Stocking Stuffers for Book Lovers

A few years ago, Michael got me a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas. For years I had been anti-E Reader. I was firmly against the technology. I wanted the feel of a book. I loved the SMELL of books. I loved bookstores. I loved the covers of books. I liked discovering new authors on accident. I liked going to the library (and I went to the library often).

He kept trying to talk me into getting one and I was just so against it. I didn’t want an electronic book, at all. I wanted a REAL book. I mean, I collected books! My library was EXPANSIVE! I think what cinched it for him was when he was unemployed for a few months about 6 years ago and he took care of all the house chore stuff while he was job searching. One of the things he kindly did for me while I was at work, was making the weekly trip to the library to drop off and pick up my books for me. 😉 I think he got sick of that real quick. Because that Christmas, a few months after he got his new job, I got a Kindle!

While I had been anti-Kindle for a long time, it was a very fast conversion for me. First, not having to find the time to go to the library often is nice (even better now that we have Logan). Second, I like being able to download books from the library (for free) and often get stuff quicker that way than if I was waiting on hold for a real book. Third, it is SO much easier to take a kindle on a vacation (when we went to Hawaii the first time I was reading the Game of Thrones books and had to lug two GIANT books on a plane, which was ridiculous). Finally, I find that I read faster on the kindle than with a real book (no idea why).

Anyways, if you are considering what you want for Christmas, or what to get the reader in your life, consider a Kindle. I do love mine. It did not take much time for me to fully convert. 🙂

Now, on to a few recommendations for books you should get the readers in your life for the holidays.

For the Readers who love Heart-Warming Books:

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde

The One-In-A-Million Boy by Monica Wood

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin

Some Emotional Books:

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi 

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran

 The House of Tides by Hannah Richell

The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir

 

For Action/Adventure Book Lovers:

The Martian by Andy Weir

Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

 

For the Horror/Creepy Book Lovers:

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne

Arrowood  by Laura McHugh

Some Great Series Authors:

Louise Penny (Armand Gamache)

Lee Child (Jack Reacher)

Linda Castillo (Kate Burkholder)

Michael Connelly

Craig Johnson (Longmire)

Robert Crais (Elvis Cole)

 

Hope this helped your hard-to-buy-for friends and family! Happy reading!

These posts have Amazon affiliate links.

Positive Thinking, Positive Change

I wanted to give an update about a post I wrote about medications and weight over the summer. Read that post for the background but the cliff notes version: I gained 10 pounds on a medication this summer.

I had a choice to make, try a different medication, or just keep going with prozac, which was working very well for my anxiety. I decided to give the buspar a chance per my doctor. I stopped the prozac and switched to the other one. Right off the bat, I was not a fan. It did absolutely nothing for my anxiety. I gave it over a month, waiting with white knuckles for it to finally kick in and start working…and nothing.

I was even having occasional panic attacks, which was not traditionally a component of my anxiety. So that was fun! I talked to my doctor and he increased the dosage. Within a few days of that, I started having really awful side effects. The biggest one was heart palpitations. Like constantly. It took me a few days to realize that the never ending heart palpitations might be because of the meds. I googled it and sure enough, “if you have this side effect, call your doctor immediately”. YAY! 🙁

So I stopped the buspar immediately and within a day or so the side effects were better and mostly gone. That’s the good news. The bad news? I was still in the same boat as I was before.

I went back on a low dose of the prozac and I am trying to manage my anxiety with mindfulness and a relaxation app I downloaded. The one I usually use is Breathe2RelaxI also use the Oak app. I like them and they work pretty well when I’m in the middle of an anxiety attack.

As for the weight I gained this summer…I am making good choices to lose it.

  1. No candy/dessert (which has been very hard with all the Halloween candy that’s EVERYWHERE!) but I am doing well with that so far.
  2. No alcohol Monday-Thursday and on Friday/Saturday nights I can have 1 drink (instead of my usual 2).
  3. Reminding myself it’s ok to be hungry sometimes.
  4. Taking the stairs at work. I go up and down between several floors multiple times a day and I’ve started using the stairs instead. It’s the little things that add up.
  5. I’m still working out my normal 5 days a week with 2 rest days.
  6. I’m counting my calories still but I am trying to actually create a deficit instead of eating back all of the calories in the gym.
  7. Weighing myself once a week. When I was in maintenance mode I was weighing once a month, or even less. If my clothes got tight, then I’d weigh myself, but I basically stuck at the same place.

The first week I lost almost 2 pounds. The second week I lost another pound. Over that weekend I wasn’t feeling 100% so I skipped drinking for the most part. I also didn’t have much of an appetite, so I think that helped jump start things.

As far as the mental aspect, I am doing well. My anxiety is “ok” and I’m feeling super focused on losing the weight. I am finding it easier to resist treats and things that are my downfall, so I think my mind is IN THE GAME on this.

Then Thanksgiving weekend hit–pie, wine, carbs…you know the drill. I didn’t weigh myself for 2 weeks and finally got back on the scale. This weekend I weighed myself after taking a few weeks off from the scale and was happy to see a few more pounds gone! I am now down a total of 7 pounds since October! WOOHOO!

I will keep you posted on my progress.