Gilead [Book Review] #WhatsOnYourBookShelfChallenge

August 20, 2021

 Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (cover) Image: white text over the graphic image of a bluish tree)

Genre/Categories/Setting: Literary Fiction, Pulitzer Prize, Fathers and Sons, Family Life, Rural America and Small Towns

I’m linking up today with Deb @ Deb’s World and SueDonna, and Jo for the August installment of #WhatsOnYourBookShelfChallenge

Gilead has been on my virtual bookshelf for years! When I heard about this challenge, I thought this Pulitzer Prize book might be perfect to read! My husband and I both read and enjoyed Gilead, and it has earned a place on both of our lifetime favorites lists. We definitely want to continue with the next three books.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Pulitzer Prize 2005. New York Times Top-Ten Book of 2004. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. Marilynne Robinson writes the quiet story of three generations of fathers and sons. faith, and rural life.

My Thoughts:

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Sunshine Blogger Award #TakeTwo

December 22, 2020

Sunshine Blogger Award #TakeTwo

Sunshine Blogger Award (text on a field of marigolds...top and bottom yellow and blue star border)

I’m honored to be the recipient of awards and tags…..unfortunately, I have difficulty with follow-through! My apologies to anyone I haven’t responded to who has tagged me!

I’m taking a blogging break of sorts this week (Christmas Week) to have some FUN! I thought today might be a perfect time to acknowledge this thoughtful award from Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog.

Here are the rules for today’s tag:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their page (THANKS Davida!)
  • List the rules
  • Answer the 11 questions
  • Nominate 11 new bloggers and ask them 11 new questions

My Answer to Davida’s Questions:

First of all, if you had to pick one author as your #1 favorite, who would it be; and what book of theirs would you recommend others read first?

No surprise here, folks! Fredrick Backman is currently my favorite author. I wrote an entire post about it here. He’s a skilled wordsmith, creative, risk-taking, thoughtful, and heavily character-driven I’m a completist and have read all his work. These are my favs in order:

What genre do you refuse to read, and why?

If you’ve followed me for long, you will notice that my reviews heavily involve certain genres/subgenres (histfic, complicated family dramas, literary fiction, women’s fiction, memoirs, biographies, and new releases). Conspicuously absent are reviews of thrillers, paranormal, erotica, horror, crime fiction, true crime, child abduction, and anything extremely graphic, violent, or disturbing. I’m an HSP (highly sensitive person) in my reading life and I think real life is scary enough. To give you an idea, American Dirt and The Huntress are about as harrowing as I can handle without triggering nightmares! Interestingly, I can read about concentration camps in my WW11 histfic selections without ill effects.

Do You Think You Spend Too Much Time Blogging or Not Enough Time Blogging?

For me, I have found a good balance and I think I spend just about the right amount of time. I’m recently retired, so reading/blogging fills those hours…and it’s certainly been nice to have something to take my mind off the pandemic! I love my blogging life and treasure my blogging friendships!

When you’re reading a book and you suddenly realize you don’t like it, what makes you decide you can’t read further, if at all?

I’m NOT afraid to DNF for several reasons: triggering content, excessive profanity (especially combined with other factors), boredom (nothing happening…feelings of dread and not of joy when I pick up the book, mindless scrolling social media instead of reading), not my preferred genre, disturbing content, and an overly done author agenda. I wrote a post about my love/hate relationship with DNF here.

Is there a nickname, persona or “handle” that you use online, and if so, what’s the story behind it?

I use some version of reading ladies across all platforms (if you have a bookish account, let’s connect):

Twitter (ReadingLadiesBC)
Instagram (readingladies_book_club)
Goodreads Carol (Reading Ladies)
Pinterest (ReadingLadies)

Here’s the story behind the handle: I was reading the recent installment of No 1 Ladies Detective Agency at the time and I thought I could do a take-off on that like No 1 Ladies Reading Club … or some variation. The tech person helping me set up my blog gave me the side-eye when I explained how to spell “No” and gently explained that I needed something people didn’t have to wonder how to spell…so I said “fine….reading ladies book club @ readingladies.com). Honestly, I didn’t think much about it. I just wanted my blog to be up and running. If I could change it at this point, I might change it to “Sunflowers and Stories” or something (cuter) like that. Another reason behind the (plural) name is that I would eventually like this to be a team effort. I’d love to bring a new blogger on board who would like to learn the ropes of blogging without going solo….like an intern. It’s always tricky to find someone with similar interests and style. I know there’s a person out there, I just need to connect! So a long-range goal is to make Reading Ladies a team!

What is one food you could eat every single day and never tire of eating it?

Chocolate!

If you could build your dream home in your dream type of location, where would it be?

My dream home would definitely be in a tropical location overlooking the ocean!

What makes you angrier than anything else, and what do you do to express or repress your anger?

Hummmm….it makes me angry when adults mistreat, ignore, or damage children. I think people throughout history that have rescued children (like Tante Truus in The Last Train to London) are the best people! I just finished reading The Leavers and the way the adults treated Daniel caused me such grief that it greatly affected my reading experience. I felt the same way when I read Before We Were Yours or Orphan Train. These are the most difficult reads for me. In my teaching career, I tried to get my students any help they needed from the counselor. I took all their concerns seriously and did my best to help or listen or care….that’s all I could do. I was always the teacher knocking at the psychologist’s door insisting on services for a child!

When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I’m not sure I was 10, but I remember when I was young wanting to be an author. When I was a little older, I dreamed of owning a book store. Neither of these dreams came true….but in my teaching career my passion was to create lifelong readers and to cultivate the joy of reading, and hopefully, my blog supports the reading world! In a way, my life has always been literary and has revolved around books and reading.

If you could choose any destination to visit anywhere in the world when this virus ends, where would you decide to go, and why?

  1. South Dakota for my family reunion that was canceled during the pandemic
  2. Hawaii (to read on the beach)

On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you like answering these types of questions?

I guess an 8! Did you enjoy my answers?

My Nominees:

I follow hundreds of blogs, so I hesitate to single out bloggers. To follow the rules, though, I need to mention a few. Give them a follow! These nominees represent lovely and supportive blogging friends whom I interact with on a regular basis.

Feel free to participate…or not!

Nicki @ The Secret Library Book Review Blog

Lynne @ Fictionophile

Carla @ Carla Loves To Read

Tina @ Reading Between the Pages

Jaymi @ The OC Book Girl

Hopewell’s Public Library of Life

Karen @ Booker Talk

Sandy @ Sandy’s Book a Day Blog

Julie @ A Little Book Problem

Debbie @ Deb’s World

Jonetta @ Blue Mood Cafe

My Questions:

  1. What is your favorite genre to review?
  2. Where is your favorite place to read?
  3. Do you remember your first book hangover?
  4. What is your favorite snack and/or beverage while reading?
  5. What was your favorite children’s book?
  6. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve never ever read __________.
  7. Three people I’d invite to a literary dinner party are __________, __________, and __________.
  8. The blogger/bookstagramer that has most inspired me is _________ and why.
  9. If I dressed up as a literary character for Halloween, I would choose to be __________.
  10. If I could introduce one literary character to another literary character, I would introduce __________ to __________ because __________.
  11. Are you a DNFer or a FINISHer?

THANKS for the tag Davida! I hope you enjoyed my answers!



If you celebrate, are you ready for Christmas in a few days?

Blogger Recognition Award

May 13, 2019

I’ve Been Nominated For The Blogger Recognition Award!

Blogger Recognition Award

I’ve been nominated! It makes my day to be nominated for an award! Bloggers work hard to bring their followers consistent, inspiring, and relevant posts, and although it’s thrilling when followers leave likes and comments, it’s extra thrilling when fellow bloggers recognize and shout out your efforts.

It’s with a full heart that I shout out a huge thank you to Amanda at The Lexington Bookie for nominating me for the Blogger Recognition Award. As well as answering the questions, this is a great opportunity for me to share a few extraordinary bloggers with you.

Blogger Recognition Award Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger for nominating you and give the link to their blog.
  2. Write a blog post on your website showing the award.
  3. Describe the story of why you started your blog.
  4. Write two pieces of advice you have for new bloggers.
  5. Nominate 10 more bloggers.
  6. Notify each of your nominees that you have nominated them.

Why I Started Blogging:

When I first contemplated retirement from my teaching career, I knew I would need to channel that passion and energy. I needed something I could jump right into that would help ease the bittersweet sting of retirement. I started by thinking about my interests and skills: I am a voracious reader, I love searching out and recommending the best books (especially histfic), I love to read new releases, I love to write, I often annoy others by oversharing my great reads with anyone who will listen, I am not intimidated by technology, (teaching required learning new technology and before my teaching career I dabbled in graphic design), and I was already an avid reader of various blogs. During the last week of teaching, I drove home each night dreaming and scheming about creating my own space on the world wide web to share my love of reading and great books. On the last day of teaching (June 17), I hunkered down with a yellow pad to write my first blog post. By July, I had met with a techie friend (thanks Chad!) to help me with the intricacies of WordPress and by July 27, I was ready to hit publish. Of course, the weeks and months since then have provided great opportunities for learning more about the wonderful world of blogging.

Advice For New Bloggers:

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