Squeezing in Reading Where I Can

So last week I decided to try something out. I tend to end up doing a lot of driving with my job. I’m essentially a health inspector in a large county, so I spend a good chunk of time driving from one inspection to the next. So I thought, why not try to squeeze in some reading time driving from place to place?

So I picked up Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins in audiobook form. And let me tell you I was actually surprised about how much I was able to listen to during the day. I averaged around 2 hours a day on a normal inspection day. Hello more reading time. On top of that, I think it actually made me go through my day a bit happier. It almost feels like a guilty pleasure or that I’m getting away with something. 

So what about you guys, how do you get in extra reading time? Audiobooks on long commutes or reading on a train or bus? Are you squirreling yourself away during  your lunch hour for a few minutes reprieve? Let me know and if you have any audiobook suggestions send them my way. 

Publishers and Imprints: Opening My Eyes

So I have a confession. Before I started blogging and getting more into the book scene with twitter, podcasts, and blogs, I never really paid attention to publishing houses. I think I had some vague notion about some of the big ones like Random House and Penguin existing, but it was nothing I really paid much attention to or was a way that I searched out books. Back then I usually focused on searching out authors I had previously read and new that I liked or looking by genre. Now I’ve become much more aware of the many different publishing houses that exist and have even added it as a tool for searching out books. It’s by no means a definitive method, but I’ve come to realize that certain publishing houses tend to have published books that I am interested in or have a tendency to publish a certain theme, genre, or type of book that I’m interested in, so I tend to either look at their upcoming publishing lists or pay more attention to the books they are touting. As I said though this isn’t a definitive method. Every publishing house has certain gems of books and I am not advocating ignoring one publisher because they haven’t published something you’ve liked in the past. I’m just saying that I’ve realized that this is one tool you can use in you arsenal when searching for good reads. I also recommend following publishers on twitter or checking out their websites. Lots of useful information and even some fun to be had with both. So I also included imprints in the title of the post. That’s because I’m just now starting to realize that imprints exist. As you can imagine having not paid much attention to publishing houses before I had just thought that all of these company titles I saw on spines of books were independent houses. I’m realizing that might not always be true. And speaking of genres or certain themes of books, some publishing houses will have entire imprints devoted to publishing certain genres or types of books. Also a useful tool in the book search arsenal. So in a way yes, I have discovered a whole new world within the book community. It makes me wonder what other facets of the book world are out there that could be used to find books or enrich the reading experience.

My Spinning Life

As I mentioned before, I haven’t been reading much this week. In all honesty I feel like I read super slow compared to other bloggers, but I’m not going to let it stress me out.

I did want to get a post up for you guys though and thought that talking a little more about my other hobbies might be a good way to do so. So let’s talk about spinning yarn!

I started out spinning on a drop spindle. Which is basically stick with a round portion/wheel looking thing attached to it with a hook. You attach a leader yarn and then flick it to build up twist and use the twist to attach the fiber and voila! You start spinning. It is a bit more complicated than that, but I wanted to give you the basics. I’m still a new spinner myself.

Well about three month’s ago I decided that I really wanted to move up to a spinning wheel. So I purchased this.

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And a closer look at the wheel portion:

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My wheel is an Ashford Traveller Double Drive. I’ve loved her so far ( I think she needs a nickname!) and it’s been a great wheel to learn on. I’m still new and not producing amazing quality yarn yet. The thing is that it is soothing. I love the methodical rhythm of it and the feel of the fiber as it flows through my hand. Definitely something I’ll keep up and practice with.

Here’s a look at what I’ve been working on. It’s a 50% merino 50% tencel silk blend that I purchased on Etsy (The shop is currently empty and has been for months so I will not link)

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So what are your plans for the weekend? Reading, knitting, or spinning? Got another hobby you want to tell me about?

Week in Review: 5/18/12

I’m trying to make an effort to blog more regularly. In addition I feel like I’m still trying to find my voice/writing style so bare with me. A lot of time I feel like I come up with this great topic to write about, then I sit down and post it and it always seems less brilliant than I imagined. Does that ever happen to you?

So week in review: 

This week I finished The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai.

I’m going to start In The Woods by Tana French. This one has been on my shelf since at least 2009 and I think I’d honestly forgotten about it until it was mentioned on The Bookrageous Podcast by Jenn (she mentions it in episode 36). Her enthusiastic endorsement made me consider picking it up again.

I’ll try to get a review of The Borrower up soon but right now I’m still trying to digest the ending.

Hope you all have had great reading week and can enjoy a weekend full of fun and reading!

Starting an Online Book Club?

Good evening!

So I’ve been rolling around this idea in my head for a while and have mentioned it once or twice on twitter but I’ve finally decided that I wanted to make a post and see if there is any interest.

I want to start an online book club. I live in a small area and don’t have many book friends so starting a real life one seems like a daunting task. Those that are already started at the libraries usually meet at inconvenient times for me. Plus I already know that so many of you are awesome and I really want to talk more about books with you. Plus, what’s better than being able to show up to book club in your pj’s and being able to drink wine without worrying about driving home (trust me I won’t judge).

So here’s the basic idea, I’d like to limit the number of people in the club to 8 people plus me, mainly because I want to use google+ hangout as the “meeting place” for our book group. We would meet and chat about a chosen book once a month in a google+ hangout but hopefully we will get a good group together that will like to chat on twitter or by e-mail in between book club meetings.  I’m hoping that we can do this during the evening time (depending on the time we could do weeknight or weekend evening).

That being said I want to try to organize a fun and friendly group. I want everyone to feel free to express opinions about the book but I don’t want people to insult other members. We can establish more solid guidelines once we see if there are people actually interested.

 

So those are the basics of my idea. Anyone interested? Leave a comment on the blog or contact me through e-mail or twitter!

Why I Haven’t Been Posting/I Finally got a Job!

Hello everyone!

Okay I know I’ve been completely a bad blogger and I don’t even want to look back to see how long it has been since I made a post. I know it’s been a long time.

It’s not that I haven’t been reading, I have read a few books since my last post. I got busy with having  job interviews. And as luck would have it…I finally got a job!

I’ve been job searching for quite a while. I graduated in 2010 with my Master of Public Health. I’ve been job searching since then and have been unemployed since February of last year when my fiancee and I moved back home because he found a job here.

So needless to say, I’m super excited. I finally was able to land a job in my field. That being said I’ve been completely lazy the last week or so, trying to enjoy my time off without having to job search. My first day is March 1st. I’ve also been trying to focus on getting the house cleaned because I’m honestly afraid of what state it’s going to be in after we’re both working full time jobs.

As for the state of this blog, I want to say that I’m going to try to keep up with it. I’m going to try to utilize the ability to plan ahead and scheduling post feature of wordpress. I might get behind a bit though, please don’t hate me or give up on me! I think I’m going to need books and book friends to keep my sanity.

Well with that bit out of the way, I wanted to tell you all a bit of what I’ll be doing from what I understand so far. The position was advertised as a Cancer Information Specialist but they told me in the interview that they want to change it to a Health Information Specialist position because they want me to also work with a heart health program. I will be attending coalition meetings, charity walk meetings, organizing expo days, and doing other activities to help under insured or uninsured women to get breast and cervical cancer screenings and provide knowledge about services. I will also be doing the same for heart health issues.

The job involves frequent travel, when I asked in the interview about the travel requirements they said I would be in my office about one day a week, which may be a few hours spread out over the week. During down time I may have a little more time in the office. I’m responsible for a six county region and will also have to travel to a few of our major cities for trainings and statewide meetings.

I’m really exited to get to work with something I’m really interested in and exactly why I went to school. I welcome any advice you may have for those who do frequently travelling with work as this will be my first experience. Thanks and happy reading!

WWW Wednesdays 1-25-12

WWW Wednesdays is a reading meme hosted by Should Be Reading

What are you currently reading?

The Snowman by Jo Nesbo   I should finish this today or tomorrow.

What did you recently finish reading?

The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman find the review here

What do you think you’ll read next?

I think I’m going to try Room by Emma Donoghue

What are you guys reading?

Where Do You Go for Book Recommendations?

Do you have that one friend that always gives you the scoop on the newest read? Or do you depend on your book group to keep you in the know?

I would love to have those kinds of resources for book recommendations, but unfortunately, I don’t have any reading friends, much less a book group. I have a few friends that read here and there, but they aren’t near the book addict that I am!

So that left me to finding my own resources for book recommendations. The best resources that I’ve found so far have been podcasts, twitter and BookPage.

I feel that podcasts have filled the need most effectively because not only do I get great recommendations I also get the feel of having book friends. My two favorites are Books on the Nightstand and Bookrageous . Both podcasts are very well done and make you feel like you are listening to a group of friends talk about the books they love. Great resource to find new books that are coming out and occasional information about the industry. My TBR pile always grows by leaps and bounds after every epsidoe. Definitely give them a listen.

As for Twitter I recommend following favorite authors, people from blogs and podcasts you like as well as publishing houses. Many libraries are also now on twitter. This is one of the best ways to hear the buzz on the newest releases as well as getting information about giveaways. Some publishing houses will also do special promotions for advanced reader copies of upcoming books. Twitter is also a good way to start conversations about books with people all over the world with similar tastes and with different views.

One of my last resources is BookPage. You may be familiar with this title from you local library. Most libraries carry free copies of this magazine that is loaded with book recommendations and reviews for a variety of genres. They also have a website full of great information and you can sign up there for them to e-mail you daily recommendations. They are also someone else that you can follow on twitter!

So now that I’ve given you my sources for book recommendations, what are some of yours?

My Reading Year Review and goals for the New Year

First off, Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe time ringing in the new year.

A new year means it is time to look back on the reading goals I set for last year. I wasn’t blogging yet, so there’s no post to refer back to, but I set a goal of reading 58 books, after Michael from Books on the Nightstand started an 11 more in 2011 challenge.

Sadly I didn’t reach my goal. I only read 51 books this year. So I did read books than last year. I was looking at Goodreads stat tool that they have for tracking your books read from you read shelf, if you put the date that you read the book when you save it, the Goodreads stats tool will keep track of it. I noticed that you can also see how many pages you read in each year. This year I read 17,670 pages, versus 14,168 last year. So I think all in all, at least I definitely read more this year.

So what goals do I want to set for the new year? Well I’m participating in some reading challenges for the first time. I’m doing the TBR Pile Challenge hosted by RoofBeamReader and BethFishRead’s What’s in a Name Challenge. You should be able to find icons on the left of the blog that will take you to the blogs and challenge posts. In addition to this, I think I want to set a goal of 55 books read this year. It would be great if I read more, but at least this way it seems easily attainable, as it’s only 4 more books than this year, and I won’t feel overwhelmed about it. Goodreads has their reading challenge tracker again this year, so you can enter in your goal and it will keep track and tell you if you are behind or ahead of reaching your goal.

So in case you can’t tell, I’m a big fan of GoodReads (http://www.goodreads.com) If you haven’t checked it out yet, go do it. It’s a great way to keep track of what you’ve read, what you’re reading, and what you want to read. You can also find reviews of books, book groups, and friends so you can exchange thoughts on books and find new books to read. As if you guys needed help adding to your to be read pile 😉

I hope everyone is recovering from their New Year’s Eve parties and maybe can spend a relaxing day home curled up with a book. Happy Reading!

I’ve Been MIA

Hey guys just wanted to drop in and say I’m sorry for being MIA for the past week or two. Holiday stuff got up on me and I just sort of became a bit lazy after the holidays. I’m going to make more of an effort with the New Year to be more regular with posting, all though I have to admit I’ve been a bit greedy with my reading time and have only wanted to read what I want, and it’s not necessarily the new releases. 

Anyway, how was everyone’s holiday season? Get any books? I only got one this year, Inheritance by Christopher Paolini. I think I’m going to have to go back and read the last three books before I pick this one up though, it’s been so long since I even read the 3rd book, much less the first, and since this is the last book I want to make sure that the other stuff is fresh in my mind. 

My next post will hopefully be a review of my last year’s reading resolutions ( I made a goal of reading 58 books) along with some resolutions for next year. 

Happy Reading! 

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