I didn’t even notice how well all these books coordinate with each other—and with my flowers!—until I took these pictures. Hooray for happy accidents!
This has been a good few weeks for books, y’all. After reading this stack, I feel uplifted, better informed, entertained, creatively inspired, and a little bit snobby. But snobby in a good way?
We’ll start there, I guess. (Heads up: lots of affiliate links ahead.) How To Be Parisian Wherever You Are was a quick easy read. I rather enjoyed the mixed-media-ish approach, with lists and recipes and conversations and tutorials scattered throughout. That said, I would be a terrible Parisienne. I’m not dramatic enough. Too straight-forward. And definitely not as effortlessly stylish. I’m okay with that. In fact, I’m pretty pleased with myself for NOT being an overly emotional/romantic/melodramatic woman.
Anyway, it’s not one I’d pick up again but it was lighthearted and amusing.
Between the World and Me, on the other hand, was heavy. Ta-Nehisi Coates gives such a raw perspective of Black American male experience, I will be processing it for a long time. Which is probably good. As an educated white woman, I found so much of his life experience completely foreign. It was good to step outside myself and get a glimpse from a different viewpoint. Not a comfortable read, but when Toni Morrison says something is required reading, you say, “Yes ma’am,” and get a copy straightaway.
After some disappointments over the last year or two, Nicola Yoon restored my faith in YA fiction with The Sun Is Also a Star. Serious + important themes, sweet romance, believable characters, flawless narrative structure…it was perfect. Now I need to read her other book before the movie comes out!
It took me a minute to figure out how exactly Hag-Seed was a retelling of The Tempest (which I haven’t read in over a decade). Once I did, though, I was delighted. Setting a Shakespearean play-within-a-play-within-a-play in a Canadian prison was a weird way to tell a story, but Margaret Atwood is an excellent storyteller. This is the fourth title I’ve read from her and I have yet to be disappointed. (Anyone else dying to see The Handmaid’s Tale when it comes out?)
Last week I plowed through The Night Circus and then scoured the internet for any info about a movie or miniseries because it would be such a beautiful movie or miniseries. It hit all my sweet spots: just the right amount of mystery, romance, and magic; quirky characters; stunning imagery that leaves plenty to the imagination. I want this circus to be a real thing so bad.
And reading it makes me want to write. So that’s fun + exciting.
Because we just had Spring Break, I tried something new with our children’s book selection the past couple weeks.
I have a few friends who have created summer schedules with activities and outings to keep their kids entertained, help them continue learning while school is out, and (most importantly) maintain their own sanity. If I don’t plan stuff for us to do, we pretty much never leave the house, so I thought something like this would give me some structure and my kids a change of scene.
After discussing with the girls some possible themes for our Spring Break, they both enthusiastically picked Egypt. (Well, Mila picked Egypt. Margot picked “the place with the pyramints.” Lol.)
Despite a less-than-helpful librarian, I scrounged up a bunch of Egypt-ish books for us to peruse. Most were non-fiction, but some, like Mummy Cat, aren’t. I favored bright illustrations over faded black-and-white photographs, and looked for minimal text so they wouldn’t get overwhelmed or bored. Some of my picks were duds, but overall I’m pretty satisfied. I mean, How To Be an Egyptian Princess was basically written with Margot in mind.
We didn’t just read about Egypt though. After looking up a list of animals that live in Egypt, we headed to the zoo to find some of them. While there, we caught a glimpse of an actual pyramid, which thrilled Margot to no end. We made “papyrus” and berry ink to write on it. The girls seemed to enjoy it, even if I wasn’t as rigorous about doing Egypt-y things as I’d originally planned.
So here’s my question: would anyone be interested in a post about our “curriculum?” I intend to put together a few more one- or two-week study programs together for us for the summer to cover some of the other topics the girls were interested in. Art projects, possible outings, recipes, and a book list, of course. Is that something you guys would like?
And, as always…what are you reading these days?