Tally Monday- December 11, 2017

Checked Out

  1. Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter
  2. The Lazy Guru’s Guide to Life by Laurence Shorter
  3. Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter
  4. Tina’s Mouth by Keshni Kashyap

Bought

  1. Your Heiress Diary by Paris Hilton
  2. The Red Dress by Nicholas Hughes

Read

  1. I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
  2. The Lazy Guru’s Guide to Life
  3. Essays- The Second Series by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Reading I seriously don’t even know.  The Student’s Mythology by Catherine Anne White, Edith Wharton by Hermione Lee, Gloriana by Kevin Guizenga, Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy, and something yet to be determined.

I decided to heavily pursue my reading goal for the year.  Currently, I need to read 20 books in 20 days.  Of course, I’m still working on the Daily Stoic, which I will finish at the end of the year, and I should have the Wharton biography done by the end of the year too.  So that leaves 18 books in 20 days.  It seems crazy and it probably is crazy but I can do it except that it kind of depends on when my e-book hold comes in for the new King.  Because I HAVE to stop everything and read that!

In the meantime, I have been piling up little books around myself.  Some graphic novels.  Little Black Classics.  The Old Man and the Sea and A Room of One’s Own.

But if I’m being honest I have to admit that I am kind of tired of the hustle and bustle.  I am tired of the pressure that I put on myself.  I am tired of the lack of help.  I am tired of feeling cast off and undervalued and unappreciated.  I am just fucking tired.  I want to JUST STOP for a bit.  I want someone else to take care of the million things that I take care of.  And I want to sit on the couch and play a fucking video game for hours.  Or I want to lay in bed and watch X-Files on my phone.  I just want out from under the crushing burden I’ve been feeling.

Yes, sometimes the best escape is books.  But you’ll notice that I didn’t just say I want to read more because it makes me feel better.  No, I put a strain on myself, an expectation, a crazy goal.

ABR.  Always be reading…

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Graphic Friday- Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel

I read Bechdel’s Fun Home a few months after my father passed away and even though her father and her relationship with him was much different from my own, I found it to be very soothing in my grieving process.  I’m sure that I added this book to my TBR soon afterwards but the two books are very different.  Actually, I recall breezing through Fun Home and kind of expected the same of this.  This was a much heavier book, full of quotes and psychology.  I had a completely different reaction to it.

Bechdel tells the story of her relationship to her mother.  She talks about her mother’s reaction to the book about Bechdel’s father and the many ways that Bechdel has been formed by her mother.  There’s a lot here, about her mother’s disapproval of her homosexuality as well as her disapproval of memoir writing.  There is a deep look into why Bechdel feels envy over other’s successes and how her panic attacks possibly stem from her anger with her mother.  What you end up with is a deep look at their relationship that seems fairly told.

Now, I enjoyed this book.  It got me thinking which is something I love a book to do.  Again, it seemed to find me at the right time, when I am considering my own parenting.  Toward the end of the book, Alison’s therapist asks her a question and tells her to answer the one thing that comes to her mind first.  She asks what she most learned from her mother.  And that question alone sent me reeling, the kind of reeling that pulled me right out of the book so I could look around my own life and see the ties.

This was a great read.  I’m not sure if I like this or Fun Home best or even if the two can be compared.

I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

Another series that I have been meaning to get around to for years. This was actually my second attempt. I like to listen to my series on audio and the reader has an uptick which drives me nuts. The story was good enough though that once I got into it I didn’t really even notice anymore.

Cammie is a Gallagher Girl. She attends the elite Gallagher Academy which the residents of the local town (and everyone else) thinks is just a school for stuck up rich girls. But it isn’t. It’s a school for spies. Cammie is a legacy, her mother not only was a student there but is currently the head mistress. I found it refreshing that Cammie genuinely loves her mother and never seems embarrassed by her. In fact, she seems universally loved. That’s the thing about being a Gallagher Girl. The students are actually like a sisterhood and a family and a large part of that is that their lives will depend on one another some day.

But while on a covert mission at the town fair, Cammie meets a boy who will put her whole life style in jeopardy. Under the guise of making sure that nothing has been compromised, Cammie and her friends stake Josh out. Before long, Josh is more than just a boy but Cammie can’t tell him the whole truth and it gets harder and harder to keep her cover.

What a lighthearted, fun read! This one has action, romance, and friendship with a delightful garnish of cheese!

Tally Monday- December 4, 2017

Checked Out

None but there are two on my desk that I picked at last week.

Bought

  1. The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
  2. Slouching Toward Bethlehem by Joan Didion
  3. Fear Street Saga Collector’s Edition by R.L. Stine
  4. The Snowman by R.L. Stine
  5. The Babysitter by R.L. Stine
  6. Call Waiting by R.L. Stine

Read

  1. Are You My Mother by Alison Bechdel

Reading: Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King, Essays- The Second Series by Ralph Waldo Emerson, I Would Tell You I Loved You But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter, and Edith Wharton by Hermione Lee

Remember last week’s weird entry?  Well, things are just starting to feel back to normal.  They aren’t normal, they are far from it, but I am finally in a position to do things that need to be done.  In the meantime, I am juggling a personal laptop at home, a work laptop, and two work desktops that are in various states of useable.  We are getting closer!  I can’t give you any details or anything.  I just wanted to tell you that I am having a hard time with all of these different keyboards!  Seriously. lol

I did not read as much as I intended to last week.  Honestly, last week was one of the top five worst weeks of my life.  It actually probably came in third.  Everything was on fire at work.  Hubby was on fire at home.  Little Dude was not sleeping well.  By the time I got a chance to relax at night, I was just fucking over everything.  There was no reading.  There was very little coloring.  I basically sat and stared and scrolled.  My brain was fried and smoke was coming out of my ears.

I want to take a second here to point out that my friends are the best.  The.  Best.  We were all having hard weeks but they were literally my only support system through the whole ordeal and I cannot be thankful enough right now.

But it is a NEW WEEK!  Like I said, things are way better at work already.  Plus, I’M feeling better, kind of like I could take on the world!  This week I would like to dig into my big, meaty books and get some reading done.  I’m 23 books away from my goal for the year but I’m also 27 books over my original goal so I am okay with that.  I’m not going to make 100 this year but the reading I have done has been amazing and enriching.  I’ll do the best that I can.

Alright, guys… Maybe we can finish a book this week, yeah?

Tally Monday- November 27, 2017

Checked Out

  1. I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
  2. Gloriana By Kevin Huizenga

Bought

none!

read

  1. Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery

Please excuse the entry. This one is going to be short and full of formatting issues. As of this morning, most of my hopes and dreams for the month have come to a screeching halt. First the realization that I just can’t fit in a longer work out on weekdays threw me off my fitness goals. (And, yeah, I know I can work out after the baby goes to bed or instead of watching tv or blah blah blah. You do the shit I do then lecture me. Lol). Then when I got to work the computers were down and mixed with my own very shotty computer at home, well, I’m just not going to be getting any writing done for a bit.

But that’s all okay! Really!

Look, I am focusing at present on going with the flow, seeing the up side of things, and trying to find happiness where I’m at right now and I know all of that sounds hippy dippy but I don’t care.  The past couple of months have been a fucking wasteland for me and I can’t tolerate it anymore. I have to DO something. But lucky, you! A lot of my plan revolves around doing more things I love and one of those things is reading! Woohoo!

i hope things pick up from here. And I hope you have the most satisfying week in books that you can imagine! See you for a normal post in a week.

Tally Monday- November 20, 2017

Checked Out

  1. Are You My Mother by Alison Bechdel

Bought

  1. The Best American Short Stories 2017
  2. The Best American Essays 2017
  3. The Vampire’s Mail Order Bride by Kristen Painter

Read

  1. Anya’s Ghost by Vera Bosgol
  2. Rainbow Valley by L.M. Montgomery

Reading: Edith Wharton by Hermione Lee, Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King, Essays- Second Series by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery, O What a Luxury by Garrison Keillor, and Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel

I read something last night that completely sums up my feelings about Christmas.  Emerson said, “If, at any time, it comes into my head, that a present is due from me to somebody, I am puzzled what to give, until the opportunity is gone.”  He goes on to write about how gifts should be from the heart: a painting from a painter, a poem from a poet, a hand stitched handkerchief from a girl.  That sums it up for me.  That I could only purchase the perfect book for each person I love for Christmas.  Alas, not all of them read and there are some like my mother who reads but thinks that owning books is a waste of space and money.  (This is probably why I own sooooooo many books.)

I started to feel a little overwhelmed by everything that I am reading this weekend.  I pick at them all but I got to feeling like I should just dedicate myself to one and finish the damn thing.  This was particularly aimed at Edith Wharton but part of my joy of reading non-fiction is how slowly I pick away at it.  10 pages/day is enough to set my brain running and stuff it full of information.  Still, I have those 1500 pages I’m carrying around with me.

But look at my reading!  I have a main fiction book, a non-fiction, an e-book, an audio, some poetry, and a graphic novel.  Width.  Be amazed by the width.

I have just under 9 hours left of Rilla of Ingleside and then I will be DONE with the Anne books and, honestly, I’m pretty fucking excited about that.  I’ve enjoyed them but I am ready for a little break for catching up on Podcasts again.  I am woefully behind, like a month behind on some of my weeklies.  I’ll enjoy catching up.  But I also did the thing.  You know, the thing.  I put a bunch of books on hold.  Angels and Demons by Dan Brown, Fall of Giants by Ken Follett, The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan.  All series that I have been wanting to dive into.  But also, not really what I need to be focusing on.  Perhaps I should cancel them all and start my next series like a good girl.  Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

One day last week I admitted to myself that I had gotten out of control again and returned all of my library books except the Keillor and the Lee.  I felt cleansed.  I need to cancel those holds.  I bet that would feel good too.  I mean, keep it simple, right?  And I’m already reading 6 books at once so I’ve thrown that shit out the window long ago.

Here’s to a booktastic week, you guys!  As for me, I am looking forward to making time for reading this week, as an act of rest and replenishment and utter, decadent selfishness.

Graphic Friday- Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol

Anya has all of the angst.  She’s worried about her weight because kids used to pick on her.  She’s embarrassed about being an immigrant and doesn’t want to hang around the only other Russian kid in school.  She has one friend who she doesn’t think is particularly great friend.  She’s got a crush on Sean From the Basketball Team but he’s dating Elizabeth who is perfectly perfect.  Then she falls down a well.

Seriously.  While feeling very angsty indeed she stomps off into the nearby woods and falls into an old well.  She’s stuck there for two days with a skeleton and the skeleton’s ghost, a girl named Emily who is about Anya’s age.  When Anya is saved from the well, Emily’s pinky bone somehow ends up in her bag allowing Emily to follow her.

Having a ghost around isn’t so bad.  She can keep an eye out for teachers when you’re smoking.  She can find the answers to your test.  But Emily seems to have a real need to run Anya’s life and before long Anya realizes just how dangerous a ghost can be.

I really enjoyed this comic.  The first few pages felt a little rough but after that I didn’t even want to look up.  A must read, or at least right up my alley!