Top Ten Tuesday: My Winter TBR, 12/21/14 – 03/19/15

list love

There are big plans for me to read, baby, read the end of this year. I have a significant amount of time off this December and a week and a half of that the kiddos will still be in daycare. Of course I will also be doing Christmas prep — shopping, baking, wrapping — but I plan on making reading a priority as well. That being said, before I begin my Top Ten Tuesday Winter TBR list, I think I should mention what I want to complete before December 21st.

  • Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (audiobook, in progress)
  • Framley Parsonage by Anthony Trollope (in progress)
  • The Collected Ghost Stories of M R James (in progress)
  • Mrs. DeWinter by Susan Hill
  • The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

On to my Winter TBR!

  1. The Small House at Allington by Anthony Trollope
  2. Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture by Adam S. McHugh
  3. Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton
  4. The Semi-Attached Couple and the Semi-Detached House by Emily Eden
  5. The Man of Property by John Galsworthy
  6. The Quick: A Novel by Lauren Owen
  7. The Last Chronicle of Barset by Anthony Trollope
  8. The Secret Rooms: A True Gothic Mystery by Catherine Bailey
  9. Frost in May by Antonia White
  10. In Chancery by John Galsworthy

I hope everyone has an awesome end of the reading year; let me know what you’re looking to read in 2015!

The Virago Project: a New Classics Club Adventure

Collage image used with permission from Thanks, Jane!

Collage image used with permission from Thanks, Jane!

I’ve scrapped my Classics Club list. In truth I scrapped it ages ago and vowed to read more classics. It was a little bit silly because I already read classics. Classics compose at least 50% of my reading (holla at my Victorians). I feel a bit scattered without a list and I knew that I would have to make some sort of list for 2015 and have a “do-over.” I’ve decided the perfect focus for my reading list: Virago Classics. In part I’m inspired by Simon’s Persephone Project and Verity’s Virago Adventure. Another part of me just really loves the idea of rescued obscure classics. I would like to say that although I long to own every green spined Virago that simply isn’t in the cards. I will be reading the titles and endeavor to collect the Virago editions when I can, but I also will be reading other editions. I work in interlibrary loan and I imagine I’ll request several of these titles from other libraries.

The other great thing is that this offers me some flexibility with other reading challenges and events. I always see author events popping up featuring Virago authors and there is Virago in August. My TBR challenge will consist of 12 of these books and, of course, there will be Classic Club spin opportunities.

Check out the list, but don’t forget to scroll to the bottom for my grand finale idea.

  1. Frost in May by Antonia White
  2. Mr Fortune’s Maggot by Sylvia Townsend Warner
  3. The True Heart by Sylvia Townsend Warner
  4. Letty Fox: Her Luck by Christina Stead
  5. For Love Alone by Christina Stead
  6. Precious Bane by Mary Webb
  7. The Holiday by Stevie Smith
  8. Surfacing by Margaret Atwood
  9. Enormous Changes at the Last Minute by Grace Paley
  10. Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles
  11. A Pin to See the Peepshow by F. Tennyson Jesse
  12. The Lacquer Lady by F. Tennyson Jesse
  13. The Lost Traveller by Antonia White
  14. The Sugar House by Antonia White
  15. Beyond the Glass by Antonia White
  16. The Semi-Attached Couple and the Semi-detached House by Emily Eden
  17. Gone to Earth by Mary Webb
  18. Pilgrimage I, II, III, IV by Dorothy Richardson
  19. Over the Frontier by Stevie Smith
  20. The Beth Book by Sarah Grand
  21. A Lost Lady by Willa Cather
  22. My Antonia by Willa Cather
  23. The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood
  24. The Little Disturbances of Man by Grace Paley
  25. Mary Olivier: A Life by May Sinclair
  26. The Life and Death of Harriet Frean by May Sinclair
  27. Novel on Yellow Paper by Stevie Smith
  28. Unsocial Socialist by G. Bernard Shaw
  29. Ann Veronica by H.G. Wells
  30. Diana of the Crossways by George Meredith
  31. The Odd Women by George Gissing
  32. The Return of the Solider by Rebecca West
  33. The Judge by Rebecca West
  34. Harriet Hume by Rebecca West
  35. My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin
  36. the Third Miss Symons by F.M. Mayor
  37. Cotters’ England  by Christina Stead
  38. Tell Me a Riddle by Tillie Olsen
  39. Yonnondio by Tillie Olsen
  40. Spinster by Sylvia Ashton-Warner
  41. Sleepless Nights by Elizabeth Hardwick
  42. The Unlit Lamp by Radclyffe Hall
  43. The Vet’s Daughter by Barbara Comyns
  44. Strangers by Antonia White
  45. The Shutter of Snow by Emily Holmes Coleman
  46. The Love Child by Edith Oliver
  47. Plagued by the Nightingale by Kay Boyle
  48. The Getting of Wisdom by Henry Handel Richardson
  49. Maurice Guest by Henry Handel Richardson
  50. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  51. The House in Dormer Forest by Mary Webb
  52. My Career Goes Bung by Miles Franklin
  53. Invitation to the Waltz by Rosamond Lehmann
  54. The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann
  55. Moonraker by F. Tennyson Jesse
  56. The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter
  57. The Professor’s House by Willa Cather
  58. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
  59. A Little Tea, A Little Chat by Christina Stead
  60. The People with the Dogs by Christina Stead
  61. The Sheltered Life by Ellen Glasgow
  62. Virginia by Ellen Glasgow
  63. The Ladies of Lyndon by Margaret Kennedy
  64. Together and Apart by Margaret Kennedy
  65. Anderby Wold by Winifred Holtby
  66. The Crowded Street by Winifred Holtby
  67. Cassandra at the Wedding by Dorothy Baker
  68. Life Before Man by Margaret Atwood
  69. The Gipsy’s Baby by Rosamond Lehmann
  70. A Note in Music by Rosamond Lehmann
  71. The Harsh Voice by Rebecca West
  72. Daughter of Earth by Agnes Smedley
  73. The Orchid House by Phyllis Shand Alfey
  74. The Three Sisters by May Sinclair
  75. The Quest for Christa T. by Christa Wolf
  76. The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall
  77. My Mortal Enemy by Willa Cather
  78. The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather
  79. Delta Wedding by Eudora Welty
  80. The Robber Bridegroom by Eudora Welty
  81. Lady Oracle by Margaret Atwood
  82. The Sleeping Beauty by Elizabeth Taylor
  83. Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor
  84. Four Frightened People by E. Arnot Robertson
  85. Ordinary Families by E. Arnot Robertson
  86. The Beauties and the Furies by Christina Stead
  87. Brown Girl, Brownstones by Paule Marshall
  88. Mandoa, Mandoa! by Winifred Holtby
  89. A Woman by Sibilla Aleramo
  90. Company Parade by Storm Jameson
  91. Women Against Men by Storm Jameson
  92. From Man to Man by Olive Schreiner
  93. Seven for a Secret by Mary Webb
  94. The Ballad and the Source by Rosamond Lehmann
  95. A Sea-Grape Tree by Rosamond Lehmann
  96. The Passion of New Eve by Angela Carter
  97. Miss Herbert by Christina Stead
  98. The Little Ottleys by Ada Leverson
  99. That’s How it Was by Maureen Duffy
  100. The Tortoise and the Hare by Elizabeth Jenkins

When I complete the list of 100 (and before I go on to the next 100) I am going to get this baby tattooed on my body:


Readerly Rambles: Thankfully Reading


Thanksgiving holiday is a busy for our family. Not busy busy, but more like cozy busy. On Wednesday I’m off work and that will be a buy groceries and clean the house day. Thursday I’ll be cooking and starting my Christmas Card list, Friday we decorate our tree, and on Saturday I’m having a girls day with Hope to see Mockingjay. Sunday will most likely be a day to regroup and prepare for the next week and I have to work a short shift at the library. The week after Thanksgiving is final exam week at the university and the library will be busy… crazy busy.

It would be nice to carve (no pun intended) a little time out to read. I’d love to say I’d read “this many pages” or complete “this many books” but I want to be practical. My goal — instead — will be a time goal. I’d like to spend five hours reading. I’ll set the stopwatch on my phone and track the time. I figure the only way I’m going to read is if I find snippets of time. I’m leaving this really open. It may be that I read “I am a Bunny” to Persy Jane five billion times. Or it may be that I get to cracking on some audio books,. All I know is that it would be nice for some reading to happen over the short break.

Details on Thankfully Reading are on Jenn’s blog and it runs from November 27th – November 30th. Let me know if you’ll be joining in!

Giving Weight Watchers a Whirl…


5 pounds lighter. Boo-yah.

I joined Weight Watchers last week. Basically I was chilling on Facebook while I was holding a napping Persy and I saw two Weight Watcher friends have great weeks. They ate no Halloween candy and lost weight. Color me inspired. I signed up for three months, because why the hell not? I thought that maybe if I paid for something I’d be a bit more invested. You see, I’ve continued to gain weight. As of last week I was 15 pounds heavier than when I started to lose weight in 2012. I was 60 pounds heavier than when Sam and I started dating. Past tense because I lost 5.4 pounds in my first week of Weight Watchers. Yay!

Back in 2012 I had been doing really well, but then there was pregnancy (excuse), sleep deprivation (excuse), moving (excuse). I kept trying to get back on track and totally failed. MyFitness Pal wasn’t working for me and I think I know why.

I want to win.
I want to do everything perfectly. When it was lunch and I was almost out of calories I’d call the day ruined and eat with wild abandon. I’d go whole hog because the next day I would be better, stricter, more careful. And, of course, my binge-fest would negate any “good” days I had. There was also a huge issue with all calories counting the same. I’m not morbidly obese because I like oranges and large bowls of butternut kale soup. I’m fat because I like large portions, bread, and home-baked sweets. When calorie counting, a pumpkin spice doughnut has the same calories as a medium size salad. I’d eat the doughnut and then be hungry twenty minutes later. Then I’d eat more and soon my calorie consumption would be out of control. If I was out of calories at night and hungry I was screwed. Why bother eating fruit or veggies? In my mind I had already screwed the day up so I would eat a pint of ice cream.

Talk about fucking myself over.

I think this is why Weight Watchers is going to work for me.

1. Points aren’t calories. A breakfast of two hard boiled eggs, whole grain cereal, almond milk, banana, and coffee with creamer is 12 points. One pumpkin spice donut is NINE points. Nutritional value is factored into points meaning that healthier choices mean more food.

2. Lots of things are ZERO points. All fruits and vegetables (with the exception of higher calorie/starchy items like avocados and sweet potatoes) are zero points. If I am low on points I can have a big salad and a lot of fruit. WINNING.

3. Treat yo’ self. I get a daily point allowance and then a set of points that stretch out over the space of the week. I can “bank” all of those extra points for a splurge (like for Thanksgiving or a party) or I can take a little each day. This means that when I had a bad night earlier in the week and ate tootsie rolls at 1am I didn’t mess up my day! In fact, I was so full, satisfied, and happy that I ended last week with 12 points to spare.

I hope I can continue to be successful with Weight Watchers. I’m a little nervous. I’ve heard from some folks that Weight Watchers is great initially, but then tends to plateau. Let me know your experiences and if anyone wants to add me I’m nerdy_book_girl on