Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Showin' My Books - May '16

Hola, book lovers! It's time again for Show Us Your Books with Steph and Jana. I think last month they had over 50 bloggers link up, which is amazing, and I think I had a book hangover after reading all the posts. But that's a much better hangover than the other kind.

Life According to Steph

The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta - This is by the author of Saving Francesca, which was on my best of 2015 list. This book is not a sequel but it includes the same characters. It's five years after Francesca and we're focusing on Thomas Mackee. On the Goodreads star scale, which I'm not a huge fan of but what can you do, I gave both books 5 stars. The Piper's Son is told from the perspective of both Tom and his aunt Georgie (early 40s, single, pregnant). At times I wanted to both shake some sense into these two and give them hugs.

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah (Audiobook) - This is my first Kristin Hannah book and it won't be my last. It's the story of two grown sisters whose beloved father dies and they are left to take care of their mother, who has been nothing but cold toward them their entire lives. But then they find out much more. We're told a story of WWII-era Russia, and it's one that I've not heard. There were times that I thought "wrap this up, we know what's going to happen," except that I didn't really know and I realized that the long build-up was all necessary. This is a heartbreaking, yet heartwarming book.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton - I read this for Erin's book challenge as the "written in the year I was born" book. I'm sure I read this book in high school, but I remember the movie, which came out when I was in high school. So I couldn't help but think of Patrick Swayze and Matt Dillon and Rob Lowe, et al, while reading this. I enjoyed revisiting these characters. Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold.

Maestra by L.S. Hilton (Audiobook) - I found out about this through the All the Books podcast. It starts out with Judith who works in an auction house and ends up moonlighting as a "hostess" in a champagne bar, where she's known as Lauren. She discovers art fraud shenanigans at work and ends up getting sacked (oh yeah, she's British and since I listened to this I find myself using British terms). But let's be clear, she is no innocent lamb. This book was kind of all over the place. There were a lot of characters and I had trouble keeping track of them, and then I just didn't care. Also, warning, there is a lot of NASTY sex going on in this book. I mean, I enjoy some sexy times reading, but this is beyond. (The main character regularly refers to her naughty bits as the "c" word, so there you go.) Admittedly, the podcast recommendation mentioned that there were X-rated parts of the book so I had fair warning, but... wow. At the end of the epilogue she says "to be continued..." but she'll have to continue without me, not just because of the raunchiness but I just don't feel like there's any more to the story.

Funny how I wrote more about the book I hated more than the ones I loved.

Currently reading: The Good Girl by Mary Kubica. I'm doing some traveling this week so I hope to get through some books.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Friday Six Pack #1

Last week I couldn't come up with a title for my Friday post but then Jana decided to start the Friday Six Pack and I told her I was going to tag along. So here are six highlights from my week.

1.  Disregarding the fact that I have plenty of shows to watch on the DVR, Aaron and I started rewatching The West Wing on Netflix. We both loved that show and it's a nice distraction from the bullshit going on in politics right now. Jed Bartlett for President!

2.  After my binge-listen to Jana and Steph's Armchair Librarians podcast, I also subscribed to two more book nerd podcasts, All the Books, which focuses on new releases for the week, and Get Booked, which gives personalized book recommendations to listeners. I swear, on Tuesday I was constantly checking my podcast feed for a new episode of All the Books.

3.  In other reading news, I'm currently in the middle of not one, not two, but THREE books. One is an audiobook, one is on the Kindle and the third is from the library. My reading mojo is back! Check back on Tuesday to find out what I've been reading.

4.  In the last week, I've been to the gym 5 times. And I even did exercise stuff! I forgot though that working out regularly increases the laundry loads.

5.  The response to yesterday's post about Mother's Day. A lot of people dread this holiday (and Father's Day, for that matter) and for many different reasons. It's OK. And it doesn't mean that I'm not grateful for the life I have. But my blog is not going to be full of rainbows and unicorns, because that's not me. 

6.  This:

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

I can't wait until Monday

That's not a phrase I say often, if ever. But I can't wait until Mother's Day is over.

We've never made a huge deal about Mother's Day - a phone call, a card, that's about it. And I don't begrudge anyone who does celebrate and enjoy MD (I'm just going to abbreviate it for the rest of this post). But I'm ready to be done with all the ads and especially all the emails telling me what I should buy for my mom. Just stop.

Let's count all the reasons I'm over MD:

  • My mom is dead. Last year was my first MD after my mom died and Aaron and I did everything we could to avoid all the MD trappings.
  • Aaron's mom is dead. For those who don't know, Aaron's mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on January 21 and died on March 30. She was just shy of turning 68.
  • My grandmother, while still alive, pretty much doesn't remember me. Both of her children are dead, and she doesn't really remember that either.
  • Our church traditionally does baptisms on MD. Two years ago, Aaron and I became godparents to a beautiful baby girl, knowing that she likely wouldn't live to see her first birthday. And she didn't.
  • I'm not a mother. While eventually this was our choice, and 99% of the time I'm very happy with our childfree life, every so often there's that nagging "what if" and "why couldn't I get pregnant when I wanted to." And frankly, now that all of the above has happened, this one has been sneaking up on me a little more than it used to.

I'm not putting all this out there for sympathy, and I hesitated with waiting until Monday to post this. And I do have nieces and nephews and godchildren, both real and honorary. But I'm willing to bet that there are others out there who have similar feelings about MD, and I want YOU to know that I get it. And you're not alone.

Having said all that, for those of you who DO celebrate, I hope you have a lovely day and that you're honored all year long, not just the second Sunday in May.