The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

This book will haunt you days after you put it down. I am amazed at the strength of the children in this story. Walls tells a story about her tragic childhood in such a way that only someone who has truly lived through it could. You find yourself laughing and crying right along with her as she shares details of a life as a transient child. Her parents are amazingly likable even though your subconscious is screaming, “How could they?” Trust me this is one book you do not want to miss. Have the tissues close by! At the end you will find yourself proud of the adult children for turning out at least some sort of normal. Bravo Jeannette for having the courage to tell your story.

The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell

The Other Typist is a crazy ride through a woman’s mind as she experiences the underground life of the speakeasy in 1920s New York. Just when you think it is going to take you in one direction you shift in a different swirl of events. Rose is a transcriptionist who types up the confessions of defendants in a precinct and soon finds herself on the other side of the table in the interrogation room. This book keeps you in the dark until the very last page, then you still aren’t sure if you are correct in your theory of who is who in this twisty turning story. Loved it from the first page to the last!

Too Many Options

I have decided to continue on this path of change. I am looking at ways to simplify my life. How can I create pockets of time, reduce the things I must do, have, take care of? In this modern life of technology and success, we have more than we need. Just look around. As I look around my desk I have a cell phone, wall calendar, planner book, laptop, tablet, and computer….all of which can take care of my calendar functionality that I need to tell me what day it is and where I am supposed to be on any day.  Then I have books, the real paper ones, an e reader, cell phone and computer again….oh and library books too. All of which can give me reading pleasure. Why is it that we surround ourselves with all theses options? Options that then cause me to stop and think about what I want to pick up first. Wasted time.

Go to the living room and it is the same TV,DVDs,  On demand, Netflix, more options. I remember when TV was three channels, on a good day. What did we do when there was nothing on TV? We read, played cards, or my mother played piano for us and we sang. It wasn’t always kumbayah, mostly it wasn’t but it was not a big deal that nothing was on TV. These days I spend countless minutes surfing the options to find something to watch. Most of the time I sigh and turn to the book close by anyway. More wasted time.

If you think it stops there, you are mistaken. Look in the bathroom, soap shower gel, four different razors one with vibration, water pick, heater for steam, massaging shower head and tooth brushes with live action. My bedroom has a TV, radio, laptop, more books, DVD player….options…what about a simple bubble bath and a comfy pillow? Yeah there is that too.

Our lives have become so full of things, options for these things and activities that we have forgotten to just simply be. These distractions have caused a degradation of the family and of the brains of our society. Don’t believe me, try remembering a phone number of a person you call everyday, can’t do it can you? Go to a restaurant and look at the people not talking but looking at their phones, sometimes texting the person right next to them. (yeah I am guilty as charged.) Husbands and wives not looking at each other, parents ignoring kids, and kids addicted to video games.

Maybe those living off the grid types have something. Maybe life would be better without all the gadgets and options we treasure. I am looking at some sort of middle ground. I am not so sure I want to give up my cell phone, my laptop, and certainly not my books. I am not sure a rip the band-aid off, cold turkey approach is the way to go. I am looking at a slow reduction of things. Creating a simple life by deciding which options I can’t live without and which ones are, well, optional. My desire for a simple, easy lifestyle is greater than my attachment to the modern distractions of life. I am just not brave enough to admit I am as addicted as anyone can be.

When did life become so full of things, options, busy activity? How much time do theses options really save us?