Category Archives: Books

Fictionalized Fiction

Colorful bookshelf

Hey, I never do these Fibbing Fridays, but Di @ Pensitivity101 chose books…

1. War and Peace ~ this is a collection of short stories written by divorce lawyers. Mostly war, but occasional peace when a respondent drops dead from an avalanche of paperwork.

2. The Green Mile ~ poetry written by ex-husbands who felt “taken to the cleaners” by divorce attorneys. Some lovely rhymes in here such as billable/killable.

3. Dances with Wolves ~ confessions from recently divorced men about how they had to conceal assets from greedy ex-wives. Names changed to protect the guilty.

4. Jaws ~ mothers-in-law dish on the terrible marital choices their children made. They have a lot to say and this book never ends. Literally!

5. The Wind in the Willows ~ Mr. and Mrs. Willows buy a windmill farm and end up arguing so much over which direction to face the windmills they get divorced.

6. The Deserter ~ true story of a woman who ghosted her annoying husband and ran off to live in the wilderness. Spoiler: she lived happily ever after.

7. One Shot ~ dystopian novel of a post-divorce society where people get one chance at a romance, and if things don’t work out they’re sentenced to death. Odd how many still break up, knowing they will be hunted down and killed.

8. It ~ clever little story from the point of view of a gross, disgusting blob of who even knows what that grew in the fridge because a husband didn’t like to throw anything away. Icky but funny!

9. Independence Day ~ bizarre tale of a man and a woman who meet the day their divorces are final and then decide to get married again. Wacky and unbelievable!

10. The Count of Monte Cristo ~ husband and wife researchers travel to an ancient mountain village where all the people are rumored to have happy marriages. They never make it because he won’t stop and ask for directions.

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Image from the Happy Color app.

Bingo Update 12

Book bingo challenge

A book I “saw” someone else reading was Michelle Obama’s Becoming. My daughter had it out as a loan in our shared Kindle library. Normally, I am not interested in books by politicians or celebs, but this one was supposed to be fab, so I started reading it. I ended up giving it 4 stars out of 5 because there were some really good parts about Michelle’s early life. I totally enjoyed reading about her parents, her upbringing, and her struggles to feel “good enough” despite all her hard work and success.

Michelle was an excellent student, went to Princeton (as did her brother), and had graduated law school. She had important jobs that gave her immense satisfaction. But then she gave all that up for a man. This didn’t make me dislike the book; on the contrary, it serves as a perfect example of how often women end up doing this. Smart, accomplished women give up their career dreams to accommodate a man’s goals. Michelle wanted a family though, and she wanted a good marriage with a happy husband. So to have those things, she had to say goodbye to her career. 😢

Parts of the book were super boring and I skimmed them… they were mostly the parts about Barack, lol. Their romance was sweet (a meet cute, kinda) and I enjoyed reading that. But I didn’t really care about all the newsy stuff re campaigns and elections. Michelle kept mentioning other people who worked with them and helped them, but they didn’t interest me at all.

Not to be shallow, but I would have liked more pictures. There were some, but I would have enjoyed seeing more of her in some of the beautiful dresses she wore throughout the 2 admins.

I have one book left to finish my book bingo challenge! Anyone want to guess what I will choose? 📚😀

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Image from Kriti and Ariel.

TSAONGAF 1

pointless meanderings

TSAONGAF is the abbreviation for Mark Manson’s self-help book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. I’ve read MM’s articles with some regularity, and last week I read his bestselling book. It was a great experience for me and I learned a lot. As I said earlier, I’m going to blog about some of my thoughts on his various concepts.

What does MM mean by not giving a f*ck? He points out that most of us are wrapped up in caring about so many things that we feel perpetually entitled to a perfect world and freak out when things don’t go how we want. I guess you could say that our giving f*cks too freely has turned us into a bunch of whiny Karens. MM suggests we drill down to our basic values (and change them if they aren’t working for us), and then find the few, important things to focus on. “Let the little things go.” We’ve heard that before, right?

Obsessing over way too many unimportant details has been a huge problem for me my whole life. I can’t simply decide not to and that’s that. “Don’t do that” is a negative statement, and when you focus on a negative, well, you know what happens. “Don’t eat potato chips”… now all you can think about are potato chips. I’ve been trying to substitute the negative statements with positive ones. Focus on work. Pay attention to family. Engage in self-care routines. Get more sleep and exercise. Read more books.

Focusing on these positives has had the effect of pushing some of the trivial crap away. It really does work. I don’t have time (or the inclination) to engage in social media arguments (a huge source of past stress) when I’m in the middle of a good book. If I’m filling my time with pleasurable activities, I’m less inclined to click on a new dating site “just to see.” I know that leads down a bad path. I can step back now. It’s a bit harder in some areas, such as driving ~ I still get enraged when someone does a dangerous maneuver. What does MM say about that?

It’s okay for life to suck sometimes, is what he says. We are not entitled to a perfect life, and there’s no need to feel inadequate when something fails to be perfect. So I had a frustrating drive to Los Angeles. That’s just how it is some days and it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with me or the way I’m living my life. Sometimes traffic is sucky and frustrating. That’s okay. I literally had this ridiculous conversation in my head the other week. I was so stupid for letting my daughter go to UCB. She had a full ride to UCD and wouldn’t have met her future husband there probably. I’d have more money now and wouldn’t have to make this horrible drive when I want to see her. God, I’m so dumb!

But then I got to her house (a half hour later than expected) and had such a great time with my family. I’m not “dumb” because there was a detour and some other drivers were being rude and awful. It’s okay for things to suck sometimes. I’m not entitled to perfection. It’s hard though to keep that mindset all the time… I’m constantly reminding myself to stay positive and not dwell on small annoyances. Being positive is more of a habit now than it used to be though, so I am improving. Slowly.

Okay, that’s the end of this PoiMo. I’ll do more MM musing another time. 🙂

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Image originally found on Pixabay.

30 Day Book Challenge 5

June book challenge

I did this challenge in groups of 6 and this will be my last post in the series. It was a lot of fun!

25. A book villain I actually love would be Jaime Lannister from Game of Thrones. I mean, come on, the guy is a total creep, banging his sister, and throwing a little kid off a tower when he witnessed them. But except for those minor details…

26. I’m not big on “shoulds,” and I also can’t recall reading a biography–they were all autobiographies. Born Standing Up by Steve Martin was probably my favorite. I do recommend it for his fans. Papa John by John Phillips was also interesting.

27. I don’t reread books yearly, but Where I’m Calling From, a short story collection by Ray Carver, is a book I’ve read a few times.

28. Watership Down by Richard Adams is a classic on my to-be-read list.

29. I love the cover of Neil Gaiman’s Fragile Things and the stories inside as well.

30. The book I’m reading right now is Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. I’m about half done and it’s fantastic. Wish I had read it sooner because I’ve already learned a lot.

Great challenge!

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Image stolen from Sandmanjazz.

Bingo Update 11

Read previous update here.

For the bestseller book, I read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. I loved Manson when he was much less popular… found him early on when he gave mostly dating advice. Then I began to resent him. Who was this brash young guy (obviously privileged) telling everyone all this crap? And making bank off it. I quit reading him for a few years. But he was still around ~ peeps were always quoting him. Annoyed, I developed a conspiracy theory that he wasn’t even a real person but a character created by a publishing team. That still could be true… who knows.

Then my FB friend Barbara linked to one of his articles when I was depressed. I clicked. Whatever I read that day (don’t remember now) helped me so much that I subscribed to his blog by email. I grudgingly began to admire him again, so much so that I finally bought his book TSAONGAF. I didn’t read it until this challenge however.

Mark’s book is truly amazing. It’s a joy to read because he speaks to you as a friend, not as a high and mighty shrink. He admits to messing up in many areas before he began to view life much differently. He says he too is always growing and learning, and he doesn’t act like he has all the answers. He uses examples from his own life to illustrate his points, which makes his writing feel real and down to earth. Maybe the examples are made up, but regardless they are a great device to draw you in to the topic of each chapter.

My plan is to discuss in detail some of the TSAONGAF concepts that resonated the most with me in Pointless Meanders as time permits. That’s not a substitute for reading it yourself… I already feel better having finished it, and I highly recommend it in its entirety. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Two left! 📚

PS: I have no idea what happened with my phone’s pens, but I couldn’t find the right one for the checkmark, hence the slash.

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Image from Kriti and Ariel.

30 Day Book Challenge 4

30 day book challenge

I’m doing this challenge in groups of 6 so that I end up with 5 posts at the end of June for my 30 day book challenge instead of 30. This is my fourth set of books.

19. As I said, I don’t care for audiobooks, but if a man with a sexy British accent wants to read something to me, I won’t put up a fuss. I watched a multipart show about meerkats of all the silly things because the narrator had such a delicious British voice.

20. I love unreliably narrated books! So much fun. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson is a good example of a book with an unreliable narrator. Merrikat pulls you into her world and you think you know what’s going on… or do you? I do have a preference for books about sisters…

21. Orange County Noir, edited by Gary Phillips, is an anthology of short stories that are set in Orange County, California. Many are very dark, giving us a peek at the desperate lives people live behind the facade of glittering McMansions and shiny new cars. I see it has a whole bunch of bad reviews because people want Orange County stories to be upbeat, I guess. Well, they aren’t. WE SUFFER HERE.

22. I had to find a brand new book to read for the LGBTQ love story, as there were none on my list. It’s definitely not a genre I seek out, though I’ve read bits of pr0n here and there, as you do. Naturally, I chose the L, since it’s bad enough having one man in a love story, but two of ’em? Gah. Anyway, I picked Endless Love by Lauren Trevino. This book was just okay. It could have used an editor/proofreader ~ there were lots of typos and elided words. We all make mistakes and it’s hard to catch our own when we’ve gone over the same pages a hundred times and made changes. Beyond that, the heroines were rather bland with cookie-cutter motivations. Just like the cliched male/female romance novel, every character was incredibly beautiful, there was a friend who betrayed them, one walked in on the other at exactly the “wrong” moment (twice), the sex was always amazing, yada. Some chapters were too disjointed and short. There were POV breaks. Etc. But the story still pulled me along well enough to the end with some tension anyway. I was planning to give the book 2 stars but gave it 3. Why? Because at the end, the lovers discussed the 2016 election and actually went out in the street to protest. Generally, romance novels don’t take any political stance, and for that act of bravery, I awarded another star.

23. “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” This is the last line of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and is one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books. It’s probably due for a reread.

24. Wow, I don’t have any true collaborations in my Goodreads list. This means a book written by 2 or more authors, not a collection of stories by 2 or more writers. Different things. I must have read some, but I don’t recall any. To rectify this, I’m going to buy one of the books by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer. She’s a romance writer and he’s a suspense writer ~ they wrote a few books together (I actually attended one of their workshops in San Diego several years ago). I’ve wanted to read one, so this is my opportunity. I don’t have time to read it before this goes live though. Sorry about that.

See you on the 30th with my final set of June books!

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Image stolen from Sandmanjazz.

5 Things [I Enjoyed Doing During Lockdown]

Bitmoji relaxing with book

Dr. Tanya returns with the #5Things topic for today: 5 things I enjoyed doing during the lockdown.

1. Nothing! That’s right ~ I enjoyed doing nothing for a while. I’d been super tired, without a real vacation for years, so it was lovely just to chill. 🥰

2. Reading! I’ve read several books over the last few months. It’s been great to have the time to participate in some fun reading challenges. 📚

3. Writing! I’m pleased to announce that I’ve made significant progress on my novel Ghosted. 👻

4. Organizing! I bought lucite holders from Target and straightened up all the junk in my bathroom. Rearranged some other misc stuff as well. 👍🏻

5. Bonding! Spending so much time at home has allowed my roommate’s cat to become more comfortable with me. She hangs out with me now while I’m at my laptop. Of course, my own kitty has had more quality time with me too. 🐱

Striped kitty face

Here she is, purring on my lap. ❤️❤️❤️

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon

Images from Bitmoji and me.

Razzle Dazzle [socs]

One of my favorite songs from the musical Chicago is “Razzle Dazzle,” which is performed by Richard Gere. I had no idea that Gere could sing when I first saw this movie. He’s so good! Of course, the opening song, “All That Jazz,” sung by Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renee Zellweger, is also wonderful. And another favorite is “When You’re Good To Mama,” sung by Queen Latifah. A perfect night in for me would be some pizza smothered in mozzarella cheese, a fizzy real Coke, and my favorite musicals on TV. Why don’t I do this? Well, there are books to write, books to read, posts to post, news to get depressed over, FB updates to annoy me, tweets to inspire my poetry, cats to cuddle, and feeds to scroll through until I’m dizzy

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Bingo Update 10

See previous update here.

Book challenge bingo

For the dystopian novel, I chose Snow and Ash by Theresa Shaver. This is first in a series of 4 books, so the ending wasn’t a grand finale, but that’s okay. It’s in the teen and young adult science fiction category, but maybe that’s good for me because I like stories about people and don’t want to get all bogged down in loads of narrative on geopolitical barf and the actual details of what thermonuclear war specifically would do. It’s bad, mmkay? We don’t even know why all the countries attacked each other and let fly at Canada too… what did they ever do? But who cares. On with it!

Great characters (two main, Skylar and Rex) and good side characters, especially Marsh the skateboarder, made the story stand out for me. They seemed like real teenagers coping with a horrible situation and having to mature quickly. The pacing and surprises were excellent. Except for the inevitable romantic attraction between Sky and Rex, the twists were unpredictable.

But the book had a lot of problems, sorry to say. It was absolutely loaded with errors. There were tense errors, POV flips, elided words, inconsistent tenses, missing quotes, on and on. This stuff stops the reader from fully immersing in the story. You have to step back and go huh? Who said that? It’s really a shame. I’ll probably not continue on with the series because of this. 😞

~*~

Image from Kriti & Ariel.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

30 Day Book Challenge 3

30 day book challenge

I’m going to do this challenge in groups of 6 so that I will have only 5 posts total in June on this topic instead of one per day which would be an annoying chore. Here are my third set of books…

13. The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb is an excellent book about history, finance, politics, and (especially) human psychology. I highly recommend it. The last third is full of math, but you don’t have to pore over that to get the gist of the book (I did not).

14. Speaking of swans… Swan Song, a twisted adult fairy tale by Jess Haines was a magical love story, with a bittersweet/philosophical ending. It’s a retelling of The Swan Princess, which is a pretty bad love story imo, and Ms. Haines writes a much better one with a way cooler hero. (PS: it’s not that “adult.”)

15. Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien made me cry sad tears and no this was not meant to be a bird-themed set of books! I look on Goodreads to find books I’ve read that fit the motifs. Or, if I can’t find something, I will read a new one, such as #14. Nothing wrong with reading a new book! But I digress. Wesley is such a wonderful story… please read it ASAP. I guarantee that you will love it, or… um… nothing. Owls are awesome!

16. I’ve read many books more than once, but let’s go with The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, a most excellent novel. Please don’t feel you know the story if you’ve merely seen the movie, which was good, but it didn’t (and couldn’t possibly) do justice to this complex philosophical work. It’s okay to read it in small doses and think about it. I did. It’s so very brain crunchy.

17. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine was such an unexpectedly weird read, but I enjoyed it a lot. I guessed part of the mystery early on, but I still liked it and wanted to see where it went. I recommend it if you like stories that are a bit offbeat.

18. For my RIP author, I’m going with Ray Carver and his book of short stories Where I’m Calling From. Many of my favorite stories are in there, including the title story as well as Fat, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Neighbors, etc.

Alrighty then! See you with my next set on the 24th. 🙂

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Image stolen from Sandmanjazz.