An Unexpected Loss, and the First Books of 2019

I began the new year eagerly getting organized and setting new goals, then Jan 26th came, and in that one day my whole world changed. That morning my sister was out visiting; by late that evening, she had left us. Shortness of breath turned into an ambulance ride, that turned into a team of doctors scrambling to find out what was happening to her, and that led to one of them coming to tell us they'd been unable to save her. She'd had a massive blood clot in her lungs and she was gone. Just gone. I'm still trying to get my head around that. I made arrangements, stood beside the urn her ashes were in, helped clean out her apartment, and spent months tying up all the loose ends of her life, and still I can't believe she's gone. I don't know how long the denial stage of grief lasts, but I seem to be stuck in it. It just seems impossible, ludicrous even, to think that she's not here, that she won't be at family get-togethers, that I can't talk with her on fb messenger, that I won't be buying her a birthday gift in September. I feel almost angry when I think how stupid it all is. This can't be true. It cannot really be happening.

Needless to say, I haven't done anything about posting. I couldn't read for a while, couldn't make sense of the words or even remember what I had just read. After a couple of weeks I was able to get back at it a little, but I'm not up to writing much. I'll just list the books I've read so far this year with a line or two about why I liked or didn't like them.

Precious Cargo by Craig Davidson
A story about a man who drove a school bus transporting special needs kids for a year. It was inspiring how he learned to relate to each student on their own terms. It was also funny at times, and overall a good read.

Do You Realize? by Kevin H. Kuhn
This was an unusual novel about a man who receives a watch that will let him travel back in time, but only 10 times. It get's complicated when he attempts to fix things in the past. It's part fantasy and part philosophy. It was much better than I'm making it sound. I liked it.

Through the Children's Gate by Adam Gopnik
A memoir about Gopnik and his family experiencing life in New York City. Toward the end it seemed more like a series of essays than a memoir, but it was interesting, and well written.

The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell
Russell and her husband, who works for the Lego company, moved to Denmark where he would work at their head office for a year. I love travel books but this one didn't appeal to me. She interviewed a lot of people about their level of happiness, but I was looking for descriptions of the countryside and more about Danish culture. All I got from it is that I no longer have any desire to go to Denmark.

To be continued...


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