Slaughterhouse-Five–Kurt Vonnegut

I’m notorious for not liking classics at this point, yes? 

This one also joins the 3-star club. 

I’m also notorious for just blindly walking into a book instead of reading the dust jacket. 

Let me tell you what I thought this book was about.

Based off the title alone I thought this was about five people who survived some sort of grisly event in a slaughterhouse. My mind immediately thought: Holocaust. Because this just LOOKS like a book my friend would suggest and he always suggests Holocaust books to me because he likes to devastate my soul at least once a year. 

All I remember from this book is that I get a twitch from the sentence “So it goes.” now. 

What is this book actually about? 

The Holocaust. And the Dresden bombings. And so, so much more. Like alien abductions. 

The timeline goes back and forth and up and down and the main character Billy has PTSD and he gets married and has kids and travels back in time and yes. That’s the book. 

I read this back in January 2018 because I wanted to start the year off with a classic. I didn’t fully believe this was going to be about something so dreary. I’m always getting tricked into reading about the Holocaust. 

Even by me.

Go figure I start the year off with an event I hate reading in books because I’ve visited the Dachau concentration camp and my soul wants to throw up every time I think about it. 

And the books title is because it’s about POWs being held in a slaughterhouse…labeled ‘Slaughterhouse Five’. 

So I wasn’t totally off. 

Constant vigilance.

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Tranny–Laura Jane Grace

It is essential that everyone reads this book. 

If you have transgender friends and want to know more about their struggle of identity: read this book.

If you don’t know anyone who is trans but want to know more about that side of the universe: read this book.

If you like autobiographies: Read this book.

If you like music: Read this book.

If you like Against Me! : Read this book.

If you don’t know who the hell Against Me! is then, you got it: Read this book. 

If you are human and want to human better: Read this book. 

I literally just want to Oprah the hell out of people and go around handing this out. 

Because honest to God: This book is so well written, so poignant for our time, and so touching and honest and brutal, and watching the journey Laura Jane Grace has taken is so raw and beautiful and *mindblown emoji*. 

Now, I’ve never fully listened to Against Me! (at the time and I listened throughout the book as the music was suggested or mentioned by the author and now I am a fan), my friend (who has been a fan for awhile) read this book and it spoke so hard to his soul that if he was a violent man he would’ve thrown it at me and told me to read it. 

Instead he forked it over after adamantly stressing how amazing this book is and then whispered “Goooooo reeeeeeead.” in my ear. 

Okay, he didn’t do that last part. Well, not in my ear anyway, I am a violent person and would’ve punched him for being creepy. 

Anyway. 

I cannot imagine the life and struggle and guilt and relief and stress and secrecy and then finally openness it takes to be a transgender person. They go through so fucking much that I,  as a CIS woman, will never have to go through or fully understand or be able to gage on any sort of yard stick. 

But I can take my white privilege and my CIS privilege and quite frankly, my Canadian privilege, and do better about stepping into someone else’s shoes. I can take the time and see what’s up with other genders and beyond.

I can check in on my fellow humans. 

Because that’s all we all are. A bunch of meat sacks running around trying to figure shit out. 

Laura Jane Grace (and I will continue to use her full name here because she fucking EARNED it.) is a beautiful writer, musician, and human. This book is now a part of my heart and I need it to be a part of others hearts too. 

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Constant vigilance!

Post Office–Charles Bukowski

How to describe this book? 

It’s…about the postal service. 

How did I end up reading it? I don’t know. It’s short? That’s all I’ve really got. 

Yet here I am reading a well known authors book about postal workers. 

And liking it. 

It doesn’t matter that I totally thought this guy wrote “Fight Club” (he didn’t, that’s Chuck Palahnuik.), or that I’ve never read anything else he’s written (totally thought I had. Book nerd problems.)

It was short but interesting somehow.

Yes, it went into the depths of the inner cogs sometimes, but otherwise, the characters were interesting and it was short enough you weren’t like “Okay asshole, that’s enough about this shit.”. 

He knows exactly how to tell a story and exactly where to end it. 

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Happy 8 Year Anniversary!

Holy crap.

I just got a notification from WordPress congratulating me on 8 years of writing on this blog.

8 years I’ve spent writing about books I’ve loved or hated, personal stories of triumph or failure, love and loss, book hunting, Keep Moving Forwards, True Story Tuesdays, or To Say a Little Words.

8 years of my life.

An inconsistent 8 years of writing on here, but still! That’s bananas.

So thank you all who have stuck with me, who have appreciated the posts, who have reached out to tell me how hilarious I am. I have a small fanbase, but I still appreciate it and am so grateful.

Here’s to you all! For putting up with my nonsense, my wisdom, my lies about when I’ll be posting, my long stretches of going MIA, and the grappling I do with books on a daily basis.

Here’s to books! Without them I would’ve beheaded someone a long time ago.

Constant vigilance!

Summers Read Part 2

I’m backed up. Not…not in the bowel department. I don’t know why I feel like I needed to clarify that when you’ll see in a minute that I mean book reviews.

Either way. Here we are.

In The Woods–Tana French

This book was total trickery. 

In that I didn’t realize it was a series. I only read the first one, but now I need to read the rest to find out what the shit happened. 

This is about how kids were in the playing in the back woods in a Dublin suburb in 1984, and they only found one kid.

A parents worse nightmare. Two kids went missing and one was found covered in blood gripping a tree trunk and unable to remember what happened. 

20 years later the boy is a detective and he’s on the case of a 12 year old girl who was murdered in the same woods his friends went missing. 

He uncovers piece by piece what happened not just to the girl, but to his friends. 

Sort of. I remember being like ‘Wait WHAT.’ When it ended because it wasn’t finished and then I looked it up online and found out that it was part of a series. 

And then not committing to find the others and never solving the mystery. 

Not like me. 

But oh well. Someday i’ll finish that series because after rereading its synopsis I’m intrigued again! 

…Actually upon reflection that totally is like me. I stopped reading Game of Thrones three books in, I stopped reading Outlander after two books, I even stopped reading those Sweep books and had to return to them to finish them. 

My best friend is laughing at my previous statement of “Not like me.” haha. (She gets all the texts when I pick the series back up of “Hey…who’s dead and what happened???” 

Her memory is better then mine. 

Anywho: This book was interesting, maybe if I stumble upon the second book somewhere I’ll get back to it and solve that dang mystery!

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Weird Sisters–Eleanor Brown

This book was very enjoyable. Reminded me of me and my sisters. Only in that we are weird and so different from each other, and yet so similar. Really, if one of us didn’t have a sense of humour our family dynamics would be VERY different. 

Instead of making each other laugh, someone would’ve been stabbed a long time ago. 

Anyway, this book is about three sisters who find themselves back at home to help with their ailing mother. Their dad named them after three of Shakespeares leading ladies and only really speaks to them in verse. 

Which I would find infuriating, but also fun. I love Shakespeare. But I would’ve slapped my dad. 

Good book, well written, interesting story. Definitely read it. 

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I Know I Am, But What Are You?–Samantha Bee

Samantha Bee is (was, maybe?) the Most Senior Correspondent on the The Daily Show (In the Jon Stewart era) and is pretty damn funny.

This was a good summer book. Clever, well spoken, and had fun stories in there but not overwhelmingly political or heavy. But she also didn’t dumb anything down. It was lovely. 

I liked reading about her life and where she ended up. Despite the fact that people have always flashed her at weird intervals in her life. 

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Work It Out

Good morning!

Last month whizzed by and now here I am on the first of February thinking about what my new goals will be for the month. Because part of my New Year Resolution is to make new goals every month.

January goals went pretty well! I kicked my Tim Hortons habit! (Bye bye French Vanillas! *sobs*) I started a new workout regime to get to my newest goal: Fit into my Maid of Honour dress. I’ve been eating better, and better still, not getting on the scale three times a day to see if the salad I just ate made me lose ten pounds magically.

Now, since today is the beginning of a fresh month I’ve decided that I will weigh myself once a month now instead of every day to watch my progress.

Turns out: That was stupid of me.

I’ve been feeling really great in my body, I’ve been having less stomach problems, I’ve got more energy, feeling really great, feeling like I don’t really NEED the homemade cappuccinos anymore (even if they are only 90 calories). Just all around kicking ass!

Until I stepped on the scale. I haven’t lost any weight. At all. Which really bums me out because I SWEAR I was thinning out around my middle. I just had a mini flip out because WHAT THE HELL IS ALL THIS FOR IF I’M NOT LOSING WEIGHT WILL I FIT INTO MY DRESS WILL I EVER GET THE BODY I DREAM ABOUT HOW COME NO ONE LOVES ME IS IT BECAUSE I’M THIS GIANT PIECE OF —-

Whoa Nelly. Look, progress reports are important when you are trying to hit a goal. But to get on the scale and start berating myself after an entire month of happy happy joy joy was really surprising. I thought that I would be like “Ah well, better luck next month!” get off the scale and go about my day. But instead I was thrown back into an old habit and worse, an old way of thinking.

So my goals for this month are: Be kinder. (Yes, that’s the same as last month and should always be a goal.) Change my way of thinking of my body. Treat myself better. No scale until March 1st. Doing something nice for someone. Learn to say ‘No’ to things. (That’s a big one, I’m not what you would call well off financially and I keep saying ‘Yes’ to things I shouldn’t.) Stand up for myself at least once this month. And as ever: Practice piano.

That one is actually proving to be the hardest to get to.

Anyway, if you are wondering what my work out regime is currently, you can find it here:

MyPeakChallenge

I’m finding it to be so unbelievably doable, especially for anyone with a sedentary job or is new to working out. I also like that there is no “30 Day to a New You!” tag on it or anything like that. It’s a year long program that’s suppose to help you reach your own goals.

And it’s run by hot Scottish guys, so there’s that. I’m talking Sam Heughan from ‘Outlander’ is part of it. And it’s so nice to not be yelled at while working out, even from a video. Like they are laughing sometimes. Which makes me laugh! I love that!

Anyway, follow me on Instagram if you want to watch my stories on this program unfold.

It’s mostly me laying on a mat sweating my balls off praying to Beyonce to help me.

Keep moving forward!

 

sTori Telling–Tori Spelling

Okay look…I can’t explain why I picked this one up. I had zero interest in Tori Spelling, her career, or anything that’s ever happened to her. I bought this at a thrift store because I like to read incredibly random biographies now. And this took the cake on random because I had never really given Tori Spelling a second thought.

BUT…I’m glad I read this.

I genuinely enjoyed this autobiography!

She was funny, self deprecating, and (felt like) completely honest about her love life, career, and relationship with her parents. She totally realized that she was a product of nepotism in her career and tried to steer away from it and work on her own without the help of her dad. (An exception would be 90210, but she auditioned and worked hard to get that role.)

I’m looking forward to reading more of her work because she’s actually incredibly funny.

This was a great summer read, it was quick, light, and made me feel like she was talking directly to me over a glass of mojitos.

And I don’t even drink mojitos.

–Constant vigilance.

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