Books #53

Sorry it’s been awhile! Honestly, I’ve been struggling to read lately. With the pandemic and everything in the news, it’s hard to focus. I used to read 2 or 3 books a week but lately, I’m lucky if I finish one book a week now. But nonetheless, here are some suggestions for you:

#1 The Demon in the Freezer by Richard Preston

This book is a terrifying read. It’s about anthrax, smallpox and weaponizing viruses. I did not know a ton about smallpox or anthrax before reading this book. I had a basic knowledge of it but reading this book was really eye-opening and absolutely terrifying. Yes, they “eradicated” smallpox….but….apparently the US and Russia still have some on hand, JUST IN CASE, to make biological weapons.

Don’t read this book if you freak out easily! It’s so scary!

#2 The Janes (Alice Vega Book #2) by Louisa Luna

This was a strong follow up to the first book in the series. In this one, Alice and Cap are in San Diego working “under the table” with a task force (DEA and local PD) that found two bodies of young girls. The story is about human trafficking.

The book is good and the story kept me guessing. It felt a little long at times and I’m not sure if it needed some editing, or if it was just the flow of the story, but there were a few times where it felt exceptionally long. Other than that, I liked the story and the characters.

#3 Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

Edward is 12 years old when he loses his whole family. They are flying to LA from New York for his mom to start a new job. His mom is in first class, he’s sitting with his older brother and dad. When the plane crashes. Everyone on the plane but Edward dies. The book is about grief, healing, learning to rebuild your life after tragedy and to find your way after your life is so radically changed.

The book is about a tragedy and it’s sad, but it’s not a depressing read. It’s hopeful and sweet at times. It’s also a coming-of-age type of story as it follows Edward from age 12 to 18. I enjoyed the book and liked the unique way the story was written.

#4 The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede

This was a really good story and uplifting. It was a story I never knew about, too! In all of the 9-11 books and articles I’ve read, somehow I missed this gem.

“Thirty-eight planes landed there on September 11, depositing 6,595 passengers and crew members in a town whose population is barely 10,000… They placed their lives on hold for a group of strangers and asked for nothing in return. They affirmed the basic goodness of man at a time when it was easy to doubt such humanity still existed.”

Amidst the horrors of that day and the aftermath, here was a small Canadian village that dropped everything to take care of these stranded people.

“The volunteers at the fraternal organization had made a point of cooking something special for the passengers on their first night with them and had prepared a roast-beef banquet. Rather than serving the meal buffet style, the volunteers insisted on each of the 154 passengers taking their seats and being waited on as if they were in a restaurant.”

It was a really positive message.

#5 The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

I liked this book. My only complaint is that it was really long.

It takes place during WWI and then after WWII. Eve is a young spy during WWI for England. She’s in German-occupied France, working in a restaurant as a waitress. But no one knows she speaks German, too, so she eavesdrops and passes on important messages to the resistance as part of the “Alice Network” for England.

Then fast forward years later, Eve is an old woman, and she meets Charlie, an American girl in London looking for her missing cousin. They band together. The story is well written and the characters are multi-dimensional. I felt like Charlie’s cousin’s story line was the weak link and the rest of the story was more interesting, but overall I enjoyed the book and was fascinated that it was based on some true history.

#6 A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight

I thought this book was really excellent! It definitely had a “Big Little Lies” vibe to it. Rich, private school, a murder, a trial, secrets coming out… It was well written and kept me guessing and kept me reading. It was a page turner for sure! And I liked the ending.

Happy Reading!

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Remodeling

We’ve officially been in our new house for a year! What a rollercoaster of a year it’s been.

When we moved in last year, I did the bare minimum–I unpacked and decorated and we’ve been making it our house…but we didn’t do anything major. After spending so much time remodeling our old house to sell it, sell our house, buy this house, move…I was just burned out. And I did not want any more projects!

But…with the pandemic…we suddenly had time. So we started some projects that were on our list for “eventually.” The first was Logan’s room.

Our house is a 1920’s bungalow. Originally the house was a small, 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom house. But the original owners remodeled the attic to create a second story which is where the master bedroom suite is, plus another bedroom and a bonus area. Since it’s the “Attic” the ceilings are a little funky. Logan’s room is small with slanted ceilings. It’s ok for now. When he’s older and 6 feet tall, it won’t be his bedroom. πŸ˜‰

I didn’t take official “before” photos. But I have some before photos as we began prepping the room last weekend. Logan helped me take everything out of his room.

I did taping, prepping and primer on the walls. The walls were a very dark brown and then a light beige. The ceilings were cream colored. It was all very blah and dated.

I painted the ceiling white ceiling paint. It looks so much better!

Then I painted part of the closet a bright green and the rest blue. It looks SO nice! We love the colors!

I also got new dinosaur drapes and some dinosaur art to redecorate.

And the dinosaur decals he already had on his walls, are back up!

Logan loves it. I love it. I love the colors. The room looks much better. It’s brighter, lighter, happier, looks like a boy’s happy room instead of just drab brown. It’s so nice. I am super happy with it. The blue is “Honest Blue” and the green is “Heartland Frosty.” Definitely recommend both!

So the next big projects: paint the office and paint the master. The master bedroom is HUGE and it’s a very light brown/tan/beige. Kinda boring. The problem is that the room is humongous AND Michael and I cannot agree on a color. So we are waiting on that one. The issue with the office is that the colors are ATROCIOUS (think baby poop brown) and unfortunately the previous owner not only PAINTED THE ORIGINAL FLOORS (what were they thinking) so we have to fix the floors, but they never removed any of the previous layers of paint. So we have a lot of paint removal to do before we can do that room. Plus, the office has the original windows:

I got some product that is supposed to remove up to 15 layers of paint…we will see…but we may end up having to hire professionals. I’d like to keep the original windows. But they aren’t in great shape.