Category Archives: sicky sick

Hanging with Ro Episode 14 – New Year’s Eve in Flagstaff Style

On New Year’s Eve, B and Jayden and I piled into the car and drove up to Flagstaff, AZ. The band Quiet Riot was doing a show there so we had been planning the trip for about a month. When he first asked me if I’d want to go I thought it would be fun to chill in the hotel while he went to the concert, but then I considered going to the show. It had been years since I rang in the new year anywhere other than my bed haha! I ended up not going though because it would have just been too loud for Jayden and for me. I like my hearing, thank you very much.

The drive up was uneventful. I listened to Josh Groban non-stop. B started telling me about snow on the ground next to the highway the closer we got to Flagstaff. Snow! When we arrived at the hotel the temperature change was quite drastic and the breeze bit my skin as we walked to the lobby. Inside I quickly put my Rays hoodie on.

The room was great! It had a little kitchen with a full size coffee maker. I brewed the coffee they provided but it wasn’t good so we’d have to hit a Starbucks so I could get some instant.

We relaxed for a bit in the room and after I fed and relieved Jayden, we headed to the casino to eat. B had to pick up a player’s club card which was the ticket to the show. Sitting in a diner at a casino at 5pm is super creepy. Unless it was just this particular one. It sounded like the most depressing place. There was no laughing, no idle chatter, no music and I kept hearing what sounded to me like a zombified game of Marco Polo.

As we ate I listened and finally got that people were walking by the diner saying, “Kino,” and the staff at the diner parroted them back in a very lackluster voice. Alrighty then.

Then B noticed the band walking right by the diner! He named each member as they passed. The drummer was last, the only original member of Quiet Riot and B said he was the only one with an entourage. Me: Really? B: Yeah, two people.

They were carrying their own bags and everything. Life as a washed up old hair band? It was still cool though.

As we were walking onto the actual gaming floor to get B’s pass, a security guard stopped us. I couldn’t hear what he was saying so he spoke up. He was asking if Jayden had paperwork. I blurted that I have an ID for him but I think the guy could tell I was shocked at the question. He said something like, “what are those dogs called, I can never remember.”

“I’m blind and he’s my guide dog.”

He let us go then. It was bizarre.

The game floor was so smokey! It rather disgusted me and I couldn’t believe I used to do that. I guess I have become the grumpy ex-smoker haha! It’s not so bad outdoors but inside there? Whew!

B got his pass and we went back out into the cold. Wow cold. I mean, cold!

We headed back towards the hotel and I used Siri to locate a Starbucks. Now I had real coffee and was good to go. We hung out for a bit and B tried watching that awful duck show. He switched to New Year’s stuff and there was a year in review show that was rather interesting. We never watch TV other than sports, so it was an experience haha! They discussed things I had only read about on Twitter. Pop culture anyone? It’s lost on me.

After B left I decided on a whim to record a voice note and it morphed into a Hanging with Ro episode. It had been awhile since I recorded myself being a goofball haha!

Ok so now for Hanging with Ro Episode 14. How perfect is that? Episode 14, ringing in 2014. Whoa. *opera voice* Spoooooky! *end opera voice*

So there are two files. This first one is the longest. I think it’s around forty minutes or so. I had no idea where it was going when I started haha! Topics include but are not limited to:

*Breaking the rules with Jayden

*Being out on New Year’s Eve. I just remembered the last time. It was 2005/06 and Georgie and I went to an AA New Year’s event. We were both in our first year sober and we were so scared we’d get hit by a drunk driver.

*Muttmuffs

*B stands for…

*Getting distracted and laughing at the TV

*Seriously? That’s CNN? Anderson Cooper giggling.

*Remotes hate me.

*2013 year in review. Colorado to see Chupa and my first Rays game. Feeling fabulous in Colorado.

*Hip pack humiliation.

*Bad summer, bad health oh who’s singing?

*Josh Groban. How I love the Josh Groban.

*We need to move. Teeth. Not move teeth. Ow.

*Gamma

*I don’t get TV.

*I make a cup of instant coffee but not in the closet.

*I sing la la la and the Josh Groban love begins with gusto.

*Flagstaff smells good.

*I try and describe the Grand Canyon.

*More Josh Groban drool only this time with songs on the iPad. I’m pathetic.

*Ok Josh maybe I didn’t hear that right from you I can’t be certain because you all talked a lot.

*Wow I was sniffling already. I got totally sick the next day.

*The song that made me cry in the car is a Stevie Wonder cover.

*Here is the translation to the song I was swooning over.

*I tell you to look up this clip on youtube so here it is.

*Ok wow I really am happy being me, trust me.

*Who’s outside the window?

*I wish I could shut up my humming.

*I waste time trying to play a song. I didn’t realize I had lost my wifi so I couldn’t get it from the cloud. Here’s the other Brave song by Sara Bareilles. You’ll probably recognize it from those Microsoft commercials.

*I wrap up this portion finally haha!

New Year’s Eve Part 1

And we’re back. This one is about sixteen minutes.

*I’m paranoid it’s not recording.

*Two minutes away from 2014.

*Loud upstairs neighbor.

*David DeJesus is mentioned. Baseball must be on the brain.

*Sleepy girl

*Midnight in New York phone call.

*A totally lame Arizona midnight but at least I checked the time at the exact right moment.

*Evan Longoria. He is seriously mentioned in every single one of my audios. You’d think I do nothing but talk about that man!

*I talk about the Phoenix trip I had forgotten to mention in my year review. Who got to go on the field at Chase Field? Thank you David Price!

*Phoenix killed me though. Well not really since I’m alive but you know.

*Disappointed girl in a Vanderbilt shirt.

*Dave and Andy!

*Learning from mistakes.

*Sleepy iPad scrolling. More talking about Josh Groban. Here’s the song I talk about where his voice becomes part of the instrumental. I really think that’s one of my favorites.

*Finally come to my senses and wrap it up. I also mess up a New Year blessing haha!

New Year’s Eve Part2

I was up when B got back. Just after I stopped recording, fireworks started and there were a lot of people outside the hotel. When I took Jayden out I couldn’t believe how cold it was! Wow. When I asked Siri she said, “brrrr, it’s twenty-two degrees.” B and I talked about the show and then I tried to sleep and failed miserably.

The next morning I woke up way too early and sat on the strange uncomfortable couch waiting for B to get up. Even he couldn’t sleep late. That hotel was so noisy!

We took our time getting ready and headed out to the Grand Canyon. I was sneezing a lot and wished I had taken some of the cold meds I brought with us. The Canyon was about an hour and a half from the hotel. On the road leading to the Canyon, there was suddenly a huge heard of elk! Do they roam in heards? Is it spelled that way? Hmmm.
Anyway, B had exclaimed, “deer! Wait, those are too big to be deer.”

“Are they elk?” I asked.

He said I was probably right and explained that a few crossed the road and several were on the side grazing on grass. Cool!

We parked and found the restroom and I had a total panic attack in there because it had hand dryers that sounded like freaking wind tunnels and they hurt my ears and Jayden was affected by them too and holy crap it was good to get out of there.

We made our way to where B could see the canyon and I listened to all the accents around us and children and different bird sounds. It was very cold and breezy. I did not feel well. There was much more walking than I had expected. I mean it’s a huge hole in the ground. It doesn’t seem like you should have to walk very much to find an edge. It had been sixteen years since I’d been there so couldn’t remember. I wanted to get to a good spot to get a picture with Jayden and me in front of the canyon but it was going to involve steps and there were too many people and yeah. Blah.

I snapped some pictures with my iPhone and sent one to Twitter and apparently it was lovely. Let me see if I can find the tweet. Ok I can’t find it so I asked Twitter. Might just have to upload it again. I should really figure out Word Press pictures haha. Here’s the picture. Thanks, @L_Squared!

So I just got sicker and sicker as we went back to the hotel. I collapsed for a bit and then we started trying to figure out food. The only two places that were open on New Year’s Day were The Outback and Sizzler. Sizzler? They still have those? That was my first ever job. I was a salad bar keeper. Fried shrimp entered my brain and that was all I could think about. So we went there and there was actually a huge snow drift in the parking lot! I had my fried shrimp but I was so miserable I hardly remember it. Bread pudding for dessert. I thought a rap in my head: I had dinner, at the Sizzler with my mister, on New year’s Day, while I had a fever. Wow. Um. Yeah hi. I won’t quit my day job. Oh wait, I don’t have one.

We went back to the hotel and I did some packing up and crashed. That was pretty much it! It was a really good time and I’m glad we did it. I felt pretty good there in Flagstaff, minus being sick of course. It was like how I felt better in Colorado. High elevation and cold, I tell ya. I used to think I’d like to live in Flagstaff but I don’t think so. Just too cold and there’s an odd feeling there. Just like in Sedona when I went with B several years ago. We both feel it in northern Arizona. Just an odd feeling. It’s a nice place to visit though!

Happy 2014 everyone! I hope you enjoyed the audio if you listened.

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Filed under apple Inc, baseball, coffeeholic, Dental Health, evan longoria, Gamma, gratitude, hanging with ro, holiday, Jayden, Microsoft, music, new year, num num food, plugs, random stuff, sicky sick, silly girl, sobriety, spoons, twitter me this, Voiceover, weather, white cane, wow, youtube

Carnival Post – LittleLesson

I was really drawing a blank as to what to write for the 13th round of the Assistance Dog Blog Carnival. Lessons? How to narrow that down, especially since Jayden and I have been a team for quite some time now. February will be four years! Wow! Our work is just routine now for the most part. I was having such a hard time coming up with a lesson I’ve learned about Jayden and myself as a team.

today however, something very small happened. Something so small that no one else would notice. Something not even related to Jayden as a guide dog, but Jayden as my partner and best friend.

Jayden and I are very routine based. I never realized just how routine based my life had gotten until I was talking to my friend Ricardo one day and he said I am the most regimented non-military person he knows. That is such a true statement! I have found that sticking pretty closely to a routine helps me manage life with MS. I won’t go into specifics on that since that is another post. The point is, Jayden has gotten very used to certain things happening at certain times during the day. These certain things namely being when he gets to eat something and when he gets to um, lighten his load.

After his afternoon outside session, I always give him a Kong Wobbler with a handful of kibble from his morning meal. For some reason I have turned French when I ask him if he wants his Wobbler. It’s true, just ask Carol. She’s been on the phone with me when it’s Wobbler time. “Wooblah? Se wooblah?” It doesn’t translate well to text.

Anyway, after Jayden has finished with his Wobbler he comes to find me and I ask him where it is and he shows me. Sometimes it’s in the middle of the floor, sometimes it’s wedged underneath the couch or the bed. When he shows me I get all excited and praise him and he gets a cookie (dog biscuit). This happens every single day. He gets his afternoon snack and a game and high praise from me.

Here is where the lesson comes in. I’m under the weather today. I think it’s a cold or something. It doesn’t have me flat but it’s not pleasant. This afternoon I forced myself to shower which completely wore me out. It was time to take Jayden outside and I just wanted to sit down afterwards and relax after the shower exhausted me. So I split a banana with Jayden.

Jayden loves bananas! We split one in the mornings after his second outside session. You ask if he wants one and he literally bucks into the kitchen, not running or jumping, bucking like a bronco. So I thought a banana in the afternoon would distract him from the Wobbler. We shared our banana and I sat on the couch, happy to relax with my feet on the ottoman.

Not long after I picked up my keyboard, I felt Jayden’s chin on my leg. I immediately knew why.

What lesson did I learn today? Never ever try to fool a dog as smart as Jayden. That banana did not make him forget about his Wobbler and praise and cookie for a second. Jayden is now curled up beside me on the couch, his belly temporarily satisfied with his afternoon snack and extra banana.

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Filed under blog carnival, Doggy Diaries, fellowship, Jayden, jayden quirks, num num food, sicky sick, spoons

Let the Updating Begin

Ro? Who’s that? Oh wait, is that the chick with the guide dog named Jayden? Yeah, I remember her. She kinda disappeared though, didn’t she?

Hola one reader I have left haha. My friends on Twitter know I’m alive but for those of you who read here and for future me, the posting has been sparse, I know. I haven’t been well most of this year so far. Even the book posts had become daunting, trying to think enough through brain fog. So as a result, I’m behind on book posts and general updating.

I had to have a colonoscopy last month because I kept having recurring episodes of diverticulitis even though I thought I was doing everything necessary to prevent it, avoiding nuts and seeds, exercising though that had become sporadic due to the pain of the diverticulitis blah blah blah.

After the attack in March my doc made me see a gastroenterologist and he wanted to do the colonoscopy to check me out. He said surgery might be an option so I was preparing for that possibility. He started me on daily fiber and probiotics to make sure everything wasn’t inflamed for the procedure and I instantly started feeling better.

The preparation for that procedure was horrible! I had to drink stuff the night before and couldn’t eat the whole day before, then I had to drink stuff the morning of and I won’t go into the gory details but I was most definitely emptied out.

B and Jayden came with me and the nurse said when B led Jayden away once I was on the gurney, Jayden kept looking back like, but, um, what?

I was a little nervous about the anesthesia but the nurse explained that it’s a very light drug, not a narcotic, you go under quick and come out quick. When the doc injected the IV, the nurse said I should be feeling sleepy. I said, “I’m not feeling sleepy at all.” Then I woke up. They made sure my vitals were good then went and got B and Jayden. Jayden was so happy to see me he put his front paws up on the gurney even though he knows that sort of behavior is forbidden haha! B said Jay slept in the lobby but when he woke up he kinda freaked out a little bit. One of the medical staff was telling B and me how terrified of dogs she was since she grew up in the Philippines and there are a lot of wild dogs there that chased her when she was a child. She actually pet Jayden and he licked her hand. She was telling all her coworkers, “did you see me pet the dog!?!” It was so cool!

I was so glad that thing was over and the doctor told me afterwards that he didn’t see the need for surgery, just keep on fiber and probiotics. Yay! Probiotics tip, get them on Amazon. Much cheaper! Oh and he said the nuts and seeds thing doesn’t hold true anymore. He said eat what I want, just stay on fiber and probiotics. Oh, almonds, oh, tomatoes, oh, happy!

So that hurdle was cleared just in time for the next one, a massive staff infection. I’m the luckiest girl in the world! Again, I’ll spare you the gory details but here’s a tip, if you get an eruption of painful boils on your arse, take that arse to the doc and fast. I ended up getting a shot of antibiotics in said arse, a culture sent to the lab, a nasal ointment to kill the staff that lives in the nose and a course of oral antibiotics. I grossed out the nurse practitioner and made my doc exclaim, “ouch!” when she came in and saw me. Fun! We were all a little nervous that it was the antibiotic resistant strain of staff but it wasn’t, thank God.

Antibiotic tip, always always always take the full course prescribed. Always. These bugs are getting resistant to antibiotics because people stop taking them when they feel better and they leave one little bug in their body that learns how to adapt to our medicines and then tells its friends. So please, always take your full course and don’t push your doctor to give you antibiotics for things like colds. It’s possible I have success with antibiotics because I only take them when absolutely necessary too. If you take them all the time, eventually they won’t work in your body. Also, if you get boils, be very very careful with the stuff that comes out of them. If it happens to be staff, it is highly contagious. I was grateful I used to work in medicine and knew how to care for contagions.

All this staff stuff went on a week before I was getting on a plane to go to Colorado to visit Chupa and go to a Rays game. That’ll be it’s own post or two coming soon with links to photos, audio and video. I wrote on Twitter last night that I’d write at least a post per day until I was caught up with book and trip posts. If it’s on the internet, it must be true. All the illness and then the trip took its toll on the MS and my body but I think I’m bouncing back, knock on wood.

Oh before I wrap this up, I want to give kudos to Jay and his terrific work when we went for the meet and greet with the gastro doc. We took paratransit for that one and the office was under construction so not only was it a brand new place that neither of us knew, there was walking between buildings and following medical staff. Jayden did excellent work as usual. I’ve thrown a lot at him the last few months and he’s done nothing but keep me safe and sane through it all. Good boy!

Edit: The staff had nothing to do with the colonoscopy. The boils started before that procedure.

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Filed under Amazon, doc, Doggy Diaries, humor as coping skill, Jayden, sicky sick, silly girl, spoons, twitter me this, working dog

From the Desk of My Somewhat Sleep Deprived Mind

I’m going to make a sleep deprived label I’ve decided. Yep, it’s that time again so I went and did a search for my sleep deprived posts and they’re getting up there. Best to have a label, yeah? It’s currently 6:04am as I begin this post. I’ve been up for awhile and I should have seen this coming. The other morning I realized I was awake and after some time, finally checked the time. Time. Let’s write it again. Time. It was 2:30. Whoa baby! How bout no? I lay there thinking I needed to put the meditation bells on. I have this app called AmbiSci 300 and it’s got all sorts of ambient sounds. The meditation bells are perfect for lulling me back to sleep. I just stick my phone under my pillow. It takes some time but it works.

That time I fought to get back to sleep because I was fighting an infection and knew I needed my rest. This time, damn that was only a few days ago I think, I just gave up. Did that make sense? No. But do these posts ever make sense? I decided when I checked the time and it was 4am, that that was late enough to just get up and make coffee since it was pretty obvious it was time for another sleep deprived day. I usually sleep really well though I had to laugh when I read the last sleep deprived post that my doctor had asked how I was sleeping and I told her fine only to not sleep that night.

Speaking of the doctor, I love her but I’m seeing her too much lately. Did I see her last Monday? I think so yeah. I told her it was much nicer to run into her at Joe’s Crab Shack than to be constantly seeing her at the office. I’m just falling apart, ya’ll!

I have a meet and greet with my new gastro doc in April. Yep, a gastro doc. I get to have a hose in me bum. What? A colonoscopy. Weeeeeee! I had more diverticulitis even though I’m doing absolutely everything I’m supposed to in order to prevent it. Nothing with seeds. No nuts. No tomatoes unless diced. I’m even avoiding lettuce after reading that it’s difficult to digest. I take a fiber supplement. I exercise regularly. Still I got the pain. That’s just not normal, doc says. I was expecting her to say I had to have the bum hose when I got that last attack. Now It’s just the damn waiting. Hurry up and wait. It’s not even like there’s probably anything that can be done anyway. They’ll just go in and make sure nothing more serious is going on and then that’s it. Maybe I’m being too cynical but at this point in my life, after living sick for so many years I’m just like whatever dude, throw more at me. Might as well. My life is already incredibly limited and messed up, why not give me more? Bring it! Hey, maybe I’m given all the stuff that others wouldn’t be able to handle so they don’t have to handle it. Not that I believe that any of us are given anything on purpose, but sometimes it’s nice when I’m giving myself a pep talk out of depression to think that maybe I’m preventing someone else from going through what I go through even though I know that’s not true. It’s not like I went blind so you wouldn’t have to and it’s not like I have MS so you don’t have to and it’s not like I have to get a bum hose so you don’t have to because guess what? Even if you’re the healthiest person alive, you’ll still have to get a bum hose one day if you stay on top of your screenings bwah ha ha ha!

My cat, Timmy, is snoring on the couch next to me and Jayden is on the floor at my feet which is odd because usually he’s on the couch with me. All the animals are like, what are you doing up? And Jayden is probably like, when the coffee is on, I’m usually not hungry and my bladder is usually relieved so wtf? Yes, my dog thinks wtf ok?

So if the narrator you’ve always thought should narrate your memoir says you should write your memoir when you tell her that you want her to narrate it but then you’d have to write it, you have to write it, right? I also got to thinking, now that my blog is hosted, if I die, it’ll go away. That’s a terrible thought. If I die, will someone figure out where I’m hosted and pay it? Hahaha! So then I thought back to Lorelei King tweeting me to “do it, baby!” and I was like, well at least that would be a legacy but then who am I to leave a legacy? I’m no one. If I wrote my memoir, would you read it? People have told me from the beginning of my blindness that I needed to write my story. However what voice has stuck with me? The negative one. I need to shut that voice up. Maybe if I wrote a memoir I could be somewhat self supporting because damn, relying on something other than myself for income really sucks. Then again, authors are going broke since people only want to pay ninety-nine cents for a book on their stupid electronic devices so really, can anyone make money selling books anymore unless they’re Stephen King?

Alrighty then I think that’s about all I have. I think I’ll publish this thing and then go add a sleep deprivation label of some sort. It’s 6:25am, do you know where your teeth are?

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Filed under coffeeholic, doc, humor as coping skill, I might be a writer, Jayden, plugs, rambles, random stuff, sicky sick, Sleep Deprived Fun, spoons, Timmy

“The Elves of Cintra” (The Genesis of Shannara Book 2) by Terry Brooks – narrated by Phil Gigante

I’m going through books as though they’re water right now since I’m stuck resting with another bout of diverticulitis, which is really disheartening since I’ve done everything I’m supposed to to prevent such attacks. The silver lining is that I have additional time to read and it was just good timing since I’m on such a great series!

I’ve noticed a trend with second books in trilogies. They tend to be so good and action packed since neither story development nor conclusion is necessary. “The elves of Cintra” was just non-stop. The characters I came to love in the first book are seemingly all put into mortal peril at some point. So often I found myself shouting, “no! Don’t go over there! No!”

While these books are set in the future and involved fairy creatures and demons and elves and magic, the story is still very topical. In the world of these books, civilization as we know it today is no more because of the actions of our generations. War and negligence of the environment have led to this terrible and unimaginable dystopia, where mutations have created lizard men and giant insects and an entire host of horrors. It truly is a battle between good and evil and evil is winning.

In ‘Elves’, I was so happy to have the cliffhanger I’ve dealt with for years resolved! I think I’ll be reading more by Terry Brooks in the future. The Genesis of Shannara books are apparently in between two other related series.

Oh, the narration of Phil Gigante is wonderful. I think his voice and characterization is much better suited to fantasy type books than Dick Hill’s was in the first book and I love Dick Hill. Gigante just has the right sound for these books in my opinion and I’m glad he did the third as well.

Ok, I’m off to snuggle on the couch with Jayden under a blanket while I listen to the third book. I’m so excited to see how the series will end. Wish me luck making it through until Monday, would you? That was the soonest I could get in to see my doctor. I’m avoiding urgent care like the plague unless I develop a fever, so I’m eating just enough soft food to stay alive. 😉 I shouldn’t have mentioned plague, since plague is rampant in the Genesis of Shannara books and our warring made it happen…

Rating: So good!

“The Elves of Cintra” at Audible ~ “The Elves of Cintra” at Amazon

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Filed under 2013 Book List, Audio books, Jayden, sicky sick

San Diego Recap Part Three – Zoo Part Two

Ok, I’m going to attempt to write the rest of the zoo recap in one or two more posts. I didn’t realize just how much we packed into just a few days haha!

When last I wrote, I described different textures and the condor attack.

I was having such a good time! It was awesome to get to work Jayden so much. We stopped a lot to rest and give Jayden water. It wasn’t hot, but we were in a lot of sun. I was on antibiotics that don’t do too well in the sun. Do you see where this is going?

We encountered inclines often but I handled them fine, having been doing inclines on the treadmill at the gym a lot. However we hit an incline that did me in. There was no way for me to know how long this thing went. It was steep steep steep, and it just kept going and going. The sun was beating down on me and all at once I was just done. B laughed, saying I’m the one who works out, that is he laughed until I reminded him that MS doesn’t like it when I get hot and the antibiotics didn’t like sun. We stopped and rested on a bench but then had to go up some more. By the time we reached the top, I was scared. I did not feel right at all. I told B I needed to stop and eat or find a nurse’s station. We had to walk a lot more to find a place to eat. B got me sat down and then went back and forth, telling me what was on the menu at the counter. I just wanted water. He got me a huge bottle of water and a burger. The water was awesome but I could hardly eat. I was near hysteria I was getting so scared and trying not to show it. After not moving for a bit I started freezing so B went and got me coffee. We were hoping I could go on once I was nourished but no. I told him we had to find medical staff.

As we got back near the front of the park I was feeling so bad because there was still half the zoo B hadn’t seen. I had known it might be a challenge to walk the whole zoo but I never expected to get that sick. I did feel a bit better after the huge bottle of water and half a burger and B and Jayden were both making sure I took it slow. As we neared the entrance I freaked out.

“Wait! What if the nurse insists on calling an ambulance or something? I’m not that sick, I just need to not walk.” I had stopped dead in my tracks. B waited for me to decide what I needed. I came to a decision and hoped he’d go for it. “Find me a bench in the sun and you go on.”

“Are you sure?”

I could hear the doubt in his voice. “Yes, I’ll be fine, I have Jayden, just find a bench in the sun. If we leave now I’ll never forgive myself.”

He reluctantly found a bench in the sun. I had my long sleeve top on and my Rays cap so I wasn’t concerned about the antibiotics but if I didn’t sit in the sun, I’d freeze. He made sure I was sure and I shood him away. Jayden passed out at my feet and I just listened to the people as they passed. I texted B, telling him to take his time and enjoy himself. A minute later I heard his voice asking if I was sure. Hahaha! He had taken a turn and found himself back where I was. He took off again and I resumed listening. The best thing I heard was this,

“Doggy! Doggy doggy!”

“Of all the exotic animals he saw all day, he’s most excited about the dog.”

Some people commented on how beautiful Jayden was as they passed. About fifteen minutes into my resting, I was feeling tons better. A woman asked if I knew the time. I checked my phone and told her it was a quarter of two. Little did I know I was about to have one of the coolest experiences of my blind life…

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Filed under Doggy Diaries, Jayden, sicky sick, spoons, working dog

Inaugural Center of the Roof Top Ten Book List

*I’ve been working on this post for about a week or so now. I can’t believe it’s finally finished! The following books weren’t all published this year but I read them all for the first time this year. It’s a monster post; it kinda morphed on me. I hope you enjoy!*

It was incredibly hard to narrow down a list of ten books out of all the books I’ve read this year (fifty-nine, whoa!). After deciding to make this list, I began going through all the books and jotting down titles that I thought might make it. It has been difficult to remove books and juggle titles as I read more and more books this year! It has also been incredibly fun and I know several people who have been anxiously awaiting this post. I’ll include a link to my original post about the book and the chronological number with the date finished in parentheses. So, without further adieu, I give you the first CenterRoof.com Top Ten Booklist!

10. “Fifty Shades Darker” (Book Two of the Fifty Shades Trilogy) – E.L. James (#31, August 16)

This book’s post is what sparked the idea for the top ten list and I kept worrying this book wouldn’t even make the list as I read more and more books this year. however, it made it to the very end, I think starting off in the seventh position. Excerpt from post:

Darker” takes us to knew and frankly terrifying places with this couple. I don’t think I’ve wept so much to a book since “Gone with the Wind’. Did she just compare a “Fifty Shades” book and “Gone with the Wind”? Yes, yes I did.

I have to wonder if I would have reacted the same way to this book if I had been on Lexapro like I am now since I am much less emotional but if not, the idea to do a top ten list might not have been born so I’m glad I reacted the way I did, regardless of why.

9. “The Concrete blonde” (Book three in the Harry Bosch Series) – Michael Connelly (#2, January 9)

This was the first Harry Bosch book I read even though it is the third in the series. A friend of mine bought it for me on Audible after I had read “Void Moon” by Michael Connelly and really liked it. ‘concrete’ was my friend’s favorite of the Bosch books
and it is still one of mine as well. I ended up starting the series from the beginning and counted this book twice in my list, something I haven’t done with later books I’ve read twice this year. I’m so grateful for Harry bosch! I’m nearly caught up with the series and then I will be very sad. Excerpt from post:

The book was published in 1994 and it was really funny to read about communication that couldn’t happen because the car had no rover. They didn’t have cell phones haha! They also used pagers. Wow. Definitely a very good book. The psychology was very interesting and the relationship between Harry and Sylvia was very real, so real in fact, that I related a little too much haha!

Wow, it’s fun to remember this book and think about how far Harry Bosch has come since then and how much has happened. Not only are these books brilliant cop dramas, the character development is superb. Connelly quickly became my favorite mystery writer this year. Love him!

8. “Under the Dome” – Stephen King (#3, January 22)

I did not expect to like this book as much as I did. I remember being thoroughly creeped out and there were several times B would come into the room at night and make me jump. He also wanted to talk about it as I was reading it and sometimes He would stop and listen to the audio book, remembering parts he had forgotten. He loved the book and I quickly understood why. Excerpt from post:

It was incredibly disturbing, but not just because a mysterious and impenetrable dome falls around a small town in Maine. No, what as most disturbing was the human element in this town. Of course there were plenty of good people but the bad were baaaaaad. So bad in fact that I questioned my own morality when I wanted to see bad things happen to these people. They were so bad that B had me scared of our own town car dealer mogul and his commercials.

We have a car mogul in town named Jim, same first name as the creepy car mogul in this book. I hadn’t even thought of it until one night a commercial with our Jim came on and B mimicked the Jim from the book. I broke out in gooseflesh and screamed. It was quite the hilarious moment haha! You know a book is good when it effects you that much even while you aren’t reading it.

7. “Stories I Only Tell My Friends” – Rob Lowe (#7, February 6)

The seventh spot on this list was creating a problem for me. I couldn’t seem to narrow it down but then I noticed that this book was the seventh of the year and this is the seventh spot and January seventh is an anniversary so it just seemed right that Rob Lowe’s book should make the list in this spot. I haven’t read too many memoirs in my life but I thoroughly enjoyed this one and related a ton since both of us have been on our own journeys in recovery. Excerpt from post:

The book follows his journey into acting, from a kid in Ohio to a teen in Southern California, meeting Liza Minnelli and adventures with the Sheen clan. He writes openly about his experiences and the names he drops brought back my own memories of movies I had seen starring different actors from when I was a kid. Although Rob Lowe was before my time, that era of teen movies still had its influence on me. While he wasn’t in The Breakfast Club, that movie introduced me to that famous group of young actors, The Brat Pack, of which he was a huge part.

I follow Rob Lowe on twitter and while he doesn’t tweet often, I’m glad I’m able to follow him. I also took a music recommendation from him, check out Tony Ferrari. When a song from the album plays, I remember it was Lowe’s recommendation and it makes me smile. I like to have reminders of sobriety throughout my day and anything associated with Rob Lowe gives me that. This was such a good book!

6. “A Dog’s Purpose: A Novel for Humans” – W. Bruce Cameron (#27, July11)

I absolutely adored this book! I have Audible to thank for my discovering this. Their sales lead me to books I probably never would have read otherwise and this is one of those. I remember the title grabbing me and the description intriguing me but I was on the fence about it as I shopped a sale. I’m so incredibly grateful I got it! This book was not only entertaining, it taught me even more about how to communicate with Jayden. Our bond got even stronger after I read this book, I kid you not. Excerpt from post:

We get to follow the spirit of one canine through several lives. I call it the spirit of a canine because the spirit is reincarnated into different dogs, but the spirit remains the same, growing and maturing with every experience and bringing those experiences into the next life of the next dog. I went into it knowing that the dog’s spirit takes several forms, and the tension that builds as you follow each life, wondering how this one will end, is incredible. I laughed, I cried, I cried some more, I laughed while I cried, I got on the floor and cried on Jayden while he slept.

I’ve juggled the position of this book on my list so many times I can’t count. It’s been so hard to assign numbers to these books! I love every single one of them but the closer we get to number one, the stronger my feelings grow.

5. “Nine Dragons” (Book fifteen in the Harry Bosch Series) – Michael Connelly (#56, December 15)

I was pretty sure about halfway through this book that it would make the top ten list. It was such an intense roller coaster ride throughout the entire book and those kinds of stories are my favorite. This book took bosch to several places we have never been with him before and it was one of those stories you immediately wanted more of. Excerpt from post:

At one point I was listening while soaking in the tub and I sat bolt upright and stared towards my iPod with my mouth hanging open. Bravo, Connelly! I am going to be so incredibly sad when this series is over! Did you possibly introduce us to your next series character?

I have to give Carol a lot of credit here because she said nothing while I was reading this book and after I finished it and began telling her my predictions for future books she cut me off so as not to give anything away. I don’t know if I’ll ever find another series of books I love as much as the Harry Bosch series!

4. “The Hunger Games” (Book One of The Hunger Games Trilogy) – Suzanne Collins (#49, November 9)

It’s impossible to include this book in the top ten list without mentioning “Catching Fire” and “Mocking Jay”. The books blend seamlessly into one another and you really can’t have one without the other. I never thought I would enjoy this trilogy as much as I did, mostly because of my loyalty to Scott Westerfeld. I think he would forgive me though. Excerpt from post:

I think what makes this book good is that this futuristic world is believable. Maybe it’s my fear of my own future and my deepening mistrust of “the system” that makes me able to believe it. There is also the element of reality TV which you’d have to be blind to not see how this country is getting obsessed with. Is it not conceivable that one day people will hunger to watch contestants kill each other in an arena? Last person standing wins.

I think the second book was actually my favorite of the three. Excerpt from “Catching Fire” post:

While this world is well into the future and hopefully will never happen, it’s believable which makes it really scary. This book takes the characters we grew to love in the first book and plunges them into events unimaginable. I did not want to put it down! The movie is going to be amazing I think.

Excerpt from “Mocking Jay” post:

One of the things that really stood out to me was when {they} are in the capitol and the citizens actually drink something that makes them purge so they can eat more of the delicious food. The rest of the country is starving and these people are vomiting to eat more. I couldn’t help but think about the attitude of so many during this campaign year, those who aren’t hungry who refuse to share, deciding instead to blame the hungry for their own lot in life, as if every hungry person is at fault.

It’s amazing how much a futuristic series was so relevant to today. It’s scary to consider that we are very close to heading towards this made up future.

At the end of “Mocking Jay” there was an interview with Suzanne Collins. She talks about how the idea for these books came from her channel surfing one night. She was tired and the lines blurred as she flipped between a reality show where young people were competing for money and another channel covering the war where young people were fighting and dying. In the interview she lists questions she hopes young people will ask themselves when they read these books and I can’t remember what all the questions were but as she asked them, I had asked them myself.

I loved these books and can’t wait for the next two movies!

3. “The Given Day” – Dennis Lehane (#23 June 17)

It’s getting harder to write more about these books as I go along because when I feel strongly about something, I tend to fall over my words because my brain is moving too fast for my hands. This is one of those books I’m looking forward to reading again but when I finished it, I knew I would need a long break before going back to it. I know there is a sequel to this book coming out at some point so I’ll probably reread it again before that. I love a book that hits me in the gut and this one most certainly did, several times. Excerpt from post:

I loved this book. Ever since reading Scott Westerfeld’s “Leviathan” series, I’ve wanted to read more historical fiction. ‘Given’ is definitely that. I learned so much about post WWI Boston that I never knew. I learned things about early baseball. I unfortunately learned how awful racism was then and how evil men could be. While the story line is fictional, the mood of the time isn’t.

The historical fiction element is what added to those aforementioned gut punches. The present has its own set of problems but reading about the past can be terribly hard to stomach. It’s a good reminder that we don’t have it as bad as we might think we do.

2. “The Potato Factory” (Book One of the Australian Trilogy) – Bryce Courtenay (#28, July 25)

Here we have more historical fiction, this time centering around the history of Australia. This book had it all, incredible writing, fantastic characters, page turning plot, the historical element and best of all, a fabulous narrator. Humphrey Bower gets my best narrator of 2012 without question. A Roofie award? This book and the one before it could easily have been number one, that’s for sure. Excerpt from post:

The main female character, Mary Abacus, goes through things I could never imagine. This is one of those books that sucks you in so deeply that you have a physical reaction to things the characters must endure. This book is definitely not for the weak of heart. It made me extremely grateful to be living in this age and not that one. I used to romanticize living in the 1800′s but I don’t think I would have survived unless I had been one of the privileged.

Yet another example of a book that makes me grateful I live in the time I do, even with its own difficulties. If I had been a blind woman in Mary Abacus’ time, I probably would have died in a gutter.

1. “Gone Girl” – Gillian Flynn (#45, October 25)

Oh, “gone Girl”, I can’t hear the title without shuddering and wishing I had someone to talk to about it. This book was just perfect! I honestly don’t know what to say here. I think I said it all in the review. Listen to me ok? Don’t go reading anything about this book, nothing detailed, ok? Ok. I feel better knowing you’ll heed my advice. No spoilers here or in the original post. Excerpt from post:

It’s a typical story, wife goes missing, husband the prime suspect, but there is nothing even remotely typical about this book. I could not put it down and it was just lucky for me that I was laid up in bed sick so I didn’t have to pause this book for long periods at all. In fact I’m always going to associate a liquid diet with “Gone Girl”. There were several times I was glad I had no food on my stomach while listening to this. I am not going to go into any kind of details lest I ruin this book for you. Please, heed my advice and do not read anything about this book before you finish it. Did you get that? Do NOT read anything about this book until you finish it. No really, are you listening? Don’t ok? Just don’t.

You know that noise you make when you take a bite of something incredibly delicious? Or rather, when you are telling your friends about that food? Yeah, that’s the noise I’m making in my head right now. “gone Girl”, you amazing book you!

1. “Defending Jacob” – William Landay (#41, October 7)

I can’t say anything more about this book than I did in the original review. I’ve already read it again and it was even better the second time, being able to pick out the little hints Landay dropped. I knew back when I finished the book that it would get the number one spot and then the author himself solidified that. You’ll see if you go check out the post. Excerpt from post:

How would your family survive if a member was accused of murder? This novel takes us inside a family that must deal with just that. The father is an assistant district attorney and the member accused of murder is his fourteen year old son. Can a marriage survive that? Will the family make it through the media scrutiny of a trial? If you have children, how do you think you would get through something like this? Would you find yourself doubting your child’s innocence even though in your heart you know he can’t be guilty? He can’t be, right? Right?

I have been considering doing a top ten book list at the end of the year but was undecided, until this book. I am so in love with this book, I would marry it if it asked me. In fact I’m having a difficult time trying to write about it. It’s like when I try and talk about gratitude; I get completely flustered and can’t form a thought.

I just sighed, feeling all my feelings about this book in the span of about fifteen seconds after reading that quote I took from the original post days ago. Quiet reflection, that is the best way I can describe what this book makes me do. I had to lay in bed for a good twenty minutes in the silence after I finished it the first time. Perfect, just a perfect book!

*It’s my blog and I’ll pick two number ones if I want to!*

We aren’t done yet! From the cutting room floor:

Honorable Mentions

“Angels Flight” (Harry Bosch #6) – Michael Connelly

Oh, “Angels Flight”, I keep thinking about you. So good, just so so good! So dark, oh so dark, and nauseous making. So good.

*It’s not every day that “nauseous making” is a compliment.

“The Art of Fielding” – Chad Harbach

It’s really close to a top ten nod but I just don’t know. I might need to create an honorable mentions category…

*This book *almost* made the list. Always a bridesmaid.

“The Brain That Changes Itself: Personal Triumphs from the Frontiers of Brain Science” – Norman Doidge

I was in nerd heaven while I read this. And I found myself more tired during the day after reading this book at night.

*This book will always be known as “that brain book”.

“The Last Coyote” (Harry bosch #4) – Michael Connelly

This book was soooooo good! It’s my favorite of the Harry Bosch books so far, even though it’s only the fourth one.

*Did I catch myself in a lie?

“Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)” – Jenny Lawson

When I started it that first night I laughed so hard I was afraid I’d pee the bed.

*I don’t recommend playing this audio book while driving unless constant laughter doesn’t impede your vision.

The Narrows (Harry Bosch #10) – Michael Connelly

…another beloved character is back in a way, the character who got me back into drinking orange juice.

*Thanks to McCaleb and Jayden, my potassium number is good.

“The Scarecrow” (Jack McEvoy #2) – Michael Connelly

This book was scary to me because with our technology today the scenario was pretty easy to imagine.

*Just call me Sandra Bullock. Carol, that’s for you.

“Solomon’s Song” (Book three of The Australian Trilogy) – Bryce Courtenay

His writing is so descriptive and beautiful you can’t help but feel you’re there, running on that beach with the men you’ve come to know.

*That beach was most definitely not a vacation spot.

They never made it within a mile of the cutting room:

Dishonorable Mentions

“77 Shadow Street” – dean Koontz

It just went on and on and on and then had a really awesome ending.

*That’s what she said.

“1q84” – Haruki Murakami

The book started out pretty cool but it went on and on in several places, so much so that I thought, how did this get passed the editors?

*Editors? We don’t need no stinking editors.

“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” – Seth Grahame-Smith

I do know that several times I felt like Lincoln’s memory was sort of, oh what’s the word…insulted?

I won’t be seeing the movie.

“The Next Right Thing” – Dan Barden

I probably didn’t hear the next few sentences over the noise of the crickets in my head.

*I really think the narration is what killed this book though.

“Zero Day” – David Baldacci

Ok, I liked MacGyver, a lot, but this was too extreme.

*They don’t make TV shows like they used to. Oh yeah, forgot we were talking about books.

Those books might have been bad but at least I finished them. There was only one book I didn’t finish this year and that was “Nano” by Robin Cook. I was very disappointed since I loved him when I was a lot younger but I couldn’t even get into the second half of the audio book. The narration might be to blame on this one but Cook has to take some of the blame as well. I’m sorry, but two smart doctors wouldn’t sit in a break room discussing secretive stuff in front of the guy in the corner no matter how absorbed he looked in his work. Add the adults acting like jealous teenagers and the overly troubled past of the damsel in distress and there was just no way to focus on what was going on, the actual cool part, nano technology. Thanks a lot for wasting over two nights of good reading time, man! I wonder what was up with those poor test subjects? Maybe I’ll look it up on Wikipedia. Thanks Audible, for letting me return this and get my credit back!

That does it for the inaugural year end book post! I hope you enjoyed it, got some recommendations, found some books you’ve read here on the list or just killed some time. This post took days to write and format and I learned a lot for next year’s post, for sure. I can’t wait to see what I read next year! I really enjoyed keeping such close track of every book I listened to. I wonder if I’ll read more or less next year? Thank god for audio books and Audible.com!

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Filed under 2012 Book List, Audio books, gratitude, Jayden, plugs, sicky sick, sobriety, twitter me this

Book fifty-nine in 2012 – “Void Moon” – Michael Connelly

Last book in 2012! I read “Void Moon” the first time a little over a year ago when a friend sent me some books on CD. It was my first Michael Connelly book and I remember being sucked in right away. I also remember thinking it was too predictable but then there would be something I wasn’t expecting. That is one of the things I’ve come to love about Michael Connelly – your inner detective gets to be engaged but then there’s nearly always something you still didn’t see coming.

In “Void Moon”, Cassie Black is an ex-con who stays on the straight and narrow when she gets out of prison after her lover Max is killed during one of their casino heists the pair have become famous for. The old life still calls to her but it’s not the thrill of the caper that brings her back in, it’s the large sum of money she needs in order to make a big move. Another casino heist is just the thing but it goes wrong and before she knows it, Black is being sought after by Jack Karch, the casino’s go-to security man. Need someone dropped off in the desert? Karch is your man.

I decided to get this book from Audible since I had given the CD away and since I’m a collector of books, it was driving me nuts that I didn’t have “Void Moon”. In reading it this time after having read so many Harry Bosch books, I realized that Jack Karch is the anti-Bosch. I don’t know if Connelly did this on purpose or if he even noticed it, but it was rather fascinating to me. Karch is the antithesis to Bosch, yet the similarities are undeniable.

both are great detectives, both lost parents at early ages, both have a sarcastic streak, both are on a mission. While Bosch is a good guy, Karch is not. While bosch always seems to have obstacles in his path, Karch seems to trace Cassie Black with uninterrupted ease. I really wonder if Connelly just had to get this character out of his system, kind of the way Stephen King writes short stories after a big novel to purge the leftover ideas.

This book is one of my favorites by Connelly. I hope one day he writes more female characters; he’s good at it. If I had read it for the first time this year, “Void Moon” might just have made my top ten list, which will be going up this weekend. The post turned fairly epic haha! I’m finally feeling close to recovered from what feels like months of being sick. I’m hoping to finally get to the rest of the San Diego recap soon. I can’t believe it’s the end of 2012 already!

2012 Audio Book List (all unabridged):

1. “IT” – Stephen King – Began end of 2011, finished 1/4/12

2. “The Concrete Blonde” – Michael Connelly – Finished 1/9/12

3. “Under the Dome” – Stephen King – Finished 1/22/12

4. “The Black Echo” (Harry Bosch #1) – Michael Connelly – Finished 1/24/12

5. “The Black Ice” (Harry Bosch #2) – Michael Connelly – Finished 1/27/12

6.* “The Concrete Blonde” (Harry Bosch #3) – Michael Connelly – Finished 2/2/12

7. “Stories I Only Tell My Friends” – Rob Lowe – Finished 2/6/12

8.** “So Yesterday” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 2/10/12

9.** “Peeps” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 2/15/12

10. “1Q84” – Haruki Murakami – Finished 3/12/12

11. “The Stand” – Stephen King – Finished 4/2/12

12.** “Uglies” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 4/9/12

13.** “Pretties” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 4/15/12

14. “The Last Coyote” (Harry Bosch #4) – Michael Connelly – Finished 4/20/12

15. “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” – Seth Grahame-Smith – Finished 4/25/12

16. “Zero Day” – David Baldacci – Finished 5/1/12

17** “Specials” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 5/7/12

18.** “Extras” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 5/13/12

19. “77 Shadow Street” – Dean Koontz – Finished 5/21/12

20. “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)” – Jenny Lawson – Finished 5/25/12

21. “Engines of Change: A History of the American Dream in Fifteen Cars” – Paul Ingrassia Finished 6/1/12

22. “The Glory of Their Times: The Story Of The Early Days Of Baseball Told By The Men Who Played It” – Lawrence Ritter – Finished 6/3/12

23. “The Given Day” – Dennis Lehane – Finished 6/17/12

24. “Trunk Music” (Harry Bosch #5) – Michael Connelly – Finished 6/22/12

25. “The Lincoln Lawyer” (Mickey Haller #1) – Michael Connelly – Finished 6/29/12

26. “The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science” – Norman Doidge – Finished 7/6/12

27. “A Dog’s Purpose: A Novel for Humans” – W. Bruce Cameron – Finished 7/11/12

28. “The Potato Factory” (The Australian Trilogy Part One) – Bryce Courtenay – Finished 7/25/12

29. “Tommo and Hawk” (The Australian Trilogy Part Two) – Bryce Courtenay – Finished 8/8/12

30.* “Fifty Shades of Grey” (Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy) – E. L. James – Finished 8/11/12

31. “Fifty Shades Darker” (Book Two of the Fifty Shades Trilogy) – E.L. James – Finished 8/16/12

32. “Solomon’s Song” (The Australian Trilogy Part Three) – Bryce Courtenay – Finished 8/22/12

33. “Fifty Shades Freed” (Book Three of the Fifty Shades Trilogy) – E.L. James – Finished 8/25/12

34. “The Poet” (Jack McEvoy #1) – Michael Connelly Finished – 829/12

35. “13 Things That Don’t Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time” – Michael Brooks – Finished 9/4/12

36. “Angels Flight” (Harry Bosch #6) – Michael Connelly – Finished 9/8/12

37. “The Scarecrow” (Jack McEvoy #2) – Michael Connelly – Finished 9/13/12

38. “Blood Work” (Terry McCaleb #1) – Michael Connelly – Finished 9/20/12

39. “A Darkness More Than Night” (Terry McCaleb #2, Harry Bosch #7) – Michael Connelly – Finished 9/25/12

40. “City of Bones” (Harry Bosch #8) – Michael Connelly – Finished 101/12

41.* “Defending Jacob” – William Landay – Finished 10/7/12

42. “The Next Right Thing” – Dan Barden – Finished 10/13/12

43. “Lost Light” (Harry Bosch #9) – Michael Connelly – finished 10/17/12

44. “The Narrows” (Harry Bosch #10) – Michael Connelly – finished 10/21/12

45. “Gone Girl” – Gillian Flynn – finished 10/25/12

46. “The Closers” (Harry Bosch #11) – Michael Connelly – Finished 10/27/12

47. “Echo Park: (Harry Bosch #12) -Finished – 10/31/12

48. “The Overlook” (Harry Bosch #13) – Michael Connelly – Finished 11/4/12

49. “The Hunger Games” (Book One of the Hunger Games Trilogy) – Suzanne Collins – Finished 11/9/12

50. “The Handmaid’s Tale” – Margaret Atwood – Finished 11/13/12

51. “Catching Fire” (Book Two of The Hunger Games Trilogy) – Suzanne Collins – Finished 11/18/12

52. “Mocking Jay” (Book Three of the Hunger Games Trilogy) – Suzanne Collins – Finished 11/23/12

53. “The Brass Verdict” (Harry Bosch #14, Mickey Haller #2) – Michael Connelly – finished 11/28/12

54. “The Art of Fielding” – Chad Harbach – Finished 12/2/12

55. “Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base” – Annie Jacobsen – Finished 12/11/12

56. “Nine Dragons” (Harry Bosch #15) – Michael Connelly – finished 12/15/12

{First audio book I’ve ever not finished, half of “Nano” – Robin Cook – Gave up on 12/18/12}

57. “The Reversal” (Mickey Haller #3, Harry Bosch #16) – Michael Connelly – Finished 12/23/12

58.* “11-22-63” – Stephen King – finished 12/24/12

59.* “Void Moon” – Michael Connelly – Finished 12/27/12

*Audio book previously listened to.

** Audio book previously listened to multiple times.

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Filed under 2012 Book List, Audio books, sicky sick

Book fifty-eight in 2012 – “11-22-63” – Stephen King

I often times have a book going on iTunes that I’ve read before. I’ll play it when I’m eating mostly, so in places on my list that have an asterisk next to the number, I’ve probably had the book going for weeks at a time, listening in short bursts. I can’t remember exactly when I started “11-22-63” again but I read through it a lot faster than I expected since I’m under doctor’s orders to rest while trying to kick this stupid virus.

I first read this book last year. It was my first Audible purchase and I knew at the time that I would read it again one day. This is by far my all-time favorite Stephen King book. If I had read it for the first time this year it would be on my top ten list, no question, but alas, it’s disqualified. Silly self imposed rules!

In “11-22-63” Jake Epping, a thirty-five year-old teacher in 2011 has the misfortune of knowing a man who discovers a “rabbit hole” into the past. The man has decided he can go back and stop the assassination of John f. Kennedy, since the rabbit hole leads to 1958. Unfortunately, the man has become sick and looks to Jake to take his place. Will Jake go through the rabbit hole and wait five years in the past to stop the assassination and change history?

I think Stephen King outdid himself with this book, I really do. The first time I read it I couldn’t put it down. I wish I had kept a record last year so I would know how fast I flew through it. Reading it this time through, I had this very strange sense. I knew what was going to happen, just like you would if you went back in time. I kept expecting things to change, just ever so slightly. There were things I couldn’t quite remember so at several points, it was like reading the book again for the first time.

The research King had to do to write this book must have been exhaustive, as King himself admits at the end in his afterward. I learned a lot about that time that I never learned in school, in fact it was reading the Area 51 book that made me want to read this one again. It worked out perfect since I’ve had to rest the last few days, so pretty much all I’ve done is crochet and listen to this book.

If you read nothing else next year, do yourself a favor and read this! After you do, ask yourself what about your future might change if you went back and changed something, even something subtle. This book gets you thinking, that’s for sure. Long time readers of King will also notice nods to past characters and places.

I love this book! I wonder if I’ll be reading it at some point this time next year. Maybe just writing that sentence influenced my future…

2012 Audio Book List (all unabridged):

1. “IT” – Stephen King – Began end of 2011, finished 1/4/12

2. “The Concrete Blonde” – Michael Connelly – Finished 1/9/12

3. “Under the Dome” – Stephen King – Finished 1/22/12

4. “The Black Echo” (Harry Bosch #1) – Michael Connelly – Finished 1/24/12

5. “The Black Ice” (Harry Bosch #2) – Michael Connelly – Finished 1/27/12

6.* “The Concrete Blonde” (Harry Bosch #3) – Michael Connelly – Finished 2/2/12

7. “Stories I Only Tell My Friends” – Rob Lowe – Finished 2/6/12

8.** “So Yesterday” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 2/10/12

9.** “Peeps” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 2/15/12

10. “1Q84” – Haruki Murakami – Finished 3/12/12

11. “The Stand” – Stephen King – Finished 4/2/12

12.** “Uglies” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 4/9/12

13.** “Pretties” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 4/15/12

14. “The Last Coyote” (Harry Bosch #4) – Michael Connelly – Finished 4/20/12

15. “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” – Seth Grahame-Smith – Finished 4/25/12

16. “Zero Day” – David Baldacci – Finished 5/1/12

17** “Specials” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 5/7/12

18.** “Extras” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 5/13/12

19. “77 Shadow Street” – Dean Koontz – Finished 5/21/12

20. “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)” – Jenny Lawson – Finished 5/25/12

21. “Engines of Change: A History of the American Dream in Fifteen Cars” – Paul Ingrassia Finished 6/1/12

22. “The Glory of Their Times: The Story Of The Early Days Of Baseball Told By The Men Who Played It” – Lawrence Ritter – Finished 6/3/12

23. “The Given Day” – Dennis Lehane – Finished 6/17/12

24. “Trunk Music” (Harry Bosch #5) – Michael Connelly – Finished 6/22/12

25. “The Lincoln Lawyer” (Mickey Haller #1) – Michael Connelly – Finished 6/29/12

26. “The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science” – Norman Doidge – Finished 7/6/12

27. “A Dog’s Purpose: A Novel for Humans” – W. Bruce Cameron – Finished 7/11/12

28. “The Potato Factory” (The Australian Trilogy Part One) – Bryce Courtenay – Finished 7/25/12

29. “Tommo and Hawk” (The Australian Trilogy Part Two) – Bryce Courtenay – Finished 8/8/12

30.* “Fifty Shades of Grey” (Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy) – E. L. James – Finished 8/11/12

31. “Fifty Shades Darker” (Book Two of the Fifty Shades Trilogy) – E.L. James – Finished 8/16/12

32. “Solomon’s Song” (The Australian Trilogy Part Three) – Bryce Courtenay – Finished 8/22/12

33. “Fifty Shades Freed” (Book Three of the Fifty Shades Trilogy) – E.L. James – Finished 8/25/12

34. “The Poet” (Jack McEvoy #1) – Michael Connelly Finished – 829/12

35. “13 Things That Don’t Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time” – Michael Brooks – Finished 9/4/12

36. “Angels Flight” (Harry Bosch #6) – Michael Connelly – Finished 9/8/12

37. “The Scarecrow” (Jack McEvoy #2) – Michael Connelly – Finished 9/13/12

38. “Blood Work” (Terry McCaleb #1) – Michael Connelly – Finished 9/20/12

39. “A Darkness More Than Night” (Terry McCaleb #2, Harry Bosch #7) – Michael Connelly – Finished 9/25/12

40. “City of Bones” (Harry Bosch #8) – Michael Connelly – Finished 101/12

41.* “Defending Jacob” – William Landay – Finished 10/7/12

42. “The Next Right Thing” – Dan Barden – Finished 10/13/12

43. “Lost Light” (Harry Bosch #9) – Michael Connelly – finished 10/17/12

44. “The Narrows” (Harry Bosch #10) – Michael Connelly – finished 10/21/12

45. “Gone Girl” – Gillian Flynn – finished 10/25/12

46. “The Closers” (Harry Bosch #11) – Michael Connelly – Finished 10/27/12

47. “Echo Park: (Harry Bosch #12) -Finished – 10/31/12

48. “The Overlook” (Harry Bosch #13) – Michael Connelly – Finished 11/4/12

49. “The Hunger Games” (Book One of the Hunger Games Trilogy) – Suzanne Collins – Finished 11/9/12

50. “The Handmaid’s Tale” – Margaret Atwood – Finished 11/13/12

51. “Catching Fire” (Book Two of The Hunger Games Trilogy) – Suzanne Collins – Finished 11/18/12

52. “Mocking Jay” (Book Three of the Hunger Games Trilogy) – Suzanne Collins – Finished 11/23/12

53. “The Brass Verdict” (Harry Bosch #14, Mickey Haller #2) – Michael Connelly – finished 11/28/12

54. “The Art of Fielding” – Chad Harbach – Finished 12/2/12

55. “Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base” – Annie Jacobsen – Finished 12/11/12

56. “Nine Dragons” (Harry Bosch #15) – Michael Connelly – finished 12/15/12

{First audio book I’ve ever not finished, half of “Nano” – Robin Cook – Gave up on 12/18/12}

57. “The Reversal” (Mickey Haller #3, Harry Bosch #16) – Michael Connelly – Finished 12/23/12

58.* “11-22-63” – Stephen King – finished 12/24/12

*Audio book previously listened to.

** Audio book previously listened to multiple times.

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Book fifty-seven in 2012 – “The Reversal” (Mickey Haller #3, Harry Bosch #16) – Michael Connelly

If you forced me to name a Michael Connelly book I didn’t like very much or else I’d stay as sick as I’ve been permanently, it wouldn’t bother me to name this one. I’m noticing a trend here: books combining Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch have so far been just kinda eh. Although I thought the ending of “The Brass Verdict” was great, so that one was pretty good. “The Reversal” was frankly kind of boring. This really shocks me since it’s Michael Connelly! I think for me, maybe I want just a cop drama or just a courtroom drama, I’m not sure. I think maybe part of it was coming off of “Nine Dragons” after we went so far into Harry’s personal life, this book was just void of that aspect and left me wanting. It was good, the way pizza is good even when it’s not great.

I had planned on spacing out the remaining Bosch books and I tried to read a book after “Nine Dragons” but it was awful, so awful in fact that I couldn’t finish it, a first since I began listening to audio books. It was “Nano” by Robin Cook. I was so disappointed since I remember reading “Coma” when I was a lot younger and loving it. I think the narrator played a part in my not liking “Nano” but adults acting like immature children and doctors discussing private matters in a break room in front of a guy “absorbed in his work so he won’t here” just took away from the story too much and I couldn’t finish it. Maybe I’ll look it up on Wikipedia to see if I can find out what was ailing the poor experiment subjects.

I started another Connelly book last night, not a Bosch book, one I read last year back before I had Audible. It had been on CD and I gave it away, so I used a credit to get the Audible version. I have a lot of other books I could start, but I think Connelly is just comforting to me right now. the holidays are hard. Being sick so much this year has not helped. Is it 2013 yet?

2012 Audio Book List (all unabridged):

1. “IT” – Stephen King – Began end of 2011, finished 1/4/12

2. “The Concrete Blonde” – Michael Connelly – Finished 1/9/12

3. “Under the Dome” – Stephen King – Finished 1/22/12

4. “The Black Echo” (Harry Bosch #1) – Michael Connelly – Finished 1/24/12

5. “The Black Ice” (Harry Bosch #2) – Michael Connelly – Finished 1/27/12

6.* “The Concrete Blonde” (Harry Bosch #3) – Michael Connelly – Finished 2/2/12

7. “Stories I Only Tell My Friends” – Rob Lowe – Finished 2/6/12

8.** “So Yesterday” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 2/10/12

9.** “Peeps” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 2/15/12

10. “1Q84” – Haruki Murakami – Finished 3/12/12

11. “The Stand” – Stephen King – Finished 4/2/12

12.** “Uglies” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 4/9/12

13.** “Pretties” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 4/15/12

14. “The Last Coyote” (Harry Bosch #4) – Michael Connelly – Finished 4/20/12

15. “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” – Seth Grahame-Smith – Finished 4/25/12

16. “Zero Day” – David Baldacci – Finished 5/1/12

17** “Specials” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 5/7/12

18.** “Extras” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 5/13/12

19. “77 Shadow Street” – Dean Koontz – Finished 5/21/12

20. “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)” – Jenny Lawson – Finished 5/25/12

21. “Engines of Change: A History of the American Dream in Fifteen Cars” – Paul Ingrassia Finished 6/1/12

22. “The Glory of Their Times: The Story Of The Early Days Of Baseball Told By The Men Who Played It” – Lawrence Ritter – Finished 6/3/12

23. “The Given Day” – Dennis Lehane – Finished 6/17/12

24. “Trunk Music” (Harry Bosch #5) – Michael Connelly – Finished 6/22/12

25. “The Lincoln Lawyer” (Mickey Haller #1) – Michael Connelly – Finished 6/29/12

26. “The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science” – Norman Doidge – Finished 7/6/12

27. “A Dog’s Purpose: A Novel for Humans” – W. Bruce Cameron – Finished 7/11/12

28. “The Potato Factory” (The Australian Trilogy Part One) – Bryce Courtenay – Finished 7/25/12

29. “Tommo and Hawk” (The Australian Trilogy Part Two) – Bryce Courtenay – Finished 8/8/12

30.* “Fifty Shades of Grey” (Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy) – E. L. James – Finished 8/11/12

31. “Fifty Shades Darker” (Book Two of the Fifty Shades Trilogy) – E.L. James – Finished 8/16/12

32. “Solomon’s Song” (The Australian Trilogy Part Three) – Bryce Courtenay – Finished 8/22/12

33. “Fifty Shades Freed” (Book Three of the Fifty Shades Trilogy) – E.L. James – Finished 8/25/12

34. “The Poet” (Jack McEvoy #1) – Michael Connelly Finished – 829/12

35. “13 Things That Don’t Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time” – Michael Brooks – Finished 9/4/12

36. “Angels Flight” (Harry Bosch #6) – Michael Connelly – Finished 9/8/12

37. “The Scarecrow” (Jack McEvoy #2) – Michael Connelly – Finished 9/13/12

38. “Blood Work” (Terry McCaleb #1) – Michael Connelly – Finished 9/20/12

39. “A Darkness More Than Night” (Terry McCaleb #2, Harry Bosch #7) – Michael Connelly – Finished 9/25/12

40. “City of Bones” (Harry Bosch #8) – Michael Connelly – Finished 101/12

41.* “Defending Jacob” – William Landay – Finished 10/7/12

42. “The Next Right Thing” – Dan Barden – Finished 10/13/12

43. “Lost Light” (Harry Bosch #9) – Michael Connelly – finished 10/17/12

44. “The Narrows” (Harry Bosch #10) – Michael Connelly – finished 10/21/12

45. “Gone Girl” – Gillian Flynn – finished 10/25/12

46. “The Closers” (Harry Bosch #11) – Michael Connelly – Finished 10/27/12

47. “Echo Park: (Harry Bosch #12) -Finished – 10/31/12

48. “The Overlook” (Harry Bosch #13) – Michael Connelly – Finished 11/4/12

49. “The Hunger Games” (Book One of the Hunger Games Trilogy) – Suzanne Collins – Finished 11/9/12

50. “The Handmaid’s Tale” – Margaret Atwood – Finished 11/13/12

51. “Catching Fire” (Book Two of The Hunger Games Trilogy) – Suzanne Collins – Finished 11/18/12

52. “Mocking Jay” (Book Three of the Hunger Games Trilogy) – Suzanne Collins – Finished 11/23/12

53. “The Brass Verdict” (Harry Bosch #14, Mickey Haller #2) – Michael Connelly – finished 11/28/12

54. “The Art of Fielding” – Chad Harbach – Finished 12/2/12

55. “Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base” – Annie Jacobsen – Finished 12/11/12

56. “Nine Dragons” (Harry Bosch #15) – Michael Connelly – finished 12/15/12

{First audio book I’ve ever not finished, half of “Nano” – Robin Cook – Gave up on 12/18/12}

57. “The Reversal” (Mickey Haller #3, Harry Bosch #16) – Michael Connelly – Finished 12/23/12

*Audio book previously listened to.

** Audio book previously listened to multiple times.

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Filed under 2012 Book List, Audio books, sicky sick