Books I Read May and June 2017

With all my hip stuff going on, I realized I never posted my book recaps from May or June, so I wanted to catch up and update you on what I’ve been reading the past two months.

I did a decent amount of reading in May, but in June I only got through two books. I had a lot going on last month that made it hard for me to sit and concentrate on books.

All that said, I read some great books in the last two months. Seriously Darktown and When Breath Becomes Air are probably two of the best books that I’ve read all year.

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On to the recaps!

May Books

Darktown by Thomas Mullen
Holy crap was this book good. Not only did it have the twists and turns one would expect from a typical crime novel, but it also carried the plot line of the first group of black police officers established in Atlanta in 1948. This group of officers had very limited power, and when two of them find the body of a dead black woman, who was last seen with a white man, they aren’t allowed to investigate the case. It’s instead turned over to white detectives. Being in the deep South during that time period, you can probably imagine how well that went. This book was excellent as a piece of historical fiction, but I also found the parallels with what’s going on today between police forces and black citizens to be particularly striking.

The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell
I happened to stumbled upon this book at the library and picked it up because the story sounded interesting. The gist is that a descendent of the Bronte family ends up at Oxford and copies of her cousins’ books keep appearing on her doorstep. The book tells the story of the girl trying to find out who is leaving her the books. It was fun and pretty easy read — and it definitely made me want to go back and read all the Bronte books.

The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
I felt kind of meh about this book. I think I thought it would really suck me in because I think Amy Schumer is really funny. While some of her essays hit, others didn’t. There were a mix of funny and serious stories, and while I enjoyed getting to know more about Schumer, I didn’t totally love the book. I’ve read a bunch of books by women comics (Mindy Kaling, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler) and I think this book fell above Poehler’s, but below Tina and Mindy’s.

The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank
I know this is one of those books that everyone is supposed to love because it has good reviews and all, but I just didn’t. It started out really promising, but I could not get into the main character’s creepy relationship with a much, much older dude. That pretty much ruined the book for me.

June Books

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Break out the tissues, this true story will break your heart. I basically sobbed my way through the second half of this book. It’s heart-wrenching, but so, so good.

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This book had an intriguing premise — how does a single decision you make impact the rest of your life moving forward. The book followed the main character from that single decision point and each chapter alternated between what happened in her life if she chose option A or if she chose option B. I will say, at first I found the jumping back and forth between story lines to be a bit jarring, but I eventually got used to it. This was a light and easy read. Good for the summer or a day at the beach.

A Hip Update: MRI Results

I suppose it's time I actually write an update on my hip situation. I've been putting off writing this post for a while now as I've tried to jump through what feels like a million medical hoops and deal with my roller coaster of emotions about this injury. I believe we left off after my first dry needling appointment and my upcoming MRI. I got the MRI done on a Thursday night and had a second dry needling appointment while we waited for the results. The second dry needling … [Continue reading]

Dry Needling for my Hip

Last Monday, I had my first dry needling appointment to help my hip. Now if you have been reading for a while, you know needles make me pass out. So it's not really normal for me to voluntarily subject myself to them. But with my hip hurting so much every time I did anything, I was willing to give dry needling a try. Jenna, the woman who did the dry needling, was awesome. She explained what was going to happen and answered a couple of my questions, and then we got started. The … [Continue reading]

Hip Next Steps and Marathon Possibilities

Ok so yesterday I really just needed to get out the feels about my hip. If you read that post you know I have a lot of them, and writing things down has always helped me process things and think more clearly. In this post, I'm going to talk more about what the plan of attack is moving forward. So after my intense flair up of pain earlier this week, I texted my PT and he agreed it was time to get an MRI to make sure we weren't looking at any sort of structural issues in my hip … [Continue reading]

Marathon Training Was Supposed to Start Monday

As you can probably guess from the title of this post, things aren't going so well on the hip front. It just doesn't seem to be getting better (my PT might disagree with this assessment, but right now it's how I feel). This past weekend I feel like I had a pretty major set back. The pain in my hip was excruciating. I tried to run Saturday morning because I was allowed to do that. It went so much worse than last week's attempt. My hip hurt the entire time. Every time I tried to swing my … [Continue reading]

ACLI Capital Challenge

Last week, my physical therapist gave me the green light to participate in a three-mile race I had signed up for at work. The ACLI Capital Challenge is an annual race that brings together teams from the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government as well as the media for a little friendly competition. Me and Galen Rupp post-race. He was the official "whistle-blower" [Har har get it?] This race was full of some insider DC/political humor. Hats off the race organizers who … [Continue reading]

PT Pits and Peaks

When I was out in Snowshoe, WV during inauguration weekend with friends, one of the guys in our group had each of us go around the table every night and share our "pit and peak" (basically our high and low point) of the day. We were on vacation, so I mean, the pits weren't very pitty. Maybe someone ate it on the mountain while skiing, but life wasn't hard that weekend. We all got a good laugh out of playing along. Photo stolen from Pete, who made us play pits and peaks So I thought I'd … [Continue reading]

I’m the Most Impatient PT Patient

I'm pretty sure my physical therapist thinks I'm the most impatient person in the world. I had my third PT appointment on Monday, and when he asked how things were going, I rattled off all the problems I was still having with my hip. Now let's remember, my third PT appointment was less than a week after my first one. After listening to my spastic rambling of everything I thought was wrong, PT Dan took me through some stretches. Then he measured the progress we were making on my hip … [Continue reading]

Books I Read April 2017

Between work travel and personal travel, I spent a lot of time on airplanes in April. That means I had a ton of time to read. I read six books in April, and I was happy with the variety I had. I read several different genres of fiction -- thrillers, dystopian, historical -- plus one nonfiction book. I also started and stopped one book that after about two chapters, I could tell just wasn't going to work for me. I'm doing a better job of embracing the motto that life is too short for bad … [Continue reading]

Physical Therapy for My Hip

I can't remember exactly when the pain in my left hip started. I guess sometime over the winter. It started to feel tighter than normal after runs, but it wasn't really painful. I tried to stretch a little more to loosen things up and then would just go on with life. Over the last couple of weeks that hip tightness has intensified pretty badly. My hip would be super stiff any time I got in and out of my car or stood up from sitting in my chair at work. Walking to and from work was … [Continue reading]