quick lit – next page, please {april 2021}

As I said in my Keeping Me Sane post, April was a very challenging month for me. So, my reading took a dive. I’m not that upset about it; last month I read 17 books and that was way too many, I think.  This month, I read five, which historically, is closer to my norm.

Read

  • Writer & Lovers by Lily King. If I’m remembering correctly, Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy said that this book had one of the best endings that she has ever seen. I have to agree.  It had a very very slow start but that ending? It was just what I needed.
  • Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott. This was a reread for me in anticipation of my participating live in the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club discussion of the work. The first time I read it was in 2012. This is a classic for a reason! If it was possible, I got more out of this reading than I did the first time I read it. This was a great flight for Writers & Lovers.
  • Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig. I have gushed here about Haig’s forthcoming release The Comfort Book. This was in the similar vein.  I enjoyed it but I LOVED The Comfort Book. Buy it, read it, if you’re feeling the need for a smidgen of comfort.
  • More Myself: A Journey by Alicia Keys. I enjoyed this memoir a lot more than I initially thought I would. And it was a nice unexpected flight pick with my next read.
  • The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton. This book has gotten a lot of press right out of the gate and I can see why. It’s very similar to Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, but with a singer of color and the implications/reverberations of that. As I was reading, I unfairly, was comparing it to Daisy Jones and thus was a smidge disappointed.  The books are not the same. I do own a physical copy and intend to reread at some point now that the comparison game is over.

Currently Reading

I’m linking up with Anne’s Quick Lit post. If you are here because of her, thank you. 

Let me know what you’re reading in the comments below.

enjoy life…

what i’m into – keeping me sane {april 2021}

What I first started these What I’m Into style post, I imagined them as a fun way to recap the previous month and as a way to make sure that I did something during the month that I would be excited to share with you – a type of external accountability that, as an Obliger, is a big part of my accomplishing anything that I want to do.

Well, ya’ll, April was challenging.  I had so much going on. I participated in a Live Discussion of the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club’s flight pick, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.  Some of you are new here because of that conversation.  Welcome! 

I completed some admin-type tasks that have been hanging on for months:  finally, raking the leaves from fall 2020, getting the car service and scheduling a repair, completing the annual OBGYN appointment (I HATE those), rescheduling of dental appointment (that’s this week – wish me luck!), starting my Spring Cleaning (two rooms are done) which will probably last through Spring and into the Summer. I am pretty consistent with vacuuming and dusting but wiping down the baseboards, cleaning the blinds and the ceiling fans are not a regular part of that routine and thus are productions when they need to happen.  I’m hoping to get them cleaned and then add maintenance cleaning throughout the year.   

But I am really pleased with the steps that I took this month to stay sane in the midst of everything. I exercised regularly, an absolute must-do for me. I started a meditation practice of sitting in silence for 10-minutes per day which is fast becoming my favorite 10 minutes of the day.

I journaled about what and how I was actually feeling. As a writer, I’m hesitant to even confess this, but my journal has always been a sanitized version of my thoughts and feelings. It’s been more of diary, a recap of the day or a planning tool. I have never used it as a way to process my emotions in a healthy and positive way. Well, that changed this month. I made myself right my truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and I have written and cried through so many pages. It is hard and I have to constantly ask myself as I am writing is “is this how I really feel?” because it’s so easy to run from the feelings and discuss the to do’s of the day. But it’s very cathartic and I am resolved to do it from now on.

I took a month-long break from Instagram. Instagram is my fav social media platform and for the first week, I missed it terribly. But by the end of week two, I realized how much time it’s been taking up.  I have used the last couple of weeks to consider the value that Instagram brings to my life and ways to make sure that I am getting the positives (interaction and connection) without so much of the negative (mindless scrolling).

And finally, the thing I am most proud of this month: I am determined to create memories for the Buddy Man (see my snow-day post here) so we surprised him and told him that we were going to do something that he had never done before. We took him strawberry picking. I have only been once before in my life and while the strawberries weren’t as sweet as I would have liked, the Buddy loved it and wants to do more things that he’s never done before. Ideas welcomed, ya’ll.

So what about you? What’s been keeping you sane in April? Tell us in the comments below and/or link to your own recap posts. We will do this again on Friday, June 4.

…enjoy life.

quick lit – next page, please {march 2021}

Read

  • Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers, the third book in The Wayfarers’ Series. I may have even liked this one the best of all three but I’m not sure.  It’s definitely tied with the second book which I also read this month.
  • Address Unknown by Katherine Kressman Taylor. WOW! This read is only about 76 pages (including the Afterword) and was initially published in 1938.  It’s releasing again in June. Everyone should read this book! Thanks to Ecco for the advanced reader’s copy.
  • How to Be Fine by Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer.  I bought this book when they were featured on The Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Stay at Home Book Tour last year.  The premise is that Greenberg and Meinzer spent a number of years, living by the premise of 50 self-help books, a great number of which I have read. My take-away? It’s time to stop reading and purchasing so many self-help books and put the ones that I have loved into action.
  • A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow. This is a novella by one of my must-read authors. I love how Harrow examines the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty and reimagines it in an interesting way.  I also love how I can tell that she has done her research while it’s not academic at all. Spindle releases October 5.  Thanks to Tordotcom and Netgalley for the Advanced Reader’s Copy. I have pre-ordered.
  • The Comfort Book by Matt Haig. My second 5-star read of the year. I love how comforting this book is. I highlighted and annotated this advanced reader’s copy so much. And who couldn’t use a comfort book this year? I have preordered this one so that I can dip in and out of it whenever I wanto to. Thanks to the Penguin Life and Netgalley for the Advanced Reader’s Copy.
  • Deep Work by Cal Newport. This was on my Unread Shelf taunting me so I finally buckled down and finished it.  Interesting insights that I hope I can implement in doing my work.
  • Binti by Nnedi Okorafor. This is a sci-fi/fantasy. I’m still confused sometimes by these two genre: which is which? Can they be combined?  Binti was a novella. Other readers have really enjoyed this; I was confused by what was happening.
  • The Artist’s Journey by Steven Pressfield. Another volume taunting me on my Unread Shelf.  I enjoyed Pressfield’s Do the Work and The War of Art more.
  • Professional Troublemaker: The Fear Fighter Manual by Luvvie Ajayi Jones. This is one of those self-help books that I was referring to earlier.  A different take on something that I’ve read a lot about. Jones has a different style and vibe which I am sure will appeal to some. I am sure that this will be helpful to a lot of people. Thanks to Penguin Life and Netgalley for the advanced copy even though I read it after it was released. Oh well!
  • Running Down a Dream: Your Road Map to Winning Creative Battles by Tim Grahl. Another one of those self-helps.  Not sure what this is saying about me. LOL.
  • The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner. This was my Book of the Month selection for March.  I got it because it seemed to have everything I like in a novel: two storylines (one historical; one contemporary) that come together. It was a book about a want-to-be academic/researcher.  It was about a woman coming into her own.  I wasn’t interested in the contemporary storyline; I didn’t care what happened.  It probably was my mood, not the author’s skill.
  • A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers. This is the second book in The Wayfarers’ Series. I’m really enjoying this series.
  • Intimations: Six Essays by Zadie Smith. Don’t normally read essays but these were written during the early months of quarantine.  Wasn’t what I was expecting.
  • The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey. Another volume that was taunting me from my Unread Shelf.  It was weird.  I think it’s going to be a movie; I will watch it and will probably enjoy it more than the book.
  • The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. This self-help book is one that I really enjoyed and marked it up.  I was not unfamiliar with the concepts having already read some of Brown’s later work but I’m happy to have it in my library to refer to later.
  • Mastering the Art of French Eating: Lessons in Food and Love from a Year in Paris by Ann Mah. This was December’s Modern Mrs. Darcy [MMD] Book Club pick.  I finally finished listening to it on audio. Thank goodness I did; reading all those French words wasn’t working out to well for this American.
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. This was my favorite book for my English major studies and it was the MMD Book Club pick for March.  I was afraid that it was going to hold up in my estimation, 20 years later. It did.  It’s still amazing.

Currently Reading

  • Writers & Lovers by Lily King.  This is the MMD Book Club pick for the month of April.  I’m enjoying the peek into a writer’s life although it is a bit too close to real life right now. I’m still in my fantasy/sci-fi mood. Thus, my other currently reading…
  • Troy by Stephen Fry.  The only reason I know about this book is because Libro.fm offered it to me as an advanced listener’s copy.  Thanks Libro.fm. I have always been fascinated with the story of Troy since my college World Lit class. Fry is providing the backstory in a non-threatening way. It’s academic but delightfully so. He even tells you not to try to remember everything he’s telling you.  I love it and definitely enjoying being carried away to a fantasy world. It releases on June 22.

I’m linking up with Anne’s Quick Lit post. If you are here because of her, thank you. 

Let me know what you’re reading in the comments below.

enjoy life…