Friday, December 30, 2016

Random Wrap-Up: 2016

[Almost unedited, stream of consciousness style, random wrap-up.]

I don’t know, 2016 seemed like it had an uncontrollable mind of its own. Many great things happened. Like the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series. Mayhem in Chi-town! Our son graduated from college and landed a job, albeit in another state, and not quite off the payroll, but we will take it (or he DID take it). Our daughter has moved onward and upward from a soul crushing 2015. As they say, you are only as happy as your least happy child. This rings so authentic; it’s heartbreaking being a parent sometimes.

Spent a lot of time together this holiday season, just the four of us, compared to other years. When the kids get older and they have priorities other than family time, it is disappointing because all you want to do is see them and be with them. But we raise them to flap their own wings, test and expand them. They have done this over the last several years. This year seemed different, and we had a lot of quiet game and movie time. Those of you with younger kids, they do come back. With laundry!

The sun popped out as evidenced by the stream of sunlight that just now streaked across my living room floor from the balcony window. It is truly amazing how such a seemingly insignificant event can change your chemical/mental makeup in an instant. Or maybe it’s the cappuccino I finished a minute ago. Yeah, probably that! Hey, my family gave me a Nespresso coffee maker for Christmas. It is something I didn’t know I wanted, but it has been a family hit and so easy to whip up a morning treat! Buzzed by 8:00am.


Saw several over the holidays. 

Manchester by the Sea was heartbreaking, emotionally exhausting, so good. 

The Fantastic Beast one? Not so much. Then again, I am not a Harry Potter enthusiast, which probably had everything to do with that. 

La La Land is a heartwarming, touching and beautiful movie. Never was a huge Gosling fan, but I am very much an Emma Stone fan. They have such wonderful chemistry. You could really feel the love. Go, go, GO!!!

Jackie. We all know the story. I am not sure I learned anything new, but Natalie Portman portrayed her almost perfectly. I guess I came to know that Jacqueline Kennedy was stronger than I thought through the tremendous amount of heartbreak she suffered. I am just glad she was not here when John, Jr. lost his life. So much for a charmed life and Camelot.

Outstanding reads of 2016, you ask? Well, let’s back this bus up a bit first. I committed to finishing 60 books in 2016. Committed to whom? My bookish friends over at Goodreads. And while I did not think I was going to come close a few weeks back, I pushed through, and I am about to cross the finish line with The Sick Bag Song by Nick Cave.

Thank you for so many outstanding books 2016. Here are my five-star rated books in no particular order:

Upstream: Selected Essays by Mary Oliver
The Course of Love by Alain de Botton
Little Birds: Erotica by Anais Nin
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride
Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
The Pharos Gate: Griffin and Sabine’s Lost Correspondence by Nick Bantock
Dream Work by Mary Oliver
The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth Mckenzie
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
The Door by Magda Szabo
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell

If I had to pick a tip-top favorite off the cuff, I would probably say The Lesser Bohemians. It came just at the right time with the right style of writing and the right content. Funny how books can do that.

But then their were a few duds. Wait. I didn’t rate any book I read this year under three-stars.

It was a very good reading year, indeed!

Yeah, some shitty stuff happened too. 

The election, for me/us, got overshadowed by a stalking situation. There is nothing so violating or frightening as fearing for your personal safety. I deal with it every day now, and have, since he was released from the hospital November 30th (after a three week stay) and continues to reside down the hall. He is restricted by the building’s board in his building usage and prohibited from certain public spaces. The 18th floor, though, is technical "free game" although we are encouraged to immediately call "911" if we feel the least bit threatened.  And while I have not laid eyes on him physically since he was forcibly take from our floor by four policeman screaming, in my mental mind he is still very much present.

I do not get off the elevator on my floor with a scarf tied around my neck or gloves on. I sideways glance to the left every time I turn right towards my apartment. I am jittery waiting for the elevator. My eyes are always open and aware in the parking garage. I always have something in my hand and am prepared to throw it or scream. There is a possibility that they will move when his father gets back from sabbatical in Iran on January 12th. It can’t happen fast enough.

His mother has asked to speak with those of use who filed complaints to assure us he is of no harm to anyone. I am the only one who lives on the same floor. I am not sure I can rely on her assessment of his mental health or his reliability to remain appropriate. I declined the request to interact with her. I just can't.

The election is still important; it temporarily took a back seat (and still does, for me, for now).

Oh, and I lost one friend. Kind of unusual for me, but I keep reminding myself that people come and go from our lives.

Do you have any New Year's Eve plans? 

It is not that we ever have big plans, but we usually do make time to see some close friends, have dinner/cocktails, play some games, hug and kiss each other at midnight then head home around 1:00am. This is the first time in years that we DON'T have a single thing planned. We might go out for dinner, or maybe we will cook in. Maybe we will stop by some friends in the building. Maybe we won't. It will probably include some champagne. Some sort of game. A movie. Who knows. I am quite looking forward to a quiet, unplanned date night IN. 

Bring on 2017. I am ready.

[Side note: Nunes over Rousey by second round TKO even though Rousey looks in incredible shape. I can’t be watching, but I will be reading Twitter updates beginning at 11:00pm.]

Friday, December 23, 2016

Guess Who Got to Play Santa Yesterday at the Aquarium?!?!?

Like everyone, I am crazy busy right now. The only thing I will add to that is I am sick. Ugh! 

“I never get sick.” said I recently. 

Then wham! Bit my ass. Actually, I think it’s the same cold I had a month ago that came back with a vengeance. 

Not. No time.

Did you know I am not a shopper? Actually, I am kind of money spending adversive. It scratches nary an itch. Christmas shopping, therefore, gets rather mentally tricky for me. I am not Scrooge. Has nothing to do with the holiday. I just don’t enjoy spending money except on travel. 

You will never find me out browsing around, or window shopping. It’s not my first or tenth choice of preferred activities. I buy. I spend if I/we need something. Sometimes I even get asked to go shopping with a close friend who knows, and they assure me that they will pull the quick trigger.

I am wrapped and ready. It helps that I don’t have little ones. Although, my 23-year-old son has never openly admitted to not believing in Santa. When he was about 10-years-old, I’ll never forget him walking into my study. 

“If I believe in Santa, does he still leave me presents?”


Not another word was ever said.

Speaking of the man-of-the-month, guess what? 

Yesterday I got to play Santa at the aquarium. We didn’t do this last year, and it was an incredible experience. I’d like to think I made hundreds of children happy. I was certainly in a ton of photos. Here are a few:

Fist pumping Santa!

I stuffed my tummy with big towels to pull off a Santa belly!

I also finished my book tree this week. Try it! It is NOT as easy as one might think. Most of those darn books are the same dimensions. For the most part, it is the depth of the tomes and some smaller sized paperbacks that pulled this off. I cheesed it up with some garland, but it currently stands unadorned which I like better. It is in my bedroom and the balance is precarious. I know someone who won't be happy if it falls post-midnight! Which one do you like better?

It is hard for me to remember to say “Happy Holidays”. It doesn’t spring from my lips as easily as “Merry Christmas”. I mean no disrespect.

Just know, however you are spending this beautiful season, make it meaningful. Whatever meaningful means to you.

For me, it will be all about spending time. Being present. Real, touchy-feely, interactions. I can’t wait.

Time for some Day-Quil.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Friday Afternoon Thoughts and Reading or Thoughts About What I'm Reading.

So I'm right this minute reading a book. Actually, I set it down to write this. Well, that's obvious.

The thing is, I stopped to ponder Katrin's (the main character) number one worse fear. Here's some back story so you can understand my train of thought.

Katrin and Eric were married for forty or so years. Forever! Eric has died and it's devastating. In their attic, Eric kept carefully tied and bundled letters in duffle bags and a trunk for fifty years. Since way before he was married to his first wife or Katrin. I'm talking hundreds and hundreds of them. Maybe I'm exaggerating, but I don't think so.

Eric took a trip with his school chums to the south of France when they were young. Fun and adventure is lovely at any age, isn't it? Somehow, though I don't yet know why but I think for temporary lodging, he is steered towards a woman named Monique. You see, most of these letters, opened and unopened, to Eric are from her. And he did not discourage Katrin from reading them. In fact, he told her to. She's a writer of people, biographies of a sort. And writing about her husband through these letters may help in her grieving process, he thinks. As a matter of fact, the last story he was able to tell her was the beginning of the adventure that lead to the letters in the first place and he was so happy.

Back to Katrin's fear. She's begun translating Monique's letters (those opened by Eric) since they are in French. Her mind starts spinning.

What if Eric lived an intensely richer, more passionate life before their marriage? What if she didn't know him as well as she thought? Should she halt her efforts to learn more despite what she may come to learn?

She's NOT snooping. The material belongs to her now, but how much do we actually know about our loving spouse's life before us like their innermost thoughts and feelings about others? How much do we want to know?

How much do I know?

In turn, how much does he "really" know about my time before him? Certainly not every little bit of everything.

Sets my mind to spinning, too. Okay, I'm back to reading. I'll report back about what more I discover.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Nocturnal Writing or Anything

My alter-ego, who’s albatross is talking me off apparent nocturnal ledges, perennially thinks we will remember our conversations in the morning.

Last night, an idea sprung into my should-be slumbering head. 

“It’ll be perfect to write about today!” 

I began crafting the opening paragraph, outlining the rest until…

“Enough already you!”

Promising we’d remember a few hours hence is not a worthy wager, but speculation is what you bargain with where sleep is concerned.

Nighttime’s artistry and sunrise words merge. 

Damn if I can only remember it'd something to do with Thanksgiving dinner.

And the Pulitzer slips away…


The word was "Dinner" over at 100-word Challenge hosted by Tara at Thin Spiral Notebook. 
(And this is what I am doing instead of getting ready for a feast for 20. Priorities!)

Monday, November 21, 2016

It's Monday of Thanksgiving Week 2016! What Are You Reading?

Hosted by The Book Date.
(Even though I couldn't get all the titles to highlight properly, please click on the book title for a link to the Goodreads description.)

Nothing to do with what I am reading, but everything to do with what I am actually doing… We had Chinese food for dinner last night, and I just now ate my fortune cookie. 

“You will always have good luck in your personal affairs.” 

Uh, I’ll TAKE IT!!! 

"Lucky # 30,59,29,45,11,3". Don’t play the lottery, but if I did…

What have I finished reading?

I am going to go out on a limb, but it is almost year's end. The best book I have read in 2016 is The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride. McBride is an Irish author. Her writing is lyrical, almost reads like poems/poetry. It took a bit of time to relax into the phrasing and cadence, but once I did, it was magic. And don't get me started on the cover art!

This book is devastatingly heartbreaking. It is most often raw, and sometimes ugly. It ran through my veins. I did not want it to end.

This type of writing will not be for everyone, and I wasn’t even sure it was for me to begin with, but if you like poetry, beautiful writing, some eroticism, and are alright with oftentimes despicable characters, this may be for you, too.

What am I currently reading?

I am listening to The Sellout by Paul Beatty. Haven’t had enough car time lately. Hysterical narrating. Comedic timing is on, and the writing is something else.

I am also just starting All We Shall Know by Donal Ryan. Have no idea what it is about, but my bestie brought it back for me from Ireland. She went into a bookstore just for ME!!!

What will I read next?

I’ll Sell You a Dog by Juan Pablo Villalobos. I love this guy.  (Quesadillas and Down the Rabbit Hole)

The Nix by Nathan Hill.

What are you reading, please tell?

(I am seriously considering not participating in the Goodreads Reading Challenge in 2017. While I am a book ahead of “schedule” and I enjoy the accountability and motivations, I do not like making book choices based on length just to successfully fulfill it. I committed to 60 books. Do you participate and how do you feel about it?)

Friday, November 11, 2016

It's Friday!

Time to go make stories for Monday.

Off to a remote beach to wash the uglies out of this brain. It's been a very long week.

P.S. Stalker involuntarily committed on Wednesday proving it wasn't just my vivid imagination.  Sad, nonetheless.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

I Feel I Am Being Stalked

I am about halfway through Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith. Essentially, it is a book about stalking. A guy stalking a guy, which in my mind is a little more unusual.

It is beginning to creep me out.

So I am not sure if it is my own imagination working overtime, staying up too late at night, or actually happening, but I have found myself in somewhat of a stalking situation. And I don’t know if it is complete stalking just yet or if it is a cry for help from someone who likely is emotionally and/or mentally unstable. In any case, I am uncomfortable.

There’s a fine line between wanting to help this person and wanting them to stay the F&%K away from me.

I feel there has been enough erratic behavior and inappropriate enough comments to compound my unsafe feelings that I need to talk it through with someone other than my husband (who is creeped out himself). I need to escalate the conversation.

I have confided in the night doorman, and now I must talk with our building manager. 

We don’t lock our front door. Never have. But now…

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

What if...?

Played this for as long as I can remember. A voice, my own, asks, “What if…?” 
“Henry French doesn’t ask me to Prom?”

“Go to school. Meet your friends at the lunchroom table.”

“I don’t get the dream job?” 

“Send out more resumes.”
"Someone doesn’t want me as a friend?” the adult me asks.
"Remember quality over quantity. I am still loved.”

"My kid will never read?"


"The Cubs don't win the World Series?"

"Life goes on as usual. More time for Netflix."

It’s been my youthful mechanism. Go-to decision maker. Mama’s little helper.

So what if?


The word is "voice", and here is my 100 words about it. Thank you, Tara for the prompt and hosting us at your place!

Monday, October 31, 2016

It's Monday! What Are YOU Reading?: Halloween!

[Blogger’s Note: This should probably be, “It’s Autumn! What Are You Reading?”; it’s been so long since I have set down a I am reading post. I’ll play along like I am supposed to then add some additional books I’ve read at the end just in case you make it that far! If you wanted further detail, I am writing this while making my world famous hot wings for a Bears tailgate tonight. Terrifying, I know. Not because it’s Halloween or has anything to do with the wings. It has everything to do with how horrible the Bears are this season (and all seasons where J. Cutler is involved). What can I say? Chicago sports fans tend to be long suffering. And I wouldn’t be going if certain family members weren’t requiring it!]

What did I read last week?

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett. While it was good as Patchett perennially is, nothing she writes with compare with Bel Canto, for me. Still. It is a worth reading family drama.

Little Birds- Erotica by Anais Nin. I am still fanning myself. This is by far the hottest stuff I have ever laid hands on (in book form. Sorry, had to be sassy.)! This book left me sassy and feeling and a whole lot of other things you’ll only know if you pick up this book or have already read it. If someone writes sex better than Nin, will you please tell me? Uh, now!

Levels of Life by Julian Barnes. A few years ago, I told you The Sense of an Ending was one of my favorite all-time books. I loved it. This one is just so different from that one. I am not sure it is telling a story, or a cohesive one. It is short, has a poetic vibe, and  the writing is lovely as is Barnes’ style. It is worth a look!

What am I currently reading?

Upstream: Essays by Mary Oliver. I first fell in love with her and didn’t even know it during a Millenium Park yoga gathering several years back. The instructor began the class with a meditation on our backs in Savasana. My eyes, which are normally closed, remained open as she recited “Wild Geese” two times through. First slowly, then at a more quick clip. She ended the same way reciting two times. I felt it burn into my soul and ran home to look it up. I didn’t know the name of the poem right then. I used the phrases I could remember. “Wild Geese”. It is in a collections titled Dream Work. Subsquent to that moment, I have read four collections by Oliver. Each one a delicacy that made my heart sing for joy. This is her first work in essay form (methinks). I can’t wait for more time hunkering down with her.

Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith. Is Highsmith generally an underrated mystery writer? Maybe I only found her because I finally read The Talented Mr. Ripley this year. And if that one gave you the willys, this one will do the same and then some. I am about halfway into the audiobook version, and it is reminding me that there is nothing like a good, suspenseful, subtle stalker tale! Highsmith rules the creepy stuff!

What am I planning to read next?

The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride, and/or The Nix by Nathan Hill. By the way, both of these have awesome cover art! I have The Sellout by Paul Beatty, also the recent Man Booker award winner, downloaded and queued up for when I finish Strangers

Other great books I read this fall are:

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead: Beyond outstanding.

Nutshell by Ian McEwan: A fresh and unique writing perspective. Typical McEwan = beautifully written.

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney: It was a good, not great, story about a dysfunctional family and inheritance.

The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer: This was a fantastic book. Poignant, funny, sassy. As only Schumer can be.

Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell: There is no one out there like her. No one compares. I’ve never learned so much U.S. history while enjoying myself as reading her books (this was my third). Ever!

Ripley Under Ground by Patricia Highsmith: Because I just had to know what happened next. And next. And next.

Happy reading! I better not nibble on any more wings otherwise I will severely disappoint those counting on me!

[After sufficient sampling, I can attest they came out as fabulous and tasty as ever. YUM!]

Friday, October 28, 2016

Hey, Hey! Holy Mackerel!!" (Stream of Consciousness Chicago Style)

I live in this city. Chicago, that is. Home to the often frustrated sports fan. It is pure insanity right now. Not sure we have seen the likes of this since…certainly not when the Bears went to the Super Bowl even.  Or The Rolling Stones came to Soldier Field.

This stuff is right here! At least for the next three games. The Ferris wheel has the Cubs logo in its center. The majority of the people seen walking around have on some sort of Cubs gear. There is a vibrancy I have yet to see since maybe the Presidential rally for Obama or maybe ever. Lollapalooza doesn’t hold a candle to this enthusiasm. Out-of-town fans fill every street corner. Traffic is almost at a standstill. 

I live about three blocks from the iconic and original Billy Goat Tavern on Lower Michigan, which is part of the old, drippy, underbelly of Chicago that always looks like nighttime, but the burgers are good. The place was famous before the Blues Brothers stopped in. Fans were taking pictures just now out front. 

I ran an errand past Harry Caray’s old Italian steak joint. Again, people taking pictures of the restaurant’s sign and a Clydesdale horse hanging out on the sidewalk. What does a Clydesdale and the Cubs have in common? Beats me!

I have been a life-long Cubs fan. Those of you who know how old I am can attest to it being a long time. 

When I was growing up, our parents, who did not have a lot of discretionary income, took me and my little brother to one game a season. We seemed to have the same seats along the third base line just behind the Cub’s dugout. We would get there early (more bang for our buck, I’m guessing) to watch batting practice, warmups and, with any luck, inch our way up to the railing to get some autographs on our score sheets we faithfully kept all game (Dad was a stickler for accuracy!). We binged on hot dogs, ice cream and peanuts. And so it went every year.

I lucked out in college by living in the same house as the daughter of one of the team’s VPs. We would travel up from Normal, Illinois at the beginning of April to watch Opening Day at Wrigley under usually freezing and wet conditions. Beer solved that problem.

Last year, we went to five or six games. This year, we had tickets for twelve. It has been a good year for all of us who have been waiting.

It’s a crazy day that will only get crazier. Tomorrow will be worse, better, worse. Every errand has taken me longer, but every person I have encountered is in a festive mood. How awesome is that? 

And that’s just down here. Up north about 2.5 miles, the neighborhood called Wrigleyville will be an entirely different story. It will be truly insane.

Our guys just need to bring their bats tonight.

Holy Cow!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Days of Wine and Roses

There’re songs and poems about stories like ours with a beginning and middle. An end. 

Glasses of wine, friendly chats, exchanges of books and photographs. 

Dark chocolate, writing and Dickinson, you too? 

Uninhibited over-sharing and blurred lines.

What starts off luxuriously slow, simple and simply takes its sweet time turning sad. Then there’s the mess four blind eyes neglect.

Our friendship had a number attached from the first, “I’d like to get to know you from whatever distance you’ll allow.”

We came to know too much. 
Didn’t we, honey?

Things end and tears escape. 
Doors close.


Over at Thin Spiral Notebook, we were given the word "Wine" and 100 words to use it in our creative writing. Thanks for providing an outlet for us, Tara. If you like wine half as much as I love it, please join in the fun! 

(I need to write more, or get out more, or more something.)

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Wait! What?!?!? Gina Wrote a Post AKA Mayonnaise and Making Out

[Surprise! Surprise! At long last, a blog post. I’ve decided what might work best is to focus on putting the proverbial pen to paper writing stream of consciousness style rather than working towards anything else for the moment. I want to tell stories! I want to write. I want to write (mildly) unfiltered stories.]

I recently finished a book called LaRose by Louise Erdrich. In the story, three teenaged sisters put mayonnaise in their hair to condition it. This called to mind the time I did the same thing.

I was a sorority girl at a large state university in the 80’s living with 60 girls simultaneously. And yes, it was a long time ago and that’s a lot of girls to live with. 

We took all the quizzes in Cosmo and bonded over boy talk and sex talk (sometimes overlapping discussions, and other times not…) and girl stuff. It was equal parts fun and stressful. I am, and forever will be, a girls’ girl most probably due my positive sorority experience.

Junior year, a group of sisters gathered in the community dining room to study. It was finals week and I decided it was the perfect time to condition my hair with mayonnaise because Cosmopolitan magazine said it was the natural way to improve and grow it. I figured I could kill two birds with one stone. Ace my tests and have fluffy yet smooth hair at the same time. Made lots of sense.

I slathered French sauce all over my head then pressed on tin foil to fashion a form fitting cap in order to add some heat to the process (this part was my idea!). I set out to pound through my Business Law chapters. In hindsight, I am not sure I would recommend the foil part because there was some weird dripping involved.

One of many prudish house rules was visiting boys had to be announced and were only allowed in the formal living room, which had glass doors creating an intentional fishbowl effect.

“Gina, you have a visitor.”

“Who is it?”

“Dave Henry.”

“F&%k!!!!! No!!!!!”

You see, I made out with him over Spring Break a few weeks prior and I kind of liked him. And now he was waiting in the living room to see me.

I did the only thing a slightly vain college girl with a crush could think of in a pinch.

Though I am pretty sure he knew I was home, I told one of the sisters to tell him I wasn’t home, crawled out the dining room window and ran through the dark lawn to the back door so he wouldn’t see me in my silver space cap. 

Let’s just say things with him frizzled out from there, but my hair was silky soft.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

100 Word Challenge: If I Ruled the World!

A dapper gentleman was caning down the sidewalk carefully scrutinizing the city cement. I’d noticed the elegant stature and silver cornrows first as she closed the sidewalk space between us. When their shoulders met, he spoke. 

“You have beautiful hair.” 

She tipped her head.

“You just made her day,” I said.

“I meant to.”

In my pretend world, I’d outlaw earbuds so people could hear birds, and buses, and actual voices. I’d ticket for web-surfing while walking instead of parking. Maybe even “Googling” while I had the pad out. Because simple displays of sweetness are easily missed when texting.


Come play along at Thin Spiral Notebook where we were given the word "Pretend" to inspire our 100-word piece!

Such simple displays of sweetness may come along only once.

Monday, May 23, 2016

It's Monday, May 23, 2016! What Are You Reading? (Insomniac Addition)

Hosted by The Book Date

Don’t you completely hate insomnia? I didn’t fall asleep until after 3:30 a.m. last night. This reminds me of a quote I recently added over at Goodreads.

“Insomnia is his mind's revenge for all the tricky thoughts he has carefully avoided during the daylight hours.” Alain de Botton, The Course of Love 

What have I recently finished?

The Course of Love by Alain de Botton. I have been married for over 27 years, and this book speaks to my me and the loving relationship I have had with a member the opposite sex for longer than that. 

This is my review on Goodreads:

“'If you could read my mind love, what a tale my thoughts could tell.’ Gordon Lightfoot

To me, Alain de Botton, is like this regarding relationships. He reads my mind, and knows my thoughts without knowing me at all. 

This is the long awaited follow up to On Love. That book was insightful. This one is even more so, and I loved it!

If you are a long-time married person, you'll probably concur that he is "spot on”.”

I added a number of quotes from this book on Goodreads as well (all but two shown). I stopped after I realized I was just jamming up my friends’ news feeds. Basically, the entire book should be in quotes!

What am I currently reading?

I am about to finish up Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor. I am enjoying this in its audio version. Don’t you just love that moment when a title’s meaning is revealed? Don’t we all strive to have “wise blood”?

For my book group, I am on the first chapter of Purity by Jonathan Franzen. I need to hustle my tush with this. It was my book club recommendation as I thought it would make for a perfect, in-depth discussion and we are meeting at the beginning of June!

The Nest by Cynthis D’Aprix Sweeney

What will I read next?

Haven’t a clue. So many books in my house, so little time!

What has your reading week been like?

Monday, May 16, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading (iPhone Addition)

After digging through every travel bag, it is safe to conclude that I came home with my laptop but not its power cord, and it is dead as a door nail (the laptop)! So here we are, well here I am, using two thumbs to answer these important Monday questions.

What have I recently finished?

Abso-freaking-nothing. Sometimes I even disappoint myself. All I can say is I guess there are times when being with actual people takes precedence over fictional ones.

What am I currently reading?

Same as last week with the exception of listening to Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor. Hazel Motes is a creep! Enjoying this outstanding example of dialog.

What will I read next?

My hands are full for the next week! Need to crank out what I have in front of me, but I will never stop dreaming about the next book.

Hosted by The Book Date.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

100 Word Challenge: Who Can Trust A Person Like That?

For seven years running, Eleanor proudly received the award for “Most Nonjudgmental” at the Miller’s Merry Manor annual banquet. “Honey, do you!”, had been her motto since she secretly eloped at twenty-one.

In 85 years, Eleanor’s gut had never failed her. So when it rumbled the day Sadie moved in, she was on high alert though it wouldn’t be until the day in the grocery store parking lot that she figured it out. Sadie didn’t return her cart, and who can trust someone with manners like that? Never mind she cheats at BINGO and makes eyes at her Henry.

The prompt this week at Thin Spiral Notebook is "manners". Use it to inspire a 100-word something. This piece is un-fiction. The circumstances and names have been changed to protect the innocent! I'm watching you.

Monday, May 9, 2016

It's Monday, May 9th! What Are You Reading?

Hosted by The Book Date

Life has left me with precious little opportunity for reading lately. That is a-okay because I have been spending time with people, those I love, and as much as I am enamored by books, flesh is always better. A warm hug defies description sometimes.

What have I recently finished?

The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith. In almost all cases, in my humble opinion, the book is better than the movie, and I really liked the movie. To find out that this is the first of FIVE makes me want to jump for joy. This book is yummy!!! If you love thrillers, give it a go!  

I also recently discovered that Highsmith has written a collection of short stories, and Carol, Strangers on a Train, and Little Tales of Misogyny! I have hit the freaking motherlode! She can keep me happily busy for the next six months.

What am I reading now?

The Little Virtues by Natalia Ginzburg, a simple but lovely short story collection.

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney because who doesn’t love some dysfunctional family dynamics?

Purity by Jonathan Franzen since I promoted it to my book club, and I have less than a month to finish and annotate it properly (so I can speak intelligently about the book I recommended for discussion. Pressure!).

What will I read next? 

As I was typing, my fingers accidentally wrote “What will I need next?” Ha! I am waiting for a book I ordered through It is an Advanced Reading Copy of The Course of Love, which is the long awaited followup to On Love by Alain de Botton. If you don’t know about The School of Life, check it out. He has written some outstanding books. I loved On Love. I am anticipating the love I will feel for this one.
Okay, now it is about you! What is going on in your reading world?