Archive of ‘My Reading Life’ category

The End

For the last few weeks, I’ve been writing about one of my favorite topics…reading. After writing about it for so long, I think I’ve said just about all I have to say. Tomorrow, I will start on an entirely different topic.

But, before I officially close the book on this (get it?), here are a few answers to some questions I was asked by friends and family earlier today.

I call this The Lightning Round!

  • Real books or e-books? Both 🙂
  • Hardback or paperback? Paperback, but when I’m impatient, I’ll spend the extra money on the hardback.
  • Favorite book from my childhood? Are You There God, It’s Me Margret by Judy Blume
  • # of books I read in a month?  2 or 3
  • Do you read more than one book at a time? Yes
  • Can you read in the car and not get carsick? Yes
  • Best book habit? Never leaving home without a book.
  • Worst book habit? Bringing a book to a special occasion and reading it there.
  • Nerdy book habit? Looking up words in a book that I don’t know.
  • What am I reading now? Eternal, by Lisa Scottoline

And that’s all she wrote.

 

 

 

The Wedding Date: A Book Review

I’m not too fond of romance novels, and yet I can’t seem to DNF, The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory. The first third of the book was promising. Two strangers meet in a hotel elevator that is stuck between floors. They have some terrific banter and chemistry, share some cheese and crackers, and by the time the elevator is fixed, she is his date for a wedding he doesn’t want to attend.

To me, the elevator and the subsequent wedding are the best parts of the story. After that, it goes downhill from there. First of all, the author feels the need to remind me that he likes her boobs. She(!) shares this in a variety of creative ways, but we get it. She’s got them and flaunts them, and he is obsessed with them. He is a doctor and a “player” who doesn’t want to admit he is in love with her. She is an incredibly intelligent career woman with a high-powered job with zero confidence in her experience with men. The miscommunication and drama that result from their insecurities and assumptions about each other are laughable.

I have not given up on the story yet for one reason. At this point, I’ve already put so much of my time into it that I might as well count it as one of my 2021 Goodreads Challenge books. Also, I’ve been listening to it on Audible, which allows me to speed up the narrator’s pace and multi-task. Today, I listened to it while I got my nails done, went grocery shopping, and made dinner.

This book has reminded me why I don’t like romance novels. For me, the characters and their circumstances may vary, but the story is basically the same.

Boy meets girl.

Boy dates girl.

Boy and girl sleep together.

Boy and girl fight and break up.

Boy and girl realize they can’t possibly live without each other and makeup.

The end.

But, don’t get me wrong…if there is a romance that is part of a larger story, I’m fine with it. I just want more action outside the bedroom than between the sheets. Otherwise, I find it all quite boring.

While I’m not going to DNF the book, I will not be reading the rest of the series. Her other books focus on the love lives of the supporting characters in this book. From what I’ve read so far, I can say with confidence that they all have great sex, a big fight, and live happily ever after. Good for them.

Hopefully, the next book I select from my shelf will not disappoint.

Has anyone else read this book? If yes, what did you think? If no, don’t bother. 🙂

Mental Health Awareness Month

As someone who has struggled with mental health issues in the past, I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that May is Mental Health Awareness Month. I’ve written about my struggles with depression and anxiety here and here, so I won’t repeat my stories today. But, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to practice self-care for your mental health.

During the global pandemic and subsequent lockdown, anxiety was a reliable companion. I relied on several coping strategies to remain sane through it all. In fact, I’ve turned some of these strategies into good habits.

Writing

Sometimes I have a lot on my mind, and the only way for me to process my feelings is to write them down. There are days that I scribble furiously on yellow notepads to get it all out of my system. At times, I would stare at a blank page or computer screen, afraid of what others might think if I put my thoughts out there for everyone to see. But, whether I share my thoughts on this blog or not, clearing my head in this way is always a great comfort to me.

Relaxing

My office was closed this week, and it has done wonders for my mental health. I don’t think I’ve taken a week off since before the pandemic – because I had nowhere to go. I decided to treat this break as the gift it was and make the most out of it. One day, I went to Longwood Gardens with a friend and enjoyed the conservatory and all of nature in full bloom. At one point, we found rocking chairs by a waterfall and sat there for a while enjoying the peace and quiet – away from the endless errands, piles of laundry, and decisions waiting for us at home. I admit that I’m not wired to meditate or relax regularly, but I could get used to days like this.

Phone a friend

I also spent a lot of time with good friends this past week. I had coffee with a friend at my favorite breakfast place. I hugged a few friends who came to visit and shared a few laughs over some food and beer at a local pub with another. I also spent time with my family, which is always rewarding. As the kids get older, they tend to come and go as they please, so it is nice when they stop and check in with us for a while.

Exercise

I don’t walk as often as I’d like to, but it makes a huge difference when I make an effort.  Whether I’m walking off some steam or just need a break away from the computer to enjoy the fresh air, I always feel refreshed and rejuvenated – especially if I’m having a tough day. Walking has so many benefits. For me, it is an easy way to work out and catch up on podcasts. It also helps get the creative juices flowing and facilitates problem-solving, among other things. Yeah, walking is pretty great. I need to make more time for it.

Professional help

At several points in my life, my therapist has saved me. At others, she has been an incredible source of validation and strength. I’ve never been ashamed of seeing a therapist, nor should I be. Therapy doesn’t change you – as many people think it might – it has helped me become the person I was meant to be, and as a bonus, I learned how to deal with everything else that came my way. I highly recommend it.

Reading

You didn’t think I would leave books out of my self-care routine, did you?! As you know, I have plenty of titles to choose from. On the days I’m in the mood to laugh, I’ll pick an essay collection by David Sedaris or Lisa Scottoline. If I’m feeling more somber and need a lift, I’ll choose a book like Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindenbergh. It almost doesn’t matter what I’m reading when I’m feeling stressed. It always centers me.

Remember that self-care isn’t self-indulgent; it is self-preservation.

What do you do to practice self-care when you need it most?

 

 

1 2 3 4 13

%d bloggers like this: