Thursday, June 14, 2018

What's on your Book List - Episode 3

For previous episodes click on their respective links:

Welcome to Episode 3 of What's on your Book List.

I'm a avid reader. Or, more to the point I'm an avid listener of audiobooks.

Note: In this post I am listing the book title first, in caps, followed by the author's name and whether it's fiction (F), or non-fiction (NF).

I do not write reviews - too many other places are doing that so feel free to google any of these titles for more info on them. 

Also, if I don't enjoy a book, I move on to the next one on my book shelf - I haven't the time to waste on poorly written, or boring books. 

What you see here are books I've read and thoroughly enjoyed.

Here is the list of books I've listened to (and/or read) from May 1 - June 14.

THE LAST ORIGINAL WIFE - Dorothea Benton Frank (F)

STARGIRL (Book 1) - Jerry Spinelli (F)

LOW PRESSURE - Sandra Brown (F)

BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME - Ta-Nehisi Coates (Autobiography)

THE ACCOMPLISED GUEST (Stories) - Ann Beattie (F)

BROTOPIA - Emily Chang  (NF)
Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley

A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

THE SIXTH EXTINCTION - Elizabeth Kolbert (NF)
An Unnatural History

THE NORTH WATER - Ian McGuire  ((F)

THE NEW JIM CROW - Michelle Alexander  (NF)

FAHRENHEIT 451 - Ray Bradbury  (F)

THE WIFE BETWEEN US - Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen  (F)

THE CHILD FINDER - Rene Denfeld  (F)

ZERO TO ONE - Peter Thiel  (NF)
Notes on Startups, or How to Build a Future

Want Nothing + Do Everything = Have Everything

There you have it - my reading list covering May 1 - June 14.
Some books, like ZERO TO ONE, made my "Must Buy" list. Others, Like BROTOPIA got a second listen.

Read them, enjoy them, then move on to the next good read.

How's your list looking? 

Share titles in the comments if you feel like it. I'm always open to reading a book that comes with a strong recommendation.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

What's On Your Book List - Episode 2

If you missed Episode 1 click on the link to go there. Great authors and books await.
This link will give you more info on the audiobook app I use, called Overdrive.

I am a huge reader - or more accurately - a huge listener of audiobooks.

I listen to between 4 and 6 books a week. That's right - A WEEK!

So, without further ado - here are the titles of the books I have listened to during the last two weeks (April 16-30):

These are my recommended reads - for story info/reviews visit Goodreads.

EMMA FLINT - Little Deaths

Inspired by a true story. A great audiobook, the narration was very enjoyable. As a single parent I found myself getting very frustrated with the main characters, a useless mother and her pathetic husband. That said, I was curious enough to want to find out what happened to the two children in this story. Overall, I did enjoy this book. And, whether I like it or not, parents, like those portrayed in the novel, definitely do exist.

LAUREN WOLK - Beyond the Bright Sea

There was something about the cover and title that made me read "more" and I'm glad I did. This was a very interesting read. Written as a fiction, but full of historical non-fiction facts. I ended up learning something about the leper colonies in the USA. Quite interesting.

JEFFREY KLUGER - The Narcissist Next Door: Understanding the Monster in Your Family, in Your Office, in Your Bed - in Your World (Non-Fiction)

This is a book everyone should read - not only to recognize what's going on in other people's mind, but to take a hard look at our own personality - it's never too late to take stock.

JERRY SPINELLI - The Warden's Daughter

Believable characters, interesting plot - from start to finish this was a great audiobook. Lots of wonderful personalities woven in the story.

LAURA DAVE - Hello, Sunshine

Suspenseful and entertaining, compelling and funny. I was taken with the storyline and characters. Try living an authentic life at a time when one has little public privacy. Yup, that's why I'm not on Facebook!


This was such a delightful read - loved the two couples, loved the heart and soul you could feel in the written word. As these characters bonded you could really feel their emotions.

J M BARRIE - Peter Pan (for the umpteenth time - love his storytelling skills)

This is research reading - I've read Peter Pan more times than I can count. If you've never read it (on what planet do you live) then get with it!

NEIL GAIMAN - Trigger Warning

This is a collection of short fiction stories - read by the author. Some I really liked, others I confess I did fast forward. I'm a fan of Neil Gaiman so I wanted to give his short stories a perusal - overall worth picking up.

NANCY MACLEAN - Democracy in Chains (Non-Fiction)

A great read - in fact - a MUST READ for anyone with a mind of their own. I listened to it twice - yeah, it was so necessary. I needed to fully grasp the influence US politics have on all of us. (I'm Canadian.)

PEARL S. BUCK - The Good Earth

A book many have read - quite frankly I think I read it long ago, but I so thoroughly enjoyed it this time.

Please note - I am providing recommendations only, not reviews. My intention is to share books I've enjoyed. As for reviews there are lots of sites which do just that. Goodreads offers book reviews and information about the books - check out your local library as well.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Welcome to "What's On Your Book List" - Episode 1.

I am a huge reader - or more accurately - a huge listener of audiobooks. (I do also turn the odd page, when I want to study what the written word looks like on a page, and when working with Flash Fiction writing partners.)

I listen to between 4 and 6 books a week. That's right - A WEEK!

Last year I listened to over 200 books. WOW, even I'm impressed.

I have decided to share my reading list here on Pearson Report.
Well, I'm a huge fan of getting great book titles from other readers/listeners and felt you might enjoy a recommendation, or two hundred, from me as well.

Reading or Listening - let's take a quick look at this first, shall we.

I listen to audiobooks for the convenience it affords. When I'm cooking, tidying up, making my bed, dressing, doing laundry, ironing, and everything else my hands are preoccupied with I find having someone read to me is not only enjoyable - it's also highly entertaining.

Yes, music is an option - but, as I wish to learn a little something on my journey through life, listening to books has become a great source of knowledge as well.

Which brings me to what I read - Fiction and Non-Fiction alike. I always have a variety of books in the Bookshelf Folder of the reading app at any given time. Depending on my mood I will listen to all manner of interesting writings.

The reading app I use is available for Android and iOS platforms, and is free. It is called Overdrive. (The link will take you to their info page for mobile devices.)

So, without further ado - here are the titles of the books I have listened to during the last two weeks (April 1-14):

P G WOODHOUSE - My Man Jeeves, The Inimitable Jeeves, Jeeves, The Code of Woodhouse and The Mating Season

I'm a fan of old English writers - and when I want comedic writing there's nothing like a book by P G Woodhouse to make me laugh. As you can see, I had a run on a few - needed to have some humour and quirkiness in my world. These hit the mark. Part of the enjoyment is listening to the character voices read so brilliantly by the readers. 

DION LEONARD - Finding Gobi

Speaking of finding things, when I saw the cover and read the Overview (provide with a book when searching the titles through the library) I knew I had found a great book. A must read.

WILLIAM GOLDING - Lord of the Flies

I never did read this in my school days. When I came across it I went for it - well, as we all know - it's excellent. If you have not had a chance to read Lord of the Flies now's a good time.

NOAH HAWLEY - Before the Fall

Great storyline, well constructed characters, many twists and turns. Overall, I highly recommend Before the Fall. Whether reading it, or listening, it's a page-turner. 

COLSON WHITEHEAD - The Underground Railroad

All I can say about this book is WOW - I learned so much about the life of a slave in the late 1800s, early 1900's that I could not stop listening. At times my shock and revulsion at what was happening to the key characters was overwhelming. Yet, I was filled with awe and admiration for the way they endured and rose above the atrocities, even when the odds were stacked against them. This was such a well written book, the audiobook reader was amazing too. 

JOAN BAUER - Almost Home

I finished this book yesterday - here's another outstanding author. The flow of this story was seamless, the characters and storyline so real, very believable - I had strong feelings for them and their struggles. How quickly a life can change, and when it's a young one that has no control of parental units, it has that much more power to shape our emotions. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Again, if you're looking for a solid, well-written book this is a good find.

Please note - I am providing recommendations only, not reviews. My intention is to share books I've enjoyed. As for reviews there are lots of sites which do just that. Goodreads offers book reviews - so does your local library. 

ENJOY listening to (or reading) some of these amazing books.

Look for Episode 2 of "What's On Your Book List" in about two weeks.

Feel free to share your favourite titles in the comments below - I'm always looking for a great read. 

Monday, April 09, 2018

Moving on... I had a good run with it, but now I'm done.

Sometimes, the past needs to be left exactly where it landed - IN THE PAST.

I really wanted to get back in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge saddle, alas it's just not happening.


Well, it could be that I didn't stick to my original plan - which was put out the sequel to an earlier A to Z Challenge story.

Or, more likely, it could be my A to Z days really are done, and trying to make it happen again is not in the cards.

To those who entered on time, had their posts ready, and all that - high five. Seriously - I tip my cap to you all.

My best A to Z entries, in my humble opinion, will always be the ones I winged. (2011 & 2013) Those were spontaneous and fun for me and for those that dropped by. You never knew what was coming. It was a blast.

This trying to post to a Theme does not work for me - plain and simple - I'm the winger - not the planner. LOL

Me - when trying to plan posts.

Anyway, I've deleted my entries - and now will revert back to blogging when the mood moves and when time permits.

Happy Blogging.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Life is a SMORGASBORD. How much is on your PLATE?

As I return to my roots - here, at Pearson Report - I have discovered how easy it is to take on WAY TOO MUCH stuff.

While cleaning up my blog, placing many posts in Draft Mode, I realized how FLIGHTY I have been.

I looked up FLIGHTY and found these synonyms:

inconsistent - mercurial - whimsical - capricious - skittish - volatile - impulsive

INTERESTING...  (A true Piscean... sorry my fellow fishys, the truth hurts, I know.)

I picked "flighty" because it describes my tendency to be all over the map. Which, I confess, I am.

It's the nature of my beast.
See... I can own my baggage... I don't like my baggage, but, I will own it.

Okay, this baggage I love! (Miss CP and I on route to Disneyland!)

Here are words I think describe me, when it comes to how I tackle life, and the things I think of as my passions.

ambitious - zealous - distracted - eager - motivated - determined - enthusiastic

Yet, things don't get done, completed or otherwise finished.


No, I think it's having too many plates on the go at the Smorgasbord.

Is there a quick fix - NO, there is not - and don't let anyone tell you there is. They are lying!

So then... what is the REAL QUESTION I need to ask myself?

Why, dear ME, do I need to taste everything at life's SMORGASBORD?

Time to scrape off my many plates and start over again with an eye to filling one (small) plate,  satisfying my immediate cravings. Ah, what joy, what happiness will then be mine. I smile at the thought.

Why does seeing a smile make us want to smile too?
(Original artwork by me!)

I see, from perusing my past posts, I have, on several occasions, left this blogging platform - YET, return time and time again.


Well, the easy answer might be, because I like it. 

But it's more than that - it's about community - about common ground - real people sharing real stuff.

That's the real answer.

Yes - Twitter IS fun. I mostly use it to keep up with the LCHF (low carb high fat) community and give my local transit company the gears (they are really bad at transportation).

Yes - Instagram IS fun. I like the ease of using it. I like seeing what friends and family are up to, in very quick bites. No lengthy ramblings (like here, eeek). But... it still lacks that something I'm looking for. 

Maybe... the reason I keep coming back here is because it allows a certain freedom - I love writing (typing too), I love reading, I love sharing my journey - and this platform fits those best.

Long and short... in a nutshell, I need to
- being everything to everyone
- having so many project on the go at once
- putting off the thing that needs to be done now (okay, I hear the paperwork for tax time calling)
- letting my mind wander to greener pastures (read, yet more ideas/projects)

And finally I need to STOP saying YES to things I don't want to do.  (this is a biggie)

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a pushover - I just like being helpful... to everyone but ME.
Yikes... there, I said it out loud.

Now, I'm outta here - time to go for a long walk and clear my mind of the clutter that's stopping me from reaching my potential.

(Yup, I drew this!)

You got baggage?

What do you do with yours?

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Summer, Winter - take your pic(ture).

Ever wonder where time goes?

Yeah, me too.

Well, don't look here for the answer - 'cause I ain't got it. (gotta love good grammar, eh!!)

That said, we just hit the, "Oh my God (aka OMG) it's SUMMER and I haven't even put away my WINTER clothing", time of year.

Finally SUMMER has arrived. It'll last 5 minutes, but hey, it's here - PARTEEEEE! Yeah, right!

Of course if you're a Down Under dweller you've got that, "Oh my God (aka OMG) I'm so glad I live here not there where it's WINTER 365", thang going on.


I thought I'd pop in here to my dormant blog and say....




Make the most of the season you're in because you'll turn around twice and the whole deal will be done and you'll be wondering what the hell just happened.

Life happens - help it along - enjoy - party on - stop and smell a rose, or at least take its picture.

A rose by any other name...

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Having fun with #HASHTAGS

So much has changed, out here, and behind the scenes. Hence the long hiatus.

I'm dropping in to say HELLO.

I have been using Twitter for a while now and can be found @PearsonReport where I share a thought or two. With Twitter's 140 characters limit I can easily send out a quick tweet without investing the time normally needed to put a blog post together.

However, as I have said before I miss blogging and feel it's still a great way to share bits of our selves on a platform that has a few more options, as in more words, more pictures... a little more room for content.

Let me state, for the record, I do not do Facebook. Never felt the calling. I do feel the wine calling though! So, for me, it's a win-wine thing! LOL

As of 03/10/17, upon the encouragement of my daughter, Courtney, I have made the leap into the wide world of Instagram. Yet another bit of social media.

Will I last? I think so, as it seems the ideal in between fix - not quite a tweet, and not quite a blog post. I like it!

I can be found @jenny_pearson_report where I have, at the time of writing this, a total of 6 posts. Go me!  LOL

As with Twitter, and even out here on Blogger, I follow that which I know I will look at, read, enjoy and otherwise feel happy about investing time in. Please do not read anything into this, I only mean that as time is so limited I really keep my followings reigned in.

The reason for my visit here, today, is to share a little HASHTAG 101 on social media, in particular Instagram, and to a lesser degree Twitter.

I have discovered the real way to get exposure is not by worrying about your Followers, they will come and stay if the content is to their liking, but by knowing how to use HASHTAGS (#).

That's right... it's all in the hashtags. And how do I know this... well here, let me explain.

When I signed up with Instagram I had NO followers - stands to reason, right. So, the first thing I did was I followed my daughter's two accounts and a couple of friends. Okay, so far so good.

I then posted a picture of some colouring I am doing. Yes, you read that right. I am colouring a horse - call it mental relaxation therapy, as it is mindless and truly relaxing. I also find it is getting me comfortable with working with colours, and colour shading.

Here is the photo I used for my first Instagram post... click on it to see the bird on the back of the horse. I am still finishing this piece as the shading takes time. But, I'm in no rush.

When I posted this photo I used 6 hashtags in total.
The viewing potential was limited, and I received 4 likes, which I thought was so exciting.

It was during my 1st post and 4th post that I did some extensive Instagram research.

How does one get VIEWED... that was my question and I went searching for answers.

Did you know on Instagram you can use up to 30 hashtags - more and your post won't show any. I found this out during my research phase.

So, here is the picture for my 6th post...

During my wanderings around Instagram I found some incredible 2D drawings that looked like 3D. I was so fascinated by @willie_hsu_art version of this, which is totally amazing, that I had to figure it out.

NOW HERE'S THE EXCITING BIT... I used 29 hashtags, all art and drawing related.

I got 44 likes - and 9 followers (some from my 5th post as I employed my hashtag principle there too).

So... if you are on Instagram, and want more VIEWERS then you really need to focus on adding hashtags. (they work great with Twitter too - upping the exposure of Tweets)

Here's a little bonus... I made a hashtag folder in the Notes section on my iPhone - this take a few minutes to do, but I made up 3 different versions (portrait work, random sketching, and a LCHF version for my baking). This way I can copy and paste my hashtags without much fuss.

Yes, leave it to me to be that organized - time is money. Hashtagging takes time, so I've taken that step out of the process.

In closing... may I just say, I still visit, I seldom if ever comment, and I'll understand if you don't either, time being what it is - in short supply and running out fast.

That said... here is my question (yes, I still ask questions).

Do you use HASHTAGS, and if so do you find they help bring visitors to your social media sites, like Instagram and Twitter?