celebrating 45 46 years of "meh"

Show us your books: September 2018
Friday 5: The Whole Trial Is Out of Order!
The Lady at 46: Walking the Walk

Show us your books: September 2018

I can’t believe it’s this day again. Show Us Your Books Day!

And yes, it’s also 9/11. Seventeen years ago I was an adult and watched the horror on one of the TVs at the Courier-Post while it happened. (And then we went to work putting stories and photos online, because that’s what newspaper people do.) I still look at low-flying planes to gauge if they are flying erratically. But I, me, Kim, speaking for myself, can’t dwell on it every year for the rest of my life. I can recall the pangs of fear and loss and helplessness, and then go on trying to make life as great as I can.

outdoors reading

I will miss this most of all when summer leaves us.

Which includes posting book reviews on the day designated. Which is today.

Onto the books! I use the Goodreads system to rate books, which is:

  • One star: did not like it
  • Two stars: it was ok
  • Three stars: liked it
  • Four stars: really liked it
  • Five stars: it was amazing

Let’s Talk about Death (over Dinner): An Invitation and Guide to Life’s Most Important Conversation — Michael Hebb

Weird fact about me: I am always interested in books about death and dying. I even have a shelf.

Tired of playing Table Topics? How about hosting a Death Dinner? In this book, Michael Hebb gives tips on how to talk about death. He suggests doing it over dinner, but the questions included in the book are good for discussion anytime, or answering them for yourself.

Death is an inevitable part of life, and a natural consequence of living is having to deal with the deaths of those close to you. Working through the questions with your family and friends will undoubtedly make that easier.

I enjoyed the anecdotes from Hebb’s friends and colleagues as they tackled the questions. It’s a lot to think of.

Four Stars. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for letting me read this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Kiss Quotient — Helen Hoang

Stella Lane is super smart, super successful, and super rich. But she’s awful at dating and doesn’t like sex. Stella has Asperger’s Syndrome, which doesn’t make social interactions impossible, just more difficult. Stella hires an escort, Michael, to give her lessons.

THIS BOOK GETS STEAMY. As in, I stopped reading when someone sat next to me on the train. But I really really loved it because it was a different kind of romance. After years of avoiding the genre because I thought I was too snobby for it, I’m enjoying the modern take on romance novels.

I gave this five stars on Goodreads because I was all YEAH immediately after reading. It’s probably a four-star book, but I feel bad taking stars away on Goodreads after the fact. Especially when the author is active on Goodreads.

Woman Last Seen in Her Thirties — Camille Pagán

Maggie Harris is 53 years old with two adult children, an unnecessary part time job, and a good marriage with her attorney-husband. Who suddenly ends their marriage because of someone else. In dealing with all of that mess, Maggie realizes that she lost herself to her family years ago. She decides to build a new life for herself, taking all sorts of chances along the way.

Four Stars. I was rooting for Maggie the entire time. The book sounds super cliched and formulaic, but the characters grew more real as the book continued.

The Widows of Malabar Hill — Sujata Massey
In 1921 Bombay, Perveen Mistry is a solicitor in her father’s law firm. Acutally, she is the only female lawyer in Bombay so although she’s not allowed to be appear in court, she is able enter worlds that her male colleagues cannot. In this book, she’s integral to solving a murder that happened in the house of three Muslim widows who have closed themselves off to the world. Through the second plotline set in 1916 we learn about Perveen’s past.

You know how people tell you to read books from writers of different backgrounds? They’re right. I learned a lot about Indian culture of the time, the struggles of women, and religion. There’s a glossary in the back but the book is so well written I didn’t need it. The first half of the book moves slowly as all of the characters are established but once it gets going, it goes.

Four Stars. The second book in the series is coming out in February! Sujata Massey writes another mystery series around a 27 year old Japanese-American teacher in Tokyo. The first in that series is called The Salaryman’s Wife and I’m adding it to my TBR.

Currently reading: Enchantments: A Modern Witch’s Guide to Self-Possession — Mya Spalter. It’s a NetGalley book and I’m allllllmost done. It’ll be my 50th book of my 50-book goal. I’ll be tackling more reading in the next few days.

All of my book lists and reviews are on Goodreads.

This a part of the Show us Your Books linkup from Jana Says and Life According to Steph. If you want to read more bloggers gush about the books they’ve read this month, click the button below and have fun!

Life According to Steph

What are you reading?

January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August

Friday 5: The Whole Trial Is Out of Order!

Happy Friday 5 on a Saturday! This is a day late because … wait for it … I went out again last night. This time was happy hour with my mom and my aunt who is recently back from a multi-year stint on Kwajalein Atoll. Go look it up. It’s very far away from New Jersey. It’s been an incredibly social week for me and is shaping up to be an incredibly social month.

I went back to work on Thursday to this…

cubicle decorated for birthday

My job is great! I hope it never changes!

and then 10 minutes later my A+, understanding, would-be-subordinate-to-him-again manager of 6.5 years told me that he’s leaving TNP at the end of the month. I spent the last two days like this:

beaker from the muppets

*insert endless meep*

And that’s that. Change is inevitable, even when things are going REALLY WELL DAMMIT.

Time for the Friday 5. This week’s theme is The Whole Trial is Out of Order! Let’s get to it.

4. What’s to look forward to in the fourth quarter of 2018?
We have a Walt Disney World trip coming up between now and the end of the year! I’m very excited. I went from going multiple times a year to going once every 2 years and that’s okay. A LOT changes in 2 years so we’re guaranteed to always see something new.

believe in something meme, related to Disney vacation costs

Found on Facebook. I’m not anti-Kaepernick.

2. What’s something at which you’d like a second chance?
If I was punished somehow by being returned to my freshman year of high school, I’d like another shot at the Qualitative Physical Science class that I dropped before the first quarter was out because I was getting a D. I was only 14 and thought a D would ruin my life. Now that I know it’s not the case, I wonder if it eventually would have clicked. Switching out of that class (and adjusting my schedule accordingly) meant that I fell out of sync with the small group of friends I had at the time.

1. What’s something in which you took first place?
Every family Easter Egg hunt from age 10 until the embarrassing age I stopped.

5. Who had an especially good fifth film, fifth book, or fifth album?
I’m drawing a blank on this one. I usually quit series early on because I get an “okay, I’m good with this franchise ending on this note” and walk away. It’s how I managed to quit watching Scandal after a few seasons. I’ll turn to WM for guidance, because he finishes EVERYTHING.

WM: Tom Waits’s fifth album is good. Blue Valentine. It has several good songs that I enjoy, up to and including Somewhere from West Side Story.
Me: Was Tom a Jet or a Shark?
WM: I don’t know. (continues on about Tom Waits and liking his original album best and that’s not really a thing that Tom Waits fans agree on)

3. When did you last feel like a third wheel?
Anytime I’m the woman in a conversation about kids. I often get the “but your dogs are your kids” which feels like being handed a consolation prize of Turtle Wax instead of a shiny sportscar with California emissions. I often think “certainly there is something else to talk about yes” but really it’s no. I’m not even hurt about it anymore. I have very well-waxed vehicles, though, so win-win.

Today it’s raining, which is autumn in New Jersey in a nutshell. Which is okay. I’ll have time to practice on my sewing machine which I haven’t done all summer because I’ve been outside. I’m trying to make reusable coffee cup sleeves. If that goes well, my next task is canvas shopping bags.

The Lady at 46: Walking the Walk

Today is my 46th birthday. It’s weird to consider that I’m on the downward slope to 50 when I feel like I just got used to being in my 40s.

I spent the day at the shore, possibly for the last time this year and I’m okay with that. I’m going to try to flow with the unchangeable changes around me instead of bemoan them.

The stuff I can change? I’m into that. I’m writing postcards as fast as my fingers will let me and I’m calling my congresscritters on the regular.

Year 45!

Year 45 — September 2017 to August 2018

Mom asked what my goal was for this year. All I could come up with at that moment was learning to boogieboard/bodyboard. But I think that I want year 46 to be a year of service, both to myself (taking care of my skin, eating well, blogging) and to others (civic actions, maybe volunteering if I get gutsy).

Let’s make another trip around the sun.

Last year: The Lady at 45: This I Believe

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