Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Books, Disease and Growing Older

Spring is SO CLOSE!
Let's start with disease! On Friday, February 15 I thought I might have a case of food poisoning. I had awful stomach cramps. I had eaten two cheeseburgers at McDonald's that day so who knows.

The cramps somewhat subsided over the weekend and by Tuesday I felt okay. Then as that week went on I started having cramps for 4 to 5 hours every time I ate.

My birthday was Sunday the 24th and normally we would have gone out to eat at someplace like Outback or The Cheesecake Factory. I felt terrible and we just ate at home: plain grilled chicken breast, a slice of French bread and some fresh mozzarella cheese. Ugh. I was crampy all through the Oscars and couldn't even face the idea of eating any of my birthday cake.

I went to see my doctor on Tuesday and she sent me for blood work. My liver enzyme levels came back really high so she thought I might have hepatitis!

But I don't! Instead I have H. pylori, the bacterium that can cause ulcers. Fun! So I will need to take a course of antibiotics to get rid of it.

Tuesday night was the worst night and since then I've felt back to normal. I can still feel a little rumbling in my stomach though.

Meanwhile, as usual for me, I have been reading my usual mountain of books. Here's a list of the latest pile:

  • Pearls Freaks the #*%# Out: A Pearls Before Swine Treasury by Stephan Pastis
  • Locke & Key: Keys to the Kingdom (Book 4) by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez*
  • House of Holes by Nicholson Baker*
  • Blue Asylum by Kathy Hepinstall*
  • Shades of Earth by Beth Revis*
  • Legend by Marie Lu*
  • Prodigy by Marie Lu*
  • Delirium by Lauren Oliver*
  • Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver*
  • The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey
  • Impossible to Please: How to Deal with Perfectionist Coworkers, Controlling Spouses and Other Incredibly Critical People by Neil Lavender & Alan Cavaiola*
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • I am Spartacus!: Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist by Kirk Douglas*
  • Circus Galacticus by Deva Fagan*
  • Redshirts by John Scalzi*
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern*
Books with asterisks came from the library. I am on a BIG library kick right now! I have 15 books checked out right now.

The books I liked the best were The Book Thief, I am Spartacus! and Redshirts.

The Book Thief takes place in Nazi Germany and has an interesting twist for a Holocaust-related novel. None of the story takes place in the death camps but they are always present in their existence. The book's narrator is Death and he tells Liesel's story. I shed a few tears at the end and there are few books that actually make me cry (Little Women is one of those).

I am Spartacus! was fun because Kirk Douglas is a good storyteller and the whole blacklist era history is just horrifyingly fascinating. I haven't actually seen the movie "Spartacus" in about 25 years though. I will try to catch it again at some point. I forgot that it was an early Stanley Kubrick movie. You always think of him sort of appearing with "2001: A Space Odyssey" but he had directed several things by then (including "Paths of Glory", "Lolita" and "Dr. Strangelove").

Redshirts was a book based on a spaceship very like the Enterprise in "Star Trek". In this story, however, the main characters are not the Kirks, Spocks or Picards but the anonymous crew members in the background. The cover's tag line is "They were expendable...until they started comparing notes."

The new crew members start to notice odd behavior: the captain, his second-in-command officer and the doctor never get killed on away missions but whichever crewman they bring along always dies; crew members hide from the captain when he comes looking for away mission members; and so on. Then there's time travel, humor and a magic box.

If you've ever watched any "Star Trek" episodes and enjoyed them, this book is for you.

Legend and Prodigy are books 1 & 2 of a series, as are Delirium & Pandemonium (Book 3 of this series, called Requiem, is on order at the library) and Shades of Earth was book 3 of a series I started earlier this year. Hooray, a finished series! I think Circus Galacticus is a multi-part series starter too as it ended with all sorts of unanswered questions. If it was a stand-alone book, it was not good. As part of a new series, it is promising.

The Night Circus is one of those books that every book reviewer went gaga over. It was interesting and enjoyable (not a series!) and I enjoyed it but I didn't adore it. The Flight of Gemma Hardy was good. It was a version of Jane Eyre set in the 1960s. My only problem with it was that because I know Jane Eyre pretty well I pretty much knew how it was going to end!

Now it's time to work on another project this afternoon: Disneyland pictures from our vacation in 2001. It will be nice to get caught up one day.

No comments:

Post a Comment