Friday, January 21, 2022

3 reasons you're scared of seeing your doctor


Pexels (CC0 License)

When was the last time you saw your doctor? For a lot of you, it was many years ago. Some people haven’t been to the doctor since they were little and their parents forced them. Thankfully, you’ve not had any major health issues during that time. But, what if you had? What if there was something wrong with you and you just ignored it because you were afraid to see a doctor? It could be devastating for your physical and mental wellbeing, which is why you shouldn’t fear doctor’s appointments. 

Below, I’ve listed what I believe are the most common reasons you’re scared of seeing your doctor, along with some points on why you shouldn’t let them stop you.

You’re scared of certain procedures

Are you scared of needles? Maybe you’re scared of the blood pressure machine? Whatever it is, there’s a specific procedure that scares the life out of you and puts you off seeing your doctor. In reality, you may not need to undergo these procedures at all, so it’s rarely worth worrying about. Also, you will need blood tests, injections, and blood pressure readings at some point in your life. They are essential for managing your health and checking for medical problems. They also only last for a minute or so, so is it really worth being scared of them your whole life? What’s scarier, the procedure itself or the possible underlying health condition that goes untreated because you didn’t have the procedure to check for it?

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You’re scared of the possible diagnosis

Most people are worried about seeing the doctor because they are scared of being diagnosed with something serious. You’ve got a constant headache, and you’re worried about seeing the doctor because you think they might tell you that you have a brain tumor. You instantly associate your problem with the worst possible outcome, and you’re worried that this can come true. 

In most situations, your problem will never be as serious as you think it might be. But, even if it is, you shouldn’t be scared of hearing it. Surely it is good to hear and confirm that you have a serious health problem than to sit around doing nothing? It will only get worse, so the sooner you hear any bad news, the quicker you can react and treat it. 

You’re scared of being laughed at

Not literally, but you’re worried your doctor might think you’re stupid for coming to them with a particular problem. If your doctor ever does laugh at you or tell you that you’ve wasted their time with your concerns, a medical malpractice attorney might be able to help you, as it can possibly fall under the scope of avoiding a diagnosis and being negligent. Doctors take oaths and aside from that are aware of this duty to take concerns seriously, which is why this shouldn't be a worry. So, if you’re worried that your problem will be shrugged off and laughed at, you should have nothing to worry about. 

Realistically, you have no reason to fear the doctor. They are there to help, and the fear you associate with seeing them will be nowhere near as bad as what happens if you have a medical problem that goes undetected for too long. Don’t be afraid to see your doctor when you have problems, no matter how big or small they may seem. 


This post was written with the Life According to Steph audience in mind

Why Activity Vacations are a Great Idea

Everyone should go on vacation from time to time; getting away from the usual daily routine, seeing new things, and taking part in new experiences is good for the mind, body, and soul. For some, the idea of a perfect vacation is lying on a beach in the sun. Others want to go to theme parks and rush about. However, it is the activity vacation that most appeals to a wide range of people, and here are some of the reasons why this is the type of vacation you should try next. 


Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom from Pexels

It’s Challenging 

When you book an activity vacation, you are giving yourself and anyone who goes with you a challenge, and that is hugely important. There might not be that much that can challenge you in your job and your home life – your job may be repetitive and dull, for example. An activity vacation can give you the change that you need. 

Being challenged in life is good for you. It stimulates the brain and makes it work harder, and it makes things more exciting and gives you something to look forward to. Whether you book a vacation that involves rock climbing, abseiling, bungee jumping, hiking, or simply exploring new areas in new ways, you will find it a challenge. In conquering that challenge, you will make changes in your life that you could bring back home with you too. 

The Healthy Option 

The key part of an activity vacation is the activity, of course. Any form of activity, especially if it is different from what you usually do, is good for you and your health. It will raise your fitness levels and help to make you healthier. 

Although it’s good to relax with a beach vacation, you won’t come home healthier that way. In fact, lying around doing nothing could cause you to put on weight, and you’ll fall out of your keep fit routine too. So an activity vacation makes sense because it will keep you moving, keep you thinking, and you might even go home healthier than when you arrived. All the good habits that you pick up on your vacation can certainly be useful at home too. 

New Perspectives 

Going on an activity vacation will often mean that you can see the world from a different perspective; you are more than just a tourist or visitor – you are immersing yourself in a different way of doing things and working. 

What’s really remarkable about this kind of vacation is that you are seeing the world from a point of view that not many other people can say they have done, and that’s exciting. It’s especially exciting if you are visiting a part of the world popular with tourists because although you might enjoy the usual sights and sounds, you will also be delving deeper and doing more. 

Create Memories 

Do all the other vacations you have taken meld into one because they were all so similar? It’s a shame when this happens because memories are so crucial to happiness and wellbeing. Yet if we keep doing the same thing time after time, it will happen. 

In order to make special memories that will last a lifetime, you need to do something completely out of the ordinary, and that could be an activity vacation. It’s not every day you scuba dive with Dip ‘N Dive out in the ocean or abseil down a cliff face, and those memories are definitely going to stay with you.
This post was written with the Life According to Steph audience in mind

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Thursday Thoughts - A picture of you, holding a picture of me in the pocket of my blue jeans

1. There have been a few beauts this week that came just when I thought that the winter skies have not been giving the magic.
2. Just yesterday I was also saying shelling has been for shit and I was blessed with a whelk day. I got a big bag full of them at lunch. The first photo is a big ass whelk sitting on seaweed from the night before, which should have told me good things were coming. 
3. Poor Bruce is Fat Guy in a Little Coat. He is huge for a pug - tall and solid - and it's hard to get coats to fit him.

4. Not much doing around here this week. Work, reading, getting outside when weather allows. I need fresh air every day.

5. Republican run states are making changes to voting laws with surgical precision to restrict access to voting - we're not talking about anything new related to changes made due to covid, we're talking about removing access that has been standing for eight years in Montana and just insane shit in Georgia - and it is the responsibility of Congress and the federal government to ensure everyone in the country has voting access. All suppression bills are predicated on lies of election fraud, perpetuated and spread by Fox News et al propaganda machines, fed to people already feeling like the white way is closing. Protecting voting rights is non-partisan. Expanding voting rights is non-partisan. Don't wave your flag as a patriot if you support voter suppression. I know Fox allows you to think those things can coexist but they actually cannot. Zero elected officials in the republican party supporting protecting voting freedoms is a departure from how the entire party has functioned and voted in the past. This is a problem for ALL citizens. Call your Senators today and ask them to support the passage of the John Lewis Freedom to Vote act and suspending the filibuster to make this  happen. 

6. Back to being bored with cooking and food. MFD threw this together this week - shrimp, broccoli, pasta, olive oil, garlic, and parmesan cheese. What are you eating? 

7. I finished a stellar book and the next one is mediocre at best so I'm experiencing a book hangover. One of Philly's indie bookstores - Joseph Fox Books - is closing after 70 years and I am sad. Please please buy from local independent bookstores, and if you can't get there, please buy from them online or via and choose them as the beneficiary. Amazon does not build community. Local bookstores do. If you used to work in a city and are now WFH, if you can shop and eat in the city centers to support those businesses who rely on office workers to stay open, please do. 
8. My favorite is waking up to a Please Do the Near Impossible in a Short Amount of Time ask via email. Isn't it everyone's? Insert upside down smiley face

9. Reminder via mirrorsreflectyou

10. This made me laugh.

What appears beyond the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts titles is what I'm listening to when I'm starting this - this week is Jolene by Ray Lamontagne

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Chicken. Eggs. Veggies.

Wednesday! I thought it was Tuesday for much of the morning, so yay? If you are here over the past two years you're basically getting a weekend post, Thursday Thoughts, a list of some sort, or random food talk. Today is random food talk.

I've been thinking about protein and veggies lately and how to get more of both, so this post is a meandering marriage all of those things. What came first, the chicken or the egg? Right, stop and get on with it.

Making good use of eggs
Aside from frying, boiling, poaching, and scrambling eggs, you can make a delicious crustless vegetarian quiche (like this spinach and mushroom one from Budget Bytes) or zucchini pie to get a good dose of protein and veggies in the morning. Both options require almost no preparation (well, aside from the zucchini prep) with most of the time going to the 40-45 minutes that it takes to cook it in the oven.

Adding Veggies
To breakfast, as above. To chili, last weekend. In veggie meat sauce, always. Leaning heavily on salads and roasted veggies with sheet pan dinners and raw veggies as snacks. How are you getting your veggies in?

Roast a whole chicken
I think chicken eaters avoid whole chickens a lot, and I'm not sure why. They are great and a good way to really use everything. I hate food waste in general, and if I'm eating an animal even more so. Don't toss away even a scrap. Roast it whole or carve it up and use all the pieces, anything you don’t have for dinner or prep to be used in the future can be put in the fridge for sandwiches the next day. As for the bones, you can use them to flavor a stew, making sure that you’re really using every single scrap of the bird.

Don't be afraid of thighs
The best chicken to cook with in my opinion is the delicious and flavorful thighs. They are one of the cheapest, too. I actually hate chicken breasts. I eat thighs most often by just making them solo or putting them in dishes as ingredients like in an instant pot kadai chicken, which my friend Kelly has been raving about. This loaded instant pot recipe also uses tomatoes and ginger, so good for you, and makes enough to feed the family for at least two days on it. My goal when making dinner is to always have an easy-reheat meal for lunch or dinner the next day.

Pick it all
Once the “best” cuts of meat are gone, you’re still going to have a lot of meat on that bird. Go over it with a carving knife or your clean hands, slicing and picking away what bits of  meat you can and shred them. This shredded chicken can then be used in foods like filling chicken enchiladas, which can be topped up with other filling ingredients such as spinach and tomatoes. You can also use shredded chicken in salads to get your veggies in and amp up the proteins.

Wing man
Freeze the wings from multiple birds until you have enough to make wings as an app for a Sunday afternoon. I love batch cooking them in the air fryer and then some can be plain, some can be korean BBQ style, some mildly spicy, and some hot buffalo. 

Use it all 
The rest of the meat left on the chicken, the cartilage, soft wobbly bits, and little shreds of dark meat is still worth keeping around. This makes chicken stock or broth with a depth of flavor you absolutely cannot get from a box or can. This can then be used as the base of future soups or to add plenty of that rich chicken flavor to other meals, as well as adding a punch of protein to meals that you might not be having any meat with otherwise.

I'm cooking off old recipes, which you can find here. What's your best use of chicken right now?

Monday, January 17, 2022

TWTW - the mid January celebration one

Friday I made a big ass pot of chili in the afternoon and knocked off work around 4 to drive to the south end of the island and walk down to the point. Wind was whipping but by the time I got down there I walked off the week and my mind was blank aside from what was before me. The moonrise was exceptional and I was just like how is this my life. A weird combination of things happened in this world for me to be at the shore on a Friday in January and while most of them sucked, I cannot hate this outcome. MFD arrived and we ate chili and cornbread piled with butter and relaxed. I painted my nails and read until about midnight.

Saturday I was on the road back to Philly by 8:15 and got two loads of laundry done before my brother picked me up. We headed to the city to celebrate Aubrey's birthday with her crew. I miss bumming around the city and seeing my favorites - art, murals, floors of Philly, City Hall at night. It was a bitterly cold, city wind tunnel in full effect fun day and I'm happy Philly restaurants & bars are requiring vaccine cards so I was more comfortable going. I had fun and drinks but not too many, and my Dad picked me up and drove me home because safety first. I ordered pizza and hit the hay early.
Sunday I was up, showered, and back to the shore by 10:30. MFD picked up lunch from Hooked on Breakfast, I started a new book, and we watched the entire first season and the two episodes of the second of The Righteous Gemstones. Talk about a dark riot this show is amazing. Leftovers for dinner, and I read until about 11 then lights out. It was a gray and wet day so a good day for a new show and a new book and new Barkbox toys. 

And again, I need more than two weekend days. No MLK day off (IG caption with thoughts here) and never have in my professional career. 

It looks like a gray-ish week ahead. Not into it. Since I was out this weekend I am staying home for five days just in case especially since I have something next weekend as well. That's what feels right to me right now, and it's doable with my schedule and ability to work from home. 

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Four foods to aid in mental wellness

The human body is wonderful, and the human brain is much more so. Put them together, and they will usually be able to help one another stay healthy and happy. The idea that eating good food can help with mental health is proof of this. In other words, there are certain meals that will raise your happiness and make you feel good, which will increase the synthesis of serotonin, a hormone that is responsible (in part) for keeping depression at bay.

If you think eating healthily to improve your mental health is a good idea, what foods should you consume to make sure it happens? Keep reading to learn about some of the top options to include in your diet from now on. 


Photo by Oksana D from Pexels



Have you ever noticed how walnuts resemble little brains? It may be a coincidence, but the fact is that this is a great hint for discovering a tasty type of food that promotes mental health. Walnuts are a delightful snack on their own or when mixed with other meals (for example, in a salad or, for special occasions, in a cake), but they are also widely recognized for being high in antioxidants.

Antioxidants reduce the amount of oxidation in the body and the brain. This means your cells are significantly more shielded from 'free radicals.' Free radicals have been demonstrated to have a harmful influence, such as raising the risk of getting heart disease and cancer. The safer you are from them, the better, and walnuts will help. 



Yogurt has long been used as a remedy for a number of diseases, and it is well recognized for its ability to soothe troubled stomachs. The health advantages are amplified if the yogurt you're eating includes probiotics, which improve the digestive system.

But what about your mental health? Can yogurt help with this? The answer is yes. There is a direct relationship between the brain and the stomach, and when the digestive system is functioning properly, individuals experience less depression and anxiety. It may even reduce stress. Of course, yogurt will not totally 'cure' depression, so it is always a good idea to seek professional care for the most severe instances. 



Studies have shown that tomatoes, unlike many other fruits and vegetables when eaten on a regular basis, lower the risk of depression by fifty-two percent. The research also found that those who ate tomatoes two to six times per week were forty-six percent less likely to develop depression than those who ate them less than once per week.

According to the findings of this research, a tomato-rich diet may be advantageous in the avoidance of depressive symptoms. If you're not fond of tomatoes on their own, don't worry; they are highly versatile and can be used in many different recipes, including a delicious tomato bisque soup recipe that will make you feel great. 


Oily Fish

You've undoubtedly heard that fish is considered 'brain food' and that this notion has persisted for decades, if not centuries. This is because fish (particularly oily fish) contain a substance known as DHA. This is an omega-3 fatty acid, and it has been shown to improve memory in both the long and short term.

Eating a sufficient quantity of omega-3 fatty acids can improve your general mental health, especially if you suffer from anxiety. The good news is that if you don't like fish, as some people do, you can take these beneficial omega-3 fatty acids as a supplement and get the same results.


This post was written with the Life According to Steph Audience in mind. If you are struggling with mental health issues, please consult a doctor or therapist. If you are unsure of how to find one call (800) 662-4357. SAMHSA runs a 24-hour mental health hotline that provides education, support, and connections to treatment. It also offers an online Behavioral Health Treatment Locator to help you find suitable behavioral health treatment programs.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Friday Five - Recommendations

Happy Friday! I actually have something to do this weekend and next while the world screams and seethes around us. No talk of pandemic, late stage capitalism, ineffective government in a dying republic, why people like Pete Davidson and Machine Gun Kelly, mean girls, possible cat UTIs, dog eyes not healing, dirty houses, the cost of everything, or anything else unpleasing today. It's Friday and I need a break from swimming in reality for a minute so I'm sharing five recent recommendations.

1. Increase veggie intake - I know, groundbreaking. But it is insane how much better it feels to live in a body that is doing this

2. Herr's Fire Roasted Sweet Corn - because we're not only here for good for you things

3. Homemade vanilla pudding - see the flecks in the recipe photo? Pudding packet schmackit, it is easy and delicious to make at home. Vanilla paste - I bought a jar of it last year and it is chefs kiss in ways I did not imagine. I also have a cake recipe that calls for vanilla paste. It is depth and deliciousness. 

4. Fleece lined leggings from Old Navy - If you spend any amount of time outside in the winter - or would like to but are always too cold - you need these. Mid-Atlantic region winter, not like Alaska winter. They are the real MVP. They are warm but not too warm to wear comfortably inside, and they don't fall down or ride up. Fabulous. 

5. These socks in style B or style A (affiliate links) - I don't know how to talk about these without sounding like I'm over the edge. My mother in law got these for everyone her last Christmas and I was like socks, cool, because I like socks. When I started wearing them I was like THESE ARE MAGIC SOCKS. They fit your foot firmly, don't slide around, are warm but not too warm, feel thick but don't inhibit foot in shoe fitting. I never asked where she got them but came across them on amazon and they are them! Recommend, highly. The ones she and I bought again are style B and I'm confident style A feel the same. Can't vouch for the rest yet. They look so low rent when they come but they are awesome. Also in this photo I am holding recommendation #5 while wearing recommendation #4. 

You only get actual recommendations here that are well used and loved. You got any recommendations for me? 

Happy weekend!

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Thursday Thoughts - I had to find the passage back to the place I was before

Curbside pickup forever, folks

Wishing my sister in law Aubrey a happy happy birthday today. Love you!

Wanting democrats elected to the senate and White House would do one goddamn fucking thing right now aside from whining about what republicans are keeping them from doing. At least the House is moving some shit along. No need to chime in, GOP friends. Your people are upholding an insurrection and you should deal with that

Whyyyy is this me

Sending peace. The world is a lot right now. Sending virtual ice cream sandwiches too because yes. We all deserve one.
Loving when my friends know me. From Beth.
And from Pam! This package was lost among the Christmas shuffle and unearthed. Thanks Pam!

Making good ol' ga-gung ga-gung chili today

Rest In Peace Ronnie Specter. I loved your voice. 

Saving my Jim Gardner sads for true retirement. I am much more apt to catch him on the 6 so I make out for the remainder of the year. I have never watched local news outside of Action News since the time I can remember news being on in any house in my family. I love Rick Williams and wish him well on the 11.

Feeling super fucking sleep deprived. Eyedrops every two hours for Mae since Saturday for her deep corneal ulcer. No sleep has been brutal. She goes back for a re-check late morning today. Fingers crossed she has progressed as they would like and maybe we can pause overnight drops or do less and sleep more. I am not a person who can wake up and go immediately back to sleep. I didn't have kids for many reasons and that is one.
Taking some arctic feeling walks. If the wind isn't acting a fool and I'm wearing the appropriate gear, I actually love walking in teens/20s weather. Fleece pants or fleece lined pants are the real MVP.
Getting those five servings of veggies in however I need to

Unsure how many people are affording food with any nutritious value right now. Or food and household items in general. And yes, inflation and all, but what is it called when a company manufactures goods, makes record profits in the last half of a year, buys back their own stock to make stakeholders richer, pays C-suite executives many many millions, raises their prices, and calls it inflation? 

Reminding us via @doseofreminders

Watching Some previous season of The Great British Bake Off

Pet pics

Reading Slow going this week, my brain has been tapped. I read the same book from Sunday to last night - one of those 550 pages James Patterson jobbys that could be 275 if they used the spacing appropriately-and since it was a physical copy it looked and felt long.

Hang in there folks. 

What appears beyond the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts titles is what I'm listening to when I'm starting this - this week is of course Hotel California by The Eagles

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Spice it up - Simple homemade spice mixes

Hey ohhh. Happy Wednesday. The day after I over-salt my rice and eat the dinner portion instead of throwing it out and making another batch, and have to drink 20394830984 gallons of water last night while wondering if salt poisoning is a thing and I'm STILL thirsty this morning seems like a good day to share spice mix recipe recommendations with you. No? Don't worry, I threw the rest of it out. 


I'm cooking through my freezer and pantry right now, which I try to do every January or February. Carol went through my spices in Philly and at the shore at the end of the year and purged all expired ones. I am out of taco seasoning here and was going to run to the store then I was like wait, I used to make this myself. So I did that instead, and it got me thinking about other things that are easy to make yourself if you are in the middle of cooking or don't feel like running out to the store. 

Please please please for the love of all that is holy, season your food while you are prepping and cooking it. PLEASE.

And of course the great thing about making them at home is that you have total control over what goes into the mix and how strong or mild the flavor will be. Here are a few off the top of my head-ish:

Homemade taco seasoning is great for uh, well as any type of taco pasta dish or to flavor chicken or add to your favorite cold taco dip.

1 tbs chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Mix together and use 3 tablespoons for a packet. I typically make a large amount and store in an airtight glass container.

Homemade Seasoned Salt is an easy way to add flavor to your food. It is a great way to use up leftover herbs and spices, and it takes just minutes to make. Also...speaking of salt...this is a seasoned SALT so it is going to be SALTY. Use accordingly.
-1/4 cup kosher Salt
-4 tablespoons ground black pepper
-1 teaspoon Garlic powder
-1 teaspoon Onion powder
-1/4 teaspooon ground red/Cayenne pepper
-1 teaspoon Paprika

To Make:
Mix all ingredients in a bowl, and store in an airtight container. Use as desired to season food before cooking.

Homemade Curry Powder Indian curry powder is a homemade spice mix typically made of coriander, cumin, turmeric, ginger, and chili powder. It can be used to season chicken, beef, fish, or vegetables.

½ teaspoon ground coriander 
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
⅛ teaspoon turmeric
⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of red pepper flakes
 ¼-½ teaspoon chili powder

To make:
In a small bowl, combine ingredients. Depending on how spicy you want it, stir in in ¼-½ teaspoon chili powder. Store in an airtight container. 

You can also add other spices such as cinnamon or cardamom for extra flavor. This mix will keep for about six months stored in an airtight container.

Homemade Lemon Pepper is great for seasoning fish, chicken, or pork. You can also add it to homemade dressings and marinades. It's fresh AF and that comes through on the food.

½ teaspoon lemon zest (from about one large lemon)
¾ teaspoon finely ground sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To make: 
Combine the following in an airtight container. Keeps at room temp for three months

Homemade Italian Seasoning is easy and it can be tailored to your taste. All you need is a blend of dried herbs such as basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary. You can also add in some ground black pepper and red pepper flakes for a bit of heat. Without the peppers it is quite mild, which mine reflects because I don't like red chili flakes much. If you do and want the heat, go up to like 1 TBS of those. I go something like this:

-2 TBS basil
-2 TBS oregano
-1 TBS rosemary
-1 TBS thyme
-2 TBS parsley
-1 TSP garlic powder
-1/2 TSP red chili flakes

To make: 
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Then store it in an airtight container until ready to use. It will keep for several months.

You can use homemade Italian seasoning on pasta dishes, pizza, or any other dish on which you would generally use Italian-seasoned bread crumbs. It's also great sprinkled over roasted vegetables or chicken breasts before baking them.

Those are just a few examples of how you can conjure spice mixes out of what you have separately spice-wise most of the time. 

If I'm buying spice blends, I prefer Penzey's (fox point and garlic salt seasoning are staples but most of their catalog is excellent), and McCormick mixes - the garlic, onion, black pepper, and sea salt is perfection. Chef Curl Ardee is Black-woman owned and the mild seasoning is chef's freaking kiss. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Show Us Your Books January 2022

It's definitely too late to say Happy New Year, but I'm saying it anyway to those of you I only see on book talk days. 

I tried tracking with Story Graph for a little over a week vs. Goodreads, which I mentioned last week? Or the week before? Since I don't track reading as a full time job, Story Graph is not for me at this time. There's extra work that there's just not on Goodreads. I'll keep checking on it and I did send a note with some things that were difficult about it for users like me which they may or may not apply to future iterations. So I'm still on Goodreads and under the Amazon strong hold. 

Here's what I've been reading since the last regular linkup on 12/14/21:  
Note: you'll see me differentiate in itals what I read in December so when I look back to consider my favorites of 2022, I don't consider those. That's for me 
Engrossing Reads

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller - Miller surprises me again, like she did with Circe which I read early on in 2021. I can't wait to see what's next from her. This quite nearly made my favorites list too. What a love story. Paperback, own, read in 2021

The Lost Girls of Devon by Barbara O'Neal - I adored the setting and liked the story too - the main mystery and all of its offshoots. Some of it was repetitive and stop beating a dead horse Barbara, we get it, but overall I quite enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. Paperback, own, read in 2021

Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins - I've said this a lot over the past two years, but the books I have a hard time putting down and the books that are technically the best and most well written are not the same. Such is the subjectivity of reading. Am I evaluating what I read now as I evaluate books as an English major? No, I am not. This was meant to be my last book of the year but ended up being my second last. A solid way to see the year out even though there is no way the majority of this shit flies in reality. Still a good ride.  Netgalley ARC in exchange for an honest review, read in 2021

A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham - I read this in a few hours. I liked how this story was layered. I thought it was so many different things and was ultimately wrong which I love. I am not the person who reads mysteries to be the reading detective. If I happen to figure it out, cool. If I don't, also cool but preferred. Netgalley ARC in exchange for an honest review, read in 2022, book publishes today

2 Too Many by Breonna Brownlee - You might know her as Bre Writes? I pre-ordered this and got to reading it this weekend, which I did in a few hours. I loved this book even though it is well out of my murdery wheelhouse. The characters felt like friends, and I loved their friendships and relationships. The writing and flow were excellent. I would live in this book with its meals and best friends and FaceTimes and Jimmie and Kent and journals and Blackwing pencils. I am a pencil person so that got me in the heart. Kudos Bre! I hope you all buy & read this to support a first time published novel woman Kindle edition, own

Passed the Time Just Fine

The Maid by Nita Prose - This reminded me a lot of Eleanor Oliphant, in which I loved and was rooting for the protaganist and was pissed the fuck off at a lot of the other characters. The end pleased me. It will not please others because people cannot just accept endings.  Netgalley ARC in exchange for an honest review, read in 2021

The Perfect Escape by Leah Konen - Some years I finish a book just under the wire of midnight and this was that year and this book. I was finished in the literal final minute of 2021. This was wild and not always in a good way, but it kept me in solid reading mode for a few hours on the last night of the year. Netgalley ARC in exchange for an honest review, last book read in 2021

Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy - This was tough and I hate to compare works but I'm going to - this cannot touch Once There Were Wolves. This was a difficult read, painful, lots of loose ends out there. Good writing and beautiful in spots but that couldn't bring it to engrossing. It was slower for me. I'm not sad I read it, but not a great one to start off the year. Paperback, own, first book read in 2022

A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker - I don't think I'd call this a gripping thriller, which is what its description calls it, but I liked it. Matt is a great character and the setting both geographically and in time were both great. I am way into analog books right now. The cover is fabulous. A bit slow in the pacing. Netgalley ARC in exchange for an honest review, read in 2022, book publishes today
The New Girl by Ruth Heald - In real life, this book would be a truck full of red flags. In fictional life, it is also, but it's acceptable in a few hour read. Diabolical maneuvering here though. The end was not for me. Netgalley ARC in exchange for an honest review, read in 2022, book publishes 1.25.2022

Not Worth It

The New Year's Eve Party by Hannah Emery - I meant to read this on NYE because I am a person who is pleased by symbolism like reading a book with New Year's Eve in the title on New Year's Eve but I didn't and I'm glad. I don't like to end the year on a WTF book. This was a quick read, but there was quite a lot of lunacy thrown in here and I just...nah. Netgalley ARC in exchange for an honest review, read in 2021

Did Not Finish

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This link up is the second Tuesday of every month and will happen as long as we post about reading books. All are welcome to join us! The next linkup is Tuesday, February 8, 2022
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