Book Rec: The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer

Picking one book to rec this month was a challenge. Anansi Boys had me sucked in from the beginning, Snot Girl had me laughing at the woes of bloggers, and The Sun and Her Flowers took me through a rainbow of emotions. But I had to talk about Wolitzer’s The Female Persuasion because it gave me so many questions.

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Book Rec: Can You Keep A Secret? by Sophia Kinsella

Despite taking what feels like years to finish American Gods, I’ve been in a very bookish mood. I blame it on the weather. It’s finally warm enough to start dreaming about days in the yard or on the beach reading a juicy, scandal-filled novel. I will certainly be on the hunt for the next Crazy Rich Asians, but first we’ll start with a sweet and lighthearted book recommendation.

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Book Rec: The First Book of Calamity Leek by Paula Lichtarowicz

And the first book rec of the year is The First Book of Calamity Leek by Patricia Lichtarowicz! I picked this book up on a whim in one of the sale sections during a trip to Barnes and Noble. I figured it’d be a quick, easy read in between some heavier books I have on my TBR. When I started reading though, I was pulled right into this odd world I couldn’t make sense of, and the book quickly became a favorite.

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PopSugar Reading Challenge Q4

It’s a New Year! It may be a little late for the celebrations, but maybe a look back to last year we’ll be inspiration for this one. That strategy wont work with everything, but definitely for books. I’m a little amazed that I was able to stick with this PopSugar Reading Challenge for an entire year. My only other successful resolution has been starting a regular practice of yoga (which I’ve been doing now for over 3 years.) So push away the thoughts of abandoned resolutions past for a moment and maybe you’ll at least find a good book rec below.

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PopSugar Reading Challenge 2017: Q2

Though I read about the same number of books as last quarter, I feel like this one has been a bit of a reading slump, or at least not as many books as I wanted to read these past few months. On the bright side, this quarter was filled with books that surprised me, and are sure to be long time favorites. Here they are: 
The first book in a series you haven’t read before
A book where the main character is a different ethnicity than you &
A book that’s published in 2017: 
Also known as the series I won’t shut up about, I’ve been reading this series most of the quarter and frantically flipped through my print out of the challenge to make sure each book fit into to some slot. It’s a new all time favorite. Great for anyone interested in different cultures, drama and hunger and envy inducing descriptions of food.
A book with a title that’s a character’s name: Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
This was a book where I was upset that I hadn’t read it sooner. A quirky family, a lot of heart, and humor make this book a great pick me up. 
A Bestseller from a genre you don’t normally read: Life, The Universe, and Everything by Douglas Adams
I had been reading this book during my trip to Cancun and had left it there since I returned and figured this was a great excuse to pick it up again. Adams’ joyful Nihilism can make anyone like sci-fi. 
A book with a month or day of the week in the title: A Perfect Yesterday by Ann L. Tucker 
I know this matchup is a bit of a stretch because ‘yesterday’ isn’t actually a day of the week, but this book was shoved in my hands before I could think of if it fit anywhere. Thankfully it’s a short and sweet read. 

Up Next: 
A book with multiple authors: Nudge by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein 
I’ve already started diving into this and I’m not sure how it will affect my life, but learning about the psychology of how we make decisions, good and bad, is really interesting. 

A book with one of the four seasons in the title: Three Day Summer by Sarvenaz Tash 
Had to wait for the right weather to start this one, of course. 

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? 

Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017: Q1

I decided to take on a reading challenge for the first time this year.  I chose the POPSUGAR reading challenge because it had really interesting prompts that I think would change up my usual reading habits. I want to try and read more books in a variety of genres (instead of just memoirs and adult lit) and more books written by women. 
To combat the freak out over time moving so fast (a quarter of the year has already past!) I figured I’d reflect a bit on what I’ve read so far:
A great memoir for anyone interested in fashion, vintage life, and the relationships between mothers and daughters
A book that’s been on your TBR for way too long: The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner 
This was kind of a disappointment. I found all the characters and the plot rather boring. 
This is for anyone who loved Shel Silverstein as a kid and has a good sense of humor. 

A book with a red spine: The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher 
My first dip into Carrie Fisher’s books and it was a great introspective look into her thoughts and hilarious at times. 

A book by an author from a country you’ve never visited: The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz
Continuations with a new author are always a little weird, but this was pretty good. I’d stick to the originals though. 
Up Next: 
A book with a title that’s a character’s name: Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple

Any recommendations? 
Further Reading: 
Stock Photos from PinkPot

Book Recommendation: Shocked; My Mother, Schiaparelli, and Me by Patricia Volk

The Book:
Shocked by Patricia Volk, has been on my reading list for so long that by the time I picked it up I had no idea what it was about. Though, sometimes it’s a more exciting way to approach a book. Thankfully, I’m a sucker for anything about fashion and mothers. The memoir revolves around her mother, Audrey, who wore Shocked perfume, and Elsa Schiaparelli, whose memoirs were Volk’s transformative novel and the perfume’s designer.

I love the comparison of these two women because with the removal of any idea of competition, it highlights how different we can be. Personally, this was a exercise in not fully relating to either Schiaparelli or Audrey, but that didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the book. Instead, I thought about the women in my life and how I differ from them, without it diminishing my love for them.

Shocked was a leisurely read, like sitting on at the feet of your mother or grandmother as they give you advice and tell you about their past.  With pictures at the end of every chapter, it was like going through an museum exhibit. Volk’s family photos, Schiaparelli’s designs, and the surrealist art that inspired them seem other worldly now.


The Playlist: 

Sunday kind of love by caidyboo is a very relaxing playlist. It’ll give you a bit of an old-timey feel and is super appropriate for a less than cheesy valentine’s day listen. The strong presence of Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and more pair well with the opinionated Audrey and Schiap. 


What are you currently reading? 

Book Rec: Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson

The Book: I was straight-up pumped to start reading Where Am I Now? I started following Mara Wilson on Twitter about a year ago, and was thrilled to hear she was writing a book. As a lover of memoirs (spy Grace in the stack) I’m always up to looking into to people’s live, particularly what they themselves have to say about it. Though, this one caught me off guard the minute I read through the first page. 

Sitting on the subway headed back to my dorm, I was torn between shock and falling off of my seat laughing: essentially, completely hooked. She takes a storytelling approach to each chapter, sectioned off by life experiences, not fully contained by chronological order. The way she writes is humorous without losing a sense of connection between her and the reader. As I was reading, I could tell she wasn’t trying very hard to be relatable, and that made it more so. It took me back to a time where I would watch Matilda every time it was on TV, but it also made me think about my convictions and thought process through those years, both bold and naïve. 

This is a great book for anyone who thinks they were a weird kid and recognizes that it’s not a point of shame, but a moment of growth. And we are still growing. 

While you’re reading you should listen to: 


The Playlist: It was difficult finding a playlist to exactly match the book. Every chapter has such different emotions, and though it flows well in word-form, playlists usually stick to a stricter theme. Instead I share with you something that reminds me of my childhood, Throwback Jamz by axelas. It includes the essential Disney mega-hits and bubblegum pop music that was certainly too sexual for my age. 

Enjoy the nostalgia,
x Jasmine 

Book Recommendation: Love in a Wych Elm by HE Bates

nail polish OPI Gargantuan Green Grape 
Book: This book was such a surprise. Admittedly, when I picked up Love in a Wych Elm & Other Stories while I was in Dublin I was looking forward to reading Pygmalion more. I was hunting for Pygmalion after learning more about it in the Dublin Writer’s Museum and everything else I picked up was just what caught my eye that moment. 

Now, many months after my trip, I’ve picked it up and hitting myself for not reading it sooner. Having never heard of HE Bates, buying the compilation was a bit risky, but I was intrigued by the notion of “a snapshot of England (and to some extent a Europe) that is no more,” mentioned on the back. Fortunately it delivered that and much more. 

Love in a Wych Elm is a compilation of Bate’s short stories, but I hesitate to call them that. Technically speaking I suppose they are short stories, but reading them they feel much more like snapshots of moments. Instead of a tale you get moment in a character’s life that’s rather simple. No adventures, prophecies or profound wisdom here. I particularly admires Bates ability to write about these moments of life in a way that wasn’t senselessly happy or cynical. Every story is incredibly relatable particularly emotionally.

Playlist: Where the Pages May Take You by huntuer is one of my favorites for reading or casual studying. It’s a mix of instrumental and modern music and super calming. Similar to how the stories are simple and sometimes seemingly mundane, the playlist is steady and pleasant. 

happy reading, 
x Jasmine