It Happened On the Way to War: A Marine’s Path to Peace – Rye Barcott

Rating: DNF after about 15%

Cliff Notes: I could see myself coming back to this book someday in a different season of life, but it is not working for me now.

Full Summary: A friend recommended this to me after she read my review of Tattooist of Auschwitz. She said it has her interested in the author’s latest non profit – With Honor.

“He is trying to recruit a new generation of leaders and boy do we need it.”

My friend in her recommendation to me

I agree wholeheartedly that we need it. And Rye Barcott certainly seems like a capable young man. However, my reading life is to fill needs in my life and right now that means an escape. It is not always like that, but right now that is where I am. Yes, I am making this hardship in another country about me, but it is my blog, right?!

I understand that is a selfish way to look at the world, but I am no good to anyone if I run myself into the ground trying to improve the lives of others. I heard someone say that we need to give from our overflow, otherwise what we give may be toxic. Right now I have no overflow so I am trying to take care of that before I can hop on the Save the World Train.

I am leaning into light and fluffy reads, not books about a “troubled youth” who then got a full scholarship to UNC. My “troubled youth” cannot even remember to take pants to football practice. I know we need to let kids fail so they can learn lessons in a “safe” place (forgetting pants now vs. larger stakes later in life), but I just feel like a parenting failure All The Time. And the last thing I want to be reminded of when I am trying to fill that tank and get some overflow to share is those feelings of failure.

It Happened On the Way to War: A Marine's Path to Peace Rye Barcott
By |2019-08-18T08:49:14-04:00August 24th, 2019|Mental Well-being|0 Comments

Call the Nurse: True Stories of a Country Nurse on a Scottish Isle – Mary J. MacLeod

Rating: 3 stars (would have picked 3.5 if Goodreads allowed half stars)

Cliff Notes: This was a sweet book. Perfect for this crazy season of work.

Full Summary: I hit the jackpot when I picked up this paperback at a book sale for only $1. As I mentioned before, I am in a season of work that is BANANAS. I have dropped non-fiction and the sci-fi I was going to take a chance on got shuttled straight to Bixby’s nightstand. When I read I want to escape, not learn, be motivated or improved in any way. Just. Check. Out.

Call the Nurse: True Stories of a Country Nurse on a Scottish Isle  Mary J. MacLeod

This book was absolutely up to the task. Each chapter was a stand alone – although there were a few threads that ran through several stories. This made it easy to pick up and put down when I only had a few minutes (translation: fell asleep after 3 pages).

Plus there was the most delightful character, Mary. She had a habit of mixing up words that was hysterical. Probably because it was really frustrating to her husband, yet did not bother her in the LEAST. Here is a sample:

“Then it will go off again, takin yon body with it. What’s the point o’ that, I’m wonderin?”

“It’s for explicity,” said Mary knowledgeably.



There was a puzzled pause, then Archie sighed. “Ach, the woman! I think she means ‘publicity’.”

“Aye,” said Mary, unperturbed as usual.

By |2019-12-12T19:19:24-05:00August 23rd, 2019|Mental Well-being|0 Comments

Sold on a Monday – Kristina McMorris

Rating: 3 stars (3.5 if Goodreads would allow half stars)

Cliff Notes: I am judging the woman who sold her children less than the newspaper guy who exploited them.

Full Summary: I wanted to read more about the mother who found herself in this situation and the children’s experience rather than the selfish newspaper guy who selfishly took advantage of this family for his own gain.

I knew this book was inspired by a real photo (ripped from the headlines so to speak), but when I read the notes at the end of the book, it was a newspaper that we grew up reading!

4 children for sale Sold on a Monday

From the author’s website: The photo had first appeared in The Vidette-Messenger in 1948 and, in a brief caption, claimed to exhibit the desperation of a family in Chicago. As a mom myself, I wondered what could have possibly pushed a parent to that point. In the direst of times, I could fathom perhaps having to give up my children for the sake of their well-being. But why on earth ask for money in return? Possible answers to that question soon became the foundation of Sold on a Monday.
Sold on a Monday - Kristina McMorris
By |2019-12-12T19:19:40-05:00August 21st, 2019|Mental Well-being|0 Comments

The Great Believers – Rebecca Makkai

Rating: 4 stars

Cliff Notes: I am sure there was symbolism that I did not catch (I generally just want to read a good book), but I really could have thrown out the whole 2015 timeline.

Full Summary: It was moving to read about the AIDS epidemic in Chicago from a perspective of me being alive during that time and living only 45 minutes away. I would like to think I would have been like Fiona. This book is definitely one that stayed with me after I finished reading it.

If you ever have a chance to view the AIDS quilt, it is incredibly powerful. I am horrified about the treatment of AIDS patients by family members and health care workers. It made me wonder if there are situations like that today – that we will look back in 30 years and wonder what we were thinking, why we (or maybe I) didn’t stand up for the someone suffering.

The Great Believers  Rebecca Makkai
By |2019-12-12T19:20:08-05:00August 19th, 2019|Mental Well-being|0 Comments

Big Sky – Kate Atkinson

Rating: DNF

Cliff Notes: I am half way through this book, 5 hours. And I have no idea what the hell is happening or who any of these people are. Enough.

Full Summary: I cannot give you a summary because seriously – I have no idea what the heck is going on. I know there was a murder, but no idea how any of it was going to come together or who all the people even were.

Kate Atkinson Big Sky
By |2019-12-12T19:20:28-05:00August 17th, 2019|Mental Well-being|0 Comments

Recursion – Blake Crouch

Rating: 4 stars

Cliff Notes: I loved it until I got caught up in the number of lives and the timelines – just like with Dark Matter and the number of Jasons.

Full Summary: I definitely plan on going to this author’s backlist for future TBR choices.

I am married to a Super Nerd and when he saw that I was reading a book called Recursion, he was really excited and impressed. Apparently “recursion” is a nerd topic or theory of something or other. I am not smart enough or really interested at all in what recursion is, but it was funny to watch him think I had turned a nerd corner, then to watch it slide off of his face.

Recursion Blake Crouch
By |2019-12-12T19:20:45-05:00August 15th, 2019|Mental Well-being|0 Comments

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE – Phil Knight

Rating: 3 stars

Cliff Notes: I liked how he talked in this book about the struggles and what he might have changed or identified mistakes.

Full Summary: I had lots of misconceptions about the history of Nike – it seems to always summarized as a overnight sensation story about Bill Boweman, a waffle iron, and his protege named Phil.

Not so much, my friends. This is definitely worth the read.

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE Phil Knight
By |2019-12-12T19:21:04-05:00August 13th, 2019|Mental Well-being|0 Comments

Sanibel Flats – Randy Wayne White

Rating: DNF

Cliff Notes: Ugh. I cant even with this guy. I threw this book.

Full Summary: First of all, I NEVER want to read a book that takes 3 (super small font super single spaced) pages of a dude dissecting a shark. Then to have to read about him playing two women to sleep with them both in the same night. Almost as gross as the fish guts. I tried for about 2 weeks or so to power through this book because my parents have a condo near Sanibel and I thought it would be fun to connect to those places.

It was not.

Sanibel Flats Randy Wayne White
By |2019-12-12T19:21:46-05:00August 9th, 2019|Mental Well-being|0 Comments

Night Road – Kristin Hannah

Rating: 3 stars

Cliff Notes: It was a good distraction, but I did not really connect with it.

Full Summary: I don’t know if this book did not land with me because of my feelings about motherhood or what. I like it because I had just visited Seattle and lots of places talked about in the book were those we had visited. However in general – just a good distraction from a really hectic work week – which is ALWAYS a good thing!

Night Road Kristin Hannah
By |2019-12-12T19:22:01-05:00August 7th, 2019|Mental Well-being|0 Comments


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