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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So you may have noticed things have been a bit quieter around the blog these past few weeks than normal. I haven’t had as much bandwidth for blogging after work and on the weekends because I just started out at a new job. It’s an amazing opportunity and super exciting, but like any new situation takes more mental and physical energy than normal. My time at home these days has been mostly spent sleeping and reading.
This has had the positive result of putting me in the position at the moment to be way ahead on my reading schedule, but behind on actual reviews. I have a lot of books to cover over the next few weeks that I’ve already read. I’m hoping to get back to a more regular schedule, but in the meantime thanks for understanding that things may be a bit slower than normal around here for a little while longer.
Being able to read everyone else’s posts and reviews has kept me in the book blog loop, however, which I’m very thankful for. Here are some of my favorite posts from this week.
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I had never heard of the historical phenomenon of the Magdalen laundries until I read the plot synopsis for The Magdalen Girls. Learning about them was equal parts fascinating and horrifying. They were essentially penitentiary work-houses for women who were deemed by society to be ‘fallen’ or ‘sinners’ for a variety of reasons that today seem baffling. The worst ‘sin’ of many of the women who were sent by their families to be relegated to these institutions was often just to have had a child out of wedlock.
Throughout both distant and more recent history, women across the globe have often been hidden in secreted locations when finding themselves unexpectedly pregnant. The difference with the Magdalen laundries is primarily that the women were forced to work in extremely hard conditions for their keep, while being condemned through bodily mortification bordering on torture for their ‘sins’.
V.S. Alexander brings this troubling chapter of history to life in The Magdalen Girls through three very relatable young characters that find themselves in the Sister of the Holy Redemption convent for different reasons. The book is both an interesting historical commentary on the laundries, as well as a novel about the more universal themes of friendship, right and wrong, identity and personal freedom.
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