The Summer Selections

If you’ve been following along, you know that I have been choosing 10 books to add to my TBR every season.  This is part of my goal to read what I want to read and to read with intention.  With the abundance of books in my life, it’s easy to get distracted by something that SOUNDS GREAT and forget completely about that book that I’ve been meaning to read for a couple of decades.  I started this list in Fall and it was quite different.  At the time, I listed all of the books that I had checked out with the goal of reading them before the winter solstice.  I didn’t make  it but by winter I had a better idea of what I was doing.

Usually I compile me list throughout the season leading up to the start date.  As I think of things that I really have been meaning to get to, I add them.  I hadn’t really thought of anything this spring so this list is different.  First, I am adding now because for me summer is Memorial Day to Labor Day.  Second, I am pulling these books from two specific lists: Stephen King books and Oprah Book Club Books.  I decided to do this just because those are two projects I have been working on for a looooooong time.  A LONG TIME.  A long time, if you didn’t catch that.

Without further rambling ado, here are my 10 Books of Summer 2019!

  1. The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton
  2. Cujo
  3. Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi
  4. The Running Man
  5. The Rapture of Canaan by Sheri Reynolds
  6. Different Seasons
  7. The Heart of a Woman by Maya Angelou
  8. The Gunslinger
  9. Songs in Ordinary Time by Mary McGarry Morris
  10. Christine

Here’s something cool about this list:  One of my most vivid reading memories from my late teens was reading The Gunslinger one summer.  I remember sitting on the couch on a hot summer’s day and reading,  “The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed.”  I have goosebumps!

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Get Up One Hour Earlier…

In my normal rounds, I read a lot of advice online and listen to a lot of self-helpy stuff.  I do this because the struggle is real and because I want to be the best me that I can be.  When I am feeling down or trapped or like a horrible person, I can shout at Google and find someone else who has struggled with the same thing and come out on top (or at least realized it was bullshit).

There is one piece of advice that I come across again and again: Wake up an hour earlier.

I always thought that this made sense.  Before I had Little Dude, I woke up at 6 and left the house at 8.  In those two hours I exercised, showered, got ready for work, read, and drank coffee.  Sometimes I used that time to pick up the house a little bit or sometimes I left fifteen minutes early and stopped at the store.  Hubby always thought I was a little crazy.  He’s the kind of person who works out after work (when I am too tired and apt to put it off) and to sleep until 10 minutes before he has to leave, shower, and go.  But me?  I always needed a slower, quieter morning.  I like to be the first one up and in the summer I like to sit on the front steps with my coffee and some inspirational reading to get my day started.  It was a great way to get the day started, with a little self care and a little self love.

When I went back to work after having LD, I started getting up at 5:45 to leave at 8.  Most days he went to my in-laws’ house, which was on my way to work, and the exchange was quick.  He was just an infant then and getting him out the door was as easy as a change, a bottle, an outfit, and a car seat.  I packed his diaper bag along with my work bag.  I skipped my morning coffee on the steps “just for one summer” and I quit going for walks outside as exercise “just for one summer.”

Now LD is a full blown toddler and some days he goes to daycare and I’ve changed my work schedule and now I get up at 5:45 and leave at 7:30.  I like to wake up before my alarm because it affords me a little more alone time BUT I also sometimes wake up for two hours in the middle of the night and need every last drop of sleep I can get.  I’m told this is most likely hormones, which apparently can effect your sleep for YEARS after giving birth.  Getting out the door is a chore now and most days I don’t even drink my coffee at home.  Last week, I got to sit on the couch and drink it which ended with a full blown fight because LD wanted to hold my cup and then wouldn’t give it back.  It’s just easier to put it in my to-go mug and drink it after drop off, even if I don’t enjoy it as much.  I still get up and work out and a good morning is a morning when I can work out, shower, and do my makeup before LD wakes up.

Hubby still thinks I’ve crazy.

The thing is that any time I am feeling like I don’t have enough time to read or like I’m not getting enough alone time or like I want to learn something new, the internet seems to suggest waking up an hour earlier as the very first change to make.  “Get up an hour earlier and spend that time reading!”  “Get up an hour earlier and do nothing but spend that time in quiet solitude!”  “Want to write a book?  Get up an hour earlier to get your writing in for the day!”

Yes, I see the logic in this.  Yes, this is true for some people.  But a lot of these posts, specifically self-care posts, put this advice alongside “make sure you get enough sleep.”  But what if you’re going to bed at 9:30 and getting up at 5:45, or earlier?  What if you’re laying awake for two hours at night?  What if you’re doing everything that you can?

And that, I suppose, is the thing.  Sometimes you have to just give in to the fact that you are doing everything you CAN and that isn’t everything you WANT.

Tally Monday- March 11, 2019

Checked Out

  1. Saga, vol 1 by Brian K. Vaughan
  2. Waking Gods by Sylvian Neuvel
  3. Only Human by Sylvian Neuvel
  4. Saga, vol 2 by Brian K. Vaughan

Bought

  1. The Unplowed Sky by Jeanne Williams
  2. Magicians of the Gods by Graham Hancock

Read

  1. The Nose by Nikolai Gogol
  2. Saga, vol 1 by Brian K. Vaughan
  3. Hausmagick by Erica Feldmann

Reading The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King (book), Purity by Jonathan Franzen (audio), Just Over the Mountain by Robyn Carr (ebook), Chariots of the Gods by Erich Von Danikan (nonfiction), Unbroken, Young Reader’s Edition by Laura Hillenbrand (BoB), Best Loved Poems of the American People (poetry), A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy

Howdy, friends!

This morning I finished a book and when I logged in on my Goodreads I saw something that I honestly did not expect to see for another at least fourteen years (reasoning that once Little Dude can drive, I’ll have time on my hands again).  I am AHEAD of my Goodreads challenge!  It’s only one book but it was enough to set me on fire and now I don’t want to work, I just want to read, read, read.

Last week I sat down and wrote out my TBR again, making additions as I went.  I have A LOT on my TBR but I also feel like I could really plow through it if I made some time.  Some of the books are two day reads.  Some are two week reads.  It evens out.  The issue is that next week is the beginning of spring and with it is my addition of ten titles that I’ve been meaning to get around to.  I’ve been adding these seasonal selections beginning with winter and I’ve read… one.  But the intention is there.

With this rewrite of my TBR list, I tried to arrange it so I could knock some stuff out quickly without never getting around to other stuff.  I chose to put the King first because I had less than 100 pages left to read.  Now I have 25 and it should be done today.  Then a Little Black Classic.  Then a Fear Street!

Making time to read is so important to me.  I had a bit of a shocker a couple of weeks ago when I realized that I pretty much have to work EVERY DAY until my vacation in May and EVERY DAY until my vacation in August.  The realization that I wouldn’t be able to rely on taking random vacation days to get time for myself and to fill up my cup actually made me cry a little.  Then I realized that this says something about the life I’ve been living.  Since then I have been trying to focus on the things that make me FEEL best: reading, writing, working out, a house that’s picked up if not clean, and spending time with Hubby and Little Dude.  It seems so simple but it makes such a big difference.

I am peppy today, you guys.  I want to garden and organize and redecorate and read.  It must be the sunshine!  Soon it will be warm enough to read outside…  Maybe…

It’s not an addiction if it’s books, right?

Man, do I have a problem.

You may remember me returning all of my library books and vowing to be a responsible reader until I got caught up and making a list and having a system and all of that.

Well, last week I went on a binge and checked out all of the books.

I haven’t finished any of my Book of the Month selections and they are piling up.

I hit up Hoopla and got three books last week because I still had three available checkouts.

I bought an ebook today because it was a Deal of the Day and sounded nice.

My IMMEDIATE TBR has hit 65 and on the 20th I am about to add an influx of “books I really want to get around to” to it, a list which I have already made.

I want to just read, read, read.  This is true.  But I also have a project I am working on for next month and tomorrow our new Nintendo Switch comes and I’m going to want to play video games.

The thing is that as this has been bothering me, I’ve been reminding myself that it is a sign of an abundant life.  I have the ability to read anything that I want and that is a true and honest blessing.  Slow down, be mindful, put your nose to the grindstone (in a book).  We’ve got this.

A Mass Exodus of Books

Well, I’ve finally decided to do it.  I’ve given into the mass exodus of books.

See, I had a stack of 50 books on my desk at home as a TBR stack and many of them were from the library.  I was working on a complicated system of getting it under control.  I was only adding a book after removing two books.  I was only adding books that fell into my Master Reading Plan.  I was working on it.

But in the meantime I was also returning books only to reorder them the same day in order to keep the stack like I wanted it.  I like to SEE my TBR in book form, not just a list or a Goodreads shelf.  But then I started to feel bad for circulation and I had to admit to myself that it’s taking me a loooooong time to read a book these days.  Starting on Tuesday, I have been bringing back five books at a time.

I am not giving up.  I have my list.  I have my plan.

In theory, I should only ever have seven books in my stack:

  1. A book from my giant TBR list
  2. A book from the small list I’m working on (currently a sci-fi/fantasy list)
  3. A Book I Own (chosen randomly from my book jar)
  4. YA (whatever tickles my fancy at the mo)
  5. A book by the author I am currently trying to read through.  (Stephen King, currently.)
  6. A nonfiction book.
  7. Any Book of the Month that I may need to get to.

The way this is working right now is that I have FIVE books in my stack.  As I return one, I get the next one on my list.  As I take two off my list, I add the next in my rotation.  Eventually, this will work.

Yes, I know that it’s complicated and I know that it’s crazy but it’s who I am, you guys.  And I have to win this battle and this war.

Tally Monday- January 21, 2019

Checked Out

None

Bought

  1. Chariot of the Gods by Erich von Daniken
  2. Ghostland by Colin Dickey
  3. Poor Little Bitch Girl by Jackie Collins

Read

None

Reading Joyful by Ingrid Fatel Lee (book), Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (ebook), Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (audio), Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler (nonfic), A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy (daily)

Last week I finished part 1 of Little Women and it seemed like a good place to stop and read a book that I have been fighting to get my hands on and not getting around to for a couple of months.  Joyful.  And I have to say that so far it is completely worth it.  Lee’s book is about the aesthetics of joy.  Once Hubby accused me of “acting like you can hack happiness” but it is my firm belief that you can and Lee’s book is adding another dimension to my somewhat demented Quest for Happiness.

So far I have read about energy, abundance, and freedom and I have actively sought these things in my life.  Since Wednesday, I have managed to feel more joy, even with a migraine and a shitty weekend.  On Saturday night Hubby fell asleep on the couch and I propped myself up in bed and read.  I was using my bed rest pillow and my Welcome to Nightvale blanket and there were stuffed unicorns on either side of me and I was warm and comfortable and drinking a PBR and eating Pringles and I looked around and realized how damn abundant it all was and it made me happy.  I live a very abundant life.  I have hundreds of books and lots of love and anything I could ever desire.  Sometimes I need to be reminded though.

Lee has me going off on all kinds of little thought bursts.  She has me thinking about color and lighting, about textures and shapes.  It’s kind of nice to kick my brain into gear when it feels like it’s been stagnant for a while now.

This week I plan on finishing Joyful and Little Women.  Wish me luck on that.

On Something Wicked This Way Comes: I read the graphic novel version a year or two ago and I can barely remember it.  I feel like I’m having a hard time following the audiobook too.  I SHOULD like it but maybe I just don’t?  I don’t know…

Recallibrating

My theory was that I was going to spend the month of December just “pounding it out”.  I was going to read, read, read and listen to nothing but audiobooks and put my comics and my e-books aside.  One month.  The theory was that one month would give me a little bit of a leg up on the pile of books currently residing on my desk.  And it’s been fine.  Just fine.

Except.  Except.

You know how crazy my reading life was for a while?  You know?  When I was listening to audiobooks and podcasts on alternating days and reading a nonfiction book, a regular book, and an ebook?  It was a little crazy but I also loved it.  I was getting somewhere and I always had something to read and it was kind of like I was in my element.

And so, I am going back.  The books will get read and the stuff will be heard.  Slow and steady wins the race.