I’m late to the party, but I’m here!
Linking up with Leigh Kramer for her monthly What I’m Into series. Here’s what I’ve been into and up to for the past month — or so.
What I Read:
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
This was a super fun read! A twisty “Gone Girl”-esque thriller with a twist and then another twistier twist at the end. It’s seriously twisted and I loved it! If twisty psychological thrillers are your kind of book, don’t miss this one! (Did I mention the twist? Ha!) 5/5 stars
Universal Harvester by John Darnielle
Weird. Creepy and weird. I felt the same way about Darnielle’s first book, Wolf in White Van (Read my review here.) And yet I liked the reading. And I couldn’t put it down. I kept thinking this was some kind of a horror novel, and yet it doesn’t really fall into that genre. I found the ending a little dissatisfying, but the book still intrigued me, so I gave it a high rating. 4/5 stars
The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda
This is Miranda’s second novel and I will definitely be reading everything she writes from here on out. This title actually releases on April 11, but I received an advanced reader’s copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. And I HONESTLY loved it!! So mysterious and twisty and you start thinking it’s one thing and then it’s another. Excellent book! Don’t miss it! 5/5 stars
Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks
This is a fun little book about a boy with autism and his imaginary friend. It was a fun and heartwarming read, and a tribute to hardworking, inclusive teachers everywhere. 4/5 stars
A Separation by Katie Kitamura
It’s hard to know what to make of this one. It’s about a couple who are separated, but the husband goes missing and his estranged wife goes to look for him. I was hoping for a little more plot, but not a whole lot happens in this novel. The writing was excellent, but I was pretty ho-hum about it. 3/5 stars
The River at Night by Erica Ferencik
Again, this one was sort of a flop for me. The first half of the book was really good, with some suspense building and scary scenes. Then it felt like the author just gave up halfway through, inserted a couple of crazy people, and then quit. This could have been really smart and terrifying, but it wasn’t. 3/5 stars
The Spark: A Mother’s Story of Nurturing, Genius, and Autism by Kristine Barnett
There are people who love this book. I am not one of them. In fact, I could only take so much self-righteous bragging before I just had to quit. I’m sure this mother is a wonderful person, but she comes across as an arrogant woman who — if we take her at her word — didn’t sleep for ten years or so. Seriously, there is no feasible way one person could do all the stuff she did. She worked herself so hard that at one point she actually had a stroke. And she still kept at it. No self-care at all. It’s a very unrealistic and discouraging portrayal of autism for those of us actually living in the trenches. A huge disappointment. 2/5 stars
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund
This book was pretty good. It took me a while to move through it, and the first half is super slow, but it picks up later on. I wish the author had gone a little farther with the crazy religious stuff, just to make it a little more exciting and provide more tension, but it was well-written as is. Definitely worth a read. 4/5 stars
What I Watched:
More Friends, Walking Dead, This Is Us, and I finally started on this season of Jane the Virgin. I’ve got lots of catching up to do.
We saw several movies, including The Shack and Beauty and the Beast. The Shack was my favorite. Beauty and the Beast was good, but I’ve gotta be honest — I wasn’t crazy about the directing. There were so many potentially funny moments that fell flat, and the characters — all except Mrs. Potts — seemed disinterested in the whole plot. Oh, and I kept my eyes peeled the whole movie for “the gay moment,” and somehow I missed it. You know, the whole 2 seconds of it.
What I Ate:
Mostly paleo and low-carb meals. With the exception of that one night I ate two bread rolls at dinner and felt like crap the next day.
I tried some new recipes, though, that were big hits:
I didn’t think I’d like these. I thought the amount of pepper would be a turn-off. Boy, was I wrong. These were delicious! Only problem is that they’re harder to eat than regular ol’ nachos. They definitely require a fork!
I made these paleo-friendly by leaving out the cheese and yogurt, and they were still absolutely delicious. My favorite thing about them? I didn’t have to peel the sweet potatoes. Be careful when roasting them, though. . . mine were done before the recipe and the timer said they should be. If you make these (and you should), keep an eye out so they don’t burn!
Other Stuff I’m Into:
1. Music Tech Stuff
Unbeknownst to me, there is a whole community of bloggers out there who are into the latest music/piano/teaching/technology stuff and I’m hooked. Since I teach in a piano lab at a local middle school, I’m fascinated with all the ideas for tying music and technology together. Can’t wait to learn more and try out some new techniques in my classroom!
I picked this up for my daughter who has ultra sensitive skin. She left it in my shower and I started using it. Now I can’t stop. It smells like pink grapefruit and lathers up beautifully. Super gentle and effective. I’m hooked.
3. Physical therapy
I don’t know that I’m really into it. It’s just that my foot doctor ordered it and I have to go. Because my feet, y’all.
I’m in so much pain.
Haven’t been doing it long enough to tell if it’s helping yet. But it’s taking up lots of my time.
4. Google Chrome
How have I not known about this for so long? Since I have a Mac at home, I’ve always used Safari and before that on our PCs, we always used Internet Explorer. But I started using Chrome at work and LOVE IT! It’s so user friendly and super fast and almost never gives me that spinning wheel thing. Thank God.
And, that’s all I’ve got for now. That’s my spring edition of What I’m Into.
What about you? What are you into and up to lately? Share with me in the comments below!