Posted in Live a Thousand Lives: Read

National Book Lovers Day: My Bookshelf

In honor of yesterday being National Book Lovers day (August 9th), I thought I would make a list of some of my current favorite books and authors with summaries. So if you see something that interests you, feel free to add it to your “to read” pile!

1. Tuesday’s with Morrie by Mitch Albom

“Morrie is an extremely lovable college professor who—in his late sixties—finds out that he is dying. The story of his last few weeks on earth is told by Mitch, one of Morrie’s former students, who happens to bump into him during his final days.”

2. The Grave Series by Darynda Jones

Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e., murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life…and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.

3. Cell by Stephen King

Cell is an apocalyptic horror novel by American author Stephen King, published in 2006. The story follows a New England artist struggling to reunite with his young son after a mysterious signal broadcast over the global cell phone network turns the majority of his fellow humans into mindless vicious animals.

4. The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly

The Tea Rose is a towering old-fashioned story, imbued with a modern sensibility, of a family’s destruction, of murder and revenge, of love lost and won again, and of one determined woman’s quest to survive and triumph. “

5. Speak by Laurie Anderson

After a blurred trauma over the summer, Melinda enters high school a selective mute. Struggling with school, friends, and family, she tells the dark tale of her experiences, and why she has chosen not to speak. In the book Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, Melinda Sordino is forced into the worst year of her life.

She also followed this up with a book about her own traumatic experience that was the spark of inspiration for Speak, called Shout.

6. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter is a series of fantasy novels written by British author J. K. Rowling. The novels chronicle the lives of a young wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.”

7. The Border Chronicles by Bertrice Small

“The Border Chronicles” is a series that was written by Bertrice Small, an author of historical romance and erotica, that has appeared on many different best seller lists in her long career. She is also considered the queen of historical fiction, and writes with an erotica and earthy style. The series takes place in the English and Scottish borderlands before and during the Tudors period.”

8. Unf*ck Your Habitat:You’re better than your mess by Rachel Hoffman

Interspersed with lists and challenges, this practical, no-nonsense advice relies on a 20/10 system (20 minutes of cleaning followed by a 10-minute break; no marathon cleaning allowed) to help you develop lifelong habits. It motivates you to embrace a new lifestyle in manageable sections so you can actually start applying the tactics as you progress. For everyone stuck between The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up andAdulting, this philosophy is more realistic than aspirational, but the goal is the same: not everyone will have a showcase of a home, but whatever your habitat, you deserve for it to bring you happiness, not stress.

9. Stalking Jack the Ripper by Keri Maniscalco

Presented by James Patterson’s new children’s imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion. Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

10. The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule

“The Stranger Beside Me is a 1980 autobiographical and biographical true crime book written by Ann Rule about the serial killer Ted Bundy, whom she knew personally before and after his arrest for a series of murders.

Posted in Anxiety and Experience

Turning Negatives into Positives: Making Delicious Food with Spoiled Scraps

There are definitely times when everything feels like it is falling apart. There are weeks when it feels like I no sooner bring home fresh produce from the grocery story and within what feels like a matter of hours I open my fridge to find that it has spoiled or is on its way to going bad. And if I’m honest, that certainly can put me in a foul mood. Just like with spoiled produce, I have moments in my life where I feel like everything is going smoothly and then out of no where something happens that turns my world upside down.

But there is a silver lining to finding that your blueberries have turned sour and your bananas ripened… you get to make delicious banana bread!

Just like with spoiled produce, all it takes is a little imagination and positive vibes to turn your difficult situation around, no matter what it is. For me, I find that channeling my frustrations and anxiety into baking gives me an outlet. I am able to keep my hands busy so as not to turn to destructive habits, my mind is able to focus on the task at hand without feeling overwhelmed, and at the end I will have the results from my labor: delicious banana bread.

You know the old adage “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”? Well, when life gives you ripened bananas, make banana bread. Reflect on what is going on in that moment that is causing you stress, anxiety, or frustration. Focus on both the positives as well as the negatives of the situation. Think of possible ways that you can channel those emotions in a more positive direction. You may find that though the problem does not entirely disappear, it can become more manageable.

You may still have a craptastic situation that has you feeling all turned around, but maybe if you channel your energy in the right direction, you will have banana bread to munch on while you figure the rest out.

Posted in Music That Feeds the Soul

Music that Feeds the Soul: June Favorites

Current favorites that calmed/inspired/moved me in June include:

  1. Gabbie Hanna-Honestly
  2. Avi Kaplan-The Summit
  3. Panic At the Disco-Sarah Smiles
  4. Sia-Breathe Me
  5. Watsky-Hey, Asshole, Sloppy Seconds
  6. Bebe Rexha-I’m a Mess
  7. Atmosphere- The Best Day
  8. Bryce Vine- Drew Barrymore
  9. Marshmello & Anne-Marie- Friends
  10. Jesse Reyes-Figures
  11. Jon Bellion- Guillotine , Paper Planes
  12. Blackbear-Dirty Laundry
  13. Linkin Park-Heavy
  14. James Arthur- Say You Won’t Let Go
  15. Hilary Duff- Tattoo