Big News (especially for my teenage bookworm self)

Yesterday, I went on Facebook and my newsfeed was blown up by news that I actually cared about that doesn’t involve the vaccination debate or the inordinate amounts of snow my hometown is getting.

Harper Lee is publishing a new book!

If you haven’t heard, then check out this article from the New York Times.

Okay, a new-to-the-world book.  She actually wrote it many, many years ago.

I promptly “reposted” an article on my friend V’s wall.  Because she is someone who shares with me an unhealthy obsession with the wonderful novel that we coined “To Kill a Bird” in grade 10 IB English.  We did presentations that were way overdone with excessive bristol boards and background research.  We finished the book before we were supposed to and re-read it and loved the movie.

I’m excited.  I know other people are too.

And I don’t usually even like sequels that much (although I do have to read them for closure).

As a big nerd, I must admit, this is a book that I am looking forward to more than many other books that I have excessively looked forward to.

Top Ten “Classic” Novels I Can’t Believe I Haven’t Read

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday list with the Broke and the Bookish is “the top ten books from genre x I can’t believe I haven’t read.” I feel like I can make a list in many genres, but I am going to go with the “classic” book genre.5f1e1-toptentuesday

I like to think I am well-read. That I have read all kinds of stuff because I want to and like to, but really, there are just so many more important works that I still haven’t read and many, many people have.

  1. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. We actually got this as a Christmas gift from a friend. Patrick has now read it, but I still have not.
  2. 1984 by George Orwell. I see this intermittently on sale shelves at Chapters or hear it referenced in TV shows and movies. Still haven’t read it.
  3. Animal Farm by George Orwell. Another Orwell book. Clearly, I am avoiding him. I feel like a lot of people read this book in high school. I skipped that step.
  4. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger. This is another book that gets referenced all the time by different people because seemingly everyone read it in school except for me.
  5. Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Another high school miss.
  6. Sophie’s Choice by William Styron. I almost bought this with part of our Christmas Chapter’s gift card haul. But I opted not to because I know it will be easily found in the library because it is another popular and well-referenced work of literature.
  7. Dr Zhivago by Boris Pasternak. It sounds interesting and sad and right up my alley. Yet I have not read it.
  8. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Sometimes I wonder what I really did read in high school/university given the theoretically great books I have missed out on. I still sadly don’t really know much about this book other than what movies/TV refer to.
  9. Moby Dick by Herman Melville. This is one of the few books I picked up and then put down after a few chapters.   It is shocking I actually gave up on a book.  I want to try again.
  10. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I got this as a free ebook on my e-reader. I need to actually read it.

What “classics” do you have yet to read?

Top Ten Books That Kept Me Up Past My Bed Time

It has been a bit since I’ve done a Top Ten Tuesday with the folks over at the Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is about book clubs. I would love to be in a book club (no, journal club does not count). But, alas that is not in the cards any time soon (unless you count my plans to drag the Creature with me to the kids programs at our new library once he makes an appearance).5f1e1-toptentuesday

So, I’m going with the freebie from last week. And my freebie item of choice is the top ten books that kept me up past my bed time. And I did not included textbooks that were involved with studying (plus, I don’t often study past my bedtime anyway).

  1. Hannah’s Dream by Diane Hammond. I didn’t know a book about an elephant could make me feel the way this one did.
  2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Yes, I stayed up late reading the end and then had crazy dreams.
  3. Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson. I just cared way too much about these characters.
  4. Looking For Alaska by John Green. Once I hit a certain soul crushing point, I had to keep going just to know what happened.
  5. The Fault in our Stars by John Green. I read this whole book over the course of a call shift and post call day. I got angry when pages interrupted my reading and it took a lot of will power by the time I finally thought I could settle for the night not just to stay up and read (because I was probably going to be woken up anyway).
  6. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I’m pretty sure I stayed up way to late reading each of these books while I was away on an elective.
  7. The Case For Christ by Lee Strobel. This really surprised me in a number of ways. I quite liked it and again as a result stayed up to keep reading on more than one night.
  8. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Sometimes you just have to know what will happen, even when you already know it is probably not going to be good.
  9. The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls. She draws you in and the next thing you know, you are almost done and might as well finish it the same night.
  10. Twilight and the other books in that series by Stephanie Meyer. Don’t judge. I would allow myself to read one after every exam in Med2 before things got crazy again for a period of time. Between the excitement of reading for fun and the fact that they are pretty engaging books, I wanted to read the whole thing at once.

What books have kept you up late?

Weekend library

This weekend, I hit up the big-university-that-my-residency-is-based-out-of’s library.  I love libraries and this one is no exception.  It was also surprisingly empty.  I blamed first week back to school.  The next day, Patrick and I checked out our city’s newest big fancy library and I figured out where all the students were (and half the city, I swear)… In the library.

My university library adventure was brought about due to a need for massive productivity.  Lots of presentations, studying and prep for interviews on the go these days.  My project of the day (really, this past week) has been a presentation on cannabis in cancer care.  Yes, medical marijuana.  Patrick keeps making note of how crazy that is.

It was too bad my presentation got postponed due to a scheduling blip.

The other odd part about university library is hot.  I have never been in a university library that was warm.  They are always cold.  I think they were compensating for the cold snap earlier in the week and had failed to return the heat to the usual “cool” level.  Big city library was hot too, but it was due to the droves of people (that I kept complaining “probably didn’t even really like books”).

Since coffee has finally stopped inducing vomiting, I got a hot beverage before going in to the library (I should have picked a cold beverage).  I tried a Flat White for the first time.

Life lesson… If you have been off caffeine for awhile and your fetus is not used to caffeine, a flat white is an interesting place to start (don’t judge me, “no caffeine during pregnancy puritans”).  The kid bounced around for a good hour or two after that.  It took me a while to figure out why.  I must say, it was pretty good, but to be honest, not something I would hunt down again (especially not during pregnancy).

Big city library has a cafe in it too.  It is a dream to me.  Library with built in cafe.  I just need to get rid of the droves of people.

While at university library, I was peacefully reading crazy details about the intricacies of taking marijuana when a piece of ceiling fell beside me.  It happens at my house and now at the library too.  It was a  small pice.  More a large paint chip.  I considered moving, but I opted to stay.  Classy, big university library.  Charge people thousands and thousands of dollars and have a ceiling losing bits (not much unlike my apartment, come to think of it).

I love libraries of all kinds.  Although crowded ones are my least favourite kinds. At least the city is full of cafes I can work at too (especially now that the coffee smell doesn’t kill me softly).  But, maybe the university library will stay on the empty side a bit longer thanks to the draw of fancy library, so I can hide out there a bit more.  Maybe. But probably not.

Things that keep me up past my bedtime

In order of likelihood to do so…

  • My pager.
  • World Junior Hockey/Olympic Hockey
  • NHL playoffs when the Habs are playing.
  • Travel.
  • Visiting friends or family.
  • An exceedingly good book.
  • Homework.
  • Patrick.
  • Something highly intriguing on TV (including other “less important” hockey).
  • My mind on overdrive (especially dangerous when combined with pregnant uterus sitting on bladder).

My priorities are odd.  Its too bad we spent a week visiting friends and family that wrapped up with last night and tonight being hockey and tomorrow night being on call.  And usually sleep is so important to me (and my work is piling up).

Some someecards that describe this weird relationship the M household may or may not have with hockey.  Don’t judge us too much.

Whoo!  Go Canada!!

A long New Years themed questionnaire

It is a few days after 2015 has started, but I have never been one to celebrate festivities conventionally (Okay, actually I did stay up until after midnight, saw fireworks as the clock struck twelve, toasted the new year (with sparkling apple juice) and kissed my husband… That is pretty darn stereotypical, I must say). I saw this 2014 in review questionnaire (one of many) done by a few of the lovely bloggers I follow and I decided to play along. Warning: it is long-winded and reflective.

YOUR 2014

What one event, big or small, are you going to tell your grandchildren about?

Tough one… Seeing Wicked on Broadway. Getting to see/hear “The Creature” for the first times.

If you had to describe your 2014 in 3 words, what would they be?

Emotional, blessed and nauseated.

What new things did you discover about yourself?

I learned that I am capable of depths of emotion on both ends of the spectrum (joy and sorrow) at levels that I previously was unsure were possible. I also learned that taking time to do the things I enjoy or spend time with the people I love is something that I too often put off, so I am gratefuly that I am now starting to do that more.

What single achievement are you most proud of?

Does being in the middle of growing a human count? I’m mostly serious. But, if we are going with tangible obvious things, it would be having completed my research project and presenting it at a national conference (although we are still editing it for publication… Ugh.).

What was the best news you received?

That “The Creature” continues to be growing and healthy. After a long wait for a baby and especially after losing Elim and knowing how many others wait and pray for well little ones, I can’t help but be so grateful.

What was your favourite place that you visited in 2014?

New York. Hands down. Best early 5th anniversary and partly free trip ever! I got to see musicals, Body World and eat a lot.

Which of your personal qualities turned out to be the most helpful this year?

My high-baseline optimism.

Who was your number one go-to person that you could always rely on?

Patrick, obviously.

Which new skills did you learn?

I apparently got pretty good at microscopy according to my Pathology evaluation.

My countouring skills are getting better. Bring on the head and neck cases!

I am getting better at transrectal ultrasound (I know, valuable life skills here, boys and girls) and inserting needles for prostate brachytherapy. Cervical brachytherapy seems to be a bit of a slower go for me, but it seems like whenever I’m on, the cases wind up being super complicated, so I get stuck not doing much.

Today, I have realized I have also become pretty stealthy at putting on Jeter’s harness.

What, or who, are you most thankful for?

I am most thankful for the many friends and family, particularly our extended church family God has stuck in our lives. They have loved us through a lot this year and keep putting my focus back on what really matters (sometimes with some laughs and healthy distraction on the way).

If someone wrote a book about your life in 2014, what kind of genre would it be? A comedy, love story, drama, film noir or something else?

A dramedy? I think that might be a genre.

What was the most important lesson you learnt in 2014?

It is not my story, it is God’s story.

Which mental block(s) did you overcome?

The perception or belief that I’m not “good enough.” Its an ongoing struggle, but grace is the gift that keeps on giving.

14.What 5 people did you most enjoy spending time with?

This is challenging, there are many people with whom I enjoy spending time. I’m going to say C&C, A&P, K and M from our old small group (I know, that is 6). We got to have some special quality time with them for the first time in a few years and it was really enjoyable, meaningful quality time, even if it was brief. That doesn’t downplay the time we spent with many other very important people in our lives, it was just some of the most special time.

What was your biggest break-through moment career-wise?

When I started realizing that I could answer questions intelligently in teaching sessions and during my treatment planning exams and that I totally couldn’t have done that last year. I didn’t notice at first, but looking back, I can see how much I am learning.

How did your relationship to your family evolve?

I find myself more attached and concerned for my family and extended family as I get older. Probably because I keep learning how fragile life is and how important those people are.

What book or movie affected your life in a profound way?

The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe. I don’t know if profound is the exact word I would use, but it made me think about my relationships with family, with patients and how I share my love of reading with certain people. It made me want to check out more books and to actually discuss them (instead of reading being a solitary activity).

What was your favourite compliment that you received this year?

It wasn’t a compliment. It was the most heartfelt hug and simply “thank you” from a patient’s husband.

What little things did you most enjoy during your day-to-day life?

I love coming home to Jeter who immediately “flops” and expects me to give him a good rub as soon as I walk in the door. I also love the time Patrick and I have when we do our individual Bible reading, pray and just cuddle and talk about our days before I go to sleep at night.

What cool things did you create this year?

I’m not that creative. Probably a knitted mug cozie (and then I lost the mug it fit on).

What was your most common mental state this year (e.g. excited, curious, stressed)?

I’m a resident, so stressed.

Was there anything you did for the very first time in your life this year?

I ran for 20 minutes straight. Brachytherapy insertions. I played Munchkin, Gloom, Love Letter, and several other games. I saw Wicked.

What was your favourite moment spent with your friends?

I’m torn between kayaking with L, C, Child and D in the summer or playing games and having a BBQ with C&C, A&P and K this summer.

What major goal did you lay the foundations for?

I’m continuing to be a resident, so a suppose that is working towards my major goal of one day having a real job as a staff physician.

I would one day like to run 5k straight. I know for many people that does not seem like a big deal, but I am NOT an athlete by any means. Before I got pregnant and super sick, I was up to somewhere between 1.5 and 2km without a walk break and didn’t need too crazy long for a break. But now, I went for my first run again last week and I can barely run for 3 minutes without starting to get hot and out of breath (it has been about 12 weeks). I know that I can’t push myself excessively now, but I want to at least maintain (or improve) my fitness, so that after baby gets here, I can keep moving in that direction.

Which worries turned out to be completely unnecessary?

Patrick always tells me worrying won’t make me taller. And he is always right. So, all of them.

What experience would you love to do all over again?

New York. The time we spent with our old small group friends. Our cabin adventure with most of the BIFFs.

What was the best gift you received?

I’m going materialistic on this one. Mr. Holland’s Opus, which was a surprise from Patrick who remembered me mentioning it was one of my all-time favourite movies, so when he stumbled upon it, he bought it and watched it with me.

How did your overall outlook on life evolve?

That is a deep question. I think I’m getting better at seeing how grace really plays out in our world and in our lives in all kinds of ways that are sometimes more challenging to see.

What was the biggest problem you solved?

I fixed our broken drawer. I know it sounds trivial, but Jeter broke that bloody drawer trying to get to the treats a couple years ago and I finally fixed it! Maybe not the biggest “problem” but definitely the best fix.

What was the funniest moment of your year, one that still makes it hard not to burst out laughing when you think about it?

When we were in New York, there was a voice on one of the subway trains that said “Please stand clear of the closing doors” who just sounded so happy while saying it (and also like a CBC sports personality). Patrick thought it was hilarious and would mock it and get even more excited if it was the voice on the train we were on. After getting back, we would still periodically announce “please stand clear of the closing doors” in that voice and crack up. Then, we noticed the elevator they are replacing in our building has a small automated sign that says that exact phrase. We lost our minds laughing at that.

What idea turned out to be the best decision ever?

Choosing to work Christmas Eve, so that we would have Christmas day to ourselves and more time to spend with family/friends at home over the New Years half of the break. We got to rest and relax, enjoy our alone time and our time with people (and even saw almost everyone we wanted to) and it was the best break we’ve had in some time.

What one thing would you do differently and why?

I would have accepted more help from people. I’m often reluctant to admit that I need help, but there were points this year where I was so sad or so sick that I probably should have taken people up on offers of breaks or a hand with things around the house or at work than I should have. I realize now that the past few months would have been a bit better had I maybe taken another couple of sick days or evenings to myself.

What do you deserve a pat on the back for?

I finished my off-service rotations in one piece and made it through the first difficult 6 months of core Rad Onc in one piece (half of which I spent drowsy and barfy) with people somehow thinking I am keen and have a good attitude.

What activities made you lose track of time?

Board games with our lovely gamey friends. I can lose hours playing good games with good people. Also, as always, reading. And I will admit, because I am a big dork, clinic prep and contouring are huge time sucks for me and often lead to me losing track of time.

What did you think about more than anything else?

Having children and not having children. I know it is so cliché for someone in my age and stage, but this was a seriously consuming issue for me this year in both the good and bad.

What topics did you most enjoy learning about?

I love my job and my field, so I enjoy learning most about oncology and everything that goes with it from how people (on both sides of the desk) cope with cancer and live with it, to how it works to the technical side of treatments. I have also been really excited to be learning more about God this past year.

What new habits did you cultivate?

I was doing decently at going to the gym before the morning sickness took me out. Hopefully, I can get back to that. Patrick and I have been doing better with prayer together. I have also been trying to be more intentional with being “social.” I’m not saying I am a social butterfly, but I am trying to have meaningful (or at least some) conversation with people more often in situations where I would otherwise have tried to hide out.

What advice would you give your early-2014 self if you could)?

I don’t know. I’m not always a good advice heeder. I would probably remind myself to be patient and know that tough stuff is good for growing and learning and that worry isn’t going to make me taller (even though Patrick did tell me that).

Did any parts of your self or your life do a complete 180 this year?

Not especially. My caffeine intake is probably a quarter of what it was previously, but that is the fault of mind-numbing nausea.

What or who had the biggest positive impact on your life this year?

Getting back to some important things. Like playing music again. Seeing and staying in touch with people who have been important in my life. Most importantly, seeing the thread of grace that God has woven in our lives.

YOUR 2015

What do you want the overarching theme for your 2015 to be?

Growing.

What do you want to see, discover, explore?

I’m excited to do my Med Ed elective and improve/develop my teaching skills. I can’t wait to meet “The Creature” and figure out all that good stuff that comes with parenting. I am always happy to go on adventures anywhere, even if it is just close to home for the next while.

Who do you want to spend more time with in 2015?

Our families/extended family. We see them more now than we did our first few years of marriage, and I want to keep that up. Plus, their presence is going to be super important as “the Creature” grows up.

What skills do you want to learn, improve or master?

I need to learn how to be a parent at some point. As I said before, I want to work on my teaching and I just plain want to keep working on my clinical knowledge and skills. I always can improve on how well I love my husband and others. Plus, I want to be more fit, you know, the whole running thing, as I mentioned. If I could finally learn to play guitar, that would be great, but probably kind of a lofty goal given everything else.

Which personal quality do you want to develop or strengthen?

I’m not sure exactly how to word it, but I want to continue to work on my time spent with others. I want to be more open to people and more loving towards them and less afraid of interactions.

What do you want your everyday life to be like?

I just want to find joy in the mundane. Because that is what life is made up of, those ordinary moments that add together to make up our days.

Which habits do you want to change, cultivate or get rid of?

I want to keep working on our prayer time and devotions as a couple. I also want to get back to/get better at being more active.

What do you want to achieve career-wise?

I really want to pass physics and radiobiology this year (lofty dreams), so that I can just sit in on them when I come back from mat leave without feeling the pressure to have to write the exams and pass them with a toddler in the house. Doing adequately well on my other in-training exams would be great too. I also want to finish all of my rotations up to the start of maternity leave, so that I only have one 4 week block left of third year when I get back.

How do you want to remember the year 2015 when you look back on it 10/20/50 years from now?

I hope I remember it as a good year, but really, it is just a drop in the bucket.

What is your number one goal for 2015?

Read 67 books. Just kidding. That is a goal, though. I guess it is just to love and serve well.

Top Ten Books I Read In 2014

After one of those insane days where the work just seemed to keep piling up, I am finally back home chillaxing with the husband and watching the Buddy the Elf the Musical. It is pretty cute so far.

Because it is Tuesday, I figured it is a good way to relax while doing my Top Ten Tuesday list with the Broke and the Bookish. This week’s list is the top ten books I read in 2014.5f1e1-toptentuesday

  1. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. I feel like every list I have made lately (all 2 of them) have raved about my love of this book. But seriously, I really did love it.
  2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. By far the most disturbing book I have ever read, it had me glued to it (once I got past the first few chapters).
  3. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. This was funny and adorable all at the same time. I related to the main character in ways I’m embarrassed to admit.
  4. Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson. This was by far one of my most surprising likes in the realm of books. It was a beautiful journey and took me back to another era.
  5. The End Of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe. I’m always weak for true stories and for stories about people living in the medical system and books. This book combines all of these things for a heartfelt look at a mother and son’s literary and life journey.
  6. This Momentary Marriage by John Piper. This was a really neat book in the way it addressed marriage and relationships as they reflect the gospel and about the covenant that marriage truly is. I learned a lot reading it.
  7. The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller. I was on a big marriage reading kick this year apparently. This was another fabulous look at the covenant of marriage with a more practical, but still gospel driven approach.
  8. Red Rising by Pierce Brown. I didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did, but I find myself chomping at the bit waiting for the next book in the series.
  9. And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. I seem to consistently love his books and this was no exception. It blew my mind how so many story lines were so closely intertwined. I loved seeing their lives play out before my eyes.
  10. The Silver Star by Jeanette Walls. She is another author who never fails to impress me. Her characters are consistently so multidimensional and real, yet they have just the right level of bizarre.

What were your favourite reads of 2014?

How a movie, physics and my day-to-day nerdy life combine

Patrick and I went on a date tonight to see the movie about Stephen Hawking, The Theory of Everything.  I have been wanting to see it since I saw the preview a couple months ago and finally we had some time (read: I have a treatment planning exam this week and am on call next weekend, so I wanted to be “normal” and also simultaneously procrastinate).

I was impressed.

Not only did I get to nerd out a little bit (although science and/or medicine weren’t the main focus of the movie), but it was at times funny, and heartwarming and sad, much like life is.  It was quite a journey.

Seriously though… I would watch it again.  Happily.

Then, we went home and spent an inordinate amount of time nerding out in a different way by looking into how true to life the movie really was, how the actor learned to portray gradual motor neuron decline so well and all that good stuff.  Apparently, it is pretty close to life, although there were, of course the odd composite characters and embellishments or sugar coating.  And the actor studied a ton with dancers and videos and such to get the movements (or absence thereof).

All in all, a good movie.

And now I want to read the book (written by his ex-wife, Jane).  In fact, I saw it while we were out and about today and I almost told Patrick I couldn’t see the movie before I read the book (since that is my general life rule), but I decided against that.  And I need to read his book too, because I like to be well-read and because I love science and physics (and I do firmly believe that much of it does point to God).

Also, it reminded me that physicists are some of my favourite kinds of people.  Seriously… I work with a ton of them… Not cosmologists or theoretical physicists, but medical physicists who are equally nerdy and insanely intelligent.

This in turn reminds me that before I read these books I should probably study my physics and radiobiology so that I pass them this year (although that is improbable because as a rule that doesn’t happen and we repeat them in 4th year).  And that in turn makes me continue to put that stuff off because it is way too early.  And as I said, I have a treatment planning exam this week that I need to study more for because it is on prostate and I haven’t worked with a doc who treats prostate in almost 2 months, so I am way rusty (and realistically never got the hang of it particularly well).  There is, of course some physics in there, so I guess it all relates back.  Kind of.

Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2014

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday with the Broke and Bookish is “the top ten new-to-me authors I read in 2014.” I’m way behind on my reading goals for the year (I blame residency and the parasite, but I still have a few weeks to catch up… haha), but I have had the chance to read a number of new-to-me authors.5f1e1-toptentuesday

  1. Rainbow Rowell. I read Eleanor & Park and was thoroughly impressed with how she wrote about teen angst and made me really enjoy and care about the characters.   As a result, I want to read everything else she has written.
  2. Gillian Flynn. I am one of the many, many people who read Gone Girl after hearing all the hype even though it was outside of my normal reading realm and loved it. It creeped the heck out of me. And yet, I want to read her other books even though they will likely have a similar effect.
  3. Graeme Simsion. The Rosie Project was priceless and I have the second book on my ereader awaiting. His writing is funny and just bizarre enough it is believable.
  4. Pierce Brown. I hadn’t heard of him before a friend lent me Red Rising and although it started kind of slow, it was really good and I look forward to the rest of the series.
  5. James Dashner. I started The Maze Runner series and although I don’t have an overwhelming urge to read the other books, I probably will at some point pick them up.
  6. Eleanor Henderson. I was surprised with how good Ten Thousand Saints was. In fact, I would never have picked it up (unless I was hard up for a book) until Patrick picked it up and raved about it. The book is a journey in which you really grow to care about the characters. I would read more of her stuff.
  7. Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg. I read The Little Old Lady Who Broke All The Rules and it made me laugh and laugh. Unfortunately, many of her books don’t appear to have been translated into English, but I would check out another should one appear.
  8. Jay Asher. I read 13 Reasons Why and it was shocking and sad, but overall well done. Although it wasn’t one of my favourite books of 2014, he does make the better new author list.
  9. Adena Halpern. 29 Again was a bargain book find at Chapters and it was well worth the bargain price (in retrospect, it would have been worth full price). It was a sweet, funny story and looking at some of her other titles, it sounds like a lot of her books have potential to be cute/funny.
  10. Timothy Keller. I know some people will find it strange, but this year was the first time I read a Tim Keller book. I really enjoyed it and learned a lot, so I will probably do it again sometime.

Who were some of your favourite new-to-you authors this year?

Books I Wouldn’t Mind Finding Under My Tree 2014

It has been a long time since I have done a Top Ten Tuesday with the Broke and the Bookish. And the topic this week is about books I’m most looking forward to in 2015. Given the fact that I have been doing little fun reading (for some reason school and sleep have been prioritized) and that I pretty much consistently live in a cave, I decided that I will participate but will do a list that is slated in a few weeks time (partly to help people who ask me what books I want this year) the list of books I wouldn’t mind finding under my tree.5f1e1-toptentuesday

First of all… Confessions…. The M family has a lot of books. And it seems that I am gaining a bigger and bigger to be read pile. Second confession… I have been too sick and busy to really window shop for books a lot, so my “books I want” list isn’t as long as it often is.

  1. Another book by Rainbow Rowell. I LOVED Eleanor & Park. LOVED. As a result, I want to read everything else she is written. Seriously… Landline or Fangirl or They all sounds grand.
  2. Lola and the Boy Next Door or Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins. I am embarrassed to have these on my list. But, I love a good light read as much as anyone and these definitely fall under that category.
  3. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors and the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadiman. This was on my list last year and I have yet to acquire the books, so I am putting it on again. I have a fascination with how different cultures view illness and medicine and how “my world” and “their world” connect.  This would be a great lesson.
  4. Desiring God; Loving. Doing. by John Piper. I enjoy his writing style and really get a lot out of reading his books. These are two that I have had my eye on for a little while.
  5. Gillian Flynn’s other books. Gone Girl was probably one of the scariest, most disturbing books I have read in some time (probably since I liked scary books when I was a tween). That being said, it was a great read, so I would try another one out. Even if it will probabably freak the heck out of me.
  6. When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman. I stumbled upon this in one of the many displays in Chapters. The title was intriguing but the story sounds good too.
  7. The Secret Life of Bees or The Invention of Wings: A Novel by Sue Monk Kidd. I keep hearing great things about her writing, but I have yet to read anything she has written.
  8. My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff. I love nonfiction, but I don’t read enough of it. This book combines the fascinating world of writers (it is like looking into a world I would like to be in if I wasn’t in my own) with a kind of coming of age/attaining status in the world story.
  9. A Train In Winter by Caroline Moorehead. I need more history in my life and this is history with the human side of things.
  10. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Everyone lives grief, but I see it every day at work in addition to the stuff in my own life. I want to learn everything I can about it so I can help and understand it more and more. This book offers a look at one woman’s experience of grief and comes highly recommended in another book I loved, The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwabe.

Let’s face it. I’m open to most books. And I really don’t need any books.