Thursday, June 8, 2017

Some people have Black Friday, I have the JoCo Book Sale.

The first week of June is always the very best time of year because of one glorious four day span known as the Friends of the Johnson County Library's Sizzlin' Summer Book Sale. The first day of the sale is one I always take off work, and I go to buy reads to last me the whole year through.

Imagine walking into a gymnasium full of books. Sounds like heaven, right? Well, it is.

And then imagine scanning table after table for your next great book love. It's a treasure hunt only a bibliophile could adore for sure!

And after two days of treasure hunting, I'm happy to reveal to you, this year's finds!!

First, here are the books I haven't read yet:

  1. After You - JoJo Moyes
  2. At Home: A Short History of Private Life - Bill Bryson
  3. Broken Harbour - Tana French
  4. Brooklyn - Colm Toibin
  5. Bumped - Meg McCafferty
  6. The Clasp - Sloane Crosley
  7. Faithful Place - Tana French
  8. Fool Me Once - Harlan Coben
  9. Getting the Pretty Back - Molly Ringwald
  10. The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing - Melissa Bank
  11. The Good Stuff: Columns about the Magic of Sports - Joe Posnanski
  12. I Am Malala - Malala Yousafzai
  13. The Iowa Baseball Confederacy - WP Kinsella
  14. The Last Letter From Your Lover - JoJo Moyes
  15. Luckiest Girl Alive - Jessica Knoll
  16. Miller's Valley - Anna Quindlen
  17. Mortified - David Nadelberg
  18. One Thousand White Women: The Journals of Mary Dodd - Jim Fergus
  19. Redeeming Love - Francine Rivers
  20. The Rest of Her Life - Laura Moriarity
  21. The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion
  22. Snow Angels - Stewart O'Nan
  23. Soar With Your Strengths - Donald Clifton
  24. Still Missing - Chevy Stevens
  25. A Sudden Light - Garth Stein
  26. Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: A Year of Magical Reading - Nina Sankovitch
  27. Where We Belong - Emily Giffin
  28. Who Do You Love - Jennifer Weiner
  29. Winter's Bone - Daniel Woodrell

A few of these books are ones I have already read, but wanted to own:

  1. Let's Pretend This Never Happened - Jenny Lawson
  2. Mona in the Promised Land - Gish Jen
  3. Quick Team-Building Activities for Busy Managers - Brian Cole Miller
And there are a few books hanging out at my place that I've yet to read:

  1. The Animators - Kayla Rae Whitaker (from Book of the Month)
  2. Emma in the Night - Wendy Walker
  3. Eve - William Paul Young
  4. The Girl You Left Behind - JoJo Moyes
  5. Insight: Why We're Not As Self-Aware As We Think, and How Seeing Ourselves Clearly Helps Us Succeed at Work and in Life - Tasha Eurich
  6. The Interestings - Meg Wolitzer
  7. The Outrun - Amy Liptrot
  8. Prodigal Summer - Barbar Kingsolver
From here, I just start reading. There's honestly no rhyme or reason. I do split my books into two bins - An A List and B List, if you will. I tend to pull from the A List, but every once in awhile I'll have the urge to read something from B. 

If you see something you loved that I should fast-track, let me know. And of course, stay tuned for all my reviews on these soon-ish.

If you need me, I'll probably be reading.

Monday, June 5, 2017

What's Making Me Happy - 6/5

Insert obligatory statement about how I haven't been posting this feature regularly.

But seriously, y'all, I think the issue is that Friday isn't the day to do these. So, I'm going to change it up, and start my week with some happy.

So here's what's making me happy!

First off, I have to share some adulting wins. Our front door has side lights (the internet tells me this is the official name for these windows?) that really just let people look right in. For months, I've wanted to get them covered. I tried out a Pinterest idea, and I just wasn't sure if I liked it. So, I left a partially completed project for awhile. I then thought I'd use a stencil and spray paint frosted glass. However, as I stood in the paint aisle at Michael's, I just couldn't commit. So, I went back to the original project. Using contact paper, my handy dandy stencil, and a credit card (to smooth my squares) I was able to make this all work!

And then, AND THEN, we (and by we, I mostly mean my dad with some help from me and Dustin) finally got some front landscaping done. Dustin found these solar lights at Costco a few weeks back for an awesome deal, and they were the perfect addition to add some outdoor lighting out front. We also worked with my dad to plant some flowers, so that the front bed is a little happier these days. Finally, we did some tree trimming. I didn't realize how much the little tree on the left was overtaking our front yard until we trimmed it back, and it cleaned up this area so much.

This concludes this week's edition of Andrea's Old House. Let's talk about other things.

Second, I did something new. On Memorial Day, my sister-in-law asked if I wanted to check out a local orchard that was on their last days of strawberries. So, we headed off. One, it was super fun to pick my own fruit. Two, they had strawberry donuts that were incredible. Third, it was a chance to get some quality nephew time which I always love. The good news is that while strawberry season is over, they have other stuff growing, so stay tuned for what's next!

Oh, and I made (mini) strawberry pies with my finds. 10/10 - I'll be making these again.

Third, IT WAS BEE WEEK! My friend Kristen and I have many, many super cool mutual interests, and the Spelling Bee is one of our favorites. We love it so much we have a watch party. Last year, we started a draft, and this year, I decided to even create a travelling trophy. Each year of the Bee is awesome, and this one was another memorable one. Congrats to Kristen for being our inaugural champ. I'll be scouting the Bee circuit hard in the next year in hopes of taking the title back!

Finally, my favorite day of the year is upon us - JOHNSON COUNTY BOOK SALE DAY! This is the one time of year I stock up on the books that will carry me through the rest of the year. I refer to it affectionately as my book Christmas. I've got my book list ready to go, will be spending the next few days memorizing it (for serious, I have to be ready), and I'll be scouring the aisles hoping to find books to fall in love with soon. I'll be sure to recap my finds this week!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

May In Reading

Before I blog my May reads, here are some announcements. . .

1). I'm probably going back to blogging books in fours.
2). May was a slow reading month - for me. I also know the more stressed I am, the less I read. Once I realized my pace was off, I righted the ship.
3). There were some high quality reads this month. Some of my favorites in 2017 for sure.

Option B was incredible. I adore Sheryl Sandberg, and this read was about the aftermath of the sudden loss of her husband. Her honesty and authenticity throughout were beautiful. She also partnered with psychologist Adam Grant to explore some of the science and emotion on grief. It's a hard read in that it's "tough stuff," but it's so worth checking out.

Reading with Patrick: A Teacher, A Student, And A Life-Changing Friendship was an advance reading copy I received. Y'all, it's phenomenal. It's written by a Teach for America volunteer who finds herself in rural Arkansas. She writes of the challenge and joy she finds in her classroom. Years later, she goes onto law school and finds out one of her students is now in jail. She makes the decision to return to rural Arkansas to continue reading and educating him as he's in jail. I anticipate this one will get lots of buzz when it's released in a few weeks, and it's definitely well-deserved.

Watch Me Disappear was another advance reading copy I received. It's about a mother who unexpectedly disappears and her husband and daughter trying to piece it all together. There's some good suspense and twists and turns that kept me reading. 

What Alice Forgot was my fifth(!) Liane Moriarity. This one is about a woman who faints at the gym and wakes up with no memory of the last decade of her life. However, she quickly finds her life has played out far differently than she planned. This one doesn't have the suspense of her latest books, but the story here is still fantastic. It's wonderful (as nearly all things Liane Moriarity are), and it makes you think about what would happen if you got the chance to do things all over again.

Radical Candor: Be A Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity was a book I read for work-ish. It had lots of good tips for ways to open up communication channels, bring your whole self to work, and just be a better human/professional. It made me think and also included things I already do which was pretty validating to read.

'Round Midnight was a yet another advance reading copy I received. I loved Laura McBride's first book We Are Called to Rise. This book is equally amazing. She is a masterful storyteller when it comes to weaving the stories of people who are seemingly unconnected together. This one focuses on stories centering around four women with different identities and experiences, but all end up in Vegas. As the story goes, you find there are many common threads. Another one to check out when it is released soon.