On the Night Table [59]

Happy Monday, everyone! And if you’re in Canada, I hope you’re having a solemn Remembrance Day. Selfishly, I took the opportunity to catch up on sleep, rearrange my bedroom bookshelves, and shelve some read books to gain some order in my life.

I started reading Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis last Saturday, and even if there’s nothing mind-blowing about her advice, it helped me gain some perspective about how I’m feeling lately. The root cause of my maudlin mood that has nothing to do with the weather, but with how I’ve been overwhelming myself with shit that don’t matter.

The first thing I did was deactivate my personal Facebook account. I’ll tell you how I feel when the week is through. The next thing I did was well, clean my bedroom even though my bedroom is pretty spartan to begin with, I still thought it could use a bit more organizing. My bedroom is my haven and where I do the most of my reading, so it has to be clean and organized all the time. I also cleaned my bookshelves in my bedroom to make room for the books that were sitting on the floor. I definitely need to do an unhauling one of these days, but I just don’t know where to start. Sigh.

Anyway, like I mentioned on my recent Hoarders post, I finally reached my all-time goal of 2,000 books. As well, my Goodreads goal for the year of 230 books. So this week, I decided to read the books I received for review — which isn’t much considering I’ve hold off requesting for most of the year:

Quichotte by Salman Rushdie | What Makes Us by Rafi Mittlefehldt | Well Met by Jen DeLuca

All these books are from Penguin Random House Canada. I also got The Toll by Neal Shusterman from Simon & Schuster in the mail last week but I haven’t read Thunderhead so I can’t read this yet. I’m re-reading Scythe so I can read Thunderhead.

I’m also endeavouring to read The Institute by Stephen King — only the second Stephen King novel in my arsenal. As well, Madame Bovary which is a classic lit about an unsatisfied married woman looking for romance in her otherwise lackluster marriage. I’ve always wanted to read it, so I thought since I now have the time, I might as well.

Please come back and check out my review of Dirty Letters by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward on Thursday, the 14th. It’s my tour stop and y’all know I haven’t done too many of those as well. This is all for now, everyone. Thank you for being my sounding board. <3

Have a great week!

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Life Lately.

We’re halfway through August already. Can you believe it? My kids are freaking out some because summer is drawing to a close. My eldest starts university and my boy will be in year 7 come September. Our summer has been uneventful. Aside from my daughter turning 18 and her graduation, we’ve pretty much become homebodies — all of us.

I have been plagued with injuries and illness all summer long so health and fitness suffered a great deal. I am, however, reading a lot. And when I can, writing reviews that I’ve yet to post.

I missed my 8-year anniversary on the blog back in August 6th, but that’s okay. I haven’t given up yet. Reading-wise, I’m determined to reach my goal of 2,000 books read all time this year. I’m currently 92 books away.

READING UPDATES

I’m currently reading this one. It’s a darkly comedic crime fiction featuring an 11-year old girl and her recently released from prison father on the run from an Aryan gang. I’m enjoying it so far.

This started out well, but it’s petering out to something lacklustre. I hope it improves but I’m running out of pages.

I hope you’re enjoying your week and your current read. 🙂

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Hello, October!


Hello!

I know, I know. I’ve gone and flounced on ya again. I’ve run out of excuses – not that I’m looking for any. I’m just…life, yanno?

Yesterday, I was thinking…You know, October sounds like the perfect month to get back on the horse again, so I figured, why not?

Let’s start off with how I’ve fared with my stacks of books, shall we? I’m happy to announce that I’ve met and surpassed my Goodreads goal for the year. I started off with 100 books, but I’m well on my way to reaching 150 before the year is out. All thanks to a recent discovery: the library audiobooks. I went ham on all the physical books that I had in my possession and borrowed their audio counterparts. I haven’t put a dent on my stacks, but I sure have made some progress.

I even managed to read and reread some favourites. I borrowed the entire Charley Davidson compilation; read and re-read The Love Quotient, started some series that I’ve always wanted to read (The Mercy Thompson series was a dud, btw. I flounced on the books), and finally, finally read the first book to the Harry Potter series (it was a’ight). Overall, the reading has been great even if my blogging and reviewing books has been dismal.

However, I wrote a few reviews even though I was on hiatus.

As far as September went, and based on the pic above, you would think it had been a great month. But I only read 11 as opposed to my usual average of 15-20 books. The ratings are as follows:

  1. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green – 1 star out of 5.
  2. The Royal We by Heather Cocks – 3 stars out of 5
  3. Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse – 2 stars out f 5
  4. Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe by Preston Norton – 5/5
  5. Home After Dark by David Small – 4 stars out of 5
  6. Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young – 4 stars out of 5
  7. Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks – 4 stars out of 5
  8. Ripper by Isabel Allende – 5 stars out of 5
  9. Inferno by Dan Brown – 4 stars out of 5
  10. Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx – 4 stars out of 5
  11. Boomerang by Noelle August – 3 stars out of 5

My favourite read of the month was Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe. It was so incredibly real, full of heart and kindness but not in the most obvious way. I absolutely loved it.

My least favourite read was Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. I just didn’t gel with the characters. If you’re familiar with John’s work, you should already know that his characters are way too intelligent to function most times. /sarcasm. They’re perfectly flawed, and inscrutibly hard to pin down. I had a hard time empathizing with Aza’s mental quirks/disorders. It got to a certain point where I found her annoying – which is unfortunate, because it makes me sound like a heartless bitch who can’t sympathize with someone who has her numerous mental issues. I’m probably not going to write a detailed review because I would most certainly end up ranting.

So, I apologize for the word vom. I wanted to keep this short but I had so much to talk about. I hope I’ll be on my best behaviour and keep this thing going, but you never know, yanno?

Thanks again for everything. For hanging in here with me.

Looking forward to visiting you guys!

 

 

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At Home: Five Things About My Week


Hello.

How have your week been? Well, allergies are slowly going away. I’m still stuffed up but I don’t have nearly the same urge to gouge my eyes out in the last couple of days so it’s going great. My reading have slowed down just because I can’t keep my eyes open. A cold compress helped the itchiness a bit so I was able to sleep. It’s been a rough allergy season, I tell ya. Other than that, here’s how my week went:

Gave Up Coffee As My Pre-Workout.

I discovered AMRAP. It’s a preworkout supplement that helps me last longer during gruelling workouts. It’s carb-free and because it’s made with Stevia, it has natural sweeteners. I find that I’m not as sore as I usually am after a 3-classes session. So, hurray! I might be cured of my coffee addiction after all. Haha.

Reading: How to Survive A Summer by Nick White

…in A Gay Conversion Camp. There are no ghost stories around a campfire…or smores. What you’ll get is a dark, gritty tale of a son of a preacher man who was sent to this camp. The ghost story becomes his own horror story.

Watched Infinity War and Cried Within 5 Minutes of the Movie.

…because: (spoiler)LOKI.

Bye, Garmin. Hello, Fitbit

I was a FitBit girl to begin with but then I switched to Garmin only to realized Garmin is stingy with steps and calories. Steps – I don’t really mind but calories? During the last few months, I learned that if you’re not feeding or fueling your body enough, you are not going to lose weight. Weird, right? But what your body does actually when you’re restricting calorie intake is that your body goes into a survival mode wherein it hoardes all the fat in your body to sustain itself. According to Garmin, I was only burning 100-150 calories per half an hour session. When I switched to Fitbit, I’m burning up to 250 calories per half an hour session. I take at least 4 classes a day, so the calorie count makes a big difference. Hence, the change.

Hockey Playoffs are Killing My Mojo

Come on, Jets! I can’t believe we’re going to lose to a freshman team. We are better than this! Ugh. In a way, I hope they’ll put me out of my misery soon. So tired of these highs and lows.

What have you been up to this week?

COMMENTS ARE LIKE CUPCAKES. Nom. Nom.

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Life Lately

 

Hello.

Gosh. It’s been ages since I’ve shown my shadow here on the blog. Well, I’m not going to apologize for the 2,357th time because I can’t seem to find my groove and saying sorry would only proved to be fruitless. I am still unable to find traction in this crazy life I seem to live now. But I think it’s enough that I do find it in me to pop in from time to time.

The Year That Never Happened

Needless to say, my 2017 ended with a weak ‘poof’. I didn’t meet my goal of 150 books. And I barely blogged in the latter half of the year. But despite all that, I’m still pretty happy that I read as much as I was able to. Granted, I’ve done a lot of re-reading old favourites but reading is reading. I would worry when I no longer feel the need to read, period. As such books are still my constant company. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing, where I’m going. I always have a book or two within reach. I still visit the bookstore from time to time but because I’ve been so out of the loop, I don’t know what’s out and what’s good nowadays. Hopefully, I’ll be more aware this year.

Still Going

Health-wise, I’m on the latter end of my fitness goal. I have 15 lbs left to lose. I’m down 60 lbs since I started in May. I’m still going doing boot camp classes 4 times a day, 6 days a week. My goal this year is to run. I’ve started running for 20 minutes before and after my classes. I’m hoping to gain enough endurance to bump up my speed (currently at 5.0 on my treadmill). I am at my healthiest I’ve ever been and happiest with my body. I used to be so adverse to selfies, but one of the side effects of weight loss is I’ve gained self confidence. My gym helped me break out of my shell. I put myself out there; I help new members. I gained so many friends just by being a member of my gym. Honestly, it’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. And I’ll forever be grateful.

2018 Read Blog Read Blog Read Blog

I’ve lessened my reading goal to 100 instead of 150. Besides the fact that I haven’t got room for more physical books, I’m going to be relying heavily on audio books this year. I’ll probably share my year in books sometime in the near future.

Thanks for sticking around.

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Life Lately: A Very Slow Month


Oh, man. May has been insufferably slow here on the blog. This is what happens when you have an obsessive personality. You can only focus on one thing and one thing only. Sigh.

So I’m not sure if you’re following me on Instagram but I mentioned how I found my fitness motivation again a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been eating healthy, going to boot camps, and walking whenever I get the chance. I’ve been pretty active. But now, my reading has suffered. I seriously have not picked up anything of substance for a couple of weeks now. And even though I’ve read a few good books that I’ve not reviewed, writing chops have taken leave as well. Oh, the struggle.

But it is June! I’m trying to figure shit out. I’m trying to make use of my time properly. My workouts are scheduled and I figure, if I can do the meal preps for the week on weekends, I might have some time to read and blog after the gym. Let’s hope.

Sadly, I only read a few books in May.

  • Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel (Themis Files, #2)
  • A Quick Bite by Lynsay Sands (Argeneau, #1)
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Ruby by Cynthia Bond
  • Exit West by Hamid Mohsin
  • Library Principle by Helena Hunting
  • Felony Ever After by Helena Hunting
  • Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

Again, my apologies for being scarce everywhere. I do hope June will be better. Let me know what you got up in May, and thanks for your continued patronage!

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Life Lately


Hey, all!

Am I glad to be writing a post again! It’s been soooo long. I’m sorry for the disappearing act once again. The Spring cleaning that I’ve started a couple of weeks back turned into little projects that kept me away from my blogging duties. But I’m back now and hoping to sustain this little burst of momentum that will keep me on track for the next few months. Lol. At some point, I’ll try and share with you what I’ve been doing on my break. But for now, I have an April recap of sorts.

April By the Numbers

All in all, I read 18 books in April and a good amount of romance novels. I started the Dark Carpathia series by Christine Feehan but after the first book, I don’t know if I should continue. Maybe I’ll give it another go and then make my decision from there. I read the Wedding Belles series by Lauren Layne. And have only managed to read one non-fiction for the month (Alter Egos by Mark Landler). I finally read a book that’s been on my wishlist since the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, The Improbability of Love started out great and petered out into a huge disappointment. Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett was ho-hum awesome. Easily my favourite read of the month. Here’s the rest of the list:

  • Promises to Keep by Genevieve Graham 4/5 stars
  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor 5/5 Stars
  • The Chosen by JR Ward 4/5 Stars
  • The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson 1/5 Stars
  • Geekerella by Ashley Poston 3/5 Stars
  • The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild 3/5 Stars
  • Alter Egos by Mark Landler 3/5 Stars
  • Mister Moneybags by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward 4/5 Stars
  • Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett 5/5 Stars
  • The Scribe of Siena by Melodie Winaker 5 /5 Stars
  • Mr. President by Katy Evans 3/5 Stars
  • Commander in Chief by Katy Evans 3/5 Stars
  • Time Was by Nora Roberts 3/5 Stars
  • Times Change by Nora Roberts 3/5 Stars
  • To Have and To Hold by Lauren Layne 3/5 Stars
  • Dark Prince by Christine Feehan 3/5 Stars
  • For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne 3/5 Stars
  • To Love and To Cherish by Lauren Layne 3/5 Stars

A barrage of 3-star-ratings, as you can see. I did have a couple of 5-star-reads, though, so that more than makes up for what would otherwise have been an unremarkable reading month.

That’s been my April. How was yours?

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Life Lately

Hello, Readers.

I turned 43 last Saturday. Instead of a big birthday bash (which never happens, anyway. Lol.), I opted to drag my family to my city’s contribution to the Resistance. Winnipeg Walk for Human Rights’ main purpose was to let the world know that our city, our province, our country is open to everyone. It was also our way of walking hand in hand with our Muslim brethren especially in light of what happened in Quebec. I can’t say enough about how much I appreciate the country where I live in right now. We are progressive and our sitting provincial administration, though, Conservatives still care about the very foundation this country on which it was built.

I was sure that I would get grief from my family for marching in below 10-degree weather, but actually, they expressed their gratitude for having “forced” them to go. It’s great to be out and be a part of the community for once and ever since then, my husband and I have been talking about politics more and more. I greatly appreciate this newfound point of interest because the last year and a half or so had been frustrating for me. Literally no one in my family wanted to talk about politics so I have been involved in way too many social media debates which weren’t fun at first because I was letting it get to me. Nowadays, I’ve developed a much thicker skin so trolls don’t bother me anymore.

This is me. I didn’t have a pink toque (beanie, for you Americans) so this is my version of it. I did wear a bright pink scarf, though. The walk wasn’t very far but it was certainly a cold day. And then afterwards, my husband took me to the bookstore for my birthday treat. I picked up quite a few books which I will share on my Hoarders post sometime next week.

The walk was great. I was mostly in a reflective mood. I was able to think about how different this birthday has been for me in comparison to the previous ones I’ve had. I’ve matured in some ways and regressed in some and I’m okay with that because it’s me, all me and I don’t have to be sorry for anything. I’m looking forward to what life has in store for me.

Come at me, bro.

 

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Life Lately


A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong | Close Enough to Touch by Colleen Oakes | Promises to Keep by Genevieve Graham


Hello, lovely readers!

Oh, dear. It’s the last day of 2016, folks! I can’t say I’m going to miss it. It’s been such a brutal stretch for everyone, to be honest so I’m sure you’ll forgive me when I say, good riddance. Besides the fact that the world is probably going to hell in a handbasket, the health scare that pops went through really tops the shit-flavoured cake I’ve been force-fed this past month. But I’m happy to announce that he’s doing well. He’s at home taking it easy and recuperating well. If I haven’t thanked you yet, please know that your kind words, prayers and well wishes are all very much appreciated.

I’ve decided to flounce out of blogging over the last couple of weeks because I figure y’all would be busy during the Holidays anyway. So I didn’t do much but read as much as I can. I reached my Goodreads reading goal way ahead of time and have managed to go over and above my target. However, I wasn’t able to beat the number I posted last year. But that’s okay. At least I made it! How did you do?

Books For Review (above)

Thank you to St. Martin’s Griffin for sending me a copy of A Darkness Absolute. Last year’s City of the Lost was one of my favourites, so I was really happy when they sent me a copy of the sequel. I can’t wait to see what Casey and Sheriff Daulton get up to this time around.

I also got a couple of books from Simon & Schuster Canada which I’m so excited about. I’ve already read Close Enough to Touch (so good!), and looking forward to reading a new historical romance from Genevieve Graham. I have been eyeing her books for a while now but just haven’t gotten around to them. Thanks so much for sending me these books, dear publishers! These were sent to me at the beginning of the month which I haven’t shared until now.

Last Haul of the Year


Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates | Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin | What I Told My Daughter by Nina Tassler | Blood Vow by J.R. Ward | Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer | Another Day in the Death of America by Gary Younge


I’ve already read Between the World and Me which I will talk about briefly on my Top Reads of 2016 post (going up tomorrow). I picked it up last week and have read it twice just because. I also picked up Another Day in the Death of America which, if you’ll remember was included in my Christmas wish list. Well, no one really gave me books for Christmas so I had to buy it myself. That’s okay. I posted the list late so none of my family members knew which books I wanted. That’s all on me.

December Reads

I don’t know about you, but whenever I’m feeling low, I tend to seek out books that give me comfort. More often, that’s Sandra Brown. And since I’ve more or less polished off most of her backlist, this month, I sought Romance instead. So I gluttoned myself with Lauren Layne and Sawyer Bennett. And they did the trick. I read 17 books this month and most of them romance novels.

Thanks for the wonderful year, everyone! It’s been tough for all of us but amidst all our disagreements and dramas, I know we’ll stick to each other no matter what. I will make myself scarce in the social media (except Instagram) so don’t be alarmed if you don’t see my shadow on Twitter and Facebook.

Happy New Year and please be kind to one another most especially to yourself. <3

 

 

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Life Lately

Helloooooo

By show of hands, how many of y’all missed me? ^.^

Sigh. So I think I mentioned it on my last life update that my dad had a heart attack and needed a bypass surgery. When everything was said and done, he ended up having a quintuple bypass surgery. Let me tell you, I didn’t even think that was possible and it was rough for all of us. Here in Canada, there are frailties in our health care system (even though it’s still worlds better than the US’). They don’t allow patients to linger in hospital beds. So if they think you can walk on your own in a matter of days after having such an intensive surgery, they’ll send you home. Well, after just two days, they sent him home only to suffer a relapse on the first night. He’s been confined to his hospital bed since suffering from a wide variety of complications. So that’s what I’ve been up to. Taking care of dad and making sure he’s eating the right stuff (saltless, sugarless, taste-less stuff). I’m also working so by the time I get home, I barely have time to do anything else.

On Reading

I’m still working my way through Trevor Noah’s memoir. I just don’t have the capacity to read anything else but Sandra Brown’s books nowadays. But I’ve found a good motivation recently to finish the book, so here’s hoping I’ll have a different book on my currently-reading shelf soon.

On Hoarding

I swear, I haven’t bought anything in a while. I have so many books I want to get, though. And there are currently 8 books on my Book Outlet cart. *sobs* I’m hoping Santa will be good to me this year and gift me with a bunch of gift cards from my favourite bookstores so I can get ready for 2017. Lol.

Here’s the last batch of books I got from the Black Friday sale at Book Outlet:

Angry Optimist: The Life and Times of Jon Stewart by Lisa Rogak | The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin | Dear George Clooney: Please Marry My Mom by Susin Nielsen | The Bet by Rachel Van Dyken | All the Old Knives by Olen Steinhauer | A Bad Day for Sorry by Sophie Littlefield | Mortal Gods by Kendare Blake | The Veil by Chloe Neill | Half the World by Joe Abercrombie | Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas | The Boy Next Door by Katie Van Ark | Antigoddess by Kendra Blake | 100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith | The Body in the Woods by April Henry | Beautiful Secret by Christina Lauren | Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman | All is Calm, All is Bright by Colleen Coble | The Penguin Book of First World War Stories | Code Orange by Caroline B. Cooney | The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent | The Deserter by Paedar Ó Guilín | Bits & Pieces by Jonathan Maberry | Elusion by Claudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam | The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett | 500 Days by Kurt Eichenwald | Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas | Born of Betrayal by Sherrilyn Kenyon | Born of Defiance by Sherrilyn Kenyon | Magic Shifts by  Ilonah Andrews | Ungodly by Kendra Blake

Ridiculous, eh?

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