Completed Books – February, 2017

So far, so good in terms of my reading progress – 14% of the way towards my goal of 50 books.  I completed two non-fiction books this month, and I’m about halfway through Mansfield Park and also working on some poetry.  I think this is the maximum amount of books I can juggle at one time!  :-/

  1. Picnic, Lightning
  2. Power Foods for the Brain
  3. Of Bees and Mist
  4. House of Light
  5. Upstream
  6. Bio-Young
  7. The Little Book of Hygge

Happy Reading!

Reading List – Nature and Science

In my effort to organize some of my reading interests, I’ve created a list of books I would like to read that are in my “Nature and Science” category.  After recently reading Upstream by Mary Oliver, it inspired me to explore more books about nature.  I would love to hear your thoughts on the list below – especially if you’ve read any of the books on the list.

  • Meditations of John Muir: Nature’s Temple
  • Kissed by a Fox by Priscilla Stuckey
  • The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane
  • The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot by Robert Macfarlane
  • Landmarks by Robert Macfarlane
  • The Whale by Philip Hoare
  • The Lost City of Z by David Grann
  • Tulipomania by Mike Dash
  • The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery
  • The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben
  • The Map that Changed the World by Simon Winchester
  • The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey
  • Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature by Kathleen Dean Moore
  • The Wild Trees by Richard Preston
  • Wild by Charles Hughes
  • The Thing with Feathers by Noah Strycker
  • Wild Things, Wild Places by Jane Alexander
  • The Story of Earth by Robert Hazen
  • Wildwood: A Journey Through Trees by Roger Deakin
  • Longitude by Dava Sobel
  • The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson
  • Poseidon’s Steed by Helen Scales
  • Spirals in Time by Helen Scales
  • Kraken by Wendy Williams
  • What a Fish Knows by Jonathan Balcombe
  • Being a Beast by Charles Foster
  • Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
  • Wilderness Essays by John Muir



You Know You’re a Book Lover When…

You know you’re a book lover when…

  • You can easily justify having multiple editions of the same book
  • You find it relaxing to be surrounded by books
  • You patiently wait and hunt for a certain edition or book cover – and get a huge rush when you finally find the book!
  • You prefer the original book cover to the movie version of the cover
  • Your “plan to read” list is so long, you know you’ll never complete it!
  • You rotate your piles and stacks of books like some people rotate seasonal decor
  • You would rather spend your paycheck on books instead of clothes or other items
  • You can recite your library card number as quickly as your phone number
  • You would consider a bookstore or library as a second home
  • You know there is no such thing as too many books  😀


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Reading List – Classics

I’ve seen a few popular lists of classics that everyone should read and I started thinking about all of the classics that I have yet to read. While I think I read a variety of books, I clearly have my work cut out for me when it comes to the classics. 😔 I’ve read a number of them throughout school and on my own, but as I started combing through lists, I realized that I have a number of books to add to my reading list!

I’ve created a list of classics that I still need to read. I’m going to attempt to update this list a few times a year (hopefully with a few completed books!)

  • Little Men by Louisa May Alcott
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • Vanity Fair by William Thackeray
  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  • Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens
  • Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
  • The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens
  • Nicholas Nickelby by Charles Dickens
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  • Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
  • Bleak House by Charles Dickens
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas
  • Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
  • Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The Wings of the Dove by Henry James
  • The Portait of a Lady by Henry James
  • The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
  • Middlemarch by George Eliot
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  • Lolita by Vladimir Nobokov
  • Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  • Candide by Voltaire
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  • Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
  • The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  • The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  • Paradise Lost by John Milton
  • Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  • The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  • The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Completed Books – January, 2017

I’m going to strive for a goal of 50 books in 2017.  I’ve selected a few books that I hope to read in 2017 – I’m sure I’ll get side-tracked by new books, so we’ll see how well I do with completing the stack.  😉

  1. Picnic, Lightning
  2. Power Foods for the Brain
  3. Of Bees and Mist
  4. House of Light

Happy Reading!


Tea Time – Winter Edition 2017

The holidays have come and gone, but I’m still enjoying the holiday teas that are currently in rotation.  I also have a new favorite tea that I received as a gift for the holidays – Argo Earl Grey Creme.  Not as strong as your traditional earl gray tea, with a hint of creme flavor that really balances the tea.  Perfect for an afternoon curled up with a good book!  (and it should be noted that I drank an entire pot of tea one evening while reading over the holidays!)  😀 I’ve underlined the teas that are currently in rotation.

  • Adagio Citron Green Tea (loose leaf)
  • Adagio Cream Black Tea (loose leaf)
  • Argo Earl Grey Creme
  • Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane
  • Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime
  • Harney & Sons Black Currant
  • Harney & Sons Paris
  • Harney & Sons Vanilla Comoro
  • Lipton Decaffeinated Honey & Lemon
  • Simply Balanced Organic Chamomile
  • Tazo Calm
  • Tazo Refresh
  • Trader Joe’s Green Tea
  • Trader Joe’s Vanilla and Cinnamon Black Tea
  • Trader Joe’s English Breakfast Black Tea
  • Yogi Detox Tea
  • Yogi Cinnamon Vanilla Healthy Skin Tea
  • Yogi Egyptian Licorice Mint Tea

What are some of your favorite teas or do you have any other tea recommendations?

Winter Poems

I thought I would round up of some of my favorite poems for the winter season.  Is it just me, or do you conjure up images of Robert Frost and some of his poems, like Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, when thinking about winter poems?

  • Snow-flakes by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • Snow flakes by Emily Dickinson
  • Winter Stars by Sara Teasdale
  • A Winter Morning by Ted Kooser
  • Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost
  • Silver Filigree by Elinor Wylie
  • White-Eyes by Mary Oliver
  • Winter Trees by William Carlos William



A Few Picks for 2017

As I think about some of my reading goals for 2017, I am planning to target 50 books again. I’ve been close the last few years (47 books in 2016, 45 in 2015, 44 in 2014, and 53 in 2013).   As I mention in my last post, I hope to dive into more classics this year, which I anticipate will slow my reading progress a bit.  I’ve pulled a few books below from my shelves that I hope to read in 2017.  No guarantees, as I’m sure I’ll be side-tracked with new acquisitions and books.  🙂


The Classics

I was inspired to get back into reading more classics from a post by The Misanthropologist.  When I look back at my completed books over the past couple of years, there have a been a few classics, but I’ve definitely been drawn to more fiction, non-fiction and poetry.  And let’s be real here – while I enjoy the classics, I need to be honest with myself and recognize that I need to be more mindful and focused when reading a classic compared to other books.  While I feel like I’ve read a number of the more “popular” classics like Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice, Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Great Expectations, I have a list of classics on my “plan to read” list that I honestly wonder if I’ll ever end up reading!  I’ve also considered re-reading some of the classics that were required in school, as I feel like I would have a different perspective and really enjoy reading them now.

As I look at my shelves, many of the classics that I still need to read are pretty intimidating in terms of size (e.g. Bleak House, Our Mutual Friend, Les Miserables, Vanity Fair, Moby Dick).  After taking a look at my shelves and list of books I want to read and/or acquire, I think a few classics that I would like (and would be realistic) to tackle this year includes Mansfield Park, The Age of Innocence, Dombey and Son, and perhaps East of Eden and Little Men. We’re only a couple of weeks into the new year and I’m already wondering how I am going to finish everything I hope to read in 2017!  😔




A Year in Review – 2016

Before I dive into thinking about books I would like to read in 2017, I thought I would provide some thoughts and highlights from 2016.  Overall, not a bad year for reading, although I made up for lost time in the last quarter of the year!  I usually have a goal of 50 books and I completed 47 books this year. I had a mix of some non-fiction lifestyle and health-related books, poetry and fiction. I’m a little embarrassed to say that that I didn’t read many classics – just The Secret Garden.  For fiction books, I read five of the six books in the Wilderness series by Sara Donati. I also enjoyed reading a number of books about authors, including Fallen Beauty, Call Me Zelda, Hemingway’s Girl and The House of Hawthorne.  I also enjoyed reading more about Hemingway and his first wife in The Paris Wife.

Favorites for 2016 included:

Stayed tuned for some thoughts on goals for 2017.  Happy reading!