Monday, May 31, 2021

2021 Summer Reading Challenge @ Hayley by the Book

 Here is a new one at Hayley by the Book

Summer Reading Challenge 2021

The Prompts

  1. New-to-you author: Elizabethan Lover--Barbara Cartland
  2. A mystery released in 2021: 21st Birthday--James Patterson
  3. Main character’s name starts with J: The Roommate--Rosie Danan
  4. Summery cover: The Summer's End--Mary Alice Monroe
  5. 4 word title: Same Beach, Next Year--Dorothea Benton Frank
  6. Middle grade (8-12) or young adult (12+) book: The Secret Garden--Frances Hodgson Burnett
  7. Christmas in July: This Christmas--Jane Green
  8. Hyped book: The Four Winds--Kristin Hannah
  9. A book you meant to read last year: Fortune and Glory--Janet Evanovich
  10. Sci-fi or fantasy book: Kissed--Cameron Dokey
  11. Non-fiction by a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and other people of color) author: Disability Visibility--Alice Wong (ed.)
  12. First book in a series: Olive Kitteridge--Elizabeth Strout
  13. LGBTQIA+: Beyond Magenta--Susan Kuklin
  14. Main character takes a trip or goes on holiday: Drive Me Crazy--Erin Downing
  15. Goodreads Choice Awards 2020 winner or nominee: The Girl With the Louding Voice--Abi Dare
  16. Water on cover: Hello, Summer--Mary Kay Andrews

Challenge completed on August 21

Book Challenge by Erin 15.0

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Book Challenge by Erin 15.0 – Categories

• 5 points: Freebie – Read a book that is at least 200 pages:

• 10 points: Read a book that’s first word starts with the letter A (but not the articles A or An): 

• 10 points: Read a debut book:

• 15 points: Read a book with the word to, too, or two in the title:

• 20 points: Read a book by an author who is a person of color:

• 20 points: Read a book 500+ pages; when listing your choice, please list the number of pages in your edition that you intend to read:
• 25 points: (selected by Carly) – Read a book about a famous woman; can be someone in real life or a fictional famous woman (an actor, a princess, a politician, etc.):

• 30 points: (selected by Darlene McN) – Read a book that has a color of the rainbow in the title (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) o Examples: Violets are Blue by James Patterson, Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess:

• 30 points: (selected by Debdatta) – Read a book with a song title or song lyrics in the title; when listing your choice, please note the song & artist that influenced your book choice. o Examples: Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi (Helter Skelter by The Beatles), Adrian’s McKinty’s Sean Duffy series (all of the titles are Tom Waits lyrics), No Sunshine When She’s Gone by Kate Angell (Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers):
This Christmas--Jane Green (Holiday song "This Christmas")

• 35 points: (selected by Vinay) – in honor of October hosting an “International Day of the Girl Child”, read a book where the protagonist (leading character) is a girl younger than 15 years old OR a book written by a girl author younger than 15 years old:

Challenge completed on July 15

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Not Quite Ready...

Even after getting the vaccine and with restrictions gradually being uplifted, I'm not quite ready to get out very much. Just enough to follow social-distancing protocols for as long as it remans necessary. Yes, I've been looking forward to the day when we can be out and about as we did before COVID. But I'm going to be careful about it all, as everyone should be. And I'm not alone.

I was happy to be able to go inside the library once again, though the allotted time is only half an hour, which passes too quickly! And it's only three days a week. But it's a start, and I have missed not being inside the library.

I've always been one to avoid massive crowds, so that made it easy to stay at home. But even so, I just needed some time away from home, and missed being able to do that while under quarantine. Thus, I am taking it all slowly with the hope of being out again soon.

And staying home for Memorial Day Weekend is something I have always done. I've never been all the eager to head off somewhere on such a holiday, out of fear of traffic and crowds. A quiet day at home is all right by me. Memorial Day in 2020 was the first legal holiday to occur once the pandemic was declared and quarantine was ordered. Legal holidays always feel like an extra Sunday, but the quarantine made each day feel like a year of Sundays. I attempted to pick up a prescription at the Safeway pharmacy that day, nearly forgetting it was a holiday. I don't have any to pick up right now (I get auto refills), so I won't be making that mistake this coming Memorial Day 😌

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Quiz: What Does Your Favorite Summer Activity Say About You?

 Click here for the quiz.

You Are Brilliant

You are easily inspired to think colorful, interesting thoughts. Your ideas are never dull.
You tend to think up the most innovative things. You mind knows no limits.

You are intellectually open-minded. You like your beliefs and ideas being challenged.
You value autonomy and independence. You strongly believe in being free.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Now Getting to Go Inside the Library

I was excited to learn this would be happening. It started yesterday. It's only for three days a week, with curbside pickup and drop-off on other days. The downside is that you only get half an hour to browse. Also, some shelves are closed off, and patrons must ask a worker to find books located in those shelves. 

Even without a lot of time to browse, I was glad to hear this would be happening. The last day I got to set foot in the library was the Friday after the pandemic was declared in March 2020. It strangely was a Friday the 13th. The library closed down the following Monday, with curbside pickup starting in June. Books to go will still be happening on other days. 

I do miss getting to stay as long as I want, as half an hour goes by too fast! One day we will be able to do this again. How many of you have been allowed back into your public library and how much time do you get?

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Summer Reading Challenge 2021 @Messy Middle

 I'll be doing this one again, getting as many books as I can. 

It will start on June 1  and run through August 13, 2021. To enter, read seven books from 25 categories.

What is different?

  • A few new categories
  • No COVID focus this year 
  • A nod to the Olympics

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 challenge. A penalty book or category is one you declare to yourself I will read or be penalized. The last three summers I have selected a penalty book and it worked! 
  • Like previous years, 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 between August 12-15th 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!

  1. A Biography: Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan--Howard Sounes
  2. A book I already own: Chamomile Mourning--Laura Childs
  3. A book a friend recommended: Calico Joe--John Grisham
  4. A Young Adult book (YA): Kissed--Cameron Dokey
  5. A book with a great cover: Ties That Tether--Jane Igharo
  6. A book of poetry: An American Sunrise--Joy Harjo
  7. A memoir or autobiography: To Love and Let Go--Rachel Brathen
  8. A graphic novel: Check, Please!: Hockey--Ngozi Ukazu
  9. A book for professional development (loosely defined): Feng-Shui--Ernest J. Eitel
  10. A book longer than 700 pages (counts as two books): Atlas Shrugged--Ayn Rand
  11. A book with a verb in the title: Everybody Fights--Kim and Penn Holderness
  12. A play: Medea and Other Plays--Euripides (reread)
  13. A book about a country or culture you have never visited: Elizabethan Lover--Barbara Cartland
  14. A book about history: Isaac's Storm--Erik Larson
  15. A book that won an award: Olive Kitteridge--Elizabeth Strout
  16. A book by someone with a different view point than you: Making the Cut--Jillian Michaels
  17. A mystery: Fortune and Glory--Janet Evanovich
  18. A classic: The Secret Garden--Frances Hodgson Burnett
  19. A novel: The Cider House Rules--John Irving
  20. An audiobook: Forget Me Not--Ellie Terry
  21. A book with an animal: A Street Cat Named Bob--James Bowen
  22. A book less than 100 pages: The Corona Chronicles--Terrance T. Toth
  23. A book you want to discuss with others: The Roommate--Rosie Danan
  24. A book you read as a child: On the Banks of Plum Creek--Laura Ingalls Wilder

In honor of the Olympics and because my first “sports injury” was inspired by the Olympics:

My Penalty Book: The History of Emily Montague--Frances Brooke

25 Books (+ penalty book) completed on July 24

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Mental Health Month

Once again with the pandemic still happening, we aren't doing any events for Mental Health Month at the center, but we are still celebrating and acknowledging the fact.  And it's not just our center that is celebrating. A recent curbside library pickup included a card and wristband celebrating Mental Health Month, the very same ones we have given out at the center. 

Mental Health Awareness Month has been going on since 1949 and its purpose is to  raise awareness and educate the public about: mental illnesses, such as  depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder; the realities of living with these conditions; and strategies for attaining mental health and wellness. It also aims to draw attention to suicide, which can be precipitated by some mental illnesses. Mental Health Awareness Month also strives to reduce the stigma (negative attitudes and misconceptions) that surrounds mental illnesses. 

And each year during this month, I try to read at least one book focused on mental health. This year it is Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

TV Commercials

What do you find most annoying about commercials on TV? This came to me when a friend posted a rant about commercials on Facebook yesterday. Specifically he mentioned the ads for Liberty Mutual Insurance, the one with the wet teddy bears. That one is pretty silly, in my opinion. But I find all the commercials for Liberty Mutual a bit annoying. 

Various comments appeared on his post, including one from me about the Salonpas commercials with the "Hisamitsu" line at the end. When I first saw those commercials, I was reminded of a series of 80's commercials for Nabisco products that ended with a voiceover and chimes reciting, "Nabisco." Here is one such commercial:

My friend let on how he hates commercials with taglines at the end, like the Liberty Mutual ones and the Salonpas, as well as others for Safelight, Wayfair, and Farmers Insurance. If you're not familiar with any of these, check Youtube! I don't want to have to flood this post with links and videos of these!

I was also reminded of the use of songs in commercials. Such songs were often altered in the ads, and there were some I did not know were an actual song, having first heard them in the commercials. For many years, I did not know the the song in the Clairol Loving Care commercials was a spoof of a song from South Pacific. And I still remember the ketchup commercials that used Carly's Simon's hit "Anticipation" and those for Kmart Photo that used the song "Personality" by Lloyd Price, who recently passed. I can't seem to find any of these ads on Youtube. And Wikipedia made absolutely no mention of the song's use in the Kmart commercials. And when watching the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding in 2002, I had flashbacks to this commercial:


 After the main character in the movie sang the real song:


Do anyone of you find any particular commercials annoying? There are more that were mentioned in the Facebook post than I care to mention. And what are some other sings you can recall used in commercials?

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Recent Art Projects

Finally got around to the art project I had hoped to do at the center in March of 2020, before the shutdown occurred. It was a whole in year in the gaming. Here is the one I had done at the center the Friday prior to the shutdown. I had left it at the center before the shutdown was announced:

And while cooped up at home, I worked on some then. Click here to see more and to see the origin of the idea.

And the ones I did in class:

I was only able to get a few pictures of those done by others. One person did several (with some not pictured):

The artist who had done this idea originally hand-drawn his models, but I'm not that great at drawing figures, so I used magazine pictures or pictures from the Internet as models. The other who did this did the same. The artist used many different material for his works, including food! I knew that would not be allowed in class, except for uncooked pasta (which hardly anyone used). Remember using uncooked pasta for grade-school art?

I wasn't sure what to call this project, but at least those who participated got the idea. 

Monday, May 3, 2021

Blogging A to Z: Reflection Post


Reflections 2021 #atozchallenge

This week, participants in last month's Blogging A to Z are doing reflections posts. 

This was my first-ever participation in the A to Z Blogging and I thoroughly enjoyed it. In the past, I had seen others doing A to Z and wondered if I could handle doing it myself. Most of the time, I thought not, would I be able to do a post every day for every letter of the alphabet? Especially, considering how some letters can be tricky, like Q, X, and Z. And trying to find a theme, though themes are not necessary. I had been planning to write posts reflecting on the pandemic a year later, then decided this was perfect for the A to Z. I was hesitant at first, but kept envisioning a post idea for each letter, then jotting down the ideas in a  notebook. Unable to narrow each letter down to a single topic, I chose to do several under topics each one. It was amazing how topics many I could find for each alphabetical post. This was a big decision for me, as I said in my theme reveal post in March. 

I was glad to have Sundays off, as this gave me more time to prepare for the following Monday's posts. Each post I drafted a day (or two, in the case of Mondays) ahead of time. It did not take as long to make my posts as I may have thought years ago when watching others doing the A to Z. I still think it was funny how someone one year actually thought I was doing the A to Z, since my post one day in April 2018 coincidentally started with F on the day that letter's posts went up. Also in 2016, I wrote that I had A to Z envy. Not thinking I'd have the time or the energy is what kept me from trying in the past. Yet, look at what happened this year. I'm not certain about returning next year, but will be thinking about it.

Visiting other blogs and leaving comments was part of the A to Z. A few other blogs used the same theme as I did. I also saw some crafting themes, which made me want to try some of the stuff presented.  And some themes were eon writing, something I was glad to see. I was glad for the comments others left on my blog posts. And I left plenty of comments on others' blogs as well. There were so many blogs participating that it was hard to just choose some to visit.  I was also glad for the comments made by those who regularly read my blog. I even commented on A to Z posts in years past.

All in all, a fun and different experience.

Chapter Break Bingo – May 2021

 Here is the card for May.

May Bookish Bingo

My Books:

  1. The Tradition--Jericho Brown (2 squares): Audiobook, Flower on the Cover
  2. The Lowland--Jhumpa Lahiri (6 squares): E-Book, Book Club Read, Not in a Series, Set in a Foreign Country, Shady Character, Multiple POV
  3. Caddie Woodlawn--Carol Ryrie Brink (4 squares): Shelf Love, Physical Book, In a Series, Not Set in Current Times
  4. Junior High Drama--Louise Simonson (3 squares): Library Book, Free Space, Star on Cover
  5. The Alice Network--Kate Quinn (3 squares): Spy, Action/Adventure, Woman on the Cover
  6. Code Girls--Liza Mundy (3 squares): Squad/Team, Armor on Cover, Emergency
  7. Monster High--Lisi Harrison (2 squares): Skull on the Cover, Special Abilities
  8. This Mournable Body--Tsitsi Dangarembga (2 squares): Free Book, Independent Publisher
25 squares completed on May 18

Sunday, May 2, 2021

First Days of May

It was quite a month in April, with the A to Z blogging thing. It was a new and different experience for me, and looking at other participants' blogs was fun. We just had an after survey. An A to Z reflections post will be coming this week. And then a Post A to Z Roadtrip (more on that to come). Until then, I'll be back to regular blogging.

I can't believe it's getting close to summer. The weather around here has been summer-like the last few days. Time to start thinking about summer reading. And possibly some summer crafts. I've already begun to plant my sunflower seeds. Will let you all know when they bloom.