Reading Through The Stacks: Loyalty To Books

I’ve read 31 books this year. And started countless others.

Recent complete reads have been:

The Magicians

To me, this is Harry Potter on speed mixed with The Never-Ending Story. Maybe that’s just me. But it did end. And now I have to read the sequel. Damn.

13 Little Blue Envelopes

Because I too traipsed around Europe as a young person. And I have an Aunt who passed away, who kind of guides me through life. There aren’t any letters for me, though. Poems, but no letters.

I even met a weirdo. These days, I much prefer the geek I’m getting married to.

The Night Circus

Loved this one. Ten stars. I would say not my usual kind of book. But I’ve forgotten what my usual is. I suspect I read this at just the right time to be swept away.

Seven Up

Yes, I’m still reading this series. No, I haven’t lost count. or heart. Yet.


I read this because I was looking for another one of his, and I found this one. Read it cover to cover, which may not be the best way to read essays. I’ve thrown it at Sarge, but not before highlighting ones he should read.

Blood, Bones and Butter

Continuing on my memoir kick, I’d been waiting AGES to read this book. A bit of armchair travel here too, since Sarge and I have decided not to go out of the country until the honeymoon.


This is another one that can be filed under ‘escapist’. Kept imaging Wall-E. I figure I read grown up books when I was a young adult, so I can read some YA now.

And these are some of the books that are in various stages of unread around the house:

Before I Go To Sleep

I think I’m at the point just before it gets predictable. Having said that, I was reading this yesterday as Sarge came home from work,  he put the key in the door and I jumped so high my butt cleared my seat. Now, I know all about my heightened fright-reflex, but that was a little excessive.

A Discovery of Witches

Loving this.

How I Became A Famous Novelist

I consider this one research.


How many books are you reading now?

What keeps you reading to the end?

What makes you want to throw a book across a room?

Some of these are saying: Don’t forget to finish us, Lorna. We LOVE you!

Words On Love

Since Sarge and I decided to have our wedding invitations printed, the next question is:  What awesome and entirely appropriate quotes will we include on the invitations?

Last night at the pub I may have said, ‘I’ll arm-wrestle you for that one.’  And now I can’t remember which one was on the block.

Anyway, I thought I’d share some words on love that we both love:


“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
Lao Tzu


“We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love—true love.”
Robert Fulghum, True Love


“I have a million things to talk to you about. All I want in this world is you. I want to see you and talk. I want the two of us to begin everything from the beginning.”
Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood


“I love you also means I love you more than anyone loves you, or has loved you, or will love you, and also, I love you in a way that no one loves you, or has loved you, or will love you, and also, I love you in a way that I love no one else, and never have loved anyone else, and never will love anyone else.”
Jonathan Safran Foer


And the epic and so very true ‘Date A Girl Who Reads’


What are some of your favourite quote/words on love?

penguin and heart
penguin and heart (Photo credit: Scorpions and Centaurs)

Reading Through the Stacks: Every Letter Was a Love Letter

Yesterday was spent trading notes with Sarge to save his hay-fevered voice.  When was the last time you wrote a love note or letter?

Somewhere between note 1 and 17, I finished reading my 20th book of the year.

Recent reads have been:

 The Marriage Plot – Read this in three days.  The first two I was right there with it.  Yesterday, not so much.  I was just happy to read complex sentences again.

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1) – I read this because I have a not-so-new obsession with talked-about books.  I found myself counting the times Ana mentioned her inner goddess.  And then I lost it.  Perhaps the best thing about reading this was appreciating Ellen’s video.

The History of Love – I lived with this book.

The Shape Of Water – Must read all the others and catch up with the show.  Think I know what our next box-set will be.

Hot Six (Stephanie Plum, #6) – These haven’t become boring yet.  Predictable and comfortable, but not boring.

 The Bees – Read this aloud, to myself.  In my living-room.  In honour of (inter)National (kinda) Poetry Month.  And to drown out the not-so dulcet tones of my upstairs neighbour.  The one who is constantly on the phone.  At that infuriating level that’s loud enough to be annoying, but too muffled to be useful in my writing.  Except to say it’s worse than a slow, tapping leak.

The Freedom Writers Diary – I got this because of my not-so recent obsession books on writing/books that encourage writing/books made into films.  And because I was looking for something else and found this on the way.  And then realised it was a book I’d wanted to read for a long time.  Everybody wins.

Previous books listed here.

What have you been reading?

The History of Love
The History of Love (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Empty Shelf

I am in the midst of sorting out books to give away/sell.  As someone who actively hoards books, this is painful.  But also a good thing.  I want more space, less clutter.  Fewer boxes to cart out when we move.  Somewhere in my mission, I found this:

The Empty Shelf.

I’m posting the above as proof, and for posterity.

What should I do with it?

And if you had an empty shelf, what would you do with it?


How Are You Doing?

I recently read Fifteen Ways To Make Your Blog Irresistible over at Broadside.

I have decided to take each of Caitlin’s points/questions and apply them to my own blog.

Is your blog overly personal? 

I don’t think so.  More personal than I originally had in mind, though.  Without navel-gazing, I would hope.  There is a difference between my blog and my journal.  When I first started, I envisaged a personal public blog, and I think I’m still there.  I planned to write from the perspective of a wheelchair-user who lives in a beautiful, and yet quite inaccessible city.  Because I am, and I do.  But my life is more than that, and so is this blog.  The desire to connect with all kinds of people is still there, though.  And always will be.

Check your spelling, vocabulary and grammar.

I always read a post and then I read it out loud before I hit ‘publish.’

Is this post really worth sharing?  

What, you don’t want to see photos of my cat?  Or my coffee?  You don’t want to hear about my wedding plans?  Or how much I love Sarge?

Sarge is only so-called on this blog, by the way.  I asked him if he wanted me to start using his off-line name and he said he prefers ‘Sarge’ to ‘Giant Nerd.’

You’re being read worldwide — be inclusive.

As in American living in Scotland who happens to be a wheelchair-user, I think I’m doing pretty well on that score.  Might also be worthy of note that I’m Italian and getting married to someone who hates cheese.  That should score me ‘people are people’ points, no?

Is every comment a big thumbs-up?

Aside from the spam, stuff is positive.  Although, someone did think I was too harsh with my hatred of ferrets.  And while I appreciate the likes, I LOVE comments.  Because that leads to discussion.  Don’t be shy.

Are you playing it too safe?

I’ve said some pretty provocative things.  I admitted that grew up thinking Nina Simone was a man, and I once proclaimed my boyfriend-turned-fiancé is better than coffee.

Considering that one of my mother’s cousins found me and then my mother through reading my posts, I think I’m pretty open.

Are you (even occasionally) funny?

I like to laugh.  Mostly at myself.  And share it with others.  And I think the experiences of getting locked in a toilet and being told your head is too big for your passport photo are pretty universal.  And everybody falls off pavements and drives backwards sometimes.  Or is that just me?

Move us!

I hope I do.  If I’m happy, I hope you are, too.  If I’m thinking, I hope you are.  If I’m being a dork, I do hope you would tell me, so we can be dorks together.  Here’s where you tell me I’m too old to be a dork.

Edit, revise, repeat.

Most posts start as written drafts that percolate for a few days. Some of them stew too long.

When I get to posting, I hate formatting that doesn’t look right, so I end up with a bunch of revisions.  Posts take longer to post than to write, sometimes.

Grab us with the first few sentences.

Well, you always want to find out what happens, don’t you?  Did she make it out of the toilet?  I did.

Use paragraphs. 

I’m always promising real paragraphs, because I like to read them myself.

Visuals matter!

I think blogging has made me a better photo-taker.  I wouldn’t think of posting without some show-in-the-tell now, even it’s someone else’s photo, because most people are better at those than me.

Link to other people’s ideas.

I try to do this when fits in with what I’m rambling on about.  Or there’s my blog roll.  Or that one time I linked to the mating rituals of penguins.

The blog format isn’t sexy enough without great content.

For me, this means I need to write more.  In paragraphs.  Even contemplating a blogging schedule and an e-newsletter with extra info/tidbits.

“Voice” matters most.

I could be talking about the Sopranos, Paris, popcorn or losing my phone.  The common thread is me.  Unless I’m quoting someone else.  Or posting a photo of my cat.  Even then I try to make the captions funny.  Funny ha-ha or funny strange, well, that’s open to interpretation.

All that being said, how am I doing?  And how are you doing?

Cuteness via Google