I’m only a few weeks away from my annual trip home to Milan to visit my family for the summer, and I’m getting super excited. For anyone out there who hasn’t traveled to Italy yet – don’t go in August. I pick times during the year (August and December) when my family has more time to spend with me due to vacation, but they are pretty much the two worse times of the year to visit my home country.
In August, the mosquitoes in Italy are enormous and out in full force, and the region I’m from – Lombardy – turns into humid wetland very similar to Thailand. the area surrounding Milan is actually filled with rice paddies because the plain it sits in is surrounded by mountains that trap in moisture from the coast. Sounds picturesque but really it’s just muggy.
I typically spend all my time indoors sitting in front of the air conditioner, and you know what that means! Lots of leisurely time to read, in addition to two 11 hour flights, which also helps. I’m planning to tackle three of the biggest baddest books sitting on my TBR so stay tuned for reviews of those. In the meantime, here are this week’s links!
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I’m back in the swing of blogging this week! (though not back in the swing of responding to comments on my posts or reciprocating when people share my posts on Twitter, so bear with me on that).
This morning I took a trip with a friend to Antelope Valley just outside of Los Angeles to see the fields of orange poppies that bloom at this time of year in the area. I had so many errands and chores planned for this weekend, but when my friend texted me on Friday to invite me for this little excursion, I decided to hit pause on the must dos and do something instead just for the fun of it.
I took some gorgeous pictures of books laying in fields of hundreds of bright poppies that I’ll be sharing on my InstagramInstagram over the next several weeks (make sure to follow me if you haven’t already). But more importantly I had time to catch up with a friend, immersed myself in nature and took some time to ‘smell the roses’. Hope all of you are having a great weekend as well!
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A few months ago I joined Modern Mrs. Darcy‘s new online book club. It’s $10 a month and allows you to participate in discussions of the books chosen each month in an online forum or on the book club’s Facebook group, as well as take part in a scheduled live discussion for each month’s book, just like in a regular book club. I’m not paid to promote her Book Club or anything, I’m just trying it out and sharing my impressions with you.
For This Is How It Always Is, in addition to the regular discussion forum on the website, Modern Mrs Darcy was amazing enough to organize a live chat with author Laurie Frankel. I sadly had to miss it since I’m still very busy with my job change, but what’s so great about the online book club is that all webchat book discussions or other events like the one with Laurie Frankel are provided as recordings after that fact to members, so that you can still benefit even if you can’t make the event live. I tried to listen to the chat ahead of this review, but my internet wasn’t cooperating. I’m definitely adding it to my weekend to do list.
This Is How It Always Is would have been on my radar even without Modern Mrs Darcy‘s recommendation (I included it in my February 2017 Releases post), but I have to say that so far her recommendations have been excellent. She’s aced 2 out of 2 to date for me. Her March 2017 pick will be A Piece Of The World by Christina Baker Kline and I’m already looking forward to it. In the meantime, here is my review of the amazing, moving, thought-provoking This Is How It Always Is.
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Last month I decided to join Modern Mrs. Darcy‘s new book club that she’s hosting through her website. It’s $10 a month and allows you to participate in discussions of the books chosen each month in an online forum or on the book club’s Facebook group, as well as take part in a scheduled live discussion for each month’s book, just like in a regular book club. In addition, there are interesting courses hosted in webinar format like this month’s course on bullet journaling for Book Lovers. I’m not paid to promote her Book Club or anything, I’m just trying it out and sharing my impressions with you.
So far I haven’t interacted that much on the site, but I’m hoping to do so now that I’ve finished January’s pick, which was Paulette Jile’s News Of The World. I really found it interesting to read through the discussion topics and the contributions of other book club participants, which helped me solidify some of my own views of the book. I definitely had been hearing a lot about News Of The World in the bookish community, so I was happy that it was Anne’s pick for this month. It’s a surprising and adventurous historical fiction novel, which pairs two very different main characters together and brings the Texan frontier to life.
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