Archive for the ‘books’ Category


January 21, 2015 Leave a comment

hoarding3 (1)There are many of you out there who have seen or experienced my selective hoarding and failed OCD behaviors. The one I am most comfortable admitting to is my book hoarding. There is also the tchotchkes that litter my home and show my eclectic interest in pigs, elephants, religious icons, kitchen “stuff” and the never to be forgotten dust.

This morning Kim and I were using his day off to kick back and spend some relaxing time bopping around the internet. At one point, I said I wish they would invent something like a pair of glasses that could be used to manipulate the cursor on the computer screen eliminating the need for the physical manipulation through the mouse or keyboard. I know that something like that exists for the differently-abled population, but my needs would not require that degree of sophistication. Something like the soon to be discontinued Google glasses that would be cost-effective and allow me control the computer without wireless keyboard and wireless mouse.

Guy-Google-Glasses-iconAnd here is where the hoarding raises its ugly head. The truth is that at this point in time I have 31 tabs up and running for the current session. I also have 27 file folders on the bookmark bar that allow me to over 200+ additional sites that I may have a need for immediate access at any given point in time. These folders include “BOOKS” with its four sub-folders and 24 sites, or “NEW” with one sub-folder and 34 sites and the one titled “ok” meaning I need to get to these sites before logging off and leaving them just hanging in cyberspace purgatory.

Many have mocked me for this behavior (you know who you are.) Even I admit it’s ridiculous. I even found a kindred soul out there in webland with many of the same symptoms. waka waka waka knows of which I speak. He describes it thusly, “It’s the result of skittering about the Web reading items that contain links, opening the links for a moment in a new tab, and going back to what you were reading before or on to something else.” which hits the nail on the proverbial head.

Now, for the desired wish of those “special” glasses. All of this “tab hoarding” would be unnecessary if, with the blink of an eye, pages could be read and closed without the wasted time of keyboard strokes or mouse clicking. Plus, as an added bonus, the prevention of carpal tunnel syndrome.

So, get on with it you inventor friends of mine. I need to conserve energy and time so that I can use it for more meaningful activities. Like, not being forced into a sleep state because of energy wasted when a nod of the head would suffice or rearranging the hoarded books that I have glossed over so far.funny-cartoon-book-hoarder

(By the way, faithful readers, be sure and bookmark my blog so you can keep up with any and all additions. Thank you very much.)

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October 8, 2013 Leave a comment

The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and MurderThe Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder by Charles Graeber

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Spending as many hours in the hospital as I did this past year, this was a strange choice to read. The book is well written and documents the killings of a psychopath nurse who never really understands how his actions wreak havoc. Or, did he?

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September 30, 2013 Leave a comment

The Kitchen DaughterThe Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a quick read and it could have been because the author has an amazing way of describing everyday things. Like a voice that “sounded exactly like spearmint bubble gum…her voice was…clean and cool, but the laugh was a gum bubble popping.”

The main character is characterized as being on the autism spectrum. She is able to deal with most daily habits and seems to show it when she feels threatened or in dealing with other people. There are some wonderful insights into the behavior of persons who are functional in daily life but still have some of the behaviors that reflect her condition.

A couple of recipes lead her into experiencing the presence of those who have died. They exist when she cooks their dishes and throw information at her that only fits into her reality a little later. It is done in such a fashion that my cynicism simply said “Accept it and move on.”

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September 12, 2013 Leave a comment

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Enjoyable, but a little simplistic at times. All of the characters were predictable in their actions and the saving grace was the development of the autistic child’s thought processes.

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July 19, 2013 Leave a comment

The PropertyThe Property by Rutu Modan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The story of a Jewish grandmother returning to Warsaw with her granddaughter to look for the property her family owned prior to World War II. Presented as a graphic novel the simple drawings manage to portray the tragedy and recovery of a story kept secret for many years.

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July 18, 2013 Leave a comment

The Cooked Seed: A MemoirThe Cooked Seed: A Memoir by Anchee Min

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I will admit that I am hopelessly drawn to memoirs and doubly trapped when written by  a person from a different culture. Anchee Min has written many historical novels about Chinese history and culture. This is her story, well told and brutally honest.

She begins with her birthplace in Shanghai and continues until her daughter prompts her to write this memoir. She details her difficulty getting to America, adjusting to a new culture and learning a new language to her overpowering desire to have a child and the predicament she finds herself in achieving this.

A strong woman who overcomes her own demons, she is willing to admit her errors and bares them with brutal honesty. Her love of her daughter, her second husband and her connection to her family still in China shows the depth of her commitment to living honestly and achieving the best that one can.

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November 21, 2011 Leave a comment

I remember thinking I would be like all those other women who, when seen on tv or in magazines, seem to be able to do everything and still wake up with smiles on their faces, dinners planned, laundry done and the ability to still have free time to do only what they wanted to do. I always assumed this was able to be accomplished in the traditional 24 hours in a day. I didn’t realize that it was a complete misrepresentation of time and the ability to accomplish. No, it was a falsified world that I failed to identify as false.

This was all before ADHD would be identified as one of the contributing factors to my inability to focus. So, therefore, I always attributed it to a character flaw that put me in the “failed” column of “What a Perfect Person Should Be.”

Okay, I think I have finally figured it out. I have an overwhelming need to not miss anything. And, by “anything,” I mean “ANYTHING.” This applies to: books, news, movies, television, music, and any other form of information that is out there. This works out perfect for my other quirk, introversion. I can live quite well in a cave with the only external information coming to me in the form of non-personhood. I do pretty well one on one for a limited amount of time, but basically, I am a reclusive misanthrope. Now those of you who know me also know that this seems incongruous. It is not. For, while I am an introvert, I am not shy. At work I can small talk with the best of them while in the back of my head is solitude.

This means that facebook and google+ was made just for me. It fills the need to let me know information of all of those in my personal life. This also includes friends I have never met. It also allows me to “like” a variety of news sources, social sites, and organizations without even having to leave the sanctity of my “cave.” I am not sure where this is heading, but I started this whole thing wanting to turn all of you on to how books affect my life. (See photo!) And how, on my day off I am brought to tears while watching the National Book Award show on C-span.

While the dishes go undone, the laundry unwashed, the dishes sitting in the sink, I am watching this amazing acceptance speech from Nikky Finney. Watch her acceptance speech at Nikky Finney’s 2011 National Book Award in Poetry acceptance speech. I was sobbing by the end. So, screw Aunt Bea, I am a lazy, good-for-nothing slackard heading to hell in a handbasket. But, I sure know a lot across a broad spectrum of the useless information which would be a great thing if I were on Jeopardy, but really means that my house is a mess and I am happy.

Categories: books, my life

What I have been doing…

October 27, 2011 Leave a comment

I am shamelessly stealing this idea from all of the others who have done it before.

Ha Jin re-creates the terror, the harrowing deprivations, and the menace of unexpected violence that defined life in Nanjing during the occupation. I have read Waiting by the same author and found it to be a subtle and moving understatement of life’s expectations. This is not that book, but in its own way shows the same underpinnings of human nature.

Haven’t started this one yet, but it will provide a respite from Waiting. More on this one later. I haven’t read the previous book by this author, but I admit I was drawn in by the title. We’ll see.

The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb.  Melanie Benjamin

Both of these titles are checked out from the library on my nook. At least I don’t have to find a place to stack them. (See previous post.)

Categories: books


July 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Today I thought I was going to go to the grocery store by myself. Ha ha! With my more giant than usual right food, it was going to require some extra special maneuvering. Ha ha! Stretching my right leg over to the passenger side of the car so that I could drive with my left foot. I don’t think there is a yoga pose that would have prepared me for that task. So, it appears that I will have to hunt down a chauffeur for tomorrow’s trip. That will give me time to hone my list into a OCD map for efficiency.

So, what will I do instead. Oh, my side of the bed is still waiting for some tender loving care. Big foot or not, this is a truly daunting task! It requires moving books that I haven’t touched in months but will want to read immediately upon storing them away. I thought my nook color was going to help with this problem. That is why I have over 200 books to read on the nook and have only brought home a limited number of books since then. Limited, my ass! Limited by only the number I can stack and blend into the others to justify my behavior as non-hoarding. Stay tune for the before and after of this exciting project.


June 14, 2011 Leave a comment

“It is better to pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than to fade and wither dismally with age.” – James Joyce

Where the hell did the old 24 hours a day go. Approaching 65 (quickly) hours have been compressed into half hours or extended into four hours. Examples: At work 8 hours=32 hours. At home 16 hours=8 hours. Oh, and the need for sleep has increased which cuts further into that eight hours I thought I had to cook, read, do laundry, sleep, watch meaningless tv and carry on a meaningful conversation with the man who adores me.

This aging thing is really is beginning to suck big time. We are all told about the obvious things that happen. Dropping body parts, drying skin, aching joints and on and on and on. But there are the things they forgot to mention. Shrinking bladder means not a full night’s sleep and if I make it another ten years I may have to invent a toilet bed, oh, wait, that’s a “home” isn’t it.

And what’s with this “liver spot” thing? You can play connect the dots on the back of my hands and I’m sure they are in the places on my body where I can no longer see. (These places increase hyper-proportionately with the years.) Now, the big news about these little spots is: They also accumulate in your brain! So, that name you were trying to remember in that movie (the name escapes me) is now occupied by a “liver spot.” Oh, joy.

Did I mention that the fat proportion in your body weight increases? So, who knew? My ass, that’s who. Our nerves start to deteriorate, oh, that doesn’t matter, you can’t see that so it doesn’t count. And if you hide 99% of the rest of your body none of it matters. That is until you realize you are now a lizard and your skin sheds nightly and you spend more on moisturizer than the country is spending on wars. (Oops, got a little political there.)

The ability to concentrate diminishes. Tie that with ADD and the next thing you know, well, you don’t know, that’s the problem. Ability to read more than half an hour at a time. Gone… Ability to remember becomes replaced with, “Huh? what was I saying?” Ability to multi-task drops to ability to walk from one room to the other and know why. Sometimes.

Where I am going with all of this? I forgot. Oh, yeah, I really want to do something…I just can’t decide. Read, yeah, that was it. Now where did I put my Nook?