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JennW in SoCal

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JennW in SoCal last won the day on January 4 2013

JennW in SoCal had the most liked content!

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About JennW in SoCal

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    Hive Mind Queen Bee
  • Birthday August 5

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  • Biography
    violinist, former homeschool mom who graduated 2
  • Interests
    bird watching, gardening
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  1. JennW in SoCal

    Book a Week 2019 - BW3: 52 Books Bingo - Something Old

    Awwww, thank you @Robin M!!! I'm copying this, and saving it where I can find it. I love reading about a place and reading literature from or of that place before I visit.
  2. JennW in SoCal

    Book a Week 2019 - BW3: 52 Books Bingo - Something Old

    Yes -- thank you for sharing this story! What a wonderful weekend to have shared with your dad. How was David Weber in person? Sometimes I get smitten by an author just based on hearing them talk at events and I wind up reading books which I might not otherwise pick up.
  3. JennW in SoCal

    Book a Week 2019 - BW3: 52 Books Bingo - Something Old

    I'm finishing Basilisk Station on my kindle, and as I expected, it is much, much better reading it in print than listening to the mono-toned narrator. I thought I had heard of these before, and it was you AND Nan! What better recommendation could there be? That other book I mentioned, The Space Between the Stars is one I think you'd enjoy and anyone else who would like a more hopeful dystopian book. A friend put it into my hands saying it was her favorite book of last year.
  4. JennW in SoCal

    Book a Week 2019 - BW3: 52 Books Bingo - Something Old

    You posted it toward the end of last year, which is why I was asking again, lol. I'll search for it and will add House with Green Shutters to my list. I read Ivanhoe in the last 3 years or so... I may spend a day or two by myself in Edinburgh, so fully appreciate the need for being paranoid!!
  5. JennW in SoCal

    Book a Week 2019 - BW3: 52 Books Bingo - Something Old

    @Violet Crown Loved the Anglo-Saxon elegy. Thank you for sharing it! And The Virginian sounds like a fun a read. I'm ready to pay attention and take notes on your list of recommended Scottish reads. Poetry, novels. Favorite Edinburgh bookstores and anything else you think I should know.
  6. JennW in SoCal

    Book a Week 2019 - BW3: 52 Books Bingo - Something Old

    Still a slow start to the reading year. I did finish a book, The Space Between the Stars by Anne Corlett. It is a hopeful, quasi dystopian sci fi which was very engaging, but not terribly memorable. I'm listening to the first in a series recommended by my brother in law who is a long time sci-fi reader. He loves the politics in two series written by David Weber, and I decided to start with the Honor Harrington series. On Basilisk Station is ok, though the reader leaves a bit to be desired. I'm not inspired by politics, but do appreciate the strong female lead who is based on Horatio Hornblower, and I like the conceit of the British Navy in space. This may be a series I continue in print (or see if the narrator eventually changes). About audio books. Anyone else find American women in general to be the worst narrators? I can think of exceptions, of course, but I've had a recent run of annoying female readers, all American. I'm dipping in and out of the beautiful and delightful The Writer's Map: An Atlas of Imaginary Lands. Each essay is filled with rough sketches drawn by authors as they create book, and of course there are lots of illustrations and maps from books. Some essays are written by authors, some by illustrators. I just love it.
  7. I finally finished a book!!!!! The Space Between the Stars is a hopeful dystopian-ish sci-fi. The premise is that a virus has killed 99.9% of all humans across several planets, and one survivor, a woman, wants to go home to earth. It isn't great literature, but it was absorbing, thoughtful and hopeful. I didn't know what to rate it on Goodreads, so I just didn't! Coffee or tea, but coffee for breakfast. Can I have a brownie with that ice cream for maximum gluttony? And I'd rather have dinner with some of my long time friends from here.
  8. I loved homeschooling high school almost as much as I loved homeschooling early elementary. Teens start to mature into rational young adults during these grades and being with them feels like a reward for surviving the middle school and tween years. These boards, I think, make the prospect of homeschooling high school, and the college admissions process, seem far more daunting than it is. I've got 2 successful college grads now. Neither took any AP courses (and one went to a competitive private liberal arts college). I followed their interests, helped them find internships and mentors, even loosely unschooled some subjects. I drove them to community college classes, and delighted in listening to them bubble wth enthusiasm over those classes. I read aloud. We took the odd day off to go to the zoo or to the movies, just to spend time together before they headed off to start their lives. Both are very grateful for the education they received. 9th grade doesn't have to be that different from 8th grade. Sure you keep records and keep an eye on college admission requirements, but it probably isn't that different from what you've been doing. Shoot -- I didn't bother putting together a transcript until the summer after junior year!
  9. I've not settled back into a reading routine due to cleaning out and reorganizing drawers, closets and cabinets. What a daunting and exhausting task! It seemed the natural thing to do when putting away Christmas, but it is like the children's book When you Give a Moose a Muffin -- you start one thing and see something else that needs to be done first, then something else has to happen and another day has gone by. My reading is further unsettled as I'm ready to abandon my audiobook. Foundryside is a just o.k. steam punk-ish fantasy, not sure if it is meant to be YA but I'd call it a gritty YA. Anyway, I'm disappointed as I had been blown away by the author's previous work, specifically City of Stairs. This one seems rushed, there are far too many information dumps to explain the tech and the world, and the characters are standard YA trope characters. Lol -- I'm depressing myself with this post! I'm going dig through my stack of books and pull out a mystery to start tonight!
  10. Nope -- no need to set and state a goal!! I've never done any challenges or goals, though I almost completed bingo one year by accident as the books I had read nicely fit into the bingo spaces. @marbel Crack in the Edge of the World is the Simon Winchester book, yes? Does he mention in the book that he studied geology at Oxford (or was it Cambridge?) I always enjoy his books, especially when he reads them on audible. The Krakatoa book is my favorite. It is in that book that he discusses his geology studies, including a research trip he went on in Greenland back in the 60s or 70s. I haven't read the California book as I'm not sure I would glean anything new. AND @Robin M and @Melissa M (alas it seems I can't tag her) my first bird of the year was a lovely white crowned sparrow, which only visit us from October to March. I especially love their song. And last night I stayed awake listening to the magical sounds of a Great Horned Owl hooting. Perhaps it portends a great musical year?
  11. On the night stand, and scattered around the house...(in other words what I'm currently working on) Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds (The perfect bed time read -- a few lyrical chapters on the delights of backyard and neighborhood birds.) Foundryside (chunky sci-fi on audio.) All Strangers are Kin (finishing from 2018, a memoir of traveling in the Middle East to master the Arabic language) I also have 2 map books, which I received as Christmas presents, to dip in and out of: The Writer's Map: An Atlas of Imaginary Lands All Over the Map: A Cartographic Odyssey
  12. JennW in SoCal

    Book a Week 2018 - BW52: Year End Wrap Up

    Just sent several friend requests on GR, which means I ought to start keeping my reading lists up to date! This is my GR page
  13. JennW in SoCal

    Book a Week 2018 - BW52: Year End Wrap Up

    Oh good, I can still post my wrap up! I was out of town for the holidays and hadn't kept up with the threads, so was afraid I'd missed out! Will go back and read everyone's wrap up reports after posting this. I read 66 mostly wonderful, often excellent and occasionally stupid books. Some random stats: 33 female authors, 33 male authors. 29 mysteries 15 sci-fi/fantasy 13 literary fiction 9 nonfiction (6 of which are memoirs) Among my favorites are: Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison Cloudstreet by Tim Winton Famous Father Dad by Jamie Bernstein Circe by Madeline Miller The Mere Wife by Maria Davana Headley City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett Mysteries remain my go-to genre for engaging but mindless comfort reads. I'll go with the armchair psychology explanation of mysteries being satisfying because someone puts a chaotic world back in order. And the one book I abandoned half way through was Kristin Lavransdatter. I was satisfied with what I read and just wasn't compelled to go further.
  14. JennW in SoCal

    Book a Week 2018 - BW50: Bookish Birthdays and News

    We'll be performing in the royal chapel at Stirling castle and Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh. I know we will visit Isle of Skye and Glasgow, and can't remember now where else we're performing (Iona maybe?) I'll be playing fiddle -- American fiddle, that is, and otherwise singing. Since we are from a Presbyterian church, we'll be visiting Haddington where John Knox was born and raised. So any reading recommendations will be welcome -- but not yet! Let me get through this holiday season first....
  15. JennW in SoCal

    Book a Week 2018 - BW50: Bookish Birthdays and News

    Just stopping by for a quick hello. No reading to report as I'm buried in holiday music gigs, sewing projects for gifts and other holiday festivities. Looking forward to collapsing on the couch and just reading after Christmas! I will likely re-ask in another month for a repeat of that list of Scottish titles -- I'm going there (and Ireland) with my church choir next summer!
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