It’s November? Seriously? How did that happen? Well, I know how happened. But, still. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN???*
Today was the first day it even felt like fall around here. We had rain last night (finally! Although I know it broke a few kids’ hearts) and into this morning. It’s supposed to get back up into the 70s this week, though. Still, it’s better than the freakin’ heat wave we started the month with.
So. October. I feel like I read ALL of the books. But blogged about none of them. And I did other things, too! Let’s recap what was both a crappy and wonderful month.
But first, a word about September. September kind of sucked, emotionally. August was all about settling into my new place and adjusting to single life. By September I had settled and while I wasn’t necessarily sad or even pissed, I did have some pretty low moments, usually triggered by some weird text or comment from the ex (like an invitation to come over and watch a football game. I mean really…What. The. Hell?!? And adding to the aggravation was the non-responses I was getting from CPAs and lawyers (each who wanted to refer me to the other) about how to handle transfers of property between people who were never married. It was a frustrating month. But by the end, we came to a temporary agreement regarding the property (two rentals and a house I voluntarily left but he is still in) and now I have rental income that will let me work on the savings account and plan some trips and not think twice about buying that book I really want to read (you all know how essential book purchases are, right?). Which means I headed into October pretty darn relieved and a little more emotionally balanced.
And then I went to Folsom for three weeks for work. That was tough. The work part wasn’t bad, but I found that three weeks in a town I wasn’t visiting by choice was two weeks too many. I like being alone and can usually entertain myself pretty well, but good lord, was that a tough three weeks. Hot, too. But I did manage to clock some serious overtime, and read. Because, really…what else is there to do in Folsom when it’s 95 degrees outside? The books:
Bossypants: I actually wrote a post on this one. Which is ironic, since it’s my least favorite of everything on the list.
Landline: Entertaining, but not quite as satisfying as Rowell’s other books. I actually audio-ed (can that be a word?) this one…it kept me good company on the drive to Folsom, and while I ran on the hotel treadmill. Maybe I ended up being a mite disappointed because I hate running on a treadmill? Or maybe it’s just because I really didn’t like the main character all that much, and I’m not a big fan of LA as a setting (I know, that’s a bit prejudiced, but I’m a Central Coast gal…we have to dis southern California).
Memory of Water: A YA novel set in a future where water is in very short supply. And China seems to have taken over the world. The premise was good, but it lacked some serious backstory. Like, just exactly how China ended up controlling Finland? And just what exactly was going on in the world?
The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves: Sigh. I heart Maggie Stiefvater. I am currently reading Lily Blue, Blue Lily. Or is it Blue Lily, Lily Blue? Whichever one it is, I am pacing myself, because it’s going to be another year before I see the end of this series. I seem to be in a YA mood lately, and Stiefvater is largely to blame. I love her characters and the wry humor that pops up between them. The Dream Thieves is my favorite of the books so far, but I am looking forward to seeing how she’s going to end this series.
Drood: I managed to read 1/2 of Drood while in Folsom. But did I do my halfway post for Trish‘s Droodalong? Nooooooo. I am trying to finish the book (really!), but it is a slog. Although Drood finally made a reappearance in this morning’s reading, so there is hope! Maybe? Anyhoosie…for my halfway thoughts, let’s just go with slog.
And then I came home from Folsom (I practically skipped out of town, I was that happy to be headed home). And I made it home just in time for the readalong! Woo-hoo! So then I read:
Carrie: This was actually a listen (yes, I re-upped my Audible subscription in October, too…it’s time to stop listening to Kings of Leon on continuous shuffle and get back into the audio books). Most of it on the way home from Folsom. But I finished it that morning. It’s not my favorite King, but it’s also not my least favorite. I’ve come to realize I prefer his more current works (and hello…Revival comes out on the 11th!). But Carrie is such a part of pop culture that I’m glad I read it for that, alone. But I didn’t really fall in love (or hate) with the characters in this one like I have with his other books, which is why I think I don’t really have any strong feelings about the book.
World War Z: Again, most of this one was read in Folsom, too. But I finished it during the readathon. I really liked the format of this book, with each chapter being an interview with a survivor of the zombie wars. But by the end, I was ready for it to be over.
Brave Companions: This was a compilation of essays by David McCullough, who writes a lot of biographies. Most of the essays were about lesser known historical figures, like the guy who built the Brooklyn Bridge or the woman who is very well known for her studies of fleas (first…ewww on the fleas, and second, I am obviously no good with names). Some were interesting, some were…not.
The Angel of Losses: Kind of an odd book based on mystical/mythical Jewish religious figures. It was interesting, but again…slightly disappointed. Mostly because all of the characters annoyed me in some small way.
On This Day: This was a book I randomly grabbed off of my shelf to put on my Fall of 2014 Reading List. I have no idea how it got on the shelf in the first place, and if I bought it, why. It’s about a brother and sister trying to cope after their dad dies of cancer and mom commits suicide. They are both very young adults (18 and 20, I think…or in that range). There is supposed to be some Big Family Secret, but it ended up being fairly obvious and not that big of a deal. So, you know, meh.
I also tried and failed to listen to A Confederacy of Dunces, both in Folsom and again during the readathon. But the narrator drove me batty with all of the voices, and I can’t stand Ignatius, so that’s going in the never-to-be-finished pile.
Other fun things from the rest of the month:
Chris introduced me to Muddy Buddies, the crack of Chex mixes. Evil Chris. Debbie introduced me to pumpkin waffles. Which, OMG, you need to make. A real life Chris took me for a Sunday drive in a convertible which was just about the most relaxing thing I’ve done in eons. Never thought I’d say that about a ride in a convertible, but it was. Another real life Chris (really, I know A LOT of Chris’s) instigated a dinner night with friends. My mom and I spent a day together hiking and lunching and movie-ing**, and plotting a Thanksgiving weekend trip to Pasadena for fun. I went out dancing with my bestie from high school and her post-divorce fling (who, after 9 months, isn’t really a fling, but he’s good-humored enough to let us call him that, and he gets major points for that good humor). I managed to get a few of my friends to semi-commit to Sunday morning group runs. A friend not named Chris and I went to see Gone Girl just so we could compare it to the book (our mutual consensus: very well done). My awesome boss agreed to my weird request to leave work at 4 so I can go run, then come back at 5 and work the last hour and a half of my day. Because otherwise, with the time change, it will be too dark to run when I get off at my normal time of 5:30. And I ate too much candy in honor of Halloween, but I have no regrets.
So yeah, it ended up being a pretty awesome month, if I just ignore the hard time I did in Folsom (sorry, bad prison joke).***
*Did you know there are only 53 days until Christmas? I only know this because I was the very last person at work on Friday, and I wrote it on our whiteboard, because when you’re all alone at work on Halloween night you do shit like that just for the chance to annoy people when they come in on Monday morning.
**If you ever have the chance to see this movie, DO IT. Dr. Korisheli is an amazing man…he was the music teacher at my high school for years, although I never had him as a teacher, and only knew of him in passing. But I have heard so many people say wonderful things about him, and this movie really shows why he is so beloved. Plus, his life story is incredible.
***I promise I won’t write a novel when November is over.