Thursday, August 17, 2017

PDX

Even though we've been married for five years, Tyler and I had never taken a vacation together until this year. Crazy right? We didn't even go on a honeymoon because I had just moved back to Springfield and started a new job when we got married. So this year, we decided to extend a trip we had planned with my family and spend some time to ourselves.

We flew into Portland around 10am and hit the ground running (side note: if you've never flown out of the Kansas City airport early in the morning on a Saturday, just know that the recommended two-hour advance arrival for domestic flights is a woeful underestimation--we got to the airport at 4:30 for a 7:50 flight and barely got to our gate before our flight started boarding!). Since Tyler had never been to Portland, I wanted to make sure he got to experience some of my favorite spots--like Powell's! The Portland Saturday Market was up and running, too, which I think is one of the best ways to get a feel for the city. I mean, a guy was standing on the corner playing a didgeridoo; how much more PDX does it get?

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Whirlwind Summer

As crazy as it seems, I'm back to work already; summer flew by so quickly! I worked during summer school for the month of June, so that took up a good chunk of my time, but I still managed to fit in some really good stuff. Some of my favorite parts were: 

1) Spending a few slow days at home, listening to records and catching up on some reading and binging shows (side note: I am knee-deep in The Handmaid's Tale right now, and holy smokes is it good! Definitely can't binge that one, though--talk about emotional.). 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

2017 Summer Reading List

As I mentioned previously, one of my goals for this summer is to read through a stack of books that I have checked out from the library (and a few of my own). It's incredibly easy for me to fall into a Netflix (or lately, Britbox) marathon and waste hours upon hours in front of the tv. Even though there's nothing wrong with that every once in awhile, I want to balance out my downtime with something maybe a bit more productive. Here are the ones in my lineup:

1) BurnTown by Jennifer McMahon: Jennifer McMahon really sucked me back into the world of mystery novels and fiction in general a couple years ago, and I quickly read through all of her books.  When I saw that she had a new book coming out, I pre-ordered it immediately, and I'm really excited to dig into it.

2) Long Black Veil by Jennifer Finney Boylan: I snagged this one through Blogging for Books a couple weeks ago; it's really hit or miss for me in terms of finding books that sound interesting to me on there, but this one definitely fits the bill. Deep dark, potentially life-ruining secrets? I'm in.

3) The Good Girl by Mary Kubica:  I've actually started reading this one already, and it completely sucked me in. It's told in a before/after of the kidnapping of a woman in Chicago, through her perspective and that of her kidnapper, mother, and a detective assigned to her case. It's a bit weird knowing part of the ending (due to the "after" chapters), but it's managing to keep me captivated regardless.

4) The Plantagenets by Dan Jones: I'm actually about halfway through this one already. I've been taking my time working through it, and really soaking up the information, rather than just powering though; retention is the goal here. I've loved all of Dan Jones' documentaries (I actually have two of those checked out from the library right now too), and so far this book hasn't disappointed either.

5) The Passenger by Lisa Lutz: This was a book I saw on the shelf at Target and decided I needed to read. It's another mystery/thriller (which is apparently my genre lately) about a woman who finds her husband dead at the bottom of the stairs one morning and goes on the run, assuming new identities along the way. Who she really is and what really happened to make her leave are big questions that I'm excited to find the answers to.

6) The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell: This was recommended to me by a friend, and I don't think I have ever heard a plot synopsis so relevant to me and my interests--mystery, heirs, British setting, and the Bronte sisters? Sold. Now to schedule some pool time.

7) You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott: The library just came through for me on this one, so I need to go pick it up and bump it up the list. It's another mystery (surprise surprise) about an elite gymnast and the depths that she and her family will go to get her to the Olympics. I did gymnastics competitively for several years when I was younger, so this is definitely a must-read for me.

8) The Widow by Fiona Barton: It's not often that I read a mystery that doesn't directly involve the main character (and maybe it does and I just haven't gotten that far yet). This one, though, seems to be more a question of what the protagonist's husband may or may not have done (and whether or not she knows about it). It's definitely a different spin on a typical mystery, and I'm ready to see where it ends up.

9) The Norman Conquest by Marc Morris: Earlier this year, I listened to a lecture on 1066, and I've been trying to read as much as I can about the Norman Conquest ever since. When I was trying to find some more British historians to read through, Marc Morris' name came up, and I was excited to see this book in his collection.

10) The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell Not going to lie, I initially picked this one up because the cover was gorgeous. Judge me. Turns out, though, when I read the synopsis, it sounded perfect. A mystery novel set in London? I'm not sure it gets better than that for me.

11) Those Girls by Chevy Stevens. I haven't ready any of Chevy Stevens books before, but I'm always looking for new mystery/thriller authors. I've discovered that I tend to prefer female writers in this genre, and I'm not sure why, but I'm happy to read as many books as I can to see if my preference holds. :)

12) The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware: Confession--I haven't gotten around to reading In a Dark, Dark Wood yet, but it's also on my list. The Woman in Cabin 10 might have to come first, though, because it just sounds soooooo good. I've had a couple people recommend this one, so it's definitely a priority for this summer.

Are you reading anything good this summer? Any more recommendations for me? I keep a constant list of upcoming reads and I'm always looking for more suggestions!

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