Sunday, July 20, 2014

Books, books and other things

 I have nothing to show you on the yarn front today.  Frankly all I have been doing is taking care of my sick teenager, cleaning and doing all of his laundry as he sweats through his clothes and sheets.  The poor soul has strep throat and apparently antibiotics do not work for him with this particular illness.  There is no relief for him after being on the meds for 24 hours like others have, in fact he gets much, much worse. Friday he had a fever of 105 degree's, that is smoking hot for a 17 year old.  I swear my leg muscles are hurting from running up and down the stairs a million-zillion times a day checking on him and bringing him whatever he needs.  He is better today, no fever and he is eating so things are looking up. As I have spent several hours at the doctors office this week reading, I have been thinking a lot about books

 I love to read and I always have.  I remember reading a lot as a child.  My sister Claudia  was always reading when I was little.  She found her love of reading from my Mom, I found mine from watching Claudia.  When I was little we had a bookmobile that came and parked at our elementary school parking lot.  My Mom always took us over so we could check out books.  But as I got a bit older, and the bookmobile stopped coming, it was my sister who drove us to the library or Little Professor's Book store.  Those were always special treats, riding with her to the big library.  We would walk in together and part ways as I went to my section and she went to hers.   In those days you could leave a young girl in the library in her own section of books and never worry about a thing.  I would always have 7 or 8 books in a big stack, I'd take them home and read each one.  Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Little Women and all the Little House on the Prairie books.  I read Gone with the Wind three times when I was younger. I would read them all and Claudia would take me back so we could start all over again.  My Mother used to say, " You are never bored if you have a book."  So true.

I have read some very good books lately.  These have been read over the past few months, mostly in the evening when I am ready to hop into bed.  So if you are looking for a good book here are a few suggestions.

Beautiful Day by Erin Hilderbrand

A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I have also listened to three books on CD while driving.  This is new for me, I started listening on my trip to North Carolina and continued after I got home.  I drive a lot for work and I have found if I am listening to a book I am much less tense in the car.  If there is heavy traffic I just listen, and sometimes I am almost sorry I have to get out of the car, I want to stay in and listen some more.

The books I listened to are  Beaches, and The Island both by Erin Hilderbrand, and Breakfast With Buddha by Roland Merullo.  This last book made me laugh out loud in some sections, I loved it.

So now I am wondering if any of you listen to books on your phone or iPad?  Do you have a particular app you like to use?  I have been researching a bit, but you all know I am technology challenged.  I am always a few years behind in all that stuff.  So if you have any suggestion I'd love to hear them. 

My sister Claudia has a new blog about reading, books and newsworthy items based on all of that.  You can still find her at Mockingbird Hill Cottage and now you can also find her at Just let me finish this page.....  She is an avid reader.  You'll love her new blog.

Just to be fair there have been a few books I was not so in love with.  Diane Keaton's new book Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty.  Parts of it I loved and made me laugh out loud.  I love that she is so real,  struggling like the rest of us to come to terms with aging.  Parts seemed to drag a big, but regardless I still love Diane Keaton.  And you might all shoot me but The Goldfinch was not a best seller to me.  I liked the beginning and end but the middle 300 pages made me want to quit reading, I didn't so I guess that says something!

Have you read or listened to any good books lately?


Anonymous said...

Reading is my ultimate relaxation. I always have a book or 3 going.

Right now it is:

Vegan Before 6 by Mark Bittman
Happiness At Home by Gretchin Rubin
Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey.

A friend gave me a bag of books and that last one was in there. I don't watch Downton Abbey and I was unsure whether I would like the book, but it hooked me from the first page. It is the story of one of the Countesses of Carnarvon (the REAL people of the castle). So far, it has been fascinating. It is written by the current Countess of Carnarvon.

Anonymous said...

P.S. Hope your son is feeling better soon.

My Garden Diaries said...

Oh I remember the bookmobile!!! Thank you for the suggestions I am going to make a note of several of these! And I am so glad your son is feeling better...there is nothing worse than a sick kid. And yes we listen to audio books in the car for the beans... They love it! Happy weekend to you!!! Nicole xo

Jay said...

I hope your son is soon better, sounds like he's on the mend if he's eating.
I'm reading The Book Thief too, it's taking me a while to get into it.
My favourite read of this year is A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry although it was a very traumatic read and not for everyone.

moonstruckcreations said...

Hope you son is feeling much better very soon - poor lad.

I love reading, always have, like you, since a child. I always loved to read the classics, like Dickens. Still do!

I have never tried talking books, I have always had the sound of the characters in my head as I read, but perhaps I should give it a go as I also drive a lot in my job.

BTW thanks so much for your sweet comment on my last post :)


mamasmercantile said...

Hope your son is feeling better soon. I love to read but I am struggling for time at the moment so I crochet to relax. Take care.

kathy b said...

strep..ugh. YOu are a great mom.

Thanks for the books suggestions and your sisters new blog. IM going there.

I love Population 465 by Micheal Perry
My all-time favorite books included: The Bean Trees and Pigs in Heaven by Barbara kingsolver. YOU must read these if you have not….

also love: The INn at Lake Devine…so funny

I've only listened to COLD Sassy Tree on tape.
John boy walton narrates a wonderful story of family

now go to bed

CJ said...

I do hope your teenager is all better soon, it sounds horrible for him. I'm passionate about books and I love when the children read too. I like to hunt for good books for them, there's so much rubbish published, it's hard to sort through it all. CJ xx

Stitchy Mc Floss said...

So glad your son is getting better. Bless his heart, what an ordeal. Hope you are getting a chance to kick back and rest as well.

I like to read, but I find if I get bored with a book I start thinking of how I would re-write it, and that gets crazy I usually just put a book down when I get bored, or I'll just race to the last chapter and read the ending. There are millions and million of awesome books out there, and sadly, there are just as many bad ones, too. Of course cross stitching has taken over my life time to read...just stitch. :)

Hugs to you sweet friend. :)

Caffeine Girl said...

I hope your son is feeling better. He really sounds miserable -- poor guy!

Books I read recently and loved include The Snow Child and And the Mountains Echoed. Just started A Field Guide to Getting Lost, and I love it so far.

I finished We Need New Names a few days ago. It's interesting, but I can't say I enjoyed reading it.

I also tried to read We Are Water, and it just didn't hook me.

Gillian said...

Thank you for the recommendations here, some of these sound great. I don't listen to books much but we have a radio serial, The Archers, over here and I love to listen to that while I do some crafting. It's so soothing!

Nana Go-Go said...

Have you seen with Diane Keaton in it called 'Shoot the Moon', with a British actor called Albert Finney? It's an older film but I loved her in it but can't seem to get it on DVD here. I loved her in The Godfather films. You just felt her pain when 'Michael' shut the door in her face when she tried to see her kids after their separation and of course, I will ALWAYS love 'Annie Hall' though what she saw in Woody Allen goodness only knows. I have 'The Husband's Secret' here - haven't read it yet but will start soon on your recommendation! I tried to 'audio-read' 'Anna Karenina' whilst driving but nearly fell asleep at the wheel after about 5 minutes!The narration was sonorous!At the moment, I'm reading 'The Story Sisters' by Alice Hoffman and really enjoying it. Have a great week, Mer. It's going to be scorching hot here!xxx

Nana Go-Go said...

ps sorry I forgot to say, hope your poor lad gets better quickly. x

linda said...

I haven't really had much time for reading books lately although I do love to read, I have never listened to a book before but I think it would be good to have someone read to you before you sleep at night. I will have to look into it. Thank you for the list of titles Meredith I will have to seek them out. Daphne recommended 'The Vintage Teacup Club' by Vanessa Greene. on her blog today and it looks like a nice light hearted read, I have ordered it already.. :) xx

Chris said...

Yuck, strep throat that's just plain nasty. Good to hear your son is feeling better and will be on the mend. Hope the rest of your family stays well. I love books, they transport you to a different world . I have learned a lot about people and the world through reading. Thanks for the book recommendations from you and all the other blog readers. This is great! Have started A Casual Vacancy, not sure about this one, but she is a good writer. Stay well. Chris

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I love reading so much and have enjoyed many Elin Hildebrand books. I also read The Goldfinch and while I finished it and could see it's 'value' it was also the longest, wordiest book ever. It was a struggle and I truly think it could have used a really good edit! Hope you son is feeling better soon. Strep throat is not fun!

mynestofyarnandbuttons said...

Hi Meredith, we love the same kind of books! I have read many of those too. Sure hope your son is feeling better real soon. : ( I'm reading Beautiful now!!! Love it, xoRobin

Teresa Kasner said...

Sorry about your son's illness.. that sounds pretty darn awful! I'm glad he's on the upswing, though. Hope he's back to 100% asap.

I've read these books lately - "Where'd You Go BERNADETTE", by Maria Semple (set in Seattle, WA) - "The Last Summer", by Judith Kinghorn - "Sea Glass" by Anita Shreve - "The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls" by Anton Disclafani - "The Shell Seekers" by Rosamunde Pilcher - "The Knitting Circle" by Ann Hood - "The Language of Flowers" by Vanessa Diffenbaugh - "The Paris Wife" by Paula McLain - "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed - "The Goldfinch" (I agree it was a crazy ride) - "The Shoemaker's Wife" by Adriana Trigiani - "The Round House" by Louise Erdrich --- and am working on "Astoria" by Peter Finch. :-)

Joy said...

I'm so sorry your boy has been having such a tough time and hope he is completely recovered really soon - a very worrying time for you Meredith.
Your book titles all look interesting, thank you, and although I have been rather busy with crafts of late, leaving little time for reading, I do have a few titles by my bedside - you know I like choice - The Yarn Whisperer; The Invitation; The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared - the last title I can't read at night for it was causing some conflict in my dreamtime :)
Love and big hugs to you lovely,
Joy xo

Maureen said...

I listen to books on CD in my car, and I have some books on my phone. I use the itunes app for them. I usually listen to light romances (like Jennifer Cruise) or cozy mysteries (usually ones with fibre in them!)

MaryLynne said...

Hi Meredith, I have been reading your blog for a while but usually like to sit quietly on the sidelines:) But I did want to mention While its only books in public Domain, most published before 1923, there are some great things to listen to on there. The books are read by volunteers. I have some favourite readers. I usually stream the books while on wifi and download them for when I'm not. If you love Jane Austen they are all on there. Best of all, they are all free!

Mary Lynne

Mrs. Micawber said...

Oh gosh, I've been a a book-lover ever since my sister taught me to read (when I was three). I still remember going to the library as a four-year-old and proudly getting my own card. The first book I ever checked out under my own name was "Horton Hears a Who". :)

I tend to read classics and light English humour - most of it from the past century. I don't really enjoy tense or dramatic or horror-filled books - too much of that going on in real life.

Hope your son continues to improve - sometimes with strep they have to try more than one antibiotic to find one that will do the job.

Betsy said...

Awww, your poor son. That sounds awful. He should take it very easy as he recovers. You're such a good Mama. We seem to have had the same taste in books as children. I read all of those same books and just about anything else I can find. When I worked I always listened to books on tape or CD in the car as I drove. You're right, it's a GREAT de-stresser. I don't read nearly as much as I would like to between crafts and the iPad /Internet. I need to change that. I hope you have a lovely week and I'll be praying for your son AND that the rest of you Don't get it.

Pooch said...

I have read and enjoyed most of the books you listed, however I agree with you on THE GOLDFINCH.

I listen on my iPod, downloading books from two public libraries at no cost. It's great! I listen to books all day while I'm working around the house, in the yard, knitting.

Hope you enjoy the rest of your books!

Gracie Saylor said...

When riding with my youngest daughter on a long trip I enjoyed listening to a book she had downloaded onto her phone and then connected to her car radio with a adventure story by Dee Henderson, I think.

I just finished reading One Flew Over the Onion Dome by Fr. Joseph David Huneycutt and am reading with a highlighter in hand The Orthodox Church by Timothy Ware...more interesting than entertaining :) xx

kathyinozarks said...

I was so glad to read that your son's fever has broke-hoping is all better soon.

I have a similiar up bringing regarding books-my Mom was an avid reader and introduced us to our library when we were very young-back then it was always said that books are our friend. as I grew older I just never had time to read-even now I have so much to do that reading felt like a waste of my time.
but the past couple of years I have indulged myself with books on the civil war, and one of my online friends showed me how to get kindle on my computer-as where we live wireless doesn't work all that great and I didn't want the extra expense. so I have started reading some novels on my computer now

kristieinbc said...

Sorry to hear your son has been so sick. It's hard not to worry when you're a mom.

I love to read, but find I don't do as much of it as I used to. I like to knit in the evenings, so usually end up watching a movie on my laptop instead of picking up a book.

Thanks for the book suggestions. I plan to check them out on Amazon later today. As for listening to books, I haven't read the previous comments, so this might be a repeat of what someone else has already said, but have you thought about joining Audible?

Kaiya said...

I remember the bookmobile with great fondness too! I don't remember if it stopped coming around when I was a child or if we just moved away from the area.

In terms of listening to audiobooks on phone or iPad... oh boy, do I have a ton of things to recommend!
- CraftLit is a great podcast hosted by a knitter and former literature professor, and you can listen to it for free online or through its own free app. The books are all classic literature, because they're all taken from the public domain recordings on LibriVox, and Heather provides great commentary and contextual notes after each episode.
- OverDrive is a free app that allows you to check out audiobooks from your local library, if your library has an e-library compatible with it. The availability and selection of e-books and audiobooks really depends on your location - I have friends in the Seattle area who let me use their library card to check things out from their e-library, because that library has a much larger selection than my local one.
- Audible is what I use most often nowadays. You can buy audiobooks one at a time, or buy a membership that gives you a certain number of "credits" each month. Then you can use one credit to buy one audiobook of any price at your leisure. It has apps for phones and tablets and e-readers, as well as a program for computers. It's a bit pricey for the casual listener, but the fact that you get to keep the audiobook and listen to it countless times makes it better-suited for me than library checkouts that have to be returned after a few weeks.

Jennifer said...

I'm sorry to hear about your son. That is a very high fever. My son often runs high ones like that too. It's a little scary. He used to have febrile seizures when he was a toddler/preschool because his fevers would get so high. I hope your son is better soon, poor guy. Thanks for the book recommendations. I love to read too, it's my favorite pastime of all.

Wainwright and Wright.Co said...

Oh I used to love going to the library too as a child and I loved the Nancy Drew books. I have read The Book Thief twice and really enjoyed it, my daughter is now reading it. Thank you for the other book suggestions and I hope your son is soon better, it's horrible seeing them I'll isn't it?
Caz xx

Miss said...

At home, we were not rich but always have a book to read.
I saw my mum reading and now my kids see me reading.
I like to read everything but for the moment I am reading great book written by Collins w. Kind of Agatha Christie.
So good.
Hope you son is ok.

Naida said...

I read and crochet and blog about both myself :)
Erin Hilderbrand is one author I'll read during the summer, I like her work. I read The Island and enjoyed it too.
Wonderful blog!!

Susanne said...

I love to read a good book. I use to have my nose stuck in them back when my kids were in jr. high. I have tons put away to read and about a dozen on my iPad and Kindle, but I prefer to hold a book, it just seems more right, if you can understand where I am coming from. I saw a talk show where Diane Keaton was discussing her book and mentally told myself that it would be a good read. The Book Thief is on my iPad just waiting for me to take the time and get started. I downloaded several books by the author Donna Tartt. Evidently she is an excellent writer and only writes a best seller once every 10 years or so. Then a friend recommended Tess Gerritsen and I have her books as well. I was told to read them in order though because one kinda follows the other. When we were first married we joined 2 book clubs. My husband liked to read too. I remember well books arriving and once I got The Thorn Birds and thought to myself why did I not send the notice back in time to not get this book. I just knew it would be boring, I mean it was set in Australia, now how boring was that gonna be....oh boy was I wrong. I started reading that book and could not put it down. It disappeared and where did I find it, well under the clothes in the laundry basket. Someone (we had no kids then) decided I needed to do laundry and put the book up for awhile. I was in a panic, I lost my book!!!!!!! LOL. My girls are readers too. They say if parents read then usually the kids will too. In our case it was true.
(((HUGS))) Susanne :)

Heldasland said...

I love to read and I have read all the books you have read. I could not live without books.
My daughter has been suffering with what we thought was a sore throat.The doctors gave her antibotics a week later she was even worse with an acute fever,she couldn't swallow,or move her neck .We decided to go to the hospital they had to perform surgery she had Peritonsillar abscess .It was such a terrible time. I'm glad your son is on the mend.
Your profile picture with you and your little man is such a beautiful one

Karen said...

I like Diane Keaton, too. I was glad to read your review, since I have so many books to read, I think I'll let that one go. We seem to like the same books (The Book Thief and What Alice Forgot are two that I enjoyed.) A Hundred Summers is an intriguing title!

elns said...

Lovely post Mere. I have to tell you I have nostalgia for the library like you do. It was a sanctuary for me when I was a kid. elementary school, high school the public as well as the school library. Anyways, I loved The Book Thief and have The GB on the list. I'm interested to see how I feel about it. I just wanna know. But honestly? I am dying to read Gone Girl on my vacation :)

Judy S. said...

Hope your son is all better by now! It sounds like he had a real nasty strep bug. I am still slogging through the Civil War book for my book club; it's endless! We recently watched the movie of The Book Thief and enjoyed it, now to read the book!

Annie Cholewa said...

Hello Meredith, it's lovely to finally be catching up with you after my break from knitsofacto. I'm so sorry to read that your son has been unwell, I do hope he's on the mend now.

I've just been admiring your table runner and your crochet shawl ... both are absolutely beautiful. You are such a talented crafter.

And very belatedly, Happy Birthday! I must take a leaf from your book ... I have been forced in to not moving much lately by a problem with my Achilles tendons and it is really getting me down. Time to remedy that! You have inspired me :)

Ladybird Diaries said...

Hope your son feels better sounds as if you are looking after him very well though. Thank you for the book suggestion, I have read The Book Thief and The Husbands Secret and really enjoyed those so will have a look at your other recommendations.
Marianne x

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Thank you so much for your sweet words, Meredith. Oh, I hope your young patient is recouping by now!! That is a bummer!

I loved reminiscing about the bookmobiles and library visits with you... Me, too. ;) I don't read as much these days except in spurts. I'm going to have to get the Diane Keaton book... the aging process is definitely a struggle. LOL! I didn't sign up for this part! ;)

Blessings and hugs ~ tanna

Little Welsh House said...

I read this in a spare five minutes earlier, and was delighted to find a list of books I haven't read (or in some cases even heard of!) that I hope I can tuck into at some point. More importantly, I was also sorry to hear your son has been so poorly - strep throat can be really horrible; I've been very unwell with it a couple of times so I can totally sympathise. When my throat was really painful I found painkillers a bit useless, and on the advice of a friend tried a teaspoon full of runny honey trickled down my throat and swallowed gently - it was the only thing that helped the pain, I don't know if this might also help your son? Also sorry to hear the antibiotics made him worse - and glad he is on the mend. Sending you lots of good vibes - and friendly hugs! H xxx

RedSetter said...

So glad your son is picking up as this must have been insanely worrying.

On the book front I am a total bookworm and always have a few on the go at the same time. I also love audiobooks in the car, when I am crafting and sometimes in bed if I am just too lazy to read but not tired enough to sleep! Like you I have a fair journey to work and moving between sites so filling this wasted time with a novel is just perfect.

I used to use the library until my knee gave me problems last year then I got the 24book/yr audible subscription and have absolutely loved it. I don't use apple products but there is an android app I use on my phone. I'd initially resisted the commercial audible option as I feel very strongly about supporting my local library. However, I will continue to use the library as I pick up audiobooks I wouldn't ordinarily listen to but I'll also keep up the audible as their book selection is good especially for new books. I think the fact I've only got 6 books left from my 24 book annual allocation and have 5mths to go tells its own story...! Audible always does offers of a free book or two to let you try it.

There are a number of free audiobook sites, library download sites and apps but often they are not as functional or only have classics on which the copyright has lapsed.

Gramlee said...

feeling sorry for your son. hope he is doing well now.