Thursday, July 6, 2017

July Reading List

July already?  How can this be?  It seems like it was just a few months ago, I was battling cold and snow and now we've already celebrated Independence Day.   Well, here's what is on my reading list for July.

Books to read

  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel was found at BAM a few months back on the clearance shelf.  It's a dystopian story, and it's gotten good rating on Goodreads.  That's about all I know for sure.
  • Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann was only bought a few weeks ago, but I just think it sounds really cute and sometimes you just really want to read something out of the usual.  Sheep detectives fit that mold.
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is my second dystopian pick of the month.  This was not on purpose and I just realized it as I was writing this post.  It may turn out to be a depressing month of reading.
  • How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie should come in handy after I read all this fall of modern society stuff. :)  Actually, I'm not much of a worrier in the traditional sense.  But, I do feel like I have decision anxiety quite frequently, often wondering if I'm making the right choice about life stuff.  If something happens that is out of my control, like our air conditioner dies, or my car needs some work done, no worries, but if I have to make a decision, I waffle like no ones business.  So, I think this book still might have some appliciation for me.
What about you?  What are you currently reading?  Or have you read any of my pick for the month?  If so, what'd you think?

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

June (and May) Book Recap

We've got six months left in 2017, and I'm a little behind on my reading goals, but not impossibly so.  Here's what I read in June:
mystery books
  • I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman was a really quick read and interesting but I just wasn't super satisfied with how it all wrapped up.  I wanted to know more about the other victims, I wanted to know more about Elizabeth's childhood and the time she spent with Walter that summer.  I felt like the surface was barely scratched.
  • The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty had been on my shelf for several months and while it was a fast read, I didn't like it nearly as much as What Alice Forgot.  I just felt like the whole big secret was something that would have had much less disastrous effects if it had all come to light at the time it was done.  I guess that's doesn't make this unrealistic, but it made me find most of the characters involved annoying.  Although it may just be that they were human.  Also, the big omnipresent epilogue also annoyed me.  I felt like it was unfair that I knew things that the characters never found out, which could have changed the whole course of their lives.
  • The Bat by Jo Nesbo was my first foray into the Harry Hole series and while there was nothing magical about this one, I will keep reading them because I've hear it does get much, much better.


I did find some good books this month too:
books to read
  • Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann is a murder mystery where the detective is a flock of anthropomorphized sheep.  For some reason, I'm a sucker for stories with animals that act human.
  • Cockroaches is the second book in Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole series.  The first book took place in Australia, this one takes place in Bangkok.  I'm hoping they move the setting to Norway soon.  I just miss my Billy's Pan Pizza and snow.  Basically it doesn't seem like Scandinavian Noir if it doesn't take place in Scandinavia.
  • Cooked by Michael Pollan is one of the few books I have left to read by him.  He always makes me want to eat healthier and consider what I thought I knew about healthy eating.
  • The Art of Eating by M.F.K. Fisher is a collection of five of Fisher's books in one.  She wrote on all things food related and the book is chock full of recipes, tips, and thoughts.  I wouldn't consider it a cookbook, but more a mediation on food related things.
  •  
And here's a quick peak of my book activity for May

new books


My 2017 totals:  READ 19   ACQUIRED 21

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Mid-Year Check In


Sometimes (okay, rarely) I feel like I'm right where I'm supposed to be.  I feel like I have a handle on most things in my life, and I feel like I'm keeping on top of the day to day, like buying groceries, doing laundry, and keeping tabs on all the adult things like paying bills, getting the oil changed in my car, and making sure I'm remembering the people in my life.  Then other times, I feel like I just have a hand on the adult things.  Then, every once in a while, like right now, I feel like I don't have a handle on any of it.  (See above image.)

There hasn't been any big life changes.  No one has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, no accidents, no financial disasters, but I still can't seem to get my life together.  Laundry pills up until I fold five loads at once, kale dies in my crisper drawer, while I run out of milk.  I procrastinate scheduling appointments.  I've gone months without a haircut.  I've gotten fatter.  And creative pursuits like blogging seem to wither away.

Job change seems to be the only explanation to what threw my day to day off orbit.  But, just as changing course a fraction of a degree doesn't make that big of a change initially, within a short time, you'll find yourself somewhere else totally. 

Last September, I quit my job at the hospital to go work at the credit union here in town.  There was a lot of things I was getting tired of at the hospital, and while the credit union was amazing to work with and I really liked my coworkers, the work just wasn't my cup of tea.  So, in April, when I got a Facebook message from someone I used to work with at the hospital, telling me about an opening at the nursing home to work as a health unit coordinator (which is the same job I did at the hospital), I quickly decided to apply.  I was hired, and while I like the work, I am still adjusting.

I have to be to work even earlier now, but there are no weekends or holidays required.  I have some new responsibilities, and while it's the same job I did before, there is some obvious variance between nursing home and hospital.  It's also crazy hot in there.  Like literally.  Old people are chronically cold.

So, I've been coming home tired, sweaty, and unmotivated.  Consequently, I'm fatter, less productive, and more of a procrastinator then normal.  Which makes me crankier, more of an emotional eater, and even more tired.  Well, the time has come to turn the train around.  The year is half over, and I'm resolved to have it end on a better note than where it is currently.

Here's what I'm planning for the next six months:
  • Lose 30 pounds.
  • Read 29 books.
  • Get back to a morning routine
  • Refocus my creative pursuits- including my blog.
What are you planning for the next six months?  Where do you want to be at the end of the year?