Monday, September 30, 2019

Reading Update

Even though I haven't being post much the past 2 months (due to a health flare up), I have read a total of 33 books during the months of August and September! 

I'm just really behind at the moment on writing book reviews as I've only written/posted 4 reviews of the 33 books I've read during August and September.

Hopefully, I can start posting more book reviews soon. In the meantime, I'll keep reading more books.

Here's why physical books still outsell e-books!!

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

I read Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson this week for Banned Books Week. This is the third young adult novel I've read by Laurie Halse Anderson and as usual, her writing is powerful, emotional, and phenomenal! I've also read and reviewed Speak and Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson.

With that said, I found Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson to be a difficult novel to read. In fact, Wintergirls is my least favorite novel by the author to date as I found it to be too raw and depressing. Wintergirls deals with anorexia, bulimia, and cutting/self-mutilation.

According to an article I discovered on the Penguin Teen website titled, 10 Books to Celebrate During Banned Books Week, Wintergirls has been banned because it "has been said to be like a 'guide' for teens who want to starve themselves, and possibly triggering for those who have suffered."

Below is the plot summary for Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson from Amazon:
“Dead girl walking,” the boys say in the halls.“Tell us your secret,” the girls whisper, one toilet to another.I am that girl.I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.
Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the skinniest. But what comes after size zero and size double-zero? When Cassie succumbs to the demons within, Lia feels she is being haunted by her friend’s restless spirit.
In her most emotionally wrenching, lyrically written book since the multiple-award-winning Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson explores Lia’s descent into the powerful vortex of anorexia, and her painful path toward recovery.
I am giving Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Positive Options for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS): Self-Help and Treatment by Elena Juris

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a topic near and dear to my heart, but a difficult topic for me to discuss with those outside of very close family members and friends.

10 years ago, I went in for a routine blood draw and during my drive home afterward, I began feeling a plethora of disturbing symptoms: numbness, tingling, swelling, and pain at the blood draw site that radiated/spread into my forearm, wrist, hand, and fingers. 

The symptoms steadily grew worse on my drive home to the point that I could no longer close my hand and make a fist shortly after arriving home. My fingers looked like fat, red sausages and my hand and wrist were swollen beyond belief. 

New symptoms kept appearing: sweaty palm, intense burning sensations, waxy/shiny skin that made my fingers, hand, wrist, and forearm look like they belonged on a mannequin, and several other forms of pain. I was in constant pain 24/7 and in a lot of distress over what was going on.

After seeing my primary care physician, having an ultrasound, a MRI, and seeing 2 to 3 different specialists, I was finally diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) 2 to 3 months after the blood draw that caused it. 

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is not curable, but can go into remission. There is loads of information about it online and not all of the information is positive.

Long story short, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) has been a difficult journey with various highs and lows. I've recently had a pretty bad flare up (which is still ongoing) beginning in early August 2019 that has kept me from doing much blogging and other basic daily activities without some assistance. I've given up on knitting and several other activities for the time being as well. 

So if you don't see me posting much on my blog or responding to comments you leave for me... or don't find me commenting on your blog posts... please don't take it personally. I'm currently on a healing journey.

I've recently read Positive Options for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS): Self-Help and Treatment by Elena Juris and have come away with a renewed outlook regarding CRPS. I am armed with new information and look forward to trying some new protocols. Onward I MUST go!!

Here's a summary for Positive Options for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS): Self-Help and Treatment by Elena Juris from Amazon:
Imagine if the mere breeze of an air conditioner on your skin were to cause excruciating pain. For those suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), previously called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), this crippling neuropathic pain poses an unrelenting reality. With symptoms such as swelling, hypersensitivity, stiffness, burning pain, and temperature abnormalities, CRPS can develop at any time and quickly leaves its victims disabled and isolated.
This book explains CRPS in an accessible style for all readers, providing the latest medical treatments, complementary therapies, and holistic coping strategies for maximizing the potential for healing. Readers will find a wealth of tips on life modifications to help better manage their condition. They'll find two interviews with practitioners who offer insights every patient should know, with the help of pain specialist Edward Carden, MD, and occupational therapist and neurological acupuncturist Sheri Barnes. They'll find a discussion of complementary therapies to tailor to their needs. They'll find a list of "dynamite distractions" that can refresh the pain-wracked mind and help readers rediscover their imagination and humor, when they just need to take their mind off the illness. They'll draw hope from real patient testimonies on techniques for transforming the pain and discomfort of CRPS. They'll find a chapter addressed to loved ones, providing advice and support in their difficult roles as encouragers and caregivers. Finally, readers will find information on how everyone can help to increase CRPS awareness, and an extensive list of resources to help patients and caregivers begin to connect with the support available.
CRPS remains a mysterious, poorly understood condition and few books about it exist, as knowledge of the syndrome continues to evolve. Previously, the condition was called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD). This second, retitled edition to the original Positive Options for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD): Self-help and Treatment (2004) is chock-full of new information, reflecting a decade's worth of advancements following the popular debut of the book's first edition.
I am giving Positive Options for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS): Self-Help and Treatment by Elena Juris 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Author, Ann Patchett's Bookstore, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee

Wow, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee looks like a really cool, independent bookstore!! The website for Parnassus Books is well done, so check out their website by clicking on the above link.

If I ever visit Nashville, Tennessee, I'll have to stop by Parnassus Books. 

Check out the above video to learn more.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday - The Ten Books In My 'TBR' I’ve Avoided Reading and Why!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader GirlTop Ten Tuesday was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Below are the Top Ten Books In My TBR I’ve Avoided Reading and Why.

1. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Duma - I have the unabridged audio version of this novel and the listening time for it is 43 hours, 52 minutes!! I've heard nothing but great things about this classic novel, BUT the time it will take to listening to it seems like a lot of time to devote to a single novel.

2. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy - I was a Russian language major in college and love Russian classic novels. Believe it or not, I have yet to read Anna KareninaI have the unabridged audio version of this novel and the listening time for it is 35 hours, 35 minutes!! I've heard nothing but great things about this classic novel, BUT the time it will take to listening to it seems like a lot of time to devote to a single novel!!!

3. Blackwater: The Complete Saga by Michael McDowell - I have the unabridged audio version of this saga and the listening time for it is 30 hours, 9 minutes!! This is another one of those long books by a new to me author and it seems daunting to listen to a novel because of its length.

4. Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl - I picked up an autographed copy of this novel at The Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona shortly after it came out in 2006. I thought the title was catchy and it sounded like a great novel, but I have yet to read this novel. I am not sure why I haven't read this book yet.

5. Encounter With Tiber by Buzz Aldrin & John Barnes - Okay, I had the wonderful opportunity of briefly meeting Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, at an author signing event in 1996 for his above mentioned novel. (I even had my photograph taken with him!! How cool is that??) Of course, I had Buzz Aldrin sign his book for me at the event as well... (I think the author signing event was at a Barnes and Noble in San Diego???) But the fact is, I've never read Encounter With Tiber to this day!! Looking back on it now, I think I was just happy to have met Buzz Aldrin in person, have my photo taken with him, and have a signed book by him. Encounter With Tiber is a science fiction novel. I've never been much of a science fiction fan. Plus, it is a long book at over 500 pages, which is another reason why I've never read the book. I've kept Encounter With Tiber all of these years. Maybe I should read it to see if it is any good!

6. The Devil's Company by David Liss  - I picked up the autographed, hardback edition of The Devil's Company at an indie bookstore over 5 years ago. I had heard great things about David Liss's writing, so when I found an autographed copy of his above mentioned novel, I bought it. What I didn't realize at the time was that The Devil's Company is the 3rd novel in a series!! I generally don't like starting novels that are in the middle of a series. I haven't felt like buying the 1st two novels in the series and starting the series from the beginning. I have a feeling that this novel will remain unread. I am thinking of selling it online.

7. The 5-Minute Face: The Quick & Easy Makeup Guide for Every Woman by Carmindy - I use to love watching the television series, 'What Not To Wear'. I thought the make-up artist, Carmindy, always did a good job applying make-up for guests on the show, making them look natural. So when I discovered that Carmindy had come out with a make-up book several years ago, I decided to buy it to learn a few tricks as I'd never been much of a make-up wearer. Long story short, I've never read the book (yet), mainly because I haven't worn make-up the last 6 years. But I may return to wearing make up again in the years to come, so have kept the book in my collection.

8. S by J. J. Abrams - I remember learning about this book before it had been published in October 2013. I knew I had to obtain a copy of S once it was released and read it asap. It sounded to intriguing and unique not to read and keep in my personal collection. Why I still haven't read this book yet is a mystery to me!

9. Wear Your Dreams: My Life in Tattoos by Ed Hardy - For the record, I have no tattoos, nor do I ever plan to obtain any tattoos. However, during the past 20 to 25 years, it seems like everyone from every walk of life is having themselves tattooed. 

Ed Hardy is one of the well known tattoo artists that have made a big name for himself. Interested in popular culture, I decided to acquire a copy of his memoir to learn about his life. Somewhere along the way, I lost interest in reading Ed Hardy's memoir. BUT, there is still hope that I may end up reading Hardy's memoir after all... I recently learned that the de Young Museum in San Francisco, California has an Ed Hardy exhibit now through early October of this year. Maybe if I see the exhibit, I will become inspired once again to read this memoir.

10. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson - I started reading this novel years ago after watching the movie, but I gave up on it roughly 20-30 pages into it as I just couldn't get into at the time. I've never tried reading it again. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has been such a popular read, so maybe I should give it another try??? 

Maybe I need some inspiration here... Have you read any of the above books?? Is there a single book in particular I should REALLY read this year? Let me know in the comment section below!