I hope you are all keeping well. I can’t even believe that we are approaching mid-August. This past year has just flown by, and my Gramma has always said that it just continues to get faster and faster every year.
I recently had a birthday, which means I’m now 33. It’s crazy to think that I am here now, but this turbulent year has just brought some positive realizations. I made a shorter IG post about this, but I’m going to share an extended version here. I hope it encourages you to reflect on your year so far, and what it’s brought for you! Here they are:
- To slow down, and be more engaged. Conversations, playing and learning with my kids, and during a meal.
- It’s shown me that it’s okay to be imperfect, and non-striving. Right now is what’s important for now.
- To hug long and hard, because hugging may not always be a given.
- That I can be a mother, but also run fast. It’s okay to still want my own thing.
- I have grey hair (thanks covid), and big hats, and skin cream are key.
- That Fleetwood Mac can fix anybody’s bad mood.
- Daily chocolate breaks are a must.
What I’ve Been Reading Lately:
Beach Read, by Emily Henry. (3 stars). This book is exactly the title. A beach read. I had kept hearing it had a really sweet plot, but also had some depth… I just thought it actually really lacked depth. A quick synopsis: When January, a best-selling romance writer, retreats to her recently passed father’s lake house to break her writer’s block, she finds herself right next door to her school rival, and literary fiction author, Augustus Everett. These two banter back and forth, and then make a bet to switch genres, and try to write a best seller. This book has a cute premise, but like I said, I was just hoping that it would be a little deeper.
Hamnet & Judith, by Maggie O’Farrell. (5 stars). OMG, this book!!!!!!!!! I cannot even begin to grasp the amount of emotional stress I was put under while reading this book. I just LOVED it. It is one of my favourites that has been published this year. It’s the fictional account of Shakespeare’s son, Hamnet, and how his young life was cut short. It’s mostly told from Shakespeares wife’s perspective, who I think is just a badass witchy mom. She was the one who nurtured and held the family together in the country, while Shakespeare was writing, (philandering), and performing in London. I actually don’t even think O’Farrell even mentions Shakespeare’s name in this novel, which I think was brilliant. These types of stories in which we get a typically background character in history, just thrown into the forefront, and seeing their perspective of history are just amazing! It gave me all the The Book of Longings and Circe vibes. Highly recommend. And now I will be reading her whole catalogue of books!
The Night Portrait, by Laura Morelli. (4 stars). I was sent this book from Harper Collins as an ARC, and was really intrigued about the plot. (It’s publishing date is set for Sept. 2020). Essentially you have two stories lines that eventually meet up with each other. You are thrusted back and forth between the 1400’s when Leonardo Da Vinci has been hired to paint the Duke of Milan’s lover, and then in WWII following a German art expert, and the Monument Men. They are bound by a painting called Lady with an Ermine. Anyways, Laura Morelli has a PhD in art history, so her author’s note states that she had tried to keep everything as close to the true events in history… So I really loved learning about this part of history. It’s absolutely mind-boggling how much art had been procured by the Germans during WWII, and Da Vinci’s storyline was also quite compelling! I had no idea he was a vegetarian. This is perfect for people who love historical fiction.
Roar, by Stacy T. Sims. (4.5 stars). This book is basically essential reading for active women. I have finished reading it, but will probably never finish re-reading it. Her motto is “Women are not small men”, and preaches that we have to stop comparing ourselves to what works for them. I really loved her approach, and have implemented MANY of her suggestions that are really just small tweaks to my diet and exercise regime. She even talks about syncing food/exercise with your cycles/menopause/pregnancy… which I found fascinating! Women are so hormone driven that this only makes sense. I also love that she preaches eating well, and plentiful. Lots of active women deprive themselves of nutrients, but our bodies need fuel!
Home Before Dark, by Riley Sager. (4 stars). I really loved this book, and just couldn’t put it down. It was a Rebecca meets Stephen King mash up… it serves up a very descriptive setting, with those big, creepy house vibes. This is basically a ghost story. After the death of her father, Maggie is left the house that her family had fled from 25 years earlier because they believed it was haunted. Maggie’s father actually wrote a best-selling true crime novel about their experience in the house, and Maggie has no recollection of their time spent there… other than his book. When she returns she has full intentions to renovate and sell it, but she starts to dig into the truth of her family, and the house’s dark past. It’s really good, and I really loved the nod to classic thriller tropes.
That’s all for today, happy reading!