Monday, June 19, 2017

Monday Reading | Week of June 19

Hello again! Semi-regular blogging? I hardly know what to do with myself!

The spring academic term ended today, so the past week has been filled to the brim with grading tasks. I have a couple of weeks off before the summer term kicks up, so you'd better believe I'm going to take every opportunity to enjoy it.

I'm still reading the same books I'd started last week.


I was originally reading My Cousin Rachel the fastest, but I backed off a touch to let my co-readers catch up a bit. I'd already read to Chapter 8 last year, and now I'm up to Chapter 18 or 19. It's really good, so I'm excited to get back to it. 

Last night I got REALLY hooked on No Good Duke Goes Unpunished. I just love MacLean's writing, specifically the tension she creates between the main characters. 

In unrelated-to-books news, I finished my first cross stitch project! I attempted one when I was 8 years old or something, but I haven't crossed a stitch since then. My mom picked this pattern up for cheap on a lark, and I decided to give it a go. I see infinite screw-ups, and the framing is pretty terrible, but I'm satisfied for my first effort. 

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by The Book Date

Monday, June 12, 2017

Monday Reading | Week of June 12

This past week was the steadiest bout of reading I've had in a long time.


I wrapped up The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin on Tuesday. I really loved the book. I liked the characters, the pace, the action and intrigue. I had some issues with the protagonist's actions, or lack thereof, at times, but it didn't change my feelings about the atmosphere, and I'm really excited to see what happens in the next volume of the series.

On Wednesday I whipped through And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman. This little novella had me in tears by page 11. It's about a young boy and his grandfather who is beginning to experience dementia. His memory is fading, and Backman does a beautiful job exploring some fantastical metaphors associated with that transition. Just gorgeous.

Finally, on Saturday, I wrapped up Sex Object: A Memoir by Jessica Valenti. While I very much enjoyed the book and Valenti's writing, I haven't quite formulated my thoughts on it. I found myself doing a lot of highlighting of passages I want to revisit. Hopefully I'll get back to y'all with some ideas that are a little more gelled soon.


I picked up My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier (again) for a read-along with friends. Amanda mentioned reading it, and I asked to join her, and then Heather and Allie both jumped in. I read about 8 chapters of it a few months ago before my slump kicked in. I was really loving it then, so I don't think it'll take me long to finish it now.

I always have to have an e-book on the go on my phone or tablet so I have something to hold my attention in bed at night or when I'm stuck in a waiting room. Right now it's The Rules of Scoundrels #3--No Good Duke Goes Unpunished--by Sarah MacLean. I haven't read the books before this one but I'm willing to take a chance on trying them out of order.

I'ts Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by The Book Date!

Thursday, June 08, 2017

On Deciding to Join Weight Watchers

After a particularly harrowing workout.
Well hi there. If you follow me on various and sundry social medias, you may have seen me discussing Weight Watchers! I took the plunge two weeks and one day ago after much consideration. In fact, I had never taken Weight Watchers seriously until about a year ago. That is, I didn't know enough about it to realize it's not a fad diet. I had that wrong idea in my head for many years.

About a year ago, I stumbled upon the Motivated Muffins YouTube channel. The vloggers, Sharie and Celia, are best friends on respective weight loss journeys and they vlog their lives and daily food choices. It's so interesting, and even when I wasn't on WW, I got a lot of great ideas for healthy things to eat that I might not have thought of before.

Here recently, I started to consider the idea of Weight Watchers for myself because I was struggling with food choices. I've been an overeater and an emotional eater all my life, but I've also had really good luck with eating "real food" and losing weight that way. Especially when I'm in the middle a full-blown exercise program like Couch to 5K.

Since I've been struggling emotionally--good ole anxiety and depression, wash, rinse, repeat--not only had my exercise tanked, but so did my food choices and my self-control. Stressed = snack for me. Or a too-big meal out. Or ice cream.

In addition to the Motivated Muffins, I've been SOOOO inspired and grateful to watch Jenna's WW journey on Instagram. I had to try it for myself!

I've been on the program for two weeks, and I had my second weekly weigh-in yesterday. I'm five pounds down, and while the first few days were really hard (SO HUNGRY), I've really leveled out, I've stocked the house with foods that are working for me, and I love it!

I find WW helpful because it depersonalizes food to some extent. I have a currency of points I can "spend" on daily eating. I kind of like the process of planning what I eat, really thinking about what I WANT to eat, what's worth the points, and by finding new things that I enjoy. It's also kind of fun to play with recipes and foods I know I like and discover a healthier version. Not all of the food I've tried has been a hit. There have been some real stinker recipes, in fact, but I've also found some stuff I really love, and I feel good about my choices.

Have there been struggles? God, yes. Last night was me against the urge to visit the McDonald's drive-thru, but I won that one.

I'll be back with more to share: recipes, struggles, workouts, etc. If you've been thinking about joining, I would recommend it!

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Taste Testing Books

I finished The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, by N.K. Jemisin, yesterday, so of course it's time to taste test some books to see what sticks next.

On the tasting menu:

Sex Object: A Memoir by Jessica Valenti is one of those books that's been swirling around my head for a while. I caught it steeply discounted on Amazon a while back, so I snapped it up. I started this one while lying in bed last night, and I read until I dozed off and dropped the phone on my face. Good sign!

And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman came in a Christmas in June package from my dear Heather. I dipped into it for a few minutes after finishing the Jemisin novel, but my eyes were shot from reading on my phone all of yesterday. Luckily, I gave it some more time this afternoon, and I'm already 31 pages in (of 79). This little novella is a given. Also, it made me tear up (the first time) at page 11.

The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore is another perfect fit since I'm still basking in the afterglow of seeing Wonder Woman last Friday. I've had an ARC copy of this on my TBR forever, but it wasn't clicking on the page, so I'm trying the audio version. So far, so good!

What are you trying out right now? 

Images by Freepik