Just Beneath My Skin (****)

Alright, so it’s been awhile. Sorry but not sorry. I’ve been busy okay! I’ve read a lot of books (okay, not a lot, but a couple of books). I don’t remember them all, but I’ll start this off as my new and improved self. Well, maybe.

The book I finished reading was Just Beneath My Skin by Darren Greer. It’s a Nova Scotian/Canadian book based in a small rural community in mainland Nova Scotia. Growing up here in Nova Scotia, allows me to have a deep connection with this book, I feel. It’s been a part of the One Book Nova Scotia program, which is how I learnt about it (I went to the Word on the Street Festival in Halifax almost a month ago), and I picked it up at my public library.

It follows 2 characters, a man named Jake, and a boy named Nathan. Jake returns to North River after living in Halifax for a number of years, to see his son Nathan. He had decided that he wanted to take Nathan to Halifax to live with him, as he was afraid that his boy would be lost in the perpetuating cycle of poverty and violence that had taken over the small community. While back, he visited his anti-social (and I mean in the psychopathic way) friend Johnny Lang who had taken it upon himself to “bring him back down where he belongs” and stalks Jake and tries to run him down with his shot gun. In the end, after a vicious fight with Carla (Nathan’s mother) he takes off with Jake to his father’s place, and decides that the next day, he would leave with Nathan for Halifax, but first he had to go get his car. And that’s when trouble occurs. Johnny was waiting for him. There was a short chase, and the book ends with Nathan watching his father get shot and dying.

I enjoyed the book because of the mention of Nova Scotia (it’s not usually mention in books!), however, I HATED the short chapters (only a few pages max), and the ending. It did provoke feelings of sadness about the loss of Jake, but I’m not sure if that’s because I had just spent a good 10hrs watching Grey’s Anatomy (that show always hits me right in the feels!). Either it’s a good book, and really shows how nasty rural living can be, and how the cycle of violence and poverty can be perpetuated. Overall, I have to say I think I was a little disappointed by the book, especially when it’s supposed to be a “book club” book. But oh well, you win some, you lose some, I suppose.

Until next time, cheers and happy reading!

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My Month Lately (April 2015 in Pictures)

Alright…So it’s been awhile since I’ve written an update as to what I’ve been doing…And to be completely honest, I haven’t really been doing anything exciting. MrRBW is currently out of the province until the end of May, so I’ve been hanging out at home with Ghost, and working a lot. I’m going to save a lot of time (and effort) and just do a 1 sentence 1 picture type deal.

First run in April.
First run in April.
And I thought the snow was going to be done for the year....
And I thought the snow was going to be done for the year….
Ghost was quite clingy since MrRBW left
Ghost was quite clingy since MrRBW left
Again with the clingy-ness
Again with the clingy-ness
She was excited for a warm spring walk
She was excited for a warm spring walk
Aww yeah, spicy chili!
Aww yeah, spicy chili!
First long run of April
First long run of April
And it decided to snow the next day
And it decided to snow the next day
Easter walk with Ghost!
Easter walk with Ghost!
We were a tad excited to run
We were a tad excited to run
Finally, I can see our walk way!
Finally, I can see our walk way!
She was warm, so rolling in snow seemed to be the best idea ;-)
She was warm, so rolling in snow seemed to be the best idea 😉
BIrd watching
Bird watching
First ice-cream of the season!
First ice-cream of the season!
Long Run #2
Long Run #2
First t-shirt and shorts run of the year!
First t-shirt and shorts run of the year!
mmmm....salmon
mmmm….salmon
Adventure time with Trinda and Ghost!
Adventure time with Trinda and Ghost!
Shubie Park-away they go!
Shubie Park-away they go!
Squirrel hunting with Ghost
Squirrel hunting with Ghost
Chasing them pooches
Chasing them pooches
Happy trails!
Happy trails!
Another run in shorts!
Another run in shorts!
I might've gotten smacked in the head with a golf ball...
I might’ve gotten smacked in the head with a golf ball…
She was queen of the snow bank!
She was queen of the snow bank!
A nice little jaunt 'round the farm
A nice little jaunt ’round the farm
Sad puppy is sad
Sad puppy is sad
Trying out her new socks
Trying out her new socks
SOCK 1 DOWN!
SOCK 1 DOWN!
Ridiculously fat seal carving in Point Pleasant
Ridiculously fat seal carving in Point Pleasant
The dynamic duo at it again after a week and a bit off
The dynamic duo at it again after a week and a bit off

So as you can see, there was a bit of running, and a lot of dog pictures taken this month. The last 2 weeks of April, I did take some time off from running, as I was exhausted (I was working a lot, and my rest days, just weren’t cutting it). I knew I needed a break, when I started to feel guilty about taking a break. I have a bit of an obsessive personality, so I tend to go all in with activities I enjoy, which means I get burnt out. So I put a stop to that before I got burnt out (or injured).

Anyway, hope everyone had a great April, and a great start to May!

Monthly Links (April 2015)

Sorry I haven’t posted all month. I guess I haven’t really been reading, or running much… But here are some links I’ve accumulated this month that I thought would be handy!

Health/Running/Fitness

“If it makes you happy but it makes you feel like garbage, is it healthy? And if it’s good for your body but you hate every moment of it, is that healthy?” Too true. – Is healthy good for you?

This is too true, especially when it comes to exercise. – How to Know if You’re Setting Yourself Up for Failure

I think I need to start doing these habits – 12 Habits of Highly Motivated Runners

It hurts so good… – Get Your Roll On- What, Why And How You Should Foam Roll

I’ve started doing a few of these, as I’m a solo runner most of the time – How to stay accountable when running alone

I’m guilty of quite a few of these running habits… – Running habits you need to break

It took me awhile to get the hang of breathing while running – How to control breathing while running

I’ve had such a hard time with this, but I’m working on it! – If You Run Slow, Who Cares?

In case you wanted to stay motivated about running! – 7 Tips to Help You – Yes, You – Start a Running Routine & Stick With It

Self-image/Psychology/Self-Help

I have a hard time with this. I’m a people pleaser – If you’re not pissing someone off, you probably aren’t doing anything important

It’s something I’ve come to terms with as I’ve entered adulthood. And it wasn’t easy! – How to Ruin Your Life (Without Even Noticing You Are)

I’ve been lacking motivation lately, so these have helped – Get Off Your Butt: 16 Ways to Get Motivated When You’re in a Slump

With any high stress job, it’s always a good idea to dabble a little in self care – Self Care is NOT Selfish Care

Finding my one word mantra – Three Easy Steps to Choose Your One Word for 2015

These don’t necessarily have to be for New Years – How to Break Into the New Year: The 36 Resolutions That Actually Matter for 2015

“I got this. And if I don’t, then I’ll find that out eventually and at that point, I’ll do what I need to do.” – 8 Ways to Be an Anti-Perfectionist in 2015

“How you FEEL should dictate almost everything.” – Why I Ditched the Scale

I struggle with this a lot – Are You a Mindless Eater?

What to do when you start to self-doubt – When Doubt Creeps In

I’m a morning person, but I want to be a “better” morning person – Wake Up Early: Proven Methods For Getting Up Everyday at 4:30am

I’ve almost bitten into the hype – 5 Reasons to Avoid Detoxes & Cleanses

And that’s all folks! Happy Reading!

Monthly Links (March 2015)

I’ve decided I’m going to start a new segment which will happen monthly. Basically, it’s links I’ve come across on the internet that really spoke to me. Most will be about fitness, or mental health/psychology, but it’s something I think I’d want to pass on to others.

Health/Running/Fitness

If only I knew these things when I started: 7 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Running

Who knew that working out could replace an addiction: Running Was My Drug of Choice. Here’s How I Finally Found Balance

I’d be interested in trying this challenge: I stopped eating food that comes in a package. I’ve never felt better

It’s all about taking your time, and enjoying the moment (even if it’s hard!): Why Time is Screwing Up Your Workout

Something I agree with 100%: Why Food and Exercise Shouldn’t Touch

Exercise Addiction: Exercise Guilt? It’s Time for an Intervention

Self-Image/Psychology

Thin Shaming Runners: What a Real Runner Looks Like?

I think we all suffer from anxiety once in awhile: How to Help Manage Anxiety

Something I’m striving for in order to be successful: What Self-Loving People Do Differently

I am perfectionist, through and through: 6 Ways Perfectionism is Sabotaging You

My inner saboteur is always running my life: Prepare to Succeed|Tips for Overcoming Your Inner Saboteur

I’m a big self-doubter: 7 Tools to Overcome Self-Doubt

Between the Lines (****)

It wasn’t long to finish Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and her daughter Samantha van Leer. This one was definitely meant for a younger audience, which made it very easy to read thankfully. I was a little discouraged, because the last one I read was so confusing, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But it definitely renewed my faith in her writing ability!

Synopsis:

Delilah is your typical teenage loner, but when she finds a fairy tale book in her school’s library, things change for the better. Well, kind of. She falls in love with a character, and realizes that she’s able to talk to him, and he talks back. So she then goes on a journey to see if there’s a way for her to free him from the book, so she can be with him for real.

It’s a cute premise. But at the same time, kind of dumb. I’m a bit of a cynic, and I don’t think you can find true love at age 15. You’re still growing physically and mentally, so your true personality isn’t developed. I mean I know for some people it does happen, but I think in the majority of cases, high school sweethearts don’t work out. But anyway, I still enjoyed the book either way 🙂

I’m not sure what I’m going to be reading next, so until then, Happy Reading!

Game of Thrones Book 3: A Storm of Swords (****) (WARNING: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS)

I’ve been attempting to get through the Game of Thrones series before watching the TV show (I’ve seen the first season, but I read the first book before it came out and became popular). They’re just so unbearably long, that I had to switch to audiobook form, that way when I’m driving, or during my long runs, I can listen to them, and hopefully get through them quicker than reading (which I think is doubtful haha, but I’m trying to be positive here).

Anyway, I’ve FINALLY finished book 3 A Storm of Swords. It’s hard to say the synopsis, as SO much happens in this book, but the most important key points are: Rob Stark is killed at his uncle Edmund’s wedding due offending the bride’s family (he was supposed to marry into the family, but didn’t). Catelyn is also killed. Arya is still trying to find her way to Riverrun (was found and kidnapped by Sandor Clegane, but then escapes). Jon makes his way back to the wall, and ends up becoming Lord Commander. Bran is trying to make his way to the wall also with his cousins. Joffery is poisoned at his wedding to Margaery Tyrell and dies. Tyrion is blamed and sentenced to death. Cersei is still scheming away. Jaime makes it back to Cersei, but is disowned by his father (can’t remember why. Must not’ve been important haha). Sansa is also blamed for Joffery’s poisoning, but escapes Kings Landing, and is no where’s to be seen. Daenerys docks on land, and takes over 2 cities with her dragons (not much is really said about her. I guess she doesn’t feature much in the book).

I think that’s all the main points that I can remember. If I remember more I guess I’ll edit the post.

Other than being excruciatingly long, I do enjoy the books, but I’m so glad I switched to audible though. Makes it so much easier to get through them, and I wasn’t sure I’d remember the points, but I did! I can’t wait to start watching the series. Perhaps I will do that shortly. Just one more book review to write!

See you all in my next post (which will be shortly)! Happy Reading!

Second Glance (***) (WARNING CONTAINS SPOILERS!)

IMG_1836I finished another book, quite quickly actually. However, it is a Jodi Picoult novel, so that’s probably why. I really like her books, however, I just didn’t find this one up to par. It didn’t pique my interest as much as some of her others, and the twist at the end, just wasn’t there unfortunately. The novel was Second Glance.

This book has many storylines (at first I had a really hard time keeping the names straight! There was a Rod and Ross, who I consistently got confused until the characters were fully defined), which end up being tied together. Basically, it follows a man named Ross who lost his (he thought) one true love as he searches for his lost girlfriend’s ghost. It also follows his sister Shelby and nephew Ethan (Ethan has a condition where he can’t go outside in the sun as he’s severely allergic to sunlight). It also follows a geneticist Meredith and her daughter Lucy who sees ghosts. Anyway, in Shelby’s town weird things start happening due to a supposed Native burial ground being bought and developed into a strip mall. Ross goes to investigate, falling in love with a ghostly woman (Lia) who he wants to find out her history. As it goes, Lia lived on the land in the 30’s, and committed suicide when she delivered her supposed stillborn child. Lia remains a ghost as the reason for her death has been hid by her husband who was at the top of his game for eugenics. Her husband was surveying the Native population and other populations of Vermont to determine which ones should be “voluntarily sterilized” in order to rid Vermont of “feeble-minded-ness” and other detrimental characteristics. As it turns out, Lia’s mother had an affair with a Native man, and when Lia’s husband finds out that their baby is part native, he smothers the child, but the baby actually survives. DUN DUN DUN.

Anyway, as you can see it’s a super-convoluted storyline, and is very difficult to explain to anyone who isn’t currently reading it. The ending was kind of awful, in that it had a lot of extra bits, that weren’t really needed, when she could’ve ended the story with Ross finding out who the baby was. But anyway…

To be completely honest, I wouldn’t recommend this novel to anyone who doesn’t already read books by Jodi Picoult. It’s just not worth struggling to keep the storylines straight.