Hey there, everyone. It’s been a minute, hasn’t it? We’ve spent the past few months house hunting, buying, moving, and organizing, in between work and several trips (more on those in upcoming posts), so this spring and beginning of summer has been one big blur. I keep reaching out to grab a hold of time and let each day last a teensy bit longer, but it always evades my grasp.
Now that the joys of Christmas and the sparkle of a New Year have dulled, we have entered the heart of winter…and flu season. As I currently type this, I am curled up on my couch, littered with Kleenex and cough drop wrappings. Sounds like a glamorous Instagram moment, right?
(These are my Alaska and North Dakota picks for my Make America Read Again challenge – to read the full list of books this year, click here.)
January certainly started out with a wintry bang, didn’t it? Bomb cyclones and government shut downs aside, it’s been a rather lovely start to 2018 in our household. Despite a relatively harried holiday and work schedule, C and I managed a few days of rest and recovery…and, of course, reading. We both had been feeling more than slightly burnt out with work and routine, which is honestly why I haven’t been updating this little blog of mine lately. We are used to having the time on weekends to travel and explore, but now that Charles is becoming more involved in his firm that means a whole lot of weekend work for him (and weekend boredom for me). On a non-work related note, I was also getting SUPER burnt out from reading all of the American lit for this year’s reading project…although I do love me some American bravado, in my heart I will always choose Brit or French lit as my true love.
But after planning a couple of exciting adventures together for the spring (more on those in a few weeks) and me taking a reading break with some strategic Netflix binges of “The Crown” and “The Great British Baking Show,” we’re feeling energized and motivated for this year.
(These are my Virginia and Kansas picks for my Make America Read Again challenge – to read the full list of books this year, click here.)
Winter is coming, y’all. I am currently wrapped up in my late grandmother’s crochet blanket she made many moons ago, my 90’s style Meg Ryan turtle neck, leggings, and fuzzy Halloween-themed socks keeping me warm in this 29 degree wind chill. The best part about living in Atlanta? These cold spells are SHORT – instead of the six months of dreary winter, we get little hints and peeks of chill and then return to our normal 70-degree afternoons.
The only sad part about this cozy situation is that I didn’t get to spend all weekend curled up with my piles of books. I had two days of Continuing ed classes, tickets to this month’s musical at the Fox Theater (not complaining about this one at all, especially as the husband is finally back from all his work travels so he could join me), and an overflowing list of errands to run. It was a wonderful weekend, if a bit busier than I would’ve liked on this frigid weekend. Still, I managed to squeeze in some precious time in my book nook. Round two of my Halloween-themed reads cuts rather close to home and explains why I love podcasts like My Favorite Murder and shows like 60 Minutes: nonfiction crime.
(Psst, these are my Connecticut and Rhode Island picks for my Make America Read Again challenge – to read the full list of books this year, click here.)
The heat wave FINALLY broke here in Atlanta (as the handmaids would say, “Praise be”) and I’m embracing my favorite season of the year with ALL THE THINGS. We’ve got baby pumpkins on our coffee table, butternut squash soup is on repeat for our weekly meal plans, and I’m planning a Nora Ephron movie marathon this weekend and a day of leaf-chasing in the mountains.
…But of course, let’s not forget the best part of this season: FALL BOOKS.
October is especially near and dear to me as it is the season of tricks (and treats, because I totally didn’t make it all the way through Whole30…but can you seriously blame me when all the best candy is out in full force right now?!?). I absolutely LOVE mystery books and thrillers. Though I have a bit too much of an active imagination to read true “horror” novels — I avoid books with crazy amounts of gore, especially this month as my husband has had to travel for work for most of October and Lord knows I can’t sleep with all my house lights on for the entire month — I DO enjoy a good page turner or who-dun-it novel. I even wrote my senior thesis on gender issues in the novel Dracula.
I also REALLY love a good book about witches. A couple of weeks ago, I realized I actually had several “witchy” reads on my Make America Read Again list, as well as some mysteries and thrillers. And they all happened to be set in New England, so it’s a perfect time for me to read books set here as this is the time of year when I truly miss my days as a Boston girl. To get us in the holiday spirit, I’ll be having a couple of posts about these books – first up, lets talk about all that hocus pocus.
Is it weird I occasionally love a sad story? I used to hesitate recommending books that left a tear in my eye, thinking something must be inherently wrong with me if I sometimes enjoyed a drama or tragedy that pulled on my heartstrings.
However, over the past few years I’ve realized that these types of stories serve as a catharsis – something for me to fix my emotions on and connect with in a deep way, similar to a moving piece of art or a compelling film. Can you think of a better feeling than being completely immersed in a character’s story, whether it’s happy or sad? Although I love comedic and light hearted stories just as much, often they don’t move me or motivate me as much as stories with gravitas do. Thus, sad stories continue to reign my reading stacks!
This summer I ran through a series of serious-minded stories, and most of them were fantastic reads. Here are a few I recommmend (have your Kleenex handy):
I realized this weekend that I am incredibly behind on my “Make America Read Again” posts. I have read for about 25 states, yet haven’t reviewed most of them. Mea culpa, y’all! Balancing work and play isn’t always easy, especially when you’re spending the month of October on the whole30 diet and your whole life is meal prep and clean up and label reading…but that’s for another post. Let me start to catch up by reviewing two more Mid-west state books for Ohio and Illinois!