What I Read 2018- January/February

Here we go again. I’m not going to stop reading any time soon, and at this point it just wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t also keep a record of each book. Crazy the things that turn into compulsions. Also, without these posts I’d really have to admit that my blog is dead. So…

The Son- Jo Nesbø: standalone crime /revenge novel by the bestselling Norwegian author. One of those rare books where (almost) everyone gets what’s coming to them in a most satisfying way.

Cockroaches- Jo Nesbø: book two in the Harry Hole series. Norwegian cop thriller that takes place in… Thailand. Just ok, but easy to read.

The Redeemer- Jo Nesbø: book six in the Harry Hole series. Because reading things in order is for suckers.

Nemesis- Jo Nesbø: book four in the series. Refers quite heavily to book 3 (which I haven’t read and which will apparently never be available at the library), as well as foreshadowing the primary altercation to come in book 5 (which I picked up from references in book 6). Reading stuff out of order is such a thrill!

The Devils Star- Jo Nesbø: Harry Hole book 5 (I’m pretty sure that name is pronounced differently in Norwegian and therefore not as awful).

Dark Run- Mike Brooks: super fun, fast adventure. I don’t usually do space sci-fi, but this was compared to Firefly so I had to give it a chance. I was not disappointed.

Dark Sky- Mike Brooks: sequel to Dark Run, following the adventures of the ship Keiko and her crew of misfits and scoundrels as they get caught up on opposite sides of a revolution.

Dark Deeds- Mike Brooks: book 3 with Ichabod Drift and the crew of the spaceship Keiko. Hopefully not the last book, as it ended on kind of a downer.

Alcatraz vs The Evil Librarians: I bought this book for Jack for Christmas, and I primarily read it because I was out of books and the library was closed. Definitely for kids, but amusing.

The Wanted- Robert Crais: Elvis Cold book 17. This time the PI is tasked with finding a teenager who burglarized the wrong house before a pair of killers do.

The Redbreast- Jo Nesbø: finally managed to get Harry Hole book 3 (turns out I had paused my hold like an amateur). So I can check it off my list, even though I pretty much knew the critical elements based on already reading the subsequent books.

Righteous- Joe Ide: sequel to IQ, about a sort of inner city Sherlock Holmes. Entertaining, intricate plot, but it jumps around in time without any indication, so that took a little mental focus.

Posted in books, reading, reviews | Leave a comment

Mammo Me-a

So, despite my lack of blogging about it, my 40th birthday did actually arrive on schedule last December. I’m now officially a middle aged woman – with all of the inherent glory and special treatment that comes along with that.

i.e. I had to get a mammogram.

I totally didn’t remember about the dreaded ‘gram when I first scheduled my

biennial check up (can’t quite muster the fortitude to schedule them annually but I guess that will have to change now that I’m on the decline), so it was a fun eureka moment on the way when I realized that I’d be told to get one. Nothing adds to the thrill of an upcoming pelvic exam like knowing you will also have to have your breasts mashed between two plates.

Being a woman is so amazing.

In general the exam itself was painless and relatively humiliation free – although I did manage to make it extra awkward for the poor nurse who came in at the end to take my blood by not getting dressed again and just sitting there in my open front hospital gown and lap robe like some sort of off duty flasher. Not sure why it didn’t occur to me to put my clothes back on when the doctor left, but apparently the “I’m 40 so I give no fucks” attitude extends to semi-public displays of nudity. Fortunately for her, everything censored by instagram was covered, but she did get a lovely eyeful of my fish white pudding belly, which I inadvertently exposed while trying to better secure my gown. Socially awkward AND clumsy – I’m such a catch!

Wardrobe malfunctions aside, after my appointment I returned to the front desk to make the appointment for yon dreaded mammogram only to be toldl “hey, what luck! there’s an opening RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE! Do you want to just go upstairs and do it now?”

And yes. Yes I did.

I mean, of course I didn’t, but if it has to be done and I can avoid another trip out to the hospital for a 5 minutes appointment, then why the hell not? Also, not having a week to think about worst case scenarios for an unpleasant procedure is always a plus. And I’ll be honest – it really wasn’t that bad. The imaging equipment has gotten so much better that the squashing was really fairly minimal – uncomfortable but not painful.  In fact, it was actually fairly amusing, and the most difficult part might have been trying to keep myself from giggling when I was supposed to me still.  From the bizarre “soothing” images on the televisions screens (am I supposed to think I’m in a spa because there’s a picture of a pond?) to the nurse who wordlessly wrestled me around by the bosom, the entire situation was pretty ridiculous. She told me she has to remind herself to be gentle with the older ladies and not just yank them around, and I kind of wanted to mention that she could very easily ask people to stand in the position she wanted without using their ta-tas like a tow hitch.

Who knew Boob Wrangler is an actual job?

But now I’ve passed this milestone. I’ve run the gauntlet and come out the other side unscathed, with most of my dignity intact no less. And now I can be all wise and mysterious whenever I hear the younger girls out there complaining and say “just wait.  Just wait until you have to have a mammogram.”

Posted in health, me, mom stuff, old | 2 Comments

The Year To Come

Happy New Year!

Yes, I realize that it is the last day of January, but I feel like my year is just now getting started. There have been a lot of changes around here, and while I have wanted to write about everything, I haven’t because I didn’t want to drown everyone in misery and self pity.

Also, I’m really lazy.

I always have ideas for blogs running through my head – I just never seem able to sit down and get them hammered out. I mean, my last non-reading related post was about Jack’s birthday… in SEPTEMBER!! So pathetic. And yet, I just can’t seem to pull the plug on this little corner of the internet. I’ve been writing on this blog for over 10 years now, and while the guilt of neglect is chipping away at me, the thought of calling it quits and shutting it down forever is too upsetting.  So for now, I’m going to hang in here and try to get back on the blogging track, and post at least on a weekly basis.

Because I do have lots to share! I went back to work, which is primarily the downer news I’ve been avoiding writing about. My job is pretty easy in terms of the schedule and my responsibilities, but I’m really struggling with the loss of identity that comes with no longer being a stay at home mom. Even now, I really want to go back and erase that last part because seeing it in black and white just makes me sick to my stomach. Staying home with my kids is all I’ve ever wanted to do (like, seriously since middle school), and I was SUPER looking forward to having everyone in school so that I could actually focus on getting properly cleaning the house, and maybe start volunteering in the kids’ classrooms more. Not to mention the possibility that I might actually formulate a coherent thought for the first time in 12 years, and dare I dream it, even write a book? But now I’m left feeling like the rug has been pulled out from beneath me, and my undone to-do list just keeps getting longer and longer because the time I have available is increasingly eaten up by simply keeping my head above water, and the life I always wanted is just gone with nothing to replace it.

But I guess that’s life.

In addition to my personal identity crisis, we’ve been dealing with some anxiety/depression issues with Sophie that have popped up in the past few months. I don’t want to talk too much about specifics here because she is generally very private and no doubt will not want something this personal shared on the internet; suffice it say it has been really hard watching my child struggle with emotional turmoil and fears. We have started using guided meditation and mantras before bed, and we have an appointment with a specialist coming up in March, so I hope that we will be able to get her the help she needs quickly, but still, 2018 is so far not off to a winning start.

In more positive news, we’ve been busy redoing parts of our house – we’ve expanded the kitchen, painted the cabinets and replaced the counter top, sink, and floor. All that’s left is to tile the back splash and finish the woodwork, and it will be ready for the big reveal! We are actually replacing the flooring throughout the entire main level, and once we tear out the disgusting carpet in the living room, that will be finished. Then all we have to do is shop for new furniture, restain the banister and paint the wood trim.  Phase two will be new carpeting upstairs, and replacing the shower and counter top in the master bedroom (now you see why I had to get a job!). I’ll most likely wait to post anything until each room is totally (or at least mostly) finished, but I try to post live updates on my Instagram stories (@lonek8) whenever we are working.

I’ve also got updates on why I stopped posting Mascara of the Month (hint: I found a product where I didn’t even NEED mascara!), and I’ve been meaning to do a post on my skin care routine for literally 2 years. So, there are posts to look forward to this year, assuming I ever actually get them out of my head and into the computer.

And you know what they say about assuming things.

Posted in bloggin it up, growing up, me, personal musings, whining, work in progress | Comments Off on The Year To Come

What I Read 2017: November/December 

The final books I read this year, bringing my total to 120. It’s pretty fun when you set a personal best without even trying.

Sleeping Beauties- Stephen King and Owen King: one day all of the women go to sleep and form cocoons. Woe to the men left behind (especially any that try to wake them up).

Tower of Dawn- Sarah J Mass: book 6 in the Throne Of Glass series. Takes place concurrently with book 5, so it would probably have helped if I’d refreshed my memory first. But still excellent. One of my favorite YA fantasy series.

A Court of Thorns and Roses- Sarah J. Maas: book one in a YA fantasy series by the same author as Throne of Glass. Just as well written and enjoyable (even if the majority of the plot is just a retelling of Beauty and the Beast).

A Court of Mist And Fury- Sarah J. Maas: even better follow up to A Court of Thorns and Roses. Although the romance gets a little more explicit than I’d expect for YA.

A Court of Wings and Ruin- Sarah J. Maas: satisfying (albeit unsurprising) conclusion to the series.

Origin- Dan Brown: an exciting read, although not anywhere close to the quality of The DaVinci Code. Fairly predictable, and clearly he was stretching for length.

Emma in the Night- Wendy Walker: two girls go missing, one returns, with an agenda to uncover the truth.

The Late Show- Michael Connelly: the first book in a new series from the perennial cop author. Unfortunately, this one is heavy on the police procedure, light on the excitement. But the main character is likeable, so it might be worth sticking around for the next one.

Crazy Rich Asians- Kevin Kwan: lifestyles of the rich and famous (and Asian). Unfortunately the author spent way too much time name dropping designers and not enough developing a story worth more than a couple of chapters.

The Marriage Pact- Michelle Richmond: This book needs to decide if it wants to be a thriller about a sinister secret organization and the unwitting couple it traps, or a thought provoking allegory on the intricacies of marriage. Because trying to be both didn’t quite work.

One Dark Throne- Kendare Blake: sequel to Three Dark Crowns. Exciting and fun YA fantasy continuing the story of three sister queens in contention for the crown. I look forward to the next book.

Lie To Me- J.T. Ellison: yet another Gone Girl wannabe that pales in comparison. Not terrible, but no great revelation either.

The Rooster Bar- John Grisham: better than his last book, but that’s not saying much. In this book he’s decided to tackle the ugly business of student debt, as well as illegal immigration, and the disparate injustices aren’t helped by the fact that there isn’t a plot to speak of.

The Assassin Game- Kristy McKay: students at an elite prep school playing a secret game where an assassin “kills” them off one by one. Except this time, the action goes beyond simple pranks- this book could have been really good, but sadly it was on the younger side of young adult, so the high stakes never really manifested.

Warcross- Marie Lu: a desperate teen down to her last $13 is drafted into the World Championships of a global virtual reality game. Kind of like Ready Player One without the 80s references.

Artemis- Andy Weir: more fun facts about life in space from the author of the Martian; this time dressed up in an action packed caper set in the first colony on the Moon.

The Midnight Line- Lee Child: Less punching of bad guys than usual, but otherwise pretty much what you’d expect from Jack Reacher book #22.

Renegades- Marissa Meyer: dystopian look at life if humans with superpowers really existed. Very similar to the Reckoners series by Brandon Sanderson.


The rest of my year:

Jan/Feb, Mar/Apr, May/Jun, Jul/Aug, Sep/Oct 

Posted in books, reading, reviews | Comments Off on What I Read 2017: November/December 

What I Read 2017- September/October 

A Wrinkle In Time- Madeline L’Engle: I can’t remember ever reading this as a kid, so I figured I’d give it a whirl before the movie comes out (and while I waited for any of my books on hold to come in). And  I can only assume that it’s originality for the time period it was published is what has granted it classic status because *looks around furtively and whispers* it’s TERRIBLEDefinitely won’t be reading the rest of the series.

Hit Me- Lawrence Block: picked this up because none of my books on hold were in and it had been DAYS since I read anything. Turns out I’d read it before, but didn’t remember. Not a great recommendation.

Beautiful Animals- Lawrence Osborne: I think the goal was some sort of sun-baked, slow-burn melodrama where the tension ratchets up so slowly you barely notice it strangling you. Instead it just fell limp, rendered bloodless by its own emotionless torpor.

The Skull Throne- Peter V. Brett: book 4 in The Demon Cycle. Definitely a unique and enjoyable series of you like magical fantasy. But I’d recommend waiting for the entire series to be finished because this author loves a sudden ending. Book 3 ended with a literal cliffhanger, and this one ends even more abruptly- it’s practically a fragment sentence in the middle of a conversation. Thank goodness the next (and final) book comes out in a couple of weeks!

The Grip Of It- Jac Jemc: Haunted house novel about a young couple’s descent into madness that manages not to be even slightly creepy, much less terrifying. Could be a hell of a movie though.

The Thief- Megan Whalen Turner: book 1 of The Queen’s Thief series. YA or might as well be, this is a fast, fun read with an appealing protagonist and simple plot. Hopefully the rest of the series continues to be so enjoyable.

The Queen of Attolia- Megan Whalen Turner: Queen Thief book 2. A vast divergence from the first book, this one was a bone dry play by play of royal machinations, wholly lacking in any sense of intrigue. There was zero character development, and therefore zero emotional involvement in anything that happened. I’m torn in deciding whether to continue with this series or not.

Every Last Lie- Mary Kubica: wanna be thriller about a woman struggling with grief and the truth after the death of her husband. Unfortunately, she refused to tell her daughter that her father had died (and behaved generally stupidly), so any sympathy I might have invested was lost in outright hatred of the character.

Frostblood- Elly Blake: this is a YA fantasy novel, somyou know there is a heroine with rare powers facing down a seemingly unbeatable foe, and a romance with scarred stranger who at first she can’t stand. Predictable doesn’t mean unenjoyable.

Fireblood- Elly Blake: book 2 in the Frostblood series. Just as good, if not better than the first book. I look forward to the next volume coming out in June.

Three Dark Crowns- Kendare Blake: YA fantasy about a mystical island where three queens are born, raised separately while being trained in magical gifts, and after their 16th birthday expected to kill each other. The survivor becomes queen.

The Snowman- Jo Nesbø: picked this up because the trailer for the movie looked good and creepy. Very pleased to find it is a highly enjoyable thriller, as well as only one book (the 7th) in a 10 book series. Love it when a good read leads to more books!

The Bat- Jo Nesbø: book one of the Harry Hole series. And sadly, the killer is mentioned in The Snowman so I knew who did it all along. But still a good thriller (plus, the name in Norwegian is Flagermussmanen, which is freaking awesome).


The rest of my year:

Jan/Feb, Mar/Apr, May/Jun, Jul/Aug

Posted in books, reading, reviews | Comments Off on What I Read 2017- September/October