Read a Novel, Non-Fiction, An Audiobook and a Magazine

by Katy on May 9, 2011 · 26 comments

Although I consider myself an avid reader, I go through fits and spurts where I voraciously read and then stray away from the habit. Right now, I am in the midst of a wonderful reading flow. For me, this means one novel, one book of non-fiction and one audio books going all at once. Throw in a magazine and I’m in heaven.

Here’s what I’m reading and just finished reading right now:

The Penny Pincher’s Club, by Sarah Strohmeyer

I pulled this book off the shelf at the library, as I felt that to leave it there would be a disservice to all that is good and holy. It’s chick lit with a frugal theme! It mentions The Compact, (in relation to Oregon no less) and has someone refer to themselves as a “Non-Consumer.” Could have been terribly written and I still would have loved it, luckily this was not the case.

Better Off: Flipping The Switch on Technology, by Eric Brende

I just picked this book up at the library today, so I actually haven’t read any of it yet. However, I really like the I did such-and-such for a year genre and the idea of living a year without any modern technology sounds intriguing.

The Fourth Bear, by Jasper Fforde

I really like this author, and am always happy to find his audiobooks at the library. This series of books involve a world where fiction and non-fiction intersperse, and hard boiled detective Jack Spratt from the N.S.D., (Nursery Crimes Division) is on the hunt to find out who killed Goldilocks. Very fun, plus, with these audiobooks, someone with a real English accent reads them out loud to me!

Sunset Magazines

My next door neighbors subscribe to Sunset magazine, which I love. However, I am perfectly happy to read their copies without forking over the big bucks for my own subscription. I recently brought home a stack of three magazines and spent a few evenings finding gardening inspiration. I know many people are happy to read online versions of magazines, but they always seem somewhat unsatisfying to me. I like to lie down and flip through the pages and feel the glossy paper stock.

But don’t worry, I share my Real Simple magazines to reciprocate. You didn’t think I was a mooch, did you?

What are you reading these days? Please share your suggestions in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”


{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Audrey May 9, 2011 at 5:51 am

I just finished reading “Planting Dandelions” by Kyran Pittman. Phenomenal book. It was so good that I read it a second time as soon as I finished it the first go round. Certain parts made me laugh so hard I cried. I also recently finished a few of David Wann’s books ~ maybe you’ve read those already? I particularly enjoyed “Simple Prosperity”.


Heidi M. May 9, 2011 at 6:04 am

Katy, you will really like the Better Off book. My husband and I both read it. It fits right in with your non-consumer lifestyle–using “technology” as a tool and deciding what to keep or bring in to your life.


Megg May 9, 2011 at 6:14 am

I’m going to have to check out the penny pinchers book!
I LOVE reading audio books but now that my husband and I carpool to work I really don’t have enough time in my car to listen to them.

Right now I’m reading a fictional book about the lost colony of Roanoke (on my phone) and a kids book called The Dollhouse Murders that I picked up for .99 at the thrift store! I love kid and young adult books, don’t judge!


Karen May 9, 2011 at 9:02 am

Megg, I too am a big fan of young adult fiction. A lot of fiction is categorized as Y A simply because the protagonists are younger, not because the book is any lesser than an adult book. It’s just a marketing decision. Good writing is good writing!


Barb @ 1 Sentence Diary May 9, 2011 at 12:30 pm

I agree with Karen: YA fiction is just fiction that someone thinks will be appreciated by teenagers. No reason that adults of all ages can’t read and enjoy.


Jessica May 9, 2011 at 6:17 am

Katy – we are totally on the same page, I usually have a similar rota happening with fiction, non-fiction, audio book and magazine!

Non-ficion: Why Students Don’t Like School
Fiction: Shades of Grey The Road to High Saphron also a Jasper Fforde book!
Audio: Pretties
Magazine: E-Magazine


Barb @ 1 Sentence Diary May 9, 2011 at 6:24 am

We all recently read “The Hunger Games” and the two other books in that trilogy. It was the kind of book you ache to talk about, so I was very happy that my finace and my son also read it. We’ve been talking about it on and off for several weeks now.

I also re-read the entire Earth Children Series (“The Clan of the Cavebear” is the first book). Don’t judge. 🙂 I met Jean Auel a few times in Portland, and I started reading this series in High School. The newest and supposedly final installment was released last month, so I re-read the previous 5 in order to prepare for reading the newest. I can’t say it was great literature, but I enjoyed myself.

Right now I’m reading for my bookclub: “Tinkers.” It’s slow-going, but good.


Diane May 9, 2011 at 7:15 am

I’ve only been to Portland on business, so I have yet to meet the “real Portland”. I did pay homage to Powell’s via their airport annex. There, I found a very gently used copy of Eric Brende’s book. I devoured it. Twice. A thoroughly enjoyable read. Like you, I generally have several books going at once. I am a devoted library volunteer. Luckily for me, mom gave me a new subscription to Sunset for Christmas, as she was surprised to learn I’d let mine lapse. (I’ve been reading the mag since I was a kid, perusing her religiously cataloged copies.) To your list, I’d add the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear. Well written with a good dose of history to boot.


Su Mama May 9, 2011 at 7:30 pm

I’m with Diane — hooray for Maisie Dobbs & Co.! A bookstore owner friend gave me the latest in the series during my recent convalesence. I’m CRAZY about the series — immediately hobbling to her mystery bookstore to get the first and second in the series! It paints such an entertaining and detailed portrait of England during the period between the two world wars. Also very enjoyable are the Daisy Dalrymple series by Carola Dunn, a lovely English-born author now living in Eugene, Oregon.

My magazines: Mystery Scene, Raw Vision, The National Inquirer (!) and recently-reupped The New Yorker, Oregon Home and Better Homes & Gardens.


Van May 9, 2011 at 7:21 am

Thank for the recommendations, I’ll have to come back and check these out… when I tear myself away from my horror novels. For thrifty/crafting/DIY ideas, I’ve been reading random old books I’ve found 🙂


Chrissy May 9, 2011 at 7:21 am

Just put the Penny PInchers Club on hold at my library and have an AJ Jacobs audio book already waiting my pick-up.


Mama Minou May 9, 2011 at 7:33 am

Thanks for the tips! I just reserved the first two online at my wonderful public library. For “light” reading (and it is, but fun) I have been enjoying the steamy Sookie Stackhouse novels. Vampire fiction wouldn’t normally appeal to me, but a friend recommended them and they are pretty good! For daydreaming, I have a stack of Lonely Planet travel guides (turning 40 merits a trip somewhere new, or at least a plan for a future trip). And I can’t remember where I heard about it (maybe here?), but for nonfiction I’m about to start “The Big Necessity”, the story of human waste. All from the library!


Karen May 9, 2011 at 8:59 am

I am enjoying the Big Container gardening book you recommended a few weeks ago, Katy. What a great book that is. For the past week, I have been paging through it before going to sleep, and plan to put some of the wonderful suggestions into play in the garden this summer.

I also am reading a Swedish mystery, the Darkest Room, by Johan Theorin, which is a real page turner. He has such a gift for giving you the sense of place and atmosphere in an old manor house. I got hooked on Scandinavian mysteries a couple years ago after reading the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, which is more in the thriller genre than I usually go for. I highly recommend Theorin and also Norwegian mystery author Karin Fossum to anyone who likes novels that really explore the effect of crime on real people (well, real characters).


Katy May 9, 2011 at 9:15 pm

I haven’t started reading that yet, but am excited to get some edible container garden inspiration.



Vicki May 9, 2011 at 9:14 am

My 4 month old will only nap while nursing. Thank goodness for my iPhone! I just discovered kindle for the iPhone and there are toms of free, classic book choices. I am reading Pride and Prejudice now.
I also use nursing time to read great blogs, like this one. 🙂


Anne Marie @ Married to the Empire May 9, 2011 at 9:54 am

I was reading Buy Buy Baby: How Consume Culture Manipulates Parents and Harms Young Minds by Susan Gregory Thomas, but it was due back at the library. I’ll check it out again to finish it, as it was fascinating reading. I’m pregnant for the first time, so this topic is especially interesting to me right now.

My current book is Memory and Dream by Charles de Lint. He’s a new favorite author of mine. He writes urban fantasy, which I really like, as I’m very into folklore and fairy tales from around the world.

I don’t read as quickly or as voraciously as I used to, unfortunately. Pregnancy often leaves me too tired at night.


Todd Helmkamp May 9, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Apparently, either the men that read this blog don’t read, or I’m the only man that reads this blog. 🙂

I’m reading “Black Gun, Silver Star” by Art Burton. It’s an excellent biography of Bass Reeves, an African American Deputy US Marshal. Very good stuff.

I’m also reading through the Discworld series of humorous fantasy by Terry Pratchett, and the “Foxfire” series.


Twyla May 9, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Just finished SOlitary ENvoy this morning and posted my review on GoodReads. Next up: I’m not sure, make a suggestion from my shelves. I’m too lazy for audio books; I figure if I put one on the stereo I’d promptly fall asleep because i wasn’t ‘doing’ something.


Rachel Gillespie May 9, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Katy, could I recommend “The Winter of our Disconnect” by Susan Maushart. It follows the journey of a family – with three teenagers! – that disconnected from technology for six months. I think you’d find it interesting.


Jenny May 11, 2011 at 8:11 am

I second this one–it was interesting and you get a little look at culture down under at the same time.


Katy May 9, 2011 at 9:17 pm

I am certainly going to fill up my library hold list this week!



Gena May 10, 2011 at 2:33 pm

I recently finished Sarah’s Key; FABULOUS book. I couldn’t put it down!
I’m currently reading The Help and loving it.


Jenny May 11, 2011 at 8:12 am

Loved The Help!


Su Mama May 10, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Oh, by the way — Sarah Strohmeyer also wrote an absolutely hilarious mystery series featuring a hairdresser named Bubbles, who was based on the Barbie doll!


Ann May 17, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Bubbles = great series!!


Erin May 19, 2011 at 6:16 pm

I have alreadynread the Penny Pincher’s Club and found it to be quite funny;). I love how there are different levels of pinching pennies to live a fulfilling life


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