Tuesday, May 5, 2020

I’ve Been Reading. Have You?

The past few years I’ve been keeping a bit better track of what I’m reading and when. Primarily through the Reading Challenge on GoodReads. In previous years I’ve been truly horrible at keeping up-to-date with my records, but this year, oh, this year I’ve been marking my books as I start reading them and checking them off when I’m finished. The year started off with a bang - the books of The Atlantis Grail series by Vera Nezarian: Qualify, Compete, Win, and Survive. 

Since then, I’ve run through a few re-reads, some beloved, some simply enjoyable. For the most part though I’ve been reading new titles, both from favourite authors and new (to me) ones. 

I’ve read a lot of Nora Roberts’ backlist titles. Can I just say - I loved The MacGregors

I stormed through the books of the Dragon Blood series by Lindsay Buroker. I really enjoyed them, and my first foray into the steampunk genre. 

I’ve previously loved R.E. Butler’s various dragon series but decided to give Were Zoo series. To be honest, I found them highly entertaining. 

After seeing that The Cowgirl’s Secret Love (book 2, The Colemans of Heart Falls series) was scheduled to release in April, I realized I’d actually fallen behind on the Heart Falls series books. So, me being me, I started at the beginning of the Vivian Arend’s Six Pack Ranch series and read all the way through. Not only do I thoroughly enjoy the ranch romances, I’m also tickled reading about locations I’ve personally visited. 


Michelle M. Pillow took me diving into the depths with her Lords of the Abyss books. I haven’t read a lot of stories about mermen before. I was pleasantly surprised by the books. 

Princess and I marathoned through the Harry Potter movies, then I decided to start re-reading the books. I’m not quite marathoning through the books but I’m making my way through them all once again as the mood strikes. Currently, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is one of the books I’m working on. 

And then it was back to one of my personal favourite authors: Christine Feehan. She began her Shadow Riders series in 2016 with the book of the same title, Shadow Rider. Since then three more books have followed and the fifth book in the series, Shadow Flight released today. (May 5, 2020) I read through the first four books a couple weeks ago for the first time, and today I’m reading the new one. #ReleaseDayReading 

So what have you been reading? Have you discovered any new authors? What’s the best thing you’ve read so far in 2020? What’s the best thing you’ve read since (sorta) quarantine began? 

... coming soon - a complete list of the titles I’ve read in January, February, March and April 2020. 

Saturday, March 21, 2020

A Little 'Me Time' Reading

My kids have been home for a full week now. For them, as for a great many of your children, school has been cancelled – indefinitely is the term they used to describe the duration of this experience. We’re getting rather nicely, so far, but again it’s only been a week.

That week has been full of uncertainty and concern. In many ways the reality of the situation is still sinking in for them, and me. We’ve kept busy, surprisingly so considering we’ve been pretty much home-bound, except for a couple trips to try and stock up on essentials at the grocery store. We’ve done a bunch of deep cleaning, we’ve instituted some new house activities, and Heli Dad and I have been trying to keep things as calm and as straight as we can for the kids.

Yesterday for perhaps the first time all week, I was able to pick up a book and read. First with a mug of hot tea, later with a glass of wine. I snugged down and dove into the romance and adventure in Morrigan’s Cross the first book in Nora Roberts’ The Circle trilogy. Considering how quickly I read, I’ll be done all three books of the series by sometime Sunday.

What should I read next?

What are you reading?

And more, what are you doing to give yourself some ‘me time’ if you’re in self-isolation or sheltering in place, or in quarantine?

Friday, October 4, 2019

Reading And Writing And How They Co-Exist

Multi-tasking is a thing that everyone can do. It’s a thing that most moms excel at. I myself have taught myself to become good at undertaking (and actually finishing) half a dozen or more tasks all at once. But even for me, there are simply some things I can’t do while involved in certain other pursuits.

I can’t watch TV or movies while writing. I can listen to music and write. My kids can watch TV in the same room as I’m in and I can write. But even if it’s a show I’ve watched a hundred times and know line-by-line, I can not write if it’s on.

When I’m in the thick of writing I tend not to read much. Even if I’ve got 45 minutes to kill in the car while I’m waiting for Angel Face’s dance class to be finished, I can’t get in to reading a book when a part of my mind is (as it always is) absorbed with the story I’m crafting. It’s as if my brain becomes locked on the tale I’m writing and puts up this wall of ‘nope’ anytime I try to read.

I’ll fritter away hours of the day scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, but reading is practically impossible when a part of me is silently saying “you could be writing!”

The reverse is similar, if not quite the same. When I’ve got a book in my hands that is simply entrancing me, I’ll very rarely stop reading to go and write. I can, and have read as many as 4 different novels at one time – my choice of the moment dependent largely on my location and what may be going on around me. But it’s pretty damn rare that you’ll find me reading one moment and writing the next.

I mean it has happened. But not often.

The past couple months I’ve been writing… a lot. (In the past 6 weeks, I’ve written roughly 80,000 words!!!) So this issue of not reading while immersed in my own writing inevitably came up. After all, while I’m committed to writing, I still have 4 kids to care for and a household to run, and work. That leaves a good number of hours during the day when I simply can not be at my computer (or on another device) writing. And sure, I do spend a portion of that time thinking about what happens next and all the things, but sometimes even my writers brain needs a break from the story. But if I’m unable to lose myself in a book?

Well I’m happy to say that after all these years of this struggle, I’ve finally found a way to “read” during periods of writing, without actually reading.


Okay, yes, this is not a new thing. It’s not a unique or even brilliant idea. But it’s changed things in my daily life dramatically. You can laugh, it’s okay. It is sort of funny.

The thing, for me, about audiobooks is that I can be vastly entertained by the story as I listen to it, but my mind doesn’t latch on to the story in quite the same way as when I’m physically reading it. In a way the audiobook is like the music or TV in the background – I enjoy it but it doesn’t fully distract me from what my mind is focused on. I can satisfy my need to lose myself in another world, without becoming a part of it.

Another bonus? It takes way longer to get through a book while listening to it in audio format than it would if I was reading it myself. So I’m also not bombarding my brain with story-world upon story-world, upon story-world.

So for me, it’s a definite audiobooks for the win!

What about you? Do you listen to audio books?

What are you listening to RIGHT NOW?