Summer Reading Wish List

Ah, even though summer is a few weeks away, I already have a list in my mind.  I want to read more non-fiction this summer, believe it or not. My job is research heavy so it has me interested in different topics. Of course, there is a good amount of fiction I want to read as well.  I’m heading to the beach in July so I need some good beach reading. Or at least something to make my brain relax. So here, are my top books or series I want to read this summer.

Summer Reading Wish List

The Radium Girls by Kate Moore: This nonfiction book is about girls who worked in factories painting watch dials. They used radium, which was thought to be a wonder chemical in the early 20th century. However, the radium made the girls glow but also made them extremely ill. This book tops my nonfiction list.31409135

Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas: This series is a list repeater. I keep meaning to read it, but I either get distracted or don’t have the funds. I really need to read it since it’s a fantasy novel right up my alley. Who can resist when the novel features an assassin named Celaena Sardothien?

Princesses Behaving Badly by Linda R. McRobbie: As a fan of Eleanor Herman’s Sex with the Queen, this nonfiction book piques my interest. It features various princesses from history and their outrageous stories. I have a historical fascination with royalty so I hope I get to this book during the summer.17412780Captive Prince series by C.S. Pacat: Once again, this is another series that has floated around on my radar. I’ve been wanting to read the story of the warrior hero Damen for a while now. It’s a fantasy novel with a romantic twist. So many books, so little time.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson: There are multiple reasons why I want to read this book. I mean, the title itself is intriguing. As a person with anxiety, I would like to care less about the crap that goes on in my mind. I’ve gotten okay at letting things go, but I feel like I can do better at it.

Anyway, I hope some of the books got you interested in reading them. May you have a book filled summer!

Mental Health Awareness Month

It’s National Mental Health Awareness month and the internet is full of images of green ribbons. Mental health is an important topic to me. As I’ve mentioned on this blog before, I have both anxiety and depression. I’ve done therapy, been to a doctor, and I’m on medication to manage the diseases. For it is a disease, no matter how you put it. It’s just not always visible and that is why awareness is so important.

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I’ve written before that people are afraid to come forward with their mental illness. They fear being rejected by friends and family. Or they’ve been told before they are doing and saying things for attention. Bad experiences cause them to shut down. I know this feeling. I’ve kept my mental issues from various people over the years. I’ve hidden my anxiety and sadness to appear normal. However, you can only hide those feelings for so long before something gives.

 

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Me.

 

I’m more open about my own issues. It is one of the most difficult things I do. Awareness makes people feel less alone with their disorders. It can encourage them to get help or at least talk to someone. There is no shame in having a mental illness. There is no shame in asking for help. Of course, the mentality that there is something wrong is hard to shake. Society is still stuck in the stone ages about mental illness for the most part. However, I’m proud of the strides people are taking with outreach and awareness.

As I stated before, mental illness isn’t always visible. Some people are highly functioning while they are suffering mental issues. You wouldn’t know unless they said something. However, never ignore a plea for help. If you need help or know someone who is in need, here are some resources:

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

https://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/What-Can-I-Do

http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=home

 

 

Rainy day thoughts

It’s a rainy day and my lungs gravitate between breathing and hacking. I had to cancel outdoor plans but a night of coughing led me to cancel. I suppose I need to relax and rest up. I haven’t slept much in the past week since the sinus infection. I’m mending. I just haven’t been sick like this in forever. Meh. So, it’s just a rainy Sunday and the snores of my dog rival the rain.

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The flowers will be happy.

I keep thinking I haven’t put time into some things, lately. I haven’t done yoga in weeks. I drew something in oil pastels last night. My garden is hastily tended. I realize I need to slow down and put time into these things. They are calming and good for my mental and physical health. I fear I got addicted to busy. I work 9-5 and rush around when I come home. I’m also tired at the end of the day. I need to strive to be more mindful and go back to the basics.

I read a great books series that I finished. It’s The Crown & Key series by Susan and Clay Griffith. It has steampunk, magic, and alchemy. The cast of characters are great and I highly recommend it. My reading list grows by the day.

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I keep making plans in my head. I need to carry them out. I feel like I need to be more present but take care of myself, too. I saw my name in print at work. It was the proofing copy. It gave me a nice feeling. I feel like my work is valued there. I just need to remember there is value in other things, as well. I have social plans next weekend so I suppose I needed to rest this weekend.  I needed to let my thoughts come and go.  Share what I wish to share, like my favorite poem.

She Walks in Beauty

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

March Book Round Up

March has been great in the book department. I’ve gotten to two books on the reading list I made before. I’ve read some additional books on the side. There was only one disappointment in the mix. I’ve definitely needed the stories this month. I needed to forget the stress of everyday life at the end of the day. Reading before bed gets me ready for sleep. So, to catch you up, here are my notable choices.

BOOKS I’VE READ

Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey

A retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest by my favorite author was something I couldn’t turn down. The book tells the story of Miranda’s formative years and the events of the play. It also presents Caliban and Miranda as being in love. Overall, it’s a  good read. I just felt like the ending could have been fleshed out a bit more.25670396

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

This book was absolutely delightful. The stories of the gods were amazing. It was the right amount of myth and humor. It was a light version of American Gods. The interactions between Thor and Loki make the entire book. I loved reading about Sif and the other Aesir as well.

Currently Reading:

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

I’m loving this book. Kvothe is an amazing hero. It’s got magic, dragons, and sword fighting. What more can you want from a book? I hear it is being made into a television series. I think, if they stayed true to the source material, it would work well. I plan on the reading the sequel, The Wise Man’s Fear when I can get a copy. I hope the author finishes Doors of Stone one day.186074

Planned Read:

The Shadow Revolution: Crown & Key by Clay and Susan Griffith. 

It’s novel about steampunk, alchemy, and monster fighting. I’ve been wanting to read this for a long time. I’ll let you know how it is.

Howdy, Readers. Life Update

I do apologize for the lack of posting lately. It’s not that I’m absent ideas. It’s more like exhaustion. I took on way too much work the past few weeks. The idea behind this was based on a job interview I had a few weeks ago. I assumed I did not get the job. It turned out that I was wrong.

This blogger is entering the outside world to work. The company is mid-sized and specializes in school texts and workbooks. It’s family owned and is local to the area. It will be an adjustment working in an actual office around people. I know, it makes me sound crazy. However, I’m sure I will adapt soon. I go tomorrow to fill out paperwork. I suppose I will find out more when I’m there.  I’m more worried about the furbaby adapting.

Speaking of the furbaby, it will be one year since I adopted her this upcoming weekend. It’s probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. She is my companion and endless source of entertainment. She rules the house, and she knows it. I plan to take her Petsmart and let her roam around and flirt. I will also purchase her something. She’s spoiled.

 

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Portrait of  Spoiled Dog

As this is a book blog, I must mention what I’ve read lately. I  justed finished The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. She wrote this one for older audiences. I loved it from start to finish. I felt like it was written for me. It goes on my list of ‘books to read if you want to understand me’ category. It reminded me in some ways of A Room with a View. I’ve read Quentin Heart: Vampire Bounty Hunter for a light read. I love it until the horribly anti-climatic ending. There is still a long list of books I plan to read.

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Spring is early this year. I have to hold back my eagerness to start planting. A last minute cold front or two always moves through. I already have to cover some plants in case that happens. My tulips are on they way up. My roses are growing new leaves. Mother Nature must be on a bender. Or, you know, climate change. I do plan on using many bee friendly plants this year. My landlord professed an interest in keeping bees. I plan on doing my part to save the honeybees.

Anyway, hopefully, you feel caught up. Blogging and other types of writing must be planned more carefully now. I got the test-making writing project I’ve done before happening this month too. Let’s pray I keep my sanity intact.

 

The Case for Emily

I state, without a doubt, that Emily Starr is my favorite L.M. Montgomery character. I’m just excited about as the next girl about the new Anne series coming to Netflix. However, I just feel like Emily has never gotten her due. I think a new show of the series would be fantastic. There was a Canadian series based on the books. There were some good points about the show, but it strayed far from the books.

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I believe that the Emily books have a greater level of maturity and depth than the Anne books.  The defining experience of the death fo Emily’s father spurs her development. I relate to Emily’s personality more than Anne’s. Emily hides her emotions unless she trusts someone or has a particularly stirring moment. However, her imagination is vivid and full of dreams. Her sixth sense adds mystery the stories. I would like to see an updated version of these scenarios play out.

I love Gilbert Blythe, don’t get me wrong. I just have a soft spot for the artistic types. Frederick Kent’s and Emily’s romance is heart-wrenching. Their stars cross many times before they finally come together. I think I held my breath many times reading about these two. Ilse and Perry’s romance is amusing and tempestuous.  I can see the love story playing out on the screen.

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Overall, there is more spice in the Emily books. I felt that the Anne books were always too bright and sugary. Yes, there were some tragic moments in the books. I never got over Montgomery kill Walter. I remember throwing the book down as a kid. I just feel like Emily let you into more sides of human emotions. Secondly, Anne’s craving for everyone to like her got on my nerves on occasion. Emily did not feel comfortable being disliked, but she acknowledged when people didn’t and moved on. She did want love from those she loved best, which is natural. Anne never grew out of trying to get everyone to like her even as an adult. I feel like Emily was more emotionally independent.

I read that the Emily books were never as popular as the Anne series. I understand that. Anne was more magic and sparkle than Emily. I just don’t waver from my belief that Emily is due a revival and new adaptation. I think the story is just as moving and magical as the Anne books.

Just a bunch of Pissed Off Women

I think this was a common reaction to the Women’s Marches that happened around the world this weekend. Women crowded cities around the globe because they were pissed off. I mean, they have nothing to angry about except President Trump being in office. Right? Well, I don’t think to ask for equal pay, the right to make safe choices about sex, and ensuring that that mothers get adequate maternity and pay to have children is ridiculous. If it hadn’t been for pissed off women, we could not vote, own property, or even get a higher education.

 

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Pissed Off Women: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony (Wikimedia Commons)

I don’t apologize for not wanting men in suits to tell me what I can and can’t do with my uterus. Imagine what would happen if it tried to tell men what do with their reproductive organ. One of the executive acts gives insurance companies the leeway to remove contraceptive and maternity care for its coverage. It was all signed by men. I thought we were past the Dark Ages when men controlled a women’s reproductive system. Allowing access to adequate contraceptive options adds safety to sexual and reproductive decisions. The choice to get on birth control may not be a sexual one, but entirely health related. It’s a personal choice. People complain about the government trying to control their rights to own a gun or run surveillance on their internet history. Do women not have a legitimate complaint?

Historically, women have been treated as weaker and lesser. It was thought that women’s brains could not handle the rigors of science, math, and finance. A woman could not be allowed to hold the same jobs as men. They could not understand politics so they shouldn’t have the right to vote. When women come together, it turns into a mudslinging festival by people who think they don’t have a reason to protest.

 

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Eleanor Roosevelt (Wikimedia Commons)

 

I hope that one day we will stop thinking of anyone as lesser. Native Americans are not less for wanting clean water in their lands. Minorities are not less than a person. Neither are women or the mentally ill. Mothers are the strongest people I know. Maybe I am too idealistic about wanting a  world where people feel safe, have enough to eat and can make choices about their personal lives and be healthy. I always think of Eleanor Roosevelt’s famous words at these times: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” The world needs healing, no matter what direction you are coming from.

You don’t have to agree with someone. Just don’t make them feel like garbage for doing what they think is right. Perhaps one day we will become a world where we help instead of attack on another.