I haven’t read all week. I am on pins and needles and the coffee isn’t helping (slurps more coffee). I am so anxious, but in a good way. I’m not anxious because things are bad, I’m jittery because there is so much going on right now. SO MUCH. Hope started high school, Sam went to part-time work, Atticus is moving to the “big side” at daycare and is 80% potty trained, work projects are ramping up and then there is the Move. This week we’ve been apartment hunting, filling out paperwork, checking our budget, sorting, organizing, and cleaning. If I just knew that we got the apartment I could settle down. I don’t see why we shouldn’t get it excepting that they have to call my Landlady and she will probably flip out. I prepared the leasing agent for dealing with Norman Bates and his mom. I took a copy of our lease stating that we are on a month-to-month lease and it is obvious that if we’ve been here for four years on a month to month lease then we are paying our rent on time. At least I hope that is obvious. I feel like once I know for sure we got the apartment I can settle down and get to work. Until then I am spending my time decluttering, reading cookbooks, and feeding my family a meal rotation of pizza rolls and pancakes.
Despite the flurry of activity I am still thinking about books. This may be because I am getting rid of so many, or it could be because the first 15 pages of The Black Count was so. damn. good. I put down The Black Count because I knew it was going to blow my mind and I want to be *present* when I read it. I”ve decided a reading vacation until Monday to work on various projects and then I am hopeful I can get through The Black Count and about half of A Clash of Kings by the end of the month. Early September will be chaos, if we get the place we want we will be allowed to move in on Tuesday the 9th; however, Sam and I won’t both be off work until Sunday the 14th. Finishing A Clash of Kings during with time will be perfect. It is a Kindle book, so I don’t have to worry about misplacing it and fantasy novels are perfect for some low-key ecsapism. So — mid-September I should be all unpacked, in my new digs, and reading Trollope, a few spooky read along books and …. a Classics Club spin title of course.
Holy geez that was a long-winded introduction. Suffice it to say that not reading hasn’t dampered my ability to make a book list AT ALL. I’m going to be upfront and tell you that my Classics Club list is filled with non-classics. I’m about classic-ed out right now. I chose books I don’t own, they have a spooky bent, and they are all written after 1950. I am that punk rock.
On Monday the Classics Club will announce a random number and I will read the corresponding book:
- The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld
- Half Broken Things by Morag Joss
- The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz
- Surfacing by Margaret Atwood
- The Secret Rooms by Catherine Bailey
- Stories for Nighttime and Some for Day by Ben Loory
- Did She Kill Him? by Kate Colquhcun
- Faces in the Water by Janet Frame
- Night Film by Marcia Pessl
- The Ghost Hunters by Neil Spring
- Murder at Mansfield Park by LYnn Shepard
- In Search of Dracula by Radu Florescu
- The Bookman’s Tale by Charlie Lovett
- Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer by WEsley Stace
- The Poisoned House by Michael Ford
- The White Forest by Adam McOmber
- The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
- The Turning by Francine Prose
- The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl
- Miss Peregine’s Home … by Ransom Riggs
There we are, a good book list. My mind feels more at peace already.
Yesterday we went apartment hunting. It was dismal. Our best bet is a smallish three bedroom in a smaller apartment complex. We like the complex; it is in a safer area, close to work and there are trees and nice places to walk. The rent will be more than we are paying for our three-bedroom house, but it includes many of the utilities and the electric bill will be significantly less. We will have to downsize considerably, though. We went to a few other places and realized we either make too much ($3,000 too much per year for subsidized housing), too little (3/4 of my monthly paycheck for the “cheap” apartment option in the ritzy complex), or we will be living in a slummy, unsafe area (and Sam works nights, so, ummm, no). However, I’m not saying this to complain. I’ve had friends endure homelessness, foreclosures, and other life-suck events and they do it with their heads held high. This isn’t even a huge move, we’ll be moving about 10 minutes away from our current home. I’ve chosen to downsize for two to three years until we pay off our van, eliminate some debt, and find the right home to buy. So what’s the problem?
Change. I hate change. I know it is from my issues with anxiety, but I really like for my days to be scheduled, my to-do list to be clear, and chaos to be a non-issue. If we get this apartment we will move in just over a month. The month that is busiest at work and that has Sam two weeks into full-time, on-ground courses. My spidey-sense is telling me we need to do this now and especially before the holidays and we are making the jump.
How do I combat my anxiety with change and disorder? I plan like a mofo. Last night I journaled, browsed Pinterest for moving and decluttering tips, and then I made the mother of all prep lists. Even if we don’t get this apartment, we will still be moving – most likely – by the end of the year; I don’t foresee this planning going to waste. Instead of tackling the entire list at once, my goal is to do twelve things each week. For the rest of August, I’ll be sharing my list on Tuesdays and updating you all with my accomplishments.
Here is round 1:
- Visit leasing office
- Fill out rental application and pull necessary documents (W-2’s and current lease agreement)
- Check for application fee
- Make a list of large furniture items to ditch
- Make a list of needed furniture (replacing some broken or cumbersome items)
- Cull books. I need to go from 600+ to no more than 500. Use my collection development guide.
- Get rid of broken or baby toys
- Go through the little kids’ books and remove unloved or damaged books
- Declutter knick-knacks in the living-room (yes, that means my owls)
- Clear off piles on the entry table
- Haul off this week’s stuff to Goodwill
- Begin collecting boxes and newspaper at work
Sam has a list as well, but he isn’t freaking out because he is
in denial sensible. Let’s do this!
What I read: Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope rivals the very best Jane Austen has to offer. Doctor Thorne, our hero, is a good man. He is a good doctor and he really endeavors to make the right choice despite how it impacts his life. While Doctor Thorne is our hero and holds all the cards, so to speak, the plot really centers on Mary Thorne — the doctor’s niece — and Frank Gresham, Squire Gresham’s heir. Doctor Thorne has cared for the Gresham family for years and as a result Mary Thorne, who is illegitimate and poor, has grown up as a companion to the Gresham children. Of course Frank falls in love with Mary and the Gresham family is shocked and dismayed. Frank is to marry money to save the financially compromised family estate and Mary has neither money or rank. But what if Mary had money? How would things change? How important is blood and can money outweigh “bad blood?” This book was marvelous especially with the witty dialogue and the excellently drawn characters. I think I would classify Anthony Trollope’s novels as the perfect “gateway” to reading large Victorian novels. Side note, Frank and Mary reminded me of Fred Vincy and Mary Garth in Middlemarch. He is young and brash and she is all sense, but still in love. Anyone else feel that way?
What I’m reading: Tonight I plan on sinking into The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss. The Count of Monte Cristo is one of my most favorite classics and I’m looking forward to learning more about the inspiration for the novel. I also think it will be nice to read something under 400 pages and non-fiction. I need a change before I dig back into Trollope and George RR Martin!
What’s up Next: Behold! My August TBR!!!
- The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss.
- A Clash of Kings by George R R Martin
- In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
- Born Reading : Bringing up Bookworms in a Digital Age by Jason Boog
- Framley Parsonage by Anthony Trollope
- All Joy and No Fun: the Paradox of Modern Parenthood by Jennifer Senior
Let’s hope August is a readerly month, because I have many books ready to go