princessofburundi: (Default)
I slept for eight hours last night, stayed awake for 3 1/2 hours then took a six hour nap. Now I'm almost ready for bed again. An hour or so ago I drove to the corner store - one minute away - picked up apple juice, Fresca, and cat food, and came home so exhausted that I was shaking. I'm still feverish. It really sucks when you're alone in the world and there's no one to take care of you when you're sick.

I read in bed last night until I was struggling to keep my eyes open, but finished the second in Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo's Martin Beck series. This was The Man who went up in Smoke, from 1966. Sjowall and her partner Wahloo are often credited as the forerunners in Scandinavian noir crime fiction, and I am inclined to agree. I love the immense amount of detail and character development in these books, the dreary mind of their protagonist, his search for meaning when life and his job seem pointless. Martin Beck is a very flawed character - an early Kurt Wallander or Harry Hole. He never feels well, he has a low boredom threshold, his marriage and his relationship with his children are both tenuous, his co-workers irritate him, he smokes too much. One of the things that makes the Martin Beck novels as unusual as they are is that whole chapters go by with no plot development because absolutely nothing is happening in the case, but yet Sjowall and Wahloo manage to keep the reader's attention by their descriptive paragraphs, and by having their protagonist suffer the pangs of wondering if anything is ever going to happen, just as the reader is doing. All in all it was an excellent mystery with an unforeseen conclusion. I am planning to continue reading the series bit by bit.

I've only read about thirty pages today; I started Carlos Ruiz Zafon's The Shadow of the Wind. I don't know what to make of it yet. It seems an odd tale, but I'm interested to see where it's going.

Good night, all.
princessofburundi: (books and candle)
I didn't do a ton of reading in April, but I did manage six books:

books read in April )
princessofburundi: (Default)
So I've given up on reading The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly. It's awful. And you know a book is awful when you're avoiding all reading in order to escape from a bad book. This book was a bad rip-off of Jurassic Park, but set in China, and using dragons instead of dinosaurs. I remember how tightly written Crichton's Jurassic Park was and how bad this is in comparison. The dialogue is so bad. I hate not finishing books, but I'm going to pass on completing this one.

Instead, I'm going to read A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, which is the first in a series of urban fantasy novels set in London. I don't always like urban fantasy, but the back of the book really intrigued me, and the clerk in the bookstore was very positive about it; she was reading the second in the series at the time.

I'm continuing to make my slow way forward in The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukerjee. It's fascinating reading. I'm only reading a bit at a time because my brain can only process a little science in one go, but it is excellent, terribly informative without being incomprehensible. I highly recommend it.

My reading trend is to be reading something fictional, with short bursts of non-fiction a few days a week. I'd like to start reading Les Miserables bit by bit in the same way I do with non-fiction, but it's still sitting there on the coffee table gathering dust. I think I might try The Hunchback of Notre Dame instead; I am determined to read all the big fat classics before my eventual death. Hopefully that's decades away because there is so much left to read!
princessofburundi: (Default)
It's nearly 4 a.m. and I'm still wide awake. This undoubtedly is because I slept for a full twelve hours last night, and didn't wake up until nearly 1 p.m. I'm reading in bed, The Great Zoo of China, which is a repeat of Jurassic Park, only set in China, and with dragons instead of dinosaurs. The writing isn't great, dialogue rather stilted, but it's not a long book, so I'll finish it.

I've been watching "Big Love" on CraveTV - a TV show about a polygamist family in Utah - and there was a scene where women were lamenting being evicted from their homes on the FLDS compound with only five minutes to collect their things. I was astounded at how hard this hit me. I am not going into detail, but last October I was illegally evicted from where I was living in the Canadian Arctic with two hours to get out. This happened in the peak of polar bear season, which means peak tourist season; there were no hotel rooms and it was a really and truly horrible and dangerous situation which has left me traumatized and scared of my own shadow. I had no idea that the mere mention of eviction on a TV show would affect me as sharply as it did. Thank goodness I have a therapist.

I'm still thinking about the teaching ESL thing. I haven't made up my mind. It seems like a good idea. I can get certified online, and I can probably get financial aid for the cost of the course. But before I make any decision, I'll need to investigate the job market to see whether or not I'd be likely to get a job teaching English as a Second Language either locally or overseas. I'm 53, and many of the overseas options close at age 50, I am given to understand. I also don't live in a big city centre that attracts a lot of immigrants, and I'd be reluctant to move to another city, partially because I don't have the money to relocate. So I will have to research job opportunites and then make a decision. Also, it is a bit daunting, at my age, to be starting an entirely new venture. This is the part of my life where I always thought I'd be gliding towards retirement - my dad retired at 55, and my mum a couple of years after that - not starting anew. I am feeling timid, and will need to gather some courage to make a new life for myself.
princessofburundi: (Default)
I'm so tired and hyped that I can't get to sleep; I thought that journalling might relax me.

I'm hyped because I'm worried about a friend's baby. He's not quite 10 weeks old and he is losing weight instead of gaining. His mum is breastfeeding, but they've figured out that he's only getting 1 oz. of milk per feed, which simply isn't enough to maintain a growing baby. I went over to the hospital to bring my friend food and beverages and to sit with her a bit; she's very worried and was glad to have someone to talk to. I love this little baby and I want him to thrive. I hope nothing is wrong with him.

Bought myself a book today: A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab; fantasy and it looks interesting. And I ordered three books from Chapters last night. I would be much better off financially if I didn't buy books, but is life without buying books really living? I love my ever-growing library.

Okay....going to find something to do to help me wind down. Journalling isn't doing it. Good night, all.
princessofburundi: (Default)
Still sick, but knowing the cause has really calmed me down, and the thought that ceasing to take the pills means that I won't be sick to my stomach all the time is such a pleasant thing.

My son finally paid me back the money he owes me, so I've treated myself mildly. I ordered a couple of books online last night, bought a book at the mall today, and got my hair cut (badly needed). The rest I will keep safely tucked in my bank account. It makes a world of difference to be able to do something nice for myself.

I'm home again, tired from the anti-nauseants, and am probably going to nap. I'm so very glad to be home.
princessofburundi: (teal waves)
I'm sure that there's a way to put parts of entries under a cut, but I have no idea how. If anyone knows, please help! On the positive side, I've remembered how to used HTML to make a list.

General points: Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky is hands down the best book I've read so far this year. I have also greatly enjoyed Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay, A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, and am having a love affair with Kate Morton's books; I've read three of them so far this year and have been thoroughly and happily engrossed by all of them.

At present I'm reading the fascinating A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki.

What I've read so far in 2017: )

First Entry

Apr. 9th, 2017 09:12 pm
princessofburundi: (Default)
It's been ages since I had an online journal. Years. It was an easy decision to follow a couple of friends over here to Dreamwidth, but a much more difficult decision to choose a journal style, and an even harder one to choose a journal title; eventually I decided to leave that blank for a while when I realized that I was beginning to panic because I couldn't think of a pithy title.

Interests, the profile page wanted to know. That was a challenge. I've been depressed for so long, and I've been in upheaval for even longer, and I have no idea anymore what interests me, beyond books and binging on Netflix. The truth is that very little interests me anymore. I'd like to change that but am only in the very early stages of finding out how.

I don't know what to write. All of this is filling me with uncertainty.

I'm Allie. I have cats. Two of them, one of whom is preparing to investigate my typing and looking like she's going to cause a nuisance. I live in Canada, in a small and unattractive city. I have three children, two daughters and a son, the daughters are 27 and 18, and the son is 25. No grandkids yet.

I read a lot. Books are my lifeline and always have been. I plan to post about books I've read here. And I wonder if there are communities here, like there were on LJ, where I can meet other bibliophiles. I suppose I will figure this out in time.

Right then, first entry completed, off I go to explore the world of Dreamwidth.


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