B is for *Books. A-Z Challenge.

As an awkward , anxious child I didn’t have very many friends and the ones I did have were more frenemies than anything else. Don’t you dare feel sorry for me because A. looking back I preferred it that way. Its only in hindsight that I can see I only ever felt bad because other people thought there was something wrong with it. And B. I had books!

Lots and lots of books! When money was flush, my mother would take me to the bookstore and buy me anything I wanted and then some! When money was tight, there was the library. We made weekly trips and I was left to my own devices and allowed to bring home as many books as I could carry, in whatever subject or skill level I desired. I was reading trashy romance novels in grade 5, ha!

Books became my best friends and my best educators. Seriously, books did more for my intelligence than the public school system ever did.

Do I have a favourite book? That is a hard thing to declare. For years I’ve said The Witching Hour by Anne Rice was my favourite book. I read that thing with intense focus and appreciation in the weeks following the birth of my son. Then I read it over and over again. The story so capitvating to 20 year old me. It gave me something other than BABY to think about and I really needed that.

I’ve since read it again as a 40 year old and think I’ve outgrown it. Especially a lot of the questionable parts. It still holds a very special place in my heart though and of course I’m so grateful for it!

I read so many books in a year that it takes something really special to stick in my brain and stay there. I rarely buy books – they would take over my house in no time! – so if a book does make it to my book shelf, you know it’s special to me.

I have a lot of Buddist-y books, my favourite being this:

This one is excellent in a crisis!

And I have a lot of LIttle House-y books. My favourite being this:

I have a few novels.


And a few books about women


And finally, I have a few more kids books


One of the coolest things about books, I’ve discovered in my later years are … BOOK Clubs!

The very first thing I ever went to, by myself, on my own, was a book club!

I then went on to start a book club with a friend which we axed last year – There ended up being only three of us on a consistent basis, which does not a book club make-but now we’re all in a library run one together and its all good. I really like how the members are all so different from one another. How they bring a view unique to them and their experiences to the whole thing.

PLUS, there’s always the potential to make new friends and gain valuable insights into your own life.

I think book clubs are really just a front for connection.

I love and appreciate books so much, I got a book tattoo done on my leg! How’s that for dedication? πŸ™‚

I do review books here, so stick around if that’s your jam. Add me on Goodreads too, if you want.

I always say ” Books saved my life.” and I mean that.

What do books mean to you?

March Books-3 & 4.

Hand Wash Cold Care Instructions For An Ordinary Life by Karen Maezen Miller was a delightful little book of loveliness. A quick and easy read but one that you’ll want to savour and read in bits, so as to not miss anything. This book is hard to describe. What is it about? Life. Simple life. Insights into life as it is. The author takes us through her life’s stages and offers sound advice observations. A nice and valuable read.

I read Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate in an evening! So let that be your first indication of my feelings toward this book. On one side of the story you’ve got your ‘river rats’ and on the other you’ve got your “powerful and well to do”. How are they connected? Read the book and find out! The story pulled me straight through -in an evening- and got me thinking about class and adoptions and prejudice and love. Another good read.


Buddhism & Afghanistan

This was my first read this month:

The Lovers- Romeo & Juliet in Afghanistan by Rod Nordland was capably written if not entirely frustrating. Not the writing or the book itself but the situation. This true story tells the tale of a young couple from two different ethnicities who fall in love and then have to fight their families and culture to be together. There are a lot of horrible things that happen to them and others and I find the book hard to read because of that, so be warned. It was eye opening to say the least.

Did you know there were once giant Buddha statues in Afghanistan? This book taught me that. I’m on a mission to learn more about that and I’m grateful for the new knowledge. I had no clue!

Speaking of Buddha:

Buddhist Bootcamp by Timber Hawkeye is my second read this month. A quick read full of personal insights, wisdom and lessons. I follow Timber on Facebook and this is just more detailed versions of his content there. Worth your time, especially if you want to take things in, in small doses.

So far, I’ve read 32 of the 125 books in my reading challenge. I seem to be reeeeeally slowing down but I’m still confident I can finish strong. I’ve got 10 month left to read the last 93. No problem!

Happy Day To You!

Aging Boy Milk

Boy 30529 by Felix Weinberg was a quick, concise read about the author’s experience before, during and after the Holocaust. I enjoyed reading it. This is a book that feels more like it was written for his family than a wider audience and there is a real different feel here, because of that.

Aging for Beginners by Ezra Bayda is a victim of my expectations. I was anticipating this would be a book about aging. It was … kind of. The author talks about things that happen as we age but the topics were not unlike things that happen as we live! Anxiety, depression, pain, etc. and so to me, if felt like reading over the same old ground. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good read. I bookmarked several pages with interesting quotes or valuable information. I was expecting something a little more specific and that is a ME problem πŸ™‚

Milkman by Anna Burns pissed me off. 1. It betrayed me by starting out strong and interesting if not unusual and unique in style and structure. I thought I had a good one here but as the pages went on and the characters were introduced I lost all train of thought and found myself unable to follow the story. I completely lost interest in the end. 2. This was a Hits to Go! book at my library. I went to another library after choosing this book and found another Hits to Go! book and tried to take it out only to learn, one may only have one Hits to Go! book at a time. I wasted my weekly Hits to Go! quota on a disappointing book. Boooo! Anyway, this book gets mixed reviews all over the place. Some people love it, some people hate it. I don’t have such strong feelings either way. It was just hard for me to read and did not hold my interest after awhile. Too much work for this old brain! πŸ˜‰

These three books mark six books read in February. I’m off to a slow start this month, it seems. BUT I’ve read twenty-five of my 2019 goal of one hundred and twenty-five so I still feel pretty good about that.

How is your reading going this month? Join me on Goodreads!

Untethered Monkeys

And The Monkey Learned Nothing by Tom Lutz is a quick little read, full of travel vignettes. Each story is highly different from the last and not at all typical. A lot of these tales really stuck with me, and got me thinking. I felt a whole range of emotions and books that do that to me get a high five πŸ™‚ A good read.

I read Untethered by Julie Lawson Timmer in a day. I can’t say I loved it but I kept reading to find out what the heck happened in the end, so there’s that! The characters were unlikable in my eyes but the story carried me along and I really like what the author was trying to convey. I really liked that a horrible practice was brought to light. The ending was brief and a little too pat. That’s always so disappointing. But I’ll survive, I’m sure πŸ™‚ Not a horrible read.

Three books down in February, no idea how many more to go! I’m craving something that makes me love it. Something that I’m eager and excited to read. Will have to check my holds list and see what I can stir up!

Happy Reading!

White Fragility

White Fragility – Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism by Robin Diangelo is a book that been on my holds list for some time. I was something like 23 on 97 holds when I first put it on my list! It finally came in last week and it’s my first read book of February, 2019.

White Fragility is a slim book which really surprised me because it wasn’t slim in content. The author starts out by really explaining racism as a system and how while most of us white people (hopefully!) aren’t cool with any of it, and did not ask to be born into it, we sure do benefit from it and unconsciously and consciously do things to maintain it.

This and so much more is all stated and explained in a very non judgemental way. The author is completely open and honest about her own actions, bias and racist behaviors too. The book is written in plain language and is heartfelt and easy to understand. It’s the first book I’ve read on the subject that cleared away the cobwebs for me. It’s a book I want to read again and again, because the lessons are so valuable and I really want them to sink in to my old noggin.

Even if you think you are not racist, this is an important book to read. Actually, especially if you think you’re not racist, this is an important book to read. There’s special bit about so called progressive people too.

I personally have been examining myself and the system I live in for the past few years and while yes it’s been uncomfortable many times, I’ve survived just fine and am smarter for it. I’m still learning as I go too and I am so grateful to the brave men and women who are teaching me how to do and be better.

I give White Fragility by Robin Diangelo a big shiny gold star of appreciation.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?

Book Brag January- *19

Good Goddess! 19 Books?! I amaze myself.

January is the LONGEST month. Its no wonder I guess. I’ve got 15% of my reading challenge completed. Woot-woot! It’s been effortless thus far. Not having a job will enable that πŸ˜‰

Who Killed Mom by Steve Burgess was excellent! A Canadian memoir and real love letter. It was tender, funny. clever and wise. One of the BEST memoirs I’ve ever read.

Secret Daughter by shilpi somaya gowda was a real nice read. The story moved quickly and was thought provoking and engaging.

In Search of Buddha’s Daughters by Christine Toomey, was excellent! These women are so inspiring! I was interested the whole way through and found this book to be well written and highly interesting.

How To Celebrate Everything by Jenny Rosenstrach was another excellent one. A lady after my own heart, Jenny gives us not only really cool recipes but also inspiration to celebrate ALL THE THINGS. I’m totally down with that. A lot of cute stories and a lot of good recipes to try.

Educated by Tara Westover gives homeschoolers the world over a very bad name, ha ha ha. Did I ever tell you I homeschooled my kids? Well, I did. And none of the awful crap that went down in her family, went down in mine. I just feel the need to put that out there, lol. This book was hard to read. But interesting. People are weird. And sometimes, not in a good way. Capably written if not triggering for child abuse. Be you warned, if that sort of thing gets to you.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz was a quick and easy read on an awful topic. A novel by Heather Morris, it’s based on a true life story. It inspired me to start looking up my own Jewish grandmother.

Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs was interesting. Steve Jobs was a total dick. I tried to find sympathy for him because he seemed so obviously disturbed and he was human, after all BUT I’m afraid I failed in that department. Just like he failed with his daughter. Ugh. I really felt for the author. She writes honestly about her relationship with her famous father, her mother herself and life growing up between the two.

Aware by Daniel J. Siegal, MD had such great potential. I was excited to read it because I’m a meditator. Alas, I found it dry, repetitive and hard to follow. There is a lot of excellent information here, its just hard to get at.

Let Us Compare by Leonard Cohen was a gift from my hubs. Which is really the only reason I finished this one. Ha ha. I found it hard to follow at times and that frustrated me. It was also a tad pretentious. I stuck it out and found some beauty too so maybe this is a book one needs to go over a few times to fully understand and absorb.

Making Friends with Death by Laura Pritchett was a book I suggested my public library buy. YOU’RE WELCOME EDMONTON! It was SO good! One of the best books on death I’ve read to date. And I’ve read A LOT on the subject. Part work book, part … I don’t even know, this book was practical and heart felt, touching on everyone’s greatest fears in such an honest, friendly, supportive, non judgemental way. I will be adding this one to my bookshelf!

Naked and Marooned by Ed Stafford was alright. A quick read. There was detailed killing of animals throughout so if that is not your jam, be forewarned. This one made me grateful for my creature comforts and in awe of what us humans can do.

A Different Kind of Normal by Cathy Lamb was a no for me. Overly simplistic and totally unbelievable. The story idea was great. It was just the delivery that failed me.

Here’s a tale about another dick, My Life with Mr. S by George Jacobs and William Stadiem is about the author’s life working as Frank Sinatra’s valet. People! People, people, people. With their egos and their insecurities. Oy! It was a quick read, capably written. I grew tired of reading about spoiled jerks after not too long.

The Real Lolita by Sarah Weinman is a book that needed to be written. It passes back and forth between the kidnapping of Sally Horner and the writing of the book, Lolita. (which I have not, nor will read) It was capably written. I found myself grossed out throughout much of it. Why are people so awful?

I loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti and boy did she ever! If you like endless spaghetti recipes, this book by Giulia Melucci is just the thing for you! Recipes for pasta and other things are interwoven through tales of relationships gone wrong. This book reminded me how awful dating is, ha ha.

Epic Hikes of the World by Lonely Planet was not wrong. This book is huge and epic. A shit ton of hikes all over the world to awe and inspire you.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson came my way because of the Netflix series. It’s supposed to be SO scary so I thought I’d better read the book first! I enjoyed it. It disturbed me, not because it was scary per se but because it reminded me of how I get every Autumn with my S.A.D. Is it really depression over taking me or am I being over taken by something otherworldly….who knows! A quick read that still stands.

I am, I am, I am by Maggie O’Farrell started out strong for me and has the honour of the only book on death I’ve read, that scared me. We’re dodging death left, right and centre and it was scary to realize that and see it, in action! A good read.

Oh. MY. Heart. I am in love with this book. I don’t even know where to start. and I honestly feel like my words, wont come close to doing it justice. The characters are so well developed and real. The story will break your heart and then give it back to you. My life is better for reading this one.

What are you reading these days?