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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Making America (or Maybe Just Me) Read Again

As a blog reader as well as writer, I have seen Anne Bogel's Modern Mrs. Darcy mentioned numerous times by bloggers I read, but had not often visited her site. A few weeks ago, I heard her interviewed on The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey and decided to spend some time on her blog.

If you are a reader, Modern Mrs. Darcy is heaven on the internet. It's a reader's dream come true, plus it is set up beautifully. There is so much to see there that I could never adequately explain it, so just go. Each year Anne creates a Reading Challenge. This year one is for fun and one is for growth. Since I've been in a reading rut lately, I thought I'd choose the fun one first.

Also, a sidenote: For some reason, I have always told myself that listening to audiobooks was cheating. I've decided this is a really dumb theory and I'm looking to listen to the audio version of a few of the titles on my list. I am constantly in my car or running around my house or literally running in the neighborhood. Why shouldn't we listen to beautiful words and inspiring stories while we're folding laundry, doing the dishes or getting in that last mile?

So, I need help. What app, what service, what whatever you want to call it do you use to listen to audiobooks? Is there more than one? I've heard of Audible. Is that it? Does it cost something? Are you thinking, "Hey, there's this new thing called Google. Go find out for yourself."? If you can help a girl out, please comment below this post.

Okay. Here are my picks for this challenge. If you're doing the challenge as well or want to join in, please tell me what you're reading!

#makeamericareadagain #booksnotmeansocialmediamadness #letsdothis

  • A book you chose for the cover

 Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple

I read Where Did You Go, Bernadette? by Semple a couple of years ago and it had a fabulous cover. The story was quirky and fun, so I suppose I might have looked for this book anyway, but how great is this cover?

  • A book with a reputation of being un-put-down-able

All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr

This book has been suggested to me by so many people I've lost count. I have had both a kindle copy and a hard cover copy for a long time and I think I might be the only person on Earth who hasn't read it yet. I started it last night, so this will be the first one to cross off my list.

  • A book set somewhere you've never been but have always wanted to visit

Olive Kitteridge 
by Elizabeth Strout

I was having trouble thinking of some where I was dying to visit which it occurs to me makes me sound really boring. There are loads of places I'd like to visit, but I'm not sure there is one that is constantly on my mind. My parents visited Maine in September a couple of years ago and it sounded beautiful, so I typed "Books set in Maine" in to that trusty Amazon search box and this book came up. It's a Pulitzer Prize winner and also an Emmy winning mini-series so I'm thinking it might be okay.

  • A book you've already read

What I Saw at the Revolution: A Political Life in the Reagan Era by Peggy Noonan

As a teenager, although I was very much into 80s hair bands, my Guess overalls and Dial A Lash mascara, I was also a bit of a female Alex P. Keaton. I had a commemorative plate depicting all of the presidents on my dresser sitting next to a plastic tray with President Reagan's face on it where I kept my Add-A-Bead necklace. I also had a keepsake box with a photo of the United States Capitol Building on it. (This is where you are wondering if I ever had a date in high school.) Peggy Noonan wrote some of the most famous and eloquent of Reagan's speeches. I devoured this account of her experience as a Republican woman in the White House when my parents gave it to me for Christmas over twenty years ago when I moved to DC. I can't wait to read it again and see if I am as enthralled as I was then.

  • A juicy memoir

The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Love and Loss 
by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt

The Magnolia Story
by Chip and Joanna Gaines

The Hiding Place
by Corrie Ten Boom

I'd say this is the genre I've read the most often in the last few years, so I picked a few.

  • A book about books or reading

My Reading Life by Pat Conroy

Beach Music, The Water is Wide and The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy are some of the best books I've ever read. When I was getting my masters in Education one of my professors must have said a gazillion times, "Good writers read and good readers write." As soon as I saw this book when searching for "books about books and reading" I was sold. Conroy is such an amazing story teller, it is no surprise that he would be a voracious reader. What a gift that he would write this book. I'm so looking forward to it.

  • A book in a genre you usually avoid

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Murder mysteries are not my favorite. I, did, however read Flynn's Gone Girl and although it was creepy, it was so compelling and smart. A friend lent me Sharp Objects well over a year ago and it's been sitting on my shelf. I think it fits well into this category.

  • A book you don't want to admit you're dying to read

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

Amy Schumer's humor crosses so far over the line she might as well just erase the line before she starts talking. And yet her movie, Trainwreck, made me blush and cringe and also laugh hysterically and even cry at the end. I'd say that's some talent. I'm going to check this out. Don't tell my mom.

  • A book in the backlist of a new favorite author

Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty

I've read four books by Moriarty and they are all so smart and compelling. They always have some crazy twist that's waiting to be revealed so that you are pulling your hair out trying to figure it out. This is her first novel, so I'm in.

  • A book recommeded by someone with great taste

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
by Daniel James Brown

My husband has been suggesting this book to me and everyone else in the world for a couple of years now. When we went  to the Virgin Islands to celebrate our 20th anniversary he was reading it everyday by the pool and could not stop talking about it. I was reading Mindy Kaling's Why is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, so it was really getting on my nerves to be interrupted. (Can you say unequally yoked?)

  • A book you were excited to buy or borrow but haven't read yet

Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner

The list of books I want to read by Christian women is miles long. I bought this book on January 2nd because I had heard the author interviewed and it sounded like it might be a good theme for me for the year. It is such a pretty book that it looks great on my coffee table. After I finish All the Light We Cannot See, this will be next.

  • A book about a subject you love

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

I've seen this book recommended by writers so many times. I've heard enough amazing quotes from it that I feel like I've read it, but I never have. It's been on my list for years. Now's the time.

Let's fill our minds with good stuff this year. When I was teaching we called it DEAR time. (Drop Everything and Read).  Comment below and let me know what you're reading!

1 2 3 GO!

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