Book Reviews – Dr Sleep by Stephen King

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So it is pretty hard for me to give an objective review of a Stephen King book as I am what you would call a King junkie or as he calls it a Constant Reader. But the thing is really it is not like you are reading this review thinking, “Who is this Stephen King I keep hearing about? I wonder if he is any good?” You likely are already a fan, a disgruntled fan or a detractor. I fall into the straight up fan category meaning I don’t really complain about the quality of his later works and all of that. Nobody is perfect but I can always count on King to give me a good time and that is all that matters to me.

So Doctor Sleep is the latest King novel that I read and surprise, I liked it. For anyone not familiar, this book is a sequel to “The Shining”. I read the shining about 13 years ago as I remember it was when I was working as a toy crane machine stuffer and my route took me through this winding road that reminded me of what I think Colorado would be like. I remember taking my breaks and reading the tale of Jack Torrance and his family. I don’t remember everything about the book but I do remember Jack’s struggles with alcoholism, the scary hedge maze and topiary animals and of course the boiler. I was glad to be able to revisit the characters from this book and see how things worked out for Danny Torrance.

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Book Reviews – Tweak by Nic Sheff

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I was hunting through Goodreads to find something good to read and stumbled upon this book after someone recommended it over another addiction book that I was considering. I like to read addiction books, above all else for the hope that people can change. There is also the “Intervention” type of reason that I like these books, it makes me feel a bit better about my own choices to see someone else so much worse off than myself. (Side note, I miss Van Vonderen)

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Book Reviews – May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Holmes

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One of the drawbacks to being so far behind on my book reviews is that I lose many of the thoughts that I may have had about a particular book and then writing the review becomes much harder. I have started writing myself notes in my drafts but alas this one has no notes. One big thing that sticks out in my memory about this one is my audio book drama so I will relay that to you all, lucky you!

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Book Reviews – The Fault in Our Stars

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I resisted reading this book for some time as I don’t read many young adult novels as I am not a young adult. Not that I don’t think that adults shouldn’t read YA fiction (I reallly enjoyed Hunger Games for example) but it is not generally my first choice. This book to me seemed like a Nicholas Sparks type of book, which is another type of fiction that I don’t generally read. I decided to read this one as I happened upon a free copy and so I decided to see what the fuss was all about.

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Book Reviews – Masters of Sex by Thomas Maier

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My boyfriend and I binge watched the Showtime series “Masters of Sex” and once I finished I was keen to learn more so I decided to read the book by Thomas Maier. In the past I had learned a bit about Masters and Johnson when reading “Bonk” so this book was not entirely unfamiliar territory. It was interesting to read how the book differed from reality (although even in a non-fiction book like this I am sure that some liberties were taken). Overall it was an interesting read, however towards the end it started to drag on and I lost interest somewhat but powered through it to finish. If you are watching the series or plan to read the book and want to be surprised then I don’t think you need me to tell you not to read on, but you never know.

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March Madness

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2014 so far has been a busy time but full of steps in the right direction as well. As much as I tend to be hard on myself I have accomplished a lot so far this year. As I mentioned before, I have been getting ready to move and tomorrow is the big day. I get the keys to my new place at 8am and I really can’t wait. As much as I tried to make the experience as stress free as possible I didn’t fully succeed. I have come to the conclusion that the stress is inevitable. But looking on the bright side, I am organized, I have a plan and I took tomorrow and Monday off work so that I can take my time setting things up at my new place. My biggest excitement lies in the fact that I will now have a bath tub!! I haven’t had my own tub in over 5 years. I am gonna aromatherapy and candle up the place!!

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Book Reviews – Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain

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Necessary Lies by  Diane Chamberlain was the first book that I finished reading in 2014. I read this book as I decided to go to a meeting of the girly book club. I have been a part of Cannonball Read for 5 years now (wow how time flies!) but in the spirit of getting out of my comfort zone I decided to get together with some real live humans and maybe even make some friends along the way (spoiler, I didn’t make any friends).

First of all about the book. Necessary Lies is a tale of eugenics, empathy and changes in reproductive freedoms. Set in North Carolina in the early 60s and loosely based on actual events, this tale takes us through a turbulent time for both a young woman (Ivy) living in poverty on a tobacco farm and another young woman (Jane) starting out a career as a social worker with little experience or world knowledge. Ivy does her best to hold her family together, but is often left responsible for the care of her young nephew and her elderly aunt. Her sister has limited intelligence, and Ivy worries often that she will become pregnant again leaving Ivy to take care of more children. Ivy doesn’t worry enough about herself, and despite efforts from social workers to educate her, she denies her own involvement with any sexual activity. Jane is a doctor’s wife who although recently married, decides to secretly take the birth control pill and seek out a career in social work despite her husband’s concerns. The two women of course meet through Jane’s work and Jane becomes Ivy’s advocate, to her own professional peril.

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Book Reviews – Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding

madBack  near the beginning of January I got a concussion after some kid cut in front of me at the ice rink and I bumped my head. The Dr sentenced me to several days of complete rest including no reading, no TV and no phone.  I decided that there was no way I could sit in a dark room with silence for all that time so I decided to download an audio book. I had previously decided to no longer buy audio books after losing them all when my phone died (why on earth I can’t re-download them like everything else I don’t know, thanks apple) but I have never been too good at sticking to my guns so here I am with another audio book review.

I just finished listening to this and I will be honest that I have reviews for 5 other books that I have finished reading sitting in my drafts folder but I have been experiencing a bit of writer’s block in getting any of the reviews up. If I want to be Bridget Jones style honest, the drafts contain only the titles of the books lest I forget what I have already read this year.

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Consistency?

Well 2014 has been off to a busy start, but my health and fitness has not been at the top of my list. Just after writing my last post, I had a fall ice skating and then caught the flu while at the ER to have my head checked out. My whole family got really sick for a few weeks, even took a whole week off work, which I don’t think I have ever done in my life.

During that time, I decided it was time to move and find a better rental suite. I won’t list the numerous reasons that I hate my current place, but I am excited that we finally found some place new. Of course, me being me I am still nervous that we didn’t pick the right place, but I need to focus on the positive and know that it is a step up.

Getting ready to move has involved a lot of de-cluttering and tidying and now that we are moving for sure, of course there has been packing. I have let this be my main focus, rather than exercise and sadly my eating habits have been fairly poor, although I am drinking vega shakes a few times a week and having my herbal teas and things like that. My weight has stayed fairly stable, although I feel less fit so my fat % likely has gone up a bit.

Today is the day though that I go back to the gym. I will always stay on top of my goals, even if I stumble or have to change what those goals are. Feeling great about the future, life is good!

2014?? Hells ya!

Isn’t it cliche, January comes along and we all get all motivated to change things up and make great things happen. Well I think anything that motivates us to make positive change is a good thing. I had a lot of fun over the holidays and didn’t worry too much about health and fitness. It has been a bit of a bummer winter so far so I haven’t been able to get any skiing in yet. I also got snowshoes for Xmas but again, not much snow to enjoy them in yet, although I think one of the mountains has a decent amount on their trails so I will investigate.

I put on about 4 lbs over the holidays, but I regret nothing! I had a great time and life is too short to worry too much about these things. I know what I need to do to get back on track and I am looking forward to it. I have already been easing my way back into healthy habits and I will continue to build upon things, I mean really I will be building upon things the rest of my life, self improvement should never end. I was too tired for a gym workout this morning and I was considering going after work but I think things may be much too crowded so I am using today as a non-gym workout day. I did a bunch of calestenics in my office and will do at least one more set today. I ran up and down the stairs in my building then did a bunch of sets of various floor and other exercises. I think more people need to realize that there are many ways to get your fitness in other than going to the gym or even leaving the building. Variety is key though in making it work long term.

So my goals for January are:

  1. Drink more water/herbal tea/lemon water
  2. Workout every day at least 15 mins and 3 times a week for 30 mins or more
  3. Protein shakes daily
  4. Stay positive and have fun with my goals!

So that is what I need to do, I am going to make sure I make this happen, seems like reasonable goals to have and I know it will be worth my time.