Books of the Month: May 2021

Apologies for the delay on this post, it was all written, I just got distracted by the book I was reading this week and forgot to post it! I actually really enjoyed all of the books I read this month; it was also quite a variety, from thriller, to historical fiction, to romance, to a web cartoon. I also somehow bought like 8 books last month? And had several come available at the library so it’s been quite the mad dash to get through my TBR.

The Push was a psychological drama about a mother who suspects there is something wrong with her first born daughter, but everyone thinks she is making it up. It reminds me a bit of Woman in the Window, where the female protagonist isn’t believed by anyone and is made to be crazy. I think this was a really well written book; it felt real and honest (as in, I’m not taking a chance and having children), and helps to pose the question, at what age do sociopaths start to show their true nature and what do we do about it…?

Lore Olympus (Season 1) is a Webtoon comic that I fell in love with this month. I’ve been very into greek mythology and this (modern?) retelling of the story of Hades and Persephone made me swoon. I literally gobbled up the comics, reading through season 1 in about 3 days. Would recommend if you want to scroll through something other than Instagram.

Circe was a fantastic book about the nymph daughter of Helios, who ends up becoming a powerful witch, exiled to her own island. Odysseus eventually ends up on her shores in his return home to Ithaca, for those who read The Odyssey by Homer. The story was about a powerful woman, coming into her own as a powerful sorceress who defies the gods for her own gains, which we love to see! *clap*

The People We Meet on Vacation was another Emily Henry banger. It was a semi coming of age story (IMO) meets romance about Alex and Poppy, who meet in college and become friends, traveling on vacation each summer. I felt it was a bit of a When Harry Met Sally* rip off and I definitely loved Beach People more, but Henry still wrote complex characters who had complicated backgrounds within an overall great story. I felt like it was also a coming of age story for Poppy, in a way that reminded me of Honey Girl. Also, loved the back and forth chapters that helped to better show more of Alex and Poppy’s pasts.

(*WHMS is quite literally one of my favorite 90’s rom coms, second to Pretty Woman, so I really wasn’t upset by this)

Milk Fed was a coming of age story about a twenty something living in LA, struggling with her body image, weight and mommy issues. I found it to be a bit triggering when she was talking about her eating disorder, but overall, it was an interesting story. I don’t think I would recommend this one to everyone but it was a very well written coming of age story.

We Begin at the End surprised me. It started off and I was very confused as to what was happening? But slowly, the story developed and I found there were really well written characters within a very complex story. It reminded me a lot of All of the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood, but with a murder investigation thrown in? The story follows the police chief, Walk as he tries to prove his friend’s innocence when someone in town is found murdered; there is a second plot factoring in a young girl and her brother as they outrun the sister’s past misdeeds. The two plots are woven into one another, of course.

Overall, I enjoyed all of the books I read this month, I would definitely recommend The Push or Circe the most. I’ve been on quite the Greek mythology kick these days and am currently reading The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (so close to being done and I already know it’s going to be my favorite book for June). Any book suggestions on this topic will be well received!

The Push by Ashley Audrain

Lore Olympus, Season 1 by Rachel Smythe

Circe by Madeline Miller

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

Milk Fed by Melissa Broder

We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker

What did you read in May? Leave it in the comments, I’m always looking for recommendations!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

Sincerely Seven: Week 5

Sunday again. I spent this week trying to organize our apartment, cleaning out clothes I no longer wear, mopping, etc. Just being a boring adult really. I was finally able to go back to Target again but that was really the highlight of my weekend. I ordered things from the Container Store, so until that order comes, I can take a break from trying to organize and catch up on my reading.

King Arthur Cinny Rolls
  1. Today I made Perfectly Pillowy Cinnamon Rolls and you guys, this recipe is EASY and SO good. If you’ve ever been afraid of making rolls, or using yeast, I feel like this one is pretty fool-proof! And tastes delicious.
  2. Last night, Dan Levy hosted SNL and I was crying laughing from the Zillow Skit. I thought I was the only one who aimlessly creeped around Zillow and looked at homes in various cities that I’ll never live in, but I guess I’m not the only one who gets a thrill from this?
  3. If you follow my Instagram, you know I’ve gotten big into puzzling this year. Loved these puzzle options and definitely want to order the cat on the Vespa…
  4. Obviously today is a big day in America…Team Ruff won the Puppy Bowl. I was personally cheering for Team Ruff after Muffin scored the first touchdown, but good job to all the pups who played and were adopted! I’m honestly trying to figure out how I can be the referee next year…also, can we talk about Chunky Monkey?
  5. Amanda Gorman killed it with her poetry…again. I actually missed her performance, as I was too busy eating snacks, but loved her poem and LOVED her coat.
  6. The Golden Globe noms were released this week and many were snubbed, while Emily in Paris got multiple noms. Now we all know I loved EIP, but did it deserve any awards other than a Teen Choice Award? No. I’m SO mad Insecure, I May Destroy You, and Bridgerton got snubbed.
  7. Finally, in honor of Black History Month, here are 25 books by Black authors to read. I really want to read Heads of the Colored People.

Have a happy week ahead!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

2020 Goals, Where Are We?

As 2020 comes to end, it dawned on me that I had better start thinking up some new goals for 2021…and oh yeah, reflect on my 2020 ones. This year was definitely not what I was expecting, in fact, most of the things I was planning for were completely thrown out the window to sit inside and wash my hands every three seconds. I still stand by the fact that we should have wrote off all goals and the such for 2020, but after doing some reflecting, I did have some achievements this year, while maybe smaller or more personal. I did get a cat, which is kind of like a life goal achieved, so let’s say I excelled at my goals for the year. Overall, here are my 2020 goals and my reflections on them:

  1. Save money by becoming a more mindful consumer. I did make more of an effort to pay attention to materials and brand missions as well as purchase secondhand on Poshmark. Did I cut back on spending overall? Next question.
  2. Read more. I read somewhere north of 25 books in 2019, I am currently at 57 for 2020. CHECK.
  3. Make Friends. So due to COVID, this didn’t really happen. I also got very lazy and well, not much going on here. I feel like this was a broad one, I don’t know just making excuses at this point.
  4. Make 5 difficult recipes. I roasted a chicken and made Ina’s Spaghetti and Meatballs. I also made croissants and cinnamon rolls. So close to 5, but happy with what I did make. In general, I cooked meals 4-5 times a week (usually easy Mom-blog recipes), but still made an effort here. Happy with that!
  5. Be Present. I gave up my social media for about 1.5 months, which was great. I also tried to spend less time on my phone while with others. This all went downhill about October-mid November, but who can blame me?
Aurora 😊

While I didn’t achieve everything, I am proud of the things I did accomplish this year from my goals. I am also really proud of myself for hitting goals I didn’t even set. Other things I did in 2020 that I didn’t plan on:

  1. Worked out 4-5 times a week. When quarantine started, I was so nervous about getting lazy and not being active, so I signed up for obe and honestly, changed my whole fitness routine. Most of my need for working out was more of a mental need, but I do feel stronger overall and see more toning on my limbs. Here’s to a healthy body! I’m trying to hit 200 classes by the end of the year!
  2. Watched less Netflix/Hulu/HBO/etc. See: 57 books read.
  3. Started therapy. I was really feeling it about mid way through the year and I knew my mood and general demeanor were not normal, so I asked for help. And it did really help. I would highly recommend for anyone who’s afraid to step out there and talk to someone, it’s scary but it’ll be worth it (for anyone curious, I used Talkspace due to COVID; would recommend, makes it easy to fit into your schedule or as needed).
  4. Wore less makeup/cared less about looks. Okay, so I feel like this is only because of quarantine, but in general I’m not as focused on how I look (i.e. going out in public with/without makeup) and go most days without makeup on/hair done. I have focused more on skincare these last few months, which is way more important. Also, haven’t had my hair color done in like 6+ months and I don’t really care anymore about how bad my roots look?
  5. Less hung up on mistakes. I am a perfectionist, and I get very easily hung up on mistakes. While I’m still working on this, I do see where I care less about not being perfect and giving myself slack for little things I might mess up or not do perfectly. See: started therapy.

Overall, I’m happy with how my year went (other than the obvious downfalls of 2020); I didn’t hit all the goals I set for myself, but I did accomplish other things I wasn’t expecting when I wrote my list in January.

What did you achieve in 2020, whether you set goals or not?

Sincerely,

Sara Ann