Getting Personal #130: Seventh TBR Recap

Book Quote - Neil Gaiman

Image Credit: Ebook Friendly

Welcome back!

In case you’re interested, here are the links to my previous TBR posts:


Here’s what I’ve read since my last TBR update:

  1. Prez: A Story of Love, Margaret Garrison
  2. A Girl Named Rosa: The True Story of Rosa Parks, Denise Lewis Patrick
  3. A Girl Named Hillary: The True Story of Hillary Clinton, Rebecca Paley
  4. Girls Auto Clinic Glove Box Guide, Patrice Banks
  5. The Casual Vacancy, J.K. Rowling

Like I said in my first “Down The TBR Hole” post, I want to change up my TBR  posts a little bit. Going forward, I will state my “Remove” list, and then state my “Keep” List.

As of May 5th, my updated TBR had 48 books.

Subtracting the five I read, that makes 43 books.

Removing from Laura Beth’s TBR:

  1. Bader, Bonnie, A Girl Named Helen: The True Story of Helen Keller (American Girl: A Girl Named)
  2. Calonita, Jen, Z On Location (American Girl: Z Yang, Book 2)
  3. Casanova, Mary, Menace at Mammoth Cave: A Kit Mystery
  4. Choi, Mary H.K., Emergency Contact
  5. Crowley, Cath, Words in Deep Blue
  6. Falligant, Erin, The Legend of the Shark Goddess: A Nanea Mystery
  7. Gaskell, Elizabeth, North and South
  8. Gilbert, Kelly Loy, Picture Us in the Light
  9. King, Stephen, 11/22/63
  10. Lyons, Kelly Starling, A Girl Named Misty: The True Story of Misty Copeland (American Girl: A Girl Named)
  11. McKinney, Ruth Ann, Reading Like a Lawyer: Time-Saving Strategies for Reading Law Like an Expert
  12. Nijkamp, Marieke, Before I Let Go
  13. Prose, Francine, Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and For Those Who Want to Write Them (P.S.)
  14. Ritter, Krysten, Bonfire
  15. Teagan, Erin, Luciana: Braving the Deep
  16. Teagan, Erin, Luciana: Out of This World
  17. Toobin, Jeffrey, American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes, and Trial of Patty Hearst
  18. Tripp, Valerie, Turning Things Around: A Kit Classic Volume 2
  19. Tripp, Valerie, Full Speed Ahead: My Journey with Kit
  20. Yee, Lisa, Lea Dives In
  21. Yee, Lisa, Lea Leads the Way
  22. Yee, Lisa, and Kellen Hertz, Lea and Camila

Removal Rate: 22/43 = 51%


Keep & Re-Classify – Laura Beth’s Updated TBR

  1. Bader, Bonnie, and Connie Porter, The Underground Railroad (American Girl: Real Stories from My Time)
  2. Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker, The War I Finally Won
  3. Calonita, Jen, The Real Z (American Girl: Z Yang, Book 1)
  4. Carlson Berne, Emma, The Titanic (American Girl: Real Stories from My Time)
  5. Desmond, Matthew, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
  6. Ehrenreich, Barbara, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America
  7. Green, John, Turtles All the Way Down
  8. Haddix, Margaret Peterson, Among The Hidden (Shadow Children #1)
  9. Hite, Sid, My Name is America: The Journal of Rufus Rowe, Witness to the Battle of Fredericksburg
  10. Lehr, Dick, Trell
  11. McNamara, Michelle, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer
  12. Miranda, Megan, All The Missing Girls
  13. Murphy, Jim, My Name is America: The Journal of James Edmond Pease, A Civil War Union Soldier, Virginia, 1863
  14. Myers, Walter Dean, My Name is America: The Journal of Joshua Loper, A Black Cowboy
  15. Paley, Rebecca, The Boston Tea Party (American Girl: Real Stories from My Time)
  16. Shetterly, Margot Lee, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race
  17. Skloot, Rebecca, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
  18. Swanson, Jennifer, Pearl Harbor (American Girl: Real Stories from My Time)
  19. Teagan, Erin, Luciana
  20. Toobin, Jeffrey, The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson
  21. Tripp, Valerie, Read All About It: A Kit Classic Volume 1

Keep Rate: 21/43 = 49%


Adding To The TBR

I’ve decided to limit myself to adding no more than 10 books to my existing TBR every quarter. Hopefully, this will keep me in check, and also motivate me to add books that I really, truly want to read.

  1. Arnold, David, Mosquitoland
  2. Block, Lawrence, Small Town
  3. Fisher, Carrie, Wishful Drinking
  4. Hopkins, Ellen, Crank
  5. Reynolds, Jason, Long Way Down
  6. Summers, Courtney, All the Rage

So, my current total is 27 books. Much better than over 180 a while back!


Do you have a TBR?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #116: The ABC Book Challenge (The Letter B)

 

ABC Book Challenge - B

Here’s the link to Tiana’s post:


Memorable titles that start with the letter “B”:

The Baby-Sitters Club - Elle

Baby-sitters Little Sister - Amazon

Baby-Sitters Club series

  • I devoured this series, as well as Baby-Sitters Little Sister books, for years. Check out my Awesome Authors post on Ann M. Martin!

Image result for because of winn-dixie book

Because of Winn-Dixie

  • I don’t remember when I read it, but it made me cry.

Image result for beezus and ramona book

Beezus and Ramona

  • I loved Beverly Cleary’s books. I read nearly all of them before I started middle school. Ramona has always been one of my favorite characters.

The BFG (Dahl novel - cover art).jpg

The BFG

  • Roald Dahl is another one of my favorite authors. I remember being assigned to read The BFG in elementary school, but falling in love with it.

Image result for bleachers book

Bleachers

Image result for briana's gift

Briana’s Gift

  • I stumbled upon Lurlene McDaniel at the library when I was in high school, I think. Like a few other authors, I quickly devoured all of her books. All of her books make me cry, but they’re well-written, and also somewhat relevant, too.

Image result for bridge to terabithia book

Bridge to Terabithia

  • This is one of my favorite books. However, it always makes me cry. I sense a theme here!

71nzvQNWIVL

Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking is Undermining America

  • I appreciate Barbara Ehrenreich’s writing, too. Al gave me this book for Christmas, and I eagerly read it.

Books starting with “B” that I wish to read:

Between Shades of Gray

  • Tiana mentioned this book – I’m definitely intrigued!

Image result for john grisham blood drive

Blood Drive

  • I can’t believe I haven’t heard of this short story until now!

Bonfirewolf.jpg

The Bonfire of the Vanities

  • I’ve never read it. But, I feel it’s appropriate. Wolfe was a heralded writer, and I’m always intrigued by books set in New York City.

BreakfastAtTiffanys.JPG

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

  • Another book I’ve never read. I love Truman Capote. Adding this to my TBR, stat!

BridgesOfMadisonCounty.jpg

The Bridges of Madison County

  • I think I have a copy of this, somewhere. If not, I’m sure my library probably has a copy, since this book was one of the best-selling books of the 20th century.

What books have you read, or want to read, that start with the letter B? Let me know!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #64: The Muppets Book Tag

The Muppets

Image Credit: Disney

I stumbled upon this tag from Bibi’s Book Blog at the end of June. Most of you know that I love the Muppets, so I definitely wanted to do this tag!

Here’s the link to Bibi’s post:


Swedish Chef

Name a book that should have been good but left the foulest taste in your mouth…

Swedish Chef

 

Allegiant. I had such high hopes …

Fozzie Bear

Name a book that you couldn’t help but laugh at the jokes or characters

Fozzie Bear

Harry Potter. Ron Weasley, especially.

Bunson Honeydew and Beaker

Name a book that made you feel a little smarter by the end of it

DR Bunsen Honeydew And Beaker

The Unknown and Impossible: How a research facility in Virginia mastered the air and conquered space. I learned so much about NASA, and it’s ties to the Hampton Roads area!

Crazy Harry

Name a book where a character or something about the book drives you crazy

Crazy Harry

The Casual Vacancy. I didn’t like how many characters there were! It was hard to keep up.

Janice

Name a book that was an easy read and gave you good vibes

Janice

Any of the American Girl books. I love reading about history!

Stalter & Waldorf

A book that you loved and was turned into a movie that you hated

Stalter and Waldorf

Oh, goodness. I’m not sure I have a true answer for this one!


Tag – You’re It!


Who is your favorite Muppet?

I’m with Bibi – I was disappointed to not see Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Sam the Eagle, Animal, and Rizzo!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Commentary #77: “There’s a severe shortage of mental health professionals in rural areas. Here’s why that’s a serious problem.”

Mental Health - Quotefancy

Image Credit: Quotefancy

I recently read another CNN article that I felt was worthy of sharing. It was published on June 20, 2018.

Here’s the link to the article:


For years, I’ve been fascinated with the Appalachian region of the United States. Part of it is because my grandmother (Mom’s mom) was raised in West Virginia, and other extended family members have lived in West Virginia and Kentucky, to name a few states.

The mountains are beautiful. Grandma Grace was raised during The Great Depression, and they survived. I have vague memories of visiting Great-Grandma Laura Bethany (whom I’m named after) on her farm in Ripley, and seeing Mom’s aunt’s and cousins in Beckley. These two areas aren’t deep in the mountains, but you can definitely see and feel the hills and valleys.

With all that said, Ripley and Beckley are small, but mighty. Other areas of West Virginia, and other states in the Appalachian region, have certainly struggled with the volatility of the coal mining industry, among other issues. The limited amount of research I’ve done shows years of struggles with poverty, unemployment, access to health care, and more. However, the Appalachian people are steadfast. I don’t want to be prejudicial, but research-based.

Along with difficulties accessing quality health care, and affording that care, mental health care is somewhat tied to that. It’s fascinating, as well as immensely frightening.

When I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) in the summer of 2015, I started taking a bigger interest in mental health, including news articles about the topic. I’m grateful that I have a stable job, with good health insurance, and access to good mental health resources and services.

I’ve seen several counselors since I was in college, for a variety of reasons, but the counselor who diagnosed me with GAD was a watershed moment for me. She helped me unpack a variety of issues that were causing significant stress, and in turn, contributing to my anxiety. I’ve been able to better understand GAD, and to work to figure out the best ways to limit and control my anxiety. It’s a daily exercise, but I’m proud to say that I’m not taking any medication, and I’m able to live a fairly productive life thanks to a powerful and helpful support system. I realize that my situation is very unique, and I’m grateful for everything!


The article is packed with statistics. I won’t go through all of them, but the main point is a majority of non-metropolitan counties do not have a psychiatrist, and nearly half do not have a psychologist. The best definition of a non-metropolitan county that I could find is one that does not have a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and has a population of 10,000 or less (Health Resources & Services Administration).

One of the interviewees, a clinical psychologist, pointed out that many rural areas only have generalists, i.e., primary care providers (PCPs), and there’s little to no specialized care. People are left on their own due to a lack of community mental health care, and nearby relevant hospital services.

The services that are available are focused on crisis intervention, not prevention. These services attempt to address the crisis as it’s happening, but nothing is available to prevent the crisis.

In addition to the lack of services and resources, health care funding cuts are exacerbating this problem. Roughly 80 rural hospitals closed between 2010 and 2017. Hundreds more are at risk.

Another problem the rural population faces is isolation. Isolation can spark downward spirals, which can lead to drug addiction, overdoses, depression, and suicide. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), rural areas have a higher suicide rate than non-rural areas, which has been widening since 2001.

This is a significantly complex and challenging problem that can’t be addressed with a single solution. However, there’s one bright spot that is starting to emerge – Telebehavioral health. The article provided the example of a patient in Wyoming “seeing” a psychologist in Pennsylvania via virtual sessions and online portals.

As promising as telebehavioral health appears, the article points out a host of other issues that rural residents face. Access to the Internet is one, being proficient with computers / technology another, and having the financial resources to access these mental health professionals.

To me, there needs to be a series of steps to tackle these issues. I don’t have all the answers, and I try to be as objective as possible.

There needs to be consistent investment in mental health services across the U.S. Every rural area that does not have a psychiatrist or psychologist should probably have at least one of each. The currently practicing doctors should be linked up to the existing mental health services, as well as be / become advocates for improving those services. Continued work to reduce the stigma of mental illness, addiction, and other mental health issues will also be beneficial.

Those support systems that people turn to in the event of a crisis – Family, friends, ministers, chaplains, and even first responders – should also have connections to mental health services. More mental health training for these support systems, specialized if possible, is also a good idea.

Throughout the network of ideas and potential solutions, the idea of making and sustaining connections and cooperation appears to be a common theme. In order to help the neediest residents, everyone involved with helping them should be educated, connected, and cooperative.

Example: Someone in a rural area is struggling with isolation and drug addiction, and overdoses. When the family member calls for an ambulance, the first responders take the resident to the local or nearest hospital. While recovering in the hospital, a series of people work behind the scenes to quickly identify others that can help – Family members, the hospital chaplain, the resident’s pastor, the resident’s primary care physician, and anyone else. Together, this network of resources work together to locate the nearest psychiatrist or psychologist, or even the nearest behavioral health center. The idea is to build a strong support system to get the resident the best mental health services possible.

This is strictly an example, but ideally, there needs to multiple levels of support and accountability for this to work. Every situation is different – Sometimes there’s no family, no primary care physician, difficulty accessing a behavioral health center, among other things. Regardless, if we invest in building these networks and support systems, maybe there can be a shift in crisis prevention, and less crisis intervention.


For more information, check out these resources. Several of these were also cited in the article.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Book Review #62: “The Casual Vacancy”

The Casual Vacancy

Image Credit: Kobo.com

It took me quite a while to read this book. I purchased it at Barnes & Noble at least two years ago, if not longer than that. I think I had a gift card to spend, because the paperback had the bargain price of $5.98.

I’ve been interested in this book since it was published in 2012. Having been a massive Harry Potter fan, and this being her first novel for adults, I had full confidence that I would enjoy this book just as much.

Poor Al. He’s heard me gripe and complain and whine about this book for weeks! But, I finally finished the book earlier this week after he went to sleep. It took way too long for me to finish 503 pages, but I DID IT!

Rowling is still one of my favorite authors, by the way. But, this book doesn’t make my list of favorites.

It’s not a bad book, but it’s really dense. There are SO MANY characters. It made my head spin initially. I get it – She’s focusing on multiple families, all who are involved in some way with the parish council. Also, the book could have been condensed. In my opinion, 503 pages for this book was too long. She could have certainly told this particular story in 300-400 pages.

As an American, I’ve been fascinated with England, British life, and so on for several years. Getting this fictional perspective of a parish council, different communities, and challenging decisions was really interesting. Overall, the cast of characters were diverse, and interesting. There was a lot more drama than I was expecting, but it wasn’t too distracting.

The book dragged quite a bit through the first half. I almost gave up – I was struggling with the characters, and it was a lot of mundane exposition.

However, around Part Five or Part Six, the action increased, and I actually started to enjoy it. Toward the very end, I was on the edge of my seat – The last 75 pages or so were really exciting. Definitely dramatic, and more than a bit of tragedy, but it felt like a thriller at that point. I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. I was slightly sad when I got to the last page.

Again, not my favorite book by Rowling, but I was happy I plowed through to finish.

3 out of 5 stars.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #63: 3-2-1 Quote Me! – “Food, Glorious Food”

I love Rory’s quote challenges! He’s the author of A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip! He tagged me to complete this one.

Thanks for picking me, Rory!

Here’s the link to the post where I was tagged/challenged:


Rules: 3.2.1 Quote Me!

  • Thank the Selector
  • Post 2 quotes for the dedicated Topic of the Day.
  • Select 3 bloggers to take part in ‘3.2.1 Quote Me!’

Note: Although this is the topic for today there is no specific deadline to it, meaning you can answer as and when.


Topic: “Food Glorious Food”

If music be the food of love, play on. - William Shakespeare

Image Credit: BrainyQuote

Let's face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; it does for me. - Audrey Hepburn

Image Credit: BrainyQuote


Tag – You’re It!

  • Jenna – Bookmark Your Thoughts
  • Laurie – Work, Play, and Chardonnay
  • Bibi – Bibi’s Book Blog

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #115: The ABC Book Challenge (The Letter A)

Image Credit: The Book Raven

I found this awesome book challenge through Tiana, who writes for The Book Raven! Tiana writes some of the most in-depth, intriguing book reviews. Check her out!

My goal is to post about one letter every week!

Here’s the link to her original post:


Memorable titles that start with the letter “A”:

A Girl Named Rosa

A Girl Named Hillary

A Girl Named Rosa: The True Story of Rosa Parks

A Girl Named Hillary: The True Story of Hillary Clinton

  • I was immediately intrigued by this new series of books from American Girl. They’re designed for younger readers, but I still like reading them.

A Stand for Independence

A Stand for Independence: A Felicity Classic 2

  • Despite not having the original, beautiful illustrations, I love the historical books from American Girl. Felicity is one character that is close to my heart, because her story is set in Colonial Williamsburg!

A Winning Spirit

A Winning Spirit: A Molly Classic 1

  • Molly has always been my favorite American Girl.

Image result for a tree grows in brooklyn

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

  • I struggled to read this book in middle school, but eventually re-read it in college. I think it’s time to read it again.

Image result for american wife

American Wife

  • This is my favorite Curtis Sittenfeld book. I re-read it three times over the course of one summer.

angels-and-demons

Angels & Demons

  • As much as I despised the ending, I love Robert Langdon’s character!

Image result for angela's ashes

Angela’s Ashes

  • Another good book that I read when I was in college.

Image result for animal farm

Animal Farm

  • I think I read this in high school? Orwell’s fiction feels closer to the truth now. *shudders*

Image result for are you there god it's me margaret

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

  • I’ve always loved Judy Blume.

Books starting with “A” that I wish to read:

Image result for accident: a day's news

Accident: A Day’s News

  • I stumbled upon this book recently whilst scanning Goodreads. I haven’t read a lot of fiction about Chernobyl, so I’ll seek this out at my local library.

Image result for all the missing girls

All the Missing Girls

  • Al bought me this book for Christmas. I started it, fell into a reading slump, and stopped. Now, I’m ready to start fresh.

Image result for all the president's men book

All the President’s Men

  • Having seen the movie multiple times, I’m long overdue to read the book about the events that thrust Woodward and Bernstein into the spotlight.

Image result for all the rage book

All the Rage

  • I just learned about this book from another blogger – Destiny, I think. Hopefully my library will have it.

Image result for american heiress book

American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst

  • This book is in the stack on my nightstand!

Image result for among the hidden

Among the Hidden (Shadow Children #1)

  • This book is on the top of my nightstand stack. This will probably be the next book I review.

Image result for and then there were none

And Then There Were None

  • I love Agatha Christie, so I hope my library has a copy.

Image result for anna and the french kiss

Anna and the French Kiss

  • Several bloggers have read this book, so I need to satisfy my curiosity.

Image result for anne of green gables

Anne of Green Gables

  • I tried reading Montgomery’s books as a kid, but was never able to get into it. I think my mom has the whole series!

Image result for aristotle and dante discover the secrets of the universe

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

  • Several bloggers have been raving about this book, so I’m adding this one to my list. Plus, I love the synopsis.

I love this challenge so far!

What books have you read, or want to read, that start with the letter A? Let me know!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #129: July Goals

BeautyBeyondBones 11

Image Credit: BeautyBeyondBones

Hello, July!

Al recently reminded me that Christmas is less than six months away. It’s wild. Every year gets faster!


Here are my goals for the month of July:

  1. See Ant-Man and the Wasp.
  2. Curb my spending.
  3. See Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.
  4. Submit our adoption application to Old Dominion Greyhound Adoption.
  5. See Mission: Impossible – Fallout.
  6. Spend at least two hours cleaning the garage.
  7. Make sure the Household Bills Spreadsheet is updated before the end of the month.
  8. Spend at least three hours working within Evernote.
  9. Meal plan as much as possible for the month.
  10. Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo, July 2018.
  11. Update my TBR.
  12. Start another writing challenge.
  13. Plan a special challenge for the month of August!

Here’s the breakdown:

See Ant-Man and the Wasp.

  • We can’t wait to see this! Hopefully next weekend.

Curb my spending.

  • I went a bit overboard during the month of June, so I’m placing similar spending restrictions on myself like I did during the month of May. This will give me time to go through my closet again, my bookshelves, and our garage!
  • Goals: (1) No more new clothes, (2) no more new books, and (3) no more American Girl items.

See Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.

  • I’m looking forward to taking my mom to see this one!

Submit our adoption application to Old Dominion Greyhound Adoption.

  • Now that our HVAC work is complete, we’re ready to submit our application! We’re excited to add a furry member to our family.

See Mission: Impossible – Fallout.

  • This is a tradition of ours – We’ve seen almost Mission: Impossible movie in the theaters since we’ve been dating.

Spend at least two hours cleaning the garage.

  • There are still way too many boxes in our attached garage, mostly my stuff! It’s high time to go through as much of it as I can.

Make sure the Household Bills Spreadsheet is updated before the end of the month.

  • I’m determined to keep up with this spreadsheet on a monthly basis.

Spend at least three hours working within Evernote.

  • I really liked my introduction to Evernote last month, so I’m determined to spend more time with it and get more comfortable with it.

Meal plan as much as possible for the month.

  • I have several recipes that I want to try this month!

Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo, July 2018.

  • After my rousing success with my first Camp in April, I’m so excited to be participating in Camp again!
  • Look for another Camp NaNoWriMo recap at the beginning of August!

Update my TBR.

  • It’s that time again! Look for my updated TBR post very soon.

Start another writing challenge.

  • I’m hoping to have the first post ready tomorrow!

Plan a special challenge for the month of August!

  • I don’t want to give anything away, but I’m partnering with a special blogger friend to make a fun challenge for August!

Do you have any goals for the month of July?

If so, I’d love to hear about them!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂