We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

I am going to do my best not to spoil this for you.  However, I went into this one knowing what the big twist was because of blog.  I didn’t want to know.  I intended to read the book eventually.  But the spoiler was on its own line right under the spoiler warning with no extra spacing and I saw it before I could look away.  Then I shook my fists in rage and have bitched about it numerous times since.

Because *some people* don’t seem to get how to properly warn of spoilers.  ~Some people.~

That did put me in an interesting spot to start this book because I went in knowing the truth and got to look for clues along the way.  I STILL missed stuff, you guys.  I mean, I knew what was coming and kept thinking, “How is she going to do this?  What is her plan here?”  When the twist came, it was still a surprise and I still HAD TO KNOW.  Kudos, Lockhart.

Cady Sinclair leads a charmed life.  She comes from an old family with trust funds and an island.  Every summer she goes to the island with her family and spends it with her cousins, Johnny and Mirren, and Gat, who she calls the liars.  Everything seems to change during Summer Fifteen when Cady finds herself in love with Gat.  But then an accident sends Cady away from the island and into a reeling sickness of amnesia and headaches.  When she returns, everything is different and nobody will tell her why.  She only has four weeks to figure out what happened during Summer Fifteen.  Was she the victim of some terrible crime?  What did she do wrong?

This was a great read.  It pulled me in right away and I devoured the first half of the book in one sitting.  (The internet was down.  That probably helped.)  I didn’t want to read but once I started reading, I didn’t want to stop.  I held the pages open with baby feet so that I could keep reading.  So, the question then becomes: Can you still love a book if you hate the ending?  I did not even hate the twist, just the way that it was executed.  It felt, I don’t know, unnecessary to me somehow even though it was the whole point of the book.  The sense I get is that you will either hate it or love it.  I can tell you that hating it did not make me love to rest of the book any less.

Also, fabulous summer read.

Podcast Tuesday: June 20, 2017

Podcasts on my phone: 1003

A couple of weeks ago, I tried to explain to Hubby why decision making is so hard for me.  It’s not because I am deciding what to do but I am deciding what not to do.  When I decide to read, I am actually deciding not to listen to podcasts or clean or watch TV or color or anything else.  Then I begin to wonder if I have made the right choice or if, even though my book is really good and I can’t wait to find out what happens, I might not get more out of one of the things that I have chosen not to do.

It’s gross.  It’s real pessimism, I think.  Whatever I am doing is obviously not the right thing.  Obviously.

Where I’m going here is that I have not listened to many podcasts this week.  There are a couple of reasons for that.

First, when I am at home I only listen to them when Hubby is gone or is outside or is otherwise occupied.  I’m not sure why.  I feel kind of like I am intruding on him when I listen to stuff, I guess.  Even in the mornings, I listen to podcasts until he gets up.  I pause when he passes through the living room and goes out for his morning smoke.  I pause when he comes back in.  And so on.  He doesn’t necessarily interrupt or even comment about my podcasts.  I should just let them run.

Second, I’ve been listening to an audiobook in my car.  I had intended to go back to audiobooks when I came back to work in May but I put it off a couple of weeks so that I could keep playing catch up with my podcasts.  Then I decided that it was important to me to read 100 books this year and the only way that I can do that is with audio added in.  I am listening to Anne of Green Gables which I have never read and I am really enjoying it.  But I miss my podcasts.  Today I’m taking a break from Anne’s antics and playing catch up instead.

Last week I talked about Zestology and On Being, both podcasts that make me feel like being healthier even if I don’t go through with it.  Once upon a time, two summers ago, I went on a girls trip with my friends and the day I came home was Father’s Day.  Hubby had gone to visit his dad and the house was empty when I got home.  I had a raging hangover and was feeling pretty GD terrible about myself.  So, I turned on a church podcast.  Seriously.  I listened to it and it spoke to me and I got my house clean and got myself together and vowed to lead a better life.

Sometimes I need that, that idea that I can be more than I am.  Podcasts get me there a little bit faster than books.

Gift from the Sea by Anne Marrow Lindbergh

I finished this book a week ago and just haven’t gotten around to reviewing it yet.  Reviews are one of those things that I tend to push to the wayside when I am busy and I am busy.  Working full time, managing a household, mothering, wifing, friending, daughtering.  It is a lot and that is kind of the point of this book, which I came across after it was mentioned in another of my favorite books.

Lindbergh used a two week vacation on the beach to work out some of her thoughts on being a busy woman and finding balance.  Her argument is that we all need a little space and solitude in order to continue giving.  We give until our cup is empty and then we must fill it back up with some solitude.

It was a relief to hear someone else say that women need solitude.  I found myself jealous of Lindbergh’s vacation, remembering a girls’ trip last year when I stayed in the cottage one night and read in the blissful quiet.  I missed my quiet mornings in my office, journaling and meditating behind a closed door.  Mostly, though, I realized how important it is for me to take time for myself.  It’s kind of like how you get more done if you just slow down.

I’ve noticed that I am accumulating a little collection of women’s books that I’ve been underlining and really thinking about, a kind of special collection.  This book will go there to be looked back at time after after.

Tally Monday- June 19, 2017

Checked Out

  1. The Last Message Received by Emily Trunko
  2. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Bought

  1. Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizman

Read

  1. “What is Behind” by Tomiko Breland
  2. The Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  3. Giant Days, vol. 4 by John Allison

Last Wednesday, Hubby went to his brother’s house after work to play games and I got home early from work.  LD and I were home alone and he was particularly sleepy that night.  I put him down early, 7:30, because he just couldn’t stay awake.  I was exhausted that day but I had this sense that I wanted to do something for myself, fill my cup up.  I made myself a drink and sat on the deck with my Little Black Classic, enjoying the summer and the stories and myself.

Last week I felt a little restless in my reading.  I intended to catch up on my One Story subscription, read a LBC, and then read The Blue Jay’s Dance by Louise Erdrich.  I read one One Story and then felt like I really just wanted to get into a book.  I started the Erdrich and realized that I was kind of sick of reading about being a mom right now.  I had just finished Gift from the Sea and while I feel like all of these women have important things to say about motherhood and that reading it put down in book form makes me feel a bit better about it, I was feeling a disconnect.  Yes, it is hard to be a mother and maintain a creative life.  Boy, they should try it while working full time, too.  I don’t mean to sound bitter but the balance that they are finding is not my balance.  I have to find my own.

And so, yesterday I pulled the bookmark out and tossed the book into the donation pile.

Instead I started We Were Liars by Lockhart and instantly knew I had made the right decision.  I was locked in.  I read nearly 100 pages yesterday while hungover and that should say something.  It’s a great summer book, mostly taking place on an island during the summer.  While I was reading, it just felt perfectly appropriate for this moment.  I have only 100 pages left to read and I cannot wait to finish it.  I just hope the spell isn’t broken.  Maybe I should have read it all yesterday.  Maybe I even could have.

I am having a weird morning, moving a little too slow and feeling a little too sad.  There are things in my life, things in me, that need fixing and the whole thing feels like a daunting task.  One thing I know is that books are a unique form of magic.  They will be here for me no matter what and something they even heal.  This morning, though, I found myself unable to concentrate on my book.  There’s too much in my head.  Too much in my heart.  But it won’t be like this forever.

Giant Days vol 5 by John Allison

Welcome to Graphics Friday, when I read a comic book if I have time and then I tell you all about it.  Today is a special Graphics Friday.  It’s my birthday!  So, of course I had time to read a comic today.  I MADE time for a comic today.  I realized last night that I had missed the newest Giant Days while I was on maternity leave and I got really excited because I knew exactly what I wanted to read today!

And, do you know, I love these damn comics.

In this fourth volume, even more hijinks ensue!  Esther finds herself in a financial pinch.  Daisy ends up hosting a tour of the college for an unruly-ish group of incoming students.  Susan tries dating.  Plus there is movie making and house hunting and lovers scorned and friends betrayed.  Top all of that off with a clever use of the phrase “Bechdel test” and a character with a Stryper tattoo.

Also, I’m in love with McGraw.

Podcast Tuesday- June 13, 2017

Podcasts Downloaded: 978

It looks like I made big headway in my listening this week but don’t be fooled!  What I actually did was unsubscribe from The Archers, a daily UK podcast that is supposedly something like a soap.  I never actually listened to The Archers but I started following it back in the winter and planned to get around to it eventually.  The problem was that eventually is still sometime in the future and in the meantime I have TONS to listen to and I can’t see a point in downloading episodes every day for something that I’m not going to listen to for a very long time.

I needed to trim some fat.

Last week I got into a couple of podcasts about well being.  I listened to some On Mindfulness and an episode of Zestology.  It had an effect on me.  I found myself wanting to be healthier and happier and just better all around.  On Mindfulness is interesting.  I’m not sure if I like it or not but I can’t seem to turn it off.  I’m not sure if I take anything away from it but I can’t seem to help listening.  Then there’s Zestology.  I ran across the host, Tony Wrighton, on a blog months ago and added his podcast.  I can’t say that it’s terribly useful for me.  I’m not going to long distance, or even short distance for that matter, run in the future and I probably won’t do bone broth shots anytime soon but just listening to people talk about being healthy made me want to be healthy.

And now, here I am, trying to get a handle on my eating and trying to get my steps in, tracking my food and tracking my activity.

But, you know, listening to podcasts really adds to the environment of our lives.  I feel like even if I am not taking in all of the advice on these kinds of shows, I am soaking in the healthful sounds and being a healthier person…  It’s almost like watching someone else exercise.

Tally Monday- June 12, 2017

Checked Out

  1. Welcome by Mo Willems
  2. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Bought

  1. Strange Magic by Syd Moore

Read

  1. The Athiest’s Mass by Honore de Balzac
  2. Gift from the Sea by Anne Marrow Lindbergh

There now!  Doesn’t that look like a great Tally Monday?  It looks, well, almost back to normal.  Things are still hard and stressful here but some days are easier than others.  Today I feel pretty good.  I worked my ass off yesterday and got a lot of stuff done around the house and checked off my to do list plus I loved on my baby and played a game with Hubby.  Things went smoothly this morning too.  I only wish that I had taken more time for morning cuddles with Little Dude and the cats.  Still, most of my chores are done and I even fooled around on the banjo.  Today is an easier day.

Thursday was a hard day.  One of my cousins posted a news story that pretty much made me a fucking emotional wreck for my whole late shift.  I wanted LD.  Worse, hubby was home with him and LD was giving him a hard time.  I wanted to be there to fix it but I couldn’t.  At work I was feeling like I would cry at any second and after hours of that, I bought a book.  Ha!  That’s right!  I bought a book to make myself feel better even though I kept telling myself that I wasn’t going to buy a book.  In all fairness, I have been really wanting Strange Magic since I read a review of it three months before it was publish AND I got it for $1.99 on Kindle.  I don’t know if it made me feel better but I like to pretend that it did.

This week, I had the awkward experience of reading The Athiest’s Mass while at a middle school.  I live and work in pretty conservative areas so I was trying to hide the title of the book the whole time with like one hand.  I don’t think that anybody would have said anything but I just had this anxiety that someone would and then I would have to explain that I have a rigid reading program an this was just the next Little Black Classic I had to read.  Anyway, there was not much that they would have been able to find to complain about in the actual story but the people who are apt to complain about a title are not apt to read the damn book.  It was good.  I had never read any Balzac (Ballsack!  Ah!  I can’t help myself!) but it was good.  The LBC consists of two short stories and they both were just great, even heart rending!  (Is that the right phase?  I don’t know.)

The second book that I read this week was Gift from the Sea by Anne Marrow LIndbergh.  I bought this book used in paperback like a month ago because I was reading A Room of Her Own: Women’s Personal Spaces for, like, the third time and noticed this book was quoted a few times.  I seem to be developing this personal collection of books about womanhood that I write in.  I recently did this with When Women Were Birds and it was a super rewarding experience.  The same thing here.  Lindbergh wrote this short series of essays while she was vacationing on the beach for two weeks.  She spent this time contemplating her jam-packed real life and trying to understand how women can get a better balance in their lives.  And if that isn’t something that I’ve always struggled with, I’m sure as hell struggling with it now.  Expect a review on this one shortly.

Up next:  the LBC version of Yellow Wallpaper, catching up on my One Stories, and then The Blue Jay’s Dance by Louise Erdrich.