My art and writing are two channels I use to express gratitude for all the goodness in my life.  Being creative requires me to step out of my comfort zone and explore new avenues.  When I write and paint from the heart, everything makes sense.  I am grateful for the opportunity to share my joy with you.

On the Shelf

IMG_3517 Books, how I love them!  I am unable to go into a bookstore without leaving with at least one book in my bag and because of how convenient the internet is, I often impulsively end up buying online as well.  Last year, I made a resolution that I would only borrow books from the library but...well...you know from yesterday's post that patience is not something I excel in.  Especially when it comes to books.

I like to blame my less than stellar memory for my impulsive buying.  It's easier to just buy a book that sounds interesting now rather than running the risk of forgetting the title.

Yes.  I know.  I could keep a book journal or use the Note app on my computer or add it to my Goodreads list of books to read.

Check, check, check.  I've done all three, trust me.  I just can't seem to rein in my impulsive buying habit.

In January, I decided to join the book challenge that Anne of Modern Mrs. Darcy hosts.  It seemed doable:  12 books in a year, using the list below as a guide:


I'm happy to say that I am off to a good start!  Below is a list of the books I've read so far this year, with a brief synopsis of each:

  1. A book published this year: I was fortunate enough to win a book through another book group I joined (hosted by Laura of Circle of Pine Trees) titled The Trouble with Goats and Sheep, by Joanna Cannon.  Set in a small town in England, it is both a coming of age story and a mystery that takes place in a neighborhood populated by an interesting array of characters, each harboring a secret.  I really enjoyed the characters, especially the two young girls (Grace and Tilly) who try to discover where God resides in the neighborhood.
  2. A book you should have read in school:  Lord of the Flies, by William Golding.  I still can't believe I was never assigned this book in high school, it is usually a staple of literature classes.  It was required reading for all of my daughters and when I saw it on M's bookshelf I decided to find out what I had missed.  Wow.  I was hooked almost immediately by this story of a group of small boys stranded on an island and their slow de-evolution to the basic human instinct of survival of the fittest.  If you never read it in school I recommend that you find out what you missed.
  3. A book recommended by your local bookseller:  While visiting The Hickory Stick (my favorite local bookstore) I was encouraged to read My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout.  This quiet novel is about Lucy, a young wife and mother who is hospitalized and a series of conversations she has with her estranged mother, who has come to spend time with her in the hospital.  Through their conversations you get a glimpse into Lucy's childhood as well as her life as an adult.  It is a story about reconciliation and the complicated bond between a mother and daughter.  I enjoyed it very much.
  4. A book chosen for you by your partner, spouse, etc.:  I am fudging a little with this one because it is my mother who suggested I read My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante...but I don't think that Anne will mind!  My Brilliant Friend is the first of a series called The Neapolitan Novels, which have been highly praised by reviewers (and Mom).  I have only just begun it, so cannot say very much except that it is set in Naples, Italy and is the story of a friendship that begins in childhood and continues into adulthood.  This book has been on my radar for quite a while but for some reason I have balked at reading it.  But hey, my mom has good taste in books so I thought I would give it a try.  Stay tuned.

As you can see, I am off to a good start!  I promise to be more timely with my reviews.  My goal is to post a review each time I finish a book but, well, you can see I am having a little trouble meeting that objective.  As usual, I have my finger in too many pies (not sure if that is the right saying; if my husband was reading this he would be cracking up) and cannot keep up with my own goals.  Oh well, such is life. 

What have you been reading lately?