Culture

Books I Read January

How are we already talking about books I read in January 2021? How is it already 2021? Time is going by so fast these days, my dears, and while the part of me who wants to hug people is totally okay with that, the part of me that needs to somehow complete a research project by April is less so. Along those lines, I was really afraid that I would not have any books to talk about this month. As evidenced by the stressed out side of myself, school is really ramping up in my second last semester so I have lots of work to do and lots of Freire to read. Maybe by the end of this semester, I’ll finally be able to explain to people what praxis means.

But, like we recently discussed, when life is heavy and when life is light a girl needs to take some time for herself. And in my “me” time, I do like to read.

Something that will be a little bit different this year – I’m following the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge. I typically read more books in a year than the challenge requires you to read so not all books will fit into a category for the challenge, but if a book does tick a box, I’ll let you know which one.

The Cousins by Karen McManus

Favourite January Book I Read: The Cousins by Karen McManus

I was so excited to read The Cousins – Karen McManus writes YA thrillers in a really approachable way that still keeps you crazy engaged all the way through. Her characters act like teenagers and, when they decide not to include adults in their adventures, the decision makes sense. (Teens acting like adults in YA fiction is my least favourite thing – give me a compelling reason to get the adults out of the way!)

The Cousins lived up to all my expectations. It tells the story of – you guessed it – three cousins from the Story family. These kids barely know each other due to family **drama** when they are mysteriously invited to spend the summer working at their grandmother’s isolated island resort. As you can imagine, secrets are exposed and thrilling adventures take place. Plus! A bonus – the book has parallel time periods. It was such a fun read.

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge: A book with a family tree

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

By contrast, I don’t think I could call The Hazel Wood a fun read, even if it is equally mysterious. Alice and her mother have spent their lives on the road, always followed by the “bad luck”. When her grandmother, a famous and reclusive author, passes away, it seems like the bad luck is finally behind them… but it’s just beginning.

The Hazel Wood is a throwback to dark fairy tales. It blends original fairy tales with the real world in a way that feels mildly reminiscent of Alice In Wonderland. Except it is very grown up. And Alice is not a particularly likeable character. There is a very very good reason for the darkness inside Alice – which she cannot understand – but I should warn you. You gotta wait through some angry, nastiness to get there.

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge: A book about forgetting

The Night Country by Melissa Albert

The Night Country by Melissa Albert

Obviously I was able to get past Alice’s darkness – I almost immediately read The Hazel Wood’s sequel The Night Country. I preferred this book. Alice is in a more accessible place – even if she continues to set fire to the world around her – and y’all know I love it when the world expands. Plus this book has one of my favourite fantasy things – parallel storylines! I absolutely love seeing how the characters come together.

There is also a book of the fairy tales from this series – Tales from the Hinterland. I cannot wait to see where the characters in these first two books come from. We hear hints of their “stories”, I want the whole thing!

Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

Wayward Son is another sequel… and I haven’t written about the original on this blog so… um… how do I handle this?

I really enjoyed it. It’s a YA LGBT romance-fantasy.

Go read Carry On. Then just read Wayward Son right afterwards to see what happens to a Chosen One once the thing they were chosen for is no longer a thing. It’s like fanfiction, but by the author. Love it.

My Favourite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

My Favourite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren is fairly prolific in the rom-com genre for their fluffy beachy reads. My Favourite Half-Night Stand is definitely a cute fluffy read, if fairly trope-y. (It’s a classic “secret identity” romance and the denouement happens through letters). I guess my only complaint is that I wish they had committed more fully to the bit? Like, a couple of times they show messages from a group chat and if that’s going to be a thing, I want it to be a thing.

But maybe I’m just thinking too much about my rom-coms.

Though I will admit, I literally started reading this book a year and a half ago. It took this long for me to actually sit down at finish it. So that says something.

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge: The book that’s on your TBR list for the longest amount of time

Life, Stuff About Me

Solo Valentine's Day - stock image

I keep starting this post and then giggling about the fact that I’ve apparently made my brand “celebrating holidays at home by yourself”. But don’t we all need a little reassurance that other people are in the same boat? The same small boat that isn’t going anywhere. A small boat that is “a solo Valentine’s day”. At home.

Honestly, all jokes aside, I’m not that bothered. I enjoy my own company and think I am a great date for myself. I can’t catch COVID from myself and when I’m in charge, I get to do all the things I love. None of the things I did yesterday were particularly novel or unique. I’m not reinventing self-care here. But does that really matter?

Here’s the thing about Valentine’s Day. Yes, of course I agree that you should show love to your people and to yourself every day. I’m not a sociopath. But our lives are so full and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a little reminder to stop and take stock. To focus on only one thing. We have so many conflicting and shifting priorities, it’s nice to have someone else tell us what our priority should be fore a little.

I like holidays. (And I like celebrating small things. I’m not great at aesthetic themed events, but little celebrations, I love.) And, quite honestly, I loved my solo Valentine’s Day.

How I Spent Valentine’s Day

I made my favourite savoury oatmeal breakfast. (No pics because it’s definitely not photogenic – spinach, oats, sauteed mushrooms, eggs, cheese and hot sauce.)

I enjoyed a little daytime rose and puzzling. (You may have seen this on my stories.)

Solo Valentine's Day Yoga

I did Yoga with Adriene’s Valentine’s Day practice which was an incredible heart-opener. I love barre to work through things via movement, but yoga helps me connect with myself and where I’m at physically, emotionally, mentally. I feel like I’m finally starting to understand why we did so much yoga during my theatre degree.

Valentine's Day bath

I went real classic self-care by moving by rose to the bath with a candle, a bath bomb and a brand new book from the library. I love complex, thought-provoking literary fiction as much as the next girl. But sometimes you just want a fun fantasy to unwind with.

I also did a sheet mask, but I super did not take a picture of that because y’all know what a sheet mask looks like.

And I followed it up with actually doing my makeup, throwing on a hot pink sweater and enjoying some heart-shaped pizza!

Valentine's Day hair and makeup

Who says you can’t enjoy a day with yourself?

Culture

What I Read: December 2020

Well well well, my friends. It’s mid-January and I think by this point you know exactly what to expect. A book post! Let me tell you, this beauty is going to be long because I was on break. So, without further ado, let’s get into What I Read December Edition!

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Culture, Life

How I'm Celebrating my Christmas Break Alone Because of Covid

It is December 23, 2020 and yesterday was my last day of work until after New Years. Almost two weeks off! Plus? I am done school for the semester and don’t go back until January 11. (Don’t worry, I am starting up both things hot after the break – the next course I coordinate starts first day back and I literally have my first school zoom on the 11th). On the one hand, this is super exciting. On the other hand, this is the time of Covid and I’ll be spending most of my Christmas break alone.

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Culture

What I Read: November

You guys love the book posts! And I love telling you about what books I read because it makes me feel way less guilty about reading instead of blogging. (Note: I totally know that this guilt is in my own head and nothing that y’all have done. I’m all about beating myself up over things I think I “should” be doing. I am working on it. But that is a post for another day). So, without further ado, here are my thoughts the books I read this past month!

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Culture

Collage of Books I Read in October

Hello friends and…enemies? Friends yet to come? Book lovers? People who care about books I read? I don’t know, ya’ll, who comes to blog posts of very small blogs? Maybe weigh in down in the comments so I know how to refer to you all.

Ugh. Another opening paragraph that is going to make my SEO go super crazy because I, just like every recipe blogger out there, take a million years to get to the point.

And what is the point, you may ask?

Books! Ya’ll seem to love it when I talk about books so without further ado, please enjoy this quick overview/review of the books I read this October.

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Culture

Yes, it’s true. This girl has fallen into an absolute spiral of locking herself in her basement and just all reading books, all the time. Why? Why have I turned into a book hermit?

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