Tuesday, April 17, 2018

What I've Been Reading Lately April 2018

Since it’s been an eternity-- well, at least a year-- since I have done a post similar to this one, I thought now would be a good time to let everyone know about the books I am currently reading. For the past year-and-a-half, I have been in a bit of a reading slump so I have been picking up and putting down several books over the past few months. These are some of the books I have been turning to in recent weeks as I try to catch-up with my (overly) ambitious GoodReads goal.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara

True Crime is one of my favorite genres of EVERYTHING. This posthumously published investigation into the as-yet-unsolved crimes of the Golden State Killer, a rapist and murderer who terrorized communities in Northern and Southern California in the 1970s and 1980s is one of the most compelling books I have read in years. The Golden State Killer’s earliest series of crimes occur not far from where I grew up and his specter is one that has long loomed over the region. I actually had to take a small “book vacation” over the weekend from this one because it was so disturbing and proximal. I’m about a third of the way through the book and it is already shaping up to be one of the classics of the True Crime genre, holding court with Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood and Ann Rule’s The Stranger Beside Me.

In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad #1) by Tana French

Ironically, this is the book that I jumped to while on my book vacation from I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. I’m reading this one on my Kindle app and I’m about ten pages in. So far, I am enjoying it. There is something comforting in reading about fictional murder for once instead of, y’know, real ones.

Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith

I have been dipping in-and-out of this collection for the past few months. The pieces are like letters from a simpler, less dumpster-fire-y time. Per usual, Smith’s prose is lovely. I imagine I would be making more headway in this one if I weren’t nostalgic for a time in the not-so-distant past.

Hopefully, I’ll manage to finish one of these soon and get caught up on my GoodReads goal which I am *gulp* NINE books off-pace with.
Thursday, April 12, 2018

Oh, hi.

I’ve decided to throw myself back into blogging after a tumultuous couple of years of starts and stops.

I guess the best place to begin again is to start with where and why I dropped off the map.

In April of 2016, as I wrote about previously, my beloved pug, who I wrote about on several occasions on TLD, passed away suddenly. I felt her loss acutely; my grief was complicated and I spent a lot of time suppressing my pain just so I could make it through my workdays. Yes, my suppressed grief came back to haunt me. More on that later.

Shortly after my pug died, we were presented with the opportunities, by sheer happenstance, to adopt first one pug-mix (a then two-year-old boy) and a month later another pug-mix (a girl). Even in our pain, we found the strength to open our hearts to two little souls who needed a second chance.

During the summer of 2016, after months of suppressing my grief and throwing myself into my work, I experienced a serious medical deterioration that forced me to reevaluate my health, my emotional well-being, and seek the advice of specialists. Even after the catastrophic presidential elections in 2016, I still managed to, slowly-but-surely, piece myself back together and start posting on The Lexicon Devil again. Sure, my reading had slowed-down considerably, but I was reading. I was trying. I was healing.

Then, in April of 2017, the little pug-mix girl we adopted eleven months, who had been medically frail since she joined our family, was diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis that didn’t respond to treatment. After many hospital stays, and a tremendous fight to save her life, in May we had to say goodbye to our second little fur girl in thirteen months. To lose one companion in a year is difficult enough, to lose a second-- so close to the anniversary of your first loss-- is unimaginably difficult.

To complicate matters, in the days after losing our second little girl, I was party to a falling out with one side of my relations (for a number of reasons, none of which I get into) and, as a result, we are no longer in contact. As hurtful as this estrangement has been, it has paled in comparison to the loss of my fur-girls. All of our lives are better without having the other set of relations in our lives.

In October 2017, we adopted a little doxie-chi mix boy we met at an adoption event at a local pet store. He’s been a wonderful addition to our family after so much loss. He’s two years old and as characterful as an episode of Monty Python. Along with his big brother (who will be four later this month!), he has been our saving grace during these troubled times.

Twice last year my mother had to have major surgery (once at the beginning of the year and once at the end of the year). With her second surgery, in December 2017, she experienced major complications that prolonged her recovery period and caused a great deal of physical and emotional pain for quite a while.

Despite the onslaught of tragedies that befell our family over the past two years, recent months have been far kinder to us. My mother, after great hardship, has secured her dream job. I, against all odds, met someone very, very special.

Since we (as a family-duo) are in a better place, I felt like it was about time to reclaim my digital space and write about what I love . . . books and words and whatnots.

So, if all goes to plan, you’ll be seeing more of me around here.

Knock on wood.