Wednesday, September 2, 2015


It's been a while since I last posted. I tried a few times, but Instagram is so much easier. August was a beautiful month. I had lovely visitors. I took a vacation with B and 5 other adults, all of whom loved playing with Brycen so I could have some downtime and keep my feet up. There was baseball playing, campfires, s'mores, kite flying, miniature golf, ice cream, biking around the porch 60,212 times, rocking chairs and after the youngster went to bed, Cards Against Humanity - naughty, naughty game. And when he was tired from all this, he sat next to me to color, or play with stickers, or do a puzzle.

 I currently have chemo every 2 weeks, (as long as my bilirubin is low), which has had some nasty side effects, but has bought me the gift of living longer, so we take the side effects. I have slept a lot. I have read a lot. I need to find an online book club. Maybe even an online book club for cancer patients. And yes, I have read The End of Your Life Book Club. Sometimes my mom reads a book after I read it, and we discuss it, and it's just like that book, except in the book the mother had cancer, not the son.

I am babbling and running my mental energy down. Here are the books I've read so far in 2015:

(they are not in the order I read them in)

1. The Red Tent - highly recommend
2. All the Light We Cannot See - hard to get into, but a page turner after that. Highly recommend
3. The Blue Bistro - fluff read, no thinker, chic lit, beach read. Whatever lingo you use. It was ok.
4. Barefoot - fluff read, but I really enjoyed it. Definitely a good beach choice.
5. Beautiful Day - fluffer. It was ok. 
6. Summerland - not sure I remember what it was about. I am sure it took place in Nantucket and I am sure there was an affair thrown in. 
7. Where’d You Go Bernadette? - yes, yes, yes. Highly recommend. 
8. The Boston Girl - Highly recommend
9. The Rosie Project - could NOT put it down. 
10. The Rosie Effect - a little disappointing after the first book.
11. Me Before You - ick. I didn't get the hype for this book.
12. Still Alice - Wonderfully written on a very sad topic.
13. The Girl on the Train - thriller, I could not put it down
14. Orphan Train - highly recommend
15. The Vacationers - another fluff read. I am sure there was an affair involved. I wasn't too into it. 
16. Sharp Objects - Gillian Flynn gives me nightmares. But she does it well! Not sure how I ended up reading this one and not Dark Places, but the latter is on my to-read list. 
17. An Abundance of Katherines - I saw this book in a pile of books someone brought over and just started reading. I would have liked it 20 - 25 years ago. 

18. The Husband’s Secret - here starts my obsession with Liane Moriarty, who's books are placed in Australia. I thought the books were going to be no thinkers - no effort needed on my part except to keep her 20+ characters straight, but her books have more to them then I thought. I recommend anything by her. 
19. What Alice Forgot - There is always a character named Jane in her books. Is Jane the most common names in Australia?
20. Big Little Lies - If you like her other books, I recommend this one too!
21. The Invention of Wings - Best Sue Monk Kidd book, in my opinion. Sad topic, but I highly recommend it
22. The Book of Unkown Americans - quick read but very well written. Told my mom to put it way up in her book pile. 

I sometimes get asked how I pick my books, especially lately. 1. I have favorite authors, so I often stick to them. 2. I see books being recommended on Instagram - when it gets to 3 different people liking the same book, I start to take an interest. 3. I look on best seller lists. 4. I listen to what friends are reading and raving about, especially friends who have the same interests as me. And when it all lines up, I know I have to try that book.

I am now exhausted from writing all this! And it was not even what I would consider good writing. Stupid chemo. Stupid cancer. 


  1. Hey Karen, so wonderful to hear from you! My heart is filled with joy over your description of your August! The photo of Brycen in his little rocking chair made my heart skip a beat! I will continue to pray your days are filled with joy! And many more books!

  2. There's always goodreads for a book club. I like it because I like to see what my friends are reading and what they think of those books.

    Glad to see that August was such a good month for you (crappy cancer aside). Now time to find that campervan!

  3. Hey! Did you read Bossy Pants or Yes Please yet? Soooo good!! Mindy Kaling's book is a good lighthearted romp as well.
    Good to hear your words :)

    1. I definitely read Bossy Pants, but not the others. They will go on my list!! I hope all is well in AK!! I have seen some FALL pictures from there already!!

  4. Love this post, Karen and so glad you had such a full and relaxing month! We played Cards Against Humanity on vacation, too!

    Love your book list and love discussing books with you! I was thinking you could create a private group on Facebook to use as an online book club and then invite friends who you know are readers to join and discuss books. Could be fun! I've never been in a book club - I like the idea, but have been afraid of the commitment, so I love the online idea!

    1. I was in a book club for a few years, and the only book (that I was there for) that we discussed at length was "We Have to Talk About Kevin." (Scary topic, but such an intriguing read, especially when I pregnant with a boy at the time). ALL the other time I attended we ended up talking about the book for 20 min then moving on to other subjects. I actually found the club through craigslist - so it was quite the leap for me to attend with strangers. After I had Brycen I never had time to read or go, and eventually the club dismantled because so many people moved away. One of the girls has been sending me books since I was diagnosed, thats how I discovered a lot of the above books!!

      I will let you know if I discover an online group, or if I am willing to start my own!

  5. i stumbled on your blog via your comment on the cupofjo post re: books. i've read 17 of the books you listed. if you are looking for additional recommendations, you might like the martian (the central character is really endearing, plus the movie will be released oct. 3) and the luckiest girl alive (a light easy entertaining read). my sister had a wretched cancer diagnosis and went through several rounds of chemo, clinical trials, and procedures (she was diagnosed with terminal gastric cancer at age 28). if you ever need someone to talk to (books or cancer), feel free to message me.

  6. Hi--I found you through your Cup of Jo link, too. Thanks for the book recommendations, and I hope you feel good!


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