I lost my mom when I was much younger and it wasn't until recently that I started to look around for grief therapy or even grief books. It was actually an HBO documentary that sent me back looking. When it first happened there wasn't as much in the way of therapy for kids near me or even stuff on the internet but now it's so much better and I really appreciate how there's more stuff available. I think it helped me to learn about grief and how other people dealt with death. That's probably weird but I guess that's how my brain operates.
I picked this up after reading the blurb to add to my 'grief bookshelf.' Which, yes, I have a sub-section just on grief and other bereavement books/articles. I don't find the books sad, instead I find them interesting and calming. Which, again, might be an odd view but I think it helps.
Ty Alexander has her own website, which fits into the "lifestyle" category of blogging. She talks about her travel, beauty, fashion tips, etc. plus life advice and commentary. She also has a podcast in addition to all her social media. I think her blog is nice, and it's one of the ones I follow even though I can't wear Ty's style as well as she does (nor am I technically in her 'audience'), I do enjoy reading her blog posts. She also gets migraines, girl I feel you! :(
Cold As Ice is the second book in this series. I'm kinda combining them. The Ice Series is around seven books and the Fire series is an offshoot, set in Louisiana more or less. So far there is only three books in the Fire series and I'm impatiently waiting for the rest. This book also got a new cover but as of this moment I only have the older hardback and an e-book. The cover from the hardback and the new paperback are vastly different (but it looks like an updated eBook cover).
The setting for this is the Caribbean waters, England (Wiltshire and London) and America (New York and California...I think). Three of the characters reappear in this book from the first book and one new character is introduced. You don't have to read the first book to follow along with the plot here, but it does add to the development of The Committee story line.
The older paperback/e-book cover is below. The icicle motif continues, even though it doesn't quite make sense since most of the beginning action takes place in the Caribbean. Still looks cool though.
I'm a HUGE Bill Bryson fan. I enjoy his snark and observations and his humor just kills me. I have all of his books (not his newest as of yet) and there's only been one that I haven't truly enjoyed.
I really liked his book about the history of normal household objects (At Home) and died while reading A Walk In The Woods (about his hike of the Appalachian Trail). You don't need to read his books in order of publication, instead I would suggest by picking the subject matter that you like best.
I read I'm A Stranger Here Myself before I left to live overseas and read it again when I got back. I thought it was funny before I left...I thought it was amazingly hilarious when I got back. It's amazing how fast you can adapt to a new environs sometimes, and going back to the old normal can mess with your system. For instance, when I came back to America after a year, the new Coca-cola Free-style(?) soda mixer machine had been introduced. I had all sorts of disgusting combinations and I swear I was jittery for a week. It was a lot of soda. When I got back to Scotland and met my friend at Subway...with the four choices of soda I was kinda in a tailspin. It's that stupidly bizarre.
I'm A Stranger Here Myself details the Bryson family's return (or moving) to America after two decades of living in England. Bill Bryson wrote essays for his newspaper back home and this was turned into a book. It's an observant view of the mundane, the exciting, the ridiculous and the beloved aspects about life here. I simply cannot adore this book more.
So awhile back I mentioned that I thought Anne Stuart changed publishers. She got new covers for some of her re-published works and some of her back list was being digitized. That doesn't necessarily mean she got a new publisher but I was struggling to find her in my local indies for awhile.
This series of books are all romances with a reoccurring plot line where the super secret organization known as "The Committee" is involved. Normally I'm not overly into governmental spy/military agencies with no oversight from Congress (::coughblackwatercough::) because that's how you get into multiple decades of a war in which many people die and no one goes in for war crimes that probably should.
I got off track. These books are not blackwater-ey. Which is good. Nor are they full of alpha-military-assholes (although they are a band of mercenaries). Also good. The main leads tend to be Anne Stuart's norm of "bad boys" and her norm of slightly frigid career women. Granted, I just read a long form associated with Ronan Farrow's book about NBC and their cover-up of Weinstein and Laurer so I think frigid career women tend to be more of a defense because of men like that. It works in my head right now.
Fun Little Coffee Table Books: A Day In The Life Of Marlon Bundo and Then You Die of Dysentery
I picked up these books on a whim (and also because John Oliver makes me laugh/The Trevor Project is a lovely organisation). The first was from John Oliver's show with proceeds from the book going to The Trevor Project and AIDS United.
The book is titled A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo and was written by Jill Twiss and illustrated by EG Keller. The illustrations are in a watercolor style with soft colors. The story is fairly uplifting...although the stinkbug (the bad guy in the book) absolutely is reminiscent of VP Pence. That's fine with me of course, I think Pence is able to withstand some ribbing.
It's a short book (40 pages) and is written for children (or at that level). It's really adorable.
A Wicked Snow By Gregg Olsen
I think I started this during a bubble bath and then finished it the next morning over coffee. I have a little sun room that's perfect to have a Sunday morning coffee if you're a heathen. The picture is a bit blury below, I got enlarged in the whole process of putting it on the blog. I mean, to be honest, it's a snapshot from my insta page...because the coffee moves. That's a fun little app find there.
Anyways. I was a bit hesitant to start this book because it's always a 50/50 shot with male authors isn't it? (More like 80/20 innit). I have to say, Olsen did not let me down. There is violence (I mean, a serial killer killed multiple people here) but it's not detailed and graphic. There actually isn't a whole lot of violence against women and the main character isn't as flat as most female-centric books written by male authors. It sounds like faint praise but I mean this as high praise. Gregg Olsen did well!
Don't come for me with #NotAllMen. I get it. It's enough men writing women poorly that I don't feel bad for saying it. Also, it's enough men that the last time I talked to the bookseller at my local indie she mentioned that one of the books I picked up (and then re-shelved) had poorly done female characters. She did recommend a better (male) author who had actually worked hard to not have flat lady characters, so I ended up purchasing that one. It's a thing.
Universal Studios, Orlando Florida
**Not Including The Wizarding World of HArry POtter, I'll hit that later**
Universal Studios and Disney are in the same town (Orlando) and sometimes my friends and I will do a girls' road trip down. We tend to stay more at Universal as times go by because Disney raises it's prices constantly and sometimes the stress of going to Disney with people who don't go regularly can be a drag. Which isn't nice of me to say of course but if you've spent a ton of money on a flight, hotel, tickets and are on a schedule (with or without crying, tired children) it can be really stressful. And those people probably don't want to deal with my friends and I as well leisurely stroll through the park. They've also automated a lot of it and there's all these sign-ups, you can't take a spontaneous picture with Gaston or Chip/Dale, you have to be on a list. This probably seems super weird but people are assholes and mob the characters. So, that's good...but it's put a huge crimp in my ability to game the system and ride Splash Mountain multiple times.
Universal is the home of Harry Potter's Wizarding World of the Impoverished Tourist...or something like that. For real, Universal is a lot of fun. Sure, there are super stressed people there too but they have misters (which is something Disney needs to add), they have rides and they have Dippin' Dots. The park is divided up by 'genre' as well, there's the Dr. Seuss Park, Superhero Park, Harry Potter land, comic's, etc. There's a boardwalk (adjacent) with movies, restaurants, bars and concerts. There's a parade, I tend to skip all the Park Parades, but they're great for kids.
And misters. Florida is hot, y'all.
Well, I suppose the next couple of weeks will educate a bunch of people in Constitutional Law...including me. What a time to be alive (a stressful, stressful time!).
I'm also thinking about getting Invisalign. Well, I put down the payment so I'm absolutely getting it. I was the bad child who didn't wear a retainer and my teeth shifted. My bottom teeth are worse than my upper part, and you can't really even see my bottom teeth but it bothers me. I figure I might as well make myself happy (plus I've saved up for it). It was cheaper than what I budgeted by $1000 so that was exciting. It covers all my dental visits, all the retainers and any future retainers, etc. I think it's a good deal plus it set my overly-anxious mind at ease because the doctor will be checking all my teeth out as they move (every month more or less). I know other companies are cheaper and use tele-dentistry but that doesn't make me feel secure. I guess I want a dentist up in my mouth (in a professional capacity).
Strangely, the only time my teeth didn't bother me was in the United Kingdom. Not that the Brits had bad teeth--although I'm aware of the stereotype--the beauty/fashion standards were different. For example, not every actor and actress on television (news, commercials, shows, etc.) had perfectly capped, white teeth. Not every CEO. Not every single model. It was really interesting seeing how I reacted to everything as well. My wardrobe, hair and makeup all changed to I fit in more. I'm back in the USA though...and my teeth really bug me again. I might finally kick my gum habit.
This has nothing to do with the book. At all. I just wanted to tell anyone I'm getting Invisalign because I'm kinda excited. Right, so Famous In A Small Town is a Young Adult (YA) contemporary fiction. It deals with a group of friends in a small town named Acadia that are going into their last years of High School. The main character is named Sophie and Sophie is head of the student side of the Band Fundraising Committee. Her goal is to send the band to California for a parade/competition. This would look good on her college admissions essay (which she carefully plotted out, unlike Lori Loughlin and co.). Her big idea is to get the hometown songstress, Megan Pleasant, to come back and perform, raising money for the band. Unfortunately, Megan Pleasant has vowed to never return.