A New Vegan

No, this isn’t the title of a book I’ve just read. It’s actually my new title. Yes, that’s right. I’m a vegan. A dietary vegan only. I’m keeping my leather coat.

Why, you might ask? Well, for those of you who actually know me, you know that my husband and I have been struggling with infertility for a while now. Thirty-one months to be precise. (I can hear you thinking now….She thinks eating vegan will help her get pregnant? She needs to go back to biology class!) We’ve tried fertility monitors, rounds of drugs, tests, in-office procedures, and the only thing we have to show for it is a pile of medical bills. I have no idea why my body doesn’t work. The only other thing my physician could do, before referring me to a specialist, was exploratory surgery. And that’s not something I’m eager to try. So now I’ve been referred to a specialist, and I’m still waiting for that office to set up an appointment.

The past few months have been very difficult. It seems like pregnant women or women with small children surround me. It is very difficult for me to even see a pregnant woman. I wonder how it’s even possible that someone could be pregnant. That’s my problem, though, not theirs. I guess one solution would be to quit my job and get on Medicaid. Those women seem to be extremely fertile. Anyway, not a good solution. I guess I’ll wait and see what my new physician recommends.

So in the meantime, I’m trying to be more healthy. Maybe if my body were in better condition and more healthy, it would work. Hence, the reason I finally made the step to be a dietary vegan. It’s something I’d been thinking about anyway and it seemed like the right time to go ahead and give it a try. Day 1 of this new me was March 17th, a week ago. That’s right. I haven’t had cheese, milk, or meat in a week. And I actually feel better physically. Of course, my husband wondered if this was more psychological than physical. Maybe. Time will tell.

So for anyone who regularly checks in here, consider this a warning. I’m reading vegan cookbooks in bed at night as well as other more health focused books. Most likely, I’ll be sharing some of those books here on the blog. For now, I’m getting back to my breakfast of hot tea, fruit, and a bagel with Tofutti “cream cheese” spread. Yum.

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Across the Universe

“A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.”

I recently discovered Across the Universe, a debut young adult novel by Beth Revis. And with the blurb about this book and its gorgeous cover, how could I resist? Within the first chapter, the author was playing on my emotions with such vivid description of the freezing process and how Amy was leaving her boyfriend, friends, her school, and everything she’s ever known or loved behind for the unknown. Her parents are crucial to Project Noah’s Ark, a colonization attempt on a new planet, but Amy is labeled as “nonessential cargo.”

When she is unplugged 50 years before the spaceship is scheduled to land, she is seen as a freak by nearly everyone. Her white skin and red hair draw much attention from the monoethnic people of the ship. It also draws attention from Elder, the 16-year-old future leader of the ship. Amy is forced to deal with the fact that she may never see her parents, having to live her entire life on board the ship. She is also concerned for their safety, as there is a murderer on board the ship who is unplugging other frozens and leaving them to die. But she does manage to find a friend or two.

I enjoyed how the point of view alternated between Amy and Elder. I got more out of the story hearing it from each of their perspectives, but nothing was given away either. The book was a very quick read, I read all of it in a single day. It kept my attention and at the end, I desperately wanted to know what happens next. Thank goodness there are two more books in this series, (which are yet to be released). And the fact that this was a debut novel didn’t hurt either. New authors finding success is definitely exciting.

Another Book Tour

Last year, my cousin, Joe, and I traveled to Lexington, Kentucky to attend a reading and signing event with Patrick Rothfuss. It was fun and exciting and I got to get my book signed! So, when Pat announced on his blog that he was coming back to Lexington on his book tour this year, of course I had to go!

The event this year was much bigger. Last year, only about 150 people were in attendance, (which Pat said was his largest group at that point), but this year, I’d guess there were closer to 500 people. Standing room only. But everyone was very curteous and mannerly. About 30 minutes before the starting time, Pat actually came out to sign books for those with small children, or those people who had driven over 2 hours to be there. I thought that was very considerate, especially since I was a bit over that 2 hour mark and was one of the first 10 people in line! Joe and I stood on the upper level and looked down over the railing. Here’a a picture of the crowd, but the camera on my phone couldn’t zoom out enough to capture the entire audience.

The question and answer session lasted quite a while and Pat talked about his first novel he wrote in high school, his son Oot, different gifts he’s received from fans, etc. He even sang a song for us! I Crush Everything, by Jonathan Coulten, is a beautiful song about a giant squid who longs to have love in his life, but the difficulty is literally that he is so large that he crushes everything. Pat also read a humor column that he’d written back in college, showing how he proved that a guinea pig was actually a fish, therefore getting to keep it as a pet in his dorm room.

Overall, it was a very fun evening and hopefully, Pat will come back to Lexington with his future releases.

The Wise Man’s Fear

The eagerly anticipated second book of the Kingkiller Chronicles was released on March 1st. The Wise Man’s Fear, by fantasy superstar Patrick Rothfuss was just as amazing as his first book, The Name of the Wind.

I do have to admit that, like the nerd I am, I re-read the first book (again) so that I might be able to get the full flavor and savor the entire story. Immediately, I was immersed in Kvothe’s story. The second book picks up immediately where the first book left off. It is morning in the Waystone Inn, and Kvothe sits down to continue telling his story to Chronicler and Bast.

The story begins back at the University, but shortly after beginning, Kvothe is forced to leave. He travels a bit, hoping to find a patron, but what he hopes for is not exactly what he finds. He is later sent on a mission, and we are introduced to an Adem mercenary, one of the companions on this mission. Due to meeting this man, Kvothe travels with him back to his home and hopes to learn the ways of the Adem. He is seen as a barbarian, and many do not want their secrets and ways to be known to one such as him. Kvothe’s travels also take him into the Fae Realm, lured there by a Fae that no man has ever before escaped. Of course, he continues his search for information about the Chandrian throughout the book as well.

In The Wise Man’s Fear, Kvothe truly becomes a man. The character development was amazing, with not a single word being wasted. All of Pat’s writing contributed to the development of the different cultures, the relationships, and the events that shaped the man Kvothe is becoming. Mystery, intrigue, murder attempts, love, conspiracy….all the elements of a fantastic story are present.

This is definitely the best book I have read in a long time. Pat recently made a statment about Brandon Sanderson’s latest book,The Way of Kings. I think it can definitely be used to describe The Wise Man’s Fear as well. “I loved this book. What else is there to say?”