September 2021 TBR

I have so many things planned for this month. I just hope that I can get around doing it all. And where, you may ask, is this motivation coming from? I am trying to distract myself because I am waiting for some news in the next few weeks and the wait is killing me. I am in full planning mode and because I can’t plan yet for the other thing, I might as well plan for the blog and my reading.

Given that September marks the back-to-school season, I wanted to incorporate at least one read that I associate with school. I can’t believe that it’s been over 10 years now since I was last in school, and by that I mean college. Am I really that old?! Feeling nostalgic, I want to go back in time and remember all the books that I read when I was younger. Stay tuned for those posts.

Also, can we really be marking the 20th anniversary of 9/11? I can still remember what I was doing that day, as if it was yesterday. Upon perusing my shelves to figure out what I wanted to read this month, I came across a nonfiction book that I have had on my shelves for years and never read. I thought it fitting to add to my TBR this month given the anniversary.

As for the rest of my TBR, it is as usual so I am going to just dive right in.

Book Club Picks

Middlemarch” by George Eliot
(Parts 5-8)

The Modern Library Book Club has broken up this book into two months so my reading continues. I enjoyed the first half of the book and I am looking forward to see what the second half brings. I just hope that members of book club are enjoying it just as much as me.

Say Nothing” by Patrick Radden Keefe

This is the nonfiction pick for September in the Capital District Book Club. I heard this book is dense so I am hoping to start this book sooner rather than later. I have about two weeks to get this one done.

It’s been a while since I have participated in the Society of Avid Readers Across the Hudson Book Club and I figured it was about time that I joined them. This book is their September pick and I am really excited to get into it. I have a feeling that this a book that is going to stick with me and one that I am going to be recommending.

Mill Point Road” by JK Ellem

I am not sure if I am going to like this thriller, only because I may be having new neighbors of my own soon. This may hit a little too close to home. Otherwise, this book sounds like it’s going to be a fast read.

Personal Picks

I have had this book on my bookshelf for probably 10 years at least. Considering that we are about to celebrate 9/11, I thought it fitting to finally crack this one open. I am not sure if this will be dated given all that has come after but when we talk about the Iraq invasion, rarely do we discuss their Iraq perspective. I like stories like this that give me a glimpse into the other side.

Lord of the Flies” by William Golding

I think “Lord of the Flies” has been on my bookshelf the longest. I remember my brother having to read it in school and then he gave it to me to read. I never read it. I thought since it’s been a while since I had to read books for school, I would check it off my TBR once and for all. My husband says that it is a good book but disturbing, which is what I have heard from other people.

What books do you plan to read in September? Have you read any on this list? Let’s discuss!

TBR for July 2021

I am not sure what happened to my reading streak from May but it seemed to fall to the wayside last month. I only read two books. Well that isn’t true. I read numerous books but I didn’t finish them. I now have a growing pile of incomplete books that I want to finish and it’s kind of giving me anxiety. I am not this person that doesn’t complete books. In an attempt to rectify this situation, I decided to forego the reading wrapup, because there isn’t anything to wrap up, and just jump into my reading list for July. It’s going to be mix of the books I have to read, the books I want to finish and the books I’m hoping to get to,

Book Club picks

Blonde” by Joyce Carol Oates

So this is the July pick for my Metaphorically Speaking Book Club that I just didn’t get around to last month. My group meets on Friday so I am seriously cramming this 754-page book in one week, but I heard that it’s a fairly quick read. I was never overly interested in Marilyn Monroe, but maybe Oates’ fictional take on her story will capture my attention.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” by V.E. Schwab

I have never read V.E. Schwab but this is the fiction pick for July in the Capital District Book Club. The plot sounds interesting. I have heard the hype about Schwab’s other books and if this books turns out to be just as good, I may have to read the others.

Ending Up” by Kingsley Amis

I had never heard about this book but it sounds like it’s going to be a good one. It’s about the elderly, specifically a small group living out the end of their days. I am sure parts of this book are going to be hilarious. Have you ever been around the elderly? They are on the same grounds of children in what they say or do being absolutely unexpected and outright outrageous. And I am sure that there are going to be many parts of this book I am going to relate to. Not because I am elderly (far from it) but rather because I have much older parents and have worked around seniors my whole life. I am actually looking forward to this book.

Personal picks

Broken (in the best possible way)” by Jenny Lawson

If there is one book I am going to devour this month, it’s going to be Lawson’s new book “Broken.” I was so happy when I received this book for my birthday and just reading the first page I was getting sucked in. Lawson feels like an old familiar friend.

Romancing Mr. Bridgerton” by Julia Quinn

I am not sure why but this book is taking me forever to get through. I am not sure if it’s because I am just tiring of the series or if it’s the book itself. Maybe it’s on purpose since Penelope is one of those “boring” characters that noone really pays attention to in the book. I feel like I have been reading this book forever and I am not even halfway through it. Hoping to finish it soon.

Hamnet” by Maggie O’Farrell

So this was actually a book club read in June for the Capital District Book Club but I didn’t get a chance to finish it though it was really good. My book club really enjoyed it, which is all the more reason I am determined to finish it.

The Books I completed in June

Rebecca” and “Revolutionary Road” were both for Modern Library Book Club. “Rebecca” we discussed at the beginning of June and it was sooo good and the rest of the group agreed. We will be discussing “Revolutionary Road” this week and I can’t wait to hear what others thought about it. It was definitely a book that new for it’s time, detailed the reality of being in a loveless marriage but hoping that everything is going to work out in the end. Let’s just say this doesn’t have a happy ending.

What are you planning to read this month? Have you read any on this list? Let’s discuss!

TBR for March 2021

Over the past week, I debated whether I should do a reading list for March. I am in a funky reading mood and I honestly don’t know what I want to read on any given day. However, I know that if I don’t do this list, I will end up not reading at all or not get to the books that I have to get to. I wouldn’t be surprised at the end of the month, the list of books I actually will be completely different. In any event, here it goes.

Book Club reads

Chain of Title‘ by David Dayen

I started this book two days ago and I am already halfway through it. I thought it was going to be a dense read about the financial industry, and while it does get technical at times, I am finding it really interesting. Basically, it’s about how people who had their homes foreclosed upon, found that there were issues with their mortgage documents and ended up uncovering widespread fraud.

Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod‘ by Gary Paulsen

I honestly can’t wait to read this book because it sounds so interesting. I haven’t read Gary Paulsen since we were assigned “Hatchet” in school. I didn’t realize that Paulsen had a nonfiction book out and the Iditarod has always fascinated me.

Personal reads

Brave New World‘ by Aldous Huxley

I didn’t get to this book last month but I definitely want to get to it. I keep finding references to it and I need to know what people are talking about. This book has been on my shelf for long enough.

The Survivors‘ by Jane Harper

I have a feeling I am going to need an engrossing read on my list this month and I think this is going to be it. I have been wanting to read this since I got it. Just from reading the summary about mistakes that led to devestating consequences I am intrigued.

What’s Mine and Yours‘ by Naima Coster

I just got this book from my March Book of the Month subscription and I can’t wait to read it.

Into the Wild‘ by Jon Krakauer

I am not sure why, but every time I go to read this book I get distracted and want to read something else. It’s one of the reason I didn’t get to it last month. I am going to try again and hopefully I have a little more luck this time.

What are you reading in March? Have you read any on this list? Let’s discuss!

TTT: Books I meant to read in 2020 but didn’t get to

For this week’s Top 10 Tuesday, by That Artsy Reader Girl, I couldn’t help but cringe a little. I know for a fact, based on the number I was shy in my Goodreads challenge, this wasn’t going to be fun. Yet, upon looking back there weren’t a lot of books that I planned to read and didn’t get to in 2020. I think because I kept putting the same books on my monthly TBRs until I did read them or I just didn’t do the seasonal TBRs for the simple reason that when I make the list I don’t read them. Even so, I still managed to fill the list, because let’s face it, aren’t there always book “we meant to get to?”

I swear when this book came out last year, I was going to read it immediately. It was one of those books that just called to me. Or so I thought. It sits on my bookshelf still waiting for it’s spine to be cracked open. Maybe this year.

I was super excited when this book was released. It was on my fall TBR and I went out and bought it shortly after it came out. I still haven’t gotten a chance to read it.

You should all know by now that I haven’t gotten to this book, given that it has been on my monthly TBR for three months in a row. It’s funny because I LOVED “Homegoing”. I’m chalking it up to the fact that I’m just not ready for it yet. When I do finally sit down to read it, I am going to love it all the more.

I read “Station’s Eleven” right before the pandemic hit (ironic, huh?) and loved it (well before I thought the events in the book were really happening). Anyway, when I learned shortly after finishing Mandel’s first book that I didn’t have long to wait to read her next one, I was glad. And yet, it’s so many months later and it’s yet to be in my crosshairs. Didn’t even make an attempt to buy the book, but I am sure I can loan it from the library at some point. Just looked and all the copies are on loan.

I absolutely loved “The Night Circus” and my husband was all so nice to make sure to get me a copy of this book for Christmas 2019. So why, guys, have I not read this book yet? It sits on my bookshelf judging me. Though my husband did buy me a copy of “The Night Circus” this Christmas so I am hoping a reread of that will give me the motivation to move on to “The Starless Sea.”

I had every intentions of reading this book, especially since the synopsis sounds intriguing. Yet, another book simply kept getting in the way.

Ok so this one is no fault of my own. This was a book club read and I planned to read it, especially because it would have been a great October read. However, the book store I ordered it from, never filled the order. Nor did I get any correspondence about the order being backordered. I think it’s all but lost at this point.

This one doesn’t necessarily fit the criteria since I did get to it, but just didn’t finish it. I haven’t DNF’d it, just laid it aside for awhile. I will get back around to it at some point.

“The Orphan Train” was another book I only read this year and loved it. And ironically, her newest book came out right around the same time. I did have this book in my hand at the bookstore a few months ago and yet I put it back. What is wrong with me?

I started this one for book club and didn’t finish. Not sure why. It was really good. I guess I am just not in the right head space at the moment. I seriously do want to finish it though because people keep alluding to how good it was, and I need to know what the hype is about.

So even though I didn’t get around to these books in 2020, that is not to say that I won’t in 2021. Last year, when I did the this type of post for the books I didn’t read in 2019, I ended up reading those books. So there tis hope yet.

What books didn’t you mean to read but didn’t get to in 2020? Have you gotten to any on this list? Let’s discuss!

Book Club reading list (Part 3)

Today I am sharing the reading list for the Capital District Book Club, though unlike the other two, this one is for the first quarter of the year. We picked books a few months ahead and at the moment we are in a poll for May’s read.

This book club used to pick a genre for each month, get suggestions from members on their Facebook page and then do a poll with the top 3. This year, to make their lives easier, they are alternating between fiction and nonfiction, with a running suggestion list on Facebook, that the organizers, including me, pick from for the poll. I have read the first two of the four picks so far this year so I am already ahead. Anyway, they include (All book covers linked to Goodreads):

January – nonfiction

February – fiction

March – nonfiction

April – fiction

May – nonfiction

So I am guessing that Caste is going to be our May book because at last glance it was the lead in the poll.

The other two books are:

The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary” by Simon Winchester.

A Life on Our Planet: A Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future” by David Attenborough

Have you read any of the books on this list? Let’s discuss!

Book Club reading list (Part 2)

The other day I shared the reading list for the Modern Library Book Club, aka my classics book club. Today, I want to share the reading list for a book club I actually just joined in the fall of 2020, Metaphorically Speaking Book Club. It is a small group of maybe a dozen or so girls that meet together, drink some wine, eat some food and share their opinions about the book, among other things (we go on many tangents). Right now we are meeting virtually but in the spring and summer, when the weather gets warmer we will meet on the organizer’s deck.

Anyway, our January meeting last week was simply to pick the books for the year, though we went into next year. Each of the people in book club brought their must-read book to add to the list and the organizer randomly selected a name for each month. I have only read two of the books on the list. (Covers are linked to Goodreads)












What books are you reading this year? Have you read any on the list? Let’s discuss!

Book Club reading list (Part 1)

With the new year upon us, my book clubs are putting together their lists for the year of the books we are going to read. Two of them have completed their lists while another is halfway through and the fourth… well they go month to month so we never really know too far in advance. With so many books already on the TBR, I thought I would share what each book clubs is reading for 2021 in a multi-post series.

I am starting with the Modern Library Book Club, aka the classics book club, which I now run after the original organizers left. Originally this book club formed to read all the books on the Modern Library’s Top 100 Novels list but around the spring last year, we completed the list. Now we are reading the books that members of the book club thought should have made the list. So far all of the books we have read have been amazing. In fact, there hasn’t been a book yet that I haven’t DNR’d. And the list for 2021 has some really good ones, including some favorites. But enough of my gabbing. Here are the 12 books we are reading. (All book covers are linked to Goodreads).













Are you a part of a book club? Have you read any of the books on this list? What did you think?

First reading list of 2021

A new year equals a new start in more than ways than one. For most of on here, it means a new list of books to read each each week, month or year. Those who have been following me know that I post a TBR list each month and this year is no exception.

My book clubs are still going strong via our new virtual reality, and many of them have their lists already settled for the year, although that is a for a whole different post. For January, I actually get a reprieve since my one book club is picking their list for the year and another is reading “An American Marriage”, which I have already read and one that I reviewed. So I am starting the year with some freedom.

However, this year, I am organizing my reading list a little differently. Besides, my book club reads, I will also be attempting to read at least one book from my new list for The Classics Club and another from my personal bookshelf, in the attempt of getting the unread books to balance out the books I read. Also, I will be trying to read a little more nonfiction. My one book club is going to be alternating between fiction and non-fiction each month so my person pick will alternate opposite.

So without trying to make this book any longer than it needs to be, my books for January are as follows:

Book Club Picks

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey

This is the January pick for the Modern Library Book Club, and we will be discussing it later this week. I read it once back in high school and haven’t read it since, so it’s a bit of refresher. It will be interesting to hear what everyone has to say about it.

The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie

This is the pick for the Society of Avid Readers Across the Hudson Book Club and it’s another reread for me. I read it a few years ago, but for the life of me I can’t remember it. I just hope that I can get the book in time. My library didn’t have it.

The Classics Club pick

Shirley” by Charlotte Bronte

This was the book that I have to read for the latest Classic Club spin which is due at the end of the month. While I have started it, I have hardly put a dent into it. Seriously need to finish this book and review it.

I am still shocked that I haven’t read anything by Bronte other than “Jane Eyre.”

Personal picks

American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic” by Andrew Cuomo

I have been wanting to read this book since it came out, particularly because it is always interesting to see what officials are going through behind the scenes. Also I live in upstate NY, so this pretty much personal at this point.

What are you reading to kick off the new year? Have you read any of the books on this list? What did you think?

My December 2020 TBR list

We have made it to December … finally. Which means that this abominable year that is 2020 will soon be behind us. 31 more days. Let the countdown begin.

The last hurdle to overcome is the holiday season, and for me, that is a bit crazy. My husband is Jewish so there is Hanukah to celebrate as well as Christmas and New Years. Then my husband and father share a birthday, and wouldn’t you know it’s on the 22nd. Oh but that’s not all. This year, my father turns 80 years old and given COVID times, it doesn’t look like we can celebrate this milestone, though my siblings think differently. Can you say stress?!

On a positive note, work may actually start slowing down by the middle of the month. Our last full meeting is on the 7th and while we do have some events the following week, most of the Legislature’s business is done for the year. In fact, we have a meeting on the 21st solely to close out the books and then it’s the holidays.

Also from December 16-19, my husband and I are going away to our favorite weekend retreat – Manchester, Vermont. We go every year solely to get away from work stress and rejuvenate. We typically try to go in the late fall. Lately we go in early December because the hotel brings out it’s hot chocolate bar and their hot chocolate is the best I have ever had in my life. The chef made his own concoction and it’s to die for. That with the wood burning fireplace in the library and the another fireplace in our room, I plan on curling up with a good book and just relaxing. I can’t wait!

There are some really good books on the list this month, which I can’t wait to read, so let’s just get into it.

Book Club picks

84, Charing Cross Road” by Helene Hanff

I have never heard of this book but it’s the December pick for the Society for Avid Readers Across the Hudson Book Club. It sound pretty interesting. Long distance correspondence between a writer and a book dealer – sign me up. I think this is going to be one of those “if it wasn’t for book club” type of reads.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey

I read this book when I was in high school but don’t remember too much. I know it is about a patient in a mental hospital that wreaks havoc, but that is all. The Modern Library Book Club decided to read it, so it gives me a chance to become reacquainted with it.

The Sparrow” by Mary Doria Russell

I started this book for the Capital District Book Club last month, but didn’t get to finish it because of work. I am really enjoying it so far though and want to know how it ends. I’m bummed that I missed the book club discussion on this.

Classics Club pick

Shirley” by Charlotte Bronte

I really don’t know how I have never read another Charlotte Bronte book after loving “Jane Eyre” so much. However, that stops now. This was the book selected for The Classics Club most recent spin. We have until January to read it but I have a feeling it won’t take me that long.

Personal picks

Transcendent Kingdom” by Yaa Gyasi

I started this book two months ago but only read a few chapters before putting it down for other books I had to read for book clubs. I was enjoying it and want to get back into it. Given that it’s the end of the year, I might as well close out the books so to speak. Besides, I have only heard good things about it.

What are you planning to read in December? Have you read any on this list? If so, what did you think? Let’s discuss!

The Classics Club | Revised List

So two years ago, I stumbled upon The Classic Club, a group committed to reading and blogging about 50 classics over the space of 5 years.

The Classics Club was started on March 7, 2012 by a blogger who wanted to see more people posting about classics literature in the blogosphere. Her goal was to, “unite those of us who like to blog about classic literature, as well as to inspire people to make the classics an integral part of life.”

– The Classics Club

At the time I thought it was a great idea to do this because I had joined the Modern Library Top 100 Classic Book Club that was dedicated to reading the Modern Library’s Top 100 list. I figured the Classics Club reading challenge would keep me accountable for book club. What I didn’t know was that half of the books that we were going to read would be absolutely dreadful. Most of them I just couldn’t get through. In fact, most of our book club was fatigued by the end and didn’t even want to finish the list. We did but we have since started a list of books that we thought should have made the list and we are enjoying the reads so much more.

With that being said, I think it’s time to do a complete revamp of my Classics Club list. I have acquired many other classics since I first posted my top 50 when I used book club to fill, so this new list are all the books on my bookshelves that I have yet to read. My goal is to eventually read all the books I own (isn’t it for everyone) so I might as well check off that list as I’m doing this.

Start Date: 11/18/2020
End Date: 11/17/2025

  1. Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert
  2. Doctor Zhivago, Boris Pasternak
  3. The Jungle Books, Rudyard Kipling
  4. Light in August, William Faulkner
  5. A Room with a View, E.M. Forster
  6. Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf
  7. To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
  8. Nightwood, Djuna Barnes
  9. My Antonia, Willa Cather
  10. Brave New World, Alduous Huxley
  11. The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
  12. The East of Eden, John Steinbeck
  13. The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand
  14. An American Tragedy, Theodore Dreiser
  15. Middlemarch, George Eliot
  16. A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
  17. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
  18. Nicholas Nickelby, Charles Dickens
  19. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
  20. Watership Down, Richard Adams
  21. The Jungle, Upton Sinclair
  22. The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner
  23. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith
  24. The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck
  25. White Fang, Jack London
  26. In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
  27. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
  28. Northanger Abby, Jane Austen
  29. Shirley, Charlotte Bronte
  30. Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
  31. The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  32. Crime and Punishment, Fyoder Dostevsky
  33. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
  34. The Three Musketeers (The D’Artagnan Romances #1), Alexandre Dumas
  35. Gulliver’s Travels, Johnathan Swift
  36. Moby Dick, Herman Melville
  37. The Awakening, Kate Chopin
  38. The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
  39. The House of Seven Gables, Nathaniel Hawthorne
  40. The Arabian Nights, Anonymous
  41. The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien
  42. Eight Cousins, Louisa May Alcott
  43. Rose in Bloom, Louisa May Alcott
  44. A Modern Mephistopholes, Louisa May Alcott
  45. Under the Lilacs, Louisa May Alcott
  46. Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
  47. Mansfield Park, Jane Austen
  48. Lady Susan, Jane Austen
  49. The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Victor Hugo
  50. The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton