Meet Me in the Strange by Leander Watts

I ordered this book for the library after reading a review that mentioned how the world had a David Bowie glam feel to it.  I checked it out a couple of weeks after it arrived and it sat in my TBR long enough for me to forget anything that I read about it.  I’m glad, though.  I don’t know what I would have expected if I remembered the summary I read.  I think this one was better to go into blind.

Watts crafts a world that is much different from our own without feeling completely otherworldly.  The city where most of the action takes place is some kind of holy city and there is talk of the New World without there ever being any real explanation of what the New World is.  The whole book has a surreal, otherworldly 1970’s feel to it.  Django Conn, the rock star that everyone loves, definitely feels like Bowie and the fashions that he’s ushered in fit the glam rock scene too and there is a lot of talk about the moon landing and what it might mean.

Davi has always lived in the Angelus Hotel.  His family has owned it for generations and there he has access to almost anything he could want.  He spends his time listening to music in his room and coming and going as he please, him and his sister having chased off any tutors long ago.  When Davi goes to the Django Conn concert, he spots a girl who is completely lost in the music and he can’t help but feel like they are the only two people who really get it.  When the girl, Anna Z, shows up with Davi’s sister’s boyfriend, Davi follows her, desperate to find out who she is.  Anna Z is unlike anyone Davi has ever met before.  She talk-talk-talks about strange things until they seem to be the absolute truth.  But Anna Z is trying to escape and she needs Davi to be more than he ever has in order to free her.

This was an iffy book for me.  It was short and had short chapters, which I loved, and it reminded me a lot of Francesca Lia Block, which is honestly what kept me reading.  There was a lot here and I would like to see it with more ratings and reviews because I definitely think it’s worth the read.  However, I was a little put off by the portrayal of Anna Z.  She’s almost the definition of a “manic pixie dream girl” but I still liked her as a character.  I liked this book enough that I would like to seek out some more of Watts in the future but it is definitely an acquired taste.  Read it if you love music enough to think it’s everything and don’t mind a few strange ideas being twisted page after page.

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Tally Monday- DOUBLE DIGEST!

Checked Out

  1. The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
  2. Unwasted by Sacha Scoblic
  3. The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking
  4. What to Say When You Talk to Yourself by Shad Helmstetter
  5. Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh
  6. America’s Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money (again)
  7. Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

Bought

  1. Haunted on Bourbon Street by Deanna Chase
  2. Witches of Bourbon Street by Deanna Chase
  3. Demons of Bourbon Street  by Deanna Chase
  4. Silverhill by Phyllis A. Whitney
  5. Sole Survivor by Dean Koontz
  6. Love, Alabama by Susan Sands

Read

  1. Riverdale Digest, vol 2
  2. Stalking God by Anjali Kumar
  3. Riverdale Digest, vol 3
  4. Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
  5. Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh
  6. Meet Me in the Strange by Leander Watts
  7. “Departures” by Sarah Batkie

Reading: Dr. Franklin’s Island by Ann Halam, You Do You by Sarah Knight, Arabian NightsAttack of the Fiend by Joseph Delaney, Best Loved Poems of the American PeopleChicken Soup for the SoulSimple Abundance by Sarah ban Breathnach, and The Empowered Mama by Lisa Druxman

So, last week I was in Wisconsin and I decided at the last minute not to take my laptop.  I didn’t want ANOTHER bag and I told myself that it would be a good idea to take a little break from writing.  It was, after all, a vacation and I have been completely rewriting the ending of my novel and working out complicated plot kinks and the work was going slowly.  The good news is that the writing is going much better now and you get a HUGE Tally Monday!

I’ve been busy.

I checked out a shit ton of books in the past two weeks because Podcasts mostly.  After readinga  blog post about a family that paid off $27k in debt in one year, I decided that I needed to get back on the Total Money Makeover track so I checked out that audio on my phone and listened to it IN A DAY.  In all fairness, I’ve already read it twice.  Last week I had two days of determination.  I considered having a garage sale and trying to pick up some side hustles to make a little extra cash.  That only lasted two days.  I got paid on Wednesday, paid my bills, listened to the audio on Thursday, got groceries, and by Friday night was like, “Fuck it.  I’m not doing that.  I want to ENJOY my life.”

And that kind of sums it up for me, right now.

You may have noticed that I have been checking out tons of self-help and self-help adjacent books lately.  I’ve been feeling LOST and a bit at loose ends.  Some have helped.  There was nothing like the high that I got from The Secret.  But I still feel LOST and like I need to fix EVERYTHING.  I don’t like how I have been living and I don’t like how I have been treating myself but I’ve realized this stems from trying to change.  Basically, I want to lose weight, pay off debt, have less stress, be happier, and be the best mother and wife that I can be…  So I tell myself that I need to stop drinking and smoking and that I need to eat less and work out more and that I should give more to my family and more to myself and at the end of the day THAT’S ALL TOO MUCH.

What ends up happening is that I suck the joy out of EVERYTHING.  So for the past couple of months I enjoy a couple of drinks and then immediately feel guilty.  I have a delicious meal and then beat myself up for eating too much.  I live by a strict budget until I can’t stand it anymore and a buy something irresponsible.  I tell myself to relax and then get angry at myself for letting the housework pile up.  I get angry with myself for my insomnia and then I can’t sleep because I am so upset.  I try to cater to my family, smile and compliment and love and anticipate their needs, and then I snap at them or mess something silly up and I just deteriorate.  I take time for myself and feel like the absolute worst.

I don’t want to live like this anymore.

What does this have to do with a Tally Monday?  Not a lot.  This week I am telling myself that slow and steady wins the race.  I am forgiving myself for minor mishaps.  I am trying to be NICE to myself.  I am trying to listen to my own needs a little better.  I hope that translates to some reading but I won’t call myself a loser if it doesn’t.

Reading is supposed to be joy.