Tag: Sunday Salon

Assigned Kiddo Reading Time

Posted 25 September, 2016 by Trish in Mommyhood, Reading Nook / 25 Comments



Happy Sunday!

Here we are a month into Kindergarten. Can you believe it? This past week it was college week at school and so I explained that when Elle turned 18 and finished high school she would/could go to college. She cried that she didn’t want to go to college and leave home. Me either baby girl. Me either. Thankfully we don’t have to think about that for many more years! But yes I know…it’ll be here before I know it. Sob.

While Elle hasn’t come home with any homework from school yet, her teacher has asked that parents read to the kiddos 20 minutes each day. Reading books before bedtime has long been routine for us, but it rarely equates to 20 minutes and I’m usually putting the baby down while Scott reads to the bigger girls. I miss having that reading time in bed with them.

One of the benefits of being able to pick Elle up from school and have some alone time with her before getting her sisters is having built in reading time. While some days this does feel more like a chore, I’m trying to keep things fun and light and not go too much into my teacher mode to try and make this time about learning.

This is a struggle for me because I worry. It’s difficult not to compare to other kiddos who are already reading a bit and have a good handle on sight words. We’re still trying to keep individual letters straight. The past four weeks have shown great improvement but I do wonder if I’ll eventually be researching dyslexia, which is hereditary. And then I take a billion deep breaths and remind myself that we are only four weeks into kindergarten.

Mama never stops worrying. For better or worse.

But! I’ve been trying to make the most of our reading time together and have been having a lot of fun with it. Last week I read a Book Riot article from Raych about Tiny Ladies Doing Shit and put ALLLLLL the books on hold at the library. We are making our way through Hamster Princess: Harriet the Invincible right now and I’m loving it. I think most of the jokes are going over Elle’s head, but this take on Sleeping Beauty is just too much fun.

Harriet the Invincible is our first chapter book and I’m hoping I can use it to leap into some of the other books I’ve been wanting to read. Short attention spans and glazed over eyes is still a problem at this age, but 20 minutes a day seems to be the perfect amount of time.

My hope is that I can sneak in Alice in Wonderland next. Maybe the Little House on the Prairie books. Can you believe I’ve never read The Secret Garden?! Honestly, I feel like I’m a poor gauge of what is appropriate for a five year old–should I be sticking to easier books or go ahead and read some of the more advanced ones to her?

We’ll figure it out, I’m sure. In the meantime, I’m soaking up those extra snuggles with someone who is growing much too quickly. I’ve always loved these quieter and slower times with my girls.

Do you have memories of “reading” longer books when you were little? At what age did you start reading longer books with littles in your life?




Books Recently Finished: Since my last Sunday post, I skimmed the rest of Total Money Makeover and counted it finished. If you skim through a book but got 100% of the gist, do you count it toward your annual tally? I also finished What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty and really enjoyed it.

New Books in the House: Celebrate Everything by Jenny Rosenstrach came out this past week. She wrote Dinner: A Love Story and I adore her. I haven’t had a chance to really dig into the book yet but it’s just as lovely as DALS.

New Books on my E-Reader: Someone needs to take Amazon one-click away from me. Thankfully I’ve had some gift cards to blow through lately. Last week I picked up Catastrophic Happiness (a motherhood memoir) and The Secret Keeper (for book club). I also recently got the ebook copy of Lonesome Dove since I have the beast of a hardcover on my shelf and that’s just not gonna happen. Pst…who wants to read Lonesome Dove with me? I’m thinking November.

Books on the Nightstand: Lots of cookbooks! I’m taking the leap into Once a Month Cooking next month so have been doing lots of research. I’m also about 50% of the way through Germinal by Émile Zola, but I have to set it aside to read The Secret Keeper.

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What’s going on in your neck of the woods today? Curled up with a good book?



Judging a Book By Its Cover

Posted 18 September, 2016 by Trish in Reading Nook / 21 Comments





One of the most ubiquitous rules of reading is Don’t Judge a Book By Its Cover.

Raise your hand if you don’t abide by this rule. It’s ok–it’s one that I continually break as well.

As I very rarely read jacket covers or the back of a book before I start it, when I’m browsing books at the store the only thing I have to go on is the cover and perhaps word of mouth.

There are certain genres that I tend to stay away from, and it wasn’t until a few months ago that I realized why…it’s because the covers generally have pictures of real people. And then the light went off…I do NOT want to see people on a book cover. I will always give preference to something that is nondescript or vague. Although, caricatured pictures or artistic pictures are OK–it’s the ones that show an actual person that turn me off.

These are books I’ve ignored (even though I own more than half of them) because of the pictures on the covers:

Books with People on the Cover


The genres where I see this the most? Romance! Besides the fact that I’m not a fan of “happily ever after,” it’s the covers that always push me away from these books. Even the ones with the cowboys (what can I say, I am Texan…). Movie tie-in books are just as appalling to me and I think it has more to do with there being actual people on the cover than anything else.See also Paranormal. Celebrity memoirs seem to be the exception to this rule.

More NOPE:



WHY don’t I like people on covers??

I don’t know why I don’t like seeing people on a book cover. Idiosyncratic Trish? Though I suspect I prefer nondescript covers so that I can imagine characters on my own terms. I don’t want to be forced an image of a character while I’m reading the book. You know that feeling you have when you are reading a book and you see the actors who will play the roles in an upcoming movie and they feel completely wrong?  I’m sure you can offer up some great alternative reasons in the comments!

I’m trying to overcome this judgement of mine. Of course ebooks help because you’re not continually reminded of the cover everytime you see the book, but I admit that I pass up books over and over because I don’t like the cover. I recently forced myself to read The Madonnas of Leningrad. Even though the cover features a painting-like quality of picture, I kept passing up that face for other things. It’s ridiculous, I know.

Do you judge books by their covers? What turns you off of a book? And how do you feel about seeing real people on book covers?




Books Recently Finished: The only book I’ve finished recently is Unlatched by Jennifer Grayson–the tagline is “the evolution of breastfeeding and the making of a controversy). My feelings on the book are fairly complicated and I had a sort of love/hate relationship as I was reading. Chapter titles such as “What Would Jesus Drink?” made me roll my eyes but there was also interesting information about the roll that formula has played in breastfeeding over the past half century.

New Books in the House: I have a big stack of books out from the library, but I did get a copy of Budget Bytes from Avery Publishing.

New Books on my E-Reader: I couldn’t resist The Pearl that Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi when it came up on Daily Deal. I also picked up a copy of Germinal by Emile Zola (ebook and audio) for a readalong with Care, Melissa, and others.

Books on the Nightstand: I’m about halfway through What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty for a book club date that has already passed. I hate people like me. I’m really enjoying the book a lot but I underestimated how long the book was. Since that’s a paper book, I started Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey on my phone. It’s really annoying but I’m hoping to glean some helpful information from the book. And Germinal on audio. I should be reading that on my phone/ereader as well but haven’t gotten there yet. TMM is a little more brainless. ;)

What’s going on in your bookish world today? Reading anything noteworthy?



Happy Sunday!

Posted 14 August, 2016 by Trish in Reading Nook / 29 Comments


pretty woman

Happy Sunday! Also Happy Birthday to me. :) Today I’m halfway between 30 and 40 and trying not to freak out about it. Actually, the 30s have been great so far, though sometimes I have a tough time remembering that I’m an adult.

I read an article the other day about teaching children how to do things for themselves–laundry, cooking, cleaning–and I wondered how I can teach them these things when I’m not even adult enough to do them myself. I keep wondering if I’ll ever learn how to properly do laundry. Ha.

So how am I spending my birthday today?

I’d love to enjoy a couple cups of very hot coffee in bed while reading my book. I’m about 75% through Just Mercy and would love to finish it up this week.

After finishing my book, I’d go for a nice run since it’s been too hot for one lately and the high today is going to be a glorious 88 degrees (hey, that’s a lot cooler than the 105 it has been).

Next I’d love to take a long hot luxurious shower. Maybe while listening to some Alabama Shakes radio on Pandora. Singing at the top of my lungs.

A delicious lunch that I don’t have to make would be perfect. Followed by some time in my sewing room to work on some lingering projects. Maybe work on a bit of a post for this coming week. Maybe spend some time with my Bullet Journal.

Then naptime. When the whole house goes quiet and I pretend to read my book knowing that in 5 minutes I’ll fall asleep, too.

Dinner that I don’t have to cook, bedtime that I don’t have to handle, chores I don’t have to do, and a cold glass of white wine while spending some quiet time on the couch with hub watching The Wire. Ahhhhhh. Perfection.

In reality? I’ll reheat my coffee 4 times before giving up on it. I’ll probably share my shower with at least one other person. It’s been so long since I’ve run that I might make it to the corner if I’m lucky. Though the five pages of reading before naptime will be a reality. Naptime is the one constant in our household. We’re having dinner at my mom’s, but of course I’ll be in the bedtime mix here. Evie will come down 5 times while Scott and I try to watch The Wire and by the time she finally goes to sleep it’ll be too late to finish our episode.

But there will be lots of snuggles and I’ll cherish all of them. In 15 years I’ll have a quiet birthday and will likely wish that it was as loud and crazy and raucous as it will be this year.




Books Recently Finished: It’s been a while since I’ve finished anything so will hopefully hopefully hopefully I can finish Just Mercy this week. Not sure what I’ll read next! With the school hustle starting next week, probably something light.

New Books in the House: None, but I do have Baby-Led Weaning waiting for me at the library.

New Books on my E-Reader: Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg. I know nothing about it except that several blogging friends loved it.

Books on the Nightstand: I’ve given up on audiobooks in favor of Hamilton (musical). I’m afraid I might need to restart The Cuckoo’s Calling before continuing. This is why I listen to mostly nonfiction on audio–it’s not a big deal if I miss big plot points. And still Just Mercy on my ereader!

What’s going on in your world today??






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Book Catalog Spreadsheet

Posted 7 August, 2016 by Trish in Reading Nook / 28 Comments

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Book Catalog Spreadsheet


Happy Sunday y’all! I’m hoping that today can be a lazy day around our house. It’s hotter than hot outside and this is one of our last few Sundays before we start the back to school grind. Except in our case it’ll be the start of school grind. I’m a ball of anxiety thinking about sending Elle to Kindergarten. Not because it means she’s growing up (though, wahhhhhhh), but because of how much more juggling it will add to our days. But, let’s not talk about that today.


Keeping a Book Catalog Spreadsheet

Earlier this week Goodreads rolled out a new webpage format. While I have tried and tried throughout the years to get onboard with Goodreads, I just can’t seem to keep up with it. Part of it is the daunting idea of adding my entire backlog of books into the database and the other part is the lack of half stars. Yes, my biggest hangup with Goodreads is that I cannot use 3.5 or 4.5 stars to rate a book. Put into percentages, there’s a huge difference between 60%, 80%, and 100%. I want to use 70% and 90%!

Years and years ago, I briefly shared my method for cataloging books and talking with a few gals on twitter this week prompted me to finally share again and in a little more detail. Book Nerd Alert! Though, I’m guessing that if you’re reading this, you can relate in some shape or fashion.

Once upon a time, I was able to hold all of my books on a single shelf in my bedroom. I didn’t pay much attention to what I read or which books I owned. When I was a high school senior, a teacher asked us to write down all of the books we had read that year for pleasure. I was surprised at the list that I came up with and this started my habit of tracking books that I had read.

A few years later, my great-aunt passed away. She had the most amazing library in her home. I loved visiting her and just scanning through her bookshelves at the treasures she had. When she died, she had roughly 10,000 books in her home. One of her nephews cataloged all of her books for her and each niece and nephew received a list to select a few books to keep. I loved the idea of this list so much that I created my own list of books that I owned. And the book catalog was born.

I started using Access but transferred everything to Excel a few years later. Each of the spreadsheets below can be enlarged for easier viewing. I’ve thought about transferring each to Google Docs, but honestly I can’t be bothered.

Tracking Bookish Data

I keep track of the title, the author, binding, publication date, the edition I own, the genre, source, date received/bought, how much I spent, and the date that I finished the book. One thing I wish I had kept track of is the publisher as I think this would be fascinating to analyze, but with almost 600 books in my house I can’t imagine going back now. The source, date received, and cost are all columns that I added after reading the comments on my original post in 2009. I’ve definitely become much better about not buying so many books. At least physical ones. You’ll see I have a tab for e-books as well.

Book Catalog - All Books in Personal Library


Types of Media Tracked

I have a separate spreadsheet for audiobooks and ebooks. While not all of the columns from the Books spreadsheet is applicable, I’ve added in a few other columns. One thing I would love to add to my Audiobook spreadsheet is narrator. But just like adding the publisher, who has time!

While I am better at listening to my audiobooks than I am reading my ebooks, keeping spreadsheets of both helps keep me on track. I love to sort by the “Date Read/Listened” column so that I can see which of my oldest books I still haven’t read.

Audiobook Catalog


The Books Read Tab

It wasn’t until much after creating my original spreadsheet that I thought to create a tab for books that I’ve read. Before this, my list was either on my blog or just included the books I had read from my own library. Thankfully this was most of my books as I rarely borrow from friends or the library, but it definitely wasn’t a complete record. This became a bigger problem when I started culling my shelves and didn’t have the books I had finished in my “books” tab anymore.

I started by copying the books I had finished from my “books” tab and then tried to fill in the holes where I could. Now when I finish a book, I copy the line from one tab to the other. The trick with using a books, audiobooks, and ebook spreadsheet is making sure that the columns line up with one another. Sometimes I have to do a minor bit of formatting, but I’m despite the trouble, I’m glad to have a full list of books I’ve read now.

It’s not a perfect system, but it works well for my needs!

Books Read - Book Catalog


So, crazytown Trish? The hardest part is keeping up with it, especially the past few years. Adding books hasn’t been as bad now that I’m not accepting ARCs, going to library sales, and most of my acquisition is through the ereader, but I still get behind. I still find it easier to input here than in an online database and I love that I can sort by alpha, or publication date, or genre, date acquired, date read, etc. I can filter for how many books I’ve read in a certain year or for how many books I’ve received from a publicist.

Does any of it really matter? No–not really. But Book Nerds gonna Nerd Out, right?

Do you keep a list of all of the books in your library/books that you’ve read? How do you keep track?



Books Recently Finished: I can’t remember the last time I talked about books finished? In July I listened to I Am Legend and read/listened to The Fireman by Joe Hill. Earlier this week I read Confess by Colleen Hoover for book club. It’s been a busy couple of months with a bit of reading here and there on the side. Hello summer!

New Books in the House: Leveling the Playing Field by Rod Scher, Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook (library copy).

New Books on my E-Reader: Oh dear. The Nazi Officer’s Wife, The Girls, A Little Life, Unlatched, Sophie’s Choice. Four of these were Kindle deals.

Books on the Nightstand: Should I say IN the nightstand? I started Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer at the end of June but put it down when I needed to read The Fireman. Then I needed to read Confess for book club and was up against a library deadline. So it’s still sitting in my bedside table drawer. Along with Rules of Civility by Amor Towles and Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko–both which I set aside for some reason or another. I’m slowly making my way through Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (mostly on my phone) and The Cuckcoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (on audio).

What’s going on in your world lately–bookish or otherwise?






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Pleasure Delayed Reading

Pleasure Delayed Reading

Happy Sunday!! Who’s suffering of heat exhaustion now that we’re a day away from summer? While we haven’t officially broken 100 yet, our heat index has reached above and I’ve been avoiding the outdoors at all costs. Yay summer! Perfect excuse to stay in with a book, right? I’ve recently noticed that I have a bad habit when it comes to books. I love to scour bookstore shelves for books that I’m dying to read. I […]

Posted 19 June, 2016 by Trish in Reading Nook / 23 Comments

On to the Next Book!

On to the Next Book!

  Happy Sunday everyone! We’ve had so much rain lately, but caught a dry spell for the weekend so took the girls camping. Maybe more on that soon? I don’t have a segue into today’s post, so let’s just get into it! The other day I finished a book (How Children Succeed) and at that particular time I was with Cara while she was napping. Because I wasn’t sleeping but I was stuck under the […]

Posted 22 May, 2016 by Trish in Reading Nook / 24 Comments

Finishing the Series

Finishing the Series

Hi hi hi!!! Here we are halfway through May–but I’m just going to go ahead and think of this month as half full. That’s a thing, right? Let’s make it a thing. Today we are talking about series/trilogy books. I know series and trilogies are different, but I’m using the terms interchangeably for this post. I know I haven’t been blogging a ton about books this year, but I’ve actually been doing a fair amount […]

Posted 15 May, 2016 by Trish in Reading Nook / 23 Comments

Nonfiction November 2015!

Nonfiction November 2015!

Wheeeeeeeeee!!!!! Normally I’m not overly excited for November–I really love October and November means the rat race toward the holidays has begun. But! One thing I look forward to in November is Nonfiction November. Wheeeeeeeee!!!!!!! Kim, Becca, Lu, and Katie are hosting again this year and you should definitely check it out. Each week they have discussion prompts (which I will post on Sundays), link-ups, and even a readalong. If you’re timid about nonfiction, this is a […]

Posted 1 November, 2015 by Trish in Reading Nook / 25 Comments

Speed of Reading

Speed of Reading

  Reading is not my superpower. I like reading a lot–like a lot a lot, but I am not a fast reader by any stretch of the imagination. My highest number of books read in a year was 75 (though I’m not sure that includes audio) and I spent every waking moment that year reading. Basically. I think my average reading speed is about 45-50 pages an hour. During the readathon this inexplicably jumps up […]

Posted 25 October, 2015 by Trish in Reading Nook / 31 Comments

Guessing at the End

Guessing at the End

  Hello!!!  I hope you’re all enjoying your second week of October so far! Is fall in the air where you are? We’re still in the high 80s and low 90s during the day, but our mornings are brisk enough to fool us into thinking that fall has arrived. This is the time of year when I get a bit jealous of your turning leaves and cooler temperatures, but I guess I shouldn’t complain about […]

Posted 11 October, 2015 by Trish in Reading Nook / 27 Comments