10 Books of Summer

How exciting to see that Cathy at 746 Books is celebrating 10 years of 20 Books of Summer! I haven’t participated every year but I’m looking forward to joining in on the fun this summer.

I enjoy using reading challenges to focus on books I’ve had for a while so with that in mind I’ve selected 10 books to focus on. This time I’m also including some Kindle reads that I’ve had on my Kindle for at least 5 years. If I swap out any books it has to be with another shelf sitter.

Here is my pile of possibilities:

The Swiss Summer by Stella Gibbons. I picked this one up due to the title because honestly that’s where I’d love to be right now!

Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather. This classic tells the story of Father Jean Marie Latour, a French Jesuit priest, who is sent on mission to the newly acquired southwestern part of the United States in 1851.

Barbara Isn’t Dying by Alina Bronsky; translated by Tim Mohr. Walter Schmidt has lived his whole life within the narrow, “comfortable” confines of traditional gender roles. After all, he could always count on his wife, Barbara. But when one morning she can’t get up from bed anymore, everything changes. I’ve greatly enjoyed  two other books by Alina Bronsky.

Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie. The beautiful bronzed body of Arlena Stuart lay facedown on the beach. But strangely, there was no sun and she was not sunbathing… she had been strangled. I always like to have a mystery to choose from and it’s been ages since I read any Agatha Christie.

The Weekend by Charlotte Wood. Four older women have a lifelong friendship of the best kind: loving, practical, frank, and steadfast. But when Sylvie dies, the ground shifts dangerously for the remaining three.

Photographic: The Life of Gabriela Iturbide by Isabel Quintero. Through this graphic novel we discover the power of images through the photography of Graciela Iturbide. Born in Mexico, Iturbide blazed her own path in the photography scene of the 1970s to become one of the most accomplished photographers in the world.

From my Kindle:

The Lost Words by Stephanie Butland. Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look closely, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are things she’ll never show you. Fifteen years ago Loveday lost all she knew and loved in one unspeakable night.

Murder on Black Swan Lane by Andrea Penrose. In Regency London, an unconventional scientist and a fearless female artist form an unlikely alliance to expose a cold-hearted killer . . . It’s been a while since I read a historical mystery!

My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite. Korede’s sister Ayoola is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola’s third boyfriend in a row is dead, stabbed through the heart with Ayoola’s knife.

Things You Save in the Fire by Katherine Center. Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse. She’s a total pro at other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to give up her whole life and move to Boston, Cassie suddenly has an emergency of her own.

As usual, I try to  a variety of genres. Let’s see how I do this summer but I’m excited. Let me know if you’ve read any of these and if you are planning to join!

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Month in Review

Didn’t I just write a month in review post? This month went by so quickly. Anyway, I’m closing out the month feeling a bit more refreshed and excited. Must be the week off I had from work. Ha.

I spent my time working on crafty projects, visited Austin Creative Reuse (such a fun place) and spent time reading and napping. Oh and a visit to the library to renew my library card. Must always have an active library card, right? Believe it or not, no books were borrowed this time.

For May I finished four books: Small Mercies by Dennis Lehane, A Line in the Sand by Kevin Powers, The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave and The 6:41 to Paris by Jean-Phillippe Blondel; translated by Allison Anderson. My favorites were Small Mercies and The 6:41 to Paris.

Now to think about June and some of the things I have in mind. There’s Cathy’s 20 Books of Summer challenge which I am joining but still putting together my list of potential reads so stay tuned for that. I’m also looking forward to a bookbinding class I’m taking at the Austin Book Arts Center. I’ve been doing a lot of crafting this year but not as much bookbinding (yet!). Along with this class, I’ve also signed up for a monthly online bookbinding workshop and my best friend gave me a book on bookbinding projects. I think all signs point to more book making in my future and I’m ready for it! I’ll tell you more about all of that in another post.

Anyway, here’s to lots of great reads next month! Let me know what you are looking forward to this summer.

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Some Fun Times

Saturday my husband took me out for brunch and then we went to the bookstore for a fun date. It’s been a while since we’ve had a chance to go to the bookstore as my husband has been busy with some weekend projects, but this was a wonderful way to celebrate my birthday and to kick off my week off from work.

I also had a Barnes & Noble gift card so I got I Who Have Never Known Men by Jacqueline Harpman; translated by Ron Schwartz and Others Were Emeralds by Lang Leav. But that’s not all because of course my husband got me some crafty items for my studio, like a new craft mat. I have at least 4 other craft mats (I really do use all!) but this one will be great when working with paints.

The other thing that is exciting is that this week that I am off from work and my plans involve dedicated reading time, craft time and probably some outings to do some thrifting and finding inspiration.

I know I haven’t updated you on my craft projects but I plan to tell you more about that. Oh and I also have more books coming my way as I started my birthday book shopping earlier this month. haha… Anyway, I hope you’ve all been doing well and wishing you all a wonderful week!

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