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


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


  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…


Tally Monday- December 4, 2017

Checked Out

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


  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


  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 20, 2017

Checked Out

  1. Are You My Mother by Alison Bechdel


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


  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.

Tally Monday- November 13, 2017

Checked Out

  1. Rainbow Valley by L.M. Montgomery
  2. Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery


None!  But I do have a couple in my cart…


  1. Anne of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery

Reading Edith Wharton by Hermione Lee, Essays, the Second Series by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King, Rainbow Valley by L.M. Montgomery, O, What a Luxury by Garrison Keillor

It looks like I have a madness for Montgomery and at present I kind of do.  It happens every time that I get close to finishing a series.  I can see the end and I pursue it relentlessly.  Though, this morning I could not bring myself to listen to Rainbow Valley.  I needed a little bit of a break so I listened to a local morning show that was like the exact opposite of an Anne book.  The exact opposite. Ha ha ha.

I finished Anne of Ingleside Saturday morning and I’m kind of surprised at how much I enjoyed it.  I expected it to be the worst Anne book because I had such a hard time tracking it down on audio.  I couldn’t get it through three different library services and had to use Audible.  But it was such a good book!  It was full of gossip and children being children and Anne being human.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the Anne books shouldn’t be read until you are older.  If I had attempted this series sooner, I think that I would have been bored out of my gourd.  But as an adult who loves classics and women writers and quiet stories, these are spot on.  All of the funny courtship bits and the small town stories are great.  Plus, I love hearing the funny things kids do and I can relate to middle aged Anne just as well as young Anne.  I feel like kids would miss a lot of great stuff because it’s just beyond them still.

I’ve checked out the last two books in the series and should have it done by the end of the month.  Then I’ll take another little break for Podcasts.

I’ve been feeling a real need to purchase books lately and last week I hopped onto Amazon and added The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Essays 2017 to my cart.  When I get paid on Wednesday I fully intend to purchase them.  I really like picking up these collections even though I haven’t been the best about short stories and essays lately.  I meant to keep to my reading plan but shit happened.  I guess it’s time to get back on it and catch up a bit.  Like a broken record. lol.

I’m chipping away at a lot right now.  This morning Hubby asked me why I’m lugging around two giant books and I looked at him innocently and said, “I’m reading both of these right now.”  It’s true that it’s a bit much.  The King and Lee books total over 1500 pages and I threw out my shoulder carrying them last week.  Oh well.  These are the pains of a book nerd.  I’ve just barely started the King but I am 270 pages into the Wharton biography, and 49% into the Emerson (which is great bedtime reading because it knocks me out).

Not feeling great today.  Hubby is sick and something is going around work.  I have told myself that I am taking it easy and taking it easy is a great way to read.  We’ll see if I actually do.

Tally Monday- November 6, 2017

Checked Out

  1. O, What a Luxury by Garrison Keillor
  2. Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol




  1. The Complete Phonogram by Kieron Gillen

Reading Edith WhartonAnne of InglesideSleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King

About the middle of last week, I decided that I was going to focus all of my energy on getting through The Complete Phonogram by Friday.  I have been carrying around that 500 page comic plus an 800 page biography and a Fear Street book for what seems like weeks.  And I was starting to think about how I need to shake up my reading life or at least get it somewhat back on track.

Because, honestly, I fell off that wagon again and I’m not necessarily reading what I want to read.

When the new King book came out, I asked my husband to grab it for me.  I was home sick and he was going to Walmart and I had meant to buy it on my way home from work that day.  When he got home, he handed it to me and informed me that my book cast more than everything else he bought combined and I felt a bit sheepish and even more so when I put it on the bottom of my library book stack.  It’s been a month now and I keep looking at it on the coffee table and feeling bad and also impatient to get to it.

So, today was the day.  I finished Phonogram this morning and it was good and the King is waiting in my car for me.

My main goal this week is not to drive myself nuts.  I am simply buried.  To do lists.  Books.  Podcasts.  TV shows.  Puzzle books.  Coloring.  I want to relax.  I want to remember that I don’t have to do it all, right now, and perfectly.  Instead I want to read my Stephen King and maybe actually get some extra sleep.  Maybe even buy myself some… Jimmy Johns.  This week I want to chill out and take care of myself, forgive myself and love myself.  I don’t think that’s being unreasonable. Do you?

At present, it looks like I won’t read 100 books this year and I probably won’t win NaNoWriMo either.  But, you know, I’m okay with those things.  I birthed a child this year, you guys, and I mother and librarian and wife and friend and kick ass in general on a constant basis.  Fuck it.

Tally Monday- October 30, 2017

Checked Out



  1. Coffee with God by Sarah Arthur
  2. The Story of Molly MacLane by Molly MacLane


  1. “A Month on Greene Street” by Tom Hanks

Reading The Complete PhonomancerEdith Wharton

Ha ha.  Look at those books bought!  I bought a devotional and a diary of a teenage girl who writes a lot about Satan.  So, there you go.  My mind is a very strange place indeed.

I am not Christian but I kind of have a thing for devotionals.  I like the pattern of a daily reading.  For years now I have had some sort of daily reading, starting with Simple Abundance and moving on to all kinds of things like Daily Dose of Knowledge, The Intellectual Devotional, The Daily Stoic, and even the Bible, which I read in a year a few years ago.  I love having a little tidbit to think about all day which is why these books have become a part of my routine along with my Writer’s Almanac podcast.

For the past couple of years, I have subscribed to a treat for myself.  First I did Ipsy then I switched to Birch Box.  I enjoyed getting these little treats in the mail.  That once a month gift to myself that cost only $10 and was always a surprise even if sometimes it was disappointing.  I realized the other day that I don’t actually enjoy my Birch Box anymore.  I get it and I make excited sounds and tear into it but it’s become mostly an act.  I cancelled my subscription the other day and then went about deciding what to subscribe to instead.  I toyed with the idea of getting a coffee subscription and found one that sent four small samples per month for $10 but in the end I decided that I wanted to keep it book adjacent…

For $15/month, I could go back to Book of the Month Club OR I could get Audible.  It’s been a hard choice.  I love getting something in the mail and I really enjoyed Book of the Month for the three months that I had it.  But I don’t think that I’ve actually READ any of those three books…  I’ve opted to go with Audible.  I’ll be getting the same thing (a book) but in a format that I will get to sooner (audio) and, best of all, if there’s nothing I want this month those credits stick around.  No stacks of unread books making me feel guilty PLUS the ability to get audios of books that I haven’t been able to get through my many library connections.

I’m looking forward to getting started and getting that next Anne of Green Gables book, even though I have really enjoyed playing catch up on my podcasts this past week.

I know I keep saying that I am going to get back on the reading wagon and I’m going to say it again.  I had all of the best intentions this past week and I honestly have no fucking clue what happened.  I didn’t read.  I didn’t color.  I was an all around slacker.  But today I have already texted my husband and told him I’m reading tonight.  Maybe I’ll even prop myself up in bed with a cup of tea.  Doesn’t that sound lovely?

(But I also just downloaded a new game on my phone…)

Tally Monday- October 23, 2017

Checked Out





  1. The Prom Queen by R.L. Stine

ReadingEdith Wharton by Hermione Lee, The Complete Phonogram by Kieron Gillen

Sometimes we have to speak hard truths to ourselves and over the past couple of weeks I have been going through this process.  There is a lot on my plate and a lot on my mind.  I am not presently at my best, though I’m also not at my worst and that counts for something too.  I am realizing that there are changes that need to be made and that it is going to be hard and I am going to have to put work in.  But I also know, and this is just as important, and in the end I will have a more sustainable life.

You may have noticed a bit of a blank this week.  And that is simply because I have not been reading.  I haven’t wanted to do much of anything, even the things that I know help me and make me feel better.  So on this Monday morning I am asking myself: Is it best to take a break or to pile it on?

You know how sometimes (Let’s be honest, most times.) when you have to work out you don’t want to even though you know that you’ll feel better if you do?  That’s exactly where I am with reading.  I even get to feeling like I NEED to read.  Sometimes I might even pull out my book and read a couple of pages, like doing a half hearted squat.  Afterwards I think, “Well, you tried.  You did SOMETHING.  That matters!”  But we all know that’s bullshit.  Sometimes you have to go until it feels good again.

I am a complete downer today.  Sorry about that.  Please believe me when I say that next week I will be writing with a completely different mindset.  In the meantime, you guys go and have a great week and read lots of good books and then come back here and tell me about it, if you’re so inclined.  I’d love to hear about your reading lives!