October totally kicked my butt. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a busier, more stressful month. I’ve missed blogging something fierce, so I had to pop my head back in today with a What I’m Into post. As usual, I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer for her What I’m Into series.
Books I Read:
These are the books I read in both September and October, since I didn’t do a What I’m Into post last month.
Emotional Agility by Susan A. David
This self-help is really good. I listened to the audio version of this and then promptly checked out the hard copy at the library which is waiting on my shelf for a reread. Lots of good advice about, well, being emotionally agile. I read this back in September and found it insightful and helpful. . . especially in understanding my children better. 5/5 stars
Class Mom by Laurie Gelman
Meh. It wasn’t boring but it wasn’t great either. It’s about an older mom who gets forced into the job of kindergarten class mom, and all the witty antics she gets involved in. The plot seemed too contrived to me, though, and didn’t really come across as all that funny. 3/5 stars
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Somewhere I read that Jesmyn Ward is the next Toni Morrison, and I totally agree. This novel reminded me so much of the magical realism in Morrison’s work. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I’d hoped, though. The writing was excellent, but I had a hard time following the story and understanding where Ward was going with it. 3/5 stars
See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt
The premise of this book intrigued me. It’s a fictitious account of the Lizzie Borden axe murders of 1892. Unfortunately, the book fell flat for me. There was so much more development that could’ve been given to the characters. I thought Schmidt only scratched the surface and the book was ultimately unsatisfying. 3/5 stars
Forest Dark by Nicole Krauss
I love Krauss’s writing. It’s haunting and detailed and sucks you right into the story. I was mesmerized throughout this book, but I have to admit the end left me puzzled and doing internet research to try and find out what it all meant. I adore a book like that! It’s deep, addressing ideas such as the multiverse, and it’s the kind of book that certainly would benefit from a reread. There are two main characters, both trying to figure out life, but who never meet. Much of the novel takes place in Israel, and seems to be autobiographical. I’m not sure I could recommend this novel for everyone — it certainly isn’t light reading — but it would make a great book club discussion book! 4/5 stars
My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent
This book should come with all kinds of trigger warnings. It is dark and painful to read, chock full of emotional and sexual abuse, childhood neglect, and selfish cruelty. And yet, it was easily the best book I read this month. Fourteen year old Turtle is being raised (if you can call it that) by her survivalist father in northern California. The emotional rollercoaster that is her life will suck you right in. And ultimately there is hope. I loved this book but it’s not for everyone. 5/5 stars
A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny
This is the 12th installment of Penny’s Armand Gamache series, and it’s just what you’d expect. If you’re a lover of cozy mysteries with interesting characters, you simply have to read this series. I picked this up as comfort reading after I finished My Absolute Darling and it fit the bill perfectly. 4/5 stars
The Party by Elizabeth Day
Amazon calls this “a taut psychological tale of obsession and betrayal set over the course of a dinner party, [which] tells the story of two married couples who, in a single evening, will come to question everything they thought they knew about each other.” It’s truly creepy although at times predictable, and an up close and personal look into the mind of obsession. I listened to this one on Audible and highly recommend it. 4/5 stars
What I Watched:
I’m afraid Netflix binge watching might be my downfall. I blame it on October. This month chewed me up and spit me out. By the time I got home most days, I was crawling to my bed and too tired to do anything other than indulge in some mindless TV. So boy did I.
In the past two months, I watched the ENTIRE six seasons of New Girl with Zooey Deschanel. Y’all. That’s a lot of New Girl. And now I’m left waiting for the final season to come out so I can see it all tied up with a pretty bow. Aaaaargh!! At least there was that final scene in the elevator. ‘Cause I don’t think I could live if there hadn’t been that. I’m seriously invested in the lives of these fictitious characters and mildly obsessed with Nick.
I mean, he’s all “Mr. Grumpy.”
And then he does this:
And, oh my gosh, something like this!!!
This 49 year old heart can’t take it!!!! Somebody call an ambulance ’cause I’m dying over here.
Other Stuff I Did:
Well, for starters, hardly any grocery shopping. Literally no time to go to the store.
So I’m thinking of trying one of the new curbside pickup or delivery options. Like Walmart or Kroger or Amazon Fresh. Anybody have any experience with any of these? Which do you recommend?
Also, the kids had a long weekend off from school, so we took a whirlwind trip to New Orleans to celebrate my birthday. We visited the World War II Museum, ate beignets and all KINDS of delicious food, and even went on one of those kitschy “swamp tours,” which the kids complained about at first and ended up loving. It was a fun trip, but the quick turnaround and the long drive made going back to work on Tuesday pretty brutal. I’ve been playing catch up ever since.
The very next weekend, I opened up a box of fall decorations and told my daughter to take down those Easter bunnies in the dining room and replace them with some pumpkins. True story.
So yeah, not so glamorous around here, ha!
That about sums up the month of October for me. It was KRAZY with a capital K and I’m really looking forward to some much needed downtime during Thanksgiving week. Let me know what you’ve been into and up to lately.