What a Year!

When I started ColorMeRead I had very good intentions.  Then life decided to take me on a totally unexpected journey, and ColorMeRead was neglected by me, but helped along by a wonderful group of women who supported the idea of my having a reading blog and who supported me through my unexpected journey when I received those words that no one ever wants to hear…You have breast cancer.

I was extremely fortunate to have a great team of doctors who supported me when I was hysterical.  Who gave me great advice, and saw me through some terrible decisions and made me feel like I mattered even when I had to suffer through appointments and exams I felt were humiliating.

Along with that great team of doctors I had amazing friends who let me cry, let me laugh, and gave me great perspective.  Without the support system I was able to put together rather quickly I don’t know if I would have come through the other side.  Yes I didn’t come out the other side the same person I was before…I was slightly depressed, but at least I had my sanity.  

What suffered the most was my concentration and my joy of reading.  Every year I set a goal of reading 100 books whether they’re print or audio, and this year I won’t come anywhere close because I couldn’t concentrate on a book.  When I read I would enjoy what I was reading, but I would find myself quickly bored by reading.  I kept myself entertained by doing more crossword puzzles than I probably have in my entire life.  I also got into adult coloring.

Now 6 months later I’ve been through a double mastectomy, reconstruction surgery, and genetic testing.  I was extremely lucky I didn’t have to do radiation (thanks to my choice to do a mastectomy vs. a lumpectomy) and thankfully I was caught soon enough that I managed to escape chemo as well.  I also don’t have the genetic mutation, so my risk of recurrence stays low, and another surgery to remove my ovaries is unnecessary.  I’m also beginning to feel more like myself as my doctor appointments get to be spread further and further apart.  Lastly I’m beginning to find my joy in reading again, and hope to be as much a contributor to ColorMeRead as my wonderful friends have been.

Thank you to all of them for supporting me, and not giving up on me.  To the rest of you…get a mammogram.  I’m proof they work!

COYER (Clean Out Your E-Reader)

Today, my long time friend Deb suggested that I again try to connect with other bloggers by doing a reading challenge.  She told me she had signed up for two.  I asked what two she had signed up for, and truth be told I don’t remember the other one she told me.

I did however check out COYER immediately.  I was a 100% failure at doing the Dewey Read-a-thon that I’m not confident I can succeed with COYER, but the concept sounds like I can be more of a participant and hopefully be somewhat successful.

I hope that others who see this will decide to check it out and perhaps think this is a great way to clean out their own e-reader or IPod as this year they’re allowing audio books as well.   I’m sharing the link and hopefully you’ll participate!

http://www.becausereading.com

 

Because Reading is better than real life

#READATHON FAILURE

This weekend I was going to participate for the first time in the DeweyReadathon.  (If that’s not quite the right title I do apologize!)  I was looking forward to a lazy day at home with the dogs and no distractions to finally sit and read and hopefully finish not only the book I’ve had no time to read, but maybe another one as well.  I knew there was no way I could last the whole 24 hours, but I didn’t even make it one hour!

Why you might be wondering did I not even read for a hour?  I didn’t realize my husband was planning on being home and working on the major dejunking project that I’ve been asking for what seems a lifetime to get done.  I can’t sit around and read while he’s in the mood to dejunk.  

We live in a small house with extremely limited storage, so we’ve been paying for outside storage for years.  What went from one unit has grown to three, and that doesn’t count the junk in the garage..so bad to where I can’t even get my car in there, and sometimes I feel like it’s dangerous to walk through!

Anyway…we’re now pretty much on a first name basis with the donation center, and I got to make a big run to Half Price Books where I used part of what I got to get birthday presents for some of my friends.  The rest I’m going to be using to buy an Amazon G.C. where I can then get electronic books and continue to be a book hoarder but not in the pyschical sense.

So good job to those who actually participated and hopefully when the spring comes I’ll be ready, willing, and able to participate!

Harper Lee

In the Spring of 2015 I attended the Romantic Times (RT) Convention as a bookseller/librarian.  This meant that I had access to panels designed for the bookseller/librarian.  One of the panels asked for audience participation by asking us what books we had never read.  I never read THE FLAME AND THE FLOWER by Woodiwiss, but had read TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee a student in what we called Junior High (more commonly known today as Middle School).  

Do I actually remember reading TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD or any of the feelings I had about it back then.  Sorry to say no, as that was many more years ago than I’m quite willing to admit.  With the release and all all the chatter about GO SET A WATCHMAN I wondered what I was going to do about reading GO SET A WATCHMAN.  

So what I did, was I waited, and allowed a friend to read the book first.  I then asked her what she thought, and based on her opinion decided that I needed to be able to be one of those who said I’ve read GO SET A WATCHMAN.  My next question…should I reread TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD?  Her answer yes, so that’s what I did.

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD was released in 1960 according to the GOOGLE search I did.  That’s slightly before the Civil Rights Movement really got going.  I now think that it had to be really forward thinking for its time, and as another friend told me yesterday really had a lot of issues that are even topical for today…rape, single parenthood, race, and even is school doing everything it can to educate our students for their futures.

GO SET A WATCHMAN was just recently released even though it was written prior to TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.  GO SET A WATCHMAN is told from Scout now known as Jean Louise’s point of view and it’s a very different story than TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.  I refuse to put any spoilers for those who haven’t yet read it, but I have to say I didn’t like the characters at all, and that was very different from the emotions that TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD pulled from me.

I had written some thoughts, but then check Wikipedia discovered that the thoughts I had were likely wrong, and that GO SET A WATCHMAN is likely the first draft of what when on to become the iconic TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.  My final thoughts…I say refresh your memory with TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD if it’s been a while since you’ve read it, and then do what I did and borrow a copy of GO SET A WATCHMAN from the library and see what you think for yourself.

Looking for a Sweet read…look no further than Candis Terry

Recently I started reading Candis Terry.  Why, you may ask did I decide to read Candis Terry?  The answer is really quite simple!  At the beginning of 2015 I made a resolution that I would I would attempt to read all the authors who were calling or Skyping with my local book club.  I’ve not been very successful, but I have read several.  Since Ms. Terry is going to be the author in September that we’ll be chatting with I decided it was time to change her status from languishing unread in my TBR to read!

I started with ANYTHING BUT SWEET as I thought this was the first book in the series.  There was a little bit of backstory that had me wondering if I missed something, but the bit of research I did still had me believing that ANYTHING BUT SWEET was the first book.  I thought ok…Ms. Terry just didn’t give us this full back story, but we’d get it eventually.  I’ve learned since then that perhaps the backstory I was wanting is in CRAZY SWEET FINE, but since I’ve not read this yet I don’t know.

Since book club hasn’t happened yet, and I’ve glommed all the Marie Force I feel I should for the moment (don’t want to get burnt out on a new favorite author) I decided to read SWEETEST MISTAKE by Ms. Terry.  What did I learn by reading that?  I learned that because I still have some time before the September book club meets that I need to get SOMETHING SWEETER read. 

Yes, these books are slightly older and not necessarily the one that will be discussed at book club, but my book club is very understanding about those of us who have to read in order, and while some of the members will have read the newest book,  TRULY SWEET it will be quite fine that I’m late to the Candis Terry party, because I did finally arrive, and look forward to enjoying myself for a long time to come!

Marie Force…Have you discovered her yet?

In the last thirty (30) days or so I’ve devoured eleven (11) Marie Force books.  Many, me included would consider this glomming Ms. Force.  I can’t remember when I was introduced to Marie Force, but I know it was through my local book club.  At the time we were fortunate to have her call in, and while I had one or two of her books in my pile I hadn’t had the time to read them.  She was quite entertaining, and several of my local friends totally enjoyed Ms. Force’s books, so I continued to add them to my ever growing TBR pile, and just letting them reside there, and being unread.

In November 2012 I started a new job and was going to be away from home for a week worth of training.  I decided that after hearing good things about Ms. Force’s Fatal series that I would read book one, FATAL AFFAIR.  I can’t recall how many books I read during that week of training, but for sure it was more than one!  Didn’t take me long at all to get caught up with the Fatal series, and to be joining the legions of fans awaiting each new release in that series.

Did that mean I went on to read other books by Ms. Force…unfortunately no!    In March of 2014 the first book in the Green Mountain series came out, and I eagerly read it.   As each book in the Green Mountain series is released I’m eagerly reading it.  Does this mean that between releases I turned to my Kindle TBR for a Marie Force fix?  NO!   It wasn’t until March of 2015 that I decided to open another of the books that was languishing in my huge Kindle TBR, MAID FOR LOVE the first book in the McCarthy’s of Gansett Island

After falling in love with the McCarthy’s of Gansett Island what choice did I have but to continue reading?  I didn’t read them all in a row (I was afraid of falling out of love…as if that could even happen!)  So from March to July (didn’t read any Gansett Island books in June) I read them all, and was once again eagerly anticipating a release!

While waiting for a new release what’s a girl to do, but turn to the trusty Kindle TBR and pull up the Treading Water series.  I read all four (4) books in about a week!

So what does this mean for you?  If you haven’t discovered Marie Force I think you need to check her out.  She has several different series, and I’m confident will appeal to a variety of readers.  What does it mean for me?  I’m lucky…I discovered that books I spent money for were truly loved, and while I’ve read a lot of Marie Force in the last few months I still have a few waiting for when I want a guaranteed great read!

TO USE THE LIBRARY OR NOT TO USE THE LIBRARY

As I sit at my computer with my phone plugged in and an audio I have downloaded from the library transferring to it, I can’t help but wonder how many library users are amongst us.

For me it’s very rare that I go to the physical library and check out a physical book, however since my library started offering audio books that I could download at home and transfer to a device I’ve been a serious addict!  I’m such an addict that I even canceled my subscription to Audible.

I have a local friend who didn’t believe me that getting eBooks/audios from the library was easy, until she tried it for herself.  Now I’ve turned her into an addict!  I will admit that even though I’d been downloading the audios for years, I had never tried an eBook myself through the library.  I have done only one, but it was easy to get it to my kindle, and then to delete it when I had read it.  What joy in that I could get a book I needed to continue a series without buying it, since I don’t tend to be a re-reader.

This year I joined a library reading challenge and am having fun to see what others are reading and to read those brief reviews.  One of the organizers  is really trying to tighten her budget, and is adding up what she saves each month.  This inspired me to do the same and while I’ve not been as dedicated as I should I am trying to move money from my checking account to savings, and am proud to say that while not a huge amount I’m getting closer and closer to $1000 each month.

So, my question is do you use the library?  If not why not?  I’m challenging you to check your local library and start seeing what you might be able to get for free, and then if you are a re-reader and love it go buy a copy!