Books I Read April/May 2019

I’ve been reading. But I’ve also been moving and applying for jobs and working and riding my bike and fixing my car. So I haven’t been writing. So these are the books I read in April and May.

Image from Amazon.com

The Perfect Child is a book to read if you want to read something creepy and unsettling. It’s about a married couple who wanted to adopt because they weren’t able to conceive. They both work in a hospital and an abused girl is found and quickly forms a bond with the husband. They decide to adopt her and learn her issues along the way. But things just go haywire. The little girl is malicious toward the wife and the husband denies that anything is wrong. She eventually becomes pregnant and gives birth to a little boy, the whole time worrying about her child’s safety around their adopted daughter. This book makes you wonder the entire time. It’s upsetting to see a wedge divided in a marital relationship. So many things happen. I won’t tell you all of them.

Image from PenguinRandomHouse.com

Normal People I got from Book of the Month. I loved it. It follows two characters who enter and leave each other’s lives as friends and romantically. The author did a great job in detailing mental health issues and emotional disorders. The story keeps you rooting for them. There are so many ups and downs. Don’t be sad though.

Image from Amazon.com

The Nest is another book that I’ve been putting off reading for a while. I finally decided to pick it up at the Florence Library. It’s about a family who are very close to coming into their inheritance. They all have plans on what they’re going to do with it, but their oldest brother may have jeopardized most of the inheritance already through a big misstep in his life. This book was frustrating and heart wrenching, but definitely worth the read.

Image from Amazon.com

How Not to Die Alone is so funny and ridiculous. It’s another one I got from Book of the Month. It follows Andrew, a middle aged homebody who works as a property assessor for people who have died alone. His job is to find any next of kin or anything of value that can pay for a funeral.
Everyone at Andrew’s work believes that he is married and has two kids. However, neither of these things are true. Andrew is okay with everyone believing it to be true though, because it gives him an excuse to not go out. But then a new woman starts working with him and changes everything. He has to decide how much the lie is worth.

Image from Target.com

Necessary People I also got from Book of the Month. It was suspenseful and makes you wonder who you’re supposed to root for. It’s about Violet and Stella, two best friends from completely different lifestyles. Violet grew up poor but brilliant and went to a prestigious college far from where she grew up. Stella is from a ridiculously rich family and always gets what she wants. They meet in college and Stella brings Violet fully into her life and allows her to live as her shadow. After college Violet lands a great job working for a television production company. Stella becomes jealous that Violet is doing so well and is no longer in her shadow, so she finds a way to become an anchor at the same company. A deeper and deeper wedge is driven between the two until Violet has to make the hardest decision of her life while worrying that she may lose everything.

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So I Moved Across the Country

Again.

Everything has been crazy and stressful and exciting and fun. There are so many things up in the air and we’re just waiting to see what sticks the landing.

I’ve been home a little over a week. I missed home. A lot more than I thought I did. It’s good to be back.

Bobby and I both have found jobs. We’ll be able to pay bills and save. Things are working out for the first time in a long time it seems.

So yeah. I’ll try to be better. Because things are getting better. Welcome home.

Saying Goodbye

Bobby and I turned in our keys yesterday. We are finally moved out of our first little house that we shared. We no longer have to deal with crazy neighbors that hiss at our dog or throw possible poisoned bread in the backyard. But we also can no longer walk to the movie theater or to the mall to get energy drinks.

I’m not working anymore, but Bobby’s last day is Friday. Next week we say goodbye (and good riddance) to living in the South. We say goodbye to overly religious racists making up too much of the population around us. We say goodbye to people who use our Creator as an excuse for their prejudiced actions. We say goodbye to unwalkable city planning and drivers who want cyclist commuters to die simply because they’re on a bike. We say goodbye to not earning a livable wage. We say goodbye to so many things.
But we also say goodbye to good music. We say goodbye to the history of modern recording. We say goodbye to seeing zoo lions without going to a zoo whenever we want. We say goodbye to good friends. We say goodbye to cheap rent. We say goodbye to so many things.

I am so excited to say hello again. I’m excited to go home and be home and feel home. I’m excited to breath fresh air and for the shade to be cooler than the sun. I’m excited to be out of the humidity.
I’m excited to adventure again. And I’m more than excited to start somewhere new with my favorite human.

It’s Cool To Be an Alcoholic

When did it become a normal thing to fetishize drinking tons of alcohol?

I noticed a while ago that a lot of shirts for sale have sayings on them like, “Rosé all day” “Coffee and wine, feelin’ fine” “Relationship Status: Wine”

I saw a girl wearing a wine sloganed sweater at the gym...
image from Target.com

I counted 11 different wine sloganed shirts on Target’s website alone.
I used to love wine. I still like it. I’m drinking a glass right now. But most of these shirts are probably being bought by underage teens. Kids who will grow up thinking day drinking is normal. And again, there’s nothing wrong with day drinking on its own, but when it becomes the norm, then how do you even know what a day without alcohol is like? How do you drive?

I’ve had far more fun sober days than non-sober days. Maybe I’m just getting old. Because I’m not that conservative. I’m just over people who know nothing about wine fetishizing it. Because I’m almost positive that the people who buy these shirts probably spend $25 on five bottles of cheap wine rather than on one bottle of good wine.

Maybe I’m just annoyed. I just don’t think it’s that cool to be an alcoholic.

What I Read: March 2019

Image from Amazon.com

A Lily in the Light was a book I got from Amazon First Reads. It’s about a little sister that disappears and the family that is left behind. The main character, Esme, was 11 when her four-year-old sister disappeared. Esme was a promising ballerina, and her parents became depressed and almost unable to cope, so her ballet teacher offered to take her in. Esme auditions to go to a private boarding school for dancers and wins a full ride scholarship. The book then fast forwards to when Esme is 19, dancing in Paris. They found a girl that could be her missing sister, and she’s alive.
This book was better than I expected. It did a really great job of showing someone grappling with guilt over such a great loss. It highlights Esme’s depression and her reasons behind different actions. I’m definitely glad I chose it.

Image from Goodreads.com

This is another book I got from Book of the Month. They have really been able to deliver in their selections and I definitely recommend trying it out if you’ve been curious.
The story follows Hen, an artist, and her husband right after they move into a new house in the suburbs. Hen is bipolar and has a history of episodes where she becomes obsessed with different murder cases. Her last episode came right after their neighbor on their old street was murdered. It was made to look like a robbery, but the victim’s fencing trophy was also stolen. The killer was never caught.
Hen’s new next door neighbors invite them over for dinner and she sees a fencing trophy just like the missing one sitting on the neighbor’s mantel. Hen then becomes convinced that her neighbor is a serial killer, but with her previous history, who would believe her accusations?
This book had so many twists and turns and I loved every minute of it. The author perfectly captured what it’s like to suffer from mental illness. I especially loved the twist at the end. I won’t spoil it though.

Image from Amazon.com

I’ve been wanting to read this book since it came out because I had heard good things about it. I had been reading a lot of murder and dark stories, so I decided to try something else. I picked it up at the local library and almost didn’t put it down. It reminded me why I want to be a therapist. It reminded me why I want to help people tell their stories.
The story is about Greer Kadetsky and her discovery of feminism. She is sucked in by Faith Frank in college and wants nothing more than to change lives for the better in the name of feminism. The book also tells the story from the point of view of several different characters.
There is so much growth and change in each character. It was so realistic. I should go to the library more often.

Do What You Like

I spend far too much time thinking about writing and then never following through. I still have the mind of a writer, but my actions would say otherwise. I have started some cool things, but I haven’t decided what to do with them yet, so they’re still just sitting there.

Remember being a kid and having hobbies and interests, some of which matched those around you, and some of which were your own? For example, a lot of little girls love horses, but not all do. Some little girls loved dinosaurs. Some girls still do. Kids play with dolls and hotwheels and beanie babies and make up pretend worlds. Kids collect things.
But then we come to a point when the opinions of our peers matter more. For some, that’s middle school. For some that is high school. If a person has an interest that is not popular and maybe too nerdy, they get made fun of. And of a lot of people stop liking things because their friends tell them it is lame.
So I’m gonna say this: It’s not lame.

When you reach your twenties, loving Disney is cool again. Having quirky decor is trendy, like having trinkets and lamps shaped like your favorite animal. I think a lot of us would be a lot happier if we didn’t let our peers make us feel bad about our nerdy designs.

Recently, my boyfriend and I started embracing our nerdiness again. He had been talking about buy pokemon decks with a friend of ours so they could battle. But we’re moving and there has been a lot going on everywhere, so they hadn’t done it yet. One day I came home and told Bobby I would be willing to go buy decks with him and play. And we have been sucked in completely.
Did you know there are huge tournaments where people can win money? Just through strategy? It’s so crazy and weird. But we’re having fun.
Because we both liked pokemon as kids. But everyone reaches that age where things become not cool anymore, even if they don’t lose interest. I wish we had held onto that interest.

Do what you like. Do things that make you happy, even if they’re nerdy or weird or unpopular. Happiness should trump all.

Books I read in February 2019

February was filled with new distractions, so I only read three books, but I’m still reaching my goal to read more this year.

These are the books I read last month:

Image from Amazon.com

In January I wrote a post about Marie Kondo’s show Tidying Up on Netflix. I mentioned that I had wanted to read her book for a while. My dad saw that post and bought me the book. I have a pretty cool dad.

I liked this book and found it to be a helpful resource. What is difficult for me right now in the organizing my house category is that it is hard to find motivation when I know I am about to pack up my house and move across the country. I have been effective in going through my clothes and books and have gotten rid of them. I plan to use everything I learned in our next destination. I’m trying to feel positive, but it’s hard to feel that way right now. I’m still a lazy human.

Image from Goodreads.com

This was my book of the month pick.
I really enjoyed this book. The main character’s sister was murdered and her case was never solved. She always suspected that her sister’s boyfriend was to blame, and when she returns home to take care of her mother she discovers that he’s a nurse at her mother’s cancer facility. She starts searching for truth, starting with the boyfriend, and finds out so many things surrounding the case that she never would have known.
I keep reading books with a lot of mystery and murder in them. I get sucked in so easily, and I sometimes wonder how this is affecting my mental health, but it’s also hard to care. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves mysteries surrounding families and murders.

Image from Amazon.com

This is another book that I got from amazon first reads. I’m always apprehensive to read books I get from first reads, because it seems like the majority of my choices have been duds or have just been really hard to get through. I don’t really like reading boring books.
Luckily, this book was awesome. It’s from the perspective of Katie, whose father was arrested six years before after being convicted of statutory rape. Katie’s then best friend was the accuser, and Katie never believed her father was guilty. The book starts off right before her father is released from prison and is filled with flashbacks from the summer the crime was supposedly committed. Katie finally starts to discover different things about the case that she had been kept in the dark about as a teenager.
This book has such a good plot and shows so much character development. Katie begins to understand why she does the things she does and reacts in certain ways. It was really interesting from a counseling perspective. Definitely glad I chose this book.