June TBR

I’ve learned by now that I’m quite dangerous in my local library but at least those impulse weigh me down in free books. Since I’m doing all my reading from there (save 2), I’m going to be ambitious. My June TBR includes but isn’t limited to:

Dear Reader Adulting
Carry overs from last month.

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
It takes place in Africa and has a supernatural edge to keep it interesting. I’m looking forward to checking this challenge book off my list.

Stiletto by Daniel O’Malley
The title refers to a knife, not a shoe BTW. I am on the wait list for this at the library. I’m hoping it arrives sooner rather than later.

Singapore Noir edited by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan
One of the casual challenges needs a book that takes place in SE Asia. This was on the new arrivals shelf at the library. Coincidence? Probably but I’m taking advantage of it. It will be good for me to read about other parts of the world.

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
I’ve heard amazing things and it’s won a National Book Award letting me check it off for a Richer Reading Life and a casual challenge.

I’m responsible for convincing the library to order several new books that I now have holds on so I expect others to come through and mix things up. We’ll see what happens.

Casual Reading Challenge Month 4 & 5

You may have noticed I didn’t do one of these in April. If you did, go get yourself a cookie. You’ve been paying attention. By the end of April, I didn’t have much to cross off any of my lists. I was reading some things that would apply but wouldn’t finish them in time. So I figured it made the most sense to just lump these 2 months together.

Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2016

  • Food memoir – Relish by Lucy Knisley

It may be a graphic memoir but Relish is one of the better food memoirs I’ve ever read. It not only shows Knisley’s life through time but with food and it’s deep emotional connection. I’m a little disappointed this is the only thing I can check off this list but it’s called the Read Harder challenge for a reason.

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PopSugar’s Reading Challenge 2016

  • Library book – A Tyranny of Petticoats edited by Jessica Spotswood
  • Satirical book – Mother, Can You Not? by Kate Siegel
  • Guaranteed to bring you joy – The Rook by Daniel O’Malley
  • Translation – Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera

A Tyranny of Petticoats was excellent and borrowing it for free made it that much sweeter. Kate Siegel started an Instagram page to showcase her mother’s craziness and included some of her very best crazy stories. Since the most exaggerated and entertaining version is presented, I’m counting that for satire. Very few new books come with any sorts of guarantees but rereading a favorite will always bring me joy. I stumbled upon the short, sweet, and poignant translation in my library’s new section. I’m glad I did.

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Music Monday: Even More Metal

Even more metal! It’s a prolific genre in both the US and Europe. I wonder what the Asian and Africa metal scenes are like.

Ape Uprising by Slough Feg
The Motherload by Mastodon
Firefly by Fates Warning
Deceiver of the Gods by Amon Amarth
Eyes of a Stranger by Queensryche
Die for You by Otherwise
Whiskey in a Jar by Thin Lizzy
The Science of Noise by Dark Tranquility
Lady in Black by Uriah Heep
Metal Woman by 3 Inches of Blood
Soldier of Fortune by Deep Purple
World on Fire by Firewind
Army of the Night by Powerwolf

June TBR Mini-Challenge

I had several holds come in to my library in the midst of my reading frenzy that has been May. Since I’ve got so many titles calling to be read and a few challenge books I’d have to borrow anyway, all of my June reading will come from my local library. I already have a few titles in mind, barring other holds finally coming in.

My current short list consists of but isn’t limited to:

  • The Martian by Andy Weir
  • Full Service by Scotty Bowers
  • Off the Sidelines by Kristen Gillibrand
  • Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
  • A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
  • Not Funny Ha-Ha by Leah Hayes
  • Petty Theft by Pascal Girard

Will I get to all of these books? Probably not. Will something from my holds come up again? Probably. Will I choose to read something not on this list? Entirely likely. That’s the beauty of the library. The possibilities are endless (assuming they take all of my book suggestions seriously).

The only exceptions to this decree? Dear Reader by Michael Malice and Adulting by Kelly Williams Brown. I had hoped to finish these in May and that didn’t wind up happening. Since I plan on giving Adulting to a friend, I’d best finish it soon.

May Wrap Up

I know going into my May TBR it was really ambitious. There was a very good chance I wasn’t going to finish it. I accepted that and kept reading. I wound up reading so much that my wrap-up gets its own post. I’ll post my June TBR shortly.

After reading the first 50 pages of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, I put it down. It was the wrong time for me to read that book so I swapped it for Kill the Boy Band which I was on the wait list for at the library. I didn’t love it but it was dark, weird, and fun, 3/5.

I also read Something New by Lucy Knisley and absolutely loved it. I should be entering that phase of my life soon-ish so it was great to get some perspective from someone who has similar feelings about the wedding industry, 5/5.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol 2 was fun and went a direction I wasn’t expecting. Very fun and family friendly while still managing to get some Deadpool jokes in there, 4/5.

I reread The Rook and love it as much as I ever have. I can’t wait for the sequel next month! Still 5/5.

Tyranny of Petticoats was a lot of fun and had so many different perspectives, 4.5/5.

I’m about 15 years off for some of the subjects in Poisoned Apples but the poetry was good and image pairings set this book apart, 4/5.

I grabbed The Grownup by Gillian Flynn because it was on the ‘new arrivals’ shelf at the library and looked quick and easy. I loved how the story keeps you guessing at what’s really going on and the ending is pretty ambiguous.

Doing Basics Differently

Everyone talks about how personal a capsule wardrobe is but everyone gives identical advice. I’ve already explained why I don’t need a chambray shirt but here’s why I love some of my more unusual pieces.

Purple pants
My current gig is pretty casual so I routinely get to wear purple pants. I try to pair it with something subtle to balance it out but I get a ton of wear out of these. I wore them so much I had to get the fabric by the back pocket rivets mended to keep wearing them.

Logo tees
I have learned over time that I am much more likely to wear a fun logo tee over a plain tee any day. I am a big fan of camis to wear under sweaters and the like but I’ve also used Kylo Ren is a punk bitch on sweaters too high to see the text. I’m way more excited to wear this or this than a plain shirt.

It’s an instant outfit. You want to get dressed quickly? Pull it over your head and you’re instantly dressed. It’s in the name. The only reason I don’t have more dresses in my capsule is because I gained some weight and some of them don’t fit ideally anymore.

Bold skirts
All of my pants and leggings are going to be neutral so let’s keep it interesting with fun accents and bold designs. I think the coral Hello Sweetie top would look lovely with the octopus skirt. Even my ‘neutral’ skirts have a fabric or cut that promotes movement and keeps it interesting.

It may not be a vegan leather jacket but these summer staples have seen me through many years.



Now that the mystery of Hodor’s limited vocabulary has been solved, there’s much depend about his free will. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, go watched GoT or pick another entry because Holy SPOILERS Batman!

In Days of Future Past, they had to send Wolverine’s mind back in time to his old body because he was the only one who could handle the mental trauma. I think something similar happened to Wylis/Hodor. When Bram warged into past Hodor to get present Hodor moving, it created a strange time loop Wylis’s mind wasn’t meant to endure. It broke him.

His fundamental personality of being warm and kind remained and he could make very small decisions but he couldn’t calculate. When he was being tormented by the Night’s Watch Wildling Party, he couldn’t think enough to strike back. He knew to run away but not to fight back.

He knows who treats him well and, therefore, who he cares about. He wanted to protect Bram so he chose to hold the door. Had Bram not made Hodor move, Hodor would have likely been wight chow. Rather than run scared (a valid option), Hodor chose to stay and protect his friend.

The actor who played Hodor said that aside from the initial push, everything else was Hodor’s choice. You can even see it in his eyes. I firmly believe that when the end came, Hodor made the difficult and brave choice to die for his friends. Now we just have to find out whether the writers will torment us by making him a wight or not.

Don’t Buy the Hype

After watching a multitude of capsule wardrobe videos, some of the same items get hyped again and again that I just don’t like.

Button downs

My shoulders are broader, arms bigger, and torso longer than most women, or at least 98% of all fit models. I have had exactly 1 button down of any kind I remember being completely happy with. It was a checked flannel shirt from Torrid with studs on the pocket that in no way looked work appropriate. Eventually, it didn’t get much wear and I gave it to a friend.

Every other button down has been too small in the arms or not provided enough shoulder space. I don’t care if it’s chambray or white. Odds are, it won’t work on me.

Vegan leather jacket

I heard the term repeated through so many videos that I finally ordered a vegan leather jacket to try. Once I got it, I remembered why I don’t own any of these. It’s for the exact same reason I no longer own any button ups. Even unzipped, I can’t lift my arms above shoulder level without the whole moving up my torso. While this piece would be cool to own, I’ll wait for one that fits.


People talk about minimalist fashion in terms of this wedge or that bootie. Most heels in my size are made for drag queens. When my mom found a pair of wedges that actually fit me and weren’t painful, she ordered 2 more. My shoes consist of the following: Sketchers men’s work boots for winter storms, men’s short Uggs for winter weekends, New Balance men’s sneakers, Old Navy flip flops, SAS mary janes for work, SAS men’s sandals, Walking Cloud wedges for formal occasions. If it does not fall into one of those categories, I don’t own it.

Plain white anything

I own exactly 2 plain white shirts. One is too sheer to be worn on its own and the other is a cami. Every other white top I have has some sort of pattern on it. I own no white bottoms. White tends to attract stains or be too sheer. A plain white tee would be a little casual for work with jeans and I don’t have many other pants at the moment. Owning white bottoms just feels like asking for it to me.

That is my list of minimalist friendly clothes I neither own nor like. I have plenty of other items I love and wear often that minimalists or capsule enthusiasts wouldn’t touch, like purple pants. I could easily to a fall 30X30 with a pair of my purple pants and be very happy.

Just because something works for someone doesn’t mean it will work for you. It’s good to consider other ideas but never forget to think for yourself.

Richer Reading Life Activity #6

I rarely do much of anything outside let alone read. I’m a firm believer that I’d like outside better if it had fewer bugs getting in my face. Despite that, I decided that 3 was the magic number of times I had to read outside before I could check it off my list. What was the experience like each time?

March 11

I’m enjoying the outdoor seating while I wait for Boyfriend to finish work and join me for dinner. This is a part of town that has plenty of restaurants, office buildings, parking garages, and very little nature. I can’t tell if I’m inhaling bus exhaust, car exhaust, metro fumes, or cigarette smoke.

March had just had it’s first big warm up and I’m in the midst of it’s first cool down. The temperature is either in the low 60s or high 50s which is perfect for me. I can hear people’s kids filter through the restaurant doors so I don’t mind the relative quiet of outside. I would rate this experience as middling.

April 6

I’d finished my second round at the eye doctor and the liquid nitrogen ice cream place wasn’t open for another 20 minutes. I decided to kill some time on a bench in a nice space across the street. It’s not exactly a park since it’s pretty well paved but there’s benches, a fountain, and a jungle gym in side a U of stores. I chilled on a bench while I worked toward the end of Patrick Ness’s More Than This.

It was a warm spring sun but with a cool blustery wind. Since it was the middle of a weekday, it was pretty quiet. Not too many mom’s with strollers, people with dogs, or anyone else. The only unpleasantness was a hobo who interrupted me to ask for money. She left after I told her I didn’t have anything (which, with a $45 copay, is not wholly inaccurate). It was a pleasant experience I’d have carried on for longer if I hadn’t had to get work done.

May 14

During a trip to the coast, I had several chances to read on a trip to the boardwalk. It was relaxing, sunny, gorgeous weather. Warm spring sun paired with cold front winds. Boyfriend would go off to check on something while I relaxed and read. Extremely pleasant experience. 10/10 would do again next year.