what I'm reading. {vol. 3}

Warning:  This post is super long.  But we write for ourselves on this blog to remember our lives... sooooo...

I'm way past due for a book update.  I've been reading a lot.  A lot a lot.  I don't know if I've said it on this blog or my tumblr (or both?), but a goal I set for myself for 2012 was to read 52 books this year.  So far I have read 20 books!  I'll be sharing the list of everything I've read at the 6 month mark and at the end of the year.

Some favorites so far:  Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (YA book using found photographs to tell a story, pretty neat!),  The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America by Bill Bryson (travel writing by one of my favorite authors going in search of the perfect small town), Delirium by Lauren Oliver (the 1st in a trilogy & the 2nd [I've read that one too] just came out... similar to the Matched trilogy but way better story, characters, flow, & writing), Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell (a great, unapologetic look at the life of poverty in these two big cities), A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking (surprisingly easy science-y book about the universe & more. I was always intimidated by this book before, so glad I finally read it), and The Fault in our Stars by John Green (from the writer of Looking for Alaska [I liked this book better than LfA]... it's a tear-jerker - super quick easy read).

I also really wanted to do a reading post to share with you what I'm currently reading (have not finished & put on the list yet) and I wanted to talk about Bag Day.

Bag Day, oh Bag Day!  How John and I worship you so!!!!  Bag Day is the last day in the 3 day book sale our public library has twice a year.  Pretty much we've been looking forward to Bag Day since September of last year.  I wasn't able to attend last year's book sale but I reaped the benefits when John brought home some great books.  We've been getting SUPER pumped about the March sale since the beginning of the year.  We went on Thursday to check out the books and scope some things out.  We decided not to buy anything the first two days of the sale and wait for the last day.  I may have hidden a book in hopes that it would be there on bag day (spoiler alert: it was!!!!).  You see, the last day of the sale is Bag Day -- everyone gets a brown paper sack (ya know, think Trader Joe's bags) to fill up with stuff (there are records, CDs, VHS, & DVDs as well as books there).  Each paper sack costs $5.  Just FIVE DOLLARS.  The sale started at 9AM on Saturday but we went there around 8:30 to get in line - we were #5 in line!   We came armed with only one 5 dollar bill and a love of the written word.  We had great success!

our alarm on the phone.  sorry for the strong language,
but we were obviously super excited for this day to finally get here!

Fleas kitten looking in our bag!

Above are all the books we got into our bag.  We were excited to get a lot of biographies and non fiction in hardback.  Since we already have A LOT of books and a lot of editions of favorite books, we tried to focus on getting things we don't have.  Although it's tempting to buy a different edition of classics which they always have a lot of and it's fun to see the different covers.

We managed to fit in 23 books in our $5 bag.  After laying out all the books to see what we got (we didn't always see what the other was putting in the bag), we decided for fun to add up the prices on the books to see how much they were all worth.

The grand total ---

$446.75 worth of books!!!!
We went on with our day, eating brunch at our favorite restaurant (for free! we had a $20 gift card... Bag Day was a holy day of saving!) , then coming back home and reading with Gilmore Girls on in the background.  Then John had to go to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription.  Just as I texted him asking where he was because he took longer than usual, he came back into the house with ANOTHER bag.  The sneaky fella had gone back to the book sale to fill up another surprise bag for me (& for him) with whatever he found that was still there - including some things we left out the first go around because we couldn't fit it in our bag.  He managed to score 33 more books!!!!

the treasures from the 2nd bag!!!
So we had 56 books total from two bags.  We spent $10 total on books but once we added up the prices for the second batch we realized our grand total of worth was ---
$893.39 worth of books for $10!!!
Can you even believe it?!!!
Oh man, did we have an awesome Bag Day this spring!  Can't wait for the next one this fall.  Oh, and one more thing, this didn't fit into the bag but John got it for me on his surprise trip, so he spent an additional $2.50 for it --

10 records of classic Broadway songs.  I love theatre so was SO excited when he brought me this. 
I'm actually listening to it right now while I write this post -- it's amazing!  So many good songs!

Shew --- this post couldn't get any longer... oh wait!  It can.  Real quick like, I'm going to share the 4 books I'm CURRENTLY READING.  I mean, that's what this post was intended to be about from the start.  Whoops.  Okay, here are my 4 current reads:

  1. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson -- I'm actually listening to this.  Do you think audiobooks count as "reading."  John and I have discussed this and have concluded that it depends on how you listen.  You have to listen actively, which I am with this one.  It's good so far.  What a wonderful man Steve Jobs was.  Who knows what we'll miss out on now that he has gone to the Big Apple Store in the Sky.  
  2. A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby -- I was actually halfway through this book when Bag Day happened.  I borrowed this book from the library (where almost all of the books I read come from) but slid my own copy of this book into our bag so now I have my own copy.  The story is told from 4 different perspectives and I love how it's not just a character change each section, but the whole writing style is changed to fit the character.  
  3. Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes -- this is a book of poetry by Sylvia Plath's husband, if you aren't familiar with him.  I'm enjoying this Bag Day find very much so far.  I just wish I was more familiar with the timeline of events in Ted & Sylvia's life so I knew what some of the references were.
  4. The Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson -- Bill Bryson has quickly become one of my favorite authors.  I "read" (actively listened to the audiobook) At Home: A Short History of Private Life last year and loved it.  Was gifted two of his travel writing books for Christmas and loved them.  So when I saw this gem the first day of the book sale, I slipped it in a box that wasn't as prominent as the one it was in originally, hoping it would still be there on Bag Day and THANK THE LAWD, it was.  I am super excited for this non-fiction work because it is about one of my favorite subjects -- the history of the English language.  Bryson is so smart and witty -- he's a joy to read. 

Wow.  This post is probably the longest one I've ever written - at least since my teen livejournal days.  Ha!

are you reading anything interesting?!  I'd love to hear!


  1. I LOVED this post, so don't even apologize that it's lengthy. You've just helped me find some new reading material. I've been re-reading Brenna's blog (This Battered Suitcase, I know you read it too) because I want to read about travels, and now you've recommended some travel books. Adding them to my Barnes and Noble Nook wish list as soon as I finish this comment. ;) Thanks!

  2. I'm completely serious when I say that I would move to Pittsboro *just* to read with you and John with Gilmore Girls playing in the background. Even if it were ONLY a twice-a-week thing.