Read With Us Wednesday: Obituary Society

Read with UsWednesday So, Essie and I both spaced out yesterday’s post! Oops! I blame recovering from Christmas break.

It was fun to wrap up The Obituary Society, and this gem of a book did not disappoint. I am always a fan of quirky family dynamics.

What I most enjoyed though, was the mood evoked by this book. The one thing I would add to our Mid-Century Modern Rambler would be a front porch for sitting.

After bringing out the tea, they sat on the wooden steps, Juniper leaning into Max’s right arm, Lila resting her head on his left shoulder.  Lila sighed as she sipped her hot tea, thinking how little she cared about what other girls her age were doing, and imagining many years of front porches and steaming tea and club meetings with miniature cakes.  And if a hint of Old Spice mingled with cinnamon wafted past her nose, she pretended not to notice.
And now that you have finished reading with us. . .head over to the authors Pinterest board to check out some of her inspiration (and find the recipe for Maid of Honor Cupcakes! ( I think I have a new assignment for the resident baker of the house!)
Did you miss out on this book? Want to read through the next book with us? Starting next Wednesday we will be discussing  Moms’ Night Out. I loved the movie so much that I had to own it on Blu Ray–and I watch it about once a week, still laughing and crying. I look forward to laughing and crying through the book with you guys.
This book should be available at your local library, though I picked up mine at Amazon (I’m the queen of the late fee–cheaper to buy up front!) We will be discussing Chapters 1-4 on Wednesday!

New Year, New Reading Goals!

2015 Reading Challenge

I am horrible at resolutions. They are just not my thing.

However, I love goals. When I rejoined the working world I learned to refine my goal setting with making  S.M.A.R.T. goals. This acronym stands for goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.

While I should be setting some goals in the realm of health and fitness; I’m starting the year with some more attainable goals: reading goals.

I like a good challenge, and Goodreads emailed me to set my reading goals this year, inviting me to take part in the 2015 reading challenge. I would love to think that I would read 200 books in a year, like some of my friends,.–but unless that includes reading Llama Llama Red Pajama out loud 200 times this year, I’m afraid that goal would not be attainable.

Something I love even more than SMART goals is a well-crafted checklist. So when I came across this Facebook Reading Challenge, with a handy-dandy checklist, I was able to truly begin setting my reading goals for the year.

2015 Reading Challenge

I started with an easy book– “A book you can finish in a day”. I had just picked up The Color of Ordinary Timelast week, and took advantage of a quiet Sunday afternoon to devour it. It was an enjoyable read. I am currently working on “A book with more than 500 pages” by reading/listening to The Signature of All Things: A Novel. As a busy mom, I totally say that audio books count! (especially for the longer books!)

If you are the proud owner of a library card, may I introduce you to one of my favorite apps? I use Overdrive to check out eBooks and audiobooks from my local public library. You can check out books for up to 21 days and then they are automatically “returned”–so no late fees!

Some of the other books I am planning to devour read this year are:

That is a pretty good start for now! I have plenty on my to-read list! Join me over at Goodreads and we can keep up with our reading goals!

 

Chime in! What are your reading goals for 2015. What books do you look forward to reading?

Read With Us Wednesday: “The Obituary Society”, Week 4 Discussion

Read with UsWednesday

Read with UsWednesday

We are hosting a low-key, short attention span book group here on my blog and over at Essiesblessings.com. A few weeks ago we dove into The Obituary Society by Jessica Randall. We know how busy moms can get, so we did not want to make you read a book all at once. . .though some of you did! We broke the book into five chapter hunks that could be read in a week while nursing a baby, or hiding in the bathroom, or reading right before falling asleep.

This week we are discussing Chapters 16-20 and the plot is thickening. Lila is going through some big changes, and while she is feeling more settled in Auburn. . . . Some things are making her feel very UNsettled. She also finds herself confused about two handsome men in her life, Max–whose ex-wife has suddenly appeared on the scene, and Asher, the handsome attorney who seems to fit into Auburn just as awkwardly as Lila does.

One of the scenes that stuck with me was when Asher takes Lila out to dinner–in the middle of a wheat field. As they eat, he toasts (with strawberry Snapple): “To being somewhere you never expected to be, and having no idea where you are going.”

That simple statement sums up my life. When I was growing up in California, I often visited my Michigan relatives, and imagined I would one day live in one of the two states. Marrying a Michigan boy seemed to cement that fact. And yet, here I am in North Dakota–a place that was never, ever on my radar. And, as much as I could live out the rest of my days here, I know that as the wife of a pastor, the future is always a mystery.

Chime in! Have you been reading along? Do you have suggestions for our next read? What statement has touched you the most? And make sure to pop over to Essiesblessings.com. She has a few sick kiddos today, so she may not get her post up until later, but you will want to join in on the conversation over there as well!

 

Read With Us Wednesdays: “The Obituary Society”: Week 3 Discussion

Read with UsWednesday

Read with UsWednesday

I don’t know about you guys. . . But I’m really enjoying this book. And I’m glad Essie and I decided to pick bite-sized chunks each week. When I have time to read, I read voraciously, but with the Turkey Trot last week, I have not had much time at all! With the Turkey Trot came a long-awaited visit from College Kid, which ate up some time as well. I took the last two days off of work to catch up with life (and laundry!). Then, last night I had a child fall ill, so my time off has been extended, as well as my laundry load! (Just a note. . .my Maytag Bravos washing machine took care of all of that yucky laundry without any trouble!)

And now, back to our book!

If this is your first time here, we are reading through The Obituary Society by Jessica Randall, and it can be purchased for Kindle. We are reading along with Essie of Essie’s Blessings and you can join the conversation over there as well!

This week we are reading chapters 11-15, and the plot sure is thickening. We are finding out just how spunky Lila is as she deals with her grandfather’s house. I think she has way more resolve than I do!

Today’s quote to discuss is:

“Don’t you think this old house might be more trouble than it’s worth?” [Asher] asked.

and Lila’s answer:

“Sometimes things that are the most trouble are the most worthwhile.”

How very true. Our family has had our fair share of trouble in the past few years. Many of my long-time readers have read of them. However, I just don’t think I would trade those troubles in. They are a part of who I am, they  are a part of our family’s heritage. Some of my past troubles are a cautionary tale of how I will choose to parent our children.  I’m a walking billboard for, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I think that some of my troubles have enabled me to be more empathetic of those going through their own struggles. In other ways it has hardened me, as I am kind of a “pull yourself up and move on” kind of girl. No wallowing allowed.

I guess that is what I enjoy about Lila. She does not have to stick around, but she does . . . creepy house and all.

Chime in! What are your reactions to the reading selection this week? What troubles have you been through that have proven to be worthwhile? Leave a comment here, and make sure you head over to Essie’s Blessings to chime in as well!

Read With Us Wednesday: Week 1 Discussion

Read with UsWednesday

 

Read with UsWednesday

Welcome to week one of Read With us Wednesday. I’m teaming up with Essie at Essie’s Blessings, and busy moms around  the country are teaming up to read manageable, busy mom chunks of a book once a week and stopping by to discuss.

We just started reading The Obituary Society by Jessica Randall. It was free when we began this project, and, as of this writing, is a very affordable $2.99 Kindle edition.  This week’s discussion is based on chapters 1-5.

Here is the publisher’s description:

When Lila Moore inherits her grandfather’s house, she finds herself in a small Midwestern town where margarine is never an acceptable substitution for butter, a coveted family recipe can serve as currency, and the friend who will take your darkest secrets to the grave will still never give you the secret to her prize-winning begonias.

Lila is charmed by the people of Auburn, from the blue-eyed lawyer with the southern drawl to the little old lady who unceasingly tries to set Lila up with her grandson. But when strange things begin to happen, Lila realizes some of her new friends are guarding a secret like its a precious family heirloom. It’s a dangerous secret, and it has come back to haunt them. Lila is caught in the middle, and her life may depend on uncovering it. But even if she can, can she stay in Auburn when not everyone is what they seem, and even the house wants her gone?

In these first few chapters, we are introduced to Lila, her great-aunt Ada, and Lil’s newly deceased grandfather, Isaac. If you have not begin reading yet, the writing is very engaging and you should be able to catch right up.

What stood out for me was when Lila was in Ada’s home and in her grandfather’s house, I was flooded with memories of my grandparent’s home. So that is what we will discuss today!

What memories do you have of your grandparent’s home? In our current society, where families live spread across the country, and our mobile society in which people rarely live in the same house for fifty years anymore, will our children miss out on those same “Grandma’s House memories”? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Also, stop over to Essie’s Blessings and check out the conversation over there as well! We’ll be reading chapters 6-10 for next week!