Books · Life

Rainy Days

260379ce-b006-4668-a017-39ec25249e67We’ve just had an entire week of rainy days. They are humid and rainy, and this isn’t just normal rain. This is stormy/monsoon type rain. And since we have finally made it to Friday (after another really ridiculous week), I plan to celebrate with a Skype chat with a very dear friend, and then a mug of tea and the new book I picked up at the library, Motherhood: A Novel by Sheila Heti (a personal favorite). I own How Should a Person Be?: A Novel from Life and Women in Clothes and enjoyed both of these greatly.

Do you like rainy days? Do you hate them? Tell me all of the things.

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Books · Reviews

How to Walk Away by Katherine Center

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I just have to say that I am so happy that it is (mostly) reading outside weather! And iced coffee weather! Any nice weekend day, or week day after 5 you can find me in this exact spot. But, on to more important things, like the much anticipate (I hope) review of How to Walk Away: A Novel by Katherine Center. As I said in my previous post, I picked this book for my last Book of the Month.

There have been a few months where I wasn’t as into the offerings, but if there is something I like, I usually end up loving it. How to Walk Away was no exception. The book begins with Chip, the All-American boy, and his girlfriend Margaret going on a romantic plane ride. Margaret was just unofficially offered her dream job and is expecting a nice dinner to celebrate. Despite the fact that Margaret is deathly afraid of plane rides, Chip is training to be a pilot and decides it would be romantic to propose mid-air while flying the plane.

Let’s just say that it doesn’t end well.

Margaret ends up in the hospital. This is where her life in the book really begins. Once she wakes up from the fog of medicine and figures out what happened she realizes that her fear of flying was totally justified. She is forced to confront her relationship with Chip, her parents, her estranged sister, and her interestingly stubborn physical therapist. Margaret may not end up with the dream job or wedding, but life always works in mysterious ways.

The cover of this book is beautiful and extra cheery, but the first 50 pages are pretty upsetting, just an FYI.

 

Books · Life · Reviews · Uncategorized

And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready by Meaghan O’Connell

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And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready by Meaghan O’Connell was a book that I had trouble putting down. This doesn’t happen to me often, and I was worried that I wouldn’t like this book. But listening to O’Connell describe finding out she was pregnant in her late 20’s and how it made her feel was just what I needed. I’m not pregnant but I think motherhood is something that most young women think about.

During a recent hospital stay (that is a story for another time), many of my nurses asked if my husband and I had kids. I looked at them like they were crazy. I’m not old enough to have a child, what are you thinking? But while I spent a lot of time alone I got to thinking, wait, I guess I am old enough to have a child. Is that something I really want? Is that something my husband and I could handle? Some days it seems like we can barely take care of ourselves, let alone another person.

Recently I heard about O’Connell’s book. I figured I would give it a shot. It was getting great reviews from people who’s books I’ve loved. Little did I know, this book was about to make me more scared then I had ever been. O’Connell goes into pretty intense detail about everything from her postpartum feelings, to exactly what it feels like to have an epidural and a c-section. While all of this has officially scared the crap out of me, it’s also helped me to understand what goes into something of this magnitude and that no two pregnancies are alike. And that its totally ok to hate the process. It is not all sunshine and rainbows.

This is a wonderful book for any woman in her late 20s who is thinking/interested/scared about having a child and hasn’t had one yet. This book would also be great for moms new and old. O’Connell found hope in knowing that there were other women out there who felt the way she did.

Books · Reviews

Arrogant Devil by R.S. Grey

arrogant-availableShhhh… Don’t tell my husband, but I think I’ve got a crush on Jack McKnight.

This book though 😍. Seriously, R.S. Grey keeps getting better and better. I’m so happy I was able to get an ARC a week before it was released. So many feelings.

I’m not currently dating. Hell, I’m not even divorced. I have a whack job ex sending me flowers, and I’m currently loopy over a dark-haired devil who seems to be avoiding me.

Meredith has the perfect life, a successful husband, tons of money and a great life in California. The book begins with her leaving all of this, running away to Texas where her half-sister lives. As she is getting on the plane Meredith finds out that Helen, her half-sister, has decided to take a weeks long vacation and have her home remodeled. After some coaxing, Helen is able to secure Meredith a job with Jack McKnight. Jack is Helen’s boss and a notoriously harsh employer.

85fafce3-7520-4aa6-836e-5e62d6a32e8dSaying that Meredith and Jack don’t see eye to eye is an understatement. These two downright HATE each other when they meet for the first time. They come from two completely different worlds. Jack thinks he know Meredith, that she is a spoiled woman who will leave him high and dry in a week when she decides to return to her cushy life in California. Meredith decides to prove him (and her half sister) wrong.

Their relationship is a slow burn, but very worth the wait! I will hand my money over to R.S. Grey anytime she publishes something new. I cannot wait to read what she writes next.

Check out Arrogant Devil by R.S. Grey for yourself. I promise you won’t regret it!

Books

Book of the Month

I was gifted a 3-month Book of the Month subscription by my husband for Valentine’s Day. That man knows the way to my heart. This was the last month and I decided I’d share the book that I picked.

For those of you who don’t know, Book of the Month is a subscription service that gives you five book options a month to choose from. Each book is hardback and turns out to be around 9.99 a month. Some books a pre-released on BOTM, so you can get a copy before anyone else. If there isn’t a book you are interested in during a specific month, you can skip the month without loosing any credits.

I’ve enjoyed every book that I’ve received from BOTM and think you would to! Click here to use my code to sign up.

This month I picked….

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Not only is the cover beautiful, but the description really captured me!

Margaret Jacobsen is just about to step into the bright future she’s worked for so hard and so long: A new dream job, a fiancé she adores, and the promise of a picture-perfect life just around the corner. Then, suddenly, on what should have been one of the happiest days of her life, everything she worked for is taken away in a brief, tumultuous moment.

In the hospital and forced to face the possibility that nothing will ever be the same again, Maggie must confront the unthinkable. First there is her fiancé, Chip, who wallows in self-pity while simultaneously expecting to be forgiven. Then, there’s her sister Kit, who shows up after pulling a three-year vanishing act. Finally, there’s Ian, her physical therapist, the one the nurses said was too tough for her. Ian, who won’t let her give in to her pity, and who sees her like no one has seen her before. Sometimes the last thing you want is the one thing you need. Sometimes we all need someone to catch us when we fall. And sometimes love can find us in the least likely place we would ever expect.

A masterpiece of a novel, How to Walk Away is both hopeful and hilarious; truthful and wise; tender and brave. (via BOTM)

Books · Netflix · Reviews

My Life in Orange by Tim Guest

My Life in Orange: Growing Up with the Guru by Tim Guest is about the (newly) popular cult from the 1980s that is referenced in Wild Wild Country, a new documentary on Netflix. The documentary mostly focus on what happened at Rajneeshpuram in Oregon, 44bfbbcc-804b-4ee7-8bbc-53f21d00cb5cbut My Life in Orange is a biography following Guest’s life as a child in that world.

My Life in Orange begins with the end of Tim’s time as a member of this “religion.” He takes us through the trials and tribulations that a child in this group had to deal with. It was believed by many that children and parents did not need to live together, so Guest spent a majority of his childhood with other children who’s parents were following Bhgwan. Guest spent his childhood going back and forth between Europe and California where his father lived. Everything on the commune was shared, so any toys he brought back from visits with his father were put into the group playroom.

Guest’s separation from his mother really paid a toll on their relationship and his mental health as he grew into an older child. She was much more focused on finding “bliss” and her high powered position running a British version of the commune to pay much attention to his wants and needs.

img_0372This book differs from Wild Wild Country, in that it mostly takes place in Europe and it is told from the point of view of a child. He was pretty unaware of what was going on, so it lacks the juicy (biological warfare, free sex) aspects from the docu-series. We learn about these things later in the book when Guest is reflecting on the downfall of the cult. Very worth a read if you enjoyed Wild Wild Country, or even if you are just interested in cults in general.

Life · Travel

My Love/Hate Relationship with New York City

After spending four years living in Baltimore, I knew I needed to get out. Nothing was keeping me here, other then it being kind of close to my family. I had determined that I wanted to be a librarian and I knew that just going out into the work force after getting my BA was not realistic for me. So I applied to two library programs, one at Simmons in Boston, and the one at Pratt Institute, in New York. When I originally applied to college, I only applied to two places and it worked out fine then, so why not give it a second try?

img_0346As I’m sure you guessed from the title of this article, I was accepted to Pratt. I packed up all of my things, found two roommates and an apartment in Bushwick, and moved to New York knowing no one. I have to admit, at first this was pretty lonely but I very quickly fell in love with all of the things I had at my fingertips. (I was also in the process of falling in love with someone who still lived in Baltimore, but that is another story).

Making friends in grad school is pretty difficult. Making friends as an adult, in general, is pretty difficult. But eventually I met some awesome people and really started exploring this wonderful city that I now called my home.

I was loving life, until about a year into my stay. I was back and forth between Baltimore, York (where I am originally from), and New York. Baltimore reminded me how much I missed normal life and seeing grass and green spaces. New York was so fast. Getting anything was a process, and I realized the commuting an hour to work everyday was making me cranky.

I left New York after two years to come back to Baltimore, my family, and my husband. I’d say it was worth the move. I’ve visited New York a few times since then and every time I get a little spark of that love that used to be.

Here are a few of my greatest hits:

 

 

Museums: The MET, MOMA, The Guggenheim

Eat and Drink: Bathtub Gin, David’s Tea, Crif Dogs, Magnolia Bakery, Baked by Melissa, Cafeteria , Murray’s Cheese Bar

Bookstores: Strand, Book Culture, Bluestockings

 

How do you feel about New York? Do you visit regularly? Do you have a love hate relationship with another city? Are you visiting New York this summer? If so check out some of these places!img_0338