What I read: October 2014

16045144A Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny. I have read almost all the books in this series. I love them. I love the characters and the main police inspector. I dare to say these are almost as good as Martha Grimes’s books featuring Richard Jury. A few years ago I plowed through those at neck-breaking speed too, much like I am with these. Unfortunately this author has only written 9 books and I am on the 9th at this point (well when it gets returned to the library I will). This one though was my least favorite of all the books. It took me weeks to plow through it and I think this was 50% my lack of interest in reading and 50% that I didn’t like what was going on in the book. I tend to get attached to characters in series and when stories start  moving in directions that I don’t like I get upset. That’s what happened with this one. I didn’t like where she was taking the story and I just wanted the book to end and for the story line to go back a different direction. I kept hoping  that the ending would have some kind of redemption and make sense of the chaos she was bringing to the story & characters but that was not to be. I was left with “what the fuck just happened?”.



17167084How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny. Redemption! I loved this one as much as I disliked the other book. I just had to have faith in the author that everything was happening for a reason.

If you like mysteries where the violence and details are not gross with details (my mother-in-law hated the Kathy Reichs books for their very detailed description of wounds and such) then I would recommend these books. I became really attached to the characters in the first Book “Still Life” and they are a well written mystery series.





13538873Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore I had so many friends on Goodreads that loved this book that I was anticipating loving it also. I wanted to love it and there were aspect that I did really love (like the message of the book) but for most of it I was pretty much “eh” about it. Which is weird because I love mystery/adventure/secret society books a whole lot. Maybe I just didn’t click with any of the characters. Maybe I just don’t love Google enough. ( Or Amazon…and I love me some Amazon). I guess part of it is that I couldn’t shake the feeling that this book was meant for a much younger audience than me. It would do well with the YA age group and even though I’ve loved tons of YA books this one wasn’t one of them. My husband, who is a bit of a computer nerd, might appreciate this story much more than I did. I have recommended it to him but I definitely don’t think this is a book for everyone.




81ZqOFyzSjLNot That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham. This book is definitely for the Millennials out there. That’s not to say i didn’t enjoy  it but she’s definitely part of the “share everything with the public” kind of girl,  like most of the younger generation that grew up with social media, in their faces, all the time. But, I really enjoy her show, and I already knew she was a woman that put herself and her awkward/uncomfortable experiences out there. She definitely captures that awkwardness, of being in your teens/ early twenties, in this book. Many of the stories made me cringe. Many made me laugh out loud. Most of us though… we’ve been in her place trying to learn how to deal with sex and changing bodies and crazy hormones so even though her experiences were vastly different from mine…I could still connect (or at least my young 20-ish self could) with the stories she was telling.

Started: Instruments of Darkness. I won’t be finished with it by the end of this week though so I’ll include it in my November book post.






List 44: Weekend trip to San Diego #9

My sister turned 40 this year and what she wanted was to NOT be in Arizona for it. After bouncing different ideas off each other over the past year we decided a 4  day weekend in San Diego was the plan. Kristy just started a new job with the State of Arizona last year and so her vacation hours were limited. No 2 week jaunt to Australia for us at this time.  This was the best option for us though because it would also allow my sister to bring her dog, Jax, with us. IMG_9378 I flew out to Arizona after work on Wednesday evening so we could leave early Thursday morning. San Diego is about 6 hours from Scottsdale and we wanted to be able to get as much time as possible in San Diego and also get out of the inferno that is Arizona in July. I was surprised, by my own realization, that I had not been to San Diego in over 20 years. I think it’s a misconception for a lot of people (me included)  that if you live in California its a short jump, skip, hop to all of California. But California…it’s a very large state. It’s 10-12 hours to San Diego. That is much farther than I want to go for a weekend. Therefore, I’ve not been to San Diego since I moved here. Let me tell you…it’s changed. A lot. It was almost like visiting a city I’ve never been to. I wasn’t familiar with anything on the drive over, the city, how close it actually gets to the border. Nothing seemed familiar. IMG_9406 Kristy and I rented a little bungalow from AirBNB and  this was the best idea ever. The place had a tiki theme and had a small yard for Jax. And the host, Mike was awesome. I’m definitely planning a trip back (if I can drag Nate down there) and hope to stay at this little rental again.

Some of my favorite highlights/memories from the trip:

1. The sunset cliffs at sunset. Spectacular.

2. Watching Jax, over the course of 3 days, go from hating the beach to loving it. He made some friends too!

3. Ranchos Cocina. At Point Loma. Seriously, Kristy and I would move to San Diego just to be near this little treasure. Love that we found a place with vegan and regular mexican food and a patio for Jax. Food highlight of our trip. We ate at the North Park one also but it lacked something and was a big disappointment. I can’t recommend the Point Loma one enough though.

4. Sitting on the patio, sharing a bottle of cold white wine , coming up with the idea of a sister adventure every year. (Next year: Austin!)

5. 70-75 degree weather. Arizona is too effing hot. Except in December. And Monterey is too freaking cold usually. I liked how mellow this weather was and how much better my joints felt in a slightly drier climate. I texted Nate mid trip and said I wasn’t coming home & that we were moving to San Diego. He wasn’t amused;)

6. Four days of uninterrupted time with my sister.

With regards to that last one. It’s hard living a state away from family. I was estranged from my family for years (still am from my mom) and now that we are sort of over the hump of bad feelings toward each other and like each other again it’s hard not to be around them all the time. My sister is one of my favorite people to hang out with. My favorite shopping buddy. I never feel like I get enough time with her. This trip, with 4 uninterrupted days together, was something I needed. When we visit Arizona there are just so many people to see, that I lose lots of time with her.


Photo story: We decided to walk to the North Park area from where we were staying because it was just over 1.5 miles to the restaurant. That was the longest, hardest 1.5 miles I’ve ever walked. It took us so long and we were already tired. It felt more like 11 miles than just over 1 mile. My beer & burger never tasted so good. Even Jax looked worn out and tired. Suffice to say…we took a taxi home:)

IMG_9440IMG_9479IMG_9464IMG_9460IMG_2722The look on Jax’s face here says it all about the trip. Great trip. Can’t wait for our next sister adventure!