It’s been another pretty rough day. I’ve felt exhausted all day, which led to poor decisions on my part – mainly about whether I was up for going to see Avengers (I wasn’t, it turns out), and ensuing arguments as I tried to cope with my poor decision making. Hopefully we will go see the movie on Friday. 

I managed to get myself up in time for watercolor class this morning, and while I left a little early, feeling more tired than when I arrived, I was able to finish a piece that made me happy.  The foliage needs more dark values, but I’m really digging the bridge. 

Now I’m in bed, with a cat at my feet, and I’m trying to will myself to pick up the book I’m working on. I just enjoyed another book by this author, John Lescroart, but this one is more of a chore. I’m tempted to let it go in favor of an SJ Bolton. However, that book is not on my bedside table, and I’m sure the cat would prefer I didn’t disturb her.  Maybe “Dead Irish” will become more compelling tonight, but not too much. I do need the sleep.  

My year in books

Here I am, looking at fabric online, AGAIN.  Contemplating purchases of many, many yards of luscious material because it is just so pretty (and let’s face it, I’d be getting a deal here.)  If I click the purchase button, you all have to promise to kick my ass into gear and get some quilts done!  I can’t bitch too much because I have two finished tops, one almost finished top, and another well on the way.  But there’s still lots of fabric in my drawers and it needs to get used, and I haven’t been doing a whole lot about that.

After a weekend of doing nothing but lying on the sofa, watching TV and movies, because I couldn’t do much else (I missed a Camp Kesem reunion and a 4-H sewing meeting, where I’m one of the leaders), I finally have some energy.  This, I’m sure, is in no small part because I’m taking a short vacation from the cancer medication.  Last week I finally had it up to here with constant diarrhea and literal butt hurt, so I contacted my doctor and got the OK to go off it for a week or so.   Of course, I used the energy yesterday and today to finish consuming the latest Department Q book, The Marco Effect by Jussi Adler-Olsen.  It was due today, and I couldn’t renew it again, so it had to be done.  I love my Danish mysteries.

Over the past seven years, I’ve tracked all of the books I’ve read on  (My user name there is Lisabee, if you want to connect.)  Most years I read or listen to about a book a week.  This year, perhaps for obvious reasons, I’m falling a bit behind – so far, only 43 books, with 3.5 weeks left of the year.  (Yikes, that means there’s only 2.5 weeks until Christmas.  But that’s another post.)  This year has been mostly thrillers and mysteries, which isn’t far from the norm for me, but there’s definitely been a stronger trend towards the comfort reads for me.  Again, probably for obvious reasons.

So, what HAVE I been reading?  Lots of mysteries, of course!  Last year, one of my co-workers, Cheryl, introduced me to Nevada Barr, and I’ve been making my way through her Anna Pigeon series, all set in national parks.  I just wish I could visit them all, too.  I read or re-read a few of the Kathy Reichs‘ Temperance Brennan (Bones) books.  I also started reading a new series by Malla Nunn, set in 1950’s South Africa;  enjoyed Stuart MacBride‘s newest Logan McRae, Aberdeen detective, full of wonderful characters; and got my second taste of Harry Bingham‘s Fiona Griffith, and another of Sharon Bolton‘s Lacey Flint.

I’ve also read the new books by a few other of my favorite authors. Michael Connelly – both Burning Room (a Bosch novel, and again terrific) and The Gods of Guilt (Lincoln Lawyer, good).  I can’t wait for the Bosch series to come out on Amazon Prime in February.  Lee Child put out a new Jack Reacher novel, which, while fun, wasn’t quite the top of his game.  I also listened to a novella (High Heat) set when Reacher is 16 (sometime in the 70s).  Barry Eisler put out a new John Rain novel, which like High Heat, goes back in time to when Rain is young – 19 or 20 and just out of the military.  I tend to lump these three authors together because they almost always put out terrific work.  Their protagonists are also getting older – Rain and Bosch born in the 50s, Reacher in 1960.  So they’re all well past their physical primes, and all in “business” in very physical fields.  So I wonder where the authors will go with these characters.  Eisler seems to have taken the series backward in time, and I’m hoping to see a new arc of novels with a young Rain.  I suspect that Connelly might focus on the TV series (hope?), but it sounds like there might be at least one more Bosch book.  Jack Reacher will probably be kicking ass and taking names until he’s 90.

Lest you think I’m all murders and mayhem, I took a few side trips to Australia.  Three books by Liane Moriarty, who I describe as the thinking woman’s chick lit writer, and who managed to continually delight me, and The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, which was a wonderfully fun romp through Asperger’s.  (Did I really just write that?  Oh, read the book.  You’ll see.)

I turned to Christopher Moore for some comedy, too, and can’t even begin to stress how amazing he is.  We listened to The Serpent of Venice on our way to Portland and Thanksgiving time.  It’s a mashup of The Cask of Amontillado, The Merchant of Venice, and Othello, and the audiobook performance is exceptional, hilarious, and a rollicking good time.  I listened to Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal right after my diagnosis and surgery.  I’d read it already, but enjoyed the second experience just as much, if not more than the first.

And of course, there were the cancer books.  I’ve read part or all of a number of them.  But the best book about cancer that I read this year was The Fault in Our Stars.  Read it, watched the movie, cried the whole way.

Ok, now I have to go order some fabric, and then turn to the giant stack of books next to my bed.  You guys should go read some books or send me your favorite recommendations.