What I'm Loving

What I’m Loving

I’m stealing this idea from other bloggers because I just love it!  Every week, I’ll try to list things I’m currently obsessed with.  Not only is it a fun idea but it also causes me to reflect on good thing that I’m enjoying in my life right now.

Ellie Holcomb’s Red Sea Road CD

Ellie

I am not exaggerating when I say that this CD by Ellie Holcomb is on constant repeat these days.  Not only is the music enjoyable to listen to, but her lyrics are amazing.   I’ve been going through a difficult season of working through something that happened to me a few years ago, and her songs speak to my soul.  So, so good.  “He Will”, “Wonderfully Made”, and “You Love Me Best” are particular favorites.

The Great British Baking Show

250px-The_Great_British_Bake_Off_title

I discovered this show on Netflix about a week ago and flew through the first season with my mom.  The funny thing is that I actually hate reading food memoirs and I hate cooking, but this adorable show is so fun.  The contestants are charming (and so nice!) and the foods they cook are so un-American that I’m fascinated.  There’s drama (apparently #justiceforiain was an actual trending hashtag in Britain when it aired), there’s tears (people are crying over custard and I literally feel my heart hurt for them), and there’s friendship (can Richard be my best friend??).  I’m just starting Season 2 and already missing the contestants from Season 1 but I’m sure the new group will find a place in my heart too.

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty

Sigh.  I don’t know if it’s possible for me to have loved this more.  I am a die-hard fan of the cartoon version and seeing it come to life on screen was just SO GOOD.  Emma Watson and Dan Stevens (ahh Matthew Crawley, you’re always handsome to me!) were amazing and Luke Evans did a fantastic job as Gaston.  The music was in my head for days, and I may or may not have gone to see it a second time the very next day.  My only regret is that it took me so long to get around to seeing it.

2017 Books · april2017reading

The Radium Girls

Radium

Y’all.  This beautiful book caused my jaw to drop no less than ten times as I was reading it, and then at the end, I was curled in the fetal position sobbing like a baby.  (That may be a slight exaggeration but seriously, I was crying pretty hard.)  I knew nothing about this when I picked up the book.  I heard about it on two different podcasts and thought it sounded interesting so I requested an advance copy from NetGalley.  This is one of the most remarkable books I have ever read.  It focuses on hundreds of women who were dial painters in the early 1900s and used radium in the paint.  They were told it was completely safe and even good for them, only to be exposed to significant amounts of radioactivity that caused horrific deaths for most of them.  They literally put radium in their mouths.  What these women went through was pretty unbelievable and yet their employers denied for decades that they did anything to cause their symptoms.  I can’t recommend this one highly enough.

What I Liked: It is meticulously researched yet it reads like a novel; it is incredibly interesting; there is a section on a husband and wife that is the most heartbreaking picture of love and devotion I may have ever read; and I’m happy to know an important part of history that I didn’t previously.

What I Didn’t Like: Some of the description of what the girls went through was graphic and disturbing to read but it really needed to be in the book in order to understand it.

5 Stars

2017 Books · april2017reading · Murder Mystery

The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress

the Wife

I read this historical murder mystery for the Modern Mrs. Darcy book club.  So far, I’ve noticed that I’m rather lukewarm about a lot of the monthly picks.  They aren’t necessarily picked because they are books we will all LOVE but because they offer good discussions.  This is based on a real life unsolved murder of Judge Crater in 1930.  This book is the author’s creative take on what could have happened but is most likely far from the truth.

What I Liked:  The ending had a pretty good twist and I loved that it was all based on real life people and events.  My favorite part was at the very end where there is a section with each character and a description about whether that was factual or embellished for the story.

What I Didn’t Like: Most of the story felt pretty slow (especially the first half), even though many of the characters were sympathetic, I didn’t feel a huge connection to any of them, and much of the ending was confusing (in the book club, everyone is constantly trying to figure out exactly what happened and why).

Three Stars

Recommended for: Fans of murder mysteries and historical fiction.

2017 Books · march2017reading · Quick Lit

March Reading

Time for a quick round-up of what I read in March!

This is How

This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

I read this for the MMD book club and have so many thoughts about it!  On the one hand, it was well-written, engaging, and had interesting characters.  On the other hand, I didn’t agree with everything that was taken for granted as true in the book.  For example, it was assumed that if your five year old boy feels like a girl, then he IS a girl regardless of what gender his body actually is.  Then, all of the storylines built on that premise.  However, I can’t say that I agree with that (controversial, I know!) and so several of the conversations and decisions veered into an area that I didn’t think was always best for the child.  However, it was very clear that these parents loved their child and wanted what was best for him, and I enjoyed reading a book that I wouldn’t have otherwise picked up.

Caraval

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

When everything is a part of a game, how do you know what’s real?  This book was cute, colorful, and magical.  The storyline wasn’t perfect but it almost didn’t matter because I had such a great time it.

Behind Her Eyes

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

This page-turner was a fast-paced thriller with a bizarre and unpredictable ending.  It was twisted and strange but I love books that can surprise me and I thought this one did a great job of it.

Mother's

A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy by Sue Klebold

And my Columbine obsession continues!  I loved Columbine by Dave Cullen so much last month that I have started reading everything related I can get my hands on.  First up was this memoir by the mother of one of the shooters, Dylan Klebold.  Dylan was unquestionably fascinating in Columbine because his journals and personality seemed so different from the boy who murdered his classmates, and this book expounds on that.  What Dylan did genuinely shocked his family to their core and it was heartbreaking to read.  However, the unconditional love Sue still has for her son was also quite beautiful.

Be Frank

Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson

What can I say?  This one really didn’t do it for me.  My best friend loved it and called it charming so I went in with high expectations.  However, I found it to be very sad and the storyline slow.  I didn’t like any of the characters and I didn’t think the ending was very satisfying.  Definitely my least favorite of the month.

Talking

Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham

I ADORE Gilmore Girls and by extension Lauren Graham so I knew that unless this book was truly awful, I would enjoy it.  It would have been better as an audio book, I think, because the writing comes across as rambling sometimes.  However, if Lorelai Gilmore had been reading it (and Lauren basically IS Lorelai), it would have been even better.  Perfect for fans of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood.

Overall, it was a fun month for reading!  I’m hoping to keep this pace up so that I can finish my Goodreads goal of 50 books this year.  So far, I’m on track. 🙂

This post is linked to Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Quick Lit.  Head over and see what others are reading!