Archive | Books RSS feed for this section

WWW Wednesday, 21-February-2018

21 Feb

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Currently reading: Unfortunately, I’ve had to put Harry Potter y las Reliquias de la Muerte by J.K. Rowling on hold for a short while for a book club selection. I’m hoping I fly through it and can get back to this soon!
I have the saddest news. I lost the hold on The Circle by Dave Eggers! I went to read it at lunch yesterday and it had returned and when I went to check it out again, I couldn’t! I’m so sad that I’ll have to wait to get back to this story.
FINALLY! I’ve just started Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire this week! It’s great to get on to a new audiobook. I’m still getting into it so not much to report here. Trying to remember the first book is taking a lot of my concentration now, haha.
I also started Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver. I remember Taylor and Turtle better than I thought I would. It’s  the side characters I don’t remember well but I’m sure I’ll pick it up quickly.
I started a book club selection as well, X by Ilyasah Shabazz. This is a fictionalized account of the story of Malcolm X as written by his third daughter. Shabazz will be speaking in my area later this year (or maybe early next year) so look for quite a few more posts about this book going forward!
Because I lost the hold on The Circle, I started another ebook. This time I picked The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp. Yes, I realize that means I have six books going right now! This is a lot for me and I’m feeling more than a bit overwhelmed but I will press on!

Recently finished: I finished a book! I’m so excited to be able to say that after a long time of nothing making its way to this list. I wrapped up A Widow for One Year by John Irving. I adore Irving and this book was ‘classic Irving’ and it was great to read something of his. The last Irving book I read was very different from his normal style and topics so it feels like returning to an old friend.
I wrapped up My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante yesterday during my run. Woo! It ended a bit abruptly and I’m unsure if I want to keep reading the series and find out more about what happens to these characters. Let’s call it TBD at the moment.

No reviews this week! I’ll have ones for Irving and Ferrante soon.

Reading Next: I’m going to say I have no plans. I really hope to finish some of my six going on right now before I start worrying about what comes next. I think I have too much on my plate already, haha.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Advertisements

Books as Movies or TV Shows: A Debate

15 Feb

My posts this week have really focused on books being turned into movies and TV shows. Books being made into TV shows is a more recent phenomenon that I’m getting on board with. Obviously, Game of Thrones has been wildly successful. I’m also a fan of other series such as Z and The Man in the High Castle on Amazon and I’ve heard good things about The Handmaid’s Tale and the BBC adaptations of the Cormoran Strike novels. Since the way we’re watching TV is changing, the way books are turned into a visual medium is changing, too.

Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was the first book to be turned into two movies. This was followed by Breaking Dawn and Mockingjay and I’m sure many others. It seems obvious that the reason for this was to give more of the book’s content time to come to the screen, an effort to keep more of what readers loved and turn it into more for movie-only fans to love. It doesn’t hurt that it’s a nice cash-grab for the studio as well!

TV shows are taking that even further. Instead of one of George R.R. Martin’s massive books being squeezed into one 120-minute movie or even two, we get ten episodes, 600 minutes, in the first season. Some series have had to go beyond what’s in the novel (The Man in the High Castle is a prime example) because fans are asking for more content than the book provided. Now, instead of cutting material, the problem is adding it.

Either way, we’re never going to get a page-for-page, line-for-line adaptation of a book to a movie or TV show. Someone will look different, speak differently, or be cut because books cannot realistically be turned directly into a visual scene. Some are better than others, to be sure, but none are perfect.

If I head a favorite book was going to be made visual, I’m not sure what I’d prefer. Is it better to have some things cut, maintain the main plot line, and see a movie that’s over in 120 minutes and I can pass my judgment at that time? Or should I hope for a season of 15 45-minute episodes that will add unnecessary characters and change the main plot to something that takes the main character well into season two to solve? Which is better? Is either one?

I’m personally a fan of the TV adaptations. I’m a big TV binger so I enjoy getting to see my favorite books as bite-sized-yet-bingable chunks to enjoy in my PJs while eating ice cream on my couch. (You are welcome for the visual.) I’m excited at the idea of a Lord of the Rings TV show. I hope I can stream it.

What do you prefer? Is there a ‘best’ way to see your favorite books come to life? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 14-February-2018

14 Feb

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Currently reading: You’ll notice a pattern in this post. It’s exactly the same as last week. Yep. I’m really close to finishing A Widow for One Year by John Irving and I’m banking on finishing it by next week. I feel like there’s a lot of action still to go, but the disk count shows that I’m close to the end so we’ll see how Irving wraps this one up.
I’m almost halfway through Harry Potter y las Reliquias de la Muerte by J.K. Rowling which I see as a big accomplishment. I did a lot of reading on a snowy day that kept me indoors all day and got through about 50 pages in one day! And I didn’t have to take a nap afterward!
I’m almost halfway through My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. The weather has made it hard to get out for my long runs which is where I make great progress on this one. Maybe the book fairies will give us a break in the weather so I can listen more? Or maybe we’ll get another 11 inches, who knows?
I’m barely making progress in The Circle by Dave Eggers. It’s going to be a long haul on this one. That’s nothing against Eggers or his book, just the nature of my ebook reading that keeps it slow and plodding. This will slowly make its way to the top of this paragraph as it sits on my ‘Currently Reading’ shelf for ages.

Recently finished: Sadly, nothing again. I don’t even have any reviews to report on. It’s just been that kind of week.

Reading Next: I’ll be getting Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire from the library this week so I can start it right away. I hope I remember enough from the first book to dive into this one without too many problems!
I also plan on starting Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver when I finish Ferrante’s book. I read the first book in this duology a few years back but I remember it pretty well. I adored that the small girl was named Turtle! I’m excited to hear more about her.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

The 5 Stages of Finding Out Your Favorite Book is Becoming a Movie

13 Feb

I’m sure this has happened to us all at some point. You hear the amazing news that a book you LOVED is being made into a movie. This happened to me with Ready Player One and A Darker Shade of Magic I’m sure many of you experience it with Harry Potter. I feel there are some universal stages, like the stages of grief, that all readers go through upon receiving the news of a film adaptation.

Stage One: Denial
I believe my initial reaction to every movie adaptation announcement has either been, “What?!” or “No way!” Clearly, my first reaction is denial. Despite rave reviews of the book, I’m shocked someone in Hollywood agreed with me that a certain title was absolutely amazing and totally worthy of being seen by the millions of non-readers who will see the film.

Stage Two: Excitement
I believe my second reaction to finding out about each movie has been, “Heck yes!” or “I’m so pumped.” The idea of getting to see something that lives in your head on a 40-foot screen with surround-sound is an adrenaline rush waiting to happen. The satisfaction of hearing a good review of the movie from a friend who refused to read the book is the best. Being able to appreciate red herrings and see the small details that get you to the ending you know is coming makes you feel like Agatha Christie. And all of this is really going to happen because the book is being made into a movie!

Stage Three: Nervousness
But then, doubt starts to set in. What if they get rid of your favorite scene? The one that would be visually beautiful if done correctly but might blow the entire budget? What if the adorkable best friend is cast as some Hollywood hottie who is totally wrong for the character? What if the writers add a love triangle to build tension that is completely unnecessary to the amazing story that’s already been created. What if it’s nothing like the amazing book? What if the movie flops and all your friends wonder why you liked such a stupid story?

Stage Four: Anger
Why did they have to make your favorite book into a movie? There’s no way the (insert number of pages here) pages of amazing plot can be compacted into a 90-minute movie! There’s no way they’ll get Natalie Portman/Shailene Woodley/Sophie Turner to pull off the female lead and it’s impossible Leonardo DiCaprio/Chris [Pratt/Pine/Hemsworth/Evans] will get the male character’s personality right. This movie is going to be terrible! Why would your favorite author let this happen? (S)He is just chasing the next easy paycheck, you thought (s)he was better than that!

Stage Five: Acceptance
Okay, the casting is set and it’s not as bad as you thought. It’s not the director you would have picked, but (s)he has made some decent films in the past, some you even liked, and you can put your faith in him/her. Plus, the teaser trailer was way better than you expected and it looks like they didn’t completely cut your favorite scene. It’s going to be a bit different, but you’re okay with that. A movie is a different creative mind’s interpretation of something you loved. They’re not going to imagine it the same way you did.

Have you been through these stages? Any others you would add? I posted yesterday about some movie/TV adaptations I’m still excited about. We’ll see how long it takes me to accept them.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

2018 Book to Screen Adaptations I’m Excited For

12 Feb

Each year, I get excited about seeing some books I’ve enjoyed coming to the big screen. Sometimes, I’m nervous. Other times, giddy. There are a huge number of books coming to theatres and the small screen this year. Below are the ones I’m excited for.

Love, Simon (book titled Simon vs. the Homosapien Agenda) by Becky Albertalli. I haven’t read this one yet, but I’m really excited to see what the screen does with a very well-received book. I’m hoping to do an audiobook of it quite soon.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Oh. My. Gosh! I’ve been looking forward to this one since I finished the book, forced my husband to read it, and nerded out over the amazing storyline with him. It’s been three years and I’m finally close to seeing it on-screen!

The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz. Another one I have yet to read that’s been languishing on my shelf. I loved the three books Larson wrote and I’m hoping Lagercrantz did well adapting Lisbeth and Mikael for his plots. I need to listen to or read this one soon!

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. It’s a push saying this is based on a book, but my excitement is no joke! You all know what a Potterhead I am and this is feeding my love and playing into my 1920s obsession.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer. This is one of the first books I read because I found it on Goodreads so it has a sentimental place in my heart. It was a cute story and I’m excited to see what’s done with the WWII setting.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. This will be awesome. Some of Bradbury’s ideas actually came to be. Others were a bit off base and off the wall. It will be interesting to see what the scriptwriters decided to do with the crazy world Bradbury created.

Ashes in the Snow (book titled Between Shades of Grey) by Ruta Sepetys. This is another one I haven’t read yet but have sitting on my shelf. I’ve heard amazing things about this author so I better get around to read it soon so I can enjoy the movie!

Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan. Confession time: I didn’t know this was a book first. I already watched the first episode and I’m liking it so far! I’m not sure I’ll go back and read the book, but I plan to watch the series through to the end.

C.B. Strike (based on the Cormoran Strike novels- The Cuckoo’s Calling, The Silkworm, and Career of Evil) by Robert Galbraith AKA J.K. Rowling. I’ve loved the first three books so far and I’m excited to see what the series looks like as a TV show. I hope the plots aren’t too rushed and can be spread out over a few episodes if not a season each.

The Miniaturist by Jesse Burton. This book wasn’t a favorite of mine, but I think seeing it on the TV screen and getting a visual of Amsterdam in that time period would be amazing. I’d love to see the town Nella explores and the great sugar stores Johannes has.

I guess I have a lot of watching to do! Any other movies or TV shows you all are excited for, readers? Are you waiting for any of these?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

‘The Color Purple’ Movie Review

8 Feb

Movie Poster via Amazon

I was well aware of the movie version of this book. I’m aware of the play as well so I’ll have to keep an eye open and see if it’s being put on anywhere near me. You can read my book review of The Color Purple and I recommend the movie as well!

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Whoopi Goldberg. I didn’t know she was in this and I loved her! It seems like this might have been her first major role and I think she killed it. Celie’s a character that could easily come off as slow or unresponsive but Goldberg played her wonderfully. I got a better sense of the character from her. The young actress was incredible, too. I would have loved to see the two act together.

Harpo. I didn’t understand his characterization in the book, but the way he came across in the movie was great. He was always well-intentioned, even when he fought with Sofia but he was a bumbling idiot a lot of the time as well.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Fewer time jumps. The book took place over a long period of time but because of aging the actresses, the movie concentrated a lot on Celie’s marriage to Mister and the year or so on either side of that and then on a time about 12-20 years later. I liked having a more set time period because I struggled knowing how much time had passed and how old children were and how long Shug had been with Mister.

Mister’s work ethic. There was a big point in the book about him being lazy and doing nothing around the house. The movie made it clear he wasn’t good in the home, but it showed him working the fields a lot and putting in the effort to earn a living. I found this a little contradictory but it wasn’t too distracting.

Cover image via Goodreads

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

Sofia’s imprisonment. She comes back with an injured eye but it’s never really explained what happened to her or where she was. It almost seems like the injury happened when she was living with her sisters. I think her injury should have been taken out or it should have been clearer that she’d been in jail.

Mister’s redemption. He really redeemed himself by the end of the book but at the end of the movie, you were just glad he was gone. He might have been a better man when he had to be by himself, but we see him as a lonely drunk who manages to clean his porch, not a man who’s turned his life around.

Things That Changed Too Much

Not thinking Nettie was dead. To me, this was the largest emotional blow and not having it in the movie made the movie a little easier to take. It was alluded to, that there was a letter that went to Mister’s house, but we never hear that Nettie’s ship sank and she’s presumed dead. I wish that had made it in the final cut.

Shug and Celie’s relationship. This was such a big point in the book! The women share a kiss in the movie, but there’s almost nothing about Shug and Celie loving each other and how Shug running off with a younger man breaks Celie’s heart. I wish something more about that had been in because it said a lot about Shug’s character that the movie missed.

I was crying toward the end of the movie and (of course!) that’s when the maintenance guy showed up. I bet I looked silly. Reader, have you seen The Color Purple movie? What did you think?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 7-February-2018

7 Feb

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Currently reading: I feel like I can say I made good progress with A Widow for One Year by John Irving. I didn’t drive as much this week as I did the week before but I had one or two longer trips where I got through a disk. I hope to finish this up in the next two weeks, I’ve really liked it!
Progress has slowed a bit on Harry Potter y las Reliquias de la Muerte by J.K. Rowling. School is starting up and that’s meaning a lot of nights where I’m too tired to read before bed! It’s a sad situation for me, but a reality some times. I’ll keep pressing forward as I always want to finish one book in Spanish each year and I’m committed now that I’m over 200 pages in.
I’ve gotten through about a third of My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. It’s slow-moving but it has a lot to say about human nature that I’m enjoying. The characters are so realistic that I can almost re-name them to be friends from my childhood!
I haven’t made much headway in The Circle by Dave Eggers. Lunch at work has been cut short a lot so I’ve only gotten through a few pages each day. I think I’m (embarrassingly) still on chapter 1!

Recently finished: No surprise that I didn’t finish anything this week. I’m not sure I’ll have anything here next week either. I did manage to write a review of The Color Purple that went up on Monday so please check that out! I’ll be posting my book-to-film review tomorrow so get ready for that!

Reading Next: My plan is still to read Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire after I finish Irving. I’ll need a refresher on what happened in Wicked before I do. I remember the book and the musical being very different, but not much more than that.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: The Color Purple by Alice Walker (4/5)

5 Feb

I forget who recommended this to me. I’ve felt for a while like I should have read an Alice Walker book already and a little shocked that I hadn’t and if I was going to read one of her books, it should be this one. I was glad to find an ebook copy that I could check out over and over while I read it slowly. It’s always a treasure for me when I’m able to do this.

Cover image via Goodreads

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Summary from Goodreads:

Set in the deep American South between the wars, it is the tale of Celie, a young black girl born into poverty and segregation. Raped repeatedly by the man she calls ‘father’, she has two children taken away from her, is separated from her beloved sister Nettie and is trapped into an ugly marriage. But then she meets the glamorous Shug Avery, singer and magic-maker – a woman who has taken charge of her own destiny. Gradually, Celie discovers the power and joy of her own spirit, freeing her from her past and reuniting her with those she loves.

Gosh, this book was sad! It cheered up in parts, but overall, I found myself feeling bad for Celie and Nettie and every other character in it. It felt like no one had any luck at all and I wished I could have helped them in some way. I enjoyed Nettie’s story when it came into play and I found her fascinating. Her life was so different from Celie’s that it was almost unimaginable. I was so absorbed in Celie’s world that hearing about living with an African tribe seemed as foreign to me as it must have to Celie.

The characters jumped off the page to me. I believed them wholeheartedly which made it even harder to accept their bad luck and bad circumstances. I did find I had some trouble keeping the grandchildren’s generation straight. I couldn’t remember who was related to who or living with who and I stopped trying by the end. It felt like a big happy family and I think that’s what Celie was able to create.

Nettie was so easy to love. She fostered such a strong love for her sister and cared for her niece and nephew a great deal. I’m not sure if my aunts would find me adopted by another couple and volunteer to serve as a missionary in rural Africa for years just to keep an eye on me! I thought it was amazing that Nettie would make so many sacrifices for her family and she won my heart in doing so.

Sofia was the rebellious voice I think exists inside all of us. She said what she thought when she wanted to and it got her in trouble. There have been many times I wanted to say something but had to bite my tongue so I didn’t suffer the consequences like Sofia did.

Alice Walker
Image via Chartwell Speakers

Shug’s plotline was the most interesting to me. I had trouble imagining a woman like her who was so loved by so many people. She seemed too good to be true. Hearing about her relationship with Celie and how it developed was very rewarding because it was the beginning of Celie’s happiness and I started to finally think that the book could have a happy ending.

This is a bit of a spoiler, but I have to share my least favorite part. Skip this if you don’t want it ruined. Thinking Nettie had died almost broke my heart! I was so sad that Walker included that, especially when it turned out not to be true. I think I cried at work when I read it. It reminded me how poor communication was before telephones and I was just shocked that Celie could get news like that, not have it substantiated, and keep hoping that Nettie was alive. It crushed me a bit, though.

Celie had to deal with a lot. The book started when she was very young and carried her through much of her life. All the terrible things that happened to her were not compacted but rather took place again and again as she grew up. She had to keep her faith. At first, it was writing her prayers. Later, it was focusing on her sister and how much she loved her. Celie’s style of writing and communicating with those she loved kept her going even when everything seemed to be against her. This book is a triumph of the human spirit.

Writer’s Takeaway: The letter or diary style was a great way to write this book. It made Celie approachable and relatable. It allowed Walker to use her dialect and contrasted it well with Nettie’s. It also let Celie talk about intimate things in her relationship with Shug that she might not have discussed in another medium. This style is great for getting to know a character intimately.

I enjoyed the story and learned a lot about life in the time period, something I always hope for in historical fiction. Four out of Five Stars.

This book fulfilled the 1900-1919 time period for the When Are You Reading? Challenge. Per SparkNotes, the early chapters took place during the 1910s so I’ll take it.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts
Alice Walker’s The Color Purple | Lambeth Library
Alice Walker: The Color Purple | C.C.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker | Project Pulitzer
Themes in Alice Walker’s The Color Purple | Culture, Literature, and Me
Alice Walker: The Color Purple (1983) | Books, Bikes, Food

Challenge Update, January 2018

1 Feb

Well, January is starting off stronger than I expected. That’s good because the rest of my year is looking very busy! I’m going to remain hopeful that I can finish the goals I set for myself but I might be playing catch up in December. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in January:

The Marriage Plot // Jeffrey Eugenides (4/5)
Please Look After Mom // Kyung-Sook Shin (3/5)
How to Win Friends and Influence People // Dale Carnegie (3/5)
The Elements of Style // William Strunk Jr. (4/5)
The Color Purple // Alice Walker (4/5)

I’ll have my review of Purple up early next week and then I’ll be completely caught up! I like this feeling.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

4/12
This is a strong start for me! I’m very pleased with it. All of my books except The Elements of Style were put in a time period. I could have stretched it a bit and included that one, but it didn’t feel as if it belonged in a specific time period as much as the others did. It’s great to have a few of these checked off already!

Goodreads Challenge

5/55
Starting off one book ahead of schedule! I’m feeling good but I know I’m going to have to keep pushing myself to maintain this pace and finish 55 books this year. It’s a stretch goal for myself and I’m a bit nervous about accomplishing it.

Book of the Month

I’m going to have to pick The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides this month. The book started slow but ended up being really fun for me to read. I’m excited to get to another Eugenides novel, possibly this year!

Added to my TBR

Are you ready for some crazy news? Not only am I down to 101 (I can hardly believe it) but I didn’t add any books to my shelf this month! I know, I’m probably living under a rock to be able to accomplish that, but I’m super excited. Getting below 100 seems so much more viable now.

Personal Challenge

I used these monthly posts to keep myself accountable to my personal goals for 2017 and I’m excited to do that again this year. You all were so supportive before.

  • Graduate and keep my 4.0- We’ll see. I start my first class on Monday and I’m a bit intimidated by it so far. Has anyone ever heard of an online class where you have to take the quizzes during a set 90 minutes on Thursday nights? This seems unreasonable to me in an online class!
  • Travel to Europe with my husband- We’re getting there! I have a place to stay in Amsterdam and I’m hoping to meet up with a friend in Scandinavia so travel plans are still in the works here.
  • Complete a race per month- I did the Lifetime Fitness Indoor Triathlon again, the second year in a row. I didn’t swim as far this year but I did place well! I was third in my age category (women 39 and under) and fifth amongst all women. I’ve got to get myself running faster to get a better place next year, haha.
  • Complete a 2018 Weather Blanket- I’ve started and got through the first two weeks of January. I’ve set it aside to work on a baby blanket but I plan to get back to it and catch up again as soon as that’s over.

How are your challenges going so far? I hope you’re off to a good start If you love historical fiction, give some thought to my challenge for 2018, it’s fun!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 31-January-2018

31 Jan

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Currently reading: I was able to make some good progress on A Widow for One Year by John Irving. I had a lot of meetings to drive to last week so I got through three disks! I’m still just over halfway through this book but I’m feeling good about finishing it before the library makes me bring it in to prove I didn’t lose it.
I made steady progress in Harry Potter y las Reliquias de la Muerte by J.K. Rowling. I’ve been training hard and some nights I go to bed without reading so I know I could have read more, but I’m still happy with what I’ve gotten through.
Sad news that the audiobook I have access to for The Poe Shadow was abridged! I decided to pass it up in favor of the full novel sometime in the future. Instead, I started listening to My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. A very good friend of mine said a literature professor she had during her MFA said this was her favorite novel of all time and I’ve had it on my shelf for years. I’m glad I’m finally getting to it.
I needed a new ebook and the next on my list is one I’m very excited about: The Circle by Dave Eggers! I really wanted to read this one a while ago and never got around to it. I’ve just started but I’m very excited.

Recently finished: No surprise that I finished The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White. It was a quick audiobook though I wish I’d had a different narrator for my experience. I posted my review yesterday if you want to read all my thoughts. I gave it 4 out of 5 Stars.
I also finished The Color Purple by Alice Walker which was a pleasant surprise. I was also glad to have a happy(er) ending. I should have my review of that up tomorrow and a movie review up next week. I love when there’s a movie!

I posted my review on How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie on Monday if you want to check that one out. I gave it 3 out of 5 Stars.

Reading Next: I’ll be out-of-town for my next book club meeting so I don’t have any pressure there to put aside Harry for another book. If I had to guess, I’d say I’ll need a CD Audiobook next and I’ll turn to Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire. I read Wicked when I was in high school and I’ll have to find a refresher on what happened so I can continue with the next book in the series!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!