August 21st, 2011

d field day

Book Report (83) and Summer Wrap-Up...

For those of you who happened to Google your title and ended up here, please know that one star is not a bad thing in Robin's world -- just the fact that I picked up your book and started it means that somewhere it's getting good buzz (or that your blurb was really cool). 'R' means it's a re-read. Different colored font means it's an ARC for 2011 (and I'll try to remember to put the month it's released, as well). I'm linking to Tattered Cover's pages for the ARCs.

If you'd like to see my year-to-date four-plus- and five-star recommendations, visit Robin ReadsnWrites.

* I didn't make it beyond the first 20 pages.
** I made it to the end, but I either skimmed or skipped large sections.
*** I might have skipped/skimmed, but I liked it and might read it again.
**** I read at least 95% of the book and it was good -- probably will be reread.
***** I read every word, and I loved it! A favorite and definite reread.

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Diamond Bay, by Linda Howard ****+ Okay, so clearly I'm in a Howard mood :) I liked this one better than the previous, though it's still not as great as those I reread every year (two of her later books). This was definitely entertaining, though, and I really liked the MC (Rachel). She was spunky and courageous throughout. The story: Rachel lost her husband when a story she was writing (as an investigative journalist) drew the wrong kind of attention, but that doesn't stop her from helping an injured (and naked) man washed ashore on her private beach. When she sees the bullet wounds, she knows this isn't a simple injury, but she feels strongly that she should do what she can...and the convalescence becomes much more complicated than she ever imagined. (Adult romance/suspense, released 5/10, publisher (of the version I read): HQN Books)

This is our final day of summer break. E is so excited to start school; D has mixed feelings. We got to meet their teachers on Friday, and I'm happy with both -- very easy compatibility with both. D's teacher is new to our school, but she's been teaching for many years -- and she's my age or older (it's often hard to tell how much older). E's teacher is also of a comparable age, and she's been teaching at our school for quite some time. Unlike E's 1st grade teacher, I think this year's will have no trouble challenging E appropriately, and I'm looking forward to seeing her grow :) (D challenges himself -- so that's not usually the issue.)

I'm probably 75% done with all my responsibilities for the beginning of the year, and that's such a relief! Today, we're trying to finish up a few last minute summer projects (ha). I'm taking the next two weeks as my own personal time -- meaning, while the kiddos are gone, I'm using that time for me. I won't start my other job until September, so I'm going to write, organize, window shop, wander, read, etc. I haven't had much (um, any) time to myself this summer, so I'm feeling a little frazzled.

At the same time, I'm really thankful for all the wonderful moments with the kiddos! We've made art projects, gone hiking, taken pictures, traveled to San Diego (with tons of neat times there), gone to the family cabin, visited an outdoor pool, spent time with friends and family -- and both kids got to partake in some kind of 'sports camp' (E had swimming lessons for a month and D took a flag football camp). It was a fantastic summer, and I think that's part of why it's hard to say good-bye to it, as well -- that, and all that fun stuff made the time fly :)

So here we are, at the beginning of another school year...I'm trying to get my mind in gear and mentally prepare myself for the different feel that having kiddos in school always brings.

How about you? How does school change your life -- and how do you prepare for it?