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Eight Things I Did on My Blogging Break

currently july 26 2015.jpg

Happy Sunday! When I started my blogging break 17 days ago, I had grand plans to read and relax and try to get my mojo back… this is what I did instead:

1. Watched 25 episodes of White Collar on Netflix. I don’t know where I found this much time to watch tv. I also watched many episodes of Suits. While both shows are enjoyable, this wasn’t the most rejuvenating activity.

2. Listened to Armada by Ernst Cline while coloring. Listening to audio books while coloring — I bought Splendid Cities by Rosie Goodwin and Alice Chadwick and Secret Garden by Johanna Basford — was the most satisfying discovery of my blogging break. I will definitely be doing this more.

3. Served as sous chef during a ribs cooking contest and took photos at a parade during the hottest weekend of the year. Our annual city festival was a lot of fun, but man, so dang hot. I followed up that working weekend with a day of where, as I recall, I watched a lot of Netflix.

4. Ate cookies shaped like my sister’s face. My mom and I hosted a party celebrating my sister getting licensed as an architect in Minnesota. The face cookies were a party highlight.

5. Bought seven (maybe eight? maybe more?) books, and went to our library book sale where I bought six more. I’m planning to show all of them off in more detail in a post later this week, so stay tuned.

6. Hosted a retirement party, complete with margaritas. Losing one of my coworkers to retirement was probably the saddest thing over my entire break. Learning to function without her has been the most challenging thing.

7. Visited Brainerd where I ate breakfast at Perkins with Sheila (Book Journey) and pretended to be abducted by aliens. I was in Brainerd for a work-related training, so I found some time to see Sheila and got to act like a weirdo in a goofy training exercise. It’s hard to explain…

8. Read one book. Yep, that’s right. In 17 days away from blogging I managed to finish just one book, an egalley of Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff (Sept. 15 from Riverhead). And I really only managed to read that in fits and spurts, 10 to 15 pages at a time. Thank goodness it’s really good!

Realizing I’d let reading fall so far down my priority list is one of the reasons I’m jumping back into blogging. Without the accountability of the blog, I end up filling my spare time with activities that simply pass the time rather than activities that rejuvenate me. I absolutely needed the break — the last few weeks have been full and stressful and emotionally charged — but I also missed this space, and all of you, quite a bit. So, with that, I’m getting back to work.

The two books I’m making my way through today are Ghettoside by Jill Leovy (literary journalism about murder and justice in Los Angeles County) and 11/22/63 by Steven King (time travel and the John F. Kennedy assassination, I think — Sheila recommended it, calling the book “King but not cray-cray”).

What’s the best book you’ve read in the last couple of weeks? Anything I need to get my hands on right away?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jeff H July 26, 2015, 8:54 am

    Welcome back! Looking forward to your comments on Armada and your new book list.

  • Shannon @ River City Reading July 26, 2015, 9:00 am

    Glad to see you back! It sounds like you had a great time off, but I can see how things called you back. I haven’t read much King, but loved 11/22/63, and I just finished Ghettoside. Many, many thoughts…it was different than I expected.

    • Kim July 27, 2015, 7:54 pm

      I’ve got about 100 pages left of Ghettoside and yeah, lots of thoughts. It’s a good read, but feels a little bit too comfortable to me.

  • Marie July 26, 2015, 9:33 am

    Welcome back! Sounds like a varied and fun blogging break. 🙂

  • Bryan G. Robinson July 26, 2015, 9:37 am

    As I’ve only read a few books since you’ve been away, I don’t have any recommendations of anything you have to read, but as I said on Twitter, I’m glad to see you back. I’ve been binge-watching too, mostly NCIS, and today might start up Orphan Black. We’ll see. I might *GASP* read too…

    …that’s great that you were able to meet up with Sheila this past week. I’m off to check out her post about it too. I’ve only met up with bloggers once, and they weren’t/aren’t book bloggers, but it still was enjoyable and interesting to see them IRL.

    • Kim July 27, 2015, 7:55 pm

      Orphan Black is so great — one of our favorites. I hope you like it!

  • BermudaOnion(Kathy) July 26, 2015, 11:22 am

    It sounds like you had a lot of fun! I got a coloring books and colored pencils last week but I’m not too good at it. I haven’t tried coloring while listening to an audio book but I have done it while I’ve been on the phone. I’m so glad you got to see Sheila!!

  • Beth July 26, 2015, 11:42 am

    I recently read The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith and really enjoyed it. You should read the first one in the series before, but the second one is where the story REALLY starts getting good (and the characters more interesting).

    • Kim July 27, 2015, 7:56 pm

      I listened to the first one on audio book and thought it was good, not great. I’m glad to hear the characters and story get more interesting in the second — maybe I’ll get that on audio soon.

  • Kay July 26, 2015, 12:36 pm

    You did have some fun things going one – books or no books. Those face cookies are so cute! Are they designed for each person or how are they made? Inquiring minds. Saw that you had spent a bit of time with Sheila. Think it did her good. Will look forward to hearing about your new books and I’ll add my recommendation to Beth’s above – the Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling mysteries are good. Welcome back.

    • Kim July 27, 2015, 7:57 pm

      I ordered them from Parker’s Crazy Cookies, https://parkerscrazycookies.com/. Basically, you send them a photo of a person and they’ll design the cookies to look like them. We did a couple of proofs back and forth to settle on this one.

  • Justice @ manuscripts & marginalia July 26, 2015, 1:28 pm

    Welcome back! You missed a lot of bookish hubbub about Go Set a Watchman (though even I posted about it). I finished Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me, which is a fairly short read that packs quite the bite. I loved it and can’t wait to discuss it. Probably my favorite read of the last couple of weeks, though I also enjoyed Martha Southgate’s The Fall of Rome, which has similar themes about race and education.

    • Kim July 27, 2015, 7:58 pm

      I was definitely following the GSAW chatter online, even though I haven’t read the book yet. I’m not surprised that it wasn’t great, but definitely surprised at some of the directions it seems to have gone.

  • Diane July 26, 2015, 2:24 pm

    It sounds like you had some fabulous diversions from blogging. It’s nice to do different stuff without feeling compelled to do something.

  • Florinda July 26, 2015, 3:30 pm

    I’m glad you had a good break, but even more glad to see you back, and sorry I couldn’t be at that breakfast with you and Sheila–I miss both of you! I have been getting books out of my house and reading books that I will be paid to review over the next couple of months. Blogging’s still going a little slow, but it’s still summer and no one seems all that worried about it.

  • Jenny July 26, 2015, 4:10 pm

    Welcome back! I love how many bloggers are getting into coloring now — I love seeing everyone’s gorgeous coloring creations. 😀

    Books I have been reading lately that were awesome: I don’t know, BUT I got in something like twelve library holds all at once this past week, which means I have plenty of (hopefully) awesome reading ahead of me this week. I’m particularly looking forward to reading Ta-Nehisi Coates’s new book, even though I know it’s going to make me sad.

    • Kim July 27, 2015, 7:59 pm

      Yeah, that Coates one is going to make me sad too. But I just need to sit down and read it because it’s important and going to be worth it. That’s how I feel about Citizen too.

  • Teresa July 26, 2015, 5:30 pm

    11/22/63 is one of King’s best. It’s one I happily recommend to people who aren’t sure they like his books but want to try. He does all the things he does well in it and doesn’t get too far out there.

  • Susan July 26, 2015, 7:33 pm

    Welcome back. Hope you feel somewhat refreshed. My Hub tells me King’s 11/22/63 is terrific. I should also conquer the tomb sometime. I look forward to seeing what books you recently got. I’ve been reading some good ones for sure. No time to lose

  • hillary roberts July 27, 2015, 9:29 am

    Welcome back!! I have not been reading much either. It sounds like you had a fun blogging break.

  • Michelle July 27, 2015, 11:23 am

    I haven’t tried coloring and listening to audiobooks, but that might help me get through the monstrosity of Atlas Shrugged. It’s a reread for a readalong, but I just can’t find the time to listen to it as long as I should each day to stay on schedule for the readalong.

    11/22/63 is an amazing book. You will definitely love it!

    Those face cookies are awesome! Where/how did you get them?

    Have a great week!

    • Kim July 27, 2015, 8:00 pm

      The face cookies came from Parker’s Crazy Cookies, https://parkerscrazycookies.com/. It was a super easy process and they turned out awesome (even if they’re a bit pricey for cookies — worth it!).

  • Sarah's Book Shelves July 27, 2015, 2:33 pm

    I absolutely loved 11/22/63….I’d agree with Sheila’s description 🙂 And – I plan to read Fates & Furies on my August vacation and I can’t wait! Welcome back!

  • Trisha July 27, 2015, 3:09 pm

    I love White Collar. Cookies shaped like faces are now my top priority. Pretending to be abducted by aliens is in my near future (I envision a game with the kiddo).

  • Lory @ Emerald City Book Review July 28, 2015, 10:29 am

    Glad to see you back here. The face-shaped cookies are a treat indeed! Reading-wise, I just finished A Royal Experiment, about the private life of George III. In the UK it was originally called The Strangest Family, and I think that may actually be a better title — they were indeed a very strange bunch. Fascinating though.

    • Kim August 2, 2015, 12:47 pm

      That sounds really interesting!

  • Jennine G. July 29, 2015, 8:38 am

    Outlander was my best read of the summer so far. A huge book that you get lost in, basically what I needed. I love 11/22/63 – my favorite Stephen King. I hope you enjoy it!

  • Shaina August 12, 2015, 4:30 pm

    What a fantastic break! I need to do something awesome so people will make cookies in my likeness.

    I think you’re completely right that we all need breaks sometimes but that, when we stop making goals or deadlines for ourselves on things we want to get done, we can get stuck in a rut of just passing the time.

    I’m glad you got the rejuvenation you need, and very glad you’re back! 🙂