Category Archives: 2014 Book List

2014 Audio Books and why I changed the format

It’s just a blog. It’s just a book list. they are just book posts. It’s just a yearly top ten list. right?

So why has it killed me and haunted me that I have to give up on the 2014 book list and not do a top ten list?There’s just no possible way I could write posts for all the books. There’s too much other writing I want to do and sadly, writing is pretty hard on my body. I’m up to the beginning of June on the list haha! There’s just no way. So I had to admit defeat and decide not to try and play catch up for 2014. Should I try and pick my favorite book from last year though? Perhaps.

I’m going to post the document in which I kept track of all the books from last year, up to the point where I stopped writing book posts. I thought some might enjoy seeing how I keep track and it ought to give you an idea of just how far behind I got.

Last year was just so crazy. i mean craaaaaazy. It’s no wonder the blog wasn’t top priority. There was so much work to do in order to get ready to move. I had to find a suitable house to rent and start going through the old two bedroom apartment, getting rid of stuff and packing. Talk about a mass purge! It was an incredibly therapeutic experience, literally throwing away my past lives. As I put hands on every single one of my possessions , a quick decision was made. If I couldn’t tell what i was holding, it either got donated or trashed. That means every single photograph.Every visual, non-tactile memory, gone. let go of. I made the decision to scale down my stuff. A lot. A lot a lot. And man did it feel good!

There was old junk jewelry of my mom’s. It’s gone now. I made peace with that, with her. It’s like I knew she was cool with the fact that I let that stuff go, that those possessions didn’t keep her on this plane with me. I feel like she’s with me stronger now that I’ve let those physical things go. I know that may not make any sense, but it does to me.

So while the preparation to move was cathartic and wonderful, it was a lot of work. A lot a lot of work. that I did on my own. B took care of his stuff, I took care of mine. he did all the heavy lifting of trash removal and donations though, thanks. B. I also hired a junk removal service to come and take some of the bigger items. They donate what they can and trash the rest. The stuff we moved fill this three bedroom house quite nicely. We’re no longer cluttered. All of the keepsakes I could not part with fit in Gamma’s cedar chest which now resides in my “Duchess Den”, so named since it was decided “girl cave” just didn’t sound right and my friend Professor Twain named me the Rays Duchess of the Arizona Territories, so my room in this house is called the Duchess Den. It’s a wonderful room. I’ll write about it some time.

Anyway, after the move and getting settled, which I did in one week, my MS decided it was pretty pissed at me for all the hard physical work and i ended up with four new brain lesions. Good thing I had established care with a new neurologist just before the move. I underwent steroid infusions which I wrote about in November. Check those posts out. I imagine they are rather entertaining now that I’ve gotten some distance from that. I’ve started an oral MS medication called Gilenya. I’ve been on it just under a month and it has been a challenge.

So, something caused me to write this today and post my unedited 2014 book list and after writing that, I’m really ok with not doing my book posts like normal. Extenuating circumstances and all that. 2015 is a new beginning and who knows how or if I’ll do book posts this year. I’ve gotten some good work done on my YA novel but I’m taking a break from that to start work on the memoir. Who knows, maybe it’ll make someone’s book list some day. Ok, let me look at this list and see if I can pick a favorite.

Took a break to read some Twitter and this tweet made me remember trashing my old journals during the purge. I was kinda glad I couldn’t read them, though I still felt a pang when I trashed them.

@SaraBareilles reading old journals is excruciating.

Ninety-six books in 2014 woo hoo! That’s up from seventy-one in 2013. I am such an addict!

Ok so I’m going to mention several books methinks. Just going down the list for starters, I think I can easily say one of my favorite stand-alone books was ‘Station Eleven’ by Emily St.John Mandel. I’m not going to write about books in this post though, so you’ll have to click the link if you’re curious. I highly recommend it. Any book mentioned in this post is highly recommended. My favorite author Scott Westerfeld had a new one this year, ‘Afterworlds’, and I read it twice, back-to-back so that was like four books since this book is two books in one. My friend Robin recommended ‘The Gods of Gotham’ by Lyndsay Faye and I’m so glad she did! The Dead Six series by Larry Correia and Mike Kupari is narrated by Bronson Pinchot who is right up there with Ray Porter and Grover Gardner for me, meaning if they narrate it, I buy it and I’m never disappointed, at least not in the narration. The Dead Six series rocks! A new favorite narrator is Luke Daniels who reads the The Brilliance Saga which also rocks. I got ‘Joe Ledger: Special Ops’ just for the interview with Ray Porter which had me grinning the whole time. I had read most of the shorts already but they were easy to hear again.

That gets me caught up to the other books I read last year and reviewed on the blog. There are some really great reads on that list as well.

I have to mention who I think is most definitely the most entertaining author I stumbled upon in 2014 thanks to Audible’s daily deals and that’s Diana Rowland, author of the White Trash Zombie series and Kara Gillian series which I am currently rereading. As soon as I finished the sixth book, I immediately began book one again. I just wasn’t ready to be done with the characters until April when the next one comes out. There were also many details that have become more clear during the second read through. This world is very complex. The narrator for the White Trash Zombie series, Allison McLemore, is most definitely my favorite female narrator. She’s terrific! I follow @DianaRowland on twitter and I just adore her.

Yikes, almost forgot Robin Hobb’s Farseer Trilogy, The Tawny Man trilogy and the new Fitz and the Fool trilogy which only has one book out so far. These books are awesome and follow the life of Fitzchivalry Farseer. the only downfall to this series is the changing of narrators which is a major bummer. Robin Hobb and Diana rowland were most definitely my favorite authors last year.

Ok, I like how that wrap-up turned out. I think for 2015 I might try doing a monthly wrap-up like this post rather than stress about reviewing every single book since I go through them so fast. Audio books on iThings can be devoured quite quickly since they can be listened to no matter what you’re doing. Unless I’m sleeping or on the computer, I’m reading. It’s no wonder the books pile up. Here’s to a better 2015 for everyone! below is the unedited list I used to keep track of all the books.

Phew! Oh, all the ‘Demon’ books below are the afore mentioned Kara Gillian books. There are six out right now.

96. Touch of the Demon Finished December 30 So good

95. Sins of the Demon Finished December 27 (So good!)

94. Secrets of the Demon Finished December 25 (So good!)

93. “Blood of the Demon” by Diana roland – narrated by – Finished December 23 (so good!)

92. “Mark of the Demon” (Kara Gillian book One) by Diana Rowland – narrated by – Finished December 22 (So good!)

91. The Amityville Horror by – narrated by Ray Porter – Finished December 20 (So good!)

90. Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb – narrated by – Finished December 19 (Entertaining)

89. “The World’s Strongest Librarian” by – narrated by – Finished December 14 (Marriage Material)

88. “Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett – narrated by – Finished December 12 (So good!)

87. “Revival: A novel” by Stephen King – Finished December 3 (So good!) *Shudder* Terrifying. Something happened.

86. Royal Spyness book 3 finished November 30 (entertaining)

Assassin’s apprentice again Finished November 28

85.All Farseer books ( Finished November 25 (Marriage Material)

81. Book 2 Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb – narrated by – Finished October 31 (Marriage Material)80. Farseer book 1 by – narrated by – Finished October 26 (So good!)

79. “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel – narrated by – Finished October 20 (So good!) Finished again October 23 (Marriage Material) Jeevan being on stage trying to save Arthur, the image of being there behind the curtain, drowning out the audience, what memories. It making a room with a high seiling, the wings with crevies.

78. “Midnighters #3: Blue Noon” (Midnighters Trilogy) by Scott Westerfeld – narrated by Voiceover (iOS Kindle app) – Finished October 19 (So Good!)

77. “Her Royal Pain” by – narrated by – Finished October 17 (Entertaining)

76. Dresden book by – narrated by – Finished October 14 (Meh)

75. Twain book – narrated by Grover Gardner – Finished October 10 (entertaining)

74. “Afterworlds” by Scott Westerfeld – narrated by – Finished September 26, read it again and finished the second time October 5 (So good!)

73. “Edge of Eternity” by Ken Follett – narrated by – Finished September 23 (Entertaining)

72. “The Maltese Falcon” by – Finished September 14 (Meh)

71. Sherlock book by Lyndsay Faye – narrated by – Finished september 13 (Entertaining)

70. “The Virgin Suicides” – Finished September 11 (So good!)

69. “Echo Burning” by Lee Child – narrated by Dick Hill – Finished September 9 (Entertaining)

68. “The Haunting of Hill House” by Shirley Jackson – narrated by – Finished September 5 (Entertaining)

67. “The Gods of Gotham” by Lyndsay Faye – Finished August 29 (so good!)

66. “Swords of Exedus” (Dead Six book two) by Larry Correia and – narrated by – Bronson Pinchot – Finished August 26 (Entertaining)

65. “Dead Six” (Dead Six book one) – Finished August 22 (So good!)

64. “The Silkworm” by Robert Galbraith aka JK Rowling – Finished August 18 (Meh)

57. – 63.Entire HarryPotter series – Finished August 14 (Marriage Material)Started Bryce Courtenay book but I was depressed so started White Trash Zombie again, read Harry Potter at night. Brian in Flagstaff

56. 4th Lincoln Perry book – narrated by Scott Brick – finished July 14 (Entertaining)

55. “A Welcome Grave” – narrated by Scott Brick – finished July 11 (Entertaining)

54. Second Lincoln Perry book – Finished July 9 (Entertaining)

53. “Tonight I Said Goodbye” – narrated by Scott Brick – Finished July 8 (So good!)

52. Dresden book – Finished July 6 (Meh)

51. “How the White Trash Zombie got Her Groove Back” by Diana Rowland – narrated by Allison McLemore – Finished July 3 (Marriage Material)

50. “Wicked Girls” – finished July 1 (So good!)

49. “Doc: A memoir” – Finished June 28 (Entertaining)

48. “The Power of One” by Bryce Courtenay – narrated by Humphrey Bower – Finished June 26 (Entertaining)

47. “A Better World” by Marcus Sakey – narrated by Luke Daniels – Finished June 20 (Marriage Material) Terrifying. I was listening while doing dishes and felt a tremendous sense of fear as US soldiers coralled American refugees

46. “A Hymn Before Battle” – finished 6/18 “Meh”

45. “A Kiss Before Dying” – finished June 13 (So good!) Twitter made me jump. Wish I hadn’t heard the forward.

44. “The Descendents” – Finished June 12 (So good!) Sid rocks

43. “Joe Ledger: Special Ops” by Jonathan Maberry – narrated by Ray Porter – Finished June 10 (Entertaining)

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2014 Book List, Audio books, Gamma, mom, new year, spoons, twitter me this

“White Trash Zombie Apocalypse” by Diana Rowland – narrated by Allison McLemore

Hi School Zombie Apocalypse!! Two exclamation points, don’t forget the two exclamation points. I imagine this movie like a Sharknado with zombies. Hmmm, Zombnado?

Wait, is this a post about a movie?

Well it’s a movie in the book, yes. A zombie moving is being filmed in Angel Crawford’s home town and she can’t help but enjoy watching the fake zombies shamble around, that is until they are no longer fake zombies but real zombies after her. Oh yeah, and she has to take the GED test thanks to her probation and the stupid rain just won’t stop.

Turns out a lot of rain in Louisiana is a very bad thing.

There was a scene in this one that had me in tears and when I told Diana Rowland that on Twitter, she was very happy. Pssst, it’s us writer’s goal to make you cry.

There’s only one more WTZ book to review this year. I love these books! Hey, got any pudding?

Rating: So good!

“White Trash Zombie Apocalypse” at Audible

My schedule next week for my steroid treatments isn’t yet confirmed and that’s kind of bothering me. Dr. V’s MA said I’d hear from the hospital but I haven’t yet. I called the MA today and left a message just following up since it’s the end of the week tomorrow and I’m supposed to start treatment on Monday. I don’t know about you, but when I need treatment to calm my brain lesions down, I kinda want to know it’s scheduled good to go, you know?

I had a woman come today and clean my house. That was very very weird. When we moved in here I had to admit to myself that I didn’t have the energy to give it the good deep cleaning it needs. It was clean when we moved in obviously, and while I had hoped to just keep that up on my own, it wasn’t going to happen. It’s a very strange feeling to be chilling in your house while another person works hard to clean it. She’s sort of the family cleaning lady, having done my uncle’s house for years and Gamma’s house for the last few years of her life. Now she’s doing my house. Just need to get my dad on board to give up his cleaning haha!

I soaked in a nice freshly scrubbed bathtub this afternoon and the water melted away all my weird feelings. I need to spoil my body right now.

Now Playing: “Everybody Hurts” from “In Time: The Best Of R.E.M. 1988-2003” (R.E.M.)

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2014 Book List, Audio books, family, Gamma, gratitude, humor as coping skill, misty eyes, NaBloPoMo 2014, spoons, twitter me this

“Mr. Mercedes: A Novel” by Stephen King – narrated by Will Patton – A Health Update and Dark Mood Lifted

It pleases me that the book I’m up to on the list is a book I hated because I’m in a dark mood. I’ll go in to that in the life part of the post.

This book sucked. Or rather it sucked as a Stephen King book. It just wasn’t a Stephen King book. It was a Michael Connelly book with maybe some more violence and blood, but it was not a Stephen King book with some scary town like Derry or a clown or a haunted hotel or a Yellow Card Man.

It was a detective novel. A detective novel with no mystery at that. You know who the bad guy is because there are chapters written from his point of view. There was literally no mystery, not for the reader anyway. Connelly has written from the bad guy’s point of view before too but I don’t remember feeling like there wasn’t any mystery left for me.

This book started with so much promise! I remember being riveted from the first but then it just went on and on and on and was boring. If Will Patton hadn’t been the narrator, I don’t think I would have finished it. I returned it to Audible. That’s how much I didn’t like the book.

I had jotted a note for myself that read: Blatant, not subtle, foreshadowing that goes nowhere. Lexapro. I remember the foreshadowing bit, thinking that was my mystery but no. I don’t remember what it was that I thought was foreshadowing, just that it went nowhere. I don’t really remember the Lexapro part of my note to myself. Thinking back to the character that might have applied to, I’m guessing my thought had been that Lexapro wasn’t used correctly or something. I can’t remember.

I think the story had merit. I just wish he had published it under his old pseudonym so I didn’t go into it expecting a Stephen King novel.

Rating: Meh

“Mr. Mercedes” at Audible

Now for my dark mood. I shouldn’t say it’s dark as in depressed dark, just dark as in crap that thing I was worried about actually happened. usually when I worry myself to death over something, it never comes to pass. I shouldn’t even say I was worrying to death because I really don’t do that these days being on the aforementioned Lexapro.

I was worried about my MRI results though, and that worry turned out not to be for nothing. My new neuro was point blank in telling me I have four active lesions on my brain which means the MS is active and we need to act now. As he was talking I could feel my eyes getting wider and wider. Four active lesions? How did I not have any symptoms? How had I not lost the use of a limb? My hearing? My ability to breathe?

He said sometimes there are no symptoms. Since I’ve been home with time to think though, there have been symptoms, just small ones. My last two MS attacks were kind of huge, losing the vision in both eyes, so little symptoms like fatigue lasting for days, right foot cramping, joints hurting to touch, I just wrote off as getting older and having a chronic illness.

Four active brain lesions. He was able to see my old lesions from the MRI without contrast, the MRI with contrast lighting up the new ones. Unfortunately he doesn’t have my old MRI’s to compare to be able to tell how old these new lesions might be. That doesn’t really matter, the point is now.

I’m going to start IV steroids on Monday to “calm the brain down” as he put it. While I’m not looking forward to spending hours at the hospital and dealing with paratransit, yay steroids! Steroids kill all my pain! Yes, they suck too because they make you really hungry and give you hot flashes but no pain you guys! No pain!

Me and my silver linings.

I see Dr. V again next week and he’ll have the results of the blood test that got drawn today. I was so afraid he would push the old interferon injections on me like my last neuro but no! He said there are much better drugs now. The one we’re hoping I can take is a pill but I was tested for some virus that fifty percent of Americans have and if I have it, I can’t have the pill. I’ll find out more about this mystery virus but for now, I can’t remember what he called it.

If I can’t have the pill, the next one he would want me to do is a once monthly infusion of some drug. Again, I was in such shock from the MRI results I didn’t think to jot down the names of this stuff. I think from here on out I’ll be doing voice memos of my doctor appointments haha! I don’t think I’d mind even the once monthly infusion of a drug as long as it doesn’t kill my quality of life like the interferon injections did. And I wouldn’t have to give myself a shot every other day.

Ok so wow, my mood doesn’t feel so dark after writing that. I’m just really grateful I decided to get back under a neurologist’s care when I did and so grateful my Rays Twitter Family friend found me this neurology clinic all the way from florida. Thank you, Nurse K!

I do need to own the fact that I have neglected my health as far as the MS goes since 2008 because of my resentment at the MS itself and the doctors and the medications that didn’t keep me from going blind. My stubbornness is the reason for these four active lesions. I had no idea B was worried until I heard the relief in his voice when he asked what the next step was and I said treatment.

I won’t neglect the MS again. That’s my solemn vow.

I wonder what next week will be like. I’m looking at it as an adventure for Jayden and me. And no pain next week! Weeeee! Oh speaking of pain, I got a prescription for ibuprofin since I take so much of it it was breaking the bank haha!

Oh, please cross your fingers that my insurance will pay for the steroid infusions I need. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little worried about that.

Jayden was just barking in his sleep. I’m glad he’s good an relaxed. He was off at the neuro this morning and I think it was because he could feel my tension. I’ll make next week fun for him even if it’s not fun for me haha.

Oh, when B asked if there was anything he could do, I told him chocolate would be happy making. I expected a Hershey’s Bar or something. He got me a box of Whitman’s! Such a good boyfriend.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2014 Book List, Audio books, baseball, doc, fellowship, gratitude, humor as coping skill, Jayden, mental health, NaBloPoMo 2014, spoons, twitter me this

“Even White Trash Zombies get the Blues” by Diana Rowland – narrated by Allison McLemore

I don’t know how I managed to space the White Trash Zombie books out once I started reading them. This is the kind of series that makes you want to keep reading when you know more books are out there. I’m going to be sad when Rowland wraps it up!

In the second installment of Angel Crawford’s newly zombified life, we go with her as she tries to figure out who’s hunting zombies and whether or not her boyfriend is involved in the zombie mafia. Angel is also trying to learn more about her kind and the more she learns, the more questions she has. Oh and there’s that little problem of her probation. Needing to eat brains is the least of her worries in WTZ #2.

I looooooooove these books like zombies love braaaaaaaains!

Rating: So good!

“Even White Trash Zombies get the Blues” at Audible

Tomorrow I see the neurologist and discuss the results of my MRI. There should also be the result of the blood test he ran checking foe Devick’s, though I know that will be negative since it was ruled out back in 2008. I’m a little bit nervous about this appointment tomorrow since who knows what is on my MRI and who knows what sort of treatment the neurologist will want to try.

I have noticed much improvement since I took his advice and take ibuprofin on a regular basis for pain. as long as I don’t give the pain a chance to set in, I’m in pretty good shape. I’ll just need to test that when the humidity is high. I’m going to ask for a prescription for ibuprofin since I’m spending an arm and a leg on it.
Wish me luck tomorrow!

Oh, my friend Chupa and I made a pact last week to get back into regular exercise. I’m pleased to report that starting off slowly for me has worked well and I have an increase in energy since I’m pacing myself well. My den here in this house is such a great workout room!

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2014 Book List, Audio books, doc, NaBloPoMo 2014, spoons, workouts

“Tom Clancy Presents: Act of Valor” by Dick Couch and George Galdorisi – narrated by Steven Weber

This book was freaking amazing. It was like Joe Ledger without the monsters. It was like any story about family and friendship without a normal office job. This book took men and women we can all relate to and put them in situations we can’t. This story tested the bonds of love and friendship and struck the chords of my heart strings. This book shows how we, as American citizens are kept safe. If one doesn’t support our troops, one should be forced to read this book.

I marvel at the fact that I’m up to this book on my list the day before Veteran’s Day. While the story is fiction, the authors have an incredible grasp of military life, not that I would know how close they are to accuracy but the forward by Tom Clancy makes it pretty clear these guys know their stuff.

Warning: Get the tissues handy.

Rating: Marriage Material

“Act of Valer” at Audible

I was on a streaming radio show last night talking about my trip to meet the Rays. There will be a podcast of it up later in the week and I’ll provide the information when available.

Today was a good writing day. I got my fifth chapter written. I’m learning what sort of writer I am as I go along and while I wrote nearly this entire novel several years ago during NaNoWriMo, I’m finding I am not the kind of writer who writes that way. I like going chapter by chapter, refining as I go. The first four chapters I pasted a lot of from the rough draft and then added and subtracted. Today’s chapter was completely new material and I really feel like my characters are taking shape and beginning to guide the story. I have a good feeling about this novel you guys!

I also successfully scheduled two doctor appointments for this week. This week! Same week appointments? Wow. I see the neurologist Wednesday to go over my MRI and discuss treatment. I see my PCP Friday to discuss the allergies I’m suffering from since moving into this house. It’s a good feeling to take charge of my medical care once more, now that I have the energy to deal with the transportation aspect of it haha! I love winter! Winter is coming. Sorry, but Farseer dragons are so much cooler. What is she talking about? I don’t know.

1 Comment

Filed under 2014 Book List, Audio books, baseball, doc, misty eyes, NaBloPoMo 2014, writing

“The House at Riverton” by Kate Morton – narrated by Caroline Lee

Perhaps I should begin these posts saying which books were not daily deals, rather than pointing out when they were haha. This book was awesome!

The writing was so beautifully written and poetically descriptive that one is instantly plunged into the story itself as though watching a movie. This effect is helped along by the fact that the book opens with the oping scene of a film being shot about the events of the novel. We are transported to the early nineteen twenties when, at a society party, a young poet kills himself and two sisters never speak to one another again. The tale is told from the point of view of a young house maid and we walk with her through all the grandeur of the time, trying to solve the mystery of a closely kept secret.

The story telling bounces back and forth between the young house maid and her elderly self as she is questioned by the makers of the movie called The Shifting Fog.

I remember having a hard time putting this one down. The note I jotted for myself on my list simply reads: that’s fucked up. That is the same reaction I had at the end of the movie 7. It doesn’t seem right to associate such a swear word with such a beautiful book but strong feelings need strong words. I very highly recommend this book. Get it if you can.

Rating: Marriage Material

“The House at Riverton” at Audible

Just a book post today. Cat’s kept us up half the night and I am weary with lack of sleep.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2014 Book List, Audio books, cats, NaBloPoMo 2014

“Attachments: A Novel” by Rainbow Rowell – narrated by Laura Hamilton – Yay Test Reader!

This book is not one I would have normally gotten if it hadn’t been a daily deal and if the publisher’s summary hadn’t been written the way it was written. Lincoln O’Neill’s job is monitor emails at a newspaper. He thought being an internet security officer would mean he would protect the newspaper from hacks and threats, not send out warnings to people about thee improper use of the paper’s email.

It’s a good thing he couldn’t bring himself to send a warning to Beth and Jennifer or else we wouldn’t have this fun novel full of their stories to one another. They tell each other everything over the company email and Lincoln can’t help but like them both and fall hard for one of them.

This book is a romcom waiting to happen which is not normally my thing but I really enjoyed this book. The characters were well developed, each one flawed but likable and you can’t help but root for Lincoln.

If you’re in the mood for a fun read about interesting people, I highly recommend this one.

Rating: So good!

‘Attachments’ at Audible

Today has been a good Saturday. I got some good work done on my novel this morning since the reading I did last night made me realize I had left out some important details in my first chapter. Overlooked is actually the better word, not left out. I woke up with it in my head and set to work this morning correcting that. Then as I was swallowing vitamins while taking a break from writing, I realized that my male protagonist would notice something about Ren in the third chapter when they meet. Oh, let’s just reveal the name of the male shall we? His name is Lon. Yes I know, two monosyllabic names but they’re both short for the character’s full names which get revealed later. Anyway, I had to have Lon notice something about Ren when they met so I did more work in chapter three which led to some character development I wasn’t expecting which led me to work more on Lon in chapter two so it was a good writing day. I also expanded chapter four when we meet Ren’s mom and that was fun to write since I love Ren’s mom. She’s like my mom was when I was Ren’s age.

After B and I had our Saturday donuts, I cleaned up the kitchen which had been severely neglected. I just sent off my first four chapters to my test reader. I am so lucky to have a test reader who is more than willing to read my chapters over and over as they morph and bits and pieces are added. Thank you, test reader! I don’t have to wait until the first draft is completed to get feedback and I can bounce ideas off my test reader as I write. So lucky am I!

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2014 Book List, gratitude, mom, NaBloPoMo 2014, writing

“My Life as a White Trash Zombie” by Diana Rowland – narrated by Allison McLemore

Thank you thank you thank you Audible for daily deals that turn me on to books like this. I’m in love with the White Trash Zombie books! Oh yes, there are more than one. Yay!

Angel Crawford is a drug addicted self proclaimed white trash loser in Louisiana who wakes in the hospital after what she remembers as a terrible car accident to discover her body uninjured and a judgmental bitchy nurse telling her she overdosed. A couple cops tell her she was found naked on the side of the road. Why then, does Angel remember screaming metal and all that blood?

Turns out a terrific cure for drug addiction is zombification! the only downfall is one must eat brains.

This new and different twist to zombies is freaking awesome! The very human parts of Angel as she learns how to live life as a brain eater was often times gut wrenching and the addiction part of it all was spot on. It had me in tears a few times, just feeling for Angel as she faced the emotional demons all us addicts and alcoholics do when we can no longer numb out with substances and must face ourselves. This book was so much fun and I’ve listened to it again. The first reading of it had me laughing so hard in bed at times I asked B if he had heard me in the other room. Allison McLemore is freaking fantastic and really brings Angel to life, dropping jokes and one liners with a sweet southern drawl. I recommend this book to anyone! I do warn you, some of the scenes are a bit stomach turning as Angel is learning how to consume the brains she needs to live. Live? Stay alive? Keep her body going? Not rot? Super zombie powers, activate!

Rating: Marriage Material

‘White Trash Zombie’ at Audible

It’s fitting I was up to this book on the list today since I once chatted with the author, Diana Rowland, on Twitter about how we find an MRI relaxing and even have slept in the machines. I had an MRI today. Just a routine one, not one under the duress of f severe flairs. I’m establishing care with a new neurologist and he wants a baseline and to see what my brain looks like. I wonder if my brain is baseball shaped.

It was awesome, they let me pick Josh Groban radio to listen to on the headphones in the MRI machine. Unfortunately it was a Pandora like station so there were artists other than Josh Groban too but they were all relaxing.

I find the MRI comforting. The bangs and vibrations are meditative. I used to think I was just really weird until Diana Rowland tweeted one day about sleeping in the MRI machine. Kindred spirits!

She’s awesome! There are two more White Trash Zombie books in the future. I’ve read the four that are out. Hehehe had my braaaaaaaaain looked at today bwah ha ha!

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2014 Book List, Audio books, humor as coping skill, misty eyes, NaBloPoMo 2014, sobriety, spoons, twitter me this

“We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart – narrated by Ariadne Myers – Fun, Frustration, Javelina

I can’t remember why I got this book, if it had been a daily deal or one that was discussed often on Twitter. Maybe both. The great thing about collecting authors on Twitter is I get a lot of good book suggestions. I sometimes jot notes to myself about books as I’m reading them, though I don’t do it as often as would come in handy with how behind i get on book posts. On my list, I had just written, “raw emotion” next to this title. That was so not helpful! The only thing I could distinctly remember about this book was that I had the twist figured out really early on and was disappointed. So why had I written raw emotion? Had I lay sobbing as I listened to this book? I just could not remember. I quested out to the me of late May but nothing was jogging my memory. I downloaded the book last night and listened to the last chapter.

Ok…yes, I remember that…uh huh, right, yes. I don’t remember sobbing or anything oh wait listen to the narrator’s voice begin to shake with the emotion of the character oh yes, oh oh no, yes I remember that raw emotion and suddenly I could recall laying curled in my bed back at the apartment, body wracking with sobs, and I wished I hadn’t had to remember.

Honestly, if I had read this book in print, I’m not sure it would have gotten me like it did. The narrator though, either it got her or she’s just a really good actress. That’s all I’ll say about this book. Even the publisher’s summary reads that if someone asks about the ending, llie. I added E. Lockhart to my collection on Twitter and she’s a fun follow. Someone tweeted her that they think of Professor Lockhart from Harry Potter when they see her name and she joked that the family doesn’t acknowledge him.

I didn’t even give ‘We Were Liars’ a rating on my book list, just raw emotion. I suppose that gets a so good rating.

‘We were Liars’ at Audible

I had a day that started fun and ended with frustration and fatigue. I had an appointment to get my hair cut this morning and I always enjoy trips to the salon. That tends to be where I do my socializing. Jayden loves the cousin of my hair stylist. The two shair a studio together. There’s always fun talk in there and lots of laughter. I’d had plans for the afternoon to get together with a friend for a smoothie but she forgot she had a doctor appointment and that was probably a good thing because after I had my lunch I got hit with a wave of mind numbing fatigue. I just collapsed on the couch for awhile after trying to find Jayden’s wobbler and failing. He had pushed it halfway under the couch the crazy dog. I found it later when I asked him to show me and he went right back to the end of the couch he had taken me to an hour before and pointed. I got down on my back and reached under the couch and just was able to grab the Wobbler. How he wedged it under there I’ll never know but I was proud of him for the way he showed me where it was.

The frustrating part of the day was finding out the blind center got its funding cut for independent living classes for people under the age of fifty-five. I won’t rant here because I did that on Twitter and Facebook. Good came out of that because an old friend who now works at voc rehab told me to call her at the office on Monday. So there’s hope. I just want to learn my block sO JAy and I can go for walks. Crap when was caps lock turned on? Oh I am soooo not going letter by letter. Sorry if I yelled for part of this post. I’m freaking tired haha. Blah.

Ok stupid freaking javelina! A friend of ours got attacked by them tonight. I am so grateful we have a wall now! Damned useless pig rodent monsters!

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2014 Book List, desert life, fellowship, Jayden, jayden quirks, misty eyes, NaBloPoMo 2014, spoons, twitter me this

‘Fall of Giants’ and ‘Winter of the World’ by Ken Follett – narrated by John Lee – A Character Name Revealed

These books were freaking fabulous! I have Ricardo to thank yet again for the recommendation that I read ‘Fall of Giants’. We are both huge fans of historical fiction and this book introduces the reader to five families before World War One and the Russian Revolution and we see that history through their eyes and lives. Go down into the mines with thirteen year-old Billy as he becomes a man and descends for the first time. He introduces us to the Welsh characters and begins the book, hooking you instantly with his youthful optimism and pride. As characters from the other of the five families are introduced we feel as though we are shaking the hands of real people. John Lee’s narration lends the right amount of accent to each person be they Welsh, Russian, German, English or American. It always cracks me up when the majority of a book is done in accents other than American when the first American character is introduced. I always think, do we really sound like that?

The second book in the trilogy follows our families into the harrows of the Nazi Regime and the dawn of the atomic age. While the events of the first world war were terrible, what follows in ‘Winter of the World’ was nauseous making. The extermination by the Nazis of the elderly and disabled…I’ll admit my ignorance and say I had to look that up because I wasn’t sure if what I was reading was just embellishments on history by the author. It was too much to hope for poetic license however. Is this why I was never taught the truth about history in school? Do they wish to protect young minds? I knew how terrible the Nazis and Hitler were. You can’t ignore the fact that concentration camps existed, though I know there are those who believe the Holocaust was made up. When you read about these events while walking beside characters who are likable and human, the result is truth mixed with fictional humanity, the only saving grace of which is knowing that what happened to the daughter of a character from the first book didn’t actually happen because that daughter didn’t exist. It is when you remind yourself that women like her did exist that you feel a piece of your heart break.

Sitting here thinking about those people I spent so much time with during these two books is making a lump form in my throat. I don’t question where Follett gets these ideas, like the dogs, oh the dogs, like I do of say, Stephen King or Gillian Flynn, because Follett wrote these books straight out of history. That makes it all equal parts horrible and page turning. In complaining to Ricardo just now about the subject matter being rough, he reminded me, “but there is something of overcoming adversity to be found.”

I don’t know what else to say about this trilogy except when I had begun the second book and found out the third wasn’t out yet, I wanted to throw something. People who begin this trilogy now are lucky it’s complete. Oh, I had jotted a note on my book list, the note simply reading: Sears and Roebuck catalogue. There was a hilarious scene where a Russian just back from America is showing his girlfriend the catalogue. While it was funny, it was also a bit embarrassing. the woman couldn’t believe all the things one could buy in America. Like a tractor. A tractor! In the same catalogue as pajamas. We really do love our capitalism.

When I was getting the link to the first book at Audible, I luckily noticed a free interview for members with Ken Follett and John Lee about ‘Fall of Giants’. It was wonderful! I will now be checking out Follett’s Pillars of the Earth Series. The link to the interview is below the links for the books.

‘Fall of Giants’ at Audible
‘Winter of the World’ at Audible
Link to interview with Ken Follett and John Lee

Wow, so bad writing days happen even when you’re just writing a blog post haha. That was like pulling teeth to write. Yesterday I watched a webinar with Scott Westerfeld that filled me with love and optimism for my novel, maybe that’s why writing a post about something other than my fictional world was hard? Haha! I was seriously so happy after I finished the webinar yesterday. According to Scott’s definition, I am most definitely a writer even though I haven’t yet been published. I eat sleep and breathe my characters, I can’t sleep when I wake in the middle of the night in their world, I think about writing all the time, so yeah, I’m a writer according to him. Squeee!

I am also incredibly grateful he told the story of walking down the street with his wife, novelist Justine Larbalestier, talking about the novel he was working on, ‘Extras’ the fourth book in the Uglies trilogy, and he thought out loud that maybe he should write the book from the little sister’s point of view and Justine said, “oh my God you have to!” Unfortunately he had written almost the entire novel so he went back and completely changed the point of view from one character to another, not just from third to first. Oh wow.

So, I immediately made a decision about my own novel, luckily nowhere near completion, having changed my female protagonist’s POV from third to first a few weeks ago and writing my male protag in the third person. While I liked the concept, feeling more like her POV was closer since it was in first, I wasn’t soled on the idea so after hearing Scott’s story, I went and changed her back to third. My friend Davis made a funny joke on Twitter about that:

@newspaper_manbaserunning mistakes will doom you.

Baseball is life. The rest is just details.

After reading that little story to myself, I feel it’s time I reveal my female protag’s name, because I mentioned the book ‘Extras’. I named my girl long before I read ‘Extras’. She was actually a completely different character I made up when I took the F2K fiction writing course. I named her Ren for that course. I have since morphed Ren from an FBI Agent to a fifteen year-old high school sophomore. There is a character named Ren in ‘Extras’ but I swear I didn’t name her after him! He’s awesome though. I think the two Ren’s would get along well.

1 Comment

Filed under 2014 Book List, Audio books, baseball, fellowship, gratitude, misty eyes, NaBloPoMo 2014, twitter me this, writing