Tally Monday- October 16, 2017

Checked Out

  1. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green


  1. Walk Away the Pounds by Leslie Sansone


  1. The Knife by R.L. Stine
  2. Psychic Academy, vol 1 by Katsu Aki
  3. Walk Away the Pounds by Leslie Sansone

Reading: Edith Wharton by Hermione Lee and The Prom Queen by R.L. Stine

I’m having one of those mornings and I kind of think that it’s been one of those weeks.  No, I am not about to feed you some sob story about how hard life is and how there is no joy and blah, blah, blah.  No.  The problem is, as usual, there are just so many books that I want to put in my face right now!

I have been very slowly ticking away at the 800 page Edith Wharton biography and I find it super fascinating.  Part of what I like about Wharton’s books is that Old New York atmosphere.  She’s almost like an American Austen, questioning social mores and all that.  The Age of Innocence was the classic that got me into classics when I was in high school and when I reread it a few years ago I was shocked at how much I had missed, how deep it was.  I’ve only read that and House of Mirth but have long considered Wharton to be one of the greats.  However, as much as I am enjoying it I have to admit that it is a slow read.  I aim for 10 pages of nonfiction per day and ten pages of this tome takes me about 30 minutes.  Yet, I am unwilling to put it aside.  It would be better in e-book because this thing is HEAVY!  I sat down with LD on Saturday and knowing that he was going to fall asleep on me, I put my book within reach.  Fun fact:  It is extremely difficult to hold an 800 page hardcover and a napping baby.  When I finally gave in and carefully put Mr. Crankster down, Midget was sure that it was lap time.  We had to compromise.

I am still ridiculously enjoying my Fear Street reading.  I am enjoying it so much that I would really like to keep going.  I have 1.5 books left in this stack and then a couple of other books to read and then maybe I’ll order more.  I’ve never gotten around to the subseries and I totally want to read the Cheerleaders.  Prom Queen is great so far, like Mean Girls with blood.

Thursday I decided that I was sick of being so out of shape and I need to do something about it so I can start to feel better.  I decided to do the Walk Away the Pounds program again, which I’ve had success with before and which is easy to get started on and stick to.  I downloaded the audio and listened to it in two days but bought the ebook in the end so I could have the actual written plan in front of me.  I kind of feel like I wasted $10 but whatever.  I want to be healthier and slimmer and stronger and more energized.  I know that my body is the place to start.

I’ve been on the spiral of wanting to put everything in my face lately.  The Wharton bio has me wanting to read her and I also want Hemmingway and Fitzgerald and Joe Meno.  (One of these things is not like the other but I love them all….)  Plus King and Stine!  Ah!  Maybe if I actually made a point to read, I could read more.


Tally Monday- October 9, 2017

Checked Out

  1. Psychic Academy by Katsu Aki
  2. Dear Sisters by Rosalyn Baxandall
  3. Ghost Hunters by Ed and Lorraine Warren
  4. Edith Wharton by Hermione Lee
  5. The Complete Phonogram by Kieron Gillen


  1. Anne of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery


  1. Landscape with Invisible Hand by M.T. Anderson
  2. Dirt Under My Nails by Marilee Foster

Currently Reading The Knife by R.L. Stine, Edith Wharton by Hermione Lee

Here at work, we are having a staff in-service day and it’s not as tightly scheduled as in previous years.  The result is that I mostly want to read.  No surprise there, really.  I always want to read except when I actually have time to read.

I am going through one of those phases where I am so worn out at night that I just want to sit and listen to the TV and color but during the day I itch to read.  I need to remind myself, again, that reading takes just as little effort as television.  And, you know, most of the time I don’t even care about what we are watching!

Started the 800+ page biography of Edith Wharton the other day after deciding that Dear Sisters seemed “too dense” for me.  No regrets, though.  I’ve been meaning to read these books for over a decade and sometimes that means that I’m no longer interested in things.  On page 2 of the biography, I was like, “I can’t do this.”  By page 10 I had changed my mind.

There are so many books and so little time.  I have bemoaned this many times before and I imagine that I will keep on bemoaning it.  But I’d also hate to live in a world where I ran out of books to read.

Tally Monday- October 2, 2017

Checked Out





  1. A-Force: Rage Against the Dying Light by Kelly Thompson
  2. “Bayou” by Bryan Washington
  3. Summer Promise by Robin Jones Gunn
  4. Anne’s House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery
  5. “Please Give My One Reason Not to Hate You” by Shawn Vestal
  6. Archie, vol 4 by Mark Waid

Reading: Landscape with Invisible Hand by M.T. Anderson, Dirt Under My Nails by Marilee Foster, Anne of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery

An amazing thing happened this week.

After last week’s gigantic check out, I stacked all of my library books on my coffee table by due date and looked despairingly at the stack.  So much to read.  Then I asked my husband to check Walmart for the new Stephen and Owen King book, truly not expecting them to have it, and he brought it home for me, adding another addition to this tower.  And motivation!  It added motivation!  I want to read that new Stephen King so damn bad that I kicked my reading up a notch.  It’s temporary, this library stack, and as soon as I finish the King, I’ll be back in my rotation.

Now, you may recall that I have done away with my TBR stack.  Hubby would like to point out that it is still there but that’s mostly because I haven’t put the books away yet so they remain on the corner of my desk.  I’m working on it here and there.  Now I DO have a TBR stack, but I promise that it is temporary and I am making good time on it.

I read what seems like A LOT this week but looking back it doesn’t feel like it.  I’ve been trying to be better about reading.  I’ve been trying to make time to read at night and make time to read during the day and I’ve even been working on my latest Anne of Green Gables book via Kindle while giving LD bottles.  So, here’s some thoughts on my reading!

You already saw my review for A-Force and I’m still pretty much pissed that there isn’t another trade and also fuck Marvel.

The latest Archie was a roller coaster ride!  Expect a review on Friday for Graphics Friday but know that I’m already over here like, “I NEED another.  Come on!”

I caught up on my One Story this week, though I think that there might be one hiding somewhere or in the mail.  “Bayou” was a great little story about a boy whose friend finds a chupacabra but also about so much more.  I had an interesting experience with “Please Give Me One Reason Not to Hate You.”  Written in first person, for some reason I assumed that the narrator was a woman and I was really disappointed to find out he was a guy.  So, I decided to keep thinking of him as a her and for some reason that made it much more compelling for me.  It was also a great story.  This month’s is by Tom Hanks, who has a new story collection out, and I cannot wait for it.

My review of Summer Promise is up but this was one of those books that I liked a lot more than I should have, even while I was laughing at how ridiculous and unlikely it all was.  Also, why do Christians find the need to kill off characters who smoke pot?

Finally, I listened to Anne’s House of Dreams in a matter of four days.  It was on my phone and I was home sick one day and my mom was out of town so we didn’t chat on the phone much.  It was one of those books that I didn’t think that I was listening to really until I caught myself ugly crying when a character died.  As soon as I finished, I began to hunt for the next book in audio only to find that it isn’t available to me through my current library, my home library, overdrive for either, OR Hoopla!  I downloaded the e-book for a dollar and am taking a break from audiobooks until I can read it.

Quite the reading week!  I’m excited to see if this week pans out as well!  I stated Landscape with Invisible Hand last night and it is a short (150 page) YA book with short chapters so I imagine I’ll tear through it, as long as I give myself time, and then we are off on our annual Fear Street adventure!

Whatever you read, read a good one! ❤

Tally Monday- September 25, 2017

Checked Out

  1. Archie, vol 4 by Mark Waid
  2. First Date by R. L. Stine
  3. The Knife by R. L. Stine
  4. Landscape with Invisible Hand by M. T. Anderson
  5. The Prom Queen by R. L. Stine
  6. The Best Friend by R. L. Stine


  1. The Sisterhood by Florence Stevenson


  1. Emitown, vol 2 by Emi Lenox
  2. “Goodnight Nobody” by Sarah Hall

Reading: A-Force: Rage Against the Dying of the LightDirt Under My Nails by Marilee Foster, Anne’s House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery

As you can see, I went a little off the rails this week.

Fall.  I freaking love fall and, honestly, this is my favorite part of it.  It’s been in the 80’s and 90’s in Michigan this past week and it’s been wonderful.  It’s so hot and sunny that it’s like summer but it’s also golden and smells like leaves.  It’s great.  Heat is my favorite but so is fall and Halloween and I can feel the spirit invading me.  I want to read horror and watch Ghost Hunters and drink cider.

And so I did my annual ordering of Fear Street books.

The problem is that I now have 10 books out on my library card and I am nearing my usual predicament.  My plan right now is to tear through some books and get it back under control before I completely spin out.  If all goes well, you should expect some book reviews soon!

Bought myself a book this week!  I had a hard couple of days and decided to treat myself on the way to work on Thursday.  I went to my local used book store and spent some time in their wonderful horror section.  I settled on a creepy, witchy book.  I felt satisfied.

Tally Monday- September 18, 2017

Checked Out

  1. Dirt Under My Nails by Marilee Foster
  2. Unlucky by Jana DeLeon




  1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  2. Anne of Windy Poplars by L.M. Montgomery

Currently ReadingEmitown, vol 2Dirt Under My NailsSummer Promise by Robin Gunn

As soon as I got paid on Friday, I got the itch.  “It’s been about a month since I bought myself a book.  I really want a book.  I want to buy some horror.  Maybe some Robert McCammon or Dean Koontz?  I know that I could just wait and buy the new Stephen King next week. Or maybe get my hands on some Fear Street if I stopped by a used book store…”  Actually, it was before Friday because Thursday I left early to meet my mom for lunch so that I could stop at the used book store in town and grab something but I forgot LD’s formula and had to go back home for  it.

It’s frustrating.  The local used book store is only open from 10-5 Monday through Friday, and 10-3 on Saturday.  That means my only opportunities to stop are Thursday before my lunch date with Mom and Saturdays.  This Saturday my brother-in-law got married.  (Yaya!!!!  Super congrats to those two!) There was no stopping.  The wedding was an 8 minute drive from my favorite used book store and I probably had enough time to swing in except that they were having a book signing for a book I had no interest in and that made me feel awkward.

Sigh.  Maybe I can make it THIS Thursday.

When I told Hubby that I hadn’t bought a book in a month, he called bullshit.  So I used this blog to prove to him that it had been OVER a month.  The last book I bought was in the beginning of August and I forgot to blog it but found the order on Amazon to prove my point.  Look at me!  I have a paper trail!

Dirt Under My Nails has been on my TBR probably since it came out 14 years ago.  I’ve been making a point to read some of the older books on my TBR and it feels good to cross some of them off, like I’m actually making progress.  This book is about a farmer on Long Island and it divided into seasons and done in vignettes gleaned from Foster’s column.  I’m enjoying a look into the natural world and also farming. I checked out the DeLeon book because I read her Rumble on the Bayou years ago and loved it.  It was funny and super enjoyable.  I’m hoping this one is too.

I am having that problem right now, the burning need to devour.  I want to read all of the books and listen to all of the podcasts and watch all of the shows.  This tends to get worse in the fall months as well because on top of all the stuff I usually want to consume, I’m also over here like, “Fear Street books!  Ghost Hunters!  ALL OF THE HORROR MOVIES!  Where is the Stephen King??”

As a final note.  I decided this weekend that “flesh” is my favorite word.  Why? It’s awfully creepy, that’s why.

Man… I could use some He Who Walks Between the Rows…. Freaking fall.

Tally Monday- September 11, 2017

Checked Out

  1. A-Force: Rage Against the Dying of the Light by Kelly Thompson
  2. The Company They Kept by Robert B. Silvers




  1. A-Force: Hypertime by G. Willow Wilson

Currently Reading: The Night Circus (still!), Writers Gone WildSummer PromiseAnne of Windy Poplars

I checked my account today and The Night Circus is due tomorrow morning AGAIN.  I don’t know what it is about this book!  I like it.  I’m really enjoying it!  It’s just that I can’t seem to get myself to push through it.  I’ll read 10% one day and then not touch it for three.  It’s ridiculous.  Part of the problem is that I am always coming up with things that I need to do that push back my reading and, also, that I am reading it on my Kindle and trying to cut back on the blue light so I can’t read it too close to bedtime, which has been between 9 and 10 for a few weeks now while I try to get my sleep back under control.

But NO MORE, dead readers!

At present: My house is clean.  My laundry is done.  I have a week before my next big project at work.  It is time to just read the damn book and finish it up.  I am 62% done with this book and it has become Primary Objective for the week.

Do you ever do that thing?  You know, the thing… The one where you work all of the time but never seem to get anything done?  That problem where you look back over the week and think, “All that I wanted to do last week was color and watch X-Files or read and I didn’t do ANY of that… What the hell did I do?”  Yeah, totally me right now.

I’ve been consulting my ridiculously gigantic TBR list for my non-fiction books and ordered in The Company They Kept which has been on my list since it came out in 2006.  I actually bought it for a friend for Christmas one year because we’re both writers and I thought it was a very sweet gift.  However, I would like to apologize to Miss Armstrong right now… It was so dry that I had to put it aside.  It was so literary and high brow that I could barely get through the first essay.  When I started the second one I went, “Nah.  That’s cool… I’ll just return this, take it off my list, and order in that book on feminism.”

Now, Writers Gone Wild, which was a gift from my awesome husband, is a delight!  I’ve been tiding myself over with it while I wait for my NF orders to come in and each little tidbit is super enjoyable.  Today I read about the first reading of Howl and Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s note to Ginsburg about it.  (“I greet you at the beginning of a great career.  When do I get the manuscript?”)  The other day it was about Huck Finn and an illustration that was altered before printing.  These stories won’t stick with me but I love reading them.

Currently I have two nonfiction books on order: Dear Sisters by Rosalyn Baxandall, a collection of material from the feminist movement of the 60’s and 70’s, and Dirt Under My Nails by Marilee Foster, a book about farm life and seasons and such.  I’m looking forward to both of them.

For now: Finish The Night Circus and Anne of Windy Poplars already!  Geez!

Tally Monday- Special Tuesday September 5, 2017 edition!


Checked Out

  1. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
  2. Anne of Windy Poplars by L.M. Montgomery
  3. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante




  1. Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight

Currently Reading: The Night Circus (ebook), Summer Promise by Robin Gunn (YA bedtime), Anne of Windy Poplars (audio), Writers Gone Wild (nonfiction), A-Force: Hypertime (graphic)

Saturday morning I decided that I was going to “get stuff done AND read AND color” and I started a complicated system that included 15 minutes sprints on housework, a chapter of my book, and a round in my coloring.  All of this while caring for a five month old which is a lot more time consuming than caring for a newborn.  It worked for a while, believe it or not, but again I was left with that sensation of not getting enough done and also not getting any rest.

I had this idea that I would finish Night Circus this weekend but I should have known better.  Again the house is filthy and we had tons of plans and I was just burnt out.  I enjoyed my reading on Saturday at first but then I was kind of… eh.  Night Circus is good and I want to know what happens but it’s just one of those books that I can’t read a lot of all at once.  I need to dip in and out of it.  I need to take breaks.

Discovered that my home library offers Hoopla now and that I could get Anne of Windy Poplars through it and pretty much nowhere else.  Not through my work library or my home library or any of the libraries they share with which covers pretty much the bottom east corner of Michigan’s lower peninsula.  I downloaded the app and learned that I could check out five items a month and only has two days left in August so I got my Anne and then racked my brain trying to come up with something else.  I settled on the Ferrante because I’ve been wanting to listen to it but I know that I won’t get around to it because I also have a three month trial of Sirius on my car and forgot how much I love that shit.

I have more to say about listening but I’m going to post a Podcast Tuesday after this.  Sunday I took an actual break and now I have a feeling that I am going to spend all week going at break neck speeds in an attempt to “catch up”.  Though, Friday is Autofest so we can count that out…

As always, let me lament how there are not enough hours in the day and how I’m a dumbass for squandering them.  But at least I’ll never run out of things to read, right?  😉