Saturday, October 22, 2016

Time to be grateful for female strength and wit...

It's the season of turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie and stress. Why do we let these supposed happiest times of the year become our most dreaded human interactions? Whether you look forward to the holidays with joyous abandon or a bottle of scotch and dread in your heart, we could all use some things and those things would be gratitude and humor. Those two things will get you through a hell of a lot kids, a HELL of a lot.

If we can see the humor in even the roughest times, if we can remember to be grateful for even the smallest of graces, than you are ahead of the game my dears, you are ahead by MILES. So I thought I'd share with you a new book I read and fell in love with, by a woman I admire and love the work of so deeply, I can only hope you find the joy in her words the way I have. She is a goddamn gift, and she embodies the gratitude and humor thing like nobody's business. You're going to love her. GGBC, I present our November book for 2016:

From Amazon:
In the span of four months in 2012, Tig Notaro was hospitalized for a debilitating intestinal disease called C. diff, her mother unexpectedly died, she went through a breakup, and then she was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer. Hit with this devastating barrage, Tig took her grief onstage. Days after receiving her cancer diagnosis, she broke new comedic ground, opening an unvarnished set with the words: “Good evening. Hello. I have cancer. How are you? Hi, how are you? Is everybody having a good time? I have cancer.” The set went viral instantly and was ultimately released as Tig’s sophomore album, Live, which sold one hundred thousand units in just six weeks and was later nominated for a Grammy.
Now, the wildly popular star takes stock of that no good, very bad year—a difficult yet astonishing period in which tragedy turned into absurdity and despair transformed into joy. An inspired combination of the deadpan silliness of her comedy and the open-hearted vulnerability that has emerged in the wake of that dire time, I’m Just a Person is a moving and often hilarious look at this very brave, very funny woman’s journey into the darkness and her thrilling return from it.

This is the book that will make you laugh out loud, will make you feel a whole lot of the feels, and appreciate the pain and love it took to write this book. I promise, you will leave Tig's writing feeling lighter, stronger and being grateful to have spent time in the pages of this woman's mind.

I hope that Thanksgiving is good to you my sweet Geeks, I am sure as hell grateful for each and every one of you. And I hope you'll be joining me for this read starting November 1st. We'll discuss starting the last Saturday of the month, and I hope I see you here, or on Goodreads, Twitter or Facebook. All the links are on the side of this blog. So I'll meet you in November, I'll be the one with the scotch, and a grateful heart. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Halloween Read 2016!

It's here! The favorite time of year for all thriller/horror fans. We can't wait to get our fill of movie marathons, and we are always on the lookout for the creepy movie or story we haven't heard, or to go back and read our favorite terror tale.

At GGBC, we always try and pick something that is creepy and a really exciting read, and this year this one was requested many times, so we are finally reading it.

Welcome to October, and our book for Halloween, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.

From Amazon:

First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a "haunting"; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

This is a great classic, and it will be easy to get a hold of just about anywhere. I think you will be glad you did. It's a don't miss for a scary story fan, and incredible to revisit if you have read it in the past.

So join me for the 2016 Halloween read, we start October 1st and end on Halloween. Are you scared of the dark? Baby, you better bring your flashlight. And LOTS of batteries. I'll see you there, I'll be the one with the black cat.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Falling for Books...

We're BACK!

I hope you had an amazing summer and you ate amazing foods and went amazing places and saw amazing sights. And I hope if all of those things were in your own backyard you had a summer like me and THAT IS AWESOME.

Now that our vacation/staycations are over, it is time to get down to the business we all want to get to. Reading some damn books.

I wanted something light, something fun, and something that will make you remember women can be the biggest badasses on the planet, and even badasses in the kitchen. We are powerful when we find our gifts baby, we are unstoppable then.

September 1st begins our read of our dream best friend and culinary angel, Julia Child. You can't learn about her and her life and not fall smitten and in awe of her tenacity. She was one powerful geek girl, and we are celebrating her as our first book back.

Ladies and Gentlegeeks, I give you, "My Life In France" by Julia Child.

This is an older release and you will have no trouble getting this one from the local library or even picking up a used copy very inexpensively. I suggest you do buy a copy, because once you read it, you'll want to keep it.

I am so glad we're back, getting ready to go on an adventure with our gal pal Julia, and remember that we all have a power within us that makes us grand, and unique in all the world.

We start the read September 1st and we will talk about it here, on Twitter at #GGBC and on our Facebook and Goodreads group on the last Saturday of the month. So grab your saucepan and your sense of adventure, and I'll see you there. I'll be the one in the apron wishing I had pearls. <3

Thursday, May 19, 2016

#Living Your Best Life?

You hear a lot about "living your best life ".  You see it on Instagram , on Pinterest and most annoyingly, as a hashtag. Most of the time you see this accompanied by photos of dream locations, perfectly decorated rooms and gorgeous meals in fancy restaurants. The perfect pair of jeans or 700 dollar boots.

This got me thinking. What about the rest of us? Are we not living our best lives because we aren't seeing the Grecian sunset or the perfectly plated meal? What if we are eating our frozen dinner in front of YouTube videos in our sweatpants?

Living your best life is not a Pinterest board. Maybe living YOUR best life is feeling good enough to take a shower today as the weight of depression lessens. Your best life is playing with your pets or your kids because today was a really good day in your chronic illness. You got to the store even though you were really anxious about it. You started those new meds. You did a chemo treatment, again. You dealt with that asshole at work without letting them rattle you. You went to the gym. Made a commitment. Walked away from a bad situation. Made the phone call. Started writing. Had time to read. Volunteered at the shelter. Said yes. Said no.

Living your best life is more than a hashtag, more than a material thing. It is you. It is doing something with courage or conviction or joy.  It is doing the very best you can the best way you know how. It is surviving another day. It is helping others. In every way big and small that you open your life up with brave steps or a loving act, you are living your best life. So don't compare someone's trip to the coast with your anxious trip to the store or trip to the shower. They all are beautiful. They all have the power to change your life, to make you stronger. Never forget you are constantly braving new adventures, whatever they may be, and I am so proud of you for forging ahead. Never stop going. Your best life is right now, hashtag or no. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

It's Hot for An Anniversary in May...

Five years. FIVE YEARS GUYS.

Geek Girls Book Club is off to kindergarten and I can hardly believe it. Our baby is growing up.

I cannot tell you how teary eyed, weepy proud it makes me that we are all still here, with new friends and old, celebrating dozens and dozens of books and shenanigans...still crazy after all these years, as Paul Simon would say:

It has been a wonderful, winding journey and it has changed my life and many of yours in little and miraculous ways. And I would love it if you wanted to share your GGBC story with us, here in the comments or on the Facebook or Goodreads group, or tweet me at @nikkisticks on Twitter. Like a little online scrapbook for us all to remember fondly as the baby photos fade. I love you guys, thank you for being you.

It also is ushering in our Summer Break! No scheduled books June, July or August, but there are so many amazing books coming out this summer, and so many great ones to catch up on from the GGBC book list, you won't be wordless for a minute!

But we do have a book for May that has me jumping up and damn down with excitement. You know my big three: Neil Gaiman, Richard Kadrey and Joe Hill. They are my trifecta of wonderful. And guess what? All 3 have new stuff coming out very soon. It was horrific to have to pick one for May, but please do check out the new books from Neil and Richard, they will sweep you off your feet with wonder. Richard Kadrey's The Everything BoxNeil Gaiman's The View From The Cheap Seats

So for our 5th anniversary, we are reading Joe Hill's "The Fireman". In stores May 17th.

This one will keep me up at night in the best possible way, and I am really hoping that you will all join me for another adventure with Mr. Hill, and share your thoughts about it the last Saturday of May. It is going to be one not to miss, so get on those library waiting lists early, don't say I didn't warn you. Joe is also going on a book tour, so be sure to check out if he'll be in your area, and give him a big GGBC thank you for being such a great supporter of ours. He's good people.

Richard Kadrey is also out on tour for his new book, so give him a big thanks too because he has been awesome to GGBC too. As has Mr. Gaiman. We are lucky, lucky book nerds guys.

So happy anniversary my loves, and enjoy this new book, I can't wait to discuss it with you, I'll be the one under my all powerful protective blanket, holding my flashlight in a vice grip. I hope your summer is BLISS, and check back with us to see what we're all reading all summer and share what you're up to in the world of books. We'll have SO MUCH to talk about when school's back in.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

If you want to sing out, sing out...

April showers are soon to be upon us, and I think this is the perfect time to read a book that is best known for the movie version of the story. It's quirky, touching, and surprisingly thought provoking. And what it has to say is just what we need to hear in the world right now. Love is everything. Find happiness. Let your freak flag fly my darlings.

So for the GGBC April 2016 book I give you:

                                         Harold and Maude

Nineteen-year-old Harold Chasen is obsessed with death. He fakes suicides to shock his self-obsessed mother, drives a hearse, and attends funerals of complete strangers. Seventy-nine-year-old Maude Chardin, on the other hand, adores life. She liberates trees from city sidewalks and transplants them to the forest, paints smiles on the faces of church statues, and “borrows” cars to remind their owners that life is fleeting— here today, gone tomorrow! A chance meeting between the two turns into a madcap, whirlwind romance, and Harold learns that life is worth living, and how to play the banjo.
(From Goodreads)

You will find you see a little of yourself in these characters, and maybe wishing you were a little more like them. This is a title that is easy to get a hold of at your local library or bookstore, and even for your e-reader. This story is going to be some spring cleaning for our winter weary minds, and I hope you love it.
We will chat about this book starting the last Saturday of April, and we are on Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter at #GGBC or @nikkisticks if you want to tweet me directly. All the links are in the sidebar of the blog. I really can't wait for us to read this one, so I'll see you the end of the month. I'll be the one with the banjo, liberating trees. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Happy Women's Day

These women...

I have a friend, who lost her husband after helping him through the ravages of a stroke. She remained loving and positive, even through her pain. Spreading her heart to others. She is Love personified.

I have a friend, who is an artist. She has fought past physical hardship and uncertainty to find her truth, to stand fully in who she is, to create with vision. She is Joyfulness herself.

I have a friend who is an actress. She took a leap of faith to entertain, to bring joy, to be what she is meant to be. She brings fearlessness with her in whatever she does. She is Confidence.

I have friends who are sisters. They not only care for all their family and friends without hesitation, but they live their dream of running a farm. All with working full time jobs and helping their dad through illness. Even in his loss, they are beacons of positive energy and who I want to be. They are Hope.

I have a friend who is a single mother. She raises 2 amazing girls and never wastes time on the negative. She fought through much so she could come out the other side making the world better for her girls and her community. She is Strength.

I have, unfortunately, friends who have fought, and are fighting cancer. Their grace and beauty remained untouched by disease. They used their journey to expand their hearts, and the hearts of those around them. They are Warriors.

I have a sister, who never lets her dreams slip away. She is constantly creating in words, in art, in her own way, a life that is unique and her own. She never lets fear stop her, she keeps her life turned toward the light. She is Inspiration.

I have a daughter, who at a young age has achieved more than many ever will. It's not just her amazing grades and achievements as a child, but as an adult, she has made a life to be proud of. She has a job she loves and friends who support her. She never, ever gives up. She makes things happen. She is Determination.

I have a mother, diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in her early 30's. It has physically crippled nearly every joint, causing daily, unforgiving pain. After more than 20 surgeries, she still walks on her own two feet. Has volunteered to make her community better, has raised 2 children and been married joyfully for almost 46 years. My first teacher of grace, of always helping others, and never letting the negative take the brilliant shine off the positive. She is Grace incarnate.

I am blessed, for all these women, and many more I could name. Thank you for giving me your lessons. Thank you for giving me your love. Thank you for making my heart better for knowing you.