About thebookboozer

Just a twenty-something college student doing everything she can to put off finishing her undergrad thesis. I blog a little over at thebookboozer.wordpress.com. I write about books, or sometimes share my favorite quotes. It's a pretty good time.

Amtrak Travel

Friends of the internet, I need your help!

Me and my husband are taking the Amtrak from Salt Lake to Chicago next month, and I have never ridden on a train before. Like, I mean, I have taken short ones when I was a kid but not like a proper train ride.

Train travel just isn’t a common thing here. It’s definitely a novelty. When I told my friends and family about your trip the response, overwhelmingly, “wait, trains are still a thing here?”.

So, the ride is going to be 35 plus hours and I need all of your tips, tricks, and hacks for getting the most out of our ride! Give me all the advice guys.

We are staying in Chicago for a couple days to roadie for a friends Lantern Fest so while we won’t have a ton of time while there to sight see, if there is anything that you consider a must see in Chicago, throw that my way too!

I hope everyone is doing well! I will be back with a review of Case Histories by Kate Atkinson later on in the week.

 

Lilah

I had another baby!

Just kidding, we got a puppy 🙂

IMG_20170618_123258

I have never had a dog. Not even as a kid. We always had a cat around, but they basically took care of themselves most of the time. My dad “doesn’t like dogs”, so we never had one. I think we maybe had a couple for a couple days at a time once or twice, but they never worked out. I put that previous statement in air quotes because now that me and my siblings are all adults and living on our own, my parents are empty-nesters. With two dogs.

When we decided to get a dog we knew that we wanted to rescue one. We also knew we wanted a puppy, and not an adult dog. This being because we have small children, and with an older rescue you can never be totally sure what may have happened to them in the past, and run the risk of them being set off by something and either scary or hurting the kids, and we wanted our kids to be able to help raise the puppy as well. Maybe when they are a bit older we will rescue an older dog, but for right now, a puppy it is!

We adopted Lilah through a company here in Utah called the Rescue Rovers. They are a foster company, rather than a shelter, and place rescued or surrendered dogs into foster homes until they are all up to date on their vaccinations, spayed/neutered, and cleared by the vet for adoption. Then they collect applications for the dog. They usually like to have at least three applications in for a dog at a time. Then each family comes to the foster house, meets the dog and interacts with it. Then, once all the applicants meet the dog the foster parent decides which family they think will work best for the dog.

This is what I love about Rescue Rovers. Their number one goal is not just to place dogs into homes, but to place them into homes that they will remain in  for the rest of their lives. When you sign the contract to adopt a dog, you agree that in any event you can no longer care for the dog, you are required to return it to Rescue Rovers to be placed back into a foster family. Their commitment to these animals is amazing, and I am so grateful that they are doing what they can for these pups.

Lilah, our sweet shepherd mix, is about 11 weeks old. She was found with her two sisters in a cardboard box on the side of the highway in New Mexico when they were about six weeks old. New Mexico has few resources for dogs, so the puppies were transported up to Utah and placed into Rescue Rovers. Their sweet foster mom Dana then took them into her house and raised them until they were old enough to go up for adoption. Not only do these foster families take them in for all their shots, appointments, and surgeries, but Lilah was already about 75% potty trained and 100% kennel trained. She sleeps through the night snug in her own bed and doesn’t make a peep. These foster families are not just a stepping stone for these dogs. They aren’t just biding their time there until a family comes to take them home. They are being trained with the skills to give them the highest possible chance to have a successful adoption into a family that can keep them forever.

Bless their hearts for that because I would just keep all of the puppies. I would be that lady.

Click here to visit the Rescue Rovers website if you are interested in adopting, fostering, or donating.

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

BornACrime

I haven’t enjoyed a book this much in a long time people. Granted, I haven’t read nearly as much as I used too, but I still firmly believe that statement would still be true. Trevor Noah has a story to tell, and my god can he tell a story. This one just happens to be about his life, up until the days following his mother being shot in the head.

You might know Trevor Noah from his stand up, and currently as host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central. What you might not know is that Trevor was born into a world in which he was considered the product of a crime. Literally. His mother, a black South African woman, and his father, a white Swiss man, were forbidden to engage in sexual relations under the Immorality Act under apartheid in South Africa. His lineage was then kept a secret from everyone other than his immediate family, and his exposure to the general population was minimal until apartheid ended. Even then, the repercussions from apartheid he would continue to deal with for the rest of his life in South Africa, until he moved to the United States in 2011. The most recent years of his life aren’t chronicled in this book, but I am very much hoping he writes those stories in a new book.

Trevor’s book is filled with so much.

Honesty, comedy, love, parenting, feminism, fear, abuse, courage. After finishing this book, it is astounding to me that this man can not only still see the world in a positive light, but to keep pushing the boundaries and seeking the truth in a world in which the truth is seldom positive.

I am grateful that he decided to share his story in this book, and I am grateful that he is here.

Below are a couple quotes that I loved, and I really hope that everyone reads this book.

PS- His mom is #momgoals. Seriously, that woman is everything.

“I don’t regret anything I’ve ever done in life, any choice that I’ve made. But I’m consumed with regret for the things I didn’t do, the choices I didn’t make, the things I didn’t say. We spend so much time being afraid of failure, afraid of rejection. But regret is the thing we should fear most. Failure is an answer. Rejection is an answer. Regret is an eternal question you will never have the answer to. “What if…” “If only…” “I wonder what would have…” You will never, never know, and it will haunt you for the rest of your days.”

“We tell people to follow their dreams, but you can only dream of what you can imagine, and, depending on where you come from, your imagination can be quite limited.”

“I was blessed with another trait I inherited from my mother, her ability to forget the pain in life. I remember the thing that caused the trauma, but I don’t hold onto the trauma. I never let the memory of something painful prevent me from trying something new. If you think too much about the ass kicking your mom gave you or the ass kicking that life gave you, you’ll stop pushing the boundaries and breaking the rules. It’s better to take it, spend some time crying, then wake up the next day and move on. You’ll have a few bruises and they’ll remind you of what happened and that’s ok. But after a while, the bruises fade and they fade for a reason. Because now, it’s time to get up to some shit again.”

“Trevor, remember a man is not determined by how much he earns. You can still be a man of the house and earn less than your woman. Being a man is not what you have, it’s who you are. Being more of a man doesn’t mean your woman has to be less than you.”

 “The name Hitler does not offend a black South African because Hitler is not the worst thing a black South African can imagine. Every country thinks their history is the most important, and that’s especially true in the West. But if black South Africans could go back in time and kill one person, Cecil Rhodes would come up before Hitler. If people in the Congo could go back in time and kill one person, Belgium’s King Leopold would come way before Hitler. If Native Americans could go back in time and kill one person, it would probably be Christopher Columbus or Andrew Jackson. “
“The world doesn’t love you. If the police get you, the police don’t love you. When I beat you, I’m trying to save you. When they beat you, they’re trying to kill you.”

 

 

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Rebecca

Guys, if you’ve been around for a minute you know I tend to have a hard time with classics. By hard time I mean I hate them. I try, I really do, but more often than not they leave me with a bad time-wasted taste in my mouth. So when my book club decided on Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier I was slightly hesitant. I hate being the person who doesn’t read the book club book. I had bailed on a couple in the past few months because we have been remodeling our kitchen and I legitimately had no extra time. However, the remodel is [mainly] done, so I knew I just had to buckle down and do it.

That is one thing that I love about book clubs. Without mine, I never would have read this book. If by the off chance that I had picked it up on my own, I wouldn’t have made it past the first three chapters.

The beginning is very dry. A lot of explanation of things that don’t exactly matter, so I did a fair bit of skimming for the first quarter. If you are a fan of pretty sentences that are there just for the sake of being pretty sentences, you will probably really enjoy this part. If you are like me and need some meat and bones to a story before you get really hooked, hang in there. I promise it is worth it.

What is this meat you are speaking of, you ask? I give to you, the worlds most confusing and surprising love triangle in novel form. Love triangles are played out you say? What if I told you a member of this love triangle was dead? Yeah. Thought so.

Also, what if I told you that Daphne Du Maurier has succeeded in doing something to my brain that only that great and powerful Gaiman has ever done before? An entire book in which we never learn the narrators name and I didn’t even notice.

Let me set the scene for you. This story takes place in I am going to assume 1940-50ish? Dates are never given, but given context I think that is a fitting time frame. Our narrator marries the widower of a famous estate known as Manderley, Mr. De Winter. His first wife perished at sea. The house keeping staff, as well as the majority of the townspeople in the surrounding area, adored the first Mrs. De Winter, Rebecca. Most notably, the head house keeper Mrs. Danvers. Without giving too much away, that bitch be crazy.

Essentially, our narrator, who comes from a very modest upbringing and is very young, is thrust quickly into the life of a stranger, in an extravagant estate that she is expected to run. Which was ran previously by a woman whom everyone adored and did everything perfectly. She is married to a man around 25 years older than her, who can’t seem to figure out if he should treat her like a child or his wife, but mainly is just an ass most of the time.

Everywhere she turns, Rebecca is lurking. Rebecca was a better wife. Rebecca was adored by the estate. Rebecca was prettier. Rebecca, was more. 

How is she supposed to compete with someone who isn’t even there anymore?

The twists and turns in the last quarter of this story are phenomenal. It absolutely makes up for the first quarter. They come out of nowhere and then they just unfold in the most brilliant way.

If you love a thriller, you will love this. Look past the 1940’s English countryside facade and see it for what it really is, a ghost story.

 

#whyimarch

I have tried to not post too much about the current events in this country.

However, I can’t not post about the Women’s March, and the posts that I have seen in regard to it. I have seen more friends that I would like posting about how they think that the Women’s March is pointless. And it just gets me right in the stomach.

Please, please, look around you for a second. Look outside of your own experiences, and into the lives of the people around you. I have been fortunate to have experienced very little prejudice in my life as a woman. I went to school in a place where I was never disregarded or not taken seriously because of my gender. I work for a company that would never pay me less than a man for doing the same job. I have two beautiful children that I was lucky to experience no complications with, and that my health insurance paid the majority of the costs for.

But I am not every woman. Not even close.

I hope that my daughter is fortunate enough to have the same experiences that I have had. I hope that she is never discriminated against or pushed aside. But more than that, I hope she never has to question. I hope she grows up in a world in which she never feels like her rights are up for debate.

Please remember that the rights that we do have today were not always given to us. They were fought for. They were protested for. They were marched for.

Marching is not pointless. Protesting is not pointless. Equality, is not pointless.

 

 

Back in the Swing

I’ve started this blog three different times today, and I still have no direction. What I do have is spit up on my sweatpants, a slobbery baby on my lap, and one clean hand to type with while simultaneously using it to drink my luke-warm cup of coffee.

All of that makes it sound like I’m in a bad mood, doesn’t it? Well, my friends, that is misleading. It is snowing, Caroline is full of baby giggles, and I’m semi-watching Once Upon a Time which means I am understanding nothing, but catching up none the less.

When I started this blog my setup looked much differently. I would sit down with my coffee and breakfast, in a quiet house, at the table. I can’t even remember the last time I did anything at the table that wasn’t actually doing something for someone else. Less in the creating a service project kind of way and more in the feeding a baby and/or keeping markers from flying down into the livingroom kind of way.

Now, I have to make myself a mental note that I should blog today. It’s right next to my mental note that there is no more toilet paper in the upstairs bathroom. Which is less of a reminder and more of an aw shit I need to put toilet paper in there every time I walk by it. But it will get done eventually. After all of the more important things.

Just like this blog.

The important things just look a little different now too. They aren’t papers or reading or tests. They are cuddles and laughs and laundry.

My point is that life looks different now, and this blog will too. Bear with me while I find my voice again.

For now, just enjoy this picture and try to look at life the way that Caroline looks at a hamburger. I know I will.

 

hamburger

 

 

 

 

Book Review: My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni

mysistersgrave

An ex-sharp shooting chemistry teacher turned homicide detective investigates the death of her sister after remains are discovered that force her to question the innocence of the man who was convicted of the murder twenty years ago.

Sounds a little ridiculous, yeah? Well, for the most part it isn’t. Tracy Crosswhite is an intriguing character on her own, but I could have done without the wild west cowboy shooting history. It didn’t add much to the depth of her character, and seemed a bit silly. I think Dugoni was searching for a way to delve into the relationship between Tracy and her sister, Sarah, and needed a setting for the flashbacks. I get that. But I found the whole premise a bit ridiculous. The western shooting that is, not the actual plot. The plot was amazing!

With thrillers, it is always hard to do justice to the story in a review without giving away a bit too much. What I can say is, give it a chance past the first two chapters. Seriously, the western thing kind of calms down and it gets more intriguing. Like, exceptionally more intriguing.

The romance is not overdone. It’s believable and doesn’t detract from the story.

However, the best part of this story is obviously the mystery. The suspense that innately comes with a who-done-it kind of criminal thriller. It keeps you guessing while constantly making you question yourself. It has just enough twists to keep you hooked, while not becoming exhausting.

The last quarter of this novel was some of the best suspense I’ve ever read. It gives you that heart pumping, slightly claustrophobic, feeling in your chest. The pacing is so well done, that you should just plan to read at least the last quarter in one sitting. Seriously, carve out the time or else you will burn dinner and maybe lose a child somewhere. I clearly am not talking from experience. Probably.

There is a sequel to My Sister’s Grave called Her Last Breath, which is less of a sequel and more of a continuation of Tracy’s character, not of the first story arc. I’m only about 15% in, but I would already recommend reading My Sister’s Grave first, unless you want some spoilers. In which case I question your reading habits. But, to each their own.