2015 – A Good Year For Books

2015 seems so far off but in reality, it’s two weeks away. Being the book lover that I am, I wanted to see what’s coming out in 2015 and now I am super excited about the coming year. These are just a few of the books that I am excited about.

This is coming out in January:

Binary Star

Binary Star follows a young woman battling an eating disorder who takes a road trip with her alcoholic, long-distance boyfriend. Through their desperation, the very lost pair happen upon vegananarchism — what they think will give them some meaning. (Bustle.com)

It’s getting a lot of buzz. Read an excerpt here.

This comes out in February:

I'll Meet You There

I’ll Meet You There is the type of YA book I like. I don’t read YA all that often, but when I do, they tend to be stories like this one.

If seventeen-year-old Skyler Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage-months of summer. Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings them together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper. (heather.demetrios.com)

This comes out in March:

The Buried Giant

Not much info for The Buried Giant except that it’s about lost memories, love, revenge and war. Can’t say I am a fan of the cover but Ishiguro? I am so there. I tried to get an ARC and was shot down again. Sadness.

This comes out in June:

In the Unlikely Event

It’s based on a series of tragedies in the town I lived in when I was growing up, and the terrible time it was for the adults and the children, although the adults never talked to the children about it, no one I know had an adult talk to them about it, so we invented scenarios of what this all meant … And at the same time, life goes on, you go to school, you meet a boy, you fall in love, all the time that this is happening. (Blume for Bustle.com)

Doesn’t it sound good?

Book #2 of King’s Mr. Mercedes series is rumored to come out in June 2015. It’s called Finders Keepers but the cover has yet to be revealed.

What books are you excited about? I’m sure I’m missing some big ones since I’ve been out of the loop lately with what’s coming out.

Sunday Matters: Making a List and Checking It Twice

Sunday Matters

This past week was a good one. The 39 Steps wrapped last night and let me tell you, it was the most hysterical show. I laughed until I cried and then I laughed some more. I believe this was The Teen’s first non-musical performance and it was a lot of fun. He played a bunch of roles but his main role was Mr. Memory.

Mr. Memory

The 39 Steps

 

It rained in California! Yes, it did and there was even a tornado, flooding and mud slides but it moved through quickly and the air is so nice and clean. Another storm is expected for Monday. Bring it on.

I’ve gotten to the point where I need to do my shopping and it needs to be done today. I can’t put it off anymore. We are heading into the last week of school for the kids and my last week at work. Joy! But, that pesky shopping. Tsk. I am sitting down right now looking over my list to make sure I know what the plan is.

Right Now:

Trying to decide if we will attend church or not. Today is a special  service where they turn it over to the kids. It could be fun but The Girl is not in that age range and The Hub, not sure he has the patience for it. I may watch it online. Hmmm. Still thinking about it.

This Week:

Nothing much going on. The Teen has his choir Christmas party, finals and I think he has a choir performance too but that is for a private party and doesn’t involve us. The Girl has a class bunco party and me? Nothing. Well, except for work.

Reading:

Hoping to finish The Rosie Effect. I got sidetracked by King’s short story, A Good Marriage. I had the library book for no less than four renewals and finally sat down to read it. It was a good story. Haven’t seen the movie but I honestly don’t feel I need to. I got what I needed from the story.

Next up, Murakami’s The Strange Library and I am ending the year with it.

Watching:

Chritmas movies. I gotta start watching them now. I am really in the mood for The Family Stone.

Making:

Nothing, right now. I haven’t a lick of food in the house. I really need to hit the market but Chinese take-out sounds good too.

Grateful for:

Today, I am grateful for my little Otter Pup. She has been with us for nearly five years now and is the most delightful little pup. She’s sweet, a bad ass when she needs to be, hopelessly devoted, and funny as hell with all of her antics. People always ask what she is, but I have no idea. We rescued her from the shelter when she was about five months old. She’s some sort of terrier mix but the rest, who knows? She’s only 7 lbs but she secretly thinks she is a much larger dog.

The Otter Pup

Happy Thought For the Week:

One. More. Week.

What are your plans for today? Any special holiday events?

Christmas Wish List

Wrapped Gift

I am trying so hard this year to make the holidays enjoyable while keeping it simple. I’ve been pretty good so far. Some events were combined into one, serving double-duty, and that has helped a lot. Usually I have a small list of things I’d like to have for myself, but this year I really don’t want anything besides time to do the things I love.

That being said, this year’s list is a little different:

  • Time to sip lattes and look at Christmas lights. Maybe I should make it hot apple cider after that last blood pressure reading.
  • Time to read at least a couple of books from my review copy stash. I have so many.
  • Time to watch the following movies (Jingle All The Way (watched!), Christmas Vacation, Christmas with the Kranks, Deck the Halls, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Family Stone, Elf, Love Actually, A Christmas Story, White Christmas, all the old claymation faves like Rudolph and Frosty and I’d like to add at least one more holiday classic that I haven’t seen like Holiday Inn. Oh, and Die Hard and Lethal Weapon somehow end up in the mix when the Hub and Teen show up.
  • Time to enjoy the Christmas meal like a normal person. I just made reservations for Christmas so I am really looking forward to a day without cooking. I plan to savor every bite.
  • Time to listen to some music, whether it be holiday music or just music in general. I don’t listen to music enough and I really enjoy classical pieces.

What’s on your Christmas list this year? Also, (here’s where I get a little serious) if you are struggling this year and just need some positive thoughts or prayers, let me know. I don’t mention it enough but the daily interactions with all of you matter a lot to me and I would be more than happy to pray or think happy thoughts for you.

Review: A Gathering of Old Men

A Gathering of Old MenA Gathering of Old Men
By Ernest J. Gaines
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780679738909, June 1992, 224pp.)

The Short of It:

A short but powerful read.

The Rest of It:

Borrowed from Goodreads:

Set on a Louisiana sugarcane plantation in the 1970s, A Gathering of Old Men is a powerful depiction of racial tensions arising over the death of a Cajun farmer at the hands of a black man.

If you’ve been watching the news lately, racial tension is at an all-time high. How fitting that our book club chose A Gathering of Old Men for this month’s meeting. Of course, we picked the book back in January so we had no idea how it would mesh with current events but mesh, it certainly does.

The story is told very simply and perhaps that is what makes it so powerful. The book opens with the death of a Cajun farmer and in order to protect the person who did it, Candy, a white woman, confesses to the crime. Realizing that many will not believe her story, she gathers a group of elderly black men, all with shotguns, thinking that it will be impossible to investigate the crime if she and others come forward and take responsibility for what happened.

This story has many narrators, all of them distinct. With so many narrators, sometimes it’s hard to follow a story through but I enjoyed the different points of view. This is a book that you should take some time reading. It’s short but there is a lot to digest and think about. And when these men come together to stand-up for what they believe in, the outcome is somewhat unexpected.

My book club will be discussing this book during the holiday gathering that we have every year so I hope we actually get to discuss the book. I’m curious to hear everyone’s thoughts.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Sunday Matters: What a Week!

Sunday Matters

I survived my busy week of doctor’s appointments and rehearsals and The Teen’s Winter Concert is now all said and done. I knew I would make it through but it’s nice to put it all behind me. I get all antsy when my calendar is too full. Lately, all I want to do it hang around the house. My house is not the biggest house on the block and needs a little TLC here and there but man, it sure is comfortable. I have views all around me and yet I am privately tucked in. This means that I can sit like a slug nearly anywhere in the house, enjoy beautiful views and no one can see me being a slug.

Unfortunately, The Girl hates to be inside and always wants to go to the mall or Target or some other place. Groan.

Right Now:

I sit here with a cup of coffee in hand but I may have to cut back. At my appointment last week, my blood pressure was alarmingly high. I don’t think the nurse took it correctly because it dropped nearly 60 points when the doc took it himself but the retake was still a little high and I am battling this damn headache. It could be my eyes too. So much computer work. For now, I will enjoy this cup and cut back starting Monday. I only have 1-2 cups a day but I will probably have to knock it down to half a cup.

This morning we will head to church and then most likely Juice it Up for smoothies which is a treat The Girl looks forward to.

This Week:

The Teen’s performance in The 39 Steps is this week. We are all looking forward to it. I am going to get my shopping done this week in-between the normal stuff. In my attempt to keep it simple, I am looking for a few specific items and hope to be successful.

Reading:

I am reading The Rosie Effect. It’s darling and sweet but I am wondering if a sequel was needed.

Watching:

I haven’t been able to watch a thing yet. This was my busiest week but I ordered Home for the Holidays (Holly Hunter and Robert Downey, Jr.) which is one of my fave Christmas movies and I hope to watch it tonight. If you enjoy crazy family type movies, this is a good one to see.

Making:

Spaghetti, is the plan for today.

Grateful for:

As always, friends and family. I am also grateful for the rain we had earlier in the week. It wasn’t quite as much as they predicted but it was a good start. Also glad that my brakes held out through those two rain storms and gave me enough time to safely get to the mechanic to get them replaced.

Happy Thought For the Week:

The countdown to my time off has started. Ten more days.

Your turn. Tell me what you are doing today and if you are including any holiday traditions in the mix.

Review: Five Days at Memorial

Five Days at MemorialFive Days at Memorial
By Sheri Fink
(Crown, Hardcover, 9780307718969, September 2013, 576pp.)

The Short of It:

A nearly impossible to believe account of what happened at Memorial Medical Center after the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

The Rest of It:

I don’t know what I was doing when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005 but let me tell you, I had no idea that any of the accounts in this book took place. Fink provides a detailed account of the five days immediately following Hurricane Katrina and the devastation that affected Memorial Medical Center. I will provide some highlights:

  • The lack of power was a problem, as was the lack of fuel for the emergency generators which happened to be below flood level.
  • Hospital staff was limited, and those that were there had their families and pets staying there with them.
  • No running water, meant no use of the facilities and the back-up of human waste was impossible to contain.
  • Many patients required life-saving assistance and without power, the care of said patients posed a problem.
  • Rescue was made by helicopter but getting patients to the helipad without elevators presented a huge challenge.
  • It was hot. SWAMPY hot and without AC or fans, some of the patients declined rapidly.
  • DOCTORS ADMINISTERED LETHAL DOSES OF MEDS TO THOSE WHO MAY NOT SURVIVE THE ORDEAL.

Did you read that last one? After five days, there were still patients in the building with no way to get them out. These were the most critical cases or in some cases, the most elderly. The staff was told that they MUST evacuate which meant leaving these patients behind. One doctor in particular, Dr. Anna Pou, made the choice to “make patients comfortable” by giving them what was essentially a lethal concoction of two medications to make them sleep…forever.

The first half of the book provides a detailed account of those five days and the second half covers the legal proceedings that followed. The first half was riveting, the second half, not so much and could have been shortened up, in my opinion. This was a hard book to digest for many reasons. The idea of a doctor deciding a person’s fate is alarming but don’t they do it all the time?

While reading, I found myself thinking “No! These people are bat-shit crazy!” but then a few pages later my opinion would change. In the back of my mind, I have convinced myself that something else could have been done, but these people were exhausted. Were they even capable of making such big decisions? No sleep. Limited food. Horrible conditions. I’m not sure.

My main problem with the book, and one that kept coming up for me over and over is that Fink didn’t appear to have an opinion of her own on the situation. She’s a journalist but she received her M.D. from Stanford so she must have a medical opinion on what took place. Right? If it was there, I didn’t read it.

I think anyone who works in the medical profession can learn something about disaster recovery by reading this book but really, anyone interested in disaster recovery can learn a lot from all of the mistakes made. The hospital and the administration and staff were not prepared for such a disaster. Simple things like outlet placement by windows, or the fact that the generators were in the basement below the flood plain, stuff like that.

This book was read for my book club and it was a lively discussion.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Sign Me Up: The Bag of Bones Read Along (BOBalong)

Bag o Bones Read Along

Because Revival was not as exciting as I had hoped it would be, I am going to revisit one of King’s older books. Why? Mostly because Trish announced it and made it sound like fun. I mean, no one wants to be left out when there is a read along to be joined. Plus, I’ve already made my reading goal for the year so this is just the icing on the cake.

If you’d like to join us, check out her post for all of the details but basically you have all of December to read it and it’s readily available from the library since it’s an older title. I seriously just downloaded the library e-book and there were many copies for the taking.

Come on. Join us. You know you want to.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 546 other followers