Friday Update

Here’s my Friday update:  I’m still emotionally exhausted.  Just kidding today I’m both physically and emotionally exhausted.  Probably because I made my workout commitments every day this week!  Go me!!!  Excitedly, I started my day by vacuuming and moping my floors for the third time this week.  The upshot, of course, was that the house smelled great for a couple of hours.  Such is life with three dogs and a house full of boys.

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The lesson I’ve learned this week is that home schooling my kids even with a remote  teacher is soul crushingly difficult.  Honestly, I don’t know is you amazing teachers do it day in and day out.  Kudos to you for being super human.  Only my high schooler has work to do this week since he’s taking a few classes online.  I can only imagine the fun I’ll have when both are back in school virtually.

Goalielocks did get some practice driving today when he drove up route Clubhouse to take my Mayor to the pool.  Before you judge, I’ll have none of it.  There was nobody else there and they weren’t there for long.  Afterwards they had some social distancing with some buddies, who they went fishing with behind the house.

Thankfully, we live in South Florida and the weather has been perfect.  Naturally, the boys could have stayed out fishing all night.  Especially since the bass were biting today.  Fortunately, all the boys fishing caught some nice sized bass, which makes for some happy boys.   I loved seeing the boys outside fishing and not on their phones.  Consequently, we may take them to the Everglades tomorrow to fish and walk the trails.  It will be good get out of the house and into nature.

Meanwhile, hubby is starting to get concerned that we may run out of toilet paper before the stores replenish their stock.  I tried to order some on BJ’s.com, but received a message that supplies were running low.  Consequently, they wanted me to approve the replacement they suggest.  The replacement they suggested was a box of printer paper. Yeah….  Wish us luck on that front.  Finally, we will actually be taking our Christmas tree down tomorrow.  Although I’m pretty sure Anakin would prefer that we leave it up.  However, I have to admit I am sick of cleaning up the falling needles.

As for our day, here were our activities:

*reading Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackery

*Watched Ratatouille with my Mayor

*yelled at Goalielocks to take his algebra test, he finally did and got an A.

*Completed BBG Week 5 Full Body workout

*Took Goalielocks to practice driving

*Bought myself some new running shoes, will get them up at drive up/pick up at Dick’s SportingGoods

*Boys went fishing with their hockey buddies while maintaining proper distances.

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Reading My Way Back to Health

In order to keep myself sane and intellectually engaged,  I’ve been reading my way back to health.  Over the past eight months, I’ve been out of my normal routine due to injury and health concerns.  Sadly, I often found myself too exhausted to write.  Fortunately, I was able to draw my reading list off The Greatest Books.  First, of all I like the site because it has a thoughtfully curated list of the best fiction and non-fiction works of all time.  Secondly, I love that you can track what you’ve read and what you want to read.

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I’ve read some amazing works from a myriad of different genres and authors across time.  Since I’ve read some wonderful works of fiction, I’d thought I’d share some of them with you.   Here’s the list of my favorites:

If you’ve never read Wilkie Collins, your missing out.  He’s a one of kind author, who narrates his stories from multiple viewpoints.  His plot development and character development are amazing.   Collins was a contemporary and good friend of Charlies Dickens.  He was also a huge influence to Edgar Allen Poe.  Once you read both these books, I think you’ll find that the great Agatha Christie was influenced by him as well.

When I first picked up Ana Karenina, I was a bit intimidated.  It is a thick book. As I got into it, I loved it.  Tolstoy doesn’t waste a word.   I was happy to find that Tolstoy didn’t incorporate essays with in the books or long tangents like those found in his contemporaries works.  Both Ana Karenina and Resurrection are beautiful stories.  In Anna Karenina, he tells the story of the titular characters life and the consequences of her choices.  It’s a tragic story told beautifully.  In Resurrection, he tells the story of man confronted by the impact his choices had on someone he loved.   In the end, he finds his redemption in a most obvious spot.  Truly, after finishing both novels, I feel compelled to travel to Saint Petersburg and the rest of Tolstoy’s Russia.

After finishing Nabokov’s Lolita,  I needed a literary pick me up and a shower.  That book will leave you feeling dirty…. I turned to Hesse’s Siddharta.. Hesse, of German-Swiss descent, bring a unique east meets west perspective.   This novel follows the spiritual journey of Siddharta.  His quest for enlightenment puts him in places and situations he never could have imagined.  It’s a beautiful book.

I loved Narcissus and Goldmund, which tells the tale of two best friends who are diametrically different, but still love each other.  While Goldmund leaves the monastery in search of the meaning of life.  His mentor and friend Narcissus stays in monastic life.  Throughout their lives they take different paths, but eventually their paths reunite.  It’s a beautiful tale of friendship and life.

It took me awhile to get into Steppenwolf, but eventually I was pulled into the world of Harry Haller.  Like the other two Hesse books, this one explores the duality of human nature.  This time in main character Harry Haller and not two separate characters like in Narcissus and Goldmund.   At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with any of these books by Hesse.

Since I was heading to Scandinavia this fall, I wanted to read something that was Scandinavian.  After much research and a couple of recommendations, I decided to read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. While in Finland, I finally started reading the book and I couldn’t put it down.  I loved that I could imagine where they were in Gamle Stan in Stockholm since I was just there.

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It’s an awful tragedy that we lost Stieg Larsson before these books were publishes.  He turned in the manuscripts for the first three installments in the Millennium Series, but died shortly after.  His books are incredible.  There are few characters in literature as vivid, damaged and bad ass as Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander.

I’ve already read the first four books in the series and cannot wait to read the fifth.  Since Larsson’s premature death prevented him from finishing the Millennium series, David Lagercrantz took up the mantle.  I was worried that Lagercrantz’s take on Larsson’s characters would be unfaithful to the original.  Lagercratnz had huge shoes to fill, but he did it beautifully.  The continuity between the characters and stories between Larsson’s and Lagercrantz’s books is seamless. If you haven’t read this series yet, I highly recommend it.  If you love Daniel Craig, like I do, you’ll love him in the movie version.

These are just a few of the books I’ve read since last summer that really resonated with me.  I’ve included links to Amazon for each of my recommended books.  I’m always looking for good book recommendations.  What’s your favorite book?  What books do you recommend?