I Understand It Now

Y’all! I just realized something and it’s life changing!

The books that got me hooked on reading were mysteries. PIs. Homicide detectives. Murder mysteries solved by the ex cop who left the department under a cloud. You know what I’m talking about. And back in the first couple of years after high school when I was reading the most, I was reading mysteries exclusively. No young adult. No literary fiction. No classics. No nonfiction. I was reading what I enjoyed reading the most.

Then I tried branching out. Tried to become more “well read”, whatever the hell that means. And I hit a wall. I’ve been clawing at it now for several years. When I was in college I wouldn’t read textbooks or review notes. Every break I had I’d pull out my current novel on campus and read! Not sure how you are, but usually after I read I want a nap. Fell asleep numerous times in class because I wasn’t about to talk about Alexander the Great’s empire right after reading about the unsolved murder of a kid buried in the hillside. Like, priorities!

Call me stupid or crazy or just not “well read”, but I’m going back to what made me love books to begin with. I have plenty of non mystery books to pick from when I feel the time is right, but it isn’t right now. I’m currently reading my third detective novel in a row. Not stopping even if I have to buy more.

PS: I have a rule to not read any author twice within any 5 books, but I think I’m breaking it.

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Back to Being Myself?

Over the weekend I finished my first TWO books of the year! Remember guys, I read a grand total of 5 throughout ALL of 2018! It’d take a monumental disaster to not fly right past that number in the coming weeks.

But how is this back to being myself? Well I’ll tell ya. I was in college from August, 2010 until May, 2013. During those four calendar years I read 123 books. In the five calendar years ending in 2018 I read 51. For some reason I’ve gotten away from being me. I love books more than anyone I’ve ever met in person. I have two book-related tattoos and want more. I have my YouTube channel, about books. I have my IG, about books. This blog.

So I’m saying fuck it. I am who I am. I remember those years. I don’t know if happy is the best word, but I was happy. Happy to be reading quite a bit. Happy to be building this blog. And happy to be me.

What’s all this mean? More reading (as evidenced by this previous weekend). And consistent online. Here. IG (posted twice yesterday after almost two years). YouTube. So follow me everywhere at those links!

No Easy Day

Yes, I stole the title of the book I’m sure many of you have read. But it fits perfectly with this post. This won’t be about books.

I’m already crying my eyes out and I haven’t written anything.

One year ago today I lost my grandma. It was the single worst day I’ve experienced in my 27 years. I haven’t had a good day since then. I’ve had a few okay days, but oh so many absolutely terrible ones. On the outside I look fine. No one in public or at work has any idea anything is wrong. Even the few who do know, don’t. Not really.

When she died it was part of a chain of events that continued throughout the year that I haven’t overcome. It’s so easy to get a glimpse into someone else’s life and think all is well. They don’t have to worry about money? They have a nice place to live? They try to travel as much as they can? They work for a Fortune 100 company with lots of potential growth opportunities? They must be doing so well!

All of those describe me. And I’m not doing well at all.

No one understands my feeling of not being good enough for anything. Not good enough for a better job. Not good enough for people to genuinely care about me as a person. Not good enough to be in a relationship. Not deserving to be happy. And on and on.

I have maybe 5 friends. I should take the blame because I’m the lone constant in the endless line of people leaving. Honestly, I don’t expect to regularly talk to any of them by year’s end. It’s just how things are. But when I’m really having a terrible time I only turn to 1. Or when it gets really bad, my ex. Lately I’ve stopped saying anything to anyone because who wants to be the person constantly bothering someone else about how bad things are? Or the person who never has their shit together? Or worse, the person pitied by others? Not me. Especially when I do reach out just to talk and get nothing in response.

I know there are so many people out there feeling the same as I do. But still my feelings are only mine. No one walks in my shoes just the same as I don’t walk in anyone else’s.

I don’t know what the best course of action is. Therapy, probably. Which I haven’t done because I’m too embarrassed. If someone asked me to my face why I feel the way I do I wouldn’t have an answer. And quite honestly, I’d just break down.

My birthday was recently. I visited my grandma because she would always sing me happy birthday. I cried alone at the cemetery for an hour and went home and went to sleep. Remember those maybe 5 friends I mentioned? Not one said anything. Not one.

When all of this really began in late 2017 I never thought I’d get to 2019 and feel worse. But here I am. Yet I want to end with something positive. When someone makes an impact on you or simply helps you through some rough patches, let them know. You might feel silly or nervous or awkward, but I promise the other person will appreciate knowing they’ve helped you along the way. I cannot think of anything negative that can come from a genuine message of “I really appreciate everything you do for me.” Can you?

I’m still crying. And that’s okay.

If you read this far, thank you. I know this didn’t flow well at all.

PS: I got this in October as a daily reminder to just trust myself. I’m still working on it.

Almost Time

Back in September I bought a new computer. It was the first time I had one in over a year. The purpose was simple. I wanted to make my YouTube videos again. I didn’t upload a single video in 2018.

But I really enjoy putting in the time to create something. My videos are always about books and my new goal is to start again next week. I already know what my first two videos will be about and I’m crazy excited to get back to it! If you’re curious about some of my previous videos, check them out here.

First Charity of 2019 is…

I told y’all my intention is to donate to different non-profit organizations each month with the goal of donating $1000 for the calendar year. I’ve selected my first one. The Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation.

Their primary focus is to have Houston area children reading at grade level by third grade. They’ve created an online tool that enables anyone to find literacy-related volunteer opportunities in their area. And my favorite of all, children can create a wish list of books they want and the organization will work to fulfill the wish list by working with partners and donors.

They have a high rating on both Charity Navigator and Guidestar.

Very happy to support an organization tackling literacy in my city and will use their online tool to volunteer later this year!

Broken Promise, But Not Really

I haven’t made a goal of not buying any new books in 2019. Which means I’m almost certainly going to buy some. I have a disease. 😂

Besides my favorite authors and series, whenever I enjoy an adaptation before reading the book I always want to go back and read it. Every single time. I know I’m not the only one, and don’t yell at me for not reading the book first to begin with. Sometimes we don’t even know there’s a book until afterward.

Recently I’ve watched two adaptations I really enjoyed. One was a movie and one was a series. Now I want both books. But I’m stingy. I never pay regular price and prefer to have Half Price coupons when I go. They only come out four times a year. Hmm.

Do you always read the book first when there’s an adaptation out or on the way?

How Many of 2018’s Bestselling Books Did You Read?

I told y’all I bought a grand total of one book last year. So I’ll be the first to answer my own question. Uno! Only because it was an old one that wasn’t a new release.

But I was curious to know which books made it among the bestselling.

Even before looking up the list I already knew Michelle Obama far outpaced everyone else, but those other political books making this list were a bit surprising. Although when I really think about it, it isn’t surprising at all.

If I recall, book sales were up in 2018 over 2017. With that in mind I was also expecting just a few more titles over the 1 million mark. But let’s be honest, a million books is A LOT of books. So maybe I’m just silly.

How many of the bestselling books of 2018 have you read? (The list isn’t mine, so if you find a different one with different rankings, okay by me).