Friday Afternoon Bookish Ramblings

It’s a beautiful sunny but cold day here at a Big Reading Life Manor, and it’s been a while since I’ve posted. I just haven’t had time or energy to write about books or anything else. There is sleep to prioritize (self-care 2020!) and also I’ve been finishing watching The Good Place and Netflix’s Next in Fashion. But today I have a bit of time and wanted to catch up on things. So, hello! I hope your week has been a good one. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty much sick of winter. I’m sick of gray and I’m sick of rain. I’m trying to remind myself that everything changes, and so will the seasons, in time.

Anyway, I’ve read some good books lately, for which I am grateful. One five-star read (The Singer’s Gun by Emily St. John Mandel, which had been on my TBR List since 2015) and three four-star reads: Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot, Body Positive Power by Megan Jayne Crabbe, and Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson. Two of the latter were ones I owned, so whoopee for reading my own books! Lately I’ve been really trying to look at my own shelves and also the beginning of my TBR list and trying to choose reads from those. It’s a constant struggle to balance those considerations with the newest, shiniest books that I have on hold at the library. You can relate, I am sure.

51anPJ5-ihL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_What am I currently reading? Lindy West’s new essay collection The Witches Are Coming, which is AWESOME and so smart and funny. I’ve only read the first four essays but so far she’s killing it. I just finished Mavis Gallant’s short story collection In Transit, which I’d been reading since December. It was good – she’s masterful at capturing humans trying and failing to relate to one another. But for me overall it was a bit depressing and I’m relieved to be finished. I am not sure what work of fiction I’ll pick up next. I think I need something light to boost my mood! I may try Helen Hoang’s romance The Kiss Quotient, which I just checked out from my library.

Next month I plan to participate in Cathy’s Reading Ireland Month, so I need to pick at91Vq1lzeOaL least one Irish book – this event always sneaks up one me. I also will be reading Wallace Stegner’s Crossing to Safety with Smithereens as a buddy read – another selection from my Classics Club list. Please read along with us in March if you’d like!

So that’s it from me for now. I’ll leave you with some body positive affirmations from Megan Jayne Crabbe’s book (if you’re on Instagram, you should consider following her @bodyposipanda. She’s delightful.)

I’m grateful for everything that my body allows me to do in the world, and all the ways it takes care of me.
I am hotter than the inside of a poptart in this outfit!
There’s no such thing as a problem area, my body is not a problem to be fixed!
My softness is beautiful.
My cellulite clusters are constellations mapped across my thighs and I am magical.
I deserve the space I take up in the world.
I am good enough.
My body is not the enemy.

Also – how do we like this new “block editor” thing WordPress has given us? I don’t like it at all and when I tried to switch back to the classic editor it’s made my spacing weird in this post. Hmmmph. Oh well. I hope you have a very good weekend, friends – may you have lots of time for reading!


40 thoughts on “Friday Afternoon Bookish Ramblings

  1. “I deserve the space I take up in the world” has got to be one of the most hard-earned but ultimately wonderful lessons to learn. That sounds like a really meaningful and thoughtful read! And I loved lindy west’s book, so smart and cracked me up!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I switched over to the block version quite a while ago. I like it for the ability to shift entire paragraphs around. Other than that, I haven’t noticed a big difference with forgetting.

    One difference that another blogger pointed out to me that I had suspected was that WordPress no longer notifies you when someone tags you in their post! So naughty!


  3. What fun reads!

    I’ve been trying to watch Next in Fashion, because I love Project Runway and shows like it. But I keep falling asleep every time I turn it on! I don’t think I fall asleep because it’s boring (because it doesn’t seem to be!), but because I almost always fall asleep when I turn on the TV now. Boo. I’m glad you’re loving it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have never watched Project Runway before and I’m not a fashion type of person, so really I started watching Next in Fashion because Tan was one of the hosts! 🙂 And I just ended up loving the contestants and the creativity and the runway shows. Hope you can sneak in some more episodes but I totally get falling asleep! Sleep is so important!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Crossing to Safety!!!! So good. One of the best pie references in all of literature.

    I always use the “classic” wordpress editor; you get to it by tacking on /wp-admin to the home page url. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you’re enthusiastic about Crossing to Safety!

      Thanks for the tip. I think I got it switched back to classic but in the midst of writing this post I switched and it didn’t translate everything well from the draft. I think next time I compose I’ll be in classic.


  5. Sounds like you’ve had a good month! I haven’t read any of the books you metion, proving conclusively that there are TOO MANY BOOKS in the world!! 😉

    I hated the block editor and changed back straight away. I’m just hoping they don’t force it on us at some point in the future – it could be a deal-breaker for me and WordPress, I fear…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for the shout out for Reading Ireland Month! I do hope you get the chance to join in. I’m prepping away like mad, but still found time to nip to the bookshop and buy Jaqueline Woodson’s new book – Red To The Bone. I look forward to hearing what you think of Another Brooklyn as it has been recommended to me too.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am definitely ready for winter to give way to spring. We have a couple of daffodils in bloom in our front garden!

    I have a copy of Crossing to Safety that I’ve meant to read for years. I may well use this excuse to read it in March. Are you two planning to compare notes as you read?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am ready for winter to be over too but there is still another month or so to go here. At least it has been sunny so that’s something. “I am hotter than the inside of a poptart in this outfit!” made me laugh out loud. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Love those body-positive affirmations! They made me feel so…happy when I read them 🙂 What did you think of Heart Berries? People were going crazy for that book up here in Canada, and I love reading indigenous literature. She’s Canadian right?

    I think I’ve been using the block editor for awhile now, like almost a year, but maybe I’m thinking of something different? I didn’t know we could switch back to the classic editor LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really liked Heart Berries. I feel like it’s something I haven’t ever read before, the style is so fresh. I think you would enjoy it. She is Canadian – a Pacific Northwest tribe, I can’t remember which.

      WordPress just automatically switched me to the block editor the last time I posted. I switched back. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I love love love this post. It’s so casual and catches us all up on the goings on in your life AND what you’ve been reading. I didn’t notice anything weird with formatting, if that means anything. I don’t use the Block Editor, I just keep using Classic. If I was blogging as part of my job, I’d learn the new editor. But, this is a hobby I try to fit in here and there, so PASS. David uses a block editor for his website and he hates it… Oops.

    Lindy West has a new essay collection! Yay! I listened to her first one via audiobook and loved it. So much of humor is in the timing.

    I’m so glad you ended this post with body-positive affirmations. We all need to hear more of that; it brings me joy I didn’t realize I needed. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome! I loved those and wanted to share.

      Lindy West’s new collection, which I’m still reading, it GREAT. She’s so smart!! ANd funny. I bet it would be awesome on audio.

      Casual is my middle name when it comes to blogging! 🙂 It’s the only way I can proceed and not get frozen by writer’s block/procrastination. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. What a lovely conversational post. We get to feel all caught up on your life!
    I read Last Night in Montreal a couple of years ago and really liked it – now I’d like to read the rest. Are you planning on reading her newest?

    Liked by 2 people

  12. So much to discuss from your post! First of all, I am absolutely terrified about Gutenberg and the block editor. I’ve got the Classic plugin and until they force me to use Gutenberg I’m staying away from it. I tried it once and it made formatting stupidly difficult.

    Television! I have half of the final Good Place episode left but don’t want to watch it because I don’t want it to end. And I liked but didn’t love Next in Fashion. I’m in the midst of Project Runway, which I always love. Lately, I’ve needed more mindless TV to quiet my brain.

    And yes to the weather. I don’t know where you are, but here in Michigan it stays gray for so long. The sky is sullen most days and it really impacts my mood. I didn’t think it did because Seattle is gray in the winter but by now the trees are all blooming so there is color everywhere. Here it’s muddy, snowy, grey. Bleech.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Good Place finale was so good. like really perfect, I thought. Such a beautiful show!

      Seems like most of us don’t like the new editor – hopefully WordPress won’t make us go to that!

      We’ve had a few more sunny days here lately – so I am hopeful that Spring is coming with sunshine!


  13. So relieved to hear that they ended TGP with integrity: I’m less anxious about watching the final episodes now: thank you. My reason for watching NiF was the same as yours but I didn’t stick with it; instead, I tried Project Runway for the first time (S18) and it was more of what i wanted. Wasn’t The Singer’s Gun great? I just finished reading/rereading all her books; I loved the way that you didn’t know for so long what Anton’s deal was and then it just all made sense (and then got messy). Can see where you might find these later Gallant stories a bit depressing; I think there are a lot of lonely and disappointed people in the world and she captures that so astutely. But it’s not for every reading mood. And I’ll be curious what you think of The Kiss Quotient. Happy March!


    1. Happy March, Marcie!

      I have not tried Project Runway but it sounds like I should. I don’t have Hulu and I think it’s on that? But I’ll look around.

      I LOVED The Singer’s Gun. I love how Mandel takes people who are kinds questionable, or who act in questionable ways, and makes them sympathetic and fully-formed. I got so emotional at the end.

      I enjoyed The Kiss Quotient. I’m still new at Romance. Sometimes the steamy parts make me a little uncomfortable (prudish? I don’t know) and sometimes I feel like they get in the way of an interesting story. I felt like Hoang did a great job making her characters feel realistic and appealing, and loved that one of the main characters was Asian American and the other had Asperger’s (as does the author apparently.) Good diverse representation and a fun story too. 3.5 stars. Someone who reads more romance might rate it higher.


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