Tag Archives: reading

The Dark Between the Covers

Song Lyric of the Day:

Midnight where we used to dance / Underneath the ugly halogen lamps / Oh, it all went away so fast / In a black out

Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam / “In a Black Out“*

I’ve been an avid reader since childhood. I lived for the Scholastic school book fairs. I always had a book handy in high school for when I’d finish a test or assignment early. I managed to read a lot for fun in college, which is easy to do when you’re not a partier and you happen to work every weekend in a bookstore. Then I became an adult.

At the end of a workday, my priorities are figuring out dinner for the family, hanging out with the kids, getting them to bed, then doing housework that I can’t do during the workday. That’s not always how my evening goes, but more often than not, that’s it. By the time I finally manage to sit down to unwind a bit before going to bed, it’s usually pretty late and I’m fairly brain-dead. Which means I end up watching TV with my cat, Buster, in my lap; when your cat makes it to 20 years old, you sit and hang out when that cat wants to sit and hang out. I don’t last long before I doze off on the couch and then drag myself to bed.

This year I’ve made a point to read more. It’s something I love, so why not make it a priority? My most productive uninterrupted reading time is during a solo workday lunch: just me, my book, and some food. Occasionally I’ll even meet up with the spouse and our respective books for a reading lunch. I also take short reading breaks in the afternoon at work. Not every day, but some days. It’s good to not be looking at a computer screen during those little breaks.

While I enjoy reading a variety of genres, I tend to gravitate toward thrillers, the darker the better. I can’t tell you why exactly, just that twisty, scary stories are the ones that suck me in. I just finished reading The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter and am now reading Look for Me by Lisa Gardner. Next up in my to-read pile are The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn; The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen; and Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna.

Slaughter and Gardner are among my favorite authors. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the darkest, Slaughter goes to 11 (see: Pretty Girls) and Gardner can hit 10.5 (see: The Neighbor). My bookcases in my home office are full of their books and other favorites: Tami Hoag, whose Kovac and Liska books are always great; Tess Gerritsen, best known for her Rizzoli and Isles series; Julie Garwood and Linda Howard, who both specialize in romantic thrillers; and Kate White, whose Bailey Weggins series I love.


Organized alphabetically and chronologically for each author because I couldn’t live any other way.

I recently started reading Paula Hawkins and Ruth Ware; I like their books so much I lent a dear friend the authors’ latest respective works. As for new authors, I enjoyed Riley Sager‘s debut, Final Girls, a lot as it appealed to my horror-movie-loving self: a woman survives a massacre, but all is not as it seems. I also really liked Kathleen Barber‘s Are You Sleeping, which centered on a decades-old murder being reinvestigated on a podcast and its repercussions.

I just realized I listed only female authors above. Nice. I do enjoy books by male authors, as well, including Daniel Silva, Dean Koontz (pretty much a lifelong favorite), David Morrell (his Thomas De Quincey series is phenomenal), Carl Hiaasen, and, of course, Stephen King.

Now you all know what most of my money is spent on: books. Bona-fide printed books. I love the feel of an actual printed book in my hands, and I still get a geeky rush when checking books out of the library. I’m trying to dip my toe into reading ebooks (I’m up to three). Printed books are one of the few ways I can truly unplug since I work on a computer all day; reading an ebook isn’t that appealing to me since it’s another screen.

In the interest of discovering yet more new authors to read, I recently requested some advance reader copies via Penguin Random House‘s First to Read. We’ll see what, if anything, comes of my requests; I think it’s a first-ask, first-serve setup. In the meantime, though, there’s always the library.


I first heard today’s Song of the Day in an episode of Lucifer. The music and scene together made for small-screen perfection.

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Life Going On

Song Lyric of the Day:

The rain is fallin’ on my window pane / But we are hidin’ in a safer place / Under covers stayin’ dry and warm / You give me feelins that I adore

Colbie Caillat / “Bubbly

It rained all day today. It was one of those days where I just wanted to stay in bed, alternating between sleeping and reading*. Alas, that was not to be since I have to make a living. Work’s good, although it’s been kicking my butt again. But I’m really fortunate in that I’ve gotten to learn and dabble in a bunch of different things the last few weeks: country music news, HTML coding, travel guides, cocktails. Keeps everything interesting.

Even though I’m exhausted most nights, I’ve stepped up my exercise routine. Have to lose a few more pounds so I feel Uruguay-ready (vacation is only weeks away!), specifically Uruguay beach-ready. (In case you’re wondering, I’ve lost 5.6 pounds in the last month or so, starting with when I got sick. That was a 3-pound handicap right there.)

So other than work and exercise, not a whole lot’s going on right now. Which is just fine by me — more time to write, read, and relax.

*I’m currently reading False Memory by Dean Koontz, Bright Lights, Big Ass by Jen Lancaster, and The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde.


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Song Lyric of the Day:

So speak no louder than a whisper / Means we’re running from winter
So speak no louder than a song / Means we’re falling all day, falling all day long

Idlewild / “No Emotion

I just finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and I’m still sniffling a little bit. Don’t worry, I won’t say anything to spoil the book — God knows, I’ve avoided reading the news and blogs for days. All it took to finish was reading non-stop from 3PM until 1:15AM; sleeping, and resuming reading at 10AM this morning. Was the final installment worth not doing anything else? Without a doubt.

Thank you, J.K. Rowling, for sharing Harry, Hermione, Ron, Hagrid, Dumbledore, and everyone else in your magical world with us. Thank you for making us believe in magic again.

I’m having trouble getting into my latest Netflix rental, Synesthesia, since I’m still coming down from my Harry Potter high, so I took a break to read the news. You know, the news I’ve avoided for days out of paranoia of spoilers. Lo and behold, the Knoxville News-Sentinel online linked to my post yesterday in an article about East Tennessee bloggers and Harry Potter. Nifty.

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