March is over! How?!?
Time is flying by, but when I stop to reflect, I realize that quite a bit has transpired in the past few weeks:
1. My kid and partner took a trip across the country for spring break! This was our (well, their - I stayed home because a. I had to work and b. plane tickets are breathtakingly expensive) first travel-heavy adventure since the autumn of 2019.
Although the airfare was pricy, they were able to stay with our relatives the whole time. My generous father-in-law even lent them his car so they wouldn't have to rent one. In the end, the cost evened out to something reasonable.
By all accounts, much fun was had with the parents, brothers, sisters, cousins, and pets. Definitely worth the time, the travel hassles (including one major delay and a subsequent sprint to a connecting flight), and the money.
2. I read eight books:
- The Searcher - Tana French
- Mirrorland - Carole Johnstone
- And Then She Disappeared - Lisa Gardner
- One Step Too Far - Lisa Gardner
- The Family Next Door - Sally Hepworth
- The Mother's Promise - Sally Hepworth
- The Silent Patient - Alex Michaelides
- The Maid - Nita Prose
My favorites were The Maid (compelling main character, tight plot), The Family Next Door (hard to put down - I love Hepworth's books when I'm looking for a light mystery/thriller page-turner), and the Lisa Gardner books, which are the first and second titles in what will be a series featuring Frankie, a freelancing victim advocate who is as well-conceived as the stories themselves.
The other books were good in their own rights. The Searcher provided vivid descriptions of the Irish countryside (but was extremely long, and it felt like nothing much happened) and Mirrorland featured an interesting concept (but the ending went on forever). The Silent Patient has gotten rave reviews. I enjoyed it but wouldn't give it five stars because I found one of the characters to be distractingly problematic.
3. I covered 132 miles of ground, mostly by running, some by pack walking. My mileage included three longer runs ranging from 11 to 14 miles.
4. I had my first performance review, and it went well! According to the powers that be, a raise should be in my future, but I'm not sure when I will find out if that's happening. This week, I hope. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for at least 10%.
5. I quit Twitter for good, which was a tough move for me. I feel like I have more time now, and I worry less. I'm still informed -- I read the news every day -- but I'm no longer bombarded by zillions of terrifying expert (and "expert") opinions and hurtful comments. I do miss my bird app friends, though.
6. I filed our 2021 taxes, which was a giant pain for several reasons. Why can't the government send us a bill?!? They know how much we need to pay or how much of a refund we should receive. Ugh. We ended up owing a few hundred dollars, which is fine. I just hope I didn't make any mistakes.
7. We did a thing that I'll discuss in an upcoming post! Stay tuned!
How was your March? Give me the scoop and/or a book recommendation!
A few books I've read lately that I highly recommend (and have bought for friends and relatives - I like them that much) are:ReplyDelete
The Sum of Us by Heather McGhee (how racism hurts everybody, not just minorities; how some "helpful" programs like the GI bill actually contributed to the racial wealth gap; the history behind increasing tuition/lower pell grants, etc.)
Why We Sleep by Matt Walker (you won't think about sleep the same)
Metabolical by Robert Lustig (processed foods - informative and disturbing)
The Changing World Order by Ray Dalio (the economic cyles that persist through history and where we are headed)
I have a finance/economic/legal background so the economic one is excellent but might be a little daunting for others. If you can get through it, it will help you see the economy/U.S. future in a broader perspective than most people will ever grasp. He sets it up so you can read in-depth about topics, or just read all the main points, if you would get overwhelmed by the details.
I know you didn't ask for recommendations but these are some of the best books I've read in the last 20 years.