Books, Lately [November]

I’ve finished two books since October 1st.


(And one of those was a proofreading job—but if I say it counts, it counts!)

Before that, I was pushing to meet my year goal early—and I did!—and I think once I did that and the external motivation was gone, I relaxed a bit. I’ve still been reading, if not as much, but I haven’t been good at committing to finish anything besides these two below.

Also, I’ve been knitting. A lot. More about that later, but it’s butted into a lot of the sorts of times I normally would read: bus rides, solitary lunches, just before sleeping, standing in lines, walking, etc.

I’m kidding on the knitting while walking. Mostly.


Notes from the Valley  Andy McQuitty

Andy does dark humor very, very well in this book about his spiritual journey through cancer. The book is a sort-of series of letters, from Andy to anyone following behind him in the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Notes releases January 1.






The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making  Catherynne M. Valente
I had this floating around my TBR list for a bit, but that never could have lasted long: I mean, have you read that title? Yes, I would like to read this, please and thank you.

I was mildly disappointed, but only because my expectations were thrown off. It moved slower than I expected, but once I got moving I liked it. It wasn’t a “must know what happens next!!” book for me, but it’s quite good.

I’m part-way through book 2 now, and am becoming increasingly invested and interested as I go.


That’s it. Again, oops. I’ve got my paws in 7 or 8 books right now, and I just can’t seem to commit to finishing anything—but I’m enjoying it well enough, and that counts for something.

And there’s always next month!


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The Art of Adulting: Flowers

This is the first post in my Newly-Minted Adult series, and you could easily misinterpret this as a rather silly topic. But details are important, and this is one of mine, no matter how meandering they happen to be this time.

yellow Chrysanthemum,I began buying myself flowers sometime around the start of my senior year of college. I don’t remember exactly when I figured it out, but I realized that it was a bit ridiculous to associate fresh flowers solely with a beau to present them.

So I would buy myself fresh flowers for my dorm room. I loved it; and the girls I was close to on the floor knew it. When a girl wanted to give me some kind as a thank you for frequently borrowing my Greek text, someone or other rightly told me that a $4 dollar bouquet of flowers would be just as happily accepted as $4 of chocolate.

And then I graduated and moved into my own place, and, for a while, kept on with it. Even when I frequently left the bouquets still cellophane wrapped and  stuck hastily in a vase for a day, they still made me happy—especially when I eventually arranged them.

But after I moved into my studio in Lincoln Park, I noticed I hadn’t been buying myself flowers anymore.

Maybe I realized my penchant for leaving them unarranged was really silly, and why bother? Or there was a level of discontent with my small, crowded space that made flowers less likely to make a difference. Or I finally accepted that I don’t make very much money.

But I think I’ve also come away from the reasons I started doing it in the first place.

School was stressful: a degree of stressful that, while post-grad life achieves it on occasion, was unique to school in that is was so damned consistent. With plenty of things I needed to be doing at any given moment for my job, my education, or maintaining relationships, flowers were just for me. Some people turn to chocolate, and, while I’ll rarely turn down chocolate, flowers were my thing.

I also found myself needing a way to compensate for being 22 and still in a dorm. I wanted a home, so I hung framed things in my single room and arranged carnations in vases. I suppose I could have had plants, but that chances I would have watered them? Slim.

And then, in my first apartment with Rachael, I was struggling to even feel remotely like an adult. At the very least, I could decorate with flowers.

So, now? Do I feel like an adult?

No. Not really.

But I DO have my own place with no roommate. I occasionally clean it too. And all the decorations are mine, and I pay bills. So maybe I’m sort of an adult.

(At the very least, I’m adulting when it is absolutely necessary to adult.)

But I’m not sure any of those are actually good reasons to quit buying flowers. Ever since I realized I had stopped, I realized I missed them a little bit, and have been starting to buy them again—even just cheap carnations from Walmart.

So right now, I’ve got some pom-pommy unnamed yellow pretty things on my desk. And I like it.