Sunday Bookends: A book challenge for me for the rest of the year; books read; and photos from the week

Sunday Bookends is my week in review, so to speak. It’s where I share what I’ve been up to, what I’ve been reading, what I’ve been watching, what I’ve been listening to and what I’ve been writing. Feel free to share a link or comment about your week in review in the comments.

What’s been happening/Garden update

Not a lot has been happening lately, but I have been trying not to kill my garden. So far we’ve eaten some summer squash from it, one piece of broccoli and we tried to eat the lettuce but it was bitter. I think we will eventually get some carrots and tomatoes from it and maybe a few more squash and zucchini. I also hope to get a few potatoes and later on some butternut squash. I’m horrible at weeding the garden. Maybe I’ll get better at it next year, but I don’t have much hope.

I took some photos of my garden but then I was going to put in the photos of my dad’s garden and tell all of you his was mine. I didn’t think that would be honest, but his looks much more impressive than mine this year, which is funny because he originally said he wasn’t doing one. I’ll share a couple photos of his garden at the end of the post.

These are my tomatoes, lettuce, and squash and a meal I made with my squash, my dad’s kale, and a pork chop. The green beans my daughter is snapping at the end of the post are 99.9 percent my dad’s and about five from my own garden. My green bean plants didn’t have enough room to grow.

I had planned to chop down some flowers outside our house before they got too big but I — uh, never got around to it (again) and they grew two feet tall and sprouted these freaky alien flowers and hundreds (okay 20) of bees of three or four different kinds of varieties swarmed them. The only good thing about leaving them there was a butterfly landed on them and Little Miss was able to enjoy watching the butterfly. I’m going to cut these flowers back before next year because they seriously took over the side of our house and they weren’t attractive at all (to me anyhow).

What I’m Reading

I am reading Misty Of Chincoteague (I definitely had to look up how to spell that) each night with my daughter I tried this before with my son years ago but he was not impressed. My daughter, however, is a huge fan of horses so I’m .hoping she will enjoy it more, even if it isn’t her regular Paddington. She has, however, asked for Paddington more this week than Misty. I’m going to keep trying because I think she will like it.

I finished By Book or By Crook by Eva Gates this week (yes, I know. What took me so long) and really enjoyed it. The book is about a young woman who moves to the Outer Banks of North Carolina to work at a library that is built inside a lighthouse. She’s moved to her family’s old vacation spot (and her aunt and uncles hometown) to avoid an awkward situation back in her hometown of Boston involving a failed relationship. Not only does Lucy encounter the mayor of the small village, Connor, who she remembers kissing on the beach when she was there on vacation and were 14, but Butch, a police officer in the village. She encounters Butch more than she might like when someone in the village is discovered murdered in the library.

The description from Amazon:

For ten years Lucy has enjoyed her job poring over rare tomes of literature for the Harvard Library, but she has not enjoyed the demands of her family’s social whorl or her sort-of-engagement to the staid son of her father’s law partner. But when her ten-year relationship implodes, Lucy realizes that the plot of her life is in need of a serious rewrite.
Calling on her aunt Ellen, Lucy hopes that a little fun in the Outer Banks sun—and some confections from her cousin Josie’s bakery—will help clear her head. But her retreat quickly turns into an unexpected opportunity when Aunt Ellen gets her involved in the lighthouse library tucked away on Bodie Island.
Lucy is thrilled to land a librarian job in her favorite place in the world. But when a priceless first edition Jane Austen novel is stolen and the chair of the library board is murdered, Lucy suddenly finds herself ensnared in a real-life mystery—and she’s not so sure there’s going to be a happy ending….

The next book I started was A long Time Comin’ by Robin Pearson and though I’m only on Chapter 5 it is already keeping me up late by being caught up in the story.

The description from Amazon:

To hear Beatrice Agnew tell it, she entered the world with her mouth tightly shut. Just because she finds out she’s dying doesn’t mean she can’t keep it that way. If any of her children have questions about their daddy and the choices she made after he abandoned them, they’d best take it up with Jesus. There’s no room in Granny B’s house for regrets or hand-holding. Or so she thinks.

Her granddaughter, Evelyn Lester, shows up on Beatrice’s doorstep anyway, burdened with her own secret baggage. Determined to help her Granny B mend fences with her far-flung brood, Evelyn turns her grandmother’s heart and home inside out. Evelyn’s meddling uncovers a tucked-away box of old letters, forcing the two women to wrestle with their past and present pain as they confront the truth Beatrice has worked a lifetime to hide.

If I can start reading faster, I would love to do a reading challenge a local library did for the summer. I definitely won’t finish the challenge before the August 15 deadline but I’m thinking of trying it for the end of the year:

  1. A book published in 2019
  2. A book recommended by a librarian (my brother is sort-of a librarian so I’ll have to ask him to recommend one to me)
  3. A book published before you were born (done)
  4. A fantasy book (this will be a bit harder for me, since I’m not a huge fantasy fan)
  5. A book recommended by a friend or relative (done)
  6. A book that became a movie
  7. A book with a character from another country
  8. A non-fiction book (uuugh. I’m not a very big non-fiction reader but luckily Erin from Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs has recently recommended a couple I am interested in)
  9. A fiction book (no problem and done)
  10. The first book of a series (already done with By Book or By Crook)

What I’m Watching:

This week I watched a movie called All Saints with John Corbett about a Episcopalian pastor who is put in charge of closing down a charge on his first assignment. The description on Google:

Michael Spurlock decides to trade in his corporate sales career to become a pastor. Unfortunately, his first assignment is to close a country church and sell the prime piece of land where it sits. He soon has a change of heart when the church starts to welcome refugees from Burma. Spurlock now finds himself working with the refugees to turn the land into a working farm to pay the church’s bills.

I really enjoyed the movie which I found terribly touching and very well acted by a strong cast. I didn’t know many of the actors besides Corbett, but did recognize David Keith from Heritage Falls, which I watched the week before. I found it on Amazon but it may be available on other streaming services.

What I’m Writing:

I’m working on finishing a novella that will combine my short stories Quarantined and Rekindle and hope to have it complete and ready for publication by the end of August. I’ll be releasing it free for blog readers, if I can figure out how to do that.

I’m also working on The Farmer’s Daughter, of course.

On the blog this past week:

On Monday I wrote about A Little Farm Making Special Milk (a blog post about a local farm);

Tuesday I rambled about me and the blog (which was totally awkward for me, to be honest);

Friday I shared another chapter of The Farmer’s Daughter.

I’ll end the post like I have been ending it lately; with some photos from the week, but I really did not take many photos at all this week. Hopefully, I will have some more from next week.

11 thoughts on “Sunday Bookends: A book challenge for me for the rest of the year; books read; and photos from the week

  1. Your overgrown flower is a butterfly bush – it will attracts scads of butterflies and is worth keeping. Just prune it back in early spring. Our garden is pathetic this year. We’ve had so little rain and hubby is tired of watering it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Someone else mentioned that that might be what it was. I am going to cut them back a bit but not all the way out. We’ve enjoyed the butterflies that have been visiting. Our garden is pretty said but luckily dad’s seems to be thriving.


  2. That garden looks gorgeous! Haha, I’d be tempted to claim it as mine, too.

    Hmm, of you’re looking for a fantasy book (goodness knows I’ve read too many!) I can suggest a children’s quartet by Patricia C. Wrede. They’re old, but they’re about a princess who runs away to avoid marrying an annoying prince and becomes something of a companion to a dragon. I think the first book is called Dealing with Dragons. Since it’s for kids, it’s short and a fun introduction to fantasy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yums, you are doing a whole lot better then me when it comes to growing food, looks good from what you did get. Your daughter is so adorable. I also haven’t had a lot of time to take photos this week, still trying to get my home organized but things and life keep me busy with other projects. Plus it is just too darn hot our here in Arizona right now. You and your family have a beautiful week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We’ve had some hot weather too, as I mentioned last week, and it zaps my motivation to take photographs or do much of anything. I’d probably never leave the AC if I lived where you did and I’d be super pale at the end of summer — not that I’m tan out here. Ha! I’m pale pretty much all year around actually 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Me too, I don’t like being in the sun too long so I am also really pale. The way we do it out here is we work a little, then take a little break sitting in front of a fan with the AC on, then we get up and work a little more. This is only if we have things to do after 12 pm when it is deadly hot here. We have to get up at 5 am to take care of the animals and plants and when we have heat warnings we have to check all plants and animals outside in the afternoon to make sure they are okay and have shade and water. We have lots of trees so that helps. If it is too hot we bring the birds inside to the Arizona room. The heat exhaust you. Summers here are so hard.


  4. Your week looks fun!! 🙂 Is that plant a butterfly bush?

    I am glad that you liked the Eva Gates book. It made me want to live in a lighthouse library. Lol. And Misty of Chincoteague! I have never read the books but I have seen the ponies of Chincoteague. It was a family trip that has stood out in my mind and I really want to take Wyatt there one day too. I hope your daughter likes it!

    Two of those nonfiction books are really short, both the Creative Family Manifesto and Adventuring Together. Quick, easy reads. 🙂 I hope you find them as inspiring as I did! 🙂


    • Maybe that’s what it is. I actually have no idea but this thing took over the side of the house practically. lol. It’s a little out of control, but since this is our first year I didn’t know.

      Glad those nonfiction books are short. I should be able to handle them then 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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