Into Thin Air

Some mornings, it’s my purse that goes missing. The other day my car keys were MIA. And yesterday, I couldn’t find my glasses.

I searched the entire house twice. I remembered when I had them last. I was sitting at this desk on an after-hours Zoom call with a colleague putting the final touches on an email that needed to go out in the morning.

I looked on my desk, underneath it, and to the side where items tend to fall. I even lifted the standing desk, which is risky because wires cross and unplug with this tricky maneuver.

I formed a search party. Andrew looked downstairs. I went upstairs. My dog, Chloe, followed me around the house, offering unspoken love and support. And Scott followed me around the house, peppering me with questions.

Did you look in the car?

Did you check your coat pocket?

When did you see them last?

Did you retrace your steps?

This well-meaning interrogation wasn’t super helpful. Of course, I looked in all of those places. And yes, I retraced my steps. I am the patron saint of lost items when it comes to finding things for other people. I know where to look. But for some reason, my sixth sense failed me in my time of need.

Typically, it wouldn’t have mattered, but those glasses are key to my ability to function these days. Last week, the eye doctor diagnosed me with dry eye and banned me from wearing contact lenses for ten days. Not only does dry eye suck the moisture from my eyeballs and eyelids, but it forces me to wear glasses. I don’t mind wearing my glasses on the weekends, but I’d prefer to keep the camera off on Zoom calls.

I’m close to tears which would probably be good for my condition but not so much for my situation. It’s amazing how one minute I can be so organized and have everything I need at my fingertips. And then have a morning where I find myself moving throw pillows and shaking blankets like a crazy person.

How do these things disappear into thin air?

Finally, I turn over the middle cushion on the living room couch where I fell asleep last night—green frames with trifocal lenses stare up at me.”There you are!” I scolded them as if they were a child. I called off the search and placed the glasses firmly on my nose. Instantly, one of the arms breaks off.

Now I need to find the Super Glue.

February Book Report

How are you? How is your reading life going? It’s been a good news/bad news situation for me.

The good news is that I have thoroughly enjoyed each one of the four books I’ve read so far this year. Two of them are listed below. You can find the other two books in my January 2022 Book Report post. It is rare when I get on a winning streak like this one. So much so that it makes it hard to pick my next read because I don’t want to be disappointed.

Maybe this is why February has been a slow reading month for me. That’s the bad news. Typically, I like to have at least three books to report on here, but you are only getting two from me this month. I plan to pick up the pace in March and have already selected my next book, Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love.

But before I pick that book up, here are my reviews of the two books I read this month.

Project Hail Mary

The last science fiction book I read was The Hunger Games. It was also the first one I’ve read, although it might be considered young adult dystopian by others. But I’m not going to split hairs here. It was a book that my daughter wanted to read, and we decided to do it together. Side note: I read all three books in the series, and I don’t think she finished the first one. LOL.

The point is that while I enjoyed that series, I prefer historical fiction, family drama, mystery, and the occasional romance novel.

Having said that, I did enjoy Project Hail Mary immensely. It is hard to talk about this book without revealing spoilers. I’ll just say that it’s about a middle school science teacher who finds himself alone on a spaceship with amnesia. With that description alone, you should know that it is a story worth sticking around for to see how it ends.

Here are the things I loved about the book. The bromance between the main characters with their banter, quirks, and sense of humor made me feel like I was right there in the room as this relationship came to be.

Okay, spoiler alert – he isn’t exactly alone.

Also, while much of the story takes place in outer space, there are flashbacks to unravel the mystery of how this teacher wound up in outer space in the first place. I loved this particular storyline and might consider re-reading the book just to see what hints it may have dropped along the way that I missed. By the way, I also loved the ending – which was incredibly satisfying.

I’m glad I listened to the book on Audible because the narrator was so entertaining and kept me engaged even though I found the scientific aspects somewhat exhausting. Every time there was a problem, it took a lot of trial and error, circular logic, and self-talk for the main character to arrive at the solution.

If you have Project Hail Mary on your TBR list, I’d recommend it for the sci-fi fans and even for readers like me who like their stories to be from this galaxy. Amaze! Amaze!

The Personal Librarian

Back here on Earth, I love historical fiction. The Personal Librarian hits all the right notes. The brilliant Belle da Costa Greene is the personal librarian to American financier J.P. Morgan – a lover of the written word. Belle travels the world, securing rare manuscripts, books, and artwork to build an incredible collection. But, she has a secret that she is keeping from everyone – including Mr. Morgan. Belle is a Black woman passing as white. As she mingles with socialites and secures treasures for the library, she must tread carefully so that her true identity is never discovered. If her secret were revealed, the effects would be devastating to her career, her life, and her family.

Historical fiction is at its best when the books are well-researched, and the characters are fully developed. I didn’t know much about J.P. Morgan and had never heard of Bella da Costa Greene before picking up this book. By the end of it, I wanted to know more. I’m seriously considering picking up a nonfiction book about the life of Ms. Greene because she is that fascinating.

The story behind the writing of this book is also equally captivating. Co-written by Marie Benedict – who has written other books about strong but little-known women in history – and Victoria Christopher Murray – one of the country’s top African-American authors, these women are just as impressive as the book itself. If you read this book, do not skip the author notes from each of them.

I can’t recommend it highly enough, and if you read it, I’d love to discuss it with you.

Independent Bookstores

Zibby Owens is a podcaster for “Moms Don’t Have Time To Read.” She interviews authors, recommends terrific books, and supports indie bookstores. So much so that she has put out her 22 in 22 challenge, which is to visit 22 independent bookstores this year. As you know, I love indie bookstores, so this is the perfect challenge for me.

February is my birthday month, and I never work on my birthday. Instead, I drove to The Doylestown Bookshop and spent at least an hour combing through the stacks. I purchased four books, and because I am on their mailing list – I had a coupon for 20% off one title. Guess what – they took the discount off of the most expensive book! Happy birthday to me!

I love this bookstore because they have a large selection of bestsellers and backlist books. The nonfiction sections of the books are also well stocked, which is a bonus for me. If you have young children or teenagers, the children’s section and young adult books have plenty. And if you love jigsaw puzzles, they have an excellent selection in the back of the store.

The other bookstore I visited this month was The Story in Ardmore, PA. This place was more of a cafe than a bookstore. The coffee was excellent, but the shelves were quite limited. The prices were right – $5 for a paperback and $7 for a hardback. While it was nice to browse, I didn’t find anything I wanted that day – even with such low prices. Maybe next time.

I hope this inspires you to skip the big box booksellers and check out one of these stores instead. I’ll keep posting which ones I visit. Here is hoping I reach 22 books and 36 titles by the end of the year.

Happy Reading!



A Total Time Suck

As I approach another birthday, I am well aware of my own mortality and what I want to accomplish in the time I have left on this planet. Sounds morbid, right? It’s actually not.

It’s reality, and I have a lot of shit to do.

I have trips that I want to take, books to read, writing goals to accomplish, and plenty of projects around the house to keep me busy. If that wasn’t enough, I also volunteered to raise money for both the swim team and the post-prom event later this year. And did I mention that I have a ton of work to do for my day job?

So, why is it that I am sitting on the couch, staring at my iPhone instead of checking anything off my to-do list? It’s all Facebook’s fault. I’m addicted to Reelz, and as I sit there and watch clip after clip, time is flying by.

I just looked at my watch, and it is almost 5 pm. The only things I accomplished today were making my bed, running the dishwasher, and doing a load of laundry. I also edited an article for someone.

Other than that, it has not been a productive day. Facebook is a time suck, and I’m the sucker that lets it into my world. Maybe if the weather was nicer I would have gone food shopping, gotten my nails done, and bought a Valentine’s Day card and present for my husband.

Instead, my phone battery is at 25%, and I have nothing to show for it. I fell into the black hole of clips from Grey’s Anatomy, America’s Got Talent, and random stand-up comedian sets.

Tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday, and I’m not a big football fan. One would think that I should take all of that free time and use it wisely. But I do love the commercials, so I’m not hopeful that tomorrow will be any better. But, we will see.

At least, I got a blog post in today. 🙂

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