Books of the Month: August 2021

Somehow it’s September and 2021 is quickly approaching its end. If you’re like me and still trying to process 2020, I’ll be here in LA avoiding the heat, guzzling Pumpkin Creme Cold Brews and baking muffins, if you want to stare into the abyss and contemplate life together. Or find a bookstore and aid in my self destructive habit of buying more books I don’t have time to read. About what I did read last month…

That Summer is a must read; I really enjoy Jennifer Weiner’s writing style and the way she writes these complex narratives that really draw you in. I didn’t enjoy her last book (the mystery wasn’t mysterious at all, sorry Jen), so I was skeptical to read this, but I’m really glad Weiner came back to fiction, and the added twist here was interesting. This book was very well written, especially since it discussed sensitive topics of sexual assault. It was heartbreaking but also heartwarming in the sense that Diana was able to find herself at the Cape and learn to love not only herself but someone else? I also found it incredibly interesting to read about the Harvey Weinstein trials through the eyes of someone who had been sexually assaulted; I thought it was an excellent detail and made me think about something more thoughtfully than I perhaps had before.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is a great book to read if you want to try therapy but have anxiety or fear about what happens/opening up to a stranger/etc. The author writes about the experiences with her patients in therapy, as well as her sessions with her own therapist, really breaking down the human experience, in that, every single one of us has something we want or need to talk about, or work on. I loved the stories of her patients, but I loved Lori’s own experience the most.

We Were Never Here was… I honestly don’t know? It was a thrilling story but there were a lot of things that either weren’t answered OR didn’t make sense? Basically, Emily and her friend, Kristen, take yearly vacations together to exotic and remote locations. This year, they’re in Chile, and Emily can’t shake the reminders of last years Cambodian trip where a man assaulted her, resulting in she and Kristen killing the man and disposing of his body. There was a lot of gaslighting and some blackmail, but the ending left me totally lost. Has anyone else read this?

It Ends With Us was my first Colleen Hoover book that I saw approximately 456 times on Tik Tok and finally caved in and bought. I liked the book, but I loved it after I read the author’s note at the end about the dedication to her mother. It made the book and its subject so much more real? Lily meets Ryle and falls head over heels in love; however, she quickly learns her perfect man isn’t always perfect, right when her teenage love comes waltzing back into her life. It mainly showcases relationships with domestic violence, just as an FYI if you’re thinking about reading, but it was a really good story (with some somewhat laughable details, 23 year old dating a 30 something neurosurgeon, OKAY). Also, for Ryle, I couldn’t stop picturing Luke McFarlane and Justin Hartley, if anyone reading this is planning on adapting this book to film. I couldn’t picture Atlas that well though, curious if anyone else read this and has thoughts of who would play him…

That Summer by Jennifer Weiner

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

I also apologize for publishing this so late, the month has gotten away from me! What did you read last month, or what books did you add to your TBR?

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

Sincerely Seven: Week 3

This week, we finally journeyed back to the West Coast and I am so happy to be back. I am not happy to unpack, however. Why is unpacking the actual worst? And why don’t I have any open closet space from the things I took on my trip? I clearly need to go through my clothes and get rid of some things but that’s even more work, which is why I don’t want to start unpacking. What I really want is a bigger apartment, but LA why you so expensive, huh?

Here’s the things that got me through this (great) week:

  1. The Inauguration happened this week and my serotonin is back at levels I wasn’t sure would ever be possible again. I was obsessed with all the women’s outfits, especially those of Michelle Obama (that outfit literally slayed), Dr. Jill Biden, and Meena Harris. But, my favorite moment was the swearing in of VP, Kamala Harris; what her position means for women everywhere, especially women of color, I cannot even contain how incredible it was to witness that moment of history.
  2. Also on the topic of Inauguration, can we discuss how amazing Amanda Gorman is? That poem was incredible, her coat and accessories were incredible, I can’t wait to see more from her. I loved her Vogue interview as well, she has a sense of confidence that I cannot even fathom having when I was 22, let alone 27.
  3. Since COVID has started, the world has had to adjust in dozens of ways, many of which I can’t even begin to know about. I found this article about COVID compliance officers on movie sets very interesting. That job sounds incredibly difficult and stressful, I certainly don’t think I could do it.
  4. This week, I watched Pretend It’s a City and fell in love with Fran Lebowitz. I do feel like some of the content would have been funnier if I were living in NY and experiencing a lot of the things she discusses, but I really love her spirit, her general hate of just about anything, and hearing about her life and experiences.
  5. I also spent this week cackling over TikTok videos, specifically CaseyisCrazy, which turned Disney Princesses into the Real Housewives and it is so funny, I want (need) MORE. I also loved justme.rod who chronicled the drama of Olivia Rodrigo, et al. Like he just gets my FEELINGS about this situation, you know?
  6. After eating many, many Midwest meals (ahem, no offense), I am ready to eat healthier and cleaner. This recipe for a Kale Caesar salad with sweet potato fries caught my eye, along with these veggie enchiladas!
  7. Finally, perhap the greatest thing to emerge from the Internet this week, The Bernie Sanders Meme. I have died cackling at these since Wednesday, here are some of my favorites.

Have a lovely week ahead folks!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

Sincerely Seven: Week 46

How is it the middle of November already? I truly don’t understand where these last few months have gone, but I’m happy to be back in Columbus. I’ve already started my Christmas shopping and am planning which cookies to bake for the holidays. Not too much happened this week other than flying east, worked and did some reading. In fact, I think I’m off to read some more. Here’s the things that caught my eye this week…

  1. The Crown is back and I’m binging my way through it under a pile of blankets. I’m so excited for this season; we finally meet Diana and the famous love triangle. My heart is breaking for her as I’m watching, I knew it was rough for her, but I’m shocked how awful it might have been (the show isn’t 100% true but gosh I can only imagine how hard it must have been). I’m also so excited for Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher. Honestly though, they do a fantastic job casting everyone on the show.
  2. I want to bake these slice n’bake bourbon caramel pretzel cookies ASAP. Bourbon isn’t my drink of choice, so I’ll have to pop out to grab but they really do sound heavenly.
  3. Sir Paul McCartney sat down with Taylor Swift and the two had a very interesting conversation about quarantining, making music and striving for normalcy in their lives.
  4. If you need someone new to follow on Tik Tok, please check out Grandma Droniak. She basically just shows off her outfits and ITS SO PERFECT. She’s also on Instagram.
  5. With Thanksgiving coming up, multiple medical experts have given recommendations on how to best handle Thanksgiving with family. I’m very nervous as we are gathering with family, I think everyone is taking pre-cautions but still puts me on edge.
  6. For any GBBO fans out there, if you’ve ever wondered why they wear the same outfit over two days, Laura spills why. Not very exciting, but I always have wondered why they do this!
  7. The Schitts Creek mansion is for sale and well, America, it was nice knowing you, I’m moving to Canada.

Have a lovely week!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

So Long Social Media

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I decided earlier in May that for the month of June, I would remove social media apps from my phone. I realized I was too dependent on social media and my screen report made me cringe every Sunday when it popped up. Mixed with everything happening related to COVID, I wasn’t spending any time accomplishing anything, other than scrolling through social media on and off all day, everyday. A whole day would go by and I would realize it was 4 PM and I couldn’t think of a single thing I had accomplished. I was also getting angry seeing others post pictures of themselves back out in public, or with groups of friends, in close proximity and without masks.

It’s now been almost three weeks and honestly, I’m so mad I didn’t try it sooner. My evenings and weekends are so much more open, I can actually look back on my day and list off a number of things I accomplished, none of which involved my phone. I’ve had time to draw, time to take an online class, watch documentaries (and actually retain the information because I was paying attention). I’ve organized and cleaned more of my apartment, and spent more time reading the actual news, rather than what my friends were just posting about.

I also feel like I’ve cut down on my clothing spending, as I’m not seeing influencer’s posts and making impulse purchases, because I have to have that trendy item. I have increased my apartment decor/storage spending, so it’s really netting out, but still I consider it a win because I’m spending money on things that are actually necessary and useful, versus another dress to hang in my closet.

I still have two more weeks and I’m already sad that I am halfway finished. Maybe I’ll keep going into July as well, as I am afraid I’ll fall back into my lazy, aimlessly scrolling ways. If you are reading this like, ‘this girl is crazy, I could never delete my apps;’ I challenge you to try it for at least a day, or even a weekend, just to give yourself time to do things you’ve been meaning to do, and give your mind (and eyes) a break. I promise, you’ll survive and you don’t need to see that picture of your friend’s banana bread or your ex’s story of him out on a boat.

How does social media impact your life? Are you obsessed with it or couldn’t care less?

Sincerely,
Sara Ann