Saturday, December 26, 2015


I feel like chatting about books tonight.
It's been awhile since we talked about books, and books are my favorite.
As you can see from my sidebar over there > I'm on Goodreads, and we may even friends there. Goodreads gives you a challenge every year - pick a number of books to read in the year, and then read them. Last year I chose 80 and surpassed that number, easily, so this year I chose 100, and darn it if I'm not still only at 95 with only 4 days left to go. There is no way I can read 5 books in 4 days! Agh!
But let's converse about some of those recent choices...

I finished A Tree Grows in Brooklyn today. I have this friend L, with whom I work out, and we like to talk about books, a lot. She has been at me to read this book for as long as we've discussed books, as it is her favorite, and she reads it every year. For her part, she did end up reading A Handmaid's Tale this year, and she loved it as much as I told her she would. Anyway, I loved A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - what an amazing portrait of youth in the tenements of early 1900's New York. I love a strong and intelligent female character, and Francie is both of those, and a reader to boot.

Last week, I read The Martian by Andy Weir. I may be the last person to read that book, but it did not disappoint. Mark Watney is such a likable character, you don't mind spending a year and a half on a desert planet with him. Mad engineering skills and a great sense of humor - Mark Watney is my fictional character crush of the year.

Beach Town by Mary Kay Andrews - a happy book with a happy ending. Greer is a location scout, looking for a "classic beach town" atmosphere in Florida for a big-budget, action-adventure movie. Mary Kay Andrews' books are a bit formulaic - girl meets boy, boy and girl are irritated by each other, but secretly attracted to each other, other quirky characters are involved, nasty characters want opposite things from nice characters, craziness ensues, happy ending. But the protagonists are always likable, the female characters are intelligent and strong, and I love a good happy ending. Not a brain busting book, but fun and fluffy.

Just so you don't think I love every book I read (although, let's face it, I'm pretty easy to please,) I didn't love The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman. This was my chicklit book club selection for January (chicklit book club being a bit of a misnomer, as several of the books we have read have not exactly fit that description.) Anyway, the premise is decent - the protagonist, Brett, is a young woman who has lost her beloved mother. The mother, who was a successful cosmetics company founder and CEO, leaves her children large inheritances, but Brett will not receive her portion until she completes a list of goals she wrote when she was a child. She has a year to complete the list, and the list is so far outside the scope of the life she is currently leading, that she has no idea how to begin. The relationship between Brett and her mother is heartwarming, and Brett definitely grows as a person, but honestly, the story is predictable, and the outcomes rather unlikely. The relationships form too quickly for reality, and it is pretty difficult to relate to most of the characters. I didn't dislike the book, and I did finish it, but it was really only ok.

I love lists of books, and there are a lot of "Books you should read before you die" lists out there. One book that shows up again and again on these lists is If On A Winter's Night A Traveler by Italo Calvino. It kind of reminds me of a David Lynch movie - purposefully obtuse with its novel within a novel within a novel nauseum. At the end, however, I honestly did not feel like it was really all that hard to understand, and it was kind of silly. Again, I did not really dislike the book, but I doubt I will be on my deathbed thinking, "Thank the gods I read If On a Winter's Night A Traveler."

My son is watching "The Matrix." I haven't watched this movie in ages. Keanu Reeves was so adorable in this movie. In his silly, stoned, surferboy kind of way.

We'll chat about health, and goals, and all the other fun stuff I want to focus on next time. For now, only try to realize the truth.
What truth?
There is no spoon.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


I have a 150,000 things to say when I get home in the morning, but no time to write. Unfortunately, as the day goes on, my brain gets scattier, which makes it very difficult to write anything interesting. Which is why I tend to write in lists and weird, rambling babblings.

So, how are things? Did you enjoy your Thanksgiving? Are you preparing for whatever fun December holiday you celebrate? Remember, when the kids were littler, how I tried to celebrate all the winter holidays? All the ones I knew how to celebrate, anyway. We put out our shoes for St. Nick, lit a fire for the Solstice, lit a menorah and played dreidel for Hanukkah, read a story about Kwanzaa, etc. My people are so busy, though, and they stopped getting excited about the celebrations, and honestly, I really haven't had any holiday spirit over the past few years. Imagine my surprise when I woke up Sunday all ready to put up our Christmas tree. And the spirit continues - today I put up decorations at work. So much shopping...and I've been really wishing for snow (flinches - don't hurt me!)

Ha! My husband is watching The Flash and a snowy blast just blew out a window. It's like they heard me...type...

All this happy holiday spirit could be due to the great fun I had at MOMS Club party I went to last week. Yes, I am still doing MOMS Club stuff, well, as much as I can, anyway. I do work all day, but when they have evening activities, I am all over them. Anyway, every year we get together and drink and eat and be merry, and then we exchange white elephant gifts which range from really surprisingly nice to bizarre to just horrible (big, plastic butt, open bag of nursing pads.) This year, I got a peacock made from wire and a rock, a package of beer bottle tags, and a package of  Christmas themed cocktail napkins. Hey, family, we'll have real napkins at Christmas dinner this year!

Also, though, I've been working out - a lot. I joined one of the groups at boot camp, and I have to get 20 classes in this month - but there are no classes on Christmas, and I'll be out of town the last week, so I have had to go as much as I can. I worked out 6 days last week, and I am planning on doing 6 days this week, and I feel so freaking good. Of course, I know that - I know how good I feel when I exercise and eat right, and then I stop, but right now I am on, and I am going to be happy about that.

Sore. But happy.