2018 Popsugar Reading Challenge

I don’t really make it a secret that I love reading. Every year I try to do the Popsugar Challenge and fail, so this year I decided to pick out all my books before the new year even started. I also made a point to pick mostly from books I already own. There are a few I will get from the library. Below are the topics, and my choices!

  1. A Book made into a movie you’ve already seen: Me Before You – Jojo Moyes (Normally I try to read the book before the movie, but that didn’t happen in this case. Also when I see the movie before reading it, I often have trouble reading the book. This topic may be a little hard for me.)
  2. True Crime: After the Eclipse – Sarah Perry (Or Columbine – Dave Cullen)
  3. The Next Book in a Series You Started: Beautiful Darkness: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  4. A Book Involving a Heist: Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
  5. Nordic Noir: The Snowman – Jo Nesbo
  6. A Novel Based on a Real Person: My Lady Jane – Cynthia Hand
  7. A Book Set in a Country that Fascinates You: Beautiful Ruins – Jess Walter
  8.  A Book with a Time of Day in the Title: Emma in the Night – Wendy Walker
  9. A Book About a Villain or Antihero: Heartless – Marissa Meyer
  10. A About Death or Grief: Squid’s Grief – DK Mok
  11. A Book with a Female Author Who Uses a Male Pseudonym:  If J.K. Rowling releases her new Comoran Strike book I will do that one, but if not I will do Naked in Death by J.D. Robb
  12. A Book with an LGBTQ+ protagonist: Simon Vs. the Homosapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli (bonus this is going to be a movie next year)
  13. A Book that is also a Stage Play or Musical:  Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Original Screenplay) – J.K. Rowling
  14. A book by an author of a different ethnicity than you: Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng
  15. A book about feminism: Moxie – Jennifer Mathieu
  16. A book about mental health: The Impossible Knife of Memory – Laurie Halse Anderson
  17. A book you borrowed or that was given to you as a gift: The Circle – Sara B. Elfgren & Mats Strandberg/ Lost in Austen: Create your own Jane Austen Adventure – Emma Campbell (these were both given to me as gifts from my Swedish relative.)
  18. A book by two authors: The Royal We – Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan
  19. A book involving a sport: Beartown – Fredrik Backman
  20. A book by a local author: The Chemist – Stephanie Meyer
  21. A book with your favorite color in the title: The Mystery of the Blue Train – Agatha Christie/Court of Thorn and Roses – Sarah J. Maas
  22. A book with alliteration in the title: Maniac Magee – Jerry Spinelli
  23. A book about time travel: Drums of Autumn(4rth Outlander book) – Diana Gabaldon
  24. A book with a weather element in the title: The Winter Sea – Susanna Kearsley
  25. A book set at sea: The Woman in Cabin 10 – Ruth Ware
  26. A book with an animal in the title: The Magician’s Elephant – Kate DiCamillo
  27. A book set on a different planet: The Sparrow – Susanna Kearsley
  28. A Book with a song lyrics in the title: The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
  29. A book about or set on Halloween: Something Wicked This Way Comes or The Halloween Tree both by Ray Bradbury
  30. A book with characters who are twins: Sisterland – Curtis Sittenfeld
  31. A book mentioned in another book: I don’t have this one picked out yet, as I’m going to just pick one from one of the books I read along the way.
  32. A book from a celebrity book club: I believe I’m going to do the Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman, however I’m going to wait a little bit and see what else Reese Witherspoon picks.(Or possibly Emma Watson)
  33. A childhood classic you’ve never read: Where the Red Fern Grows – Wilson Rawls or The Book of Three – Lloyd Alexander or the Betsy Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace
  34. A book thats published in 2018: I’m also waiting to pick this later in the year.
  35. A past Goodreads Choice Awards Winner: Life After Life – Kate Atkinson
  36. A book set in the decade you were born in: The Marriage Plot – Jeffrey Eugenides
  37. A book you meant to read in 2017 but didn’t get to: Also left open for choice.
  38. A book with an ugly cover: I kind of had trouble with this one as if it’s ugly I tend to pass it by. I chose one that was just sort of boring instead. So I picked Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz.
  39. A book that involves a bookstore or library: The Bookshop on the Corner – Jenny Colgan
  40. Your favorite prompt from the 2015,2016 or 2017 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge: I chose a book of short stories from the 2015 Reading Challenge – Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks

I haven’t decided if I will do the advanced yet mostly because I want leave open books for my bookclub, and if anything comes out that I want to read or if I want to reread anything!


Finding Me Again

I recently had this thought of wanting to make an impact on the world somehow. The thing is the only impact I may ever make will be on my family, maybe my friends.

After my father died a lot of people came forward and told us stories about what he did for them. We found that he affected far more people then he himself probably ever imagined. It was almost extraordinary, and it made me think about myself. It made me think that I doubt I’ll ever reach people with that much magnitude. This didn’t make me sad, it just made me think.

I’m an introvert. I don’t always like people. I like the people I choose to be my people, but I’m not a people person. I hate crowds. I get overwhelmed easily. If I get myself out of the house to an outing of any kind, I always need a moment to decompress. It literally takes energy out of me to be social. What I can’t decide is that just who I am, or who I’m choosing to be? It’s probably a little bit of both, but I’m ok with that.

Sometimes I feel like I try, and nothing comes from it. Then I accept that either I’m just the wrong tetris piece for that moment in time. I spend the night beating myself up about it. I spend the night sometimes getting irrationally angry, more at myself then anything. We are our own worst enemy.

I just read the Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes, and the words she wrote about on her introvertedness (yes I just made up that word) resonate in me. I know what it’s like to fall victim to easily saying no. Saying “no” is actually more of the easy way out for me.

After my father died it became even worse. I lost interest in things that I use to love. I fell into a depression of sorts, and getting out of bed even became hard for me. I had to though. I am wife and a stay at home mom. I have people that depend on me to live. So I did, but I wasn’t really living. I think I was just going along with the flow. I started to eat and drink my feelings. I gained all the weight back I had worked so hard to lose after having my son. This made me sad for myself. I stopped liking any of my clothes. I actually hate getting dressed in the morning right now, but that is something I’ve started working on.

I stopped having alcohol for the most part. I have it on special occasions or Sundays, but otherwise I’ve given it up. Two things have happened; my stomach is happier and I sleep better. That last one came as a surprise to me. For months I’ve been waking up at 3 AM, unable to fall back asleep. Now I sleep through the night. Of course now I stay up later reading so that might have something to do with it. It helps calm my brain and turn it off.

Then I started portion control and calorie counting. I know that shakes, clean eating, and whatever new diet fad is going on work for some people, but it’s just not for me. It’s awesome that people find what works for them! I like to eat food, and so I want to be able to eat what I want, just within reason. It’s what has always worked for me. It’s what I’m doing now.

Now I’m starting to walk again. Maybe I’ll try yoga again, but I’m also kind of interested in Pilates.  I have chronic migraines and muscle pain so I can’t really do any high endurance exercise. It wears me out, so I have to do what I know I can handle.

So this is only the beginning of finding me again. I’m trying to find happiness in little things throughout the day. I’m looking for the good that falls in with the bad. Let’s not lie to ourselves; there will always be some kind of bad that happens. Some kind of drama that unfolds itself when you least expect it, but there is always good in this world too.

I see the good in my son’s laughter, or when he learns something new. I see the good in my husband’s horrible jokes that make me laugh anyway. I love his hugs, and just being quiet with him. I love cooking, and baking. I’ve been scouring Pinterest for recipes I want to try in this “new” year.

I’ve started living again. I’ve started enjoying the little things like the smell of rain in the desert, or a good walk. I’ve discovered Arnold Palmers. Look I know those have been around for a while, but I’ve just now discovered them. They are amazing! They are the perfect afternoon drink.

I like Sunday dinners with my mom, and aunt, trying out new recipes for them or old ones that I tried and true.

I’ve started reading again! Like actually reading, and not just listening to audiobooks. After my father died, audiobooks were a godsend. They were exactly what I needed. The majority of books I read last year were audiobooks. So really I didn’t read them. I listened to them. I still count them though, because it takes brain power to listen actively to them. I still enjoy them, and always have at least one going.

I still miss my father. I still get angry that I didn’t have more time with him. I was sad around the holidays, because it was just hard not having him there. It wasn’t the first holiday season without him, but it was the first one that felt actually real. The one before I was still numb from it all. Things will pop up that remind me of him, and I get sad but also happy. I was lucky to have him as a father.

I was lucky.

I’ve grown since then though. I’ve molded into a new normal. I’m still floundering, but I’m making the most of it. There are still a lot of unknowns in the world, but for now I can live in the day to day mundaneness. I can enjoy that mundaneness. Sometimes it’s just sitting on the couch finishing a book. Other times it’s being in the moment with my son, while he sits on my lap watching whatever new show he likes on Netflix or PBS kids. It’s watching old favorite movies. It’s reading out loud to my son, or watching him play with his father.

It’s laughing again, really laughing, and feeling it deep in your stomach.

So maybe the only impact I’ll make will be on myself, and my family. It’s good though. It’s happiness.

When I say New Year New Me, I mean it. I really really mean it this time.



January TBR

I’m going to try something new this year in terms of my reading. I love making TBR lists, but I don’t really like to follow them. This is mostly because I generally choose my book based on the mood I am feeling. This time to help with that I picked out books in different genres.

I’ve picked out 7 books, all of which i already owned. I’m just going to read them randomly and in no particular order.

First up I have a book turned movieA Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.

Then I have a series children’s book my brother told me about. I picked up the first book at my local used book store: Magyk (Septimus Heap) by Angie Sage

I started The Magician’s trilogy awhile ago so i picked The Magician King by Lev Grossman as a book that I’d like to finish out the trilogy/series.

My Owlcrate book: Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

Chicklit: Wedding Night by Sophia Kinsella

Fiction: Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

Nonfiction:Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy Beautiful Life by Glennon Doyle Melton

So that’s it for now. I like to talk about books, so if I’m passionate enough about any of these I’ll write about them this month!