summer reading program for Adults as well. The prize for us this year are tickets to a performance at the peace center to see a show, ex. Broadway shows. Unfortunately none of the upcoming shows are anything I want to see. Oh, well. *g*

    I recently picked up Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich and Pray for Silence by Linda Castillo. One is light and fluffy and the other is dark and emotional.
    Sounds like you have a wonderful book haul from the library. *g*

    I hope you enjoy all your books and your reading time!

  6. Congrats to youngest on her graduation!! You don't have any more young'uns. Which in some ways is awesome, but others makes you long for the days when they were little and wanted nothing more than to snuggle in your arms.

    And your oldest has a lot of work ahead of her in sophpmore ear. But she got the hardest class that my oldest took last year out of the way alredy. If she did well in AP World, then next year should be a breeze for her!

    I am so inspired by your dedication to the exercise. I keep toying with the idea of getting up eary to do it, and I just should. Sigh. But sleep is so wonderful!

    Great haul of books from the library! My library doesn't have a reading club for adults (heck, I don't even think there's one for kids!). But it doesn't stop efrom ordering all the new hardcovers I want. Just picked up Death Echo from them. Looking forward to starting it!

  7. You're my...exercise inspiration, particularly as my exercise has gone splat with the cold, wet weather. I'm hoping to get out for a walk tomorrow :(

    Great library loot. I don't think my library has a summer reading programme, but...I'll have to ask them this afternoon when I go to pick up a book *grin*

    And I do like the sound of A Bad Day for Sorry, so I look forward to hearing what you think!

    And congrats to your daughters!

  8. Lots of good books there. Our library only has summer reading programs for kids. Sometimes in the fall they have adult programs but I've noticed they've lessened due to budget cuts.

  9. You make me tired just reading everything you do. :)

    Our babies aren’t babies any more. It just goes so very fast doesn’t it? Mine will be in 4th, 5th and 11th grades.

    Oh, you’ve got some good reads. A Bad Day for Sorry – don’t you just love that title? I’m waiting for my library to get it in. I really enjoyed The Iron King – hope you do too. I’ve got the Beth Kepharts too. Abby read it but I don’t remember if she liked it. I know she read Nothing But Ghosts and liked it.

    You’re going to be busy in the kitchen this summer. What do you put jalapeno pepper jelly on? Do you use like regular jelly or is it more like a spread for crackers?

    Our library has a early reader, middle school and teen reader summer programs. They all come with prizes depending on how much they read. The finally prize is a book.

  10. You are so good, getting up so early to exercise! Although it's a good move if you don't want to pay a sitter.

    I miss you! LOL. I need to email you so we can talk :)

    The library program sounds awesome, really :)

    Oh, by the way, congrats to your daughters! Another school year over! Woohoo!

    Oh, I didn't know Kelley ARmstrong had a story in that anthology. Is it part of the Women of the Otherworld series? and if yes, who is the narrator?

    i have the Iron King, started it this morning :D

  11. I think that I have all three of those YA books on my TBR list. I'll be waiting to hear your thoughts on all of three of these. Enjoy!

  12. Holy cow, there are just not enough hours in the day! Here I am responding to your comments four days later. You all probably forgot what you even said when you were here!

    I have been SOOOOoo tired lately. I don't know what's going on with me, but I cannot keep my eyes open after 9 pm anymore. I'm falling into a deep sleep right away, too. And doing a lot of that jerky jumping that you sometimes do as you fall asleep. You know, kind of like the sensation you're falling and you catch yourself and jolt in your sleep? The other night I did it THREE times within a short time of falling asleep. Anyone know what that means?

    Anyway, thanks for checking out my loot! I haven't touched any of the fiction yet, but have flipped through the non fiction here and there.

    Carolyn: Glad my memory isn't completely shot and I remembered correctly from whom I heard about Bad Day for Sorry. I'm going to read it as soon as I finish my current read, which I hope to finish today. I should say, which I'm DETERMINED to finish today.

    Anna: Oh it drives me nuts sometimes the way my library is laid out. They have a section for mystery and a section for thrillers that are separate from the rest of the fiction... and even then, some of both are mixed in with the 'regular' fiction, probably by error of the people who shelve the books, but still... it can be very annoying trying to find a book and it's not where the catalog says it should be. But I'm glad at least now you found the YA section.

    I remember you loving The Iron King from your blog. Good to hear you enjoyed the Kelley Armstrong story in the medley.

    Hilcia: These kids sure do grow way too fast!! I miss their sweet little girl ways... I mean, this age is fun, too... but the little girl days were so short!!

    Donna: It's SO good to hear from you. I hope your break from blogging has been good for you and your family. Have you been kayaking? Doing that a few days a week will get you into a pattern and then you can branch out and do more from there. Thanks for stopping by! :)

    Brandy: The getting up so early to exercise thing is a even a shock to me. I can't believe I'm doing it either... and have been able to stick to it for three months already. Wow. LOL.

    That's great that your library has an adult summer reading program too! I think it's a great idea, although your grand prize is tricky if the winner isn't into that sort of thing. A restaurant gift card is more universally appealing.

    Hope you enjoyed your reads. :)

  13. Lori: Maria did okay throughout the year in AP World... I'm pretty sure she got B's straight through, save for not-so-great grade on the midterm exam. Now we're just waiting for the AP results. She has decided to opt out of the honors history track because of the heavy reading and writing required. She actually loves to read and write, but more on the literature and creative writing end. Sophomore year she'll have AP English Lit. I think.

    If I worked full time out of my home, I would definitely struggle more with the early am workouts. I can take a break and relax or even nap for a bit in the afternoon to recover... you can't.

    That's great that your library is so great about getting you the books you want!

    orannia: Exercising in the winter is challenging. Although I have to say that I would pick running in the winter over the summer any day. The heat and humidity is so much more grueling.

    Linda: It is disheartening to see budget cuts at the public libraries, isn't it? Almost as bad as seeing cuts at the public schools. Almost.

    Leslie: Thanks for empathizing with our babies not being babies anymore. Your in the same boat as me. It's not easy letting them grow up. LOL.

    The jalapeno jelly is so yummy delicious on crackers with a bit of cream cheese. I'm sure there are other uses, but that's how I've always had it. So good... a little sweet and a little spicy. Mmmm. I want some now. LOL.

    nath: I miss you too! Email me anytime. I'm always checking my email on my phone even if I'm not around on the blog network. ;)

    I couldn't tell you about the Kelley Armstrong story because I haven't read the Otherworld series. It is told in the first person, but I couldn't figure out who the narrator was by skimming through, but I do believe it is a female LOL (not very helpful) ... I'll just have to read it and let you know. ;)

    samantha: How funny that you have all three of those YA on your TBR. Especially Looking for Alaska as it's not a recent release. I hope you enjoy them when you get to them.


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