Life out of Sync

I’m a bit out of sync with blogging these days. I seem to say that a lot…both the act of not blogging and saying that I’m not. I wish I had the focus that I did at one point because back then I had that passion. What I’m trying to say is that I don’t know what my niche is right now.

I don’t want to spend my blogging posts ruminating on why one doesn’t write but it’s hard when there’s nothing much to write about. Sometimes I wonder if I just need a new space and start over.

Right now I’m reading The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse and so far it’s been a good read. There’s been enough suspense to want me to keep coming back. I’m not sure if I am as riveted as some others have said they were but I’m enjoying it nonetheless.

The book is also Reese’s book club pick from March. The few choices that I’ve read have been good so far. I’m glad she decided to start the book club. I didn’t realize that she’s had the book club for 4 years now, thought it’d only been a couple years: shows what I know.

What have you been up to? I need inspiration.

The Usual Reads.

I’ve been trying to become a better reader by reading more and with books I wouldn’t have picked up otherwise. Sometimes it works, most of the time I find myself reading books in my comfort zone. The key word here is that I’m trying and to me that is a lot.

I recently finished reading the second book in the Bridgerton books. I don’t like romance novels, but these are sweet and doesn’t take up a lot of brain cells while reading them. I’m going to try to finish the series but it’s a little hard now that I live in the middle of nowhere.

I’m now currently reading a sci-fi book called Do You Dream of Terra-Two? It’s written by a woman who studied in London and Edinburgh, in creative writing and neuroscience. She seems like a smart woman. I’m surprised I hadn’t heard of her book, as it was published a year or so ago. I hope I like it. We’ll see, as I don’t read science fiction often enough to like it.

Life in the time of Covid continues on; I’m working in a new library in a different town. My puppy gets lots of snuggles and treats; my husband gets lots of love and adventures. Life is good in spite of all the troubles in the world. I am happy for the most part.

I keep meaning to write but sometimes you just need to step back before you can come back in. I hope I can find my passion in writing again.

New Books.

One thing that I’ve always found interesting about book blogs and BookTube and even bookstagram is the people always seem to know what books are getting published in the next year. In the very least, they know what books are coming out in the next month.

I don’t have that kind of mentality.

Sometimes, if I’m interested in a series or author, I’ll look up when the next book will come out. Other than that, I don’t have a clue what is coming out until I see a bunch of people talk about it or it’s in the news. It’s just weird to me that people know what’s being published in the upcoming year.

Sure, I can probably google it or get on Goodreads and look up newly published books in the Lists section but I don’t. I must sound like a terrible reader for admitting that but there it is. If I was a serious book blogger, I’d probably have to force myself to actually do some research to find the latest books, purchase the books at full price, read them, and THEN review them. But I don’t do that.

Because I can’t afford to purchase brand new books all the time. Plus there’s a trillion other books that I need to catch up on, which probably doesn’t bode well for me as a potential book reviewer, but at least I’m enjoying myself for what it is.

I should also mention that I like to browse the new/bestselling books at stores to get a feel for what’s popular. It’s not as easy to do these days for obvious (and not so obvious) reasons. It was already hard to keep up with books and now it’s even harder.

I feel like I’m complaining now, but it’s been on my mind and I wanted to make a post of it.

What’s new in your world?

On Reading and Presents.

I’ve been in a bit of a reading mania last week or so. I finished reading the Christmas Box trilogy last week; it definitely felt like I read each one in a day. The first one is definitely one you can read in a day and the others technically so. They’re a little bit longer than the first one, but not by much. It’s just the subjects that are covered are a little bit heavy if you linger on it.

I’ve been re-reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I first read this book in 2014 or 2015, though I can’t exactly remember which year, but it was around that time. I didn’t like it when I first read it, but I wanted to finish the series (as long as it is) just to say that I read it. I’ve also been told that the books get better as it goes on, not quite as romance heavy as the first one. Needless to say, I’m anxious to read the rest just to see for myself. I’m not much into time traveling as some do and sometimes the accents are a little heavy even as I’m reading it on the page so it’s been slow going. At least I’m picking up on stuff that I apparently missed last time in my rush to finish the book. So there’s that.

Last week, we wrapped our dog’s Christmas presents as well as my mom’s. I even started wrapping some of A.’s presents. I love Christmas and I can’t believe that it’s going to be here next week. I hope that it’s everything we hope it to be. It’ll be our first Christmas together in our new house and our first one as a married couple. Life can’t be more exciting.

I was thinking about starting a notebook of all the books that I want to read. Put down all the books that I want to read and actually read them one by one. I don’t know how good that will get me, but at least I’ll be able to remember which ones I’m actually looking for. I tend to be an impulsive reader, picking up books that interest me in the moment and not because I actually planned it out. As much as I like this idea, I probably won’t because I’m not good at planning out reading.

Anyway, my post today is a little scattered. Being out for a couple weeks has left me rusty, but don’t give up on me! I’m getting back in the swing of things and I hope to be back to my usual self!

What have you been reading this season? What are you excited for?

A Little Bit of This

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I’ve fallen out of the habit of writing.

Again.

It’s not that I don’t want to write, it’s just that sometimes I just don’t. The reasons are either because I don’t feel like it or I don’t have anything to say. Lately it’s because I hadn’t felt like it. And that’s a hard thing to admit. Why? Because you’re not supposed to admit that sort of thing. You always want to write, you just can’t because of obligations that keep you busy or family or travel or lack of ideas. Not because you don’t feel like it.

Well, I haven’t felt like it recently and thus I’ve fallen out of the habit and thus my ideas dried up. Because to be truthful, if you don’t force yourself to write daily or in some regularly fashion, then you’re writing ideas are going to dry up. This has been proven to me before. When I was in college, I took a class where we had to tap into our creativity. We used The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron to open ourselves up to our creative outlet (whatever that creativity might be.) One of the tools that Cameron used was to write three pages a day every day for 10 weeks. In those 10 weeks, I found myself dreaming more and having more ideas to write or photograph or whatever. I just felt more in tune with myself.

I…don’t do that anymore. Blogging, journaling or otherwise. I could never write three pages a day like that again, but it’s still important to do something, even if it’s to comment on the weather or the movies being watched.

Anyway.

Yesterday I finished watching The Ring and then listened to a docu-film about Charles Manson while I did chores. You know that weirdo who started a cult in the middle of the desert of California and killed Sharon Tate in order to start Helter Skelter or whatever it was that he was doing? Yeah…that dude was waaaay off base. And that’s an understatement, am I right? Since it’s October, I always feel obligated to watch darker films. Since high school, my dad and I watched a horror movie on Halloween. I still continue the obligation even though he’s no longer with us because it keeps me close to my dad. My handsome man doesn’t like scary movies, so I try to watch them when he’s not around so he doesn’t get spooked. But even then I don’t watch them as much as I used to. Different priorities and obligations now, I suppose.

A few weeks ago, I read The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. It’s a good book, set in Alaska and focusing on an extremely dysfunctional family. Dad’s suffering from PTSD from being a POW in Vietnam, therefore he beats mom up and tries to prepare daughter for the apocalypse and all that stuff. Well, Dad has beef with the guy down the road and it gets to the point where he even forbids daughter from seeing the son of said guy. It’s a tough one to get through, but I enjoyed the book. The ending seems too neat and tidy after everything that happened in the book, but it somehow works.

Now I’m trying to read Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer. It’s…okay, I suppose. It’s better written than Twilight but it’s so hard to focus on the plot. I know what’s going to happen, so I’m not really interested in reading through it again. So I keep dropping it to read other books. Like, right now I’m reading Blue Jacket by Allan W. Eckert. Apparently, this book is a bit problematic now, because I guess Blue Jacket was never a white man, he was an Indian from birth and there’s been some mixed up documents that stated otherwise and thus the author used those to write his story. It’s an enjoyable read, but now that I’m older and know better, it’s a little slow. It’d be nice to know more about the real Blue Jacket.

Until next time, my friends. I hope I’m more interesting for you all in the next one!

Books I’d Love to See Turned Into Movies

It seems like most books these days are being turned into movies. As soon as it gets published, you see a trailer for its upcoming movie. There are, however, little gems of books that have been overlooked that would make a wonderful film adaptations. The following are books that I’d love to see be adapted to the big screen.

  1. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
  2. the Serafina series by Robert Beatty
  3. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  4. You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley
  5. Beyond the Point by Claire Gibson
  6. My Sister’s Keeper by Robert Dugoni
  7. Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan (be a t.v. series like Game of Thrones)
  8. The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe
  9. The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
  10. The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans

I’m sure a couple of these will become movies eventually, particularly Where the Crawdads Sing, but others need to be pitched to Hollywood so that I can see how it’s interpreted visually.

15 Books Set in Ohio

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So I’m from Ohio, and surprisingly, I haven’t seen or read many books from Ohio. Curious to see what kinds of books pop up set in my home state, I googled “books set in Ohio.”

The following list is pulled from a couple different places in the top search categories. Perhaps you and I will read them sometime.

  1. The Outsider by Stephen King
  2. Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valez
  3. The Devil All the Time by Ray Pollock
  4. Winesbeg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
  5. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  6. Ohio by Stephen Markley
  7. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (one I actually read, a good read but the sequels aren’t as much)
  8. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
  9. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
  10. Indignation by Philip Roth
  11. The House of Dies Drear by Virginia Hamilton (another great novel, haven’t read it in decades, need to read it again)
  12. If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio
  13. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
  14. “…And Ladies of the Club” by Helen Hoover
  15. Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

Couple of links I grabbed from: http://www.bookglow.net/must-read-books-set-in-ohio/ & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Novels_set_in_Ohio

Some of these I knew of and others I didn’t or forgot about. I wish there were more books set in Ohio, it really is an interesting place to write about.

Don’t Read The Cold Vanish by Jon Billman

I was going to write this earlier in the week, but I didn’t due to other distractions in my life. But I’m going to write about it now.

Please don’t read The Cold Vanish by Jon Billman.

And here’s why:

First of all, let me say that when I saw this on display in Barnes and Noble, I was intrigued. If you haven’t been around on the Internet, there’s something called “Missing 411” where people focus on and talk about mysterious disappearances of people in the wilderness and in particular the national parks of America. This book talks about these different disappearances, but continues back to one particular story about a young man named Jacob who went missing in a national park in Washington State. I was interested in reading about Jacob’s story, the events leading to his disappearance, his character, and just reading about the circumstances of missing people and national parks and what people do about it.

Well…I didn’t exactly get what I was hoping for.

For starters, the book keeps jumping back and forth between Jacob’s story and other stories of missing people in national parks. Sometimes it even goes back and forth between family conversations and the above mentioned topics. Which would have been find, but it felt very disjointed.

And to add cream to the frustration crop, Billman keeps bringing up the topic of Bigfoot and how this “creature” might be involved in disappearances. That alone was starting to make me not want to finish the book.

Then I started reading other reviews of the book and I found some more juicy information. It turns out that Billman never contacted any of the family and friends of Jacob to tell them that he was writing a book about their beloved family member/friend, whether to interview them for the book or even let them know that the book was being written, much less ask permission to use their names in the book.

According to friends and family members, the facts about Jacob were distorted or completely wrong. For example, Billman continuously mentions that Jacob had mental problems and had issues at the nursing home he worked at. Jacob never had mental problems or depression and was very, very close to those in his life. He loved his job and the staff and residents were absolutely devastated by his disappearance into the wilderness. Everyone wanted him to be found safely.

With that being said, I completely shut down the book. I didn’t need to know anymore. Who would just do that, to be honest? He’s definitely not a Krakauer, a man who is dry and meticulous in his writing but at least you know he researches for his book and cites sources. In an age where everyone wants to see where you got your information from, Billman failed beyond miserably.

So…don’t read this book. I beg you. If you’re interested in missing cases, read something from a more reputable writer. I feel sad that I even let this book pass through my hands. Don’t let it happen to you.

10 Dr. Seuss Books You Should Read

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A reader can never go wrong with a Dr. Seuss book. He’s been delighting readers for decades and his silly drawings, life lessons and thought provoking themes are still relevant today. The following are ten books by Seuss that everyone should read:

  1. The Lorax
  2. The Cat in the Hat
  3. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
  4. Horton Hatches the Egg
  5. Hop on Pop
  6. There’s a Wocket in My Pocket!
  7. And to Think that I saw it on Mulberry Street
  8. The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins
  9. If I Ran the Zoo
  10. Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please go Now!

10 Picture Books All Children Should Read

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When I worked at a library, I loved looking through picture books. They’re easy to read, and full of beautiful illustrations. Of course, some picture books are written for older kids, but the impact is still the same. Here are ten books all children should read:

  1. Our Daddy is Invincible by Shannon Maxwell
  2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
  3. The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig by Eugene Trivizas
  4. Georgia in Hawaii: When Georgia O’Keefe Painted What She Pleased by Amy Novesky
  5. The Yankee at the Seder by Elka Weber
  6. Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds
  7. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsberg
  8. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
  9. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  10. Corduroy by Don Freeman

I might have to make a series out of this, because there’s so many fun and engaging picture books out there. What are some of your favorite picture books that children should read?