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Month in review

Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Avatar: The Last Airbender: Imbalance, Part One by Faith Erin Hicks
The Beauty of the Moment by Tanaz Bhathena
The Big Necessity by Rose George
The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
Brave by Svetlana Chmakova
The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders
Delicious in Dungeon Volume 2 by Ryoko Kui
Dragonbreath by Ursula Vernon
The Fever King by Victoria Lee
The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America by Matt Kracht
Galloglass by Scarlett Thomas
The Ghost of Grey Fox Inn by Carolyn Keene
Giant Days, Volume 9 by John Allison
The Great Unknowable End by Kathryn Ormsbee
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
The Little Guys by Vera Brosgol
Make-A-Saurus: My Life with Raptors and Other Dinosaurs by Brian Cooley
Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina
Miss Communication by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
Murder Lo Mein by Vivien Chien
Nowhere Boy by Katherine Marsh
A Question of Holmes by Brittany Cavallaro
Three Quarters Dead by Richard Peck
The Tiger in the House by Carl Van Vechten
To Brie or Not To Brie by Avery Aames
Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
The Unteachables by Gordon Korman
We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia
Where the Heart Is by Jo Knowles
Wild Blues by Beth Kephart

April 2019 Sources
April 2019 Summary
The illusion of organized reading
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (May 06)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (May 13)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (May 20)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (May 27)
May is looking a lot like mid March

Road Essays
CCFF66: Siblings going offroad to utopia

CCFF33: siblings to utopia along the Blue Highway: a brief look at the first seven seasons of Supernatural

CCFF00: Siblings to Utopia via the interstate

CCCCFF: Siblings through the cornfield to uhoria

CCCCCC: Siblings through the maze to uhoria

Road Narrative Update for April 2019

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

Canadian Book Challenge: 2024-2025

Beat the Backlist 2024

Ozathon: 12/2023-01/2025

Chicken Prints
Paintings and Postcards

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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (May 20): 05/20/19

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
Hosted by Kathryn of Book Date.

My daughter's school was doing standardized testing all week and running on a block schedule. That meant that every day she was getting out early. We took advantage of the no homework and early release to do more geocaching (weather permitting). I let her do most of the searching and I had fun taking photographs of the area. Lots of caches are in our many regional parks.

Female acorn woodpecker
A female acorn woodpecker who took an interest in our geocaching.

My other big project was installing the hardware to make my shadow box gallery ready. I bought some drawer knobs which I screwed into the box. These provide a solid base for the rectangles I've built to hold my canvases in place but still allow me to swap them out as needed. I also installed the wire hanger on the back.

Shadow Box
The shadow box now hanging on the wall.

Late in the week I started on Mini Nature 5. This one is a ladybug on pickle weed. It's from a photo I took a few years back a the Hayward Regional Shoreline.

Mini Nature 5
The initial colors laid down for the pickle weed.

What I read:

I finished four books. My favorite book last week was Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali. It's delightful from start to finish.

  • A Jest of God by Margaret Laurence; library book
  • Murder Lo Mein by Vivien Chien; personal collection
  • The Emerald City of Oz by L. Frank Baum; personal collection / research
  • Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali; personal collection

What I'm reading:

I wanted to also finish Opposite of Always by Justin A Reynolds but I've only made it to the halfway point. It's a longer than usually for me book and it's one of those books where I don't want to skim. I'll finish it this week.

  • Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds; personal collection
  • Royals by Rachel Hawkins; personal collection
  • Bedeviled Eggs by Laura Childs; library book
  • Chicken Girl by Heather Smith; personal collection

Up Soon:

  • Woman 99 by Greer Macallister; personal collection
  • City of Orphans by Avi; library book / research
  • One Lie Too Many by Eileen Cook
  • Swallow's Dance by Wendy Orr; personal collection

Posts and reviews:

Comments  (38)

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Comment #1: Sunday, May 19, 2019 at 23:29:42

Martha Eskuchen

I love the photo and your shadow box. I think we have woodpeckers like that but I haven't been able to get a close picture.
Your reading looks good.
Happy Reading!

Comment #2: Monday, May 20, 2019 at 21:21:00


The acorn woodpecker's range is in strips in Mexico, a small area in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico, and the coasts of California, Oregon and Washington. That said, I've only seen them since moving to my current home. Down the hill a little ways at the condo, we had Nuttall's woodpeckers instead. Earlier in the year I treated myself to a 300mm lens and it is making photographing birds easier.

Comment #3: Monday, May 20, 2019 at 00:16:00

Laurel-Rain Snow

I love the art work. The cozy mysteries look good, too. Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

Comment #4: Monday, May 20, 2019 at 21:29:00


I'm working more cozy mysteries into my reading. They're fun and a nice break from longer books I'm reading. I'm glad you like the artwork.

Comment #5: Monday, May 20, 2019 at 00:43:29


My kids and I enjoy geocaching, too!

Comment #6: Monday, May 20, 2019 at 21:39:00


Weather permitting, we might go tomorrow.

Comment #7: Monday, May, 20, 2019 at 00:59:17

Shelleyrae @Book’d Out

I’ve long wanted to read Laura Child’s Cackleberry Club series. I hope you are enjoying it.

Have a great reading week

Comment #8: Monday, May 20, 2019 at 21:41:00


I'm still on the fence in regards to the Cackleberry Club series. It's not instantly winning me over like other series have.

Comment #9: Monday, May 20, 2019 at 02:04:17


>Love the colors on your shadow box. What a bright and beautiful project!

Comment #10: Monday, May 20, 2019 at 21:44:00


Thank you. I had fun working on it.

Comment #11: Monday, May 20, 2019 at 03:03:42

>Kathryn Trask

>We don't have woodpeckers, such interesting birds. The shadow box looks great all finished. Happy reading, I see another Babymouse book, I enjoyed reading a few about her.

Comment #12: Monday, May 20, 2019 at 21:49:00


Miss Communication is from the middle grade series. It's mostly a novel with some graphic novel elements. The third in that series comes out later this year.

Comment #13: Monday, May 20, 2019 at 07:06:52

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz

What great times you have been spending with your daughter! What fun it must be to geocache together.

Your art is lovely. The shadow boxes are fascinating. Beautiful.

I read and loved Margaret Laurence's book The Stone Angel some time ago. I think I will add Jest of God to my list of possibilities for future reading.

Have a great week!

Comment #14: Monday, May 20, 2019 at 21:52:00


The shadow box was a means to an end. I needed a way to make those little paintings gallery ready but they are too small for a standard wire. Frames don't come that small either so I'd have to make a custom one. A shadow box was easier and can hold four at once.

I read and reviewed The Stone Angel last month.

Comment #15: Monday, May 20, 2019 at 08:56:09

Beth F

Love the bird photo. I really liked Wild Blues & almost started Love from A to Z last week.

Comment #16: Monday, May 20, 2019 at 21:57:00


I loved both Wild Blues and Love from A to Z. I hope you can read Love... soon.

Comment #17: Monday, May 20, 2019 at 09:06:54

JoAnn @ Lakeside Musing

The shadow box is so clever! Love your canvases... so pretty. Have a good week.

Comment #18: Monday, May 20, 2019 at 21:59:00


Thank you. The shadow box was an affordable solution for getting the canvases into something that could hang properly in the gallery.

Comment #19: Monday, May 20, 2019 at 09:15:15


I love your shadow box and that you can swap them in and out. We're thinking about installing a picture rail in our living room so that we can hang paintings, etc. off of it and swap them out instead of having a million nail holes in the wall.

Comment #20: Monday, May 20, 2019 at 21:59:00


I had to make the box swappable because I'm planning on selling those canvases individually. I already have a buyer for the bee on the cornflower. The box though can be used for future small canvases. I have another seven to paint beyond the ladybug I've recently started.

Comment #21: Monday, May, 20, 2019 at 12:04:27

Cheryl Malandrinos

>Geocaching sounds like fun. Love the woodpecker photo. Can't wait to see what your new project looks like once it is completed.

Lots of great books on your list. I enjoy cozy mysteries. They have always been one of my favorite genres.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Comment #22: Monday, May 20, 2019 at 22:05:00


My goal is to paint a total of at least twelve of these mini canvases to sell at the November holiday boutique. Actually one of them has already been sold — the bee on the cornflower. If I have time, I'll start on another twelve canvases.

Comment #23: Monday, May 20, 2019 at 14:04:41


That photo of the bird is beautiful! I love your art work, I'm not very crafty.

I see a few books that interest me.

Comment #24: Monday, May 20, 2019 at 22:10:00


Compared to other artists who show at the same gallery, I often don't feel as crafty. But the paintings are still fun to do.

Comment #25: Monday, May 20, 2019 at 14:11:00

Kathy Martin

Great assortment of books. I want to read more Rachel Hawkins and Laura Childs. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

Comment #26: Monday, May 20, 2019 at 22:12:00


It's been ages since I've read a Rachel Hawkins book. It's nice to be revisiting her books.

Comment #27: Monday, May 20, 2019 at 22:15:06

Susie | Novel Visits

Love the bees!

Comment #28: Monday, May 20, 2019 at 22:13:00


Thank you.

Comment #29: Monday, May, 20, 2019 at 22:25:53


Beautiful pic of the woodpecker. I hope you enjoy your books and have a great week!

Comment #30: Monday, May 20, 2019 at 22:14:00


Thank you. There are plenty of less successful shots to go with that one good one.

Comment #31: Tuesday, May 21, 2019 at 12:45:03


I love going out to geochache. Glad you got to go out and explore with your daughter.

I keep seeing Woman 99 pop up places, I feel like it means I should give it a try.

Comment #32: Monday, May 27, 2019 at 21:45:00


We haven't done any in the last week. Schedule and weather got in the way. But summer vacation is almost here. That will free up some time. Woman 99 is good, although a bit wordy at times. It's set in Napa and San Francisco which is making this historical fiction extra interesting for me.

Comment #33: Tuesday, May 21, 2019 at 13:28:20

Erin @ Cracker Crumbs

I really enjoyed Truly Devious. Maybe because I would have really liked going to that school when I was a kid. :)

I attempted some small painting myself this week! I made a peg doll with a bee on it for my son - I am not particularly gifted at drawing/painting so it is not the greatest, but I tried. :) He likes it, I guess that is what is important.

Have a great week!

Comment #34: Monday, May 27, 2019 at 21:49:00


I liked the book too. I have the sequel out from the library right now. Keep up crafting and painting. Get your son involved too. He'll appreciate it. No project has to be perfect.

Comment #35: Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 21:34:18


Looks like you had a great week! I'm always excited to see woodpeckers! We have a red bellied pair that will bang on the house when the feeders empty. Lol

Comment #36: Monday, May 27, 2019 at 21:51:00


I love watching woodpeckers. These are so different from the fluffy little Nuttall's woodpeckers that would visit at the condo. These ones are cheekier.

Comment #37: Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 09:30:15

Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)

I love your artwork and that's an inspired way to display the paintings together!

Comment #38: Monday, May 27, 2019 at 21:53:00


Thanks. I'll be dropping off the shadow box next weekend. We'll see how it looks in the show with all the other art.

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