Book Diversions Reading Review

Bookish – E

Again – 2 instead of 3. I started reading The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco but then I remembered I am trying to read things I haven’t read before with an eye to whether I want to keep or give away. And well, I am NOT getting rid of my Folio Edition of The Name of the Rose!

A red hardcover book with thorn covered vines reaching towards the top from the bottom. Runes (astrological signs?) across the top.

So on we go…

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Storygraph tags: fiction lgbtqia+ literary; emotional reflective slow-paced

One of those books that travels along with someones life and it’s ups and downs and family histories and family secrets and the problems that always happen when people keep all those secrets.

At the time I posted on socials: I really love reading books about lives so different than mine. I know it’s a famous book (the damn cover says it won the Pulitzer after all) but I had no idea what I was in for. It was just beautiful and full of heart. So there you go.

I didn’t keep it though because I knew I wasn’t going to read it again. I think I put it in a local little free library. (It was almost a year ago. Sigh).

Cover of Middlesex; two adults and 2 children on the deck of a boat looking as they approach land.

The Sentence by Louise Erdich

The Storygraph tags: fiction contemporary literary; emotional reflective medium-paced

I liked this but not as much as I probably would have if I hadn’t been caught up in one of the blurbs saying “a wickedly funny ghost story.” I’m not sure I got the humour then.

I donated this to one of the local free libraries.

Cover of The Sentence - colour blocked, mostly triangles, some beaded triangles; colours are reminiscent of the Indigenous medicine wheel colours.
Book Diversions Reading Review

Bookish – 3 Ds uhm 2D

Oh I am so behind on this. And I wondered, do I continue with the Ds (where I stopped blogging about it) or jump to the Ks (the books I just finished up). I waffled. As expected. So I thought I would try to write the Ds and if it still came easily then I could keep going and if not then I would jump to the more recent. Let’s see what happens!

It definitely helps that I log everything I read – again, sometimes late but always eventually! I used to use goodreads but then I discovered it was owned by amazon now and I discovered The Storygraph at about the same time so I use that now.

And it turns out I only read 2 Ds. Oops

First up:

Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline

The Storygraph tags: fiction fantasy horror challenging dark mysterious medium-paced

Sooo good. So so good. I really enjoyed it and will definitely be keeping this on the shelf until The Mighty Q is a bit older. I think he’d really like the story though he’s still at an age where explicit sex scenes are “no thank you very much” and there is at least one that he would not appreciate at all.

And the other D… I swear, what the hell happened that I didn’t read three? Or at least didn’t log three. Maybe I’ll go stare at the shelf a little bit…

Nope didn’t help. If I read another D author I tossed the book. But I am guessing I just read 2 instead of 3.

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt

This I bought years ago from the remainder bin at the City Hall branch of the Toronto Public Library.

A picture of Toronto's city hall
By Arild Vågen – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

My arrow shows where the library is; though you still enter through the main City Hall doors in the middle

The Storygraph tags: fiction historical adventurous emotional medium-paced

Again, not a usual choice for me. I am not a big fan of westerns. I mean they’re okay and all but not my usual jam. Holy hell this was good. Funny and also so so sad and funny. Toby said he watched the movie and it was very good. The book was too.

Definitely good enough that I picked up another one by DeWitt from a little free library.

Okay well, I definitely remembered enough to write about the Ds so I will just keep catching up.

Do you have a favourite author whose name starts with D? Toby might pick Roald Dahl or Phillip K. Dick. I’m partial to Dickens – he wrote amazingly well AND was a lefty 😉 And if I’m feeling pretentious I will lay claim to Dostoevsky as well.

Around the house In the kitchen

Random cleaning chores

It occurred to me, probably as I seem to be inundated with “spring cleaning” e-mails, that there are some things that I really ought to schedule into my life. The things that you don’t think about on a day-to-day basis.

This happened to me also because I was reading a short story about bugs in a ceiling light fixture and looked up and there was a bug casting a shadow in the family room light fixture so I took down the five fixtures on that floor and gave them a good wipe and dusted the bulbs and stuff. And felt very accomplished.

So I googled “monthly chores” and “seasonal chores” and poked about a bit.

Somethings that I haven’t thought about cleaning:

  • baseboards
  • curtains / blinds
  • screens – like computer, tablet, phone
  • the in-house garbage cans
  • light fixtures

Things I have thought about cleaning or have actually cleaned in the past but can’t remember the last time I did:

  • the dishwasher
  • the ovens
  • the coffee maker (this is fine, I just got a new one!)
  • the outdoor bins
  • pillows

I am grateful that we have someone who comes to our house every other week and does a really good clean of the bathrooms and kitchen and also vacuums and gets all the floors clean.

So I made a new page in my journal for monthly chores, so at least I have someplace to start! I guess I will also have to do one for “seasonal chores” – I mean, I don’t think I need to clean the ceiling light fixtures monthly….but maybe they do attract a lot of bugs. I’ll have to monitor!

So – cleaned the dishwasher on 6 March. We pretty much run the dishwasher every day. Toby cooks a lot (yum)! and we’re mostly still working from home so there are lots of coffee and tea mugs and water bottles and lunch plates etc.

I took out the filter and washed it. Took out the spray arms and soaked those in soapy water while I wiped down the rubber seal and the sides of the door – how the heck does the side of the door get so gross?!? For all the general wiping I just used a cloth and some random “all purpose cleaner” I got in some eco-friendly cleaning subscription box of stuff I once got seasonally that has now sadly gone out of business.

Then I reassembled all the parts, put a bowl of white vinegar on the top shelf and ran a sanitizing cycle.

until next month anyway…

What’s next?

This week’s focus I think will be catching up on all the mending – Q has a few stuffies with ribbed seems and a couple pairs of trousers that need mending as well.
Also I need to get going again on the basement. I’ve gone through the shelves under the stairs, so next up is the actual suitcases. How many suitcases do we need really?!?

Book Diversions Reading Review

Bookish – 3 Cs

I am a little behind on this too! But catching up on posts is kinda fun in a way… These were all read in 2022! Oops

In Cold Blood : A true account of a multiple murder and its consequences by Truman Capote

The Storygraph key words: nonfiction classics crime true crime adventurous dark tense slow paced

Me: This is one of those books I’ve actually had for ages but couldn’t remember actually reading. It was really interesting to see how Capote told the story with the various viewpoints and shifting the narrative around. However now that I’ve read it, I’ve handed it off to my dad who also hasn’t ever read it. So it’s out of the house!

The Wealthy Barber: The common sense guide to successful financial planning by David Chilton

The Storygraph key words: nonfiction business informative fast paced

Me: It was pretty good for a financial book written in the late ’90s 😉 The basics are good and tie in nicely with my supposed focus on being more mindful with money. It talks about “paying yourself first” (we have automatic RRSP/TFSA account contributions on top of our workplace group plans) and those kinds of basics. I also have the sequel somewhere in the house but it can wait I guess: I’ve had this one for years and years. It went into a local free library as soon as I was done.

Nosy Parker: by Lesley Crewe

The Storygraph key words: fiction historical emotional funny lighthearted medium-paced

Me: this was a fun read. It takes place in Montreal during the expo. You definitely get the idea that family is what you make – friends become family and the “ideal family” just doesn’t exist. It’s told from the perspective of a middle-school-aged kid. I was a little nervous about this but it was actually quite good and not at all cutesy (as I feared). I gave this away on our local free group on FB ’cause I knew I wasn’t gonna read it again.

Around the house Book Diversions Reading Review

Bookish – 3 Bs

So, moving on to the Bs….

The Sins of the Fathers by Lawrence Block

A screen capture of the cover from the library app; There is a church steeple in the fog.

This sort of shouldn’t count for the decluttering / organizing part of this activity because it turns out the actual physical book I have is book two in the series so I read book one from the library.

Storygraph key words: fiction crime mystery darktense medium-paced

Me: while parts of this “written in the 70s” detective story were kinda painful to read nowadays (bosoms should just not be commented on okay?!?) the overall premise of this one is awesome and I will be reading more! I don’t want to spoil it – which is weird to say about a book as old as I am but still. Once I get through the alphabet I’ll come back to read the second one.

Milkman by Anna Burns 

A photo of the cover of Milkman, an evening sky in shades of pink and rose and a person walking by the water. The book is on Lisa's desk

Storygraph key words: fiction historical literary challenging dark reflective slow-paced

Me: if you want to read a book that seems to me like what my brain is like read this. Digressions all over the place (like for pages!), but always swinging back around to the point etc. Again, not my usual sort of thing but I LOVED it. So far it’s still on the shelf. And will likely stay there for a while.

Kindred by Octavia Butler 

A picture of the cover for Kindred. A Black woman wearing a light coloured blouse looking down; overlayed with an image of trees and houses

Storygraph key words: fiction classics historical speculative fiction dark emotional tense medium-paced

I loved this book first published in 1979. Usually Butler is lumped into science fiction but I far prefer The Storygraph’s use of “speculative fiction.”

I thought this was just beautifully done. And also so much of what I would do. She travels through time, but doesn’t understand how or why and she and her partner try to figure it out as the story progresses and I love that part of it. I will definitely read more by her. I have read Bloodchild and Other Stories – I love short stories and these were all fantastic.

So I was really happy that I read three A books and got 4 books out of the house. Less decluttering with B books – they are all still here. But ohhhh so worthy of staying on the shelf. On to C next!