Showing posts from November, 2016


I had my gallbladder surgery just about ten days ago, on the seventeenth. The surgery itself went smoothly as far as I can tell (since I don't remember any of it). It was done at the outpatient center attached to the local hospital. I didn't have to show up until eleven, so I had some time in the morning to get the kids off to school and clean my house before leaving. A friend dropped me off, I checked in, and they got me all prepped for surgery (I'd love to have one of those systems that pipes hot air into my pajamas for my bed at home, it would be awesome). There was about an hour delay so I got to watch an episode of Law & Order while I waited--that's my go-to show for lounging around hotel rooms and hospitals. Then they wheeled me into the operating room and an hour later I woke up back in the bed. For the next few hours I drifted in and out of consciousness. I was surprised by how hard it was to wake up, since the only other time I've had general anesthesia

Reading Roundup: October 2016

A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller One difficulty in writing historical fiction is making the characters at least somewhat relatable to modern readers, while still realistic enough for their setting. One thing authors often do is to make the protagonist some kind of outcast or rebel, which creates conflict and makes them more interesting to current audience. However, this can create a character whose behavior doesn't really fit with the time period. If a book is well-written I can just go along with it and enjoy the story, but sometimes it bugs me. Now that I type all that out, I'm not sure that was really the problem with this book. The main character was pretty immature and didn't really change much before the end of the story. I did feel like the historical details of the setting were well-done, however. Lab Girl by Hope Jahren I had mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, Jahren is a compelling writer and I loved the scientific vignettes about t

Master Master

I am now totally done with school--and it feels weird. This semester I had to complete the last requirement, which was creating an electronic portfolio. The portfolio had to include fourteen sections based on the program's learning outcomes; for each section I had to write a short essay describing my understanding of the topic and provide examples of my learning from assignments I'd completed. It was both harder and easier than I had anticipated. Once I did a few sections it really became easier to write the rest of them, but the writing and revising took a long time to do. I'm so happy to be done, and yet it's taking a while to sink in. I think that's because I don't really change my routine much--it's not like I was actually going to class or anything. However, over the last two weeks I've really felt a burden lifting off my shoulders. I no longer have to fit homework in during my free time or worry about completing assignments. It's amazing to rea

Reading Roundup: September 2016

The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson Although the beginning of this book was a bit slow, once the various parts of the story started coming together and the narrative picked up a bit, I really enjoyed it. It was a great conclusion to the trilogy and, as always, I was very impressed with Sanderson's skill in worldbuilding. Before the Fall by Noah Hawley This book was not what I expected it to be--I thought it would be a quick thriller that I wouldn't remember after a few weeks. Instead, it surprised me with how well-written it was, and with its focus on characters rather than on just getting through the plot. There was a central mystery, but by the time it was resolved, it didn't feel as important as getting to know all the various characters had been.  Clever Girl by Tessa Hadley This was the first book I've read by Tessa Hadley, and it will probably be the only one. There were many moments where here writing was beautiful, and there was strong characteriz