Archive of ‘My Reading Life’ category

Bookish Q&A

It has been a long day, so I’m going to take it easy on myself and answer random questions about my reading life. How would you answer these questions? Feel free to tell me in the comments. And if you have book-related questions for me, put them in the comments too! I’ll definitely answer!

What are my go-to genres?

  • Historical Fiction
  • Family Drama
  • Fiction
  • Memoir
  • Non-fiction Politics/History – written by journalists
  • Pop Culture
  • Books on writing

What book(s) are on my nightstand right now?

I went upstairs to look and realized it is the perfect representation of the go-to genres I listed above. I didn’t even plan that!

  • Unbelievable: My Front Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History, by Katy Tur (Political/Journalism)
  • Inheritance, by Danni Shapiro  (Memoir)
  • This Time Tomorrow, by Emma Straub (Fiction/Family Drama)
  • Writing is My Drink, Theo Pauline Nestor (Writing)
  • Directed by James Burrows: Five Decades of Stories from the Director of Taxi, Cheers, Fraiser, Friends, Will & Grace, and More (Pop Culture)

What is my favorite childhood book?

It’s a toss-up between:

  • Are You There God? It’s Me, Margret, by Judy Blume
  • Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, by Judi Barrett

Do I dog-ear book pages or use a bookmark?

  • I use a bookmark or something that acts like a bookmark. Right now, I am using the ticket from Andrew’s high school graduation. I’m not opposed to dog-earring a book, but I try not to do it often.

What is my ideal reading setting?

  • Depends on the season. In the winter, I love to sit on the couch with a warm blanket on top of me, wearing my favorite pajamas, drinking a hot beverage, and relaxing by the pellet stove.
  • In the summer, at the pool or on the patio.
  • I also miss my commute to work. I used to read on the train or listen to a book on Audible in the car. I read a lot more books that way.

What is my favorite indie bookstore?

  • How much time do you have? I don’t have a favorite indie bookstore because I love all of them. They are all so charming, and I love exploring them all. Besides the endless shelves of books, book-themed gifts, and staff recommendations, I mostly enjoy the people. They are a combination of random strangers and old friends who are book nerds like me. They come from all walks of life and are not shy about telling me about the book I’m holding in my hand and letting me know what they think of it. And, when there are kids in the store, I want to put a book in their hands and offer to pay for it. The saddest thing is when I see a child asking their parent for a book and is told no. It breaks my heart every time.

What book am I embarrassed to say I’ve never read?

Oy! Okay, here we go.

  • To Kill a Mockingbird (I know, I know!)
  • The Thornbirds
  • Anything by Jane Austen

The Lightning Round

  • What I am reading right now – Unbelievable, by Katy Tur and Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant by Roz Chast (my first non-fiction graphic novel!)
  • First book I remember reading – One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
  • Last book I read – Playing with Myself by Randy Rainbow
  • Last book I bought – Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen by Dan Heath
  • Paperbacks or ebooks – I prefer paperbacks, but I read both
  • Favorite classics – The Scarlet Letter, The Crucible, Romeo & Juliet
  • Least favorite classic – The Old Man and the Sea
  • How many books do I read in a month – 4 or 5 books

That’s all I’ve got! Don’t forget to play along by answering any of these questions or ask me a question in the comments



A Rookie Mistake

You guys – I can’t believe I did this. I’m so embarrassed. How can I describe myself as an avid and voracious reader and then pull a stunt like this?! Seriously, what was I thinking? I left my house without a book, a Kindle, or my earbuds to listen to something on Audible. And there I was at my son’s swim meet during a rain delay with nothing to read.

I know. I know. I’m just as shocked as you are. It was just last night that I picked up Katy Tur’s brand new memoir, Rough Draft. I waited in line for almost an hour for her to sign it. When I got home, I placed the book on my nightstand so that I would read it before bedtime. That’s where I went wrong. I took the book out of the car and brought it into the house, leaving me with no reading material whatsoever.

This is such a rookie mistake for me. I ALWAYS bring something to read. I’m never without an emergency page-turner in my drawstring bag. And in a real pinch, I can usually rely on an old magazine in the back seat of my car that I can dust off and catch up on the latest gossip. I dug around the seat cushions, underneath the seats, and even checked the trunk to no avail.

I was lost. I had free time and nothing to read. My heart was in my stomach, and a cold chill ran down my back.* I’m not used to feeling this empty inside. I quickly turned to my iPhone and opened the New York Times app for today’s news. This was the perfect time to catch up on some articles until the meet resumed. But then I realized I had another problem – I forgot my reading glasses at home too.

UGH! Now, what was I going to do? Talk to my husband? I supposed we could have engaged in a little light conversation. Sadly, he was entertaining himself with endless Facebook Reels. When he showed me a clip of a dog licking a sign advertising ice cream cones, I knew we weren’t on the same page. (Thank you – I’ll be here all night!)

I’m happy to say that I survived. I took out my contacts to read the small print on my phone screen. I eeked out two articles before I decided to close my eyes and listen to the radio. I’ve learned my lesson, although I thought I had already learned it during the long car ride to Grandmom’s house in the summer of ’87. That was a rough night. I don’t like to talk about it much.

Now, if you will excuse me, I must prepare my drawstring bag with two (maybe three) books, a few magazines, and my reading glasses. Next time, I won’t leave home without it.

*Okay, some descriptions in this blog post were embellished for dramatic effect. 🙂 


Look at all of the books I could have been reading!

Book Signings

I’ve pictured myself attending my own book signing. I imagine sitting behind the table with a few hundred copies of y book in front of me and my favorite fountain pen at the ready, to sign the title pages of all the books sold. There’s a line of people waiting for their turn to say hello and let me know how my book resonated with them. At the end of the night, I feel satisfied knowing that I have produced something that will outlast me and help people for generations to come.

But, since I haven’t finished my memoir yet (only 25K-30K words to go!), I attend author events. I love listening to writers talk about their book and their creative process. Each person has their own story to tell, and I always come away learning something new.

A few weeks ago, I participated in a workshop centered around the book “The Gift from the Sea” by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Sadly, Mrs. Lindbergh couldn’t make it. She passed away more than two decades ago, but her book stands the test of time. A colleague gave me the book as a gift, and it took me years to truly appreciate its collection of essays about how to be a woman. Even though she wrote the book more than 50 years ago, her wisdom resonates as much today as it was first published. This book is one of the few I read repeatedly and has a permanent place on my nightstand.

Tonight, I’m adding another book to my nightstand – Rough Draft by MSNBC host Katy Tur. I’ve watched and enjoyed her show for many years. Her coverage of the Trump administration was must-see-tv, and her memoir about that experience is supposed to be excellent. Her new memoir is more personal, and I received a signed copy at her book talk tonight.

Being in a room of like-minded and politically aligned people is also nice. As much as I enjoyed the author portion of the program, the Q&A afterward made me realize I’m not the only person disturbed and saddened by the state of our democracy.

But I digress… author events are a terrific way to spend an evening with friends. I’m grateful to have people in my life who enjoy them as much as I do. And now, I need to start looking for the next one to attend.

Do you attend book signings? What do you like about them?

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