Sunday, May 31, 2020

Book Challenge by Erin 13.0

Book Challenge by Erin 13.0 - General Rules
  •   First and foremost, have fun. Don't stress. No one is being judged, graded, or penalized. Even if you finish only one book the entire challenge, if you enjoy it and it's an accomplishment for you, then that's awesome.
  •   The challenge will run from JULY 1, 2020 to OCTOBER 31, 2020. No books that are started before 12 a.m. on July 1 or finished after 11:59 p.m. on October 31 will count. (We live in different time zones follow this according to your own time zone.)
  •   Each book must be at least 200 pages long. Audio books are fine too.
  •   A book can only be used for one category, and each category can only be
    completed once. If you want to switch the category of a book, or change the
    book you originally chose, no worries.
  •   You can read your books in any order you choose.
  •   Rereads can be used only once. If a book you love fits into a category, go
    ahead and visit it again. Read it in its entirety. But, only do this once for the
  •   The admins will create a photo album for each category with links to books
    chosen. Please comment on the photo for each of your books when you finish reading them. A comment can include a review, a rating, a recommendation...other readers want to hear what you thought of your choice. (If you need help with this, let me know...or there is a file attached to our group explaining what to do.)
  •   There will be 10 book categories with a possibility of earning 200 points. That’s 10 books in four months. For some of you, this will be a BIG challenge; for others it will be easy peasy. It’s all for fun, remember!
  •   There will be a bonus round, and it is completely voluntary for those who want a little extra challenge, but don’t worry about that until the bonus round is officially announced.
  •   Book categories will be posted June 1st to give you time to gather books in preparation.
  •   After the categories are posted, please post a preliminary list with books of your choice according to their categories on the facebook group page by June 15th (if possible). If you need help with a particular category or want a book suggestion, we as a community of reading enthusiasts can help each other. (Late entries will still be accepted.)
  •   The first three people who finish the challenge will be invited to contribute a category for the next challenge.
  •   The following will get a small prize from me a WILD CARD random draw for all who complete the bonus round, and a WILD CARD random draw for all others who complete the 10 book challenge. Plus, everyone who completes the challenge will gets all sorts of recognition and support!
Book Challenge by Erin 13.0 Categories
5 points: Freebie Read a book that is at least 200 pages:
Wilder Girls--Rory Power
10 points: Read a book that starts with “S”:
Snipped in the Bud--Kate Collins
10 points: Read a book with a preposition in the title: 
The Garden of Small Beginnings--Abbi Waxman

15 points: Read a book that is an odd number edition in a book series:
Murder, She Barked--Krista Davis (1st in Paws and Claws Mysteries) 

20 points: Read a book set in a different country than the one you live:
Tigress--Jennifer Blake
20 points: (selected by Debdatta) - Read a book with a female police officeror detective as a main character : 19th Christmas--James Patterson

25 points: (selected by Carly) Read a (fiction or non-fiction) book with an immigrant as a main character: Rani Patel in Full Effect--Sonia Patel 
30 points: (selected by Darlene McN.) Read a book with one of the following words in the title: thing, nothing, anything, something, everything:
All We Ever Wanted Was Everything--Janelle Brown

30 points: Since our challenge ends in October Read an October themed book:
Separation Anxiety--Laura Zigman (mental health)

35 points: (selected by Vinay) Read a book with one of the following words in the title: city, town, village, district, county, state, country, kingdom:
City of Islands--Kali Wallace

If you are stuck on any of these categories, ask for help or recommendations!
Also, a great place to look is at the photo album in this group of the previously selected books. 

Challenge completed on July 13

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Change in the the Weather

I can't believe the calendar is about to say June. It's been 11 repetitive weeks since the shutdown. But if that's not confusing enough for some people, the weather today in my hometown is gloomy, with rain predicted. Yes, after about four or five days of a heat wave, and a cooler day yesterday, it is gloomy outside. I get exhausted easily in such weather even in the middle of the day!

No rain as of yet and none is predicted after today. I can recall at least once when it rained at the end of May, and at least once in June. Not normally expected. 

It's beginning to feel like it did in March just before the shutdown began. It was raining the Sunday before then and for several days into the lockdown. Is that what this means by "March, Part 4"? Though we did get some hot weather in April and May in my area. Now I'm anxious to see what the first week of June is like.

UPDATE: (1:07 PM Pacific Time): The rain just now began, not too long after I originally posted this.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Heat Wave and Holiday Confusion

It really has been feeling like the unofficial start of summer. Weather has been in the 90s the last two or so days in my neck of the woods. Not unusual in California at this time, but it's just adding to the time confusion some are having (see this post). 

As you all know, Monday was Memorial Day, the first legal holiday during the shutdown. I went to Safeway on Monday, attempting to pick up my Prozac prescription. When I got the the store, the pharmacy was closed. I looked and saw it was closed for the holiday. I nearly forgot it was Memorial Day. Under normal circumstances, such a holiday just feels like an extra Sunday. But every day since mid-March has seemed like a holiday! 

Today I saw this photo:

Well, doesn't it seem like this is true? Some probably feel like that last three months have blurred into one. 

Only four days left in May now.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

More on Reading Digital Books

After using the Overdrive (the Northern California Digital Library) for two months now, the site is now constantly busy. I have one book checked out until June 10 and have not been able to click on it. Another "con" I have discovered of this site.

I had not considered trying the Cloud Library for my local library until just last week. I have since read one book this way (which had a six-month wait on Overdrive) and am in the middle of reading another. I have also put two on hold, both of which will be available in 20-some-odd days. 

The "pros" I have found to the Cloud Library is that is free (obviously!) with my library card and there are some books I have found on this site that I did not find on Overdrive and as I said above, one that has currently has a six-month wait on Overdrive was readily available on Cloud Library. The "cons" of course are that I have to look at the screen for so long and some titles are not available (but that can be expected). Thank goodness the Zip Books program is still running. I just received another book from this (haven't read it yet) and currently have five out, waiting to be returned to the library upon its reopening. And of course I still have the ones at home that I have bought over the years and have yet to read, along with the recently ordered ones from Amazon. 

And I have the ones downloaded from Project Gutenberg onto iBooks. This I have been using for about two years now and as with books bought from stores, I tend to "collect" books this way and have some I have not yet read. The "pros" to this site is that it is free and that books can be downloaded and be read whenever. No return dates. The "cons" are that it is only older books, not the place to get recent releases or current or recent bestsellers. Many such books can be found on Overdrive and Cloud Library. But there may be a wait time. I'm personally surprised that some of the books with a long wait on Overdrive don't have the same wait time on Cloud Library.

As I have said before, I still prefer physical books and am anxious to get back to the library. But when that happens, I will not give up digital books altogether. I will still read maybe one or two a month if I can't find the physical books at the library and if I don't want to order a particular book by Zip Books. Either way is free and you can't beat that. I'll only buy a book if I really want it as was the case with those I just got from Amazon.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Summer Reading Challenge 2020 @ Messy Middle

I will get as many as I can for this one.

It will start on June 1 and run through August 18, 2020. To enter, read seven books from 25 categories.

What is different?

  • Pandemic, anyone? For some you’ve already been reading extra, for others, the past few months have dinged your ability to concentrate and read.
  • You may have less access to libraries.
  • So, you might need this challenge more than ever to get your reading mojo back. BUT you might have less access to libraries and may need to borrow books from friends and family.
  • In recognition of the graduations and weddings that were planned and the medical personnel impacted, students, teachers, and parents doing school different, and those in isolation who had a very different than expected first half of the year we have four “COVID-19 Special Categories.”

What is the same?

  • Many categories will be similar because reading is reading. But you will notice a few new gems
  • Counting a book of more than 700 pages as two books.
  • Choosing a penalty book within the first week of the year. A penalty book or category you declare I will read or be penalized. The last two summers I have selected a penalty book and it worked! I read books I’d been meaning to read for ages and I am all the richer for reading them. This year Abigail Adams by Woody Holton is my penalty book. Can I tell you how many years I’ve meant to read this book?! This is the summer!
  • Like last year, if you do not read your “penalty” book, you will subtract two books from your total.

What’s in it for you?

  • All who comment on August 18-21st with the names of the books they read will be entered to win one of ten $10 Amazon gift cards.

Drumroll . . . here are the categories!

In recognition of the graduations, weddings, medical personnel, and those in isolation who had a very different than expected first half of the year we have four COVID-19 Special Categories:
  1. A book with either something old, something new, something borrowed, or something blue: 13 Little Blue Envelopes--Maureen Johnson
  2. A book with a nurse, doctor, or other medical personnel: The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires--Grady Hendrix
  3. A book with a teacher, student, or classroom: Wilder Girls--Rory Power
  4. A book about a pandemic or outbreak: The Passage--Justin Cronin
In Recognition of the Joy of reading:
  1. A Biography: Maya Lin: Thinking With Her Hands--Susan Goldman Rubin
  2. A book I already own: 2 A.M. at the Cat's Pajamas--Marie-Helene Bertino
  3. A book a friend recommended: The Lost Vintage--Ann Mah
  4. A Young Adult book (YA): Rani Patel in Full Effect--Sonia Patel
  5. A book with a great cover: Sunset Beach--Mary Kay Andrews
  6. A book of poetry: The Complete Poems of John Keats
  7. A memoir or autobiography: The Liars' Club--Mary Karr
  8. A graphic novel: Spinning--Tillie Walden
  9. A book for professional development (loosely defined): I Really Needed This Today--Hoda Kotb
  10. A book longer than 700 pages (counts as two books): The Brontes--Juliet Barker
  11. A book with a verb in the title: Driving With the Top Down--Beth Harbison
  12. A play: Fences--August Wilson
  13. A book about a country or culture you have never visited: Tigress--Jennifer Blake
  14. A book about history: Dead Wake--Erik Larson
  15. A book that won an award: Boy Meets Boy--David Levithan
  16. A classic: Twelfth Night--William Shakespeare
  17. A novel: Kindred--Octavia E. Butler
  18. An audiobook: Pure Joy--Danielle Steel
  19. A book with an animal: Murder, She Barked--Krista Davis
  20. A book less than 100 pages: We Should All Be Feminists--Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  21. A book you want to discuss with others: All We Ever Wanted Was Everything--Janelle Brown
My Penalty Book: The Garden of Small Beginnings--Abbi Waxman

25 books (+ penalty book) completed on July 29

Signs as Disney Princesses

Today on Sandra's Blog:

I am a Capricorn and the fact the Belle reads a lot seems spot on. I don't really have a favorite princess among these. 

My local stage company was going to be putting on "Beauty and the Beast Jr." for its spring kids show this year. I was considering seeing it. I was also planning to see the local high school production of "Grease" that was supposed to be in March. "Beauty and the Beast" was going to be in April and May. Don't yet know the fate of that one. 

I have seen most of these movies only once and have not seen the live-action ones. I don't yet know if I'll ever bother. I got to see "Frozen 2" free at my library in March before the shutdown. 

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Mental Health Month

One thing I've been missing because of the lockdown is being at the Mental Health Center. I've worked a peer mentor since 2016 and always enjoy being around the others who come. I'm missing it even more this month since May is Mental Health Month. We usually have some event for the center during this time. 

Usually I go into the office and see my psychiatrist on screen, known as telepsychiatry, with a nurse or case manager assisting. But for my most recent appointment, a nurse called me at home and I spoke to the telepsych doctor over the phone. My next appointment is in June, and of course no one knows what things will be like then. 

I'm not scared to admit that I've had more panic attacks and have felt a little more depressed during the lockdown. Admitting such things is part of reducing the stigma of mental health. I also fear I will have agoraphobia as a result of the now-two-month shutdown. Getting to the store when needed is even more of a chore now. I've been eager to get out in the world, but am now apprehensive of such. I won't even get started on my state and county's gradual reopening. But I am looking forward to everything getting better.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Just Can't Wait Too Long for Some Books

Some things I just can't wait long for, and that includes some books. Since no one yet knows when the library will reopen, and some titles have a six-month wait on Overdrive, it can seem like it will be forever before I can get to some titles. So I gave in and ordered some books from Amazon the other day.

I had heard about this book and was eager to read it. According to my library's website, it was checked before the lockdown began. I had to see if they already have it before I can get it from Zip Books, and when I saw that they have it, I looked on Overdrive and put it on hold. But I got tired of waiting so it was one of the titles recently ordered on Amazon. 

I have read a lot by this author. In the months before the lockdown began, I had seen this one at the library and knew I was going to read it, though wasn't aiming to do so until summer. And it too had a six-month wait on Overdrive (I often get the feeling the wait will be longer than that). So I decided to get this one as well.

And here's one I've been waiting to read forever, according to my Goodreads account. It was only available as an audiobook on Overdrive and I can only take some much audiobook listening each month (and this is one that's more than 10 hours long). Since it's an older title, I was able to get it cheap on Amazon.

But I am trying not to be too greedy so I will still get some titles via Zip Books. I have three out now and another on order. This one wasn't on Overdrive and I wasn't too eager to read it, but still wanted to.

And the are some other titles I want to read, and will probably get via Zip Books. Again, I have three books out from Zip, and am wondering how many I will accumulate before the library reopens. And of course no one knows when that will be. 

I do still have some titles on hold and two (covers below) are now on a wait of "about two weeks." As such, I'll gladly wait for them to become available, just to avoid accumulating too many books at home. As long as I've got some already at home, it will be worth the wait.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Chapter Break Bingo – May 2020

Here is the card for May.

May Bookish Bingo

My Books:
  1. The Vintage Teacup Club--Vanessa Greene (6 squares): Physical Book, Shelf Love, Not in a Series, Mother, More Than One POV, Contemporary Fiction
  2. Life, the Universe and Everything--Douglas Adams (6 squares): Set in Outer Space, Sci Fi/Sci Fi Fantasy, In a Series, Set in the Future, Made Into a Movie or TV Show, Thriller/Suspense
  3. Convenience Store Woman--Sayaka Murata (3 squares): E-Book, Library Book, Independent Publisher
  4. March: Book One--John Lewis (4 squares): Orange on the Cover, More Than One Person on the Cover, Squad/Team, Overcoming Adversity
  5. Identical--Ellen Hopkins (1 square): Audiobook
  6. The Jetsetters--Amanda Eyre Ward (4 squares): Free Book, Book Club Read, New Release, Free Space
  7. Windhaven--George R.R. Martin and Lisa Tuttle (1 square): More Than One Author

25 squares completed on May 17

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Loner During Lockown

I'll admit I miss getting out lately, even though I am more of an introvert. The center where I work is one such place I miss as it's a way for me to get out and fell comfortable around others who attend and also work as peer mentors. We've all been acquainted for some time now and I miss being near them all three days a week. And I miss going to the library, as I've already said.

I've often thought of myself as a loner, which I can still say I am, though I've gotten more used to being around others. There are still times I tend to do things alone if the need calls for it. Last fall, one of my fellow mentors gladly accompanied me to a play in our hometown, but was unable to do so again this recently (the only play our stage company has been able to hold this year took place in February before the lockdown began). But since I wanted to see this play, I was happy to do it alone. But if others can come, I'll be glad. 

What is really weird is how little I'd been going to places such as movies and bars before the lockdown began. Now I can't go at all. I was getting somewhat used to not doing such a thing before was I unable to do so at all. It sort of worked out for me, though I still miss doing it every so often, even if it will be done alone.

The most I can do to get out of the house lately is just to take a drive around town. I got a new car last December and am trying to get some mileage on it, though there have been days I have not driven. Not much to see in our empty town. 

I've been wondering how extroverts have been handling the lockdown. Some whom I know, I can just see them hating having to stay away from others and disliking using Zoom to talk. But they have to do it under the current circumstances. No doubt extroverts are suffering the most from being shut in. But the same can be true of some introverts.

Even I as an introvert haven't bothered trying Zoom. I attempted to download it, but flaked. And I'm not sure about trying again. My writers lab has been having Zoom meetings and I have been unable to participate. The lab will soon be on break for the summer, and as with everything else in the world, no one is sure when we will back in the regular world. The lab will start again in September, but right now we have no clue if it will be in person again anytime soon. I am going to try to write something to email to the other group members to read and critique if time allows. I'm glad to still have this option.