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I have to admit, upon starting a book, I have to be OK with the idea that I may actually never finish it. So far, my moral compass hasn’t shown any signs of sputtering out. To be honest, reading for pleasure is, well, not always a pleasure. I want to do it, I love to do it, but I can’t always do it. The culprit: my job. My job is to read. All day, I read. Sometimes I read so hard that my head actually hurts. That sounds so lame. But it’s true. So, sometimes taking a book for a joyride takes a backseat, especially books. But nevertheless, I make attempts. There are beach days, weekends by the pool, doctor’s appointments, etc. that make a good book come in handy.

I like the The Know-It-All so far; it’s like Jeopardy on crack with a sense of humor. A couple of years ago, I was walking through Barnes & Noble when I saw the cover of this book by A.J. Jacobs. I read the back cover and started laughing out loud, so I opened it up to read the first page. Again, a PDL — public display of laughter. I ran over to J huffing, “You have to hear this!” As we continued to walk around the store, I was laughing out loud and spitting half sentences out to J. Finally he said, “We should get that for my grandfather.” (It was Christmas.) So we did. And I think Herb liked it. He turned around and gave it to Aunt L. who then mailed it to me! The Circle of Books. I love it!

I’m in the Gs. I hope I’ll make it to the Zs soon.

The second book I’m in the middle of is The Carrot Principle. To be honest, I must have started this book out of desperation to want to read something else, and this was all I could find. It’s really not my usual pick for word fodder. I think someone gave it to J to read. Anywho, interesting, I guess, if you’re looking for that professional motivation-how to be a better manager-get your team spirit on type of read. I like it for the that’s-why-humans-do-what-they-do aspect.

Last but certainly not least (in fact, as I’m typing this, I can think of at least 2 other books I’m in the middle of), I’m almost done with Eats, Shoots & Leaves. Another book gifted to me, from one word nerd to another. The book is dedicated to punctuation (if the title didn’t make you laugh or scoff, this book probably isn’t for you). Yep, the colon, the comma (I’ll confess, I hate the Oxford comma, there I said it), the period, the history of them all.

Even though the author is from Across the Pond, I think it should be required reading for kids here in America.

So there it is, my dirty laundry of unfinished books.

Any good reads out there that I should get a jump on?

Could you retire at 38? After I read this blog post, I grabbed my Magic 8 Ball.  And the answer is, Reply hazy, try again. 😦 But, Yes, in my imaginary world. Sadly, that world hasn’t become a reality. The Powerball isn’t rolling my way, my bank account hasn’t afforded me a private island yet and I sit in a cube five days a week. I’m knee/hip/chest?-deep in a mortgage, car payment, credit card bills and two felines. It’s sooooo American of me, right?

But, then I hear a story like Billy and Akaisha’s. Or Amy Vanderhoof’s. Or Shayne and Shannon McIntyre’s. I admit, Jealous Jackie comes out. But, Inspired Irene triumphs. I ‘m amazed, hopeful. I mean, for real, Shayne and Shannon travel the world with a bag of surfboards and two kids.

Although it doesn’t look like I’ll be retiring at 38, the dream is alive and kicking me in the ass. If it were just the thought that counted – and not the money – then it’d be possible. Because I think about it everyday. Am I the only 30-year-old (whoa, I just typed 30!) that does research on island life, sailing, raising my 2 cats and a kid (maybe on that kid part; haven’t really figured that life aspect out yet) sans Facebook, iPhone and a 24/7 media barrage? I can’t wait to get out of debt, but it’s not in hopes of buying a Range Rover or upgrading to a platinum wedding ring. (Don’t get me wrong, I would looooove a platinum upgrade!) Instead, I’m opting for a way to retire … get out of the rat race … stop climbing stuff … I mean, what’s not to love about wanting a life that includes making margaritas at 2pm (WARNING: This activity can be dangerous!) and playing eye-spy the clouds at the beach. It’s all I’m asking for … is that too much? Come on, who’s coming with me!!??

Maybe there are more people my age that can imagine life without social media and smart phones? Maybe there aren’t. Maybe I’m loco. Maybe I love rice and beans, the smell of coconuts and the sight of a solid tan line against clear blue waters too much. Now, if I could just learn to like seafood …

Until then, though, I’m content with my debt and semi-private, 30-year financed CBS island with a hammock and a hottie 🙂

Oy.  My head is hurting.  There must be some heavy stuff in there.  Or maybe just annoying stuff.  Just stuff.  Stuff the likes of:

-growing up is weird.  

-when I die, I would like to have enough money to donate to public radio.  I heart NPR.

-I just threw away a pair of jeans that I really liked.  JP thinks I own far too many pairs of jeans.  I think he’s wrong.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy.  The lack of punctuation in contractions like “hadnt” and “cant” is slightly irksome, but understandably stylish.  (I just Googled this book, and apparently it will be a movie as well very soon…)

-I never thought I’d own a cat.  I mean, one that I really like.  

-for the past 2 years, my 4th of July holiday has not included any fireworks.  Tear, tear.

-sarcasm & humor is almost better than sweet & salty.  

-pianos are cool.  Too bad I got stuck with organ lessons as a kid.  I know, don’t ask.

In addition to trying to gain some blogger’s focus, I’m thinking I should get back to reading more.  I love to read…and as you can see from our bookshelf, reading interests run the gamut in the Pace household.  We’ve actually read those books on our shelf, too.  Well, ok, most of them – Steal This Urine Test I found that at a Goodwill store, and the cover made me laugh so hard that I had to own it (see for yourself here).  Some are in the process of being read – The Shipping News and In the Time of Madness.  Others are for reference – The St. Martin’s Handbook and What’s Your Poo Telling You?   

In college, we manage to make time to do all these required readings, and then it seems we fall off the book wagon as we get jobs and start families only to jump back on once we’ve retired.  Why is that?    

What’s on your bookshelf?

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