Everyday Tidbits...

Be Kind. Do Good. Love is a Verb.

Friday, April 28, 2017

5 Books I Want to Read...John Steinbeck

I keep a wish list on Goodreads called "want to read". Currently, it's up to 2845. Yeah. I also have several stacks of books tucked against walls throughout my house. Each is probably at least 3 feet high of books I haven't read yet. I periodically go through my list and purge it, but it still is not slowing down. Nor are the books that keep appearing on my Kindle. They're all still on my wish list, I just haven't gotten to them yet.

Each month I highlight 5 books I want to read. I don't set out to plan themes, but somehow patterns creep into my viewing.

I realized that I had several John Steinbeck books listed in my TBR. I know I read Of Mice and Men in High School, but it's been a long time and I think it's due for a reread. I loved Cannery Row and I hated Tortilla Flats. I love that Steinbeck's books are set in Northern California because that is where I'm from. I love, love, love Monterey.

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Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

The compelling story of two outsiders striving to find their place in an unforgiving world. Drifters in search of work, George and his simple-minded friend Lennie have nothing in the world except each other and a dream--a dream that one day they will have some land of their own. Eventually they find work on a ranch in California’s Salinas Valley, but their hopes are doomed as Lennie, struggling against extreme cruelty, misunderstanding and feelings of jealousy, becomes a victim of his own strength. Tackling universal themes such as the friendship of a shared vision, and giving voice to America’s lonely and dispossessed, Of Mice and Men has proved one of Steinbeck’s most popular works, achieving success as a novel, a Broadway play and three acclaimed films.

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression follows the western movement of one family and a nation in search of work and human dignity. Perhaps the most American of American classics. The novel focuses on the Joads, a poor family of sharecroppers driven from their Oklahoma home by drought, economic hardship, and changes in financial and agricultural industries. Due to their nearly hopeless situation, and in part because they were trapped in the Dust Bowl, the Joads set out for California. Along with thousands of other "Okies", they sought jobs, land, dignityand  a future. When preparing to write the novel, Steinbeck wrote: "I want to put a tag of shame on the greedy bastards who are responsible for this [the Great Depression and its effects]." The book won Steinbeck a large following among the working class, perhaps due to the book's sympathy to the workers' movement and its accessible prose style. The Grapes of Wrath is frequently read in American high school and college literature classes. A celebrated Hollywood film version, starring Henry Fonda and directed by John Ford, was made in 1940.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Set in the rich farmland of California’s Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families—the Trasks and the Hamiltons—whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel. Here Steinbeck created some of his most memorable characters and explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity; the inexplicability of love; and the murderous consequences of love’s absence.

The Pearl by John Steinbeck

Like his father and grandfather before him, Kino is a poor diver, gathering pearls from the gulf beds that once brought great wealth to the kings of Spain and now provide Kino, Juana, and their infant son with meager subsistence. Then, on a day like any other, Kino emerges from the sea with a pearl as large as a sea gull’s egg, as “perfect as the moon.” With the pearl comes hope, the promise of comfort and of security.

A story of classic simplicity, based on a Mexican folk tale, The Pearl explores the secrets of man’s nature, greed, the darkest depths of evil, and the luminous possibilities of love.

Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck

In Monterey, on the California coast, Sweet Thursday is what they call the day after Lousy Wednesday, which is one of those days that are just naturally bad. Returning to the scene of Cannery Row, the weedy lots and junk heaps and flophouses of Monterey, John Steinbeck once more brings to life the denizens of a netherworld of laughter and tears from Fauna, new headmistress of the local brothel, to Hazel, a bum whose mother must have wanted a daughter.

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What about you? What books are on your "want to read/wish" list?

5 Books I want to Read is a monthly meme started by Stephanie at Layered Pages. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their wish lists look like, you can do that here: A Bookaholic Swede, Layered Pages, The Maiden's Court, Flashlight Commentary and A Literary Vacation.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Cover Crush...The Seafront Tea Room


I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.



Tea cups. I love tea cups. I don't even drink tea and I love tea cups. They're so dainty and they evoke comfort and conversation. Here, they sit stacked, likely on a beach-side table with the ocean in the background. The title would suggest a tea room located on the beach. Who cares? It's tea cups! I want to read it just because it includes tea cups and the ocean.

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: The Maiden's CourtFlashlight CommentaryA Bookaholic SwedeLayered Pages, indieBRAG, A Literary Vacation.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Weekend Reflections 4/22

Looking outside...it's gorgeous and sunny. Currently 59, with a breeze.

Listening...to the washing machine and a fish tank. The Doctor is using the new steamer to clean some carpets. The Artist is asleep.

Loving...that The Doctor is home. We haven't had a lot of Saturdays together over the last 10 years because he always had to see patients and while it was only supposed to be a couple of hours in the morning, it always ended up being most of the day. 

Now, he is able to schedule as he pleases and see patients when he wants to. He stayed late to see a patient last night and I didn't mind, because it was his choice and his patient.

We are together so much more now because I am able to work in his office with him. I love it.

Thinking...that I should probably get moving.

In my kitchen...Not sure yet. Last night I did a Deconstructed Pizza. So good and Keto friendly. It's basically a pizza casserole of all the pizza ingredients minus the crust. Amazing!

Wearing...purple pajamas, black slippers and a gray cardigan.

Reading...I am a reading slacker. Truly, it is pathetic.

Today...I'm not sure. Definitely some stuff around the house, but we also want to take advantage of a beautiful day.

Quoting...“Families are messy. Immortal families are eternally messy. Sometimes the best we can do is to remind each other that we're related for better or for worse...and try to keep the maiming and killing to a minimum.” ― Rick Riordan, The Sea of Monsters

Feeling...Missing The Boy.

We took him back to school for spring semester last weekend. We had a great weekend in Utah seeing friends. Lots of laughs, love good food and even better conversation. I love how my family blends so well with my girlfriends' families. Saw the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Music and the Spoken Word Easter program on Sunday before driving The Boy back to Rexburg. 

I love that he has opportunities like school, but his absence leaves a big gaping hole in our home. The music isn't quite tuned well when one is missing.

Planning...this next week and prepping a Sunday School lesson for tomorrow.


Gratitude...for texting, so we can chat with The Boy, answer questions and just connect.

From my world... 




Take the life you've been given and make it incredible. 

What about you? What are you reflecting on this week? How has your week gone?

Friday, April 21, 2017

Childhood Favorites...Catherine Woolley

Childhood favorites. Everyone has a favorite book or author from childhood. A book that touched them or changed them. A book that perhaps initiated their love of reading and put them on the path of libraries and learning.

Childhood Favorites is a monthly series focusing on beloved books from the past. 

Donald Zolan, Quiet Time.

Catherine Woolley was a prolific writer in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. I discovered her Cathy series in the early 1970s when I was in about the 4-5th grade. I checked these books out of our library, repeatedly!


I loved Cathy, who was precocious, who had a vivid imagination and who always considered herself older than she was. She had an annoying little sister who adored and annoyed her. I could relate to Cathy. In many ways, I was Cathy.

What about you? What is one of your childhood favorites?