What I’m Reading Now – January 2017

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Well, it’s a new year. Once again I’ve set a goal of reading 50 books this year. I’m off to a good start, and starting by stretching my usual reading boundaries. So far, so good – so hopefully it remains as such!!

Don’t think I’ll have much on my “What I’ve read” list…as until recently I hadn’t read much.  Without further ado…here is the reading list.

What I’ve Read

How the Ghost Was Won

— This was, admittedly, a short book 100 pages. I happened to see it in my Facebook feed one day and was completely captivated by the cover. The blurb, however, did me in. I knew I had to have it.

What’s more, I actually read it (a short time later – probably 6 weeks). And read it FAST (and not just because it was 100 pages).

I really enjoyed this book.  I didn’t care that I’d sort of guessed the twist early on (Guessed, but didn’t KNOW. Misdirection was entertainingly maintained to keep me guessing).

Definitely a keeper…I’m even considering putting out the money for the paperback to keep around. I hope we see more in this world. So.Much.Fun.

The Hunger Games Trilogy

Months ago I posted about the random act of kindness that had a customer handing over this trilogy, in print, to me at work. I didn’t know when, or if, I’d get to them. Then one day I randomly caught the first movie on TV.  I enjoyed it more than I’d expected, so I picked up the first book. And then the second. And finally, the third.

I really enjoyed them more than I expected, considering my usual reaction to extremely popular books/movies is “eh”.  The first two were great and held me captivated.  The third…well, not so much. Reading through some reviews, the things that annoyed me/pissed me off about the last book were not what annoyed/pissed off everyone else, so I’m still out of the norm in some ways. 🙂  (translation: I didn’t give two figs who she ended up with)

Anyway, I can finally say I read this trilogy and get it off my list.

I’ve read, or attempted to read, three others in the past couple of months. Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore had been on my list for a while. I read it, but didn’t enjoy it so much. The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty was so ridiculously unbelievable, and the characters so cloying I had to stop reading. I suppose the biggest disappointment of the three was Crewel. I bought it ages ago based on cover alone – bought the whole trilogy – but I couldn’t even finish book one. I’ve already sold it, actually.  When you find yourself questioning some key characters straight off – and then really getting pissed off at one you know is going to be a major player (when you’re not supposed to)…you know it’s going to not be enjoyable. So I bid farewell to the pretty covers and moved on, happily, to other reads.

What I’m Reading Now

06bookHarry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix

Not forgetting that this is a LARGE, VERY large book in the Harry Potter universe, I’m not quite as ashamed to admit that the wee one and I are STILL on this one. There are many reasons why we’re still here, but we are moving our way through slowly…and have passed the halfway point. Hopefully we will finish before the end of January, or February at the latest.


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

The first book that stretches my comfort zone right now. As it’s a screen play, I was nervous to begin, but I find I’m loving it. Thankfully (and of course) I have seen the movie, which helps make the reading of it all the more smooth for me. I can picture it all just as if I were sitting in the theater watching again (which I’d love to do). Very glad hubby surprised me with this for Christmas. 🙂


This is a netgalley find – one I hadn’t expected to get, actually. I thought the cover looked great and ever since my performance in the musical Side Show, I’ve had a soft spot for freaks. 😉  A short way into it, and definitely intrigued. I have a lot on my plate, but looking forward to finishing it!

Big Magic


This one is a huge, giant step outside of my comfort zone.

It’s NON-fiction!


And “self-help”.

However…everyone I know that’s read it raves about it. Then, when hubby and I went out for an afternoon away from the kids (2 weeks of Christmas vacation gets a bit much sometimes 😉 ) – I found this in Barnes & Noble and started to read. I got so hooked in that I bought it there instead of the zon where it’s cheaper. I didn’t want to wait for it. It really is speaking to me where I’m at right now and I’m breezing through it pretty fast.

World War Z (audiobook)

Well, speaking of WAY out of my comfort zone…here’s this one.

It’s a zombie book – and I’m not a big fan of such things.

And…it’s my first ever audiobook.

I have to say – if I was going to pop my audiobook cherry, I don’t think I could have picked a better way to do it. I am having so much fun listening to this (while working on puzzles) and hearing some familiar-to-my-geek-ears voices lending themselves to the story.

I’m really enjoying that the story is not so much about the zombies themselves as the politics and such that led to the outbreak and it getting out of hand.  I’ve got about 8.5 hours left to go, but find myself really enjoying this. I certainly won’t do an audiobook all the time (and have through trial and error that some narrators really annoy me)…but this is a nice change of pace, and knocks something off of my challenge list. 🙂

What I’m Reading Next


I actually totally forgot I had this on my Kindle (thanks to netgalley) until making this list.  As a historical writer, I really want to read this – of course I’ve heard some great things about this and imagine that I will (hopefully) be acquiring this in hard cover some time soon, if I can. Either way, it’s definitely next on my list.


The Girl on the Train

I am probably the only person on the planet that hasn’t read this one – but here I am.  I bought this on my birthday trip last year from a little bookshop we happened upon. As one of my challenge items for the year is to read a book from a small, independent, bookstore – this would be the one. It will be stretching me out of my comfort zone again – but so far this year it’s working for me, so I’ll give it a try!

Down the Rabbit Hole

Another netgalley book I didn’t expect to actually get. It looks terribly interesting, and I always enjoy takes on Alice in Wonderland. It will also knock another item on my list – a take on a fairy tale. I was pretty excited to get my email saying I’d been granted permission to read, and look forward to getting started – once I get through the ones I’m working on now. 🙂



This year I hope to do better than last – where I barely made it to half of my goal.  I also hope to put a moratorium on buying books, and to read what’s on my shelf, my kindle, and to utilize the library.

And that’s where I’m at for now. More books coming in the near-future I’m sure. Here’s hoping I get through them all quick. 😀


Facing Reality (Or: When Reality is Kicking Your Ass)

I’ve always been the “Silver Linings” girl.

Well, maybe not always. I did have a rough time as a tween/teen.

Still, since adulthood I’ve tried to always keep on the bright side, to put a positive spin on things, to see the good in people and  believe in their best when they might not be showing you their good side. It hasn’t always been easy, but I’ve tried – and mostly succeeded.

There’s been times I’ve been down pretty deep in the doldrums, times where it lingered. Somehow I’ve always pulled myself out. I’d hesitate to call it anything like depression because I’ve seen depression, I’ve seen what pain others feel, and I was never that deep, never that lost.

This year has been rough. I’ve said it many times. It’s knocked me down over and again, every time I’ve tried to pick myself up.

I thought it was just the bad times knocking me down.

Those were the reason I couldn’t pick myself back up so easily.

Those nasty, horrible events were the reason I couldn’t drum out the doldrums as I always had before.

They were the reason the good times didn’t have the luster they usually did.

In the past couple of weeks I’ve had to be honest with myself.

I’ve had to be honest with my husband.

And I forced myself to be honest with my doctor.

I am depressed.

I can’t do this on my own.

I’ve been trying to claw my way back out for months all on my own.

All it’s done is left me nasty, bitter, and angry on top of depressed.

I was always worried I’d insult those with severe depression by admitting mine. However, my bipolar husband thinks I’m being ridiculous by thinking that. As he put it, “Would you not admit you were sick because someone else has cancer?”  Sometimes, he’s pretty damn spot on.

So here I am. Being honest with you all, as I’m attempting to be honest with myself.

I am surrounded by my family, but I feel alone.

I am surrounded by joy, but I feel removed from it.

I feel like I’ve tried to reach out, but no one reaches back.

I’m tired of not going out, because I don’t see the point…and because I’m afraid no one will care either way if I’m there anyway.

I feel like the bad is winning. That we will never be in a good place again, personally, financially, physically.

I’ve begun to seek help, but I think it’s going to be a long row to hoe.

And I’m so tired of feeling alone.

by Sarah Cass

Multi-published author. Mom of 3 special needs kids. Wife to 1 good man.
Redefining Perfect every day.

We Still Need Each Other – Maybe Even More

blessing6We started when they were little ones – infants, babies, toddlers and grade-schoolers.

We stepped tentatively into the community with a post. Reached out to find others. We formed a bond.

We formed a community.

The world was a bit smaller for our camaraderie, our shared triumphs, our ‘misery loves company, our cheering each other on, and maybe just a wee bit of shadenfreude.

Our kids started to grow, and so did the community and the eruption of social networks, viral feeds and competition for STUFF.

000aOur kids are now rapidly approaching those teenage years (or, as in my case, I have one that is exiting them). They aren’t as cute or adorable, and the stories are more difficult to tell in their search for privacy, and our confusion and pain and sense of loss as their youth turns into a searching grasp toward grown-up-life.

Social media has reduced our sharing to sound-bites on Facebook and Twitter (or not – does anyone use it anymore?) or Reddit or…okay, I admit it, I’m a social media dunce…what do people use now?

I can’t remember the last time I saw a blog post in my FB feed…and if I even clicked on it.

That all ended 3 days ago when a real, honest-to-goodness BLOG POST came across my feed. I’m not sure what it was about it, or why I stopped…except maybe that it was a BLOG POST! From an old friend I used to read all the time.

Whatever it was, I stopped. I clicked. I read a post by the fabulous Ali over at Cheaper Than Therapy (check it out, it’s awesome). Thanks to the click I made and the ensuing Facebook conversation it sparked, I realized something.

We still need each other.

Speaking from experience, teenage years are HARD.

I mean, brutal.

In so many ways I feel like we barely made it through the teen years with Denver, and we have two more coming up…worse, they’re girls.

I could use my community now even more than I did then – I think we all can.

Parenting never gets easier, and it takes more than sound bites.

I hope we can share again, I know I plan to. I have a list of posts waiting to be written.

I hope you’ll join me, and Ali, and the rest of us still struggling through this parenting gig.

We’re stronger together.