Witchy New England Reads

Witchy New England Reads

hocuspocus

(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.

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.

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5 Books That’ll Make You Cry (in a Good Way)

5 Books That’ll Make You Cry (in a Good Way)

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):

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Midwest Reads – “Little Fires Everywhere” and “The Nix”

Midwest Reads – “Little Fires Everywhere” and “The Nix”

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!

 

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5. Ivy League Issues in Massachusetts

5. Ivy League Issues in Massachusetts

(Psst, this book review is my Massachusetts pick for my Make America Read Again challenge. to read the full list of books this year, click here.)

For those of you who don’t know, my husband is a legit super genius patent lawyer extraordinaire. Not that I am biased or anything.

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Charles’ law school graduation

He and I have gone to school together since we were in middle school, and he has always aced every test, paper, quiz, and presentation. He was one of two people in our graduating college class to have a perfect 4.0, and the only one in his major (Chemistry) to accomplish this GPA, considered one of the most difficult programs in the country.  He broke the record for the highest Organic Chemistry test scores from our school and won the adoration of our professor (who would write notes on his test like, “You have an incredible future in Chemistry”, smiley face included), and he had only taken that class FOR FUN with me, while I was forced to take it for my pre-med curriculum.

PS: I impressed exactly no one with my Orgo grade, but I got really good at doodling the chemical structure for TNT over and over.

So when he got accepted into Harvard for the Organic Chemistry PhD programs, no one was surprised.  What we were surprised to discover, however, was the incredibly toxic and manipulative environment of the department. That’s why this book, Chemistry, by Weike Wang, resonated so deeply with me.

 

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Beach Reads for Memorial Day Weekend

Beach Reads for Memorial Day Weekend

Y’all, this upcoming holiday weekend marks the official start to BEACH SEASON!!! Summer is seriously my favorite time of year, and now that I’m finally living in the South again I am fully basking in the sweltering hot afternoons and blazing sun (with my liberal application of sunscreen, of course). Atlanta has been experiencing summer weather for over a month now, and I’ve got no complaints with keeping my car windows and sunroof open. Though my fellow commuters might, as they’ve had to hear my off-key rendition of the Hamilton songs as we all sit in gridlocked traffic.

Though perhaps not everyone is hitting the sand this upcoming long weekend, we can all benefit from some R and R – and by that I mean Reading and more Reading.

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From Page to Screen: What to Watch (and Skip) this Summer

From Page to Screen: What to Watch (and Skip) this Summer

Although I tend to choose my Kindle over my remote control, I still appreciate the fact that I am living during the Golden Age of Television. I am always looking out for the latest books-turned-movies or television series, and this year an entire treasure trove of stories are being released on HBO, Netflix, and, as always, at the movie theater.  Here are my thoughts on the shows and movies that have recently been released or are about to come out:

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The Don Quixote of Louisiana

The Don Quixote of Louisiana

I have a goal to read a book set in each state of America in one year. Click here for the full list. 

I don’t know about y’all, but I have really been lovin’ this spring weather lately.  After several years of living in almost continuous gray weather, coming back south where everything starts blooming the first week of April has been quite the upgrade. Charlie boy and I spent the Easter weekend in Savannah, where we explored historic houses, ate way too many carbs, and of course, whiled away an afternoon reading on the sun-dappled grass of Forsyth Park.

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