Monday, July 1, 2013

life! and introducing betsy's book club of one.

sorry it's been so quiet for the past few weeks, faithful readers (all four of you). i've just been super busy with many important things, like:

baltimore girls weekend
"but what's our ROI for lifting you up?" answer: shots

cool kids (though so are the others who are missing)

stop going on vacation and hang with me, food-giver.

BIG kitties at the bronx zoo
nothing says summer like sneaking in beers to yankee stadium

pre-pride america drinks!

40 oz to freedom.
so yeah, basically i've been boozing with friends for the past two weeks. and if i'm not doing that, i'm chilling with bud man so he doesn't try to eat me in my sleep. so that's the update on where i've been because it obviously hasn't been behind a keyboard writing to you.

when i first started this blog, i was going to work on some self-improvement, which i am still trying for, despite my total backslide on keeping a tidy apartment and running schedule. but i have been continuing to go to hot yoga and the last class i didn't have to sit down or stop ONCE so at least i have that going for me.

but, i shouldn't just be improving myself in the physical sense. my brain needs some work too - especially with all the drinking that i do. (see above photos for obvious evidence). so i've decided to get my brain some much needed boost this  summer - and rest of the year - with betsy's book club of one.

what is this "betsy's book club of one" you may be asking yourselves. well, it's basically me trying to read at least one book a month, and preferably something with a little bit of substance. think more franzen, less berenstain bears. and yes, i'm using the words "at least" in my description.

i have always loved reading, probably because it's in my blood. seriously, my mom (hi mom!) is a librarian. for real, her twitter handle is @lauralibrary16 (follow her! and me @yournewbff). i used to fall asleep as a child with a book perched upon my face. i read "ahead of grade level" about things that just started making sense to me a few years ago. but for some reason, i haven't had as much fervor for it lately as i had in the past. it's probably the fall out from taking last year to read the entire "song of ice and fire" series to date. those are the game of thrones books for all you who didn't know.

don't get me wrong, the books were amazing, but they are LONG. like thousands of pages. and detailed. with a million characters. reading them is a commitment. it took me 9 months to read all 5 books (i did squeeze a few others in there as well), but coming down from that can be rough. my brain needed some time to process all the conspiracy theories and ideas, so i just found myself diving back into the books a month or two ago. and it's been great.

i recently read and would recommend:

  • yonahlossee riding camp for girls by anton discalfani: a coming of age story set during the depression. more scandalous that i was planning on, and i mean that in a good way
  • sharp objects by gillian flynn: loved gone girl, so had to give her earlier stuff a try. super twisted and gave me a visceral reaction. if you're into thrillers that are fucked up, def read this one.
  • six years by harlan coben: i heard that hugh jackman was going to play the lead in the movie version so naturally i had to read the source material. easy read with a good story basis. 
  • the marriage plot by jeffrey eugenides: so i LOVED the virgin suicides but have never gotten past page 73 of middlesex, which apparently is blasphemy. i was heading out of town to visit family in alabama and needed a plane read, so when i saw this on the shelf at my local public library (have you joined yours yet?), i figured might as well give it a go. and guess what, it was super engulfing. don't get me wrong, there were some issues with the novel, but overall i was into it. and i felt well-read for the first time in a while.

so when i went to return the marriage plot and pick up my next novel, i noticed freedom by jonathan franzen sitting on the shelf.  just like middlesex, the corrections is a book that has plagued me with the pick up and put down syndrome. apparently it's the best book ever, but i haven't made it there yet. BUT, if leslie knope wants to discuss a book (season 3 "the fight" i.e. snake juice and bringer of this gem: enough, it must be good enough for me too. so i picked it up and crossed my fingers. and again, it has so far been worth it.

so thus, i am going to take my goodreads list of books that i've always wanted to read and combine it with the "bests" books of the past few years lists that i always see and try to make a dent in them. and after i read each book, i'll come here and tell you my thoughts and feelings, as if i'm back in my old book club. and then if you have read the book too, you can comment and we can interact. cool? cool.

i'm still only 1/3rd of the way done with freedom, so this will be the july book. not sure what august is going to be, but there's a chance it'll be grapes of wrath by john steinbeck. it's on my book bucket list and there will be plenty of saturdays in central park for me to get going on it.

got recommendations? send them my way, i rarely turn a good book down. unless it's on top of my face when i'm too lazy to get out of bed to turn off the light.


  1. freedom is sooo good. i am jealous that you get to experience it for the first time. i hope i haven't built it up too much for you :-)

    1. you're such a trendsetter pats! always getting to the good stuff before me. we'll definitely have to discuss patty when i'm done. i have a lot of feelings about her already and i'm not even halfway through yet.