In Honor of National Poetry Month

In honor of National Poetry Month, I had a stack of poetry books I hoped to read this month.  Unfortunately, I ended up getting side-lined with the flu, so reading progress came to a screeching halt for a couple of weeks. I read Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne.  I enjoyed reading the letters and poetry, especially after watching the movie Bright Star a few years ago.  I really didn’t know much about John Keats before the movie, outside of some his more famous poems, and for whatever reason, that movie really struck a chord with me.   Perhaps because he was so young when he passed away, struggling to make his poetry known to the world.  Perhaps it was the love story.  I digress, but it helped me rediscover John Keats and his poetry.

Here a few poetry books I have set out on my reading table and hope to tackle over the next month or so (for belated National Poetry Month!) 😀


Single- or Multi-Tasking?

I’ve noticed that my attention span seems to be decreasing.  Even when I’m reading a book, I can’t help but keep my phone nearby “just in case” I get an important text message, e-mail, etc.  Let’s be real – I don’t have anything that urgent I need to check on where I can’t set aside a solid half hour or more to immerse myself in a book.  However, I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve really lost focus lately – even with a good book!  :-/

I’m not going to point my finger at technology, as I am definitely a user and consumer of technology and love many of its efficiencies and benefits.  However, if I take a step back, I wonder whether I always need to be “connected” and whether I am really more efficient when I am multi-tasking and checking e-mail, listening to a podcast, and bouncing back and forth with text messages at the same time.  Probably not…  It got me thinking about single-taking versus multi-tasking.  It seems like there quite a few thoughts and articles on this topic as of late, and I keep hearing the benefits of taking time to single-task, which creates more mindfulness and awareness.

In a society where we are “on” 24×7, I think it really becomes challenging and more of an effort to single-task and focus on one thing.  Given my recent lack of focus, I am going to challenge myself to single-tasking and try to be more present and “in the moment” which each thing I do, whether it be the mundane like folding laundry to the more important things like a chat over coffee with a friend, or when escaping in a good book.  Anyone else out there encountering similar challenges?

Completed Books – March, 2017

March ended up being a good reading month – I am now 26% complete towards my goal of 50 books.  😀   I finished Mansfield Park, which I thought was a charming book.  The School of Night brought back memories of A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.  I also enjoyed A Moveable Feast, especially after reading The Paris Wife and Hemingway’s Girl. I think in honor of spring, I might try to read a few nature books next month, along some poetry since April is National Poetry Month.

  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
  8. Mansfield Park
  9. Yours Truly
  10. 100 Days of Real Food: Fast and Fabulous
  11. The School of Night
  12. Always
  13. A Moveable Feast

Happy Reading!

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