I'm Sarah! I love to read, write, and create. My blog is to share my passion for life while living with chronic pain. I hope you'll enjoy this journey and a good book with me!
I haven't had a chance to update my domain to match my blog name, yet, but I'm working on making it all come together!
Visiting from a search engine? New here? This is what you need to know:
I'm not doing well, health-wise, so I have not been updating or writing as much as I would like.
However, I am trying to write once or twice a week!
Also, if you have a problem with the Le Tote post that I wrote two years ago, I'm sorry. It's the Internet.
Most Popular Posts
2017 Reading Challenge
- Le Tote: A Very Honest Review
- Love Jane Austen? 10 More Books to Read!
- How to Deal with One Sided Friendships
- 9 Ways to Ease Your Cervical Dystonia Pain
- My Dogs Love this Amazing Alternative to Greenies
- 10 Ways to be an Amazing Friend to Chronically Ill People
- About Me
- Books Like Gone Girl: Recommendations
This post is to update my progress on the audiobook challenge! I said I would listen to 30-50 books between January 1 and December 31, 2015. Let's see how I'm doing (all titles are clickable to go to Goodreads!): Wessex Tales
I couldn't think of an easy way to link my reviews of my (eventual) 50 classic books the way that the Classics Club requests, since I do a simple round up at the beginning of each month. I do separate the contemporary from the classics, but I thought that it wouldn't hurt to do a quick recap of all of the classics to update my membership! If you want to know more about the Classics Club, you can go here! You are welcome to start your challenge, pick your number of books, and set your time period at any time! For my membership, I am trying to read 50 books within two years. My deadline is December 24, 2016. You can read my projected list of books here. It's already changing, though!Please note that comments with links that are not relevant to the discussion will not be approved. Personal signatures with blog URLs will be deleted. Please use the Disqus profile to add your blog's URL, so that I can find you.
Rating: ****This is the first novel from my list of 50 Classic books that I read! It was a short, but good one that I had always meant to read, but never did.
Rating: ***This novella by Henry James was fun look at cultural expectations placed upon women, which A Portrait of a Lady, which I read earlier in 2014, explored more in depth. (This novel was also read as part of my 50 books)
Rating: ***I’m sorry. I can’t not compare this to Little Women. It’s like half as good, so 3 stars was a generous rating.
Rating: ****This short(er) novel from Gaskell was much more fun and lighthearted than North and South, the only other novel that she wrote that I have read. I enjoyed the fist person narrative about the "quiet" country town that was anything but quiet. It was full of quirky characters who had a touching dedication to helping their neighbors--no matter how silly the circumstance might be.
Rating: ***I really wish that I had read this before I read a biography of the Fitzgeralds' since it is semi-autobiographical. It was a little predictable because of that. I also wish that I had read This Side of Paradise first, since it was Fitzgerald's breakout novel. This novel was very interesting because I read it immediately following The Beautiful and Damned. The novel takes place during the Jazz Age, also, but it takes place in the UK. It dealt a lot with social classes, like The Beautiful and Damned, but it referred to World War I and the class changes a lot more than Fitzgerald. Money was discussed at length in both novels. Lady Chatterley's Lover is much more explicit with sex than The Beautiful and Damned, which danced around the topic much more. Honestly, I was completely shocked that this novel was published in the 1920's, due to the explicit nature of some of the scenes and language. Lady Chatterley's Lover does mention jazz, dancing, and bobbed hair in passing, but it more about what love, sex, and intimacy means to men and to women. Lawrence wrestles with the three (love, sex, and intimacy) to see where and if they overlap with each other, plus how men and women might view them differently! Women and aristocratic women, specifically, are held to a different standard in Lady Chatterley's Lover, as opposed to The Beautiful and Damned, where the men seem to be falling over themselves to make the American women happy.
Rating: ***I didn't love this, but I didn't hate it. It's not on my list of books to recommend to anyone, anytime soon. Honestly, I didn't find Madame Bovary very sympathetic. I know the point that the author was trying to make, but it got lost among the tedious whining and immorality of Emma (Madame Bovary). I know that social conventions were different when the novel was written and where it was written, but that doesn't change the fact that the main character was written in such a way that I really wanted her to be unhappy. While I enjoyed the novel, I hated the fact that the novel ended on a cliff hanger! You have to read the entire series to get the whole story! I couldn't bear 3 more novels of reading the tedious thoughts of the main character. He's actually kind of boring for a murderer.
I wanted to read this novel because it was the novel that gave Fitzgerald his start. Again, not my favorite book, but I can appreciate it for what it was, a portrait of the "lost generation."
Ok, I love Faulkner. Sanctuary and Absolom, Absolom are two of my favorite novels ever. This one, however, I just couldn't get into it. Maybe I'll try it again some day!
I did enjoy this novel, however it was not Middlemarch. It wasn't close. It felt like an early Thomas Hardy novel. The rural setting, unrequited love, odd/far-fetched situations, and may an attempt to make commentary on social mores and hypocrisy left me feeling like I really did just read something along the lines of The Mayor of Casterbridge (minus the the whole wife selling thing...).I definitely enjoyed it, but I guess I was looking for something either along the lines of Middlemarch or something more original than an early Hardy novel with a slightly happier (only slightly) ending. So, if you DO want more Hardy novels, read this. This novel was a reread for me! You can read all of my thoughts from a book club link up here! (Josie enjoyed it, too!)
Rating: ***Some of these stories were insanely creepy. I can see why they are included in anthologies with Poe. I also think this was my last Hardy novel (well, short stories) to read!
This was an interesting novella. I can appreciate it for what it is, but it is not at the top of my recommendation list. I honestly enjoyed the novella a little bit more in hindsight when I looked up some more information about the author and criticism of the novella. Putting it in context would have made the novella more entertaining, but I was afraid of spoiling the book! It didn't hurt that I listened to the audio version read by Collin Firth... 🙂
It took me a while to get through this book. The prose was very thick, so to speak. There were beautiful details and insight into human nature, but the French characters who spoke broken English made it harder to understand the middle part. I am glad I read the book, but I would not recommend that anyone rush to read it immediately.
Just not funny. I prefer Heyer's funny novels. All these villains and "silly" women kind of rub me the wrong way.You can read my past monthly round ups: February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 And other archived roundups here!
Also, you can find other individual book reviews, tips on saving money on Audible books, book recommendations based on genres and all things related to literature here!
Don't forget that you can add me as a friend on Goodreads so I can steal ideas on what to read next--or see your ratings, so I know what to stay away from!This post contains Amazon Affiliate links that helps defray the cost of running the blog.
Well, if you haven't been following along on Twitter or Instagram, you may have missed that I have had a LOT going on in my life in the last few weeks. I went to The Mayo Clinic, had my birthday, and had some bad customer service, among other things. https://twitter.com/srsly_sarah/status/577208314376769536 Ok, I know wrote my complaint post about Passionfruit. I have tweeted them in the past to complain about not getting my refund, too. Earlier this week, someone tweeted about leaving Passionfruit and going to AdProval, so I tweeted "Slow Clap." And then, while I was complaining about the customer service of another company, I mentioned how they were like Passionfruit. Passionfruit favorited the tweet and then blocked me. That sure is a great business practice, in addition to being notorious for delaying refunds until you've publicly called them out. I haven't purchased a single ad from anyone using Passionfruit since August 2014, and I will continue that for...ever now. Actually, after I tweeted that, an employee for the company started tweeting at me to "forgive" the company. I blocked her, so she emailed me. I should forgive bad customer service? She wanted to have a conversation about it? You can't have a conversation about the fact that Passionfruit tried their damnedest to not give me a refund. https://instagram.com/p/0NjmEzjiuH/?taken-by=seriouslysarahblog Last Saturday morning was nice to sleep in and recover from my trip to the Mayo Clinic. Yes, still recovering days and days later. My husband snapped this awesome picture of our dogs, but I used some newly acquired editing skills to make it look a little better! https://twitter.com/srsly_sarah/status/576859865571819521 Thank goodness for night mode on my phone. https://twitter.com/srsly_sarah/status/576472081484775424 The company that I was complaining about and compared to Passionfruit, in terms of getting my emails responded to was obviously datamining for mentions of their business. Good for them. You know what's not cool? When the founder sees it and jumps into your conversation (where you did NOT tag them) and attacks you with his private account. Then your complaint emails about the ethics go unanswered. If this company had any competition, I would switch in a heartbeat. Their product is amazing, but seriously, answer your dang email. https://instagram.com/p/z7jA4fDigB/?taken-by=seriouslysarahblog JOSIE TURNED 3 YEARS OLD! We still haven't had a chance to officially celebrate her birthday because I was at the Mayo Clinic on her birthday, but we will! https://twitter.com/srsly_sarah/status/577281369618788353 I haven't worked in a pretty long time, but I officially left my job last Friday. My dad worked there for 30 years. I planned on working there a long time, too. I have no idea what the future will hold, but I hope it will help people. https://instagram.com/p/0GyrA-DisQ/?taken-by=seriouslysarahblog So, I officially turned the big 2-7! I was still recovering from my trip, so nothing too fancy (Papa John's pizza at home and cupcakes), but my husband had a custom made mug with a cartoon version of Josie made! I knew it had to be custom because he coloring is so strange. I have hand washed it every day, so I could keep using it. I love it that much. https://twitter.com/srsly_sarah/status/576148867835555840 Since I got sick, styling my hair has been very hard. It is thin and fine, so when it was long, I found myself curling it every single day, which was time consuming. Before I left work, I cut a ton of it off. After leaving work, all I wanted was a ponytail. Regular washing and styling for short hair was too difficult. Now, although I can get a baby ponytail, it makes me feel sad because I can never feel pretty like I did before I hurt so much. I had been thinking about getting hair extensions for a long time, so I decided to get a clip on ponytail. I absolutely love it! Within seconds, I can have hair that I've always wanted (in a bun or ponytail), plus I feel pretty again. I am planning on writing a post with a few more beauty hacks for the chronically ill! https://twitter.com/srsly_sarah/status/575808907035070465 I haven't watched American Idol in years, but a girl from my college, who currently attends, made it to Hollywood week, so we had to watch. Now we can't stop watching. I love Harry Connick Jr., anyway. I definitely have my favorite singers, but I have a bone to pick with these "theme" nights. Just let them sing what makes them sound great! https://instagram.com/p/z2JLQfDihU/?taken-by=seriouslysarahblog https://instagram.com/p/z5PvheDimG/?taken-by=seriouslysarahblog Finally, the first day at the Mayo Clinic, I was unable to fast because they weren't able to tell me when my bloodwork would be, but I needed to eat for my medication. So, I went ahead and had breakfast. Unfortunately, I had to register before the hotel breakfast started, so when we made coffee in the hotel room, all they had were these tiny little cups that were far too small. After double fisting them, registering, going to my first appointment, and then finally having a short break before more things, I bought the largest coffee possible in the cafeteria. I was up at 4 AM, 5 AM, and 6 AM on all the days that I had appointments, plus I didn't sleep well over the weekend because of all of the stress. Don't go there to relax. So, after my 6 AM blood draw and fasting, I ended up REALLY double fisting the coffee! I got some hilarious tweets #ilikebigcupsandicannotlie https://twitter.com/rachel_nordgren/status/573509582393335808 I hope this caught you up a little, since it's been awhile since I've done a Currently post. You can keep up with me real time on Twitter and Instagram! Please note that comments with links that are not relevant to the discussion will not be approved. Personal signatures with blog URLs will be deleted. Please use the Disqus profile to add your blog's URL, so that I can find you.
I'm two days late to this party, but I just had to jump in - and hope to participate in the future because the prompts are so fun. This week's prompt is:
10 Book Related Problems that I Have1. Time. I know a lot of people would be envious of the amount of time that I have to read, but sometimes being sick gets in the way. I listen to books when I can't get my eyes open, but I fear that I'm missing the really good parts. That's why I save things like crime series (Hello King & Maxwell and your stupid narrators, music, and sound effects) or books that aren't as important to me for those days. 2. Too many books! I want to read ALL THE BOOKS. My wishlist on PaperBackSwap is maxed out. I always have 10 books on hold (the max) at the library. I have audible credits and have figured out how to get classic audible books on the cheap. I also saw that buy 5 get one free book deal on Thriftbooks and had to buy the books that my library didn't have. So, I have books crammed in the living room shelves, in the bedroom shelves, and all over my nightstand. It is not unusual for me to fall asleep with books in the bed. 3. Getting to the Library It's no secret that I have some mobility issues. I try to wait until the last possible date to pick up books, so as many as possible will be in and I can return finished books. Fortunately, my library is kind enough to let my family members pick up my holds, if they have my library card. I couldn't use them, if that wasn't possible. 4. Deciding what to read next. So, I have so many books that I want to read. It's hard to pick what to go with next. Of course, I juggle a few books at once, but I am influenced a lot by recent reviews that I read, new books in series, books that I said I would read to review, and now that I'm trying to get back into writing essays, I'm trying to read more examples of good ones, plus advice on non-fiction writing. 5. Fiction Vs. Non-Fiction. My last problem brings me to the Fiction vs. Non-Fiction problem. I love fiction. I always have. My mom read books to me every single night before bed all the way through elementary school. I didn't want her to stop when I was in the 6th grade. I was an English major, so that was quite a bit of fiction. I just gravitate towards getting lost in fiction. However, I love history. The history department at my school recruited me aggressively to be a double major, I was most of the way to an accidental minor in Religion and there was really only one history professor that I liked. I love authors who write about history in a way that makes it feel like a story. Erik Larson's In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin, and other books in that vein. And now that I want to work on my own writing, I've accumulated, but haven't read those writing books yet. 6. Self-imposed pressure to read as much as possible. Ever since I had more time to read and started posting quick reviews every month, I have been putting pressure on myself to read more and more. If I don't read as many as the month before, I feel like I let myself and everyone else down. It makes no sense whatsoever, but I can't cut myself a break. 7. Finding an author I love, but getting burned out. Sometimes an author is so good that I want to read all of his or her books in a row. Some authors are really versatile, so this isn't a problem, but other times, each book is individually good, but too many at once feels like reading the same book on repeat! 8. Picking a medium. Some books just don't translate well onto audio, my preferred method for fiction. Even with the multiple narrators that new recordings are using, it can be hard. For example, I'm reading Astonish Me, which skips around chronologically. Even thought the narrator gives the new date at each change, I think that seeing it or being able to flip back a few pages to see what the last chapter was would be more helpful. One book that I picked up at the library in paperback, Dept. of Speculation, is probably best in hard copy, but sometimes you don't know that until you've already started. 9. Choosing reading over other activities. I love to read, but I love to listen to music. I like some TV. I like other things, but reading is great companionship when I feel lonely and sick. However, sometimes I sacrifice other things I enjoy in the name of reading. I need to stop competing against myself. 10. That TBR list that is out of control. I read a review, see something on my Goodreads feed, etc., and it gets added. For every book I read, it feels like 3 get on the list. The fact that I like to sign up for online reading challenges is not helpful, either! Linking up with Broke and Bookish! You can add me on Goodreads here! - Please note that comments with links that are not relevant to the discussion will not be approved. Personal signatures with blog URLs will be deleted. Please use the Disqus profile to add your blog's URL, so that I can find you.