David Copperfield

I’m happy to say that I finally finished David Copperfield. It took me a while between a busy couple of months at work and also trying to multitask and read a couple of a books at the same time. I really enjoyed this book — I think my favorite Dickens book is still Great Expectations, but once I immersed myself in David Copperfield, I couldn’t put it down. The book is written from the perspective of David and follows him through his journeys in life, including various trials, challenges and successes.  There is a great cast of characters with interesting backgrounds, some you fall in love with and some you love to hate.

I’ve read different reviews and perspectives on the book, where some suggest that this book includes many autobiographical references and parallels to his life, with the “DC” of David Copperfield being Dickens’ initials. Dickens has referred to David Copperfield as a “favorite child” of his written works. Others make the argument that while it was written in the first person and there are some parallels to experiences and individuals in his life, the book portrays a blend of fiction and truth.  If you’ve read the book, what do you think?

Completed Books – April, 2015

I have completed 13 books, which is 26% towards my goal of 50 books. I feel like I have been reading at a snail’s pace lately, in part because I am still reading David Copperfield while trying to read a couple of non-fiction and poetry books. As I am attempting to focus (given previous lack of focus) on my health, you’ll likely see a few health-related books on my list. I would like to say that I will refocus this month, but given the warmer weather, hoping I can continue to plug away at David Copperfield!  I’m enjoying it, but it might have been a better to tackle it in the fall/early winter as I tend to gravitate towards lighter reads in the warmer months.

1: The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
2: Clara and Mr. Tiffany
3: Absolutely Truly: A Pumpkin Falls Mystery
4: The Miniaturist
5: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
6. The Professor and the Madman
7. Aimless Love
8. Lean In
9: The Four Seasons
10: The Food Babe Way
11: First Frost
12: Natalia Rose’s Detox Guide to Youth Regeneration: Achieving Timeless Beauty
13: The New Health Rules: Simple Changes to Achieve Whole-Body Wellness

Do you have any book recommendations that I should add to my reading list?

Downward Dog

I am long overdue for an update on my “goals” for 2015.  Goals, you say??  Yes, the goals I have not mentioned since January.  Whoops.  Unfortunately, not much to report for the first quarter of 2015. I did get my act together starting in April and have really embraced yoga again. I’ve been consistently doing a yoga routine 3 or 4 times a week for a few weeks and can honestly say that I notice a difference.  I am really trying to be present during my yoga time and have really noticed a difference in my range of motion and flexibility – I can finally touch my toes!

I would really like to maintain a consistent yoga practice (3 times a week) as I think it is good for my mind and body.  However, I also need to refocus my efforts on improving my eating habits as I think that will increase the benefits of yoga and my overall health and well-being.  I find it fascinating how I can be very disciplined in certain areas of my life, but seem to lack control when it comes to my eating habits.  I will start off really well and then I tend to give in to stress-eating or cravings.  I need to have more balance as it relates to my eating habits.  I will have to figure out my game plan for May.  Wish me luck!

Pocket Poets

As I mentioned in my last post, I love the Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets series.  Slowly but surely, I have been adding to my collection — and also trying to read more of my current collection!  I love the different covers and the size of the book is perfect – portable where I can keep a book in my bag or purse. I also love checking out used bookstores to see if I can find books to add to my collection.

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Do you have any favorite poetry books or collections?

Celebrate National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month!  As you can see from my completed books last year, along with my completed books so far this year, I’ve rekindled my love of poetry.  In honor of National Poetry Month, I’ve pulled a few poetry books from my shelves that I would like to read over the next month or two. I love the Everyman’s Library Pocket Poet books and thought that On Wings of Song would be a good one to welcome Spring.

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Completed Books – March, 2015

I slowed down last month and have completed 11 books, which is 22% towards my goal of 50 books. I have been doing a bit of multitasking with my reading as I’m still reading David Copperfield as well.  I used to have no problem reading a couple of different books at the same time, but I’m finding that I have a harder time focusing (and remembering) where I’m at with different books or have to go back if I’ve set a book down for a period of time.

1: The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
2: Clara and Mr. Tiffany
3: Absolutely Truly: A Pumpkin Falls Mystery
4: The Miniaturist
5: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
6. The Professor and the Madman
7. Aimless Love
8. Lean In
9: The Four Seasons
10: The Food Babe Way
11: First Frost

Do you have any book recommendations that I should add to my reading list?

Completed Books – February, 2015

Here is late recap on my reading progress for the month of February. I’ve read 8 books so far this year, which is 16% towards my goal of 50 books. I anticipate a lighter month of completed books for March, as I’ve decided to read David Copperfield.  I think that I read parts of this book when I was younger, so I decided to tackle this book.  I’m enjoying it and can’t believe I have not completed this book before now, but it is a long one!

1: The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
2: Clara and Mr. Tiffany
3: Absolutely Truly: A Pumpkin Falls Mystery
4: The Miniaturist
5: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing6. The Professor and the Madman
7. Aimless Love
8. Lean In

Do you have any book recommendations that I should add to my reading list?

Some Reads for 2015

Okay, I know we are already a month through 2015 and this post is a little late…  Over the holidays in December, I combed my shelves and pulled a few books that I hope to tackle in 2015 (along with a couple of books I received as gifts).  I also have a couple of new books that I would like to purchase and read this year, like All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.  I still need to make more of an effort to read some the books that have stacked up at home, but I will continue to keep an eye out for any new books as well.  :)

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Completed Books – January, 2015

Hard to believe we are through the first month of 2015.  Where did the time go?!?   While I haven’t been as focused as I would like on a few of my goals, I am off to a good start with my reading.  I have set my goal at 50 books again this year and started off the year the with some great books. I highly recommend The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry.  I think any book lover would appreciate this book!

1: The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
2: Clara and Mr. Tiffany
3: Absolutely Truly: A Pumpkin Falls Mystery
4: The Miniaturist
5: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

Do you have any book recommendations that I should add to my reading list?

Welcome, 2015

Welcome, 2015.  Now that the holidays are over, I like to take a little time to think about the new year.  While I have been unsuccessful in the past at keeping some resolutions, I am going to attempt making some this year, but make them more “bite-size” goals (i.e. monthly, quarterly) with a few overall goals for the year.  I’m also planning to “officially” kick off my goals on Monday, January 5, because let’s be real… with New Year’s Eve falling on a Thursday this year, some of the fun and festivities carried over into Friday and the weekend.  Along with finishing up any leftover holiday treats, I plan to make a big grocery shopping trip today to restock my fridge and pantry.

A few goals throughout the 2015 year:
Be “present”.  Focus and enjoy the “now” rather than always worrying about the future (this will be a tough one for me, as I am always planning and thinking about what’s next!)
Take more breaks from technology (i.e. checking my phone and text messages all the time)
Be a better listener.  My mind tends to jump ahead in a conversation and think about responses, etc.  Hopefully by my first goal of being more present, this will be part of the result.

Goals for 1st quarter of 2015:
Eat in more (I need a break from all of the holiday parties and dinners out)
Eat more whole foods and less processed/packaged foodsBetter meal planning and preparation.  I was on a roll for a little while and fell of the wagon.

Goals for the month of January:
Yoga practice twice a week.  I started getting back into yoga over the holidays and it felt great.  I have to remember that even a 15 or 20 minute yoga practice counts.
Meditation. I wish I could say I would do this daily, but in the spirit of trying to keep things real, I will attempt a goal of a short meditation (even 5 minutes) three times a week.

What are some of your goals or resolutions you would like to tackle in 2015?