August Recap 2016

2016 08-07 Working OutThe big news of the month is that I’ve achieved my 31 day goal of meeting my exercise, move and stand goals on my Apple watch! It’s not at all book related, but I’m excited because I’m slowly getting back into the habit of walking every day.

I’ve somehow managed to balance this with reading (six books this month), work offices moving to a new location, and two trips out to Tanglewood to see the Boston Pops and the Boston Symphony Orchestra perform. I don’t know if I’m going to keep it up because honestly at some point in the first few days of September I’m taking a rest day, or at least an easy day. I’m pretty sure I can hit all my goals without having to go on a two(+) mile walk but I’m not 100% sure. But what you’re all really here for is the books, so on to the books! Continue reading

Book 454: The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy #3) – Deborah Harkness

Harkness, Deborah - The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy #3)Where do I begin with this?

It’s very rare that a series starts off and continues to pick up steam the entire way through. In my previous experience, there is usually a middle-book slump. In the case of Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy the middle book of the trilogy, Shadow of NIght, was the stand out, followed closely by The Book of Life and in a distant third, the trilogy opener A Discovery of Witches.

This could be because the entire series takes place over about a year (give or take a few months because of time travel), but more than likely I think it has to do with the amount of action continuously increasing as the series moved forward. This wasn’t necessarily a good thing as I’ll talk about below, but that’s my conjecture. Continue reading

Book 453: Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2) – Deborah Harkness

Harkness, Deborah - Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2)Picking up where A Discovery of Witches leaves off we are right back in the story of Diana and Matthew! It’s hard to hide spoilers, especially the one at the end of the first book because it sets up the entire second book, so if you plan on reading the series skip my response!

I shouldn’t be as surprised as I am, but I am a little surprised at how much I enjoyed book two of the All Souls Trilogy. For everything that was missing in book one, Harkness made a great effort to bring it back to this book. She reined in the over descriptions, she brought a little more sass to her characters, and she wrote 16th century Europe wonderfully. Continue reading

Book 452: A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) – Deborah Harkness

Harkness, Deborah - A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1)I probably would have read this book closer to its release, but unfortunately it’s part of a trilogy (this followed by (Shadow of Night and  The Book of Life) and I didn’t want to read the books as they came out so I waited to read it. I really wanted to read it a lot sooner because a lot of my blogger friends who really enjoyed it. That being said, I’m a little grumpy as I’ve just found out that Harkness will continue writing in this universe with the release of The Serpent’s Mirror next year. So bah.

If I had to break this down into a one sentence review it would be: Harry Potter meets Twilight for adults. That’s definitely a bit reductionist, but as I was reading that’s what I kept thinking. It wasn’t as much of a compulsive read as either of those series, but A Discovery of Witches definitely stands on its own.

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July Recap 2016

2016 07-11 South Boston SunsetLet’s start my July recap off with a beautiful photo, to the right of Castle Island in Boston. This was a busy month with lots of family, a lot of busy weekends and a lot to do at work. Thankfully (mostly because of Pokémon Go) I’ve had time to just wander around the city and relax.

If you’re not playing, you probably should be. It’s made me go out when I’ve felt like being lazy and I ended up walking six or seven miles! Not to mention it’s made my morning walks a bit more interactive😀 There are only two downsides: 1) I’ve spent a lot of time doing it that I would generally be reading; and 2) when you go out for an hour walk and then don’t come home for four or five hours, um yeah. Thankfully my morning walks are very structured so it hasn’t made me late for work or anything like that. Continue reading

Book 450: Sisters In Law – Linda Hirshman

Hirshman, Linda - Sisters In LawFour the fourth installment of our nonfiction book group, we’re learning about the amazing Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O’Connor. I thought I knew a lot about the “Notorious RBG,” but I knew nothing; and then add in what I learned about the FWOTSC (First Woman on the Supreme Court) and I’d say this was a pretty good addition to our year of biographies and autobiographies.

As interesting as the book was, I felt like there was so much from both their histories and from their time on the court that was left out of the book. Hirshman seemed to rush the first half of O’Connor’s time on the court and the last part of Ginsburg’s continued time on the court. It was disappointing because there are clearly so many additional amazing cases they had to decide that weren’t as glamorous as LGBT rights, women’s rights or racial equality.

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June Recap 2016

2016 06-29 Walking AgainI’d say where did June go, but it’s pretty obvious when you spend two weeks out of the country and then two weeks playing catch up!

We had a great time in China and then spent almost a week readjusting to being at work and back on Eastern Standard Time.

I’ve tried my best the last two weeks to keep up the walking that happened on vacation. We walked upwards of five miles every day, even when we were on the three-day river cruise! The first week I didn’t walk much, but this week I’ve managed to hit my step goal every day which is great for me as it’s been too long since I’ve done that!

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