Mar 30

Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts: March 30, 2016

Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts 18

Happy Wednesday, Bookworms!

I have not fallen off the face of the planet, I promise. I’ve just had a busy week and weekend and I decided on more than one occasion that coloring would be a better use of my time than writing a blog post. These things happen sometimes. Anywho, since I’m in a random mishmash mood, I think it’s time we share some Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts, don’t you? (Thanks to Christine at Bookishly Boisterous for hosting!)

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FIRST: WordPress is annoyingly insistent on reformatting the way I write numbered lists and it’s driving me crazy, so I’m going to use ACTUAL WORDS instead of numbers to try to beat the computers. It’s like The Matrix up in here, you guys.

SECOND: Hamilton. I drank the Kool-Aid. I live tweeted my first listen. I laughed. I cried. Since the first listen, I’ve either been listening to it again OR had songs stuck in my head. I also have a giant crush on Daveed Diggs. How does one rap whilst maintaining a French accent?! HOW?! AND THEN sound COMPLETELY DIFFERENT to play Thomas Jefferson?! I am not sure if I’m going to read Ron Chernow’s book (although who are we kidding? I read Les Miserables as a direct result of the musical, so it’ll probably happen eventually…) but I keep hitting Wikipedia for extra historical tidbits.

THIRD: My birthday was last week. I turned 33. I stopped getting excited about birthdays a while ago. I mean, I don’t want to be a spoilsport, but instead of being an occasion where I can simply enjoy eating all the cake, birthdays now turn into this sort of melancholy “taking stock of life” sort of occasion for me. I blame my brain chemistry (and probably also my biological clock.) It turns out that it’s a pretty good thing that I had low/grumpy expectations, though, because Hubs came home from work violently ill on my birthday. Poor guy. After I cleaned up and put the man to bed, I just chilled out eating Doritos and watching Gilmore Girls. Fancy dinner out has been postponed (since his birthday and our dating anniversary are a mere 10 days after MY birthday, it’ll work out fine.) I’ll probably enjoy it more without the gray cloud of birthday melancholy hanging over my head anyway. But since I’m 33 and, uh, “Mellon Collie”…

FOURTH: I’ve been in some kind of reading slump lately, I’ll tell you what. I’ve powered through a few things but the only thing keeping me from DNF-ing some current reads is the fact that I’m not super stoked about anything I’ve got on deck to read. I’m sure it will resolve itself soon, these things usually do, but meh.

FIFTH: I renewed my library card yesterday! I had planned to hit the gym for a Body Pump class BUT a railroad track runs right through the gym’s parking lot. Not only did I have to wait for a train to chug through, but the darn thing STOPPED. On the tracks. Just like, blocking everything. Not a great design decision on the gym’s part certainly, but seriously, train? It doesn’t seem like there’s any sort of schedule. I waited for a few minutes and then gave up, remembered I needed to get my library card renewed and decided to eat Easter candy instead of exercising. I obviously make excellent decisions.

That’s been my week- what have YOU been up to, Bookworms?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site I will receive a small commission.*

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Mar 24

Watership Down by Richard Adams

Audio Books, Classics 9

Salutations, Bookworms!

I’m going to tell you a story about a rabbit. When I was in high school, my friend Kim (Hi, Kim! I don’t think you read my blog, but hi anyway! Your baby is cute!) had a pet rabbit named Benjamin. He was an awfully cute rabbit, but I’ll tell you something. Rabbit fur is JUST LIKE cat fur. As far as my personal histamines are concerned, anyway. Much as I wanted to snuggle that bunny, he made my eyes itchy and I got all sneezy. That right there is what happens when I tell a story about a rabbit. This is one of the reasons I do not write books. Luckily, other people write books. Other people like Richard Adams. That’s right guys! I finally read Watership Down!

watershipdownIn case it wasn’t already clear, Watership Down is a story about rabbits. A rabbit adventure tale, if you will. The whole story apparently came about as Richard Adams told stories to his daughters whenever they were in the car. In this book’s introduction, Adams makes no bones about the fact that he did not intend this novel to be any sort of allegory. It made me laugh because I can’t help but think that this happens a lot. Once a book is out there and in the hands of critics and academics it takes on a life of its own. But I digress. Back to the bunnies! This book follows a band of rabbits on a journey from their human threatened warren across the English countryside in search of a safe new home.

I started this book knowing it was about rabbits, but that was about it. I was a pretty blank slate as far as plots went. I actually sort of thought that it was going to involve rabbits on a submarine. Sadly, there were no teeny tiny sailor suits involved in this book, though despite my love of cuteness, it’s probably for the best. I was not expecting to be so flipping STRESSED by the plight of these rabbits, though. Being a rabbit is rough! They’re terrified of all the things all the time because there are dogs and cats and foxes and weasels and humans. This band of rabbits just keeps getting into scrape after scrape and the suspense killed me. How does one make a book about fluffy bunnies suspenseful?! Frith only knows!

Be honest with me here, Bookworms. How freaking CUTE would a rabbit look wearing a sailor suit? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, a sailor suit will be donated to a rabbit in need. That’s a lie. The money will go straight into my greedy greedy pockets.*

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Mar 23

A Day in the Life of… Me.

Personal 43

Howdy Bookworms!

Have you ever wondered what other people’s day-to-day lives are like? Trish at Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity has an event for that! She’s challenged bloggers to log their activity for a single day to share with the world. If you have an excellent memory, you may recall that I played along last year and tracked St. Patrick’s Day, so I figured I’d do the same this year. Let’s do this, shall we?

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Thursday, March 17, 2016

7:00 am- Alarm goes off.

7:09 am – Alarm goes off again.

7:18 am- For the love of St. Patrick, I want to sleeeeeeeeep.

7:27 am- Fine! I’ll get out of bed, you miserable task master. (I hate you so much right now, alarm clock. So. Much.)

7:30 am- Grumpily wait for bathroom time. Hubs and I rarely overlap on getting ready, but we did today. And I’m a terrible, terrible grump.

7:33 am- Use bathroom. Pleased that I showered last night and set out my clothes so the morning stupor wouldn’t affect my greenness. We wouldn’t want a repeat of last year’s forgetting to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, now would we?

7:38 am- Get dressed, including green t-shirt, green shoes, and novelty Irish headband. Sparkles AND feathers.

7:52 am- Leave house, listen to NPR in the car and lament, lament, lament the state of the world, and American politics in particular. (I told you I was in a terrible mood.)

8:15 am- Arrive at work.

8:18 am- Read emails, do work. Dang. I need some coffee.

8:30 am- Check Facebook. See photo of “nieces” in St. Paddy’s swag. The redhead is wearing a green t-shirt that says “Ginger Pride.” Die of cuteness.

8:49 am- First sip of coffee with Irish Cream creamer. I’m in charge of the office coffee and creamer supply, so I choose seasonally appropriate flavors.

8:53 am- Laughed really, really loudly at a text Hubs sent. It included a picture of a ferret in a Leprechaun hat. You’d probably have to be us to find that exceptionally hilarious. It’s lucky that my co-workers are immune to my random outbursts (swearing at computers, talking to myself, giggle-snorts) because nobody batted an eye.

9:00 am- Wonder idly if Hubs could tell the difference in color between my t-shirt and the grey hoodie I’m wearing over it, given his mild green deficiency color blindness… A truly sad state of affairs, to my mind. Green is the best of the colors.

9:10 am- Selfie. This headband is not going to properly appreciate itself, you know. (Crankiness evaporated with the coffee, in case you were curious.)

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10:00 am- Feeling restless. Decide to raise desk to standing desk (I know, right? It’s pretty sweet.) I rarely use the feature but sometimes it helps when I’m feeling fidgety.

11:30 am- Have quick chat with Andi that ends with me being extremely hungry and admitting that I didn’t know white gravy was a thing until my teen years. I mean, why on earth would I ever have ordered biscuits and gravy for breakfast when PANCAKES existed? Plus, in my Midwestern existence, all mashed potatoes were served with brown gravy. I’m mildly ashamed.

12:36 pm- Lunch! I’ve been hungry for an hour now so I’m pretty stoked about putting food in my belly. I had creamy tomato pasta soup and an English muffin with laughing cow cheese (the garlic and herb flavor.) I realize a can of soup is not a terribly exciting lunch, but I really, really like soup.

1:10 pm- Work and more work. Really exciting stuff here, people.

5:01 pm- Wow, I really dropped the ball on recording, huh? Luckily, I didn’t do anything particularly interesting. At least not to the casual observer. I get changed so I can head to the gym. I suppose I could change at the gym, but locker rooms are not my favorite thing so it’s just easier to change before I go.

5:25 pm- Arrive at gym. Do Body Combat. I like to kick, and stretch, aaaaaaaaaaaand kick! (I also sweat. A lot. It’s super gross.)

6:35 pm- Leave gym and head home.

6:48 pm- Arrive home

6:50 pm- Shower. So very, very necessary.

7:05 pm- Prepare dinner. This consists of browning some sausage and setting a boxed mix of jambalaya to boil. Y’all know I’m useless in the kitchen. We’re keeping it real, here. (Also keeping it real is the fact that Hubs would never be cool with me cooking corned beef and cabbage in our house. Too odiferous.)

7:20 pm- Sit down to watch some crappy TV whilst jambalaya cooks its requisite 25 minutes.

7:45 pm- EAT. It was a good batch this time. Yes, sometimes I even screw up food that comes out of boxes. I AM NOT GOOD AT FEEDING MYSELF.

8:02 pm- Hubs puts on Baskets. It’s that Zach Galifianakis show where he’s a clown? It’s super weird and awkwardly funny but not usually in a gut busting sort of way. It’s also pretty sad. I don’t know how I feel about it, honestly. Louie Anderson makes a convincing woman, though, I’ll tell you what.

8:18 pm- Hubs asks if I would like a Shamrock shake. The answer is YES.

8:20 pm- Hubs leaves to acquire said shamrock shakes. Because it’s St. Patrick’s Day. And they are delicious.

8:29 pm- SHAMROCK SHAAAAAAKES!!!!

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8:40 pm- I decide I’d rather read The Walking Dead: Compendium Three than continue paying attention to Hubs’s weird taste in TV.

8:49 pm- Shout of utter repulsion. Common TWD experience.

9:07 pm- Shout of joy and delight regarding TWD. (I can’t tell you why. Spoilers. But daaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn.)

10:02 pm- Fold some laundry. Hubs is really good about doing the laundry, as in the washing and drying part, but he doesn’t fold and put it away. That’s my bit. So I did that.

10:27 pm- Watch a couple of YouTube vids with Hubs. We have to keep tabs on The Tim Tracker, you know.

10:49 pm- Head up to bed. Read The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson for a bit.

11:11 pm- This time is completely estimated, but I definitely didn’t last long before I conked out.

So yeah. That’s what a day in my life looks like. It’s nothing thrilling, but we can’t all be super exciting, right? Anybody out there do anything especially fun on St. Paddy’s?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site I will receive a small commission.*

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Mar 21

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

Audio Books, Classics 14

Greetings Bookworms,

I’ve got a seemingly endless list of well known classics that I’ve been planning to read forever and I finally got around to tackling one. Yaaaaay Katie! I like to congratulate myself sometimes. High five, me! Yeah, so, A Clockwork Orange happened. It doesn’t seem like the sort of book that I can say I “read.” It’s more the sort of book that happened to me. Via my earholes. This was probably a wise decision, given the adventurous language. I might have gotten frustrated with the slang had I not the appropriate inflections to guide me. Audio books, FTW!

aclockworkorangeYou know how everyone is always lamenting teens these days? It’s the favorite past time of everyone over the age of 25. They’re either too soft or turning vicious. But, uh, the fifteen year old protagonist of A Clockwork OrangeIt’s a whole new nightmarish level of horrifying. Little Alex and his gang of “droogs” go around beating the crap out of people, thieving, raping, and pillaging. It’s… Intense. When Alex inevitably gets caught, he’s sent to prison learning to do little more than become a more efficient criminal. Toward the end of his sentence, Alex signs up for a rehabilitation program, the methods of which are nearly as horrifying as Alex’s pre-prison activities. I’m not going to sugar coat it. This book is a pretty traumatic read. It’s a creepy parable about good and evil and human freedom… And slang. So much slang.

Before you ask, nope. I never have seen the Stanley Kubrik film. I’m not sure that I will now that I know the source material because there are things I simply don’t need to see on screen. The intro to this audio book ranted about several things, among them the movie adaptation, and the fact that the American version of the novel was published without the last chapter. The British version did have it, as did the version I listened to. I’ve got to say I think the final chapter added a new level of brain food to the book. If you’re going to pick it up, try to get a version with the chapter included. Should you read this book? Probably. I mean, if you want to be well versed in all the things. Still, if you’re going to read it, go in knowing that it’s not for the faint of heart, okay?

Talk to me Bookworms! Who has seen this movie? Read the book? Was anyone else traumatized by it?!

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Mar 17

Locally Laid by Lucie B Amundsen Review and Giveaway

Giveaways, Memoirs 8

Greetings Bookworms!

The Easter season is upon us, and regardless of whether or not you celebrate, eggs and bunnies have a way of infiltrating all the things. Also, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups actually taste better when they’re shaped like eggs. I’d argue it’s been empirically proven, but I simply don’t have the data to back that up. Seriously though, is there a better time of year to talk about eggs? It’s just the happiest of coincidences that today I get to tell you all about Lucie B Amundsen’s memoir about her family’s adventures in starting a pasture-raised egg farm. *I received a complimentary copy of Locally Laid: How We Built a Plucky, Industry-changing Egg Farm – from Scratch from the publisher for review consideration. It didn’t take long for me to accept after reading the title. I love a good double entendre.*

locallylaidOne evening over dinner in a Mexican restaurant, Lucie Amundsen’s husband Jason casually drops the bomb that he’d like to leave Corporate America behind and become an egg farmer. A locally sourced, pasture raised, foray into agriculture. Her reaction is essentially what mine would be: shock, hysterical crying, and the desperate hope that she was being punked.

As it turns out, Locally Laid was no joke. Hilariously cheeky brand name aside, the process of acquiring a few thousand laying hens was no easy feat. And since the hens they did acquire had been raised in an industrial manner, Jason and Lucie not only had to learn how to farm, but also learn how to teach chickens act like chickens. With antique machinery and a heck of a lot of gumption, they set off on the adventure of a lifetime. There’s a steep learning curve when it comes to farming as you may well imagine, but chicken farming in Duluth, Minnesota? WINTER IS COMING. The story is funny, smart, informative, devastating, and heartwarming. Plus it’s got a whole lot of chickens named LoLa.

I learned so much about agriculture in the US as a result of reading this book, which, frankly, is not a not a thing I’d have expected to find interesting. (I also learned a lot about chicken butts which is a thing I WOULD HAVE expected to find interesting. I’m just mentioning it because chicken butts.) I’m not a foodie, okay? I don’t get excited about artisanal cheeses or organic kale. I’m sure they’re awesome, but I was under the impression that local food was the exclusive domain of the foodie class. One of the things I loved so much about Amundsen’s book (aside from her killer sense of humor, because I would not turn down a beer with this lady) was that she made the whole concept of locally produced food seem accessible. She did a really great job of advocating for small and middle ag without making me feel like a complete jerk for my earlier willful ignorance. Does this mean I’m going to start getting up early and frequenting farmer’s markets? Probably not. BUT I plan to pay a little more attention in the grocery store. And maybe try my hand at a vegetable garden this spring. That’s a pretty awesome result for a plucky little book about chickens, no?

You want to read this now, don’t you? Today is your lucky day because the folks at Avery have provided a giveaway copy of Locally Laid for you! (And by “the folks at Avery” I mean Farin. Thanks for hooking us up, girl!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site I may receive a commission. It depends on the link. But full disclosure and all that.*

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Mar 16

Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts: March 16, 2016

Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts 28

Howdy Bookworms!

It’s time again for my disjointed thoughts on random things, otherwise known as Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts hosted, as always, by Christine at Bookishly Boisterous. Here are some of the things that have been floating around my head this week…

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1. Hubs recently uncovered one of my high school journals and has taken to doing dramatic readings of some of the more angsty passages. It’s not even flowery overwrought prose, it’s mostly histrionics of the soulless-ness of unnamed people. Obviously it was VERY SERIOUS despite the fact that I have absolutely no recollection as to what it was about. A boy? A fight with a friend? A teacher? I honestly have no idea. It’s like I vague-booked pre Facebook. It also reminds me that I’m intensely grateful that social media didn’t exist until I was (mostly) a grown up. I used to think I should keep all those journals for posterity, but right now I kind of just want to burn them all.

2. I’m going dress shopping this weekend because one of my besties is getting hitched. I take my Matron of Honor duties VERY SERIOUSLY… Mostly in that I promise not to complain that I’m going to be wearing a very bright shade of pink in this wedding. Speaking of bridesmaid dresses though, I cannot seem to get rid of mine. It’s not like I will ever have occasion (or desire) to wear them again, and yet I haven’t gotten rid of any of them. I’m guessing this will be the last wedding I’m asked to stand up in, so maybe I will be able to part with them once my bridesmaiding days are officially behind me. Or maybe I’ll just continue to let my closet be dominated by brightly colored satin.

3. I voted in the primaries on yesterday. My polling place was changed from where it’s been forever- I was given ample warning on this, so no worries. BUT. The new place is much further from my house. Boo. Also, they had no stickers! I heard the same thing last time I voted, at the old polling place. No stickers. They always say “yet” as though someone will be dropping them off later in the morning, but really? Dude, they’re stickers. Can those not arrive in advance with the rest of the polling stuff? Couldn’t the election judges bring them along? Does that strike anyone else as weird? Is my voting precinct not good enough for your stickers?! All kidding aside, I voted. Even though I have ZERO desire to engage in political discussions on the internet, I do care.

4. Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day. I put a reminder into my phone so I wouldn’t forget to wear green this year… Speaking of St. Patrick’s Day, last year I participated in Trish’s A Day In The Life event by logging the ins and outs of a random day and I plan to do so again this year. St. Patrick’s Day ended up being the day I logged last year so I’ll probably do that again, for comparison purposes. I imagine they will be shockingly similar, EXCEPT that this year I won’t have to go on an emergency green run. I hope. (Read last year’s post HERE if you’re interested.)

5. My thoughts tend to skew toward the not-so-bookish, don’t they? In bookish news, I’m juggling a trio of books. I’m working through The Walking Dead: Compendium Three in giant paper book form, reading The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson on my Kindle, and listening to Shades of Grey by Jasper Fford. Oh crap. That reminds me. I need to renew my library card. It feels like I JUST did this… But it turns out that was two years ago. Goodness.

What’s been swirling around in your brains, Bookworms?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Mar 14

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott

Civil War, Non Fiction 12

Greetings Bookworms!

I don’t typically read a lot of non fiction, which is a crying shame, really, considering there are some fabulous titles out there. Few things get my dander up more than the way women are written out of history and/or their contributions are glossed over. Blame it on the dual History and Women’s Studies minors. It shouldn’t surprise anyone to hear that Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War by Karen Abbott was an audio book offering I simply couldn’t pass up. When I try to read nonfiction with my eyeballs, my brain tends to get overloaded with facts and give up… Meaning I fall asleep. I don’t have a good reason for this, but audio works better for me.

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Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War tells the stories of four different women participating in some seriously scandalous (for the time) activities. Elizabeth Van Lew was a staunch Unionist who found herself behind enemy lines when the Confederacy decided to make her hometown of Richmond into their capitol. Emma Edmonds felt the need to serve the Union so strongly that she cut off her hair and went undercover as a man to serve in the army. Of course, the Union didn’t have a monopoly on undercover ladies. Belle Boyd started the war off with a bang by shooting a Union soldier and then became a courier and spy for the Confederacy. And let’s not forget Rose O’Neale Greenhow, widowed socialite whose dalliances with high powered politicians put her in the perfect position to become the Queenpin of a spy ring for the Confederacy.

Guys, I learned SO MUCH from this book! The only one of these ladies I knew much about was Elizabeth Van Lew, thanks to good old historical fiction in The Spymistress by Jennifer Chiaverini (review). Now, I’m no Civil War scholar. So much of this book was new information for me and I just gobbled it up. There was one thing though that really stuck with me. While reading this I kept being like “OMG General McClellan, you are really bad at war.” The North seems to have gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to military leadership. On paper, this war should not have been this hard to win or lasted this long or cost so many lives. I’m sure there are many varied and complex reasons for the war stretching on the way it did, but this was my takeaway. General warring ineptitude. This is why I should never, ever be used as a source in a research paper!

Talk to me Bookworms! What’s your favorite non fiction title? I might need to make a little reading list. For my ears.

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Mar 10

I’m Glad About You by Theresa Rebeck

Contemporary Fiction 12

Howdy Bookworms!

Despite the fact that I occasionally whine about the fact that I live in a cornfield, (a gross exaggeration, to be honest. At least half the fields are soybeans) but I LOVE the Midwest. I love the food, I love the people. It’s far from perfect, but it’s home. I think you know where this is heading. I picked up yet another book based in no small part on the fact that it was partially set in the Midwest and starred Midwestern characters. I’m very predictable that way. I received a complimentary copy of I’m Glad About You by Theresa Rebeck for review consideration. These are my honest opinions, of course, because my integrity costs more than a free digital galley. Throw in some diamonds next time, geeze. 

imgladaboutyouAlison and Kyle were high school sweethearts in Cincinnati, Ohio. Kyle was an idealistic and religious young man seeking to change the world with a medicine. Alison wanted desperately to break away from the Midwest and pursue her dreams of becoming an actress. With their dreams pulling them in opposite directions, Kyle and Alison throw in the towel on their relationship after a tumultuous six year run. Alison goes on to get her big break in NYC while Kyle marries, starts a family, and practices medicine in Cincinnati. Though they’ve both seemingly moved on, they still can’t quite seem to shake the hold they have on each other. As their paths continue to cross they’re both forced to examine their choices and the compromises they’ve made to pursue their dreams… Even when their dreams don’t turn out the way they imagined they would.

Ooooh this book. Gosh, I can’t quite pinpoint how I feel about it. Let’s start with what I loved. My BFF lives in Cincinnati so I got way too excited reading shout outs to Graeter’s Ice Cream and Skyline Chili. I personally don’t quite get the Skyline phenomenon (don’t tell my “nephew”), but Graeter’s? SO GOOD. Plus their zoo totally has a penguin exhibit. You’d think that wouldn’t be a huge draw, but my local zoo? Zero penguins. It’s devastating. I really dug the Midwestern charm and the mention of casseroles and foods full of mayonnaise. Lemme tell you about my jello salads, y’all!

That said, I tend to have a difficult time relating to story lines that go behind the scenes of Hollywood, fame, and fortune, because it seems so foreign to me. The stories seem to be at best bittersweet and at worst fully tragic. Hence, Alison’s time in the spotlight didn’t resonate with me the way I’d hoped it would. Well, except for her diet. Hollywood, please just stooooooooooop with making the starlets get extra super skinny. They’re so hungry! Also Kyle’s approach to his Catholicism kind of confused me. Granted, it’s a pretty rules-heavy religion (a thing I know from personal experience) but he seemed to practice in the least pragmatic way possible. He’d screw something up but the choice he’d make to atone was way worse than what he’d done in the first place. The dude is a doctor but often severely lacking in common sense when it comes to his personal life.

So there you have my mixed bag o’ feelings about I’m Glad About You by Theresa Rebeck. If it sounds even remotely interesting to you, though, you should probably read it. I need someone to hash this out with.

Talk to me, Bookworms! I seem to always have trouble relating to Hollywood plots- is there a setting or situation that you run into in books that always kind of throws you?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Mar 09

Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts March 9, 2016

Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts 9

Happy Wednesday, Bookworms!

Welcome to my latest installment of Bookish (and Not so Bookish) Thoughts hosted by Christine at Bookishly Boisterous. This post could also be entitled Verbal Diarrhea (and Random Stream of Consciousness) Thoughts From Katie, but it simply doesn’t have the same ring to it.

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1. While reading Whiskey Tango Foxtrot last week (review), I couldn’t help but find myself daydreaming about how lovely fields of poppies would be and how sad it was that such beauty caused such ugliness with Afghanistan’s drug trade. This, of course, made me think about the episode of Seinfeld where Elaine fails a drug test because of eating poppy seed bagels (or was it muffins?) Then I started wondering how poppy seeds can be innocuous when the plant is also capable of producing opium. I decided it would be a bad idea to google opium production, so I started daydreaming about how messy “everything” bagels can get. I realized that I didn’t know what a sesame plant was all about, because I only know the seeds. I googled that instead. It’s a flowering plant. The more you know.

2. My bosses are on vacation in the Galapagos Islands. They got to swim with Galapagos penguins, the most northerly penguin on the planet. I repeat: THEY GOT TO SWIM WITH PENGUINS. I’m torn between being super jealous because PENGUINS and realizing even if I had been there, I wouldn’t have swum with the penguins because swimming in water containing fish completely freaks me out. I’ll wade in natural bodies of water, but that’s about it. If I’m going to swim-swim, it’s in a chlorinated pool. I’m extremely indoorsy.

3. I’ve been listening to Watership Down on audio and I keep getting really freaking stressed about these ding dang bunnies! Now when I see rabbits in my yard I’m like “I don’t want to hurt you, bunny friend. Stay away from that awful white stray cat who is always skulking around!” But alas. I do not speak Lapine.

4. I keep seeing stories on Facebook about Jared Fogel having gained 30 pounds in the short time he’s been in prison and it’s pissing me off. I know, I know, irony. But can’t we focus on human trafficking or something? Because he’s in prison for visiting underage prostitutes and possession of child pornography. Fat shaming a guy who deserves to be shamed for, you know, BEING A PEDOPHILE is crap and it makes it seem OK to hate on the overweight. There is no correlation between weight and being a dirty bastard. It’s obvious the man is depressed (and let’s hope he’s depressed because he feels actual remorse and not just because he got caught) and turning to food for comfort. I, and millions of other people, also struggle with emotional eating. So, thanks, Facebook, for pointing out that I have something in common with a pedophile. Ya jerk.

So, Bookworms. Now that you know what’s been going on in my head, what’s been going on in yours?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Mar 07

Bite Size Reviews: March 2016

Bite Size Reviews 14

 

Happy Monday, Bookworms!

I know what you’re thinking. “Katie, the only thing that could possibly make me feel better about today being a Monday is if you would talk about a book. Multiple books, even!” You guys are seriously the sweetest. Because I love you ever so much, I shall oblige your request and serve up a trio of bite size book reviews.

bitesizereviews

The Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna van Praag- I checked this out of the library recently because I remember hearing that Menna van Praag is one of the authors Sarah Addison Allen recommends. The Dress Shop of Dreams shares the sort of sweet magical realism I’ve come to expect from SAA, so I’m quite pleased to report that this was a nice little read. Do yourself a favor and don’t ruin it for yourself by overthinking or letting your inner cynic take over, okay? Just enjoy it and daydream about the dress you’d get from a magical shop. I hope my imaginary magical dress comes with matching shoes…

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen- You know how when you read a trilogy, the second installment is usually the weak link? NOT THE CASE here! The Invasion of the Tearling had me twice as engrossed as The Queen of the Tearling (review), in no small part due to the killer Handmaid’s Taleesque subplot (review). Holy smokes. Now I get what all the fuss is about. When is the final installment due?!

Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier- When you pick up a novel based on the Civil War, you can expect it’s going to be a downer. Unfortunately, the bleak tone coupled with the main character’s Odyssean journey didn’t quite work for me. Add to that the fact that I (unwisely) googled the movie version to find out that it starred Nicole Kidman and Jude Law. I have not seen said film, but I have serious doubts about Kidman’s ability to do a convincing American accent. Samesies for Jude Law. Soooo… Yeah. Not really my jam.

What have you been reading, Bookworms? 

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