Weekly Wrap-up | May 24, 2020

Hi everyone! This past week was a really good one for me. It was days 65-70 of isolation, and I’m falling into a good groove. My reading has shot up incredibly. I finished six books this week: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Illuminae, A Conspiracy in Belgravia, A Study in Scarlet Women, and Bloom. I also started a book journal and if you’re interested, I’d be happy to post pictures.

Read more at Books on the Brain

Weekly Wrap-up: Sunday, May 17

Got another week down. It was a great reading week because I’m setting more and more time each day to read. I’m also dipping my toes in the annotating pool, something I’ve really never done before. I started just by tabbing my favorite lines, but now am trying to get more organized and color coding and adding some thoughts. I’m doing it with a reread of Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I’ve never been against writing in my books, precisely, I just never know what to write. But, I thought it might be interesting to give it the good old college try.

In other news, my dad started his daily radiation treatments on Wednesday and will be doing it for about three or four more weeks. It’s tough, not being around. And, by around, I mean not even being in the same town. Not that I could help if I was in town because of physical distancing and all, but I might be able to swing by and see him through the window or sit in the yard a safe distance away. Wish me luck; I applied for a few more schools down by my parents; I hope I at least get an interview with one.

Monday: Only Mostly Devastated by Sophia Gonzalez (review)

Tuesday: Top 5 Worst Rulers

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers (review)

Friday: Bookish Bucket List tag

Monday: The Hockey Player’s Heart by Jeff Adams and Will Knauss (review)

Tuesday: Top 5 Opening Lines

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers (review)

Friday: TBD

Saturday: TBD

How was your week? Anything great happen? Let me know!

Weekly Wrap-up: May 10

Another week finished! This was my first week of distance teaching,and it went pretty smoothly. One day, there was a ton of panicked calls and messages from parents and students because two of the links to the lesson weren’t working, but it was resolved easily. I got to see my students again when we met virtually, and it was so great to see them! I miss them so much.

In reading news, I had a good reading week. I finished Middlemarch by George Elliot yesterday. It didn’t take me nearly as long as I thought it would. Last summer, when I’d intended to read it, I thought it would take me all summer, but it only took me about 23 days. I don’t think I’m going to review it, because I enjoyed it without much critical thought. It was just a great book that I really liked. I’m now rewatching the miniseries on Amazon Prime. It’s funny because I’ve seen it twice, but really only remembered one plot line. The book is extremely complicated and has a lot of different things going on, but none of them made an impression on me when I watched the miniseries. Weird.

I also just finished reading The Hockey Player’s Heart by Jeff Adams and Will Knauss. It was an m/m hockey romance that was very cute. I heard about it while listening to a podcast by the authors and thought I’d give it a try, even thought m/m contemporary isn’t really my go-to. Still, it was a nice diversion and a sweet read.

Monday: A Stroke of Malice by Anna Lee Huber (review)

Tuesday: Top 5 Cute Romances

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: Briarly by Aster Glenn Gray (review)

Monday: Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzalez (review)

Tuesday: Top 5 Worst Rules

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers (review)

Friday: TBD

Saturday: TBD

I don’t know why, but I’m really into classics right now. I’ll probably throw in a non-classic at some point this week, I just don’t know what yet.

How was your week? Drop a comment below and let me know!

Top 5 Cute Romances

It’s Tuesday, and that means it’s time for another Top 5 Tuesday. Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah at Bionic Bookworm. This week’s topic is my Top 5 Cute Romances.

Alex and Henry in Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston is the epitome of cute. It starts with Alex being absolutely obsessed with Henry. Like, over the top hating everything about him in really specific detail. Then they become friends,and then they fall in love and it’s the cutest, squishiest thing ever. They are so adorable together, from the way they talk and text to their romantic emails. Guys, they quote famous lovers to one another. It’s the best. They are definitely the cutest.

Arthur and Rory from the Magic in Manhattan series by Allie Therin are adorable too. On the one hand, you’ve got noble and too-good-to-be-true Arthur, who is basically a valiant knight out to protect the world. Then you’ve got Rory, a tiny, cranky firecracker who’s irresistible. They make me melt from squee.

Robin and Alistair are pretty darn cute in Unmasked by the Marquess. Robin is non-binary (although the language didn’t exist at the time, of course) and has been masquerading as her friend’s deceased brother for years. Alistair is immediately attracted to him and just as attracted when he discovers that Robin is also Charity. They are incredibly cute together.

Verity and Ash from A Duke in Disguise by Cat Sebastian are adorable as well. He seduces her with writing and cheese. They’re so disgustingly in love with each other, it should be sickening, but it’s not. It’s great. Super cute.

Ella and Darien are my final cute romance couple. I’m a sucker for a good Cinderella retelling, and these two geeks made this one something special. I love how fannish they both are, and how they bond over it. I love how adorable they are together. They’re great.

What are some of your favorite cute romantic couples?

Weekly Wrap-up: May 3, 2020

Hi all, it’s been awhile. I’ve been struggling a lot lately. Everything just happened so quickly, you know? One minutes, events were being canceled, then school was supposed to be out for a couple weeks. Then, the stay at home orders were implemented, then extended, and suddenly, BAM! No more in-class school for the rest of the year. To top it off, I got the news about my dad soon after and realized that this year is really not going to be such a great year. For anyone, obviously, but I’m trying to come to terms with what I may be losing, and it’s hard. So, I haven’t been in the best blogging place.

However, not blogging or sticking to a routine hasn’t helped, so I’m back at it. At least, I’m gonna try. This week, I officially start distance teaching and I’m going to recommit to exercising and sticking to a daily schedule. I just do and fell so much better when I’m disciplined about all that, you know?

Monday: A Stroke of Malice by Anna Lee Huber (review)

Tuesday: Top 5 Cute Romances

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: Briarely by Aster Glenn Gray (review)

Friday: April Wrap-up

Saturday: TBD

How are you? What’s been going on lately? Let me know in the comments!

Top 5 Things I’m Enjoying While in Isolation

It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for another Top 5 Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Shanah at the Bionic Book Worm. I’ve been in isolation for 24 days, all by myself since I live alone. Well. I guess not totally alone, because I do have two cats, both of whom are thrilled that I am home. But this has been tough, and I’m glad to have a chance to reflect on things that I’m enjoying.

Books

Of course, I could not start a list of things I’m enjoying without acknowledging books. They are my solace. I’ve revisited old favorites and I’m discovering new. And while I’m scheduling my days as such that I don’t exactly have a ton more time to read, I am reading more and I am enjoying the time very much.

Daily Phone Calls to my Family

I call my mom about three times a day, and it’s helping so much. Even with calling that much, we always have tons to talk about, and it really helps my mood.

Exercise

It’s killing me that I cannot get to the gym. I’ve been working so hard lifting weights the past couple years, and now I’m going to lose all the muscles I’ve built. But, I bought weights for home and I’m on YouTube all the time looking for new workouts. I really look forward to working out every morning (this morning not included!) and it helps my mood and focus a ton.

Writing

All year, I have been dying for more time to write, and now I have it. I started by scheduling two hours a day to write, but I’m finding that I’m spending a ton more time because I’m loving it so much. I was writing the sequel to my unpublished book, but an author suggested I stop and write something else. Luckily, I had another book lined up, so now I’m writing about pirates, a very old love, and I’m having so much fun. Writing is awesome!

The Untamed

I’m almost done with the Netflix show The Untamed, which makes me sad, but I plan to start it over once I’m done. It’s so good and so complicated that I missed a ton of stuff at the beginning. And while I’m dragging my feet on getting to the end because I don’t want it to end, it makes me so very happy when I watch it. It’s got what I love: men being vulnerable and open with other men, and I love each and every squishy moment. It’s fantastic.

Those are just five things that I’m enjoying while in isolation. Runner’s up include my cats, coffee, Phantom of the Opera and other musicals, and the internet.

What are some of the things you’re enjoying in isolation?

WWW Wednesday April 1, 2020

Hey y’all. It’s Wednesday, and I am down in the dumps. I was watching the news last night and, out of nowhere, they announced that the schools in my county are closed for the rest of the year. Yes, we’re still doing distance learning and, yes, I’ll see at least some of my kids through that on my computer screen, but that’s it. No more going to school. In addition to being upset about that, I’m also upset about the way it was handled. They should have told the teachers and staff before it was announced on the news. I’m really angry about the way I found out. Also, I was/am trying to find a job closer to my parents for next year. If I succeed, I’ll never see my students in person again. I’ll never see my former students in person again. I’ll never get to say goodbye.

So, yeah. I’m a little down right now. But, onto the post.

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Each week, participants are asked three questions:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Right now, I’m reading 3 books, but WordPress is acting up again, so I can’t post all three pictures. I’m reading Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuinston, a reread to get me through this difficult time. I’m also reading The Watchmaker’s Daughter by C.J. Archer, an author I discovered last year who quickly became a favorite. Finally, I’m reading Joe Ledger: Special Ops by Joanthan Maberry, one of four Joe Ledger books I have bought this last week. This one is a collection of short stories set among the novels.

I just finished two books: The King of Plagues by Jonathan Maberry and Starcrossed by Allie Therin. I loved both books with the passion of a thousand fiery suns. I actually reread The King of Plagues because I think there’s a mistake in it and I’ve been wanting to ask the author about it since the book came out in 2011. Now that he’s doing weekly Q&As on Facebook, I figured this was the time.

Honestly, I have no idea. Gone Girl is on top of my TBR pile, but I don’t know if I’ll read that or something else. I do have three more Joe Ledger books coming, so it might be one of those.

What are you reading this week?

Weekly Wrap-up | March 15, 2020

Hello from the apocalypse! This week was pretty crazy. We had parent conferences, which went well. In the past, I’ve experienced massive anxiety over conferences, but since going through intensive therapy, going on anti-anxiety drugs, and feeling like I’m actually a good teacher, it’s gotten a lot easier. The hardest part was the growing panic over COVID-19 which culminated in an after school meeting during which the principal told us that she couldn’t tell us anything officially, but she recommended that we take anything we’d want to have for the next two weeks home with us. A couple hours later, the official notice came down that our school is closed for the next two weeks. I have a feeling it will be longer, but I don’t know. The cafeteria will still be open for the kids to eat. I’ve been sending resources out to the parents over Class Dojo, but not all parents are signed up, so not everyone is getting them. I teach in a poor area, and some of the families don’t have access to the internet anyway. It’s a mess.

It’s funny: my dream is to not have to teach so I can write, but this is definitely not how I wanted it to happen. I want to have published several books, first, and then be able to leave teaching to write full time.

The positives: I’ll have time to read. I can continue watching The Untamed and I just got Disney+ so I can also watch The Mandalorian. (I’m not sure how to spell that). I just ordered weights, a yoga ball, and resistance bands so I can work out at home. Plus, I’ll continue to run, since that’s a solitary activity. I am considered vulnerable because of my asthma. I was considering going home to visit my parents, but right now, I’m afraid of picking up the virus on the way down and passing it on to my father, who has cancer and is losing weight as I type this. Probably not a great idea.

Reading wise, I didn’t get much done this week. I’m focusing on The Starless Sea, which I bought because it was due at the library and I couldn’t renew it. Of course, then the library closed and it didn’t matter anymore, but I love the book, so it’s fine. This way, I can go through and tab the stories in it so when they’re referenced, I can go back and reread them since I only vaguely recall them. Anyway. I hope to become more active on my blog again. I’ve got the time.

Tuesday: Top 5 Tuesday – Author’s F-J

Saturday: Snippet Saturday

Monday: TBD

Tuesday: Top 5 Tuesday – Authors K-O

Wednesday: WWW Wednesdasy

Thursday: TBD (probably The Starless Sea review)

Friday: TBD

Saturday: Snippet Saturday

How are you? Are you self-isolating? What are your tips to survive this? Drop a comment below and let me know!

Weekly round-up | March 8

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week. I did, although it was very busy. I had a training on Monday and Thursday, which meant two days of sub plans. I also had report cards to enter and conferences to schedule. Plus, I was a little bit sick, although once I started being treated, I felt much better. Unfortunately, I didn’t finish any books this week (boo!) which means I have nothing to review. That gives me a kind of icky feeling, like I’m failing, which this blog is supposed to be a fun hobby, not an obligation. But, if you see less of me this week, that’s why.

Monday: The Toll by Neal Sushterman (review)

Tuesday: Top 5 Authors A-B-C-D-E

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Saturday: Snippet Saturday

Tuesday: Top 5 Authors F-G-H-I-J

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Saturday: Snippet Saturday

Anyone have some tag suggestions for me?

How was your week? What are you reading? Drop me a comment below and let me know!