Music and books and bears, oh my! (Sunday Post – 9/17/2017)

September 17, 2017 Sunday Post 24

The Sunday Post is hosted by the wonderful Kimba, the Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, recap the past week, take a look ahead, and showcase our new treasures—I mean books!

Music and books and bears, oh my!

I spend most of the week working on concert season prep for my two choruses: choosing and ordering music, contacting our fabulous accompanist, sending out emails to singers, and starting to get the rehearsal parts recorded. The latter would be so much easier if I could play the piano well, but I’m not very good. So I write out all the parts in Finale (a software program) and record them from there.

The Tackle Your TBR Readathon began Monday. So far, I’ve read 2 books and written the review for both. Writing reviews has been tough for me this year for some reason, but I’m working on it!

There was a little excitement at my parents’ house in New Mexico on Monday. Friends of Robin’s from our hometown were in the state visiting relatives, and they drove up to spend the afternoon with Robin. While they were all having tea and talking, a bear walked the entire length of the back terrace, climbed over the little knee-high wall, and strolled on into the neighbors’ back yard. Thank goodness the weather was iffy, so they were all indoors! It’s not totally unexpected; the town has a bit of a bear problem, especially since the wildfires of 2000 and 2011 burned a lot of the forests above the town.  The bears wander into town looking for food from trash cans. And my parents’ house is on the edge of the canyon, on the farthest edge of town, so it’s not surprising that they see a fair bit of wildlife. But it’s the first time they’ve actually seen a bear on their property. Coyotes, sure, and rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, birds… even a bobcat occasionally. (They are so beautiful!) But the bear was a first. I think I’ll be a bit more cautious when I’m out for a walk, next time I visit there!


Last Week on the Blog


Upcoming on the Blog

  • Top Ten Books on My Fall TBR List
  • Sugar Pine Trail by RaeAnne Thayne – tour review
  • rest of the week TBD but hopefully at least one more review
  • News & Notes – 9/23/2017
  • Sunday Post – 9/24/2017


Challenge Update

I’ve read 2 books for the Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon, and started a third, but got distracted into rereading a trilogy. But I realized that last week, I made my goal of 24 books for The Backlist Reader Challenge! I still need to write up a lot of the reviews, though, which is why I started rereading that trilogy—I meant to just skim the books and write the reviews. (Oops.)


What I’m Reading/Watching

book cover: East, by Edith Pattou

Reading:  I finished Body on Baker Street (Vicki Delany; ARC) and Snowspelled (Stephanie Burgis, ARC & Kindle purchase), and posted reviews for both. (Click title links for reviews.) I wanted to review some of the Backlist Reader Challenge books I read last winter, so I decided to skim Dance Upon the Air (Nora Roberts) and ended up rereading both it and the sequel when I realized I didn’t remember it well enough to review. I also started Murder, Magic, and What We Wore, which is a YA historical fantasy spy novel: light, witty, and charming.  I hope to get back to The Waking Land by Callie Bates later this week, and then finish East by Edith Pattou.

Listening to: The Secret Garden (the Broadway musical cast album) from my collection, and film scores on Pandora. But mostly I’ve been listening to lots of recordings of new choral pieces that I’m debating whether to buy for my two choruses. There’s some lovely stuff out there, and some very mediocre stuff as well. The trick is finding pieces that are good but not too complex, so they can be handled by a teen or children’s chorus with only 8 or 9 hours of rehearsal time.

Watching:  We are rewatching Sherlock seasons 1–3 so we can remind ourselves of all the clues before we watch Season 4; we’ve gotten through the first 4 episodes (Season 1, and Season 2 Ep. 1.)  We’ve also watched one or two episodes of Father Brown. Next week I also plan to continue with Avatar: The Last Airbender as well.


New Additions to the Hoard

Cover links take you to Goodreads.

For Review or Review Consideration

Many thanks to Flatiron Books, who granted my NetGalley wish for Dear Fahrenheit 451. I honestly wasn’t expecting to get it at this point, and I was approved for a bunch of other reviews for books coming out the same week, so it may have to wait a little while. But it looks really interesting; it’s described as “A Gen-X librarian’s laugh-out-loud funny, deeply moving collection of love letters and break-up notes to the books in her life.”

Purchased for Kindle

I kept the purchases down again this week. Two were on sale. The Katherine Ashe novella was free but is now back to $1.99.


Have a wonderful week, stay cool, and happy reading!

24 Responses to “Music and books and bears, oh my! (Sunday Post – 9/17/2017)”

  1. Literary Feline

    It sounds like you’ve been especially busy prepping for the concert season. Good luck with the readathon! Sounds like you are off to a good start so far! What a story about the bear! I am glad everyone was inside too. My sister and her husband have a bear that comes by their house now and then. And my niece and her husband see one occasionally where they live as well in the Allegheny National Forest. My niece likes to throw out their leftovers in the woods, and I sometimes wonder if that’s why the bear hangs around . . .

    I love Sherlock! We’ve only seen the first two seasons–I don’t think we’ve gotten to the third yet, but it’s been so long. I need to re-watch them and catch up.

    I keep meaning to try something by Tasha Alexander. I really enjoyed the #1 Ladies Detective Agency. I hope you will too! Dear Fahrenheit 451 sounds really good. Enjoy all your new books!

    I hope you have a great week, Lark!
    Literary Feline recently posted…Weekly Mews: Let the Fall Routine Begin! (And New Books & My Sick Cat)My Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Very busy, but it’s fun listening to all the new music and deciding what I like and what is doable.

      Yes, I suspect the leftovers are at least one reason why the bear likes to visit your niece!

      I hope you get a chance to catch up on Sherlock. I’m seeing things in the first two seasons that I didn’t pick up on the first time around. (Or the first two times around, in the case of the first season.)

      Thank you for the good wishes and the recommendation on the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency! I wish you a wonderful week as well.

  2. Jenea's Book Obsession

    We live up in a mountain, so we get the occasional bear, but mostly deer and coyotes and some small animals. I don’t think I would want to be outside sitting when it came in my yard though. I like to see through my window. 🙂 Enjoy the books you got this week and you week ahead.

    Jenea’s Book Obsession’s Sunday Post

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Well, luckily they were inside when he came by! I’ve seen occasionally bears in the mountains out west and in Canada, and even once in our Virginia mountains, but as I said to Bea, where we live it’s mostly flat farmland and slightly hilly woods. There may be bears, but I don’t know anyone who has actually seen one in our county. So I’m sure it was a thrill for Robin and her two friends!

  3. Bea @Bea's Book Nook

    I also got the Ashe freebie, partly for the Avon book club. If I like the freebie, I’ll sign up for the Ashe book. I used to own that NR trilogy, in original pb, but I lost them in a move somewhere. I really liked it. Good luck with the read-a-thon, and happy reading!

    That was a close call with the bear at your parents house yikes. It’s not uncommon where I live for bears to wander in yards and up on decks.

    Have a good week!
    Bea @Bea’s Book Nook recently posted…Bea Reviews Be Brave Little One by Marianne RichmondMy Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Living what’s essentially semi-rural tidewater Virginia, we don’t see bears very often, though some years back, my friends’ beehives were knocked over and broken into, almost certainly by a brown bear. There are bears in the mountains, where Mr. Bookwyrm and I occasionally go to for the day or for a weekend, and I’ve seen a bear beside the road there, but around here, the biggest thing we usually see are deer. (Lots and lots of deer…) So I wish I’d been there to see it!

      I bought the NR series for Kindle a while back. I like them, though I like books 1 and 3 the best. Ripley flies off the handle too much for my taste.

  4. Kathy @ My Nook, Books & More

    It sounds like a busy week. I took piano lessons when I was a kid and now I wish I kept at it. That bear visit is scary. Good thing no one was hurt (hopefully including the bear). I hope you have a great week and enjoy your new books!
    Kathy @ My Nook, Books & More recently posted…Weekly Wrap-Up #133My Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I took lessons as a kid, too, but didn’t keep them up. I keep trying to find time to practice on 66-key the electric keyboard we have, but… there are so many other things vying for my attention. Including choosing music LOL!

      You have a lovely week, too!

  5. Greg

    Wow that’s interesting about the bear (and probably nail-biting as well while it was there!). Glad no one was nearby or injured.

    Body on Baker Street looks fun, and I never did get to death in the Floating City.
    Greg recently posted…Sunday Post #212My Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Given that they were safely indoors, I think probably more exciting than nail-biting… and it was a brown bear, not a grizzly. Not that brown bears can’t hurt you; they can and will; but I don’t think they’re as aggressive. Still, there’s been at least one encounter with a hiker or runner in/near town, that ended in the hiker being badly injured. So it’s wise to be cautious.

      That’s right, you were reading the Lady Emily books too at one point. I still haven’t caught up, and I’m not up to Death In The Floating City yet, but since it was on sale, I grabbed it while I could. 🙂

  6. Berls

    Wow! How lucky that they were inside! Awesome to see the bear, as long as they are safely inside. Yep, definitely be careful walking there 🙂

    Good luck with all your concert prep – sounds like lots of work! Have a great week 🙂
    Berls recently posted…Sunday Post with Berls | Tired but GoodMy Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Of course, if they’d been on the terrace, talking and laughing, the bear might well have gone around or climbed down into the canyon. They don’t really want to encounter people. But if he was hungry enough, and the humans had food… yeah, I’m glad they were inside, too.

      Thanks for the good wishes, and I hope you have a terrific week, too!

  7. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    Sounds like you’re off to a great start with the readathon. Hope that continues for you!
    That’s crazy about the bear! That will certainly get your attention! LOL My sister’s neighborhood at the beach is having a coyote problem (which seems crazy in FL for some reason) but that’s nothing on bears. Ack!
    I really enjoyed that Three Sisters Island trilogy by Nora Roberts. It’s been many years since I’ve read anything by Roberts but that one still stands out for me.
    Hope you have a wonderful week!
    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books recently posted…Release Day! Dear, Bridget by Penelope Ward and Vi KeelandMy Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I took off time to reread 3 books that I can’t really count for the readathon, so that probably messed it up, but we’ll see. 🙂 Have a great week!

  8. Rita H

    So many interesting things you’ve discussed today– what to address first! Good luck with your chorus set-ups and rehearsals– what a difficult but rewarding task you have there!

    So many good looking books! I read the Roberts trilogy before my blogging days and don’t remember all the details, but do remember really enjoying them. I find NR hit or miss, but always at least a decent read to an excellent (for me) one.

    Btw, the freebie is no longer free, $1.99… to inform those who would check it out.

    I always look at Ladies’ Detective series and wonder if I should start it. I need to pick up book #1 at the library and see if the style is for me. The setting certainly is!

    Enjoy this week ahead in all your endeavors!

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Yes, the choruses keep me very busy, but only during concert seasons (spring and fall.) Nora Roberts is a bit hit-or-miss for me, too, but the miss is more often because the nature of the suspense (a sexually-motivated serial killer, for instance) is too intense for me. Thanks for the heads-up on the freebie; I’ll edit the post. And re The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, my mom’s been recommending it to me for at least 10 years. 🙂 Have a lovely week, my friend!

  9. Evelina

    I would love to read East 🙂 how do you like it so far?
    I also find reviews hard to write now, but not because it’s actually hard to write… rather just because I know discussions are more interesting, and I have so many book review deadlines now that I have no time for them xD
    Evelina recently posted…Sunday post #24My Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      So far, East is good. I thought it was (just) a retelling of ‘East of the Sun, West of the Moon,’ but there are elements of The Snow Queen in it as well.

  10. Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

    Sounds like music is keeping you busy! I can neither sing nor play piano so being able to do either in any capacity is pretty impressive. I’d love to learn how to play piano. I took viola lessons as a child and was reasonably okay but piano has always fascinated me.
    That’s crazy about the bear! We get coyotes and deer here but I think a bear would keep me permanently in the house!

    I loved Dance Upon the Air! I need to reread it soon. Have a great week!
    Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library recently posted…Ramblings from the Stacks – Knowledge GapsMy Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I’d love to be better on the piano! But that would also mean finding more time to practice… The viola is a lovely instrument. Robin studied violin for many years before a wrist injury made her stop. I hope someday she’ll pick it up again.

  11. Laura Thomas

    Lots of wonderful books. Looks like we enjoy many of the same authors too. That bear incident is scary. I just finished a book about bear attacks in Yellowstone last night and it’s been on my mind today. I studied violin many years ago. Wish I’d stuck with it now. And I’ve always wanted to try the piano.
    Laura Thomas recently posted…My Monday Minis Reviews #67 ~ Last Chance MotelMy Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I think if I’d been there, I’d have been more thrilled than scared, but that’s because they were indoors and the bear was outdoors. I’d be less thrilled if I encountered it while walking (and have cautioned Robin to make noise when she takes a walk.) As for music, it’s not too late. It’s really never too late!

  12. Lola

    Sounds like an eventful week. Good luck with the rehearsals. I used to play the keyboard a bit when I was younger, but nowadays don’t do it anymore. It wasn’t fully for me.

    That sounds neat your parents see so much wildlife, but seeing a bear so close would be scary. That’s sad so much of their forest burned down that now they go into town.

    Enjoy your new books and have a great week!
    Lola recently posted…Review: Curveball by Jordan FordMy Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Thanks, Lola. I wish I could play, but I’m pretty bad. But I’ve sung and studied voice most of my life, and I love to pass that joy in singing along to young singers.