Books I Wish I’d Read As a Child

I was a voracious reader as a kid, but there were some notable books and series that somehow slipped by me – we couldn’t always afford new copies so my reading was limited to my school library and whatever we picked up at local yard sales (a surprisingly great source of books, and usually only 50 cents each at the time!). And so while I had a pretty wide variety of books under my belt, these were three that I never got around to reading and wish I had…

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Maybe You Should Talk to Someone – Lori Gottlieb

One day, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. The next, a crisis causes her world to come crashing down. Enter Wendell, the quirky but seasoned therapist in whose office she suddenly lands. With his balding head, cardigan, and khakis, he seems to have come straight from Therapist Central Casting. Yet he will turn out to be anything but.

As Gottlieb explores the inner chambers of her patients’ lives — a self-absorbed Hollywood producer, a young newlywed diagnosed with a terminal illness, a senior citizen threatening to end her life on her birthday if nothing gets better, and a twenty-something who can’t stop hooking up with the wrong guys — she finds that the questions they are struggling with are the very ones she is now bringing to Wendell.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What a great read! Lori Gottlieb is a columnist for the New York Times and The Atlantic (she’s the therapist in their Ask a Therapist series); I’ve been loosely following her writings there for a while and have always really appreciated her intelligence and empathy, so when she came out with a full-length book about being a therapist and going to therapy herself, I knew it had to be interesting.

Continue reading “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone – Lori Gottlieb”

The Week in Passing

Happy weekend! Can’t believe it’s yet another week in the books. It feels so strange that on any given day I feel aimless and not in the mood for any more books/Netflix/walks/quarantine activities, and yet the week as a whole just zooms past. I guess I’m not complaining…every week that passes is a week closer to normalcy πŸ™‚

The highlight of my week was taking part in this online trivia night. This week was my second time joining and it’s a ton of fun! The trivia is a good mix between easy and challenging questions, the host is a lot of fun and changes up each round, and I’ve really been looking forward to Monday nights because it’s such a blast! It streams weekly at 8pm ET if you’re interested too.

What I’m reading

  • Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo – I’m around 15% in and honestly not sure if I’ll continue…it’s a very different style than I’m used to and none of the characters have really caught my attention so far. I haven’t read a lot of works by Black authors before so the perspective is refreshing, but story-wise, I’m kind of bored with it.
  • Other than that, reading has been slow this week. There are a LOT of books around the house that I never read, so maybe I’ll pick up one of those. Just so uninspired lately!!

What I’m watching

  • The Bon Appetit Youtube channel! I’m OBSESSED with the videos they put out and the cast of personalities on the team. Brad is pure chaos, Claire is an anxious perfectionist, Molly is Cali millennial to a T, Alex is charming and gets along with everyone, Sohla is sanity incarnate, and so on. My favorite video is a recent one where Brad and Chris tried recreating Andes mints. As one commenter put it, “Brad’s golden retriever energy, and Chris’s unreasonably expensive cat energy is giving me life” and I can’t think of anything more accurate πŸ˜†
  • Yale’s online course The Science of Well-Being, informally known as the happiness course. Usually I’m not interested in vague concepts like this but I’ve been hearing about and seeing this everywhere so I gave it a shot. And I’m glad I did – I’m on week 2 currently but there’s already been some really good information about what does and doesn’t make us happy. The Cut also wrote a great article summarizing the main points of the course.
  • Little Fires Everywhere on Hulu is really good. I just finished episode 4, and the pacing and acting are both amazing. I didn’t read the book but I’ve seen reviews that say while the show made some notable changes, it still really holds up to the original material. Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington seriously carry the show!

Home workouts

I never thought I’d say this, but I haven’t been outside in literally a month. A MONTH! We’ve been fortunate enough to get our groceries delivered, and I haven’t left the house even for walks. The Nike Training Club App has been a godsend in terms of keeping me active. It has hundreds of different workouts that you can filter by length, body area you want to target, equipment you have, etc, and every workout has videos of all the moves. It’s also super sleek and easy to use (and makes you feel like a badass for exercising with them). Best of all, everything is free, even the premium content! This is not an ad, I just really love this app πŸ˜†

Around town

And finally, some links from around the web that made me smile this week…

  1. Can you believe the photo above is actually a painting? Elizabeth Geisler is insanely talented. I want to feel as tranquil as this water looks.
  2. Absolutely love love love this directory of female artists! So many styles, ethnicities, and body shapes represented.
  3. This dad’s voice recognition was accidentally on while he played tuba. An oldie but I laugh every time.
  4. Posters as art. So bright and colorful!
  5. What a cute Twitter account dedicated to bodega cats.
  6. The Getty Museum challenged people to recreate famous artworks – so creative.

Have a peaceful weekend.

(art by Elizabeth Geisler, Mia Coleman)

Books I Enjoyed but Rarely Talk About

I love book social media. Blogs, bookstagram, Twitter, the book subreddit…you name it, I’m on it and I love interacting with the different communities and seeing what everyone’s reading. Inevitably, though, each community tends to flock around the same handful of books – bookstagram’s always looking for the next trendy read and has It Books of the moment like Circe or Three Women, while /r/books tends to be more scifi/fantasy focused and has favorites like The Hitchhiker’s Guide and Master and the Margarita.

Sometimes they become a bit like echo chambers as people repeatedly recommend the same books, so I appreciate this prompt for reminding us to highlight great books that don’t get discussed as much. So below, three books I read or reread in the past year and enjoyed immensely.

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The Starless Sea – Erin Morgenstern

The Starless Sea is a love letter to books and readers, a masterpiece of stories within a story where fables of pirates and princesses converge with the saga of Zachary Ezra Rawlins, the son of a fortune teller.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Unpopular opinion: I didn’t like this book much at all.

When I read The Night Circus, I was absolutely entranced by the world Morgenstern had created – I love fantasy and read plenty of it, and yet I don’t think I’d encountered anything like her writing before. Were there were some imperfections? Of course. You could call out her characters for being a little flat and the plot not quite satisfying at the end, but those paled in comparison to the imagination of her traveling circus.

Sadly, even her world building couldn’t make up for the flaws in The Starless Sea.

Continue reading “The Starless Sea – Erin Morgenstern”

The Week in Passing

How was your week? Mine was very up and down. Some days were good days and I felt energized enough to put on a dress and a little makeup for no one other than me. Other days were a little tougher – being cooped up and only able to see the perfect weather outside has made me so restless. I want to be out there, maybe at the local farmer’s market picking up a cheese for dinner, or passing by the local dog park and hearing all the happy barks. Instead, indoors me has been kind of sad and mopey. Some days I wear my glasses all day instead of putting in contacts (my form of sweatpants), and on Wednesday I straight up crawled into bed at 2pm and took a 2 hour nap. In the middle of the workday! (I did feel great afterwards)

Happy to say I’m still reading though, and a few more things I’ve been up to this week…

What I’m reading

  • Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens – A fun, light read and I can see why so many people loved it. I’m looking forward to the movie adaptation!
  • The Four Tendencies, by Gretchen Rubin – This book has made me feel understood in a way I’ve never felt before. Definitely getting a good review from me.

What I’m watching

  • The Crown, Season 1 – I’m super late to the party but I finally picked it up and am really enjoying it! Currently on episode 6, in which Princess Margaret’s potential marriage causes a national scandal and is now hanging in the balance. There’s so much great acting, and I can’t get over how much Matt Smith (of Doctor Who fame) looks like the actual Prince Phillip back in the day.
  • New Girl, Season 2 – I’m always watching through some sitcom or other – I like turning it on during dinner/after work and be guaranteed some laughs. Currently it’s New Girl, which is so underrated in my opinion. The cast is hilarious! Cece and Schmidt better end up together in the end.

Animal Crossing

Almost a month in, my obsession with this game is finally waning πŸ˜† I’ve completed the main objective now (inviting a famous musician to play on my island), so from this point on it’s self-directed and more about polishing up my island and making it look nice. It’s still fun and adorable.

Around town

And finally…just several fun links from around the web that made me smile.

  1. I love these Trader Joe’s reviews. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I miss the chaos of shopping at TJ’s!
  2. Getting very excited about the upcoming Dune movie.
  3. What Sex and the City would look like today. I’ve only seen clips of the show before, but these modern-day scenarios are perfect.
  4. Hello, 911? Made me laugh.
  5. Great book recommendations based on books you like.
  6. Sums up my current eating habits πŸ™‚

Have a lovely weekend ahead.

(photo 1, 2)