Y is for You Should See Me in a Crown #AtoZChallenge #PandemicAlphabet

First of all, this cover.

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N is for Necessary Endings #AtoZChallenge #PandemicAlphabet

I know, I know. You’re thinking, “Akilah, seriously, a self-help book about ending things? How on earth could that be a comfort read?” And you’re right, mostly, but think of it this way: The pandemic has made a lot of things clear to us and sometimes those things are things (relationships, jobs, etc) we need to let go of but for some reason, we just can’t seem to. In Necessary Endings by Henry Cloud, he walks you through some steps and activities to help you figure out if you really need to let go of that thing or maybe stick in there just a little longer.

As I was looking through my Goodreads to find inspiration for N and landed on this title, it clicked that I should write about it. I was also inspired because I recently recommended the book to two friends of mine in two separate industries who were thinking of quitting their jobs but weren’t sure about it.

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It’s Monday and I am on an adult book tear #IMWAYR

My last four books have been for grown ups and I have read only two YA books so far this year (out of ten total books). Who have I become? I don’t even recognize myself anymore.

There’s not much to report around these here parts. I’ve been working and watching TV and that’s about it. I did finish Judas and the Black Messiah this weekend. Oh, and Schitt’s Creek finally but other than that…I got nothing. Okay, that isn’t entirely true, but I am trying this new thing where I don’t cram everything into one blog post a week.

Anyway, here are the two books I read since my last update:

Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I think what I’m trying to describe is loneliness.

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Pools, Bees, Good Talk, and The Forty-Year-Old Version

I have taken advantage of the current heat wave to get in the pool the past two days. It has been glorious to do my regular workout before being restricted to not having a workout.

Yeah, I’m working on that.

Anyway, the pool was great! I also learned a lot. For one, I learned that the wireless headphones I got do not like when I get in the pool. They kept crapping out during my workout on Saturday, which is beyond frustrating because I use the music to keep time for my workout. Without the music, I wouldn’t know when to start or stop various parts of my workout and–more importantly–I would get bored and cut my workout short. So, the headphones not working is actually a super not great thing and not just because music is fun. The good news is that my headphones worked better on Sunday, and I honestly do not know what changed. I changed the placement of my phone, but I had done that on Saturday with no luck so, sigh. The headphones are a fickle beast. I’ll have to investigate better headphones for when the weather actually breaks because I cannot live this way.

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It’s Wednesday & 2021 Reading Is Off to a Good Start

You know, I was beating myself because I hadn’t posted yet this week, and I realized it’s because I have been struggling with how to (and whether or not I wanted to) address current events. All I’ll say is this: Living in this country is exhausting.

My reading deprivation is officially over, so I watched some TV and read some books. More specifically, I finally finished Living Single (Hulu), which is super fun because the characters really do feel like they’re my friends. I was trying to decide on my next throwback comfort watch and remembered that when I was watching The Bernie Mac Show, I started X-Men: The Animated Series (Disney+), so I think I need to go ahead and get back to that. Not to mention, seeing the good guys win over and over again might just be what I need to feed my soul right now.

A note on the wrap-up: I’m going to try something new with my book reviews this week since WordPress has stepped up its game with these blocks. I’ll see if I have the patience for it in the coming weeks.

Last week I posted:

It’s Monday & I’m doing a reading deprivation

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It’s Monday & I’m doing a reading deprivation

If you’re unfamiliar, a reading deprivation occurs in week four of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. During a reading deprivation, you give up reading for a week. I started mine on January 1 so that means I’m currently on day four. Just like last time, I have basically given up all media that uses words, including social media. I also gave up Bejeweled (except–TMI alert–when I’m in the bathroom) because I definitely use it as a form of distraction and admit that about myself. Unlike last time, I am a little less crazed–probably because I knew what to expect this time and also, maybe, because I have grown as a person in the last four and a half years.

As a result of the no words thing, I am VERY into the Pop Goes Classical playlist/station on Spotify. It is getting me through. Current faves include “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Queenz of Piano and “Lose Yourself” by David Garrett.

The holidays were nice and low-key. Jólabókaflóð (Yule Book Flood) was a success this year. I received The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (reviewed below) and milk and honey by Rupi Kaur (started but, obviously, on hold until the end of the week). I gave The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas to my daughter’s friend who said she wanted to read more classics, and I gave my daughter The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo because she said she wanted to read more about minimalism. We exchanged books, drank hot cocoa, and read together for about an hour or so. It was a delight. Christmas was also a lot of fun with us hanging out, opening presents, watching movies, and eating some food.

I did make a post last week, and I did read some books and watch some movies that I didn’t post about here before the end of the new year.

What I posted:

2020 End of Year Book Survey

What I read:

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It’s Monday & I hope this posts before midnight

I am writing this at 10:55 p.m. WILL I MAKE THE DEADLINE? I hope so. (The answer, btw, is yes. Hitting post on this at 11:15.)

I won’t be participating in Month of Faves this week because I never post my fave books before December 31 as I may read one of my favorite books of the year between now and then. So, here’s a recap of all my Month of Faves posts from the past week instead:

I also read some books and watched some movies:

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#AMonthofFaves 2020: Popular Books Worth the Hype

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That’s right: A Month of Faves is back, hosted by Tanya and Kim over at Girlxoxo. As of this writing, the official post isn’t up on the website yet, but the prompts are posted on Kim’s Instagram.

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It’s Wednesday & I have an ashy eye

Okay, I’m going to get into the ashy eye story in a minute, but also I just want you to know that I got a COVID test after flying across the country, and it is negative. So…whew.

But, yes, I have an ashy eye.

So I discovered this ashy eye issue the day I was packing/prepping to fly across the country. My eye had been bothering me since Thursday. It kept watering for no reason, which honestly happens to me quite a bit, but I thought it was just allergies. You know, a fire was raging, and debris was flying through the air, so it seemed logical. But that night I couldn’t sleep with my eye mask on because it felt like something was stabbing me in the eye.

Then, on Friday, my eye was still bothering me. It was still with the leaking and all, but I could smell smoke in my house, so, again, I just banked on allergies. Also, my daughter told me I looked like I had gotten punched in the eye because my eye was swollen. “Yes,” I told her. “It’s the allergies.”

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5 Books I Wanted to Nominate for My Book Club’s Middle Grade Mystery Theme & the One I Did

So my book club is doing middle grade mysteries for October, and unfortunately, I can only nominate one book. One! This is sad for me because I have a lot of books that I could recommend because I want the people in my book club to read and/or talk about them. Just for context (do I need more context?), after I taught the detective literature course at my school last fall, I said my dream would be to teach the class again and focus solely on middle grade capers or puzzle books. (I was sick of all the murdering and violence in the adult literature.) The point is that this topic lives close to my heart. 

So, anyway, here are all the books I wanted to nominate for my book club to read and the one I did wind up nominating in the end.

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