Comment: I loved your concise reviews of the books you read. It seems like you read a very different kind of books than a lot of people,
Response: Thanks! My favorite books are classics and experimental fiction, though I enjoy lots of "regular" literary fiction too! I definitely read less genre fiction than most people I know. It's wonderful that there's SO MANY books in the world -- we can all read whatever we want and never run out. :)
Comment: I absolutely love the paper and rubber stamps you used to write your note on. I am excited to forward these postcards home. I was the last one on a similar swap> I feel good to send it have been the one to send it home. :) I hope/pray 2022 brings you more joy, health and love. I have a similar ant, it is one size in a marker style. I love it. be careful in this time of this covid
Response: Thank you, and so glad you enjoyed the note! I love those ants too.
Comment: A b&b with a library, oh my goodness! Seems like a lot of fun. Did you like The Trial by Kafka? I read a graphic novel adaptation and I'm still confused. XD Which book was your favorite this month?
Response: It's a super fun place -- called Sylvia Beach. If you're ever in Newport, Oregon, it's worth a stay. I did enjoy The Trial. Some dark, twisted humor, for sure. My November favorite was definitely In the City of Shy Hunters. Hope you're well!
Comment: Thanks for sharing your lists! My good reads lists has some back from 2016, I think, but I never really got terribly organized - I try to read what I've bought new first, and then library books, but books I get as trades or buy used tend to get forgotten a little more often. When I started this whole procedure years ago, I wish I'd kept a written copy - my digital copy was eaten by my old computer. :( Along with the photos of the book stacks. :( :( I'm impressed by your progress though! :) and I agree about "Brave New World" - I never had to read it in school, neither did my kids, but I feel like I'm among the very last in the world to read it! Someday ... :)
Response: Now that I've finally read Brave New World, you might be officially last! Thanks for the rating. Oh, and if no one else said already, I'm happy to take over the TBR progress swaps. I don't really do the Unread shelf project so might drop that part, but I like the monthly check-in for my TBR list!
Comment: Well done, 10 books! :D I hope to read some Jules Verne in the Future. What was your favorite from the 10 books you've read? Thanks for sharing.
Response: Hard to choose! I think my favorites of these 10 was the short story collection What is Not Yours is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi -- These are super experimental stories, which is right up my alley.
Comment: Thank you for the postcard! Even though I have a degree in literature and have heard of Proust and his influence, I realized I've never read any of his work. I'm a slow reader, so I've added the audiobook of Swann's Way to my library wishlist.
Response: I have the same degree and never read Proust in school either. It's too long for even a semester, I'd say!
Comment: Congratulations on your progress and thank you for sharing. :) Do you like the Maise Dobbs series? I've had people recommend the books to me, but I couldn't get into them and haven't gone back to the series. The summaries always sound good though.
Response: I really enjoy them! But I don't usually enjoy the mystery genre -- for me it's all about the character of Maisie.
Comment: Thanks so much for sharing your list! I just bought "A Jury of Her Peers" recently, but I wasn't sure if I really wanted to read it. I found out Anne Bradstreet is an ancestor, so I've wanted to learn more about her. I might just need to put Jury higher in my stacks. :)
Response: Sorry, I've been neglecting to respond to ratings! For Jury of Her Peers, I totally recommend just reading about the authors (or time periods) that interest you. No need to read straight through necessarily.
Comment: How good that you got to cross out one that's been on your list for so long! =) I'm also trying to prioritize some of my oldies.Your description of the author's style got my attention. Would I dare reading some horror for a change? Thank you Kara for sharing your thoughts!
Comment: Great progress! It's so satisfying to finally cross out books that have been on our lists for so long, isn't it? And I'm glad you read those 2 at the perfect time to enjoy them! I had that feeling this month as well. Thank you for sharing =)
Comment: someone just suggested The Moonstone (Wilkie Collins) to me - did you enjoy it? I haven't been enjoying the newer books lately, so I'm turning to the classic types. :)
Response: Sorry for the slow response, but yes, I did! It's a classic and also a mystery; very entertaining! Not to add too much to your list... but if you like it, try The Woman in White too - I thought it was even better than The Moonstone.
Comment: Congratulations on your progress! :) One of the books you read is one I've been seeing a LOT and have considered adding to my list. I'm trying not to auto-add books that are popular, though. Thanks for sharing!
Comment: Sounds like you are making a lot of progress! I'm so happy to hear that. It IS hard to not add books when doing these book swaps. But I guess we'll always be adding, right? :) Thanks for sharing your progress. Here's to another good year!
Comment: Hi Kara, Happy Holidays! Wow you have a lot of books too!! I don't know why I'm extra aware of that today...with everyone's lists. There's a joy in having that much reading pleasure to look forward to.
Comment: COVID-rhythm - now there's a new term! We don't seem to have found ours yet. Did you enjoy "The Shadow of the Wind" (Carlos Ruiz Zafon)? It's one of my favorites, but I haven't continued the series yet. How was "White Fragility" (Robin DiAngelo)? I keep getting recommendations for it, but I haven't decided if I want to add it to our list or not.
Thanks for sharing your progress. :)
Comment: Hi Kara, ohhh I love camping. We never go. And I didn't grow up doing it but camp fires and stars at night and being surrounded by nature...yum yum yum. Have a grand time! Thanks for your list. I feel similarly.
Comment: Hooray for a negative number on your shelf! I only consider the books/eBooks I have checked out or bought for the monthly counts, my virtual TBR shelf on goodreads is too horribly long to consider.
Comment: When suddenly our home turns into our office, it's harder to keep a clear delimitation between working and non-working hours. Hope the adaptation process goes well and, most importantly, the three of you stay safe!
Comment: Thanks very much for your email and your review of Death in Varanasi. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I must confess to not being a Geoff Dyer fan -- the couple of books I've tried just didn't work for me, but I'm glad your January TBR reads were generally successful!
Comment: I enjoyed very much reading your thoughts on the books. I have the Decameron in my own list, and I've been avoiding it because I know it will take me probably several months to finish it 😅 thank you for sharing!
Comment: Thanks for the email. :) You did take on some longer ones, didn't you? haha! Although I'm not familiar with The Decameron, I"m with you on reading the older, classic books as modern day humans. I've re-read several classics this year, and we are currently listening to Dracula as a family, and wow is it 'outdated'! It does prompt some interesting discussions .... The Vindication Of The Rights Of Women by Mary Wollstonecraft is on my list, and I have a feeling that's going to be interesting as well. Hmm, maybe that could be a category for a swap! :) haha
Thanks for sharing, and I hope all are healthy in your household. :)
Comment: Hi Kara, you have the most impressive TBR list. I was afraid to have more than 50 books on my list but I love how you embrace all your books and you keep them organized too. That is admirable!
Comment: Well, the Pillars of the Earth is a sort of tour de force kind of book, that must have took you a good part of the month! There's a tv adaptation of it, if you're interested! I quite enjoyed it =)
Comment: Thanks for this great list. I don't think I"ve read any of the books on your list, so I'll have to look out for them. While packing, I actually crossed off several books from my list and discarded the books. So now I have more room! :)
THanks so much for sharing. :)
Comment: Thank you for the new card forthis collaboration swaps. I'm going to think about what to add on it. You're enveloppe arrived teared open on both sides but luckily the card was still inside it.
Comment: Thanks for the update! :) I read Glass Castle so many years ago, but I remember it being really powerful! Haven't watched the movie. My daughter read the book, too. We just finished listening to "Educated" (Tara Westover) and my daughter was comparing the two! Here's to May reading! :)
Comment: Many apologies for the delay in rating. Thanks for sending your list and comments -- as always, a good read in itself! You and I are among those with the longest lists, so I'm always interested to see how you're organising things. Carry on the good work -- your list is shrinking, even if slowly!
Comment: Thank you for sending me such an interesting review of Just Like Us. it sounds a fascinating book and you did a very good job of describing it. I think it's one I will probably read some time in the future.
Response: Glad you liked it! Sorry (not sorry) for potentially adding to your TBR though. :)
Comment: It's great that you're making progress. And I'm envious of your ability to not add to your TBR! I've not only added to my list of books to read (books not purchased) AND to my physical shelf! I'm not doing very good on that front.
Wasn't "Becoming" a good book? We listened to it together as a family and everyone really enjoyed it. :) And from your list - "An American Marriage" - I LOVED that book. I got a chance to read it just after it came out last year and was very pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the book. :) Love it when that happens. :) Thanks for sharing!
Comment: Your list is a bookworm's heaven! I can't wait to find time to carefully go through each title :)
Response: If only I could find time to read everything! Since you want to go through a little more closely, here's the link to the list on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/2164930-bucket?shelf=to-read
That way you have more information at your fingertips.
Comment: You are my goal for the end of the year - to have no books on my shelves and fully use the library! You are my inspiration! :) It is a lot when it's all neatly listed, isn't it? :) I hope you enjoy the swaps and have a great year of reading. :)
Response: I think you'll make it! And if your library has a good network and interlibrary loan system, you really can get virtually anything you want to read. It's awesome!
Comment: Thanks for sharing your list. A thought re prioritizing ... I found it really helpful dividing my books into categories. Somehow it made me more aware of what I actually had and also gave me lots of little lists which were a bit less overwhelming than the full list. For those of us with mega-big lists, it's hard to see progress, so having little lists might help us choose what to read next.
Comment: I agree...ribbon was a challenge! But thanks for making us think outside of our usual box. Yes...I also like the blue sparkles. Keep warm and think Spring 'cause the groundhog says so. See ya at the mail box.
Response: So glad you like it! We're looking at snow coming here... so it goes.
Comment: I completely understand about reading time with little ones. Before I had kids, I read three or for books a week if not more. Now it seems like it takes forever to get through one! Good luck on reaching your goals.
Response: Thank you! Good luck on your reading goals too!
Comment: Thanks for your lovely letter, and I am so going to get that book of short stories! I LOVE short stories. Usually I think I read horror or fantasy short stories, but I also get the annual collection of short stories - I think it's just Best Short Stories of [year] and then edited by some famous author, and I love almost all of those, too. I'll let you know after I've read them what I think!
Response: Glad you enjoyed the letter! The New Yorker publishes a great short story each month too. I often find new authors there, though they definitely have their favorite authors they publish all the time. And I highly, highly recommend Alice Munro to all short story lovers!!
Comment: I loved both postcards you sent - they both arrived today! The William Shakespeare room looked (and sounded) especially cool! I’m glad you got to go. And the story of Ren and his little backpack was so cute. I can relate. :) Thanks for setting up this swap, I really enjoyed it!
Response: Glad they both arrived so quickly! I'm looking forward to getting yours, and glad this swap worked out. :)
Comment: Hi Kara! Thank you for your thoughtful reviews. I have heard about 'Les Mis' all my life but never knew the story. 19 years! Oh my! That sounds like my favorite of the ones you reviewed. Thanks for joining and putting effort into your reviews.
Response: Thanks for rating, and glad you enjoyed the reviews!
Comment: I received your zentangle today. So gooooood!!! Also, I wanted to tell you that when my son was 8 and I was pregnant with a third baby, he asked if he could name her and I said sure. But he decided to name her Buckethead, so I decided to name her Amaria instead. But ever since I've seen your username, I've wanted to tell you that. This is beautiful zentangle art, thank you so much!
Response: That's hilarious!! I'm very glad you didn't let her be named Buckethead... does he call her that anyway? Also, so glad you like the Zentangle!
Comment: Great PC! Haven't seen one with this many views on it before! My kitty is very persnickety and did like the critters on your PC... but only after I rubbed some catnip on it! Thank you, from me & Shakespeare! 😺😺😺
Comment: Hi Kara, thanks so much for your geometric mailart. It arrived safely today. I am very surprised that this thin paper stayed without buckles. I`m always afraid that the wonderful mailart might be destoyed cause of the mail-maschines. I should be more trusty, right?
Response: Glad it arrived safe! Not sure what you mean by buckles, but I have never had a problem with watercolor paper postcards. Happy swapping!
Comment: I love your concept and idea of the simplicity and grid like string. Very unique to me and I love it. The colored paper for the background was also awesome (my favorite color too) Thank you BTW your "conceptional drink PC is outstanding. Im going to have to check it out :)
Response: So glad you like the Zentangle -- and the postcard too. It's a fun set of cards. I'll be sad when I've sent them all out, so I'm happy when someone I send one to really enjoys it! :)
Comment: I love the mini zine you used for your list! Very cute and creative. :) I hope you enjoy your summer reading list. :)
Thank you for the recommendation, as well. We Have Always Lived in the Castle is actually the first book by Jackson I read - I enjoyed it so much I looked for others, and discovered Haunting of Hill House. :) It's a pretty amazing book, isn't it? :)
Response: Thanks for rating, and so glad you enjoyed the mini-zine! I love Jackson - she's so underrated, I think. Hope you enjoy your summer reading too!
Comment: Thanks for doing this swap with me. I love your style of tangling. If you would like to, maybe we can do this again in the future (incorporating a theme or color to make it different.) And also thanks for the pretty butterfly note card.
Response: It was fun - glad the photocopy arrived safely! We should definitely do it again sometime down the line. :)
Comment: Oh my gosh, this got mixed up in my coupon mail so I didn't even see it! I'm sorry! I loved your story though, brings up so many questions about what happened with his father and what's going to happen to him! You have strength in description and you switched POV from father to son quite fluidly. :)
Response: I hadn't even noticed it hadn't been rated yet - shows how on top of things I am! :) Thanks for rating and I'm so glad you enjoyed the story! I'm not sure what happened with his father, but I think that the trapeze artist being caught at the end is a hopeful sign.
Comment: Kara, your "Through the Window in a Zentangle World" is so wonderful. Your work is so intricate and lines are so true. I love your vision and composition. The combination of patterns is awe-inspiring. I can only hope that my work is as beautiful. Thank you for a wonderful swap.
Response: So glad that you like it! I hope that you're feeling better and look forward to seeing your work some time. :)
Comment: awesome lady thank you wonderful recos on the books and wow some awesome titles there and thanks so much for the beautiful bookmarks !!! kudos to you . Love how active you are .. take care and happy swapping .
Response: Thanks - glad you like the bookmarks - happy swapping!
Comment: All I can say is WOW!! Thank you so much for sending such a GORGEOUS zentangle to me, and taking my profile likes into consideration when making it! I can't explain how beautiful this is and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the pink glitter with it! It's breathtaking and I will be framing this immediately. Thank you again, I really adore this wonderful piece of art! <3
Response: Yay! I'm so glad you like it - I had a lot of fun making it!
Comment: Got the package yesterday. The wrapping paper alone is just beautiful! Can't wait for the new year to unfold so I can get into all of missives. The Swap-bot-anniversary item has me intrigued -- and what a cool idea! thanks in advance for everything.
Response: You're welcome! I hope you enjoy it all!
Comment: Thanks for all the tea you sent me. I am really looking forward to try them all. Also thanks for the "new" tea. I have never seen those tea which unfolds flowers when putting them in water. Amazing:) can't wait to try it out.
Response: So glad you enjoyed the package! The flowering teas are very fun - enjoy!
Comment: Tita Kara!
Thank you very much for this swap! I enjoyed singing that song to the tune of Ode to Joy. Plus the postcard that you sent to me - really made me jump!! Didn't know that Portland was in the north. Thank you again! :D
Comment: Wow - I love the ribbon zentangle you designed. It is such a cool technique. I think it is really effective that you left it pure black and white -- great piece of art. I will enjoy having it in my collection. <3<3<3
Comment: First, the envelope is awesome. I love zentangles. And then the zine - OMG., it is just soooooo lovely. The note was so sweet and the photography there is beautiful. Now --- to the Journal. I so enjoyed reading it. It was waiting when I got home from the eye doctor and, yes, with dilated eyes and my glasses and a magnifying glass, I immediately read it cover to cover. What a treat. I loved it. What a wonderful size and the artwork is so in keeping with the envelope and zine. Wish I could give you more than one heart.
Response: Thanks so much for your wonderful comments! I'm so glad you enjoyed the journal and everything else. I had a blast decorating the envelope - I should do that more often!
Comment: Thank you for the swap, Kara! :) I really enjoyed reading your questions and have already thought about how I'll answer them. I will send the survey back very soon. Congratulations on a novel swap idea :)
Response: Glad it arrived so quickly - looking forward to seeing your answers!
Comment: Hi Kara, I just got your letter for this swap ! I loved reading your letter. :) And the envelope out of that poster was awesome ! PLUS... STAMPS ! AND a lovely postcard ! You made my day ... thank you so much. I totally love it. :) I am so happy to read that you are having a happy lovely life with Matt. :D You two sounds great together, and Congratulations ! Hope your honeymoon was great ! :) Have a nice day ! :) ~Yasara
Response: So glad you enjoyed the letter - these swaps are always so fun! Happy swapping!
Comment: Kara, I loved seeing how you interpreted the swap and the zentangles. I agree that zentangling is very much a meditative process - or that it can be. I love reading about your days and thank you for sharing these times with me. I hope you had a lovely wedding day (I'm sure you did) and I wish you both much happiness. Thanks for swapping. Es xx
Comment: That's a very silly plot indeed. You did a good job outlining it and researching. I will have to take a page from your book and start outlining like that, laying all the possibilities out and then choosing one that works best. :) Very cool
Response: Thanks! When I do this type of writing (where I'm given random words/plots to start with) I always think about it that way. It's pretty fun to start with a goofy situation and then back your way out of it, trying to figure out how anything like that could have happened.
Comment: First of all, you are SO lucky to live near Powell's!!! I visited a friend in Portland last Christmas, and spent many, many hours in that wonderful store (I died when I found the mythology section, I think I bought 10 books!)
Secondly, thank you SO much for finding a book that I would like, I am so excited to start reading it (in two weeks, when finals are over, haha). That was very sweet of you.
And lastly, I very much enjoyed your survey, and I'm glad you had fun doing it too! =]
Comment: I loved the imagery in your story, how I got to glimpse the magical and beautiful within the everyday. An inspiring and unique metaphor too.
Response: I'm glad you enjoyed the story! I tend to have magical elements in my writing (nothing fancy, simply somethign unreal threaded into real life) and it makes writing fun for me! Hope you enjoyed writing your story too!
Comment: I love the package! Of course, I am dying to open all of the little wrapped things, but it is clear you took your time with it. I can't wait to start opening then! Definitely a good motivation!
Response: So glad that you like it already! I'm sure you'll like it even more once you get to see what's inside! I hope it helps you make it through the always crazy month of November - happy NaNoWriMo!
Comment: What a great letter! I have never read this book but I will put it on my list. Thank you!
Response: That was fast! I'm glad you enjoyed the letter - it was extremely fun to write. If your reading list is anywhere near as long as mine, it will be quite some time before you get to read it... :)
Comment: WOW...your did good! I especially like that you were able to 'match' the tangle when it is closed. Great work. I'm not sure how I'm going to display my tower, so I'll be waiting until I get the other 2.
Comment: Hi Kara: Thanks for the lovely watercolour note - You look like you have natural talent. I also love to exercise while I'm outdoors, but I'm crowding 50, so I'm not quite as active as I used to be. :-)
Response: As I watercolor more and more, I'm finding that mountains are an easy subject for some reason! I tried painting a bear, and that didn't turn out quite as well! Thanks for rating!
Comment: Beautiful atc - definitely get some watercolor paper though - it makes sturdier atcs. I love the metallic watercolors too.
No new costumes for July, but I did dress up in my tea outfit to go out.
Comment: h what a good idea! And I love to paint so will actually use it (though not for a self portrait! :) I have your book here but haven't even thought about what to send with it yet... hmm... thinking now. :)
Response: Glad you enjoyed it (and that it will come in handy for you!). Yeah, that particular novel certainly doesn't make you want to have a self-portrait... :) Looking forward to what you come up with!
Comment: Thank you so much for the notebook. I'm afraid it didn't fare very well in the mail (the pages are torn from the paper spine but I'm hoping to restitch it). The little envie inside was empty but --how neat is this-- there were four stamps (the contents I assume) floating about on the first page!
Response: Sorry to hear it got abused in the mail - but I suppose that's part of the fun of the swap! I'm glad that a couple of the stamps in the little pocket made it!
Comment: Oh My God!! I would give you 100 hearts if I could... Now I feel bad because I had no idea you would go all out like this.. I just put together some teas real quick and if I knew you were going to put so much thought and work into it.. WOW! The tin is beautiful and the teas are sealed with such care... Thank You! Any time you wanna swap again - I will know how to 'pay you back' ;))
Response: So glad you liked it! I was just glad you like black tea and chai tea too, as those are my favorites, so I already had everything I needed! Doesn't that Thai Chai smell awesome? I've been enjoying the Messmer Rooibos - brings back memories as I drank it all the time in Germany. Let's definitely swap again sometime, once we've gotten through a few of our new teas!
Comment: Kara, you already had me hooked after I read "the story is about Oscar - a 'ghetto nerd.'" HAHA! Too bad I picked Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout- but that book is definitely next on the list now. You mentioned you're a big fan of magical realism - have you ever read anything by Haruki Murakami or Jorge Luis Borges?
Response: Haven't yet - but both are on the list! I just got into magical realism about six months ago, when I read "The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon" by Tom Spanbauer. Which Murakami would you most recommend?
Comment: You do very nice work! ... and you're a fast swapper! I like the background color fill idea. Subtle and understated, not to distract from the paterns. Now, let me thank you for the card (bicycle cards are one of my "things"). It comes with a BOOKMARK! And the bookmark has a Dr. Seuss quote! You couldn't have hit the nail more on the head if it were the size of a silver dollar! PERFECT for me all the way around! Thank You
Response: Wow - I got pretty lucky on choosing that card for you! So glad that you enjoyed what I sent!
Comment: I LOVE my journal! And I really appreciate the time (and labor) you put into making it special for me (and my scouts). I will treasure it always and share it with my troop and service unit. This would be a wonderful idea to make and share with other scout leaders. Thank you again for allowing me to participate in the swap and for making this EXTRA special journal.
Response: Thanks for the great rating and comment. It was a really fun swap and I'm so glad we did it!
Comment: Thankyou for the atc which I was so pleased to receive on a rather cold, grey day. I also appreciated the accompanying note and the US stamps on the envie, which will go into my atc materials stash.
Comment: Thank you so much for the beautiful postcard. The mountain is so pretty. That is amazing that you hiked that many miles. I would love to hear more about your trip if you don't mind. Please email me at [email protected]
Have a blessed day. Sondra
Comment: Thank you so much for the great postcard of Maine & the wonderful narrative! Wow! I've read about the Appalachian trail and would like to hike there if I make it the area, but I'm way too out of shape to go the whole way. Congratulations! Sherry
Response: You'd be surprised actually. Plenty of people start out somewhat out of shape. You'd have to do low miles at the beginning, but if you have the will, you can work your way up pretty quickly! Thanks for the rating!
Comment: Thanks Kara! What were those sea lions doing in the safeway parking lot? We're doing great here in San Diego, thanks for asking!!!
Response: Thanks for the rating! It was inspired by a recent trip to the Oregon coast - there were sea lions EVERYWHERE on the beach and there was a Safeway store right on the beach too... it could happen!