Tally Tuesday- April 25, 2017

Checked Out

None!

Bought

  1. Imperium by Robert Harris

Read

  1. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

TBR Fuck if I know.

Yes, I am a day late.  Truth time!  I gave myself a few days off from life.  I didn’t work on my to do list.  I ate delicious foods.  I took a couple of little naps.  It was wonderful.  Actually, the whole weekend and into Monday was great.  I saw lots of people I enjoy spending time with and I had my favorite drinks and I just chilled.  Plus, I kind of wanted to put writing off until I finished War and Peace so that I would actually have something to show for the week, completely forgetting that I bought a book in the middle of the night.

Let’s talk about this purchase first.  I spend a lot of time up in the middle of the night.  I check the Amazon daily deals usually at some point when I am making bottles.  I sit on my couch with my Kindle and read while I do this daunting, but mostly just annoying, task and Monday morning I happened to recognize the name Robert Harris.  Why?  Because he’s Nick Hornby’s brother-in-law and I’ve been reading about how great he is for years.  So I bought it.  Whatever.  Maybe I’ll even read it someday.

Of course, the big news is that I finished War and Peace.  I loved it.  I really did.  That second epilogue is a bit much but the rest of it, even the war pars that I kept saying I didn’t like, was pretty damn good.  These characters will stick with me for a long time and I’m going to miss them.  I never ever expected to like it.  I just wanted to read it to be a snot to everyone who said I wouldn’t have time to read after I had a baby.  Ha!  Proved you guys wrong!  Ian probably has very deep thoughts about the free-will of mankind.

A review will follow but I cannot even wrap my head around that yet.

Okay, this week:  I’m about to finish a Little Black Classic, take on the latest One Story, and then we are off to the next big book.  Stephen King’s The Stand, the complete and uncut edition.  I’m excited!

Tally Monday- April 17, 2017

Checked Out

None

Bought

  1. Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer
  2. Authority by Jeff Vandermeer
  3. Acceptance by Jeff Vandermeer

Read

None

TBR Your guess is as good as mine.

Another week of basking in War and Peace.  I am beginning to hate Tolstoy who has ripped out my heart a couple of times now.  And it’s hard to predict, you guys.  Sometimes a character’s story will pick back up and I’ll catch myself clenching my teeth, awaiting the oncoming disaster.  Only, the disaster doesn’t come.  The story line swerves and the character lives to see another day.  Then something wonderfully hopeful happens and I get so excited for the wonderful, happy thing to come and it doesn’t happen.  Someone takes a lover instead or freaking dies.

Touche, Tolstoy.  Touche.

This morning I caught myself wondering how he did it.  How did he make me care about these characters?  They never seem technicolor to me, though they never seem flat either.  There is just enough there for me to think of the characters as real people.  They have just enough personality to be distinct but little enough for me to paint them with my own ideas and impressions.  It’s a fine line but he walks it well.

This week I will finish War and Peace and then I will launch headlong into The Stand.  One big book to another.  I’m looking forward to it, though.  I need more Stephen King in my life.

I bought the whole Southern Reach trilogy last week because I was feeling kind of down and they are pretty.  What can I say?  There are worse habits to have.

Tally Monday- April 10, 2017

Checked Out

None

Bought

None

Read

None

TBR: Goodreads says 14

I am not one of those people who need to stay up and read “just one more chapter.”  In fact, I am not usually one of those people who needs to read one more chapter.  I dip in and out of books.  I read a chapter here and a chapter there while I work or clean or hang out with Hubby.  I have never been able to read for long periods of time because it makes me tired, gives me a headache, and leaves me feeling fuzzy.  I love to read and this is how it works for me.

So imagine my surprise when last night, tired from a long day of chores and taking care of a baby, I went to bed and laud there, staring at the ceiling and thinking about how much I wanted to read War and Peace.  When Ian woke up at 4ish, I fed him a bottle and settled down to pump, which is when I’ve been doing most of my reading.  When I got back in bed, I couldn’t sleep.  I wanted to read more Tolstoy.  I kind of had to laugh at myself.  I never ever dreamed that this would be the book I sunk right into or that any Russian literature at all would have me wanting to skip out on sleep to read, especially when sleep is as precious as it currently is.

I am not always hooked on the story. I am not a huge fan of the war and history.  But this is one of those books where I can’t tell you who my favorite character is.  I love so many of them.  When I am deep in Natasha’s story, I am sure that she is my favorite but as soon as we flip to Pierre I realize that HE is my favorite and so on and so on.

I am 55% done with the book and a large part of me wants to spend this week finishing it.  Why not?  I mean, it’s not every day that you get to be on maternity leave.  I am, at present, a housewife and most of the housewives I know, though I am definitely not speaking for all of them, are really good at binge watching Netflix and updating their Facebook constantly.  Surely I can get lots done and read the second half of War and Peace this week.

Ian seems to enjoy it sometimes too.  This kid will have the best vocabulary in the county if I keep this up!

Hopefully next week I can report that I am finished.  I cannot stress enough that it is a GREAT book and totally worth the effort.

Tally Monday- April 3, 2017

Checked Out

None!

Bought

  1. Radical Self-Love by Gala Darling

Read

None

TBR: Fuck all.

Greetings from the other side!  I am here to tell you that, thus far, motherhood is not the end of reading.  I know what you’re going to say.  “Rachael, you didn’t read anything this week!”

Au contraire, my friends.  I read a bunch this week.

At this point, my life lines are two devices.  The first is a breast pump, because little man is not a fan of the boob, and the second is my Kindle.  Now, I know all of this is more than any of you want to know and I would be annoyed if some random person started telling me about their trials and tribulations in breast milk BUT this is my blog and this is my life right now and you’re just going to have to deal with it.  Maybe skip the next paragraph and pick back up at the Kindle stuff.

I assume that if you actually breastfeed your baby, you probably spend that time bonding with them and staring at them adoringly and doing little else.  However, after three frustrating says of fighting with LM (Little Man) for sometimes two hours and knowing that he wasn’t getting enough food and that we were not enjoying each other because all we did was fight while I grew increasingly upset about my complete and utter failure at motherhood and he became increasingly frustrated with his hunger and his mean mom who kept shoving her boob in his face, I started pumping and bottle feeding.  It may seem like this doesn’t actually save time.  I mean, I have to get the pump ready, pump for 20 minutes, break the pump down (I put it away every time), bottle the milk, clean and sanitize the pump stuff and any empty bottles, and then adore my baby on my own time.  It still takes less time than fighting for two hours.

Basically, my Kindle has made this process a million times better.  If you pump both sides at the same time, which just makes sense to me, you are literally handless for 20 minutes at a time.  There are options here.  You could watch TV but, really, how much of a dent are you going to make in the X-Files at 20 minutes at a time.  It will add up over the course of the day but if you’re like me you don’t really enjoy having a TV blaring all day and it’s a hassle to start and stop an episode. Plus, with Hubby home the first week I pretty much let him have free reign over the remote.  (I have watched sooooooo many guitar videos, you guys.  And now I want a new guitar even though we have fucking 10 between us.)

What you can do pretty much hands free is read a Kindle.  Now, my set up here is not perfect.  I basically am sitting on the couch with a Kindle on my lap and my neck bent at an uncomfortable angle.  Still, so much good has come from this.

I have spent a lot of time this year thinking about how pointless reading is.  I hate to admit when I have these thoughts but it comes up once in a while.  I’ve read and I’ve read some stuff that I liked and I enjoyed some of it but the spark was pretty well gone and I was beginning to wonder if it was ever there to begin with.  Last week when I was laying in the hospital, hooked up to a morphine drip, feeling vulnerable and scared and in pain and kind of harassed, I would pick up my Kindle and read and it always made me feel better.  It helped me sleep in a strange bed.  It calmed me down when I had a meltdown.  I read to LM when we were having skin-to-skin time.

I started reading War and Peace on my Kindle at night at the beginning of February.  This week I read as much as I had up to the point that I went into the hospital.  I went from 15% to 31%.  I’m really, really enjoying it and LM seems to enjoy it too.  (Hubby commented that I was filling his head with drivel but he hasn’t broken out the Tolkien yet so his opinion doesn’t matter.)

Now that I am really into the reading of W&P, I am having an easier time keeping characters straight and I really care about them.  I love the scenes at home, not on the battlefield, but even the war stuff has the ability to draw me in.  This morning (3 AM feeding) a character died who I adored and then I realized that I adore most of the characters, even for their flaws.  Way to go, Tolstoy.  I think I get it now.

This week I imagine that I’ll read even MORE than 15%.  Hubby is back to work and the TV is off.  I’ll readily admit to watching with him once in a while.  Do you know why?  Because time with the people I love is important.  And right now I am lucky enough to live in a house with a husband and a baby and four cats who I love like ridiculously.