Goals for People Who Hate Making Goals (Namely, Me)

 This quote pretty much sums up my relationship with goals of any sort—work-related, personal, deadlines, resolutions, all of it. I’ve never been good with them; I’ve always seen them more as loose guidelines that don’t necessarily have to be followed than hard-and-fast rules for how and when something needs to get done. At least, that was how I was in my younger years. The older I get, the more respect I have for goals and deadlines. Not respect meaning I revere them, just that I understand why they’re sometimes necessary and can force myself to meet them when I have to. Which is more than … Continue reading Goals for People Who Hate Making Goals (Namely, Me)

Literary Karma (the good kind)

I’ve read a lot of books about cancer lately, and two of my favorites are When Breath Becomes Air and The Bright Hour. Both memoirs were published after the authors died, both authors left spouses behind. Those widowed spouses? They just made public the fact that two years later, they are now in love. It is the sweetest story. Here’s the piece in the Washington Post. Continue reading Literary Karma (the good kind)

365 Days of Memories

I’ve tried to keep a diary my whole life. I have boxes and boxes of notebooks in my closet to prove it, dating as far back as grade school. None of them more than a quarter full. I start out strong and then drop off quickly. Maybe ten or twelve entries. But not 2017. 2017 is the first time I’ve ever successfully started and kept a daily diary for an entire year. I’m so proud of it I could throw up. I knew last year was going to be different and that helped motivate me. My husband was diagnosed with … Continue reading 365 Days of Memories

Top Seven Books Elise Read (and/or Listened to) in 2017

Because ten reviews was just too damn long.  As we already know, I don’t keep up with the latest books. Hence my reading list this year has been all over the map, a mishmash of older and newer titles in genres from memoirs to YA LGBT fantasy/sci fi (it’s a thing, and I love it). In fact memoirs were what I seemed to have read the most of, and that’s great because it was my goal for the year to start reading memoirs, a genre I never explored before.  That said, here’s my list, in no particular order, accompanied by … Continue reading Top Seven Books Elise Read (and/or Listened to) in 2017

My 2018 Reading Goals

This time of year I am obsessed with goals. Personal, professional, you name it. It really brings out the Type A in my personality, not something I’m overly proud of, but it makes me more productive so I don’t try to curtail it. Dreaming up and writing out these goals satisfies an itch way down in my soul. Since this is The Common Place, let me tell you about my reading goals. Read all of Sherman Alexie’s novels: This is atonement for refusing to read anything from him in the past. As I mentioned in my last post, I have a … Continue reading My 2018 Reading Goals

Vic’s 2017 Top Ten Books

Dah, dah, dah, dah!! Here is it, my annual list of the top ten best books I read this year. Not all of these were published in 2017, but they all made my year a little brighter. As I look it over there are two takeaways for me. First, I was surprised I liked a fair number of these because they aren’t genres or descriptions I would normally gravitate to. This is a good push to more-than-occasionally dip my toe outside of my reading comfort zone. And second, if you asked me whether I preferred fiction to non-fiction, ten times … Continue reading Vic’s 2017 Top Ten Books