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Off the shelf: A Lesson in Self Care - Mad Like Alyce
Mad Like Alyce

Off the shelf: A Lesson in Self Care

Over the past few weeks, I have just been exhausted. And not as much physically exhausted as just mentally spent. Part of this is my own doing, by taking on too much, both with work, with the blog (which is one of the few I enjoy), and most of all, working on a new website for the Sioux Empire Pit Rescue (bit off waaayyyyy more than I could chew here).

Working on websites all day, I just don’t have the energy when I get home to tackle yet another project. But the more I choose to do something else, the heavier the website became, weighing on my conscience. My internal to do list continued to get larger and larger with of all of the things I was telling myself that I SHOULD do, and the longer it took to get to them, the more frustrated I became.

Finally, I met up with my women’s writing group for a glass of wine and literature camaraderie, and the discussion turned to what books we had been reading lately. It suddenly hit me that I had not read a single book since packing it all up and moving mid April.
Not. a. single. book.

Since I am moving again so soon, I justified leaving them all packed so I wouldn’t have to double the work. “But the library is right there!” one of them exclaimed! And she is right, i literally work just blocks from a library. No Excuse. The next day, I made it to 5pm, and was absolutely, utterly, drained. And I realized it was time for a little self care. I needed to give myself permission to take time for myself without any guilt on what I “should” be doing. Off to the library I went.

It has been awhile since I had been turned onto a new author, so I decided to hit up the New Literature shelves, and found a few promising titles.

Spring Tide

by Ceilia and Rolf Borjlind

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This author couple are known as the King and Queen of Scandinavian suspense novels, and I loved the way they approached this novel. You can read the synopsis on Amazon, but here are some of my favorite things about the novel without giving anything away.

  •  One of my favorite things with foreign novels is the treatment of the language. In America, I find we often get quite colloquial with our use of language, and this is a refreshing break.
  • A few years ago when I read “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” I recall it was a little difficult to get started since the places and names were so unfamiliar. This novel uses the same setting, and it was fun to come back to Stockholm for this plot. Its like returning to a favorite spot for vacation.
  • The way they entwined the various stories was phenomenal! It was easy to follow each new narrator, and they sculpted strong characters.
  • I also love that one of the main narrators comes as a surprise, while another becomes more of a plot device than a main character. It was a (un)pleasant surprise.
  • There are some lovely plot twists through the story. While I figured out the final “reveal” well in advance of the end, it was actually written in a way that I feel the authors intended you to be in on the secret, so when it is revealed, you are part of the group holding the secret. They almost literally wrote you into the store in a sense, and I was quite impressed of their treatment of the story’s conclusion.

I literally started this book Thursday evening, and finished it Saturday afternoon with a late night session on Friday and powering through it Saturday morning with a great deal of coffee to get me through. My copy of the book touted “thriller fans can’t put it down” on the cover, and they were absolutely right. A must read!

Mrs. Poe

Lynn Cullen

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Another book that caught my eye was Mrs. Poe. I actually came across this in Last Stop CD Shop back in April when I was selling off some of my own books. While waiting, this book caught my eye while wandering around, and I ended up reading the first chapter right there in the shop. I honestly cannot say why I didn’t buy it then and there, just that I didn’t want to purchase more when I was trying to downsize.

When I was looking for books at the library however, this was the first one I grabbed. I really enjoyed the story it promises, and will post an update soon!

Hello!

Hi! I'm Alyce.
Welcome to my journey towards living a happier and healthier life while living with PTSD and chronic pain... and never letting it keep me from my passion for Halloween, cooking, and way too many DIY projects... all at the same time!

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