2016 Reading Challenge · book reviews · books · lists · New Year · reading

Eat. Sleep. READ. That’s all.

It’s a new year (well, duh!), and I’m posting, finally. No apologies or excuses for my absence this time, just a fresh start. And a challenge.

I love a good book challenge, and this year, I’m taking Anne’s from The Modern Mrs. Darcy.  The 2016 Reading Challenge is relatively simple, without a huge number of books, which I need right now. And the variety is great!



Here are my choices, so far. Nearly all of these are books already on my e-reader or bookshelf, which was a conscious choice on my part. I have an overflowing e-reader, and it would be ridiculous to add more when I can satisfy the requirements! There are three choices that are new-to-my reader books; these are starred! (And my list is in the opposite order than the one above.)


A book I’ve already read at least once:

Cold Comfort Farm  by Stella Gibbons

A book that intimidates me:

Othello by William Shakespeare

A book I own, but have never read:

Van Gogh’s Room at Arles by Stanley Elkin

A book I previously abandoned: 

A book that was banned at some point:

(I’m choosing the same book for these two categories)

A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard

A book published before I was born:

A Room With A View by E.M. Forster

A book chosen for me:

I honestly cannot decide on which of the books my wonderful friends Karen & Rob selected for me, so I’m adding both of them to the list!

A Madness of Angels by Kate Swift (Rob’s choice)

The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb (Karen’s choice)

A book I should’ve read in school:

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

A book recommended by a bookseller:  

*  A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara    I took this recommendation from the employees at Powell’s, where this novel was on several folks top-five books of 2015.

A book I’ve been meaning to read:

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

A book that can be read in a day: 

My Story by Marilyn Monroe

A book published this year:

This category is last, because I don’t have anything for it yet. Once 2016 gets going a bit more, I’ll fill this one in!




As I read these (and everything else!) I’ll post thoughts, reviews, etc. I’ll begin reading these as soon as I finish what I’m currently involved in! Join me, won’t you? Let’s make 2016 a year full of books!

And if anyone has suggestions for books published this year, let me know!




lists · stuff · Twitter · Uncategorized · whatever

Seven Lists For the Seventh

Today is the 7th of June. Not that this date has any big significance for me, at least none that I remember right now–if I’m forgetting something important, let me know, and forgive me, because if you are my friend, you know how badly my brain holds information. And that brain drain is getting worse, since my seizures aren’t as well controlled as they should be lately. Not making my life a lot of fun, ya know? Anyway, that was totally not my point.  My point has to do with a thing someone sent me on Twitter, and asked me to write a blog post about. Now, I don’t remember who sent it, because I’ve had this image saved on my tablet for almost a year! (Bad Jonna!) Today I stumbled across it, and decided since it asks for 7 of each thing, and it’s the 7th, I’d do it. So here I go, trying to answer these questions, and make as much sense as possible!

7 everyday things I couldn’t live without:  

1-lip balm of some sort   2-something to write with and in  3-a comfy armchair  4–reading material

5 -caffeine  6-I’d be very unhappy without the internet (but could likely live without it as long as I had #’s 2 & 4)   7-sleep

7 of my favorite songs:

(in no particular order, just a few I’ve been listening to a lot lately)

1-‘Ca Plane Pour Moi’ by Plastic Bertrand (a song I picked up from Craig Ferguson!)

2-‘Come Together’ as recorded by Robin Williams & Bobby McFerrin

this just makes me feel totally free….

3-‘How’s the World Treating You’ by Alison Kraus & James Taylor (two of my favorite artists, singing a country classic–their voices together are just too beautiful!)

4-‘Sacred Emotion’ by Donny Osmond (I don’t care what you say, the man can sing, and I LOVE this song.)

5-‘Travelin’ Soldier’ by The Dixie Chicks (breaks my heart every time…and this fan made video is awesome.)

6-‘I’m Beautiful’ by Bette Midler (because I’m Beautiful, dammit!)

7-‘Beautiful World’ by Colin Hay


7 pastimes I never tire of doing:

  1. Reading
  2. Looking at stupid things on Pinterest, Tumblr & YouTube
  3. Learning
  4. Laughing
  5. Talking to friends & family
  6. wandering around stores
  7. This.

7 treats I could eat every day:

  1. Popcorn
  2. smoothies
  3. fruit of almost any kind
  4. sweet potato fries
  5. chai tea latte (iced)
  6. snickerdoodles
  7. beef fajitas


7 places I want to visit:

  1. New York City
  2. London
  3. Paris
  4. Mexico
  5. Japan
  6. Hawaii
  7. The Smithsonian Museum & Library of Congress in Washington DC (my big dream vacay!)


blogging · lists · random stuff · writing

List It Or Lose It


I like making lists, but if you’ve read many of these posts, you’ve probably noticed that. Lists keep me sane, or at close to it as I come. I make lists of things I need to do, things I want to do, things to buy, things to sell, and all sorts of other lists. I have entire journals filled of lists: what I’d like my dream home to look like, what I’d like my dream man to be like (that’s actually the most difficult list), lists of items I’d have in my dream wardrobe, the songs I’d record if I made a cover album, favorite books & movies & songs, things I love, things I hate, things I cannot live without, and things I’d be happy to never see again. Sometimes at night when I can’t sleep and my brain just won’t shut up, I lie in the dark and give myself a topic to make a list. For example, bands from the 1970’s, going from A to Z, or a list of 25 female characters I really disliked. I usually go in alphabetical order on these lists at night, simply because it helps me keep things in order, and I seldom get all the way to Z before falling asleep.This is how obsessive I get about lists: when I was taking the medication Topamax, my neurologist would give me a quiz each visit to test how it was affecting my verbal skills. He’d give me a letter, and in 60 seconds I had to come up with as many words (no proper nouns, nothing that I’d just said with a modifier –no green then greener) beginning with that letter as I could. I usually did very well on this test, not as well as I thought I should, but I stayed in the top percentile until I’d been on Topamax for several years, and then I started having real trouble finding words. But the lists–after each visit, I would spend my ride home on the bus making a list of words; I’d have always asked the doctor for the list he wrote down as I said them during the test, and then I went from there, until I’d have pages of my journal or dayplanner filled with words. It annoyed me so that I only got a minute to do the first list, and I knew I could do better. When I told my doctor about this, he asked me two questions: “does it make you feel better?” and “how many words do you come up with?” Since I was worried he’d tell me this was a sign I was crazy, I was happy to tell him that yes, it did, and for one letter I came up with nearly 250 words before the bus got to my stop.

My lists are almost always on paper; I’ve tried the list-making apps on my phone and tablet, and it just isn’t the same. I use one occasionally for my grocery list, because it’s easier, and I don’t lose it. But for my other lists, those that are for my soul, I need the feel of a pen on paper, or hands on a keyboard. I think this is one of the reasons I like sites like Pinterest so much–it’s essentially a bunch of lists of stuff people like! I can spend hours just reorganizing my own pins, just getting lost in nothing… Wow.

So. There’s a site called listography.com and I love it. Reading other people’s lists is fun, and I just signed up, so now I’ll be posting my own! https://listography.com/readbetweenthewhines?m=6404158689 That’s me. And I have a list posted, so go and read!