Monday, October 10, 2016

Monday Musings

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My Saturday evening.

My week: After working all those crazy hours lately, Jarrod got Thursday and Friday off, and he took all of next week off for my mom's visit. It's been so nice to have him around for a change! I had some discouraging news on the job front, though. I had really been hoping to find work at a library while we're here in Hawaii, but it's likely not going to happen any time soon. The public library seldom has openings (and even when they finally do, it would be a major stroke of luck for it to be at the library near our house), and I finally went in and had a chat with my old boss at the base library where I worked last time we were stationed here, and she doesn't expect any openings for an entire year. I'm going absolutely nuts sitting at home by myself so much, so that means it's time to start exploring other options... though I'm not too sure what those might be. There are plenty of good things about the military life, but some of the biggest downsides are leaving behind good jobs and struggling to find employment each time we move.

Reading: I finished "Underground Airlines" by Ben H. Winters, which is set in a present-day America where the Civil War never occurred and slavery is still legal in four states. It was a decent read, though I think it could've been better.

I took a mini reading break, then dove into "To the Bright Edge of the World" by Eowyn Ivey. It's an epistolary novel told in journal entries, letters and articles -- and even includes photos and drawings -- set mostly in 1885 Alaska and Washington Territory. I absolutely loved it and gave it 5 stars! I haven't read Ivey's first book, "The Snow Child," but now I'm definitely hoping to get to it soon. It's also set in Alaska, and I have a thing for books that take place in cold, rugged climates.

Last night I started "Rebecca," the gothic mystery by Daphne Du Maurier, which I've been meaning to read for ages, and next up will be "The Forgotten Garden" by Kate Morton. I've read two of Kate's books and enjoyed them both, and I'd like to read all her work. (Two more to go after this one.)

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Knitting: Not much happening on the knitting front; I made another little stuffed hummingbird this week, but that's it. I need to sit down and do some research so I can order some yarn that'll be suitable for re-starting my Earnest cardigan. (If you recall, I had to set it aside after weeks of work because the yarn I was using wasn't getting the proper gauge and it was coming out way too small.) I also have my eye on a kit for the "Gilmore Girls" mystery knit-along. It's a cowl, which I definitely don't need here in Hawaii, but I love the yarn colors that the kit comes with, and it'd be fun to work on it while watching the "GG" revival. Plus mystery knits are just so much fun! Aaaand my birthday is coming up this month, so perhaps it'll be a gift to myself.

Watching: I watched and thoroughly enjoyed the second half of this season's "Grantchester," which follows the adventures of Sidney Chambers, village vicar/amateur sleuth, in 1950s Cambridgeshire. The more I see of this show the more I love it, and I was thrilled to read it's been renewed for a third season. And Jarrod and I watched the first two episodes of the current season of "Poldark," which just started back on PBS. I love that Jarrod will watch it with me! It takes place in gorgeous Cornwall, England, just after the Revolutionary War.

Eating: I made some tasty white chocolate-macadamia nut cookies this week. And tomorrow I'm baking another batch of those deeelish pumpkin cinnamon rolls for my mom's visit.

Blogging:
Monday Musings
10 Great Reads With Despicable Villains
Book Review: The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan (4.5 stars)
Book Review: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (4.5 stars)
Book Review: His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik (4.5 stars)
I Judge Books by Their Covers: Uprooted

Looking forward to: My mom gets here tomorrow! She'll be visiting for almost a week, and we're taking a little getaway to Kauai, our favorite island, for a few days while she's here. I'm so excited!

I'm linking up with Kathryn of Book Date for It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

24 comments:

  1. I'm sorry to hear about the library job possibilities, but I keep thinking..."But you are in Hawaii!" That's what I'd say to myself everytime something negative happens. And it will be great for you to have your mom there.

    https://readerbuzz.blogspot.com/2016/10/a-week-in-which-my-mailbox-is-full-and.html?m=1

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    1. Yes, that's what I tried to tell myself last time we were stationed here. But this is our second time around and I really didn't want to move back, so that doesn't quite work anymore! ;) In fact, one of the reasons I was so disappointed to learn we were coming here again is that I felt like I'd finally found a portable career that I enjoyed -- and I KNEW I would have a really hard time continuing it in Hawaii.

      I do think a visit with my mom and our little trip to Kauai -- which is always rejuvenating -- will do me good! :)

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  2. I love the you're reading Rebecca. It's my second favorite, after Jane Eyre.

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    1. I'm only one chapter in (that's all I managed before I dozed off last night) but I'm super impressed with the vivid, descriptive writing so far!

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  3. I already put "The Bridge At The End Of The World" on my library hold list. It sounds really good. I live in Washington State I think it will be a great read. "The Snow Child" is on my TBR list.

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    1. Ooh, you should really enjoy it then! The majority of the story is told in journal entries by the Colonel, who is off exploring the Alaskan wilderness, and his wife, Sophie, who stays behind at the Vancouver Barracks in Washington. It was such a good book! Even while I'm starting something else, my head is still back in Alaska with Col. Forrester.

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  4. The premise of Underground Airlines is fascinating, but I've heard mixed reports on the book. And I still haven't read Rebecca!

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    1. I only made it one chapter into "Rebecca" before I fell asleep last night, but I'm sure I'm going to love it. It was written in 1938 so definitely old enough to be a "classic" but the writing is anything but dry and dull. In fact, I'm really impressed so far -- it's so beautifully descriptive! And there's definitely a spooky, suspenseful air happening.

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  5. Beautiful pic! Sorry to hear about the library news, that's a bummer. Maybe something will come along.

    To The Bright Edge of the World sounds interesting!

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    1. Thanks, Greg! "To the Bright Edge" was such a good read -- my head is still stuck in the story! The meat of the plot is told in journal entries by an army colonel exploring unknown territories in Alaska and his wife who stays behind in Washington awaiting his return. I really enjoyed the Native American mythology threaded throughout the story, as well as the rugged Alaskan setting.

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  6. That sunset photo is gorgeous! Aloha!

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    1. Thanks, Lori! It was a lovely evening. :)

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  7. I can see that job hunting and moving frequently wouldn't go well together. I hope you find something that you'll enjoy even if it isn't in a library. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

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    1. Thanks, Kathy! I knew I'd have a much harder time getting a library job here than most places we could've gone, but I was still holding out hope!

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  8. Ok, time to dish. Talk to me about Underground Airlines! I want to know what you would have changed.

    I hope you have a wonderful visit with your mom! :)

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    1. Oh goodness, put me on the spot! ;) Well, I found the premise fascinating, but the writing was a turn-off at times. And I don't know if it was the writing on his conflicted nature, but I never bonded with Victor. I was on the edge of my seat at the end there, but I also didn't really care if he lived or died. I also thought the super-hopeful ending was a little incongruous with the rest of the story. And, minor point, I thought the Bell's Farm scenes were over-the-top. I couldn't even put any beef meals on the grocery list last week. Ugh.

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    2. *the writing OR his conflicted nature -- oops!

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  9. I love that giant acorn! Lol. I am getting an acorn tattoo soon - my son was a preemie and we always say from tiny acorns grow mighty oaks!

    Have you tried the school libraries? Maybe they need someone? Or you could maybe just volunteer until something opens up somewhere. I used to work in an elementary library, and my volunteers were awesome. :)

    That Gilmore Girls knit along sounds cool! If only I could knit. Lol.

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    1. What an awesome idea for a tattoo!

      I've actually been thinking about going the volunteer route -- not even necessarily at a library -- until a job opens up. It'd be nice to have some structure to my days but retain the flexibility!

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  10. I just read Rebecca a few years ago and loved it! I also really loved The Snow Child and I have no idea why I haven't read her new book yet.

    That's so disappointing about the job situation. Every time I think about moving somewhere all I can think is that I wouldn't have a job. There are only so many public libraries out there (plus my job is awesome and I don't want to give it up!) But if I couldn't work in a library, my second choice would probably be a book store - have you considered that? Are there any near you?

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    1. I kind of suspect "The Snow Child" is a bit different from "To the Bright Edge of the World," but I definitely recommend the latter, and I'm hoping to read the former soon.

      Yeah... one of the reasons I wasn't thrilled about moving back to Hawaii for another three years was that I knew I'd have a tough time continuing the library career track. Sometimes I do this masochistic thing where I check job openings at my parents' library in Colorado (where I was kind of hoping to get stationed this time) and of course there's usually at least one opening I'd be qualified for. Hawaii just doesn't have a very strong education or library system, and it's hard to find decent jobs here anyway. Sigh. I have considered the bookstore idea, but the only bookstore anywhere near me is a claustrophobic, ridiculously overpriced used bookstore and that's not really where I see myself working. The only Barnes and Noble on the whole island is way too far away to even consider. I've also been thinking about foregoing work for the moment and getting my MLIS... so we'll see.

      On a much more positive note, I finished "A Gentleman in Moscow" today and LOVED it! I'm so glad I moved it up the queue after reading your review! :)

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    2. I'm so glad you loved A Gentleman in Moscow!

      There are lots of great/cheap online options for getting an MLIS now so that's not a bad way to spend your time :)

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  11. I completely relate - library jobs can be extremely scarce these days, and whenever my partner thinks about relocating I worry about trying to find a new job. I was an ESL teacher before I became a librarian, so I could fall back on that career, but nothing quite compares to being in a library! :'(

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    1. Agreed! I miss being surrounded by books and my bookish co-workers all day. I wish my "other" job were as easy to return to as yours... I have a journalism degree, but after being out of the field for over 8 years, it would be tough for me to go back to it even if I wanted to.

      I've been thinking about working on a MLIS while awaiting a job opening, but then I wonder if it'll ever pay for itself, especially when I'll be moving every two or three years for the foreseeable future. That makes it hard to move up the chain!

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