Just Routine

Like most people, we've settled back into that routine that is comforting after the hoopla of Christmas. Lorelei, I am delighted to announce, has FINALLY gotten over whatever virus was making her SO FREAKING MEAN and is back to her usual coy, little-pistol self. She and Charlotte are now having fun again, playing together. Because, you know. Little Sister is no longer demonic.

No, really. Lorelei Belle REALLY WAS that bad.

Charlotte finished her first week of school post-break, utterly wiped out, like most kids heading back. Violin continues to go well, and she has now started on yet another piece. Tackling new pieces no longer overwhelms the crap out of her, and it's (almost) fun watching her go through the process of learning. She also just moved up violin sizes, having hit a growth spurt. She sees it as an accomplishment, which I guess it sort of it.

Chris goes to work each day. Nothing  new there. He's running more, which is good. It's becoming less torturous for him, which is also good. He also got a cold, so now he's my current crankball.

Emma has taken to constantly licking her feet. We're told it's a result of doggie anxiety. WHY AM I NOT SURPRISED? She's so neurotic. Which is why I love her so. WE JUST GET EACH OTHER.

My busy season at work is starting, oh joy. I've also started revisions on the manuscript I nearly killed myself for during NaNoWriMo.

And that's it, aside from NFL playoffs (go Hawks), waiting on a biopsy result that has my stomach in knots (maybe Emma is picking up on this?), and planning Charlotte's 6th birthday party.

So, what are we reading?

Well, let's start with what we have read, since it's been a while.

I closed out 2015 having read a grand total of 69 books. Part of me is a tad miffed that I failed to make it an even 70, but hey. That's a lot of books, if I do say so myself. I won't give a play by play (page by page?) of what I read since last telling you what books we're tackling, bu I'll mention three books that are getting a lot of attention at the moment:
  • Circling the Sun, Paula McClain's latest. 
  • Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley
  • Light Between Oceans by M. L. Steadman
Circling the Sun was highly readable, escapist, and fun. Sure, the story could've used more of an arc, but no matter. Set in Kenya, it tells the story of aviator Beryl Markham. Recommended, but I can't put my finger on WHY.

Circus Mirandus is a middle-grade fantasy-esque novel. Lots of buzz generated for this one, but my friend and I agreed the story and writing felt calculated and some characters didn't pull their weight. I think this book is overrated.

Light Between Oceans is a bestseller. Set on an island in Australia, an infant washes ashore to a childless couple who then raise the child as their own. I liked a lot about the novel, but I was also glad when it ended. Not a good sign. All the tensions were perfectly there. But we got a little bogged down in all the angst.

Now, what are we currently reading?

Charlotte read all of Princess in Black (which she LOVED) by herself "in my head," as she says. I'm now re-reading it to her. It's a highly illustrated chapter book, and the pictures definitely nudge along her reading comprehension, but I'm positive she misunderstood parts and want her to have the whole story.  It's an adorable book. It will be the party favor at Charlotte's birthday party later this month.

Together, we're also reading Little House in the Big Woods and the second Junie B. Jones book, which I dislike but Charlotte adores. I think Junie B. Jones is a little asshat, but hey. I'm not going to censor my child's reading. Yet.

Me, I'm reading Life in Motion,  ballerina Misty Copeland's autobiography, which is fun because I'll be seeing American Ballet Theater at the Kennedy Center at the end of the month. Becoming the first black principal dancer at ABT is a big freaking deal, and her story is pretty amazing.

I'm also nearing the end of The Paris Wife, which I've enjoyed. Also by McClain, it too lacks much of a story arc and yet it has been a fun read. Written by the point of view of Ernest Hemmingway's wife, we get an absorbing novel that illustrates the strife of the writerly life, not mention the motherly and wifely life.

Finally, I just finished Toby Tyler, a book written a good hundred years ago or so. Aimed at younger readers, it was a weirdly interesting tale of a boy who runs away to join the circus only to become abused and exploited. And there's a monkey.

That's it for now. We're such boring people, but hey, every once in a while,  boring is good.


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