I started this book challenge thing in November of 2006. Since then I have read over 1,000 books, thanks to Nancy Pearl’s Book Lust series. I’ve had fun. I’ve learned a lot. But, it’s time for a change. No, I’m not quitting the challenge…just changing some things up a little. All things have a natural progression. If you were to look at my first reviews in 2006 I didn’t mention an author fact or any book trivia. In a lot of reviews I didn’t even find a favorite line to quote as proof I read the book. Those elements of the review evolved slowly over time. Recently, I found two more details that need to change and, unlike the previous changes, these come with an announcement instead of a slow introduction.

The first is simple. If Pearl says something specific  about a book or author I want to note it, so I’m starting a “Nancy said” sentence right after book trivia. If she didn’t say anything other than to list the title, oh well. I think this addition to the review is a natural one, since I have been mentioning what Nancy said about some titles. Case in point: Pearl liked Halberstam’s The Fifties and I made note of that.

The second change is very dramatic (to me in my own little world anyway). This change literally throws all my comparison stats out the window. I am moving the anniversary to a calendar year. For ten years now I have counted the books read between December 1st and November 30th as a complete year. It’s too complicated that way for reasons I can’t get into right now. Let’s just say a January 1st to December 31 cycle will work best. Let the (new) games begin!


I have gotten obsessed with the show, ‘Hoarders’ on A&E (at least I think it’s A&E…). It’s all about people who collect and keep things until the things control their lives. It’s rather scary, but I watch the show to encourage me & myself to take a keen eye to our own clutter. Books, hair clips, shoes, casserole dishes, letters, hotel lotions, charity walk t-shirts. It all starts to pile up after awhile. Loss of control isn’t all that out of the ordinary.

I’m feeling a little disheveled when it comes to the Book Challenge. Old blogs aren’t filed properly. They don’t follow format and are missing valuable tags. There is no order to the older stuff. At the same time, I have the sudden obsession to call Ms. Pearl out on a few things. Like, why are (nearly) whole chapters in More Book Lust made up of books already listed in Book Lust? There are over 100 titles listed in both books. Some have triple or even quadruple mentions.

In an effort to organize this whole project I am taking a closer look at all of the older book review blogs. I am cleaning up tags (and adding missing ones), including a BookLust Twist to the really old posts, and taking note of repeat titles. I realize this is going to be really annoying for anyone with an RSS feed to this blog. You’ll think I’m writing up a storm when really, all that’s happening is an update here or there. I am really, really sorry about that. I just need a little mis en place in my life.

This Side of Writing

I have to admit the Other Blog is now getting the juicier stuff. The writing about running has leaked into a more psyche-driven state full of meltdowns and murmurings…whereas this side of writing has been more about books. Not being about to write throughout the month of May and not wanting to write in the month of June has had it’s disadvantages, for sure. I think the end result is a bias towards books. Maybe this is what I wanted all along. The other blog is getting the heartache stuff, the mind spewing stuff. I don’t know if this a temporary thing or if this site was meant for reviews or what. Maybe it’s my way of going underground again…like I did with ThatSpace’s blog. Uprooted and transferred when the traffic got too heavy. Maybe I don’t want my insanity to be that transparent, that troubling for anyone else but me. I honestly don’t know. What I do know is that I have gotten too cryptic on this side. Book reviews are more honest and more open than anything else…on this side. My rants have been saved for the other side. It’s been interesting to watch.

So. I guess I am saying this blog is slowly becoming a book blog…I’ll save the breakdowns and broken blogs for the other side. It seems saner that way…and in a way, safer. Not sure why I think that way, but there it is.

Destroying Stupid Part I

I had saved all of my other ramblings from ThatSpace. Kept them in a book for some odd reason. Yesterday, I started rereading them. Today I started destroying them. Yesterday they meant something. Today they are stupid. In between the lines I found a few words worth saving, but for the most part I enjoyed destroying stupid.

  • It is not what was said that has cut into my self respect. It’s the justification that followed. I am walking anger. ~ March 13, 2006
  • There is no drama in my marriage, no Jezebel moments. ~March 28, 2006
  • I have faith in 11/06/06. ~ April 6th, 2006.
  • I am ten steps away from my black cloud. ~ April 26th, 2006
  • I make no apologies for choosing not to streak so naked through my rant with reckless, yet vulnerable abandon. ~ July 25, 2006

It’s funny. I think I hold onto all these statements because I remember the moments that prompted them. Isn’t that always the way? You hang onto a hurt because of the way it makes you hate. Well, hate’s a really strong word. I’ll take that one back. And…not all of these favorite quotes come from wanting to bash someone’s head in. April 6th was the day I decided to say something about my sister’s pregnancy. November 6th was the due date. I was hoping for Halloween, but spooky didn’t cooperate. April 26th quote was a bout of melancholy that had nothing to do with madness. *sigh*

These are the days I will remember. For the rest there’s destroying stupid.

Generation Gap

Me: I still can’t believe my blog has 77 hits today.

Much Older You: Hits? What does that mean?

Me: It means my blog was looked at 77 times.

You: Doesn’t that worry you, having 77 people look at your stuff?

Me: Well, it could also be one person going back 77 different times.

You: Oh. Well. That’s much better. That must mean they like you.

Me: ??? Um. Errr…If you say so…

Special thanks to the Love of my life for posting…

Standing on the Platform…

For those of you in the know, you know that’s the beginning of a line from the movie Sliding Doors, one of my all time favs. The scene cracks me up.
But, back to the platform. That’s me. Standing on the platform in Indecision City. A really nice author friend likes my book reviews. She’s said as much. Like I said, really nice. But, and it’s a big but, she’s not so wild about the ranting. She gets a little squeamish when I mention the bullsh!t. Especially when it relates to my life. TMI! “I like what you read. I like how your brain works when you read. Your heart…well, it’s more than I need to know.” Odd. I say odd because most people classify my “reviews” as dry, without substance…the stuff they mutter “yeahyeahyeahwhatever” about as they scroll to the juicier bits. Hmmm. Here’s someone on the other side. A first!

So, this got me thinking. Do I split hairs with topics and separate my blogs? In truth, I’m already doing that. I “journal” my workout sessions, running miles, eating habits and yoga (dis)graces in another blog, just around the corner from here. It gets like two hits a day, but I’m okay with that. I just needed another space to fill up with “My shoulder keeps popping during overhead presses. This is NOT normal!”
So. Do I weed out the writing about reading and put it somewhere else? Start a fourth blog? Seems kind of excessive, right? Well, not if I would be writing those things anyway…Each blog would have more relevance to one thing. Maybe the BookLust Challenge blog would end up on someone else’s “review list” or something…

Or do I embrace life as I know it? Keep running&yoga where it is. Keep books&blatherings together in an unlikely (but surviving) marriage? There is no doubt I was hurt by someone stealing my creativity and passing it off as her own. I’m not flattered. But, I’m also not deterred. I will not stop using these spaces as creative outlets. Write on I will. But, here’s the question – how?

ps~ this was supposed to be the real  blog of the day!

Surfing the Words of Others

I wanted to title this blog, “write something damn you!” But, I decided that was a little harsh…You see, I have friends who blog. WordPress people. When I added them to my blogsurfer I thought, “cool. a new and different way to keep in touch. awesome.” Not so awesome. Only a few people actually write with regularity. I get bored. So, I started the hunt for new and interesting people. That in itself has a curse attached. I found Frogshake. Added the blog to my “list.” Soon after the words stopped coming. Same with someone else. And someone else. Huh. Started (again!) searching for other words; other people with interesting things to say. Added them to the surf. The words rolled to a stop. Flat calm seas. Again. What, exactly, is going on? Am I cursing the blogging universe by wanting to read them on a regular basis?  

I like words. I like them even better when they are strung together in thought-provoking, insightful, even funny sentences. Best is when they are from people I adore. John Mayer is good with words. I’d read him more often if he gave up the silly singing career and devoted his time to putting pen to paper…like that’s gonna happen! That’s not to say I don’t enjoy his music or his lyrics…he’s just good with the words no matter how he gets them out.

So. Here’s a request. Tell me your favorite blogs. Do you have one I haven’t read? Where do you go for words? I know someone who stalks a weasel. But, what else is there? Email me. call me. text me. comment me. write on my wall. whatever. You will be doing me a huge favor. I won’t add them to the surf or the roll, though. I wouldn’t want to jinx anything!

ps~ a word on my links, speaking of blogs… You may have noticed a change in favorites. Yes, this was deliberate.
Sometimes, you outgrow a life. Sometimes you just grow up. I think I did a little of both.

Plugged In

It feels like a sin to be plugged in on vacation. Connected while trying to break away. Truth is, I’ve been writing everyday, thinking about my words, shaping what I want to say. Here are some things I have been observing, feeling, sensing, experiencing- all worth mentioning at some point:

  • “Do you want to see a free show?”
  • Scavenger hunt antics
  • No slot machine?
  • Plastic bags make great music
  • Flicker Sex
  • Outdoor Natalie
  • Bananas again?
  • Orgasmic Mesa 
  • Where are the damn statues?
  • Caesar’s again???
  • Nothing with the name Kobe in it!
  •  I hate Penske trucks
  • Dock of the Bay
  • Gotta run

Okay, that’s really cryptic, but those will be the titles of upcoming blogs. I have a feeling Ruby will be able to figure out a few of them, thanks to her Vegas expertise. Seriously, I have been having a great time. We have been on the go every single second, it seems – so, I haven’t run. Yet.

Today is the Long Beach aquarium, some boat (forgot the name) and more sight seeing. For now, breakfast. More tomorrow – maybe a real blog if we can transfer pics (I’ve taken about 200 so far).

Love ya!