Book review

Self-Care

How are you doing self-care during this time?

Self-care is so important right now, while we are at home with no end date in sight. A lot of people have lost their jobs. A lot of people have lost people, or know people who have lost someone to covid-19. It’s hard to find a way to manage the amount of stress that is coming at us at a daily pace.

What am I doing?

I am working out 5 days a week, still. Even with my gym closed. (Quarantine workout). There is a LOT of stuff you can do at home, even if you don’t have a home gym. There are a ton of videos for home workouts, body weight workout. Even just doing squats, squat jumps, jumping jacks and ab workouts will get your blood pumping and your heart rate up and make you feel better.

I get outside every day, even if it’s a little rainy. (But not if it’s pouring rain, because- no thanks.)

Feeling grateful that our new neighborhood is very walkable. I’ve been trying to go on daily walks with Bella (weather permitting), exploring the areas of our town.

Feeling glad we live near some very pretty, scenic areas, even though parks and trails are closed. The other day, Logan I went out for a little break to get some sun and fresh air and throw rocks in the river.

It makes me feel better getting outside. I wave to neighbors, even though we are strangers, and it makes me feel a little better about life.

I eat a “normal” diet. Or try to. I am not really doing keto, but trying my best to do low carb 85% of the time. Now is not the time to be fanatical, but I still need to eat healthy, stay on some kind of plan and just not give up entirely because eating junk food doesn’t make me feel good physically or mentally.

I call friends and family. Sometimes on my walks now I give friends or family a phone call and just check in. It’s nice to hear their voices, see how they are doing, lend an ear, vent, etc.

I read. I still read a lot. (You can check out some of my old book reviews here to find some recommendations if you need some.) I get library books on my Kindle (which is a life saver!!!). If you want to order some books online and support someone OTHER THAN Amazon, check out Powell Books! They recently had to hire back a lot of staff to fulfill online orders, which is amazing!

I take a bath a few times a week to relax. The Jacuzzi tub in our master bath was the selling point for me. It’s amazing! I turn on the Spa station on Sirius radio. I drink tea and read a book and relax.

I journal. I started a “quarantine” journal. It helps to get my feelings and thoughts out, keep track of what is happening. Even if the days are all blending together. If nothing else, it’s a record of our lives in the weird time.

I do art with Logan. For his “home school” I am on art duty. We do crafts and stuff and the painting rocks for our garden was really fun!

I take it one day at a time. It’s kind of all we can do right now.

QUESTION: What are you doing for self-care?

Books #51

Well….if you are trapped in your house, now is a good time to read, right? If you have a kindle, you can download books from your library. I’m sure there are other ways to get books for free, too. Here are some suggestions for reads:

#1 My Friend Anna: The True Story of a Fake Heiress by Rachel DeLoache Williams

I have mixed feelings about this book. I’d recommend it because the story is nuts and it’s a fascinating read. Anna was a fake heiress. Claimed to be German (was Russian), and lived in expensive hotels in New York while being a socialite, basically. But she was really a grifter, writing bad checks, cheating people out of money, not paying bills, scamming hedge funds out of investments to fund her lifestyle…it was all really crazy.

Rachel was a photographer at Vanity Fair who became friends with her and got swept up in her lifestyle, and in the end, Anna scammed her out of $70k and almost ruined her life.

What makes me hesitate in rating the book higher was that I didn’t really like Rachel. I felt for her, I really did. The $70k would be devastating to anyone. But…she kinda wanted to be part of that lifestyle. She let Anna “pay” for expensive lifestyle stuff and meals and trips because she enjoyed the fancy life. She just didn’t see that it was a scam, which is tragic. So it was hard for me to be entirely sympathetic since it felt like Rachel put aside a lot of stuff (like ignoring that Anna was kind of a mean girl) to enjoy the spoils.

Despite that part, the book was good because it’s a fast read and the story is pretty crazy. I even googled it after I finished the book and read more and looked at pictures. Anna was truly a sociopath.

#2 The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

This book was nuts. It sucked me in immediately. It was so weird, so out there, so twisty and surprising and different…I don’t want to give too much away because every step of the way was a “wow!” factor. Definitely pick this book up!

#3 Recipe for a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown

This book was EXCELLENT! Get it immediately! While I didn’t enjoy the ending, if left me wanting more and feeling a little disturbed and unresolved…I loved the rest of it.

This book tells the story of a 1950’s housewife in New York and then current day. Usually this format isn’t very good, but it’s good in this book and I enjoyed both timelines. Alice, modern day, moves from Manhattan to the suburbs with her husband after losing her job. They buy an old house, “as is”, and finds some old belongs from the previous owner, Nellie (the 1950’s story line).

I don’t want to give away any more because the story unfolds in an excellent way, with some surprises. There’s some darkness, and a little bit of domestic violence (trigger warning) and miscarriage. But I loved the book. So good!

#4 Virgin River by Robyn Carr

Last time I was home sick I watched this show on Netflix and enjoyed it. It was a bit soap-opera-ish but I still liked it. I finally read the book. I probably would have liked the book better had I read it before seeing the tv series. I will also say I liked the book plot points better than what they changed in the tv series.

#5 Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators by Ronan Farrow

I’ve had this book on hold forever and it was finally available…a few days after Harvey Weinstein was sentenced. I had a moment of, why do I need to even read this book now?

But damn, read the book.

“‘Textbook sexual harassment’ was how Nestor described Weinstein’s behavior. She recalled refusing his advances at least a dozen times. “‘No’ did not mean ‘no’ to him,” she said.”

It’s engrossing and in-depth about the background research, investigation, the coverup, how deeply HW was protected…how many people were complacent. How many people knew. I mean Ronan Farrow implicated so many people…Trump, the Clintons, soooo many people. Most of Hollywood.

“Arquette’s story was important because of how closely it hewed to others I’d heard: professional pretext, meeting moved upstairs, hotel room, request for massage, bathrobe.”

The details from the women were all awful and hard to read. But important.

” Sorvino had suspected that her romantic relationship with Tarantino at the time had shielded her from retaliation, and that this protection had dissipated when the two split up. Later, Tarantino would say publicly that he could have, should have, done more. “This is the big boys’ club, the Hollywood mafia,” she said. “They protect each other.” “

I am so glad Harvey got what was coming to him and this book shows just how hard people fought for this story to come forward.

#6 Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs by Michael Osterholm and Mark Olshaker

Timely read. I heard this author on the Joe Rogan Podcast when the Corona virus was first kind of taking hold in the US. The book is really interesting and was written about 4 years ago…but clearly we are seeing stuff happen NOW he wrote about then. Experts have been talking about pandemic for a long time and we are seeing now that the World wasn’t prepared.

” ‘The microbe that felled one child in a distant continent yesterday can reach yours today and seed a global pandemic tomorrow.’ “

“… a pandemic spreads around the world and lasts for an extended period of time. It does not hit just one locale, leaving all others with the ability to come to its aid.”

There was a whole chapter on Corona viruses (MERS and SARS, etc) that was super scary and chilling to read as we are in the middle of this crisis now.

“A pandemic hits many locales simultaneously, all of them needing emergency assistance. It has a rolling effect as it hits first individuals, then civil authority, then business, then interstate or international commerce or both. The effects are immediate and devastating, the consequences long-term.”

“For reasons we still don’t completely understand, certain individuals with coronavirus become ‘superspreaders.’ “

The book doesn’t really give you a silver lining, so right now may not be the right time to read this book if you are experiencing anxiety. The chapter on coronaviruses in particular was scary and the author gave a scenario of what would happen in a pandemic and so far it’s happening to a T. So that was scary to read what is probably coming…

“Ordinary civic and commercial functions were not being carried out because so much of the workforce was sick or dead. Some sick people starved to death, not because there was a food shortage but because so many people were afraid to come in contact with them. Unlike a virus such as Ebola, which is not communicable until the victim starts having symptoms, with influenza, you’re contagious before you even feel sick.”

“A catastrophic influenza pandemic will unfold like a slow-motion tsunami, lasting six to eighteen months. “

So yeah. Good read, scary though.

Happy reading!

These posts have Amazon affiliate links.