The Light We Lost, by Jill Santopolo

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Happy Sunday bookish friends! Here’s a short and sweet review on a Sunday for you.

Have you recently felt like you can’t get into to a book? Or that you have lost your lust for reading? Well, readers, this book is definitely the one you need to pick up. Jill Santopolo has written a fast-paced, intoxicating story that will get you back into the reading game. The Light We Lost is a beautiful story about Lucy and Gabe who are brought together on September 11th, a day that everyone remembers. As their relationship flourishes, Gabe decides to take a job in the Middle East, and their relationship suddenly crashes and burns. But as time wears on the flame is still always flickering in the background. Lucy, over time, must decide whether she should move on or wait.

Love does that. It makes you feel infinite and invincible, like the whole world is open to you, anything is achievable, and each day will be filled with wonder. Maybe it’s the act of opening yourself up, letting someone else in— or maybe it’s the act of caring so deeply about another person that it expands your heart. 

The writing in this book is just so easy to read. It’s the type of book that each page just needs to keep turning. Each detail is so beautifully executed. If you are going away on vacation, take this book. The one part that really got me hooked was when she used of my favourite poems by E.E. Cummings.

Image result for e e cummings i love your body

 

Lastly, for all you bookworms out there, this book will have you writing down other titles that you will want to go read! There is even a “Lucy and Gabe Reading Guide” included in the back.

Until next time, happy reading!

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the Arrangement, by Sarah Dunn

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Okay, this one wasn’t my favourite… It’s been awhile since I’ve read a book I haven’t liked. And that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy this one, it actually brought up a lot questions and situations that made me squirm! It was kind of like a train wreck.

Here’s the premise: Lucy and Owen have been married long enough to have lived in New York City and moved to the suburbs, have an 8 year old autistic son, decide to get 19 chickens, and be involved in their communities. Long enough to fall into a comfortable place within their marriage. Then after a very drunken night with some friends, they discuss the rules that they would place within their relationship if they planned on having an open marriage. After a long day, and a lot of thinking about how she has lost herself, Lucy decides to propose to Owen that they should do this as a trial for 6 months. Owen agrees… and I bet you can guess where this story is going to.

This book had a great potential to have some really deep, dark feelings get examined, but I feel like it fell short. It lacked a depth that I was craving within this story of relationship. Albeit the story was super juicy, and that kept wanting to read right till the bitter end. For anyone looking for a fast, beach read… go pick this one up! It fits the bill completely.

Until next time, happy reading!!!

Out with March, in with April!

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Happy Easter! I’m going to do a double whammy with this post, as I don’t want to bombard your inboxes this long weekend. Here’s a little wrap up of the March instalment of My Happiness Project.

  • Stretch/Yoga: I was pretty excited get back to yoga. I’ve been working more, getting headaches, and something had to change in my daily routine that made my body feel less sore! So I went back to Salti Yoga, which is a local yoga studio to Peterborough, and I am in love with how it makes me feel. Often I go into a class with a lot of thoughts, and a twisted up body. As soon as I leave, I feel like a wringed out, clean sponge. It’s incredible, and I’m so glad I got back on the yoga train!
  • Drink more water: This was a small change, with a big pay-off. I bought a new water bottle, and some pure lemon juice, to motivate me to drink more. And I love it! I already drank a good amount of water everyday, but now I feel like such a small change has impacted my health in a big way. Less headaches… but more trips to the bathroom!!
  • Foam rolling: Okay… I failed here. I look at it everyday and think I should jump on it… better luck next time!

Okay! So now that we’ve wrapped up March, let’s move on to April.

April: Work, work, work, work, work!

Fun fact, I’m a procrastinator. In my home life I’m not as bad as my work life. I always get the job done on time, but I leave everything to the last minute. I am a small business owner, and I am the only employee, so being organized is something I have to be. Recently I’ve decided to grow this business, and I’ve realized I have to really work on being organized now.

  • Plan daily and weekly time for marketing, emails, and book work: I have a bad habit of forgetting that this takes time to get it done, so I end up cramming all these things into a short time period. And it really stresses me out! So here’s my solution, booking time for it!
  • Learn how to use spreadsheets better: Let’s just say I do not know my way around a spreadsheet, and some learning some simple ways to navigate around it would be great! Wish me luck.
  • Do it now! Every time I think “I can do it later”, I will do it now. Period.

Some work related books on my reading list for April:

Some non-work related books on my reading list for April:

 

One True Loves, by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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Sometimes you don’t realize that you are in a bit of a reading rut, until you pick up a book that just steals your heart. I had no idea who Taylor Jenkins Reid was until I read her beautiful book, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Then when I read Evelyn, I promptly followed TJR on Instagram, and kept my eyes peeled for books by her at my local bookstore.

One True Loves follows Emma Blair who married her high school boyfriend, Jesse. They built a life halfway across the country, based on travel and freelance journalism. When Jesse goes on a solo trip to Alaska before their one year anniversary, his helicopter goes missing. And Jesse is gone. Emma does her best to move on slowly, and each day it becomes easier for her to live again. Then she runs into Sam, an acquaintance from high school, and falls in love. When Sam and Emma become engaged, Emma gets a phone call that will change everything. It’s from her husband.

My Top Five Favourite Things from One True Loves:

  • Emma Blair (the main character) has got a booty, and an everyday girl type of body!!
  • Emma, and Taylor Jenkins Reid both love Leonardo DiCaprio. This is a girl after my heart.
  • The Blair family owns a bookshop. Enough said.
  • I learned when applying mascara, if your lashes clump, to use a safety pin to straighten them. Genius!
  • There’s a reference to a T-shirt that says, “Read a Mother F&#king Book”.

This book is great. It’s funny how many times I’ve said “I don’t do romance, or love stories!” Then I stumble upon a well written, funny, great love story, and regret that I say that. I just fell in love with the main character, Emma. She’s real, flawed, and so sweet. She’s an everyday girl whose been thrown into a situation that is almost impossible to understand what you would do until you have to make a decision like that.

If you need a book that has a storyline that just sucks you, but doesn’t feel too heavy, then this is the book for you! It’s a fast, fun, engaging read, and I would suggest picking it up.

Anywho, that’s all for today bookish friends. Happy reading!

Brother, by David Chariandy

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Brother was the latest book for our in real life book club. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to this meeting… but I did read the book! It’s just the worst when you don’t get a chance to talk about a book that gives you some big feelings?!? This book had me thinking about these characters all the time… it was intense and woven so tightly that you needed to find out how the story played out.

Brother is a coming of age story of two brothers, Michael and Francis, who live in Rouge Park, Scarborough. Their mother who works long hours, and goes to school in the evening, is exhausted but longs for a better life for her children than the one she had in Trinidad. Their father no longer existing in their life. The boys are as different as they are alike. With interests differing, but their struggles with identity, race, and fear bound them. When crime enters the Park and becomes the norm, Michael struggles as Francis grows further away from the family. This is a heartbreaking story of a family, who has a dark cloud of fear, and exhaustion within their neighbourhood.

But of course, you can’t ever really flee. You’ll forever run the risk of being spotted, if only for a second.

David Chariandy was awarded the Roger’s Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize for this book in 2017. Growing up he was a sci-fi fan, then discovered the works of Robertson Davies. Sharing a love for Davies made me want to learn more about him. He’s Canadian and originally grew up in Scarborough which was the setting for Brother.  I think that Scarborough is as much as a character in this novel as the rest of the cast in this novel. There were some rumours that this book was autobiographical, which intrigues me all the more!

Like I said earlier, there were some big feelings and big themes in this novel. The brothers relationship was one that made you nostalgic and want to call up your siblings. I felt like I knew the whole time what was going to happen, but I needed to read what and why it happened… and it was beautifully executed! I blew through this one in a couple days, and think that it’s a really important novel, especially this day in age to read. I also think that one day this would be GREAT required reading for High School English classes!!

Anywho… that’s all for today, and whether you are Canadian or not, go read this one!!

Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë

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Wuthering Heights is hailed as one of the greatest pieces of English Literature. It is also Emily Brontë’s first and last novel, as she died one year after it was published. I decided to FINALLY pick up this book as I’m trying to knock off some of the great classics off my TBR list. Two things you need to know: this classic is extremely readable, and it’s a ghosty-moody love story.

He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.

I may have mentioned once or twice about my deep love for Jane Eyre! Check out my review if you haven’t heard my ravings. But where my love originated for this novel is learning more about the Brontë family. They had a tumultuous upbringing, and family life, yet all three of the sisters wrote famous works of literature.

I’m not going to lie to you… this book is moody, up and down, and passionate! The landscape of the lonely Yorkshire moors is clearly painted, and matches the mood of the novel. Wuthering Heights is the story of an intense love between Catherine Earnshaw, and Heathcliff. When Heathcliff disappears for several years, Catherine marries someone else. Upon his return the violent love story continues, in which Heathcliff is forever seeking revenge and redemption.

I gave him my heart, and he took and pinched it to death; and flung it back to me. People feel with their hearts, Ellen, and since he has destroyed mine, I have not power to feel for him.

I enjoyed this novel, but what I will tell you is that it took me a little longer to read. I think that this is because so much happens just in one paragraph, so reading fast just didn’t work for me. The prose was just so beautiful, that if you missed one word you were missing something that could be so important. I am so glad that I decided to read this one, and love the idea of reading something that so many other writers have found inspiration in. I could go on and on about the deep complexities of Wuthering Heights… but I’m just going to hope you will go out and read it now.

That’s all for this one. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it if you have read it! Until next time, happy reading!

 

A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle

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It was a dark and stormy night. 

This is  the opening line to A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle, a book that is hailed to be one of the greatest books of all time… and soon to be on the big screen! I’m embarrassed to say that this was the first time I read A Wrinkle in Time. Can you believe I had only just heard about this book from Madeleine over at Top Shelf Text? She had hosted a Read-A-Long in preparation for the movie. So naturally, I jumped on board for the reading fun. If you want in on some of the conversation on this one check out her most recent Instagram post.

Here’s a quick synopsis: On this dark and stormy night, Meg Murry, her brother Charles Wallace wake up in the middle of the night. They decide to make a sandwich and a hot cocoa, when a stranger visitor appears at their door. This strange visitor, their friend Calvin, and the two siblings embark on a dangerous and wild journey to share the Murry children’s father.

There is a couple things you should know about this book before you decide whether or not you should read it:

  • It’s prolific, and I am possibly the only person who has never read it.
  • It falls in the Fantasy and Science Fiction genre.
  • It is an appropriate book for all ages of readers.
  • It’s the first part of L’Engle’s classic Time Quintet.

This book was pretty good. I think the themes are big, and there is a lot of content here for what could make an amazing movie… but I also felt like I couldn’t completely get into the story. I think it’s important to point out that maybe it was just my frame of mind going into the book. The thing that I really loved about this book were the quotes from famous works of literature, and also L’Engle’s writing was supreme.

Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You’re given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself.

So friends, that’s all I have to say about this one, but I am DYING to hear what your thoughts are on this book… I’m still pretty unsettled about it. And truth be told, it’s been a week since I finished it!!

Until next time, happy reading!