Cheers to the Weekend 9.21.18
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Annnnnnnnd we’re only a week away from October??? But seriously how!? Regardless, we are loving every minute of watching the trees burst into glorious fall color and are over here seriously anticipating our favorite month (and a new dinner party!). This weekend has been low key for the both of us, just taking care of the dreaded “adulting” and spending time with our families. Anyone do anything fun this weekend?

Around the Web

Did you guys see the Man Booker shortlist? I’m impressed with the representation of independent publishers and it also includes the youngest nominee ever!

TBR toppling? Let’s talk about the merits of erasing it.

We aren’t the only ones excited about fall reads, and for good reason.

Do you follow any authors on Twitter?

We love our banned book club, and these are some of the most beloved books that have been banned.

If you’re struggling with historical fiction, you aren’t alone + some recommendations for unconventional ones you might try!

I’m OBSESSED with this concept and though I’d never fire Gatsby, I do love some of the suggested alternatives.

 

Instagram

Stephanie’s feed features lovely photography + great reads; what more could you ask for? 

We love the travel + lifestyle vibes on Tim’s feed!

Need some autumn coziness? Head over to this gorgeous feed.

What We're Reading

Michaela - I’m settling in with The Lies of Locke Lamora, but I’ve also got my eye on Warbreaker for book club!

Rikki - I’m still immensely enjoying The Picture of Dorian Gray, satirical and hilarious! I’m also reading Autumn and As I Lay Dying. We have a lot of working going on around our homestead, so reading is getting neglected a bit, I’ll likely spend the rest of the month finishing these novels.

What We're Excited to Read This Fall

There’s about a two week transitional period here in the Pacific Northwest that sees us through the last heat wave of summer and into the inevitable, seemingly abrupt, turn to autumn. It’s a welcome time, as we’re so accustomed to our often mild weather and dressing in layers, plus one can only read so many fun beach novels before craving something different. At least, that’s the case for us. This time of year, as we slide back in to misty mornings, shorter days, and brilliantly colored trees, we find ourselves drawn to atmospheric campus novels, classics, fantasy, and usually a good door stop or two as we cozy in with warm blankets and tea.

After much debate and scouring of shelves, these are some of the many books we’re most looking forward to reading this fall.

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Rikki

There are a few novels that I’ve simply been meaning to read until the weather shifted and the slow, dark prose was well-suited to the overall mood and atmosphere of the season. When you fully immerse yourself into the atmosphere of a novel, matching the weather, the seasonal food, the clothes, etc., can all be felt in a greater context. I’ve started most of these actually, seeing which ones I really wanted to commit to, and well, they all made the cut.

Michaela turned me on to Oscar Wilde a few years ago with The Importance of Being Earnest, and after needing a palate cleanser, I started The Picture of Dorian Gray. I’ve been making my way through this book this past month, and have found myself laughing out loud on so many occasions. It is a hysterical. While also craving something slow and intentional, Karl One Knausgaard’s Autumn was a no-brainer! One of the most charming stories of simple every day things that one may or may not ever reflect on as they go about their day, raise their children, meander through orchards, and watch the sun set.

Needing even more mood, I can’t resist Faulkner, whom I’ve been meaning to read for quite some time. As I Lay Dying is the deeper, make-you-think type of novel I can easily get lost in on a rainy day. A perfect compliment to Faulkner is Leaf Storm by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, I’m excited to explore both author’s work.

I’m keeping the rest of my options open for campus novels and moody books, so if you have recommendations, feel free to send them my way! Speaking of recommendations, The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon was recently recommended to us as a “hard to put down campus novel. I’m really looking forward to reading this! The reviews are quite controversial and all over the place, which is all the intrigue I need.

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Michaela

The colder the weather gets, the more I crave fantasy, big tomes, and atmospheric reads. I seek this same mood every year, I know, but I can’t help it! Nothing goes better with a steaming mug of tea than richly drawn worlds and dark atmosphere.

Fantasy

For fantasy this fall I’m kind of running the gamut this season. I’m picking up Diane Setterfield’s (The Thirteenth Tale, anyone?) forthcoming novel Once Upon A River, which is a all myth and fairytale and mystery; you know, the good stuff. I’m also reading the third installment of Becky Chamber’s Wayfarers series, Record of a Spaceborn Few. If her past books are any indication, this one will be a warm cozy hug of a sci-fi novel and I can’t wait to just be wrapped in her magical world building and characters.

I’m also picking up two, big hefty plot-driven fantasy novels: The Lies of Locke Lamora, because I’ve been meaning to read it forever (and it is soooooo delightfully sassy and fun so far!), and Warbreaker for book club, which sounds like it’s basically going to be kickass princesses and magic and gods. Obviously I am here for it, plus Sanderson is another author I’ve been meaning to read.

Atmosphere

I’m mixing up my atmospheric books this year, and instead of going and hiding in The Secret History forever and ever, I’m looking to a few authors I trust to give me that moody ambiance I crave. Lief Enger (of Peace Like A River fame) has a new novel out October 2nd called Virgil Wander, and from what I’ve read of it so far, it is just exquisite. The plot is nearly irrelevant, it’s enough to just bask in Enger’s writing, but it revolves around a man, his life changing accident, and his relationships with the people in his small town.

Speaking of exquisite writing, I just finished reading Claire Fuller’s forthcoming title Bitter Orange, and was so blown away by the level of skill and atmosphere, I was immediately inspired to pick up her previous works Swimming Lessons and Our Endless, Numbered Days. Though the plots are all different, I’m hearing she has that moody undercurrent I love in all her books.

I’m also excited for The Essex Serpent, which has been on my TBR for a while thanks to everyone praising it’s atmospheric Victorian setting, spooky bits, and deep dives into the main character and her relationships. The last two novels I’m anticipating are Home Fire, which I’m sure you’ve seen absolutely everywhere thanks to it winning the women’s prize for fiction and getting long listed for the Man Booker, and Gentlemen and Players, which should fulfill my Secret History cravings quite nicely with it’s campus setting and murder-y vibes.

Doorstopper

Call me crazy, but I am head over heels in love with War and Peace. It’s famously enormous, of course, but whenever I pick it up I always, ALWAYS get sucked into it and end up reading for an hour—or three. I’m currently about 300 pages into it, and you can read a bit about why I decided to read it and how I chose the translation I’m reading right over here.

Also, maybe this will sound silly, but it’s really helped me to watch the mini series as I make my way through this behemoth. I’ve been watching an episode, reading up to where the episode cuts off, and then watching another, then reading, etc. It helps me to know where I’m going in the book and the show is just so deliciously well done; it’s been a great companion to the novel. I’m hoping to finish this one well before the year ends, so wish me luck!

What are you looking forward to reading this fall?

Cheers to the Weekend 9.15.18
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 A very happy and lazy weekend to you! Our biggest plans include brunching on pumpkin pancakes, lighting our seasonal candles, drinking plenty of hot tea, and curling up with our books while it stays windy and gray and cool outside. What are you guys up to?

Around the Web

It’s getting to that time when the seasons shift and we feel drawn to more dark and gothic-style stories. We’re preparing a few for the coming months, and I just picked up the first one on this list! Have you read it?

A good dose of shelf inspiration/envy from real people. These shelves are all GORGEOUS, and I love that they’re in real people’s homes and not just styled for a shoot.

We talked a little this week about Michaela’s struggle with grief novels, but if you enjoy them, or need literary help with coping with loss, here’s a great list of books to try!

Headed to the Brooklyn Book Festival? Here’s everything you need to know.

Did you see the National Book Awards longlist??? Have you read any of them yet?

I love love LOVE this booksellers lament!

 

Instagram

For all of the loveliest flowers and books your heart desires

I dream of living in the English countryside, and Kayte’s lifestyle photos are so charming

An entire family of readers?! Yes, please! We’re participating in their #readwhatyouown September challenge 

What We're Reading

Michaela - Honestly, I’m focused on The Mobius Strip Club of Grief as a buddy-read with my brother this weekend! I do have Record of a Spaceborn Few open as well, because I can never just be reading one book :) I’m definitely ready for some heavy fantasy after these, because that’s my favorite kind of fall read. I’m thinking The Lies of Locke Lamora; anyone read it?

Rikki - After The Kitchen House gave me a serious book hangover, I’ve been moving back and forth between books to see what sticks. I started The Picture of Dorian Gray and didn’t expect to find it as satirical and hilarious as it is, but it’s brilliant.

 

Cheers to the Weekend 9.7.18
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A quick one today, friends! We've been spending the weekend with our families celebrating the birthdays of our sons (3 days and several years apart!) so it's been pretty packed. Despite how busy it's been, we are still finding time to break into our fall decor and pick up some good books. What are you reading this weekend, friends? Anything good?

 

Around the Web

Did anyone else have the same experience discovering the beauty of language through Francesca Lia Block as a tween or teen?? I definitely did.

Loved the Crazy Rich Asians movie?? Here are some books you should read next!

A book list based on the Rory + Jess ship? Um, yes please! Team Jess forever, and I could use some books with that dynamic, for sure.

If you're looking for some solid recs for character driven novels, Sarah has a great list of some she couldn't put down. We see a few that are on our TBR's!

I love seeing small presses highlighted, and this one looks fabulous.

 

Instagram

Alexa has the loveliest feed and shares thoughts on well-known books you're bound to be curious about

Making NY look so good through her literary lifestyle lens

Lottie has all the books, school distractions, and appreciates the seasons through literature like us

 

What We're Reading

Michaela - I've had a slow reading week between company and birthdays, but I'm finishing up Where the Crawdads Sing, and also getting into Gentleman and Players to satisfy my campus novel craving.

Rikki - I'm currently enjoying a much anticipated read of The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom, she's so good, oh my gosh. Slow reading through Leaf Storms and As I Lay Dying, which were coincidentally, perfect for the seasonal shift. 

 

Literary Dinner | A Midsummer Night's Dream
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When you think of Shakespeare, generally it's his tragedies and darker plays that come to mind, but his lighter rom-coms have always been my favorite, especially A Midsummer Night's Dream. Honestly, part of it is because it was the first live play I ever saw, on a beach in Lake Tahoe during their annual Shakespeare Festival. I was probably only eight or nine, but it made such an impact on me; the magic and the fairies and the laugher, and I've just loved it ever since.

We've been wanting to pull this dinner off for years, but the stars didn't align until just recently. Why didn't do we this at actual Midsummer, you ask? Frankly, because it doesn't get dark until 10pm in June and we have young kids with bedtimes, so because this play takes place mostly at night, we had to wait for the sun to set earlier.

Guys, it was so, so worth the wait. Labor day marked the unofficial end of summer, so consider this our personal farewell to the season.

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Setting up this dinner was all about adding magic and color. We started with a couple of bundles of bright, summery flowers from our beloved Trader Joe's and made several arrangements in various sizes. Then we strung up little bud vases filled with flowers and candles in tiny jars, dangling them from the arbor with fishing line so they would look like they were floating.

The table it's self was a riot of candles, color, and food. We started with a woven table runner, topped it with some gauzy cheesecloth for romance, added candles, rose petals, and fresh figs, then finished it with plates, chargers, napkins in rings, and utensils. We also gathered up a collection of lanterns filled with fairy lights and mixed them with more vases spilling over with summer color, before scattering more rose petals for good measure. 

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Food stayed true to the text, for the most part, and we piled fruits, cheese, chocolates, meats, and bread onto an antique silver platter. We wanted to include food mentioned in the play, but also just go with the sort of decadent, wild setting. A jar of honey with the comb still in it, scattered fresh green figs, and tender phyllo dough pastries completed our spread.

We served grilled salmon with charred lemon slices for our main course, because it felt summery, light and tender, and was true to the spirit of natural things that is so prominent in the setting of this play. Basically, fresh, colorful, and light was the theme. 

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Our table truly looked magical when it was all lit up and laden with food and wine; we kinda couldn't get over it. Also, having the dinner in the middle of Rikki's huge, blossoming garden was the perfect spot for this, and added so much to the overall ambiance. It was such an inviting space for us to tuck ourselves into for the evening.

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We snacked on appetizers and chatted about the play, his other works, and about a Shakespeare class Rikki had taken while the warm afternoon cooled off into a beautiful twilight. Suddenly we realized the sky was streaked with color and our lanterns and candles were much more dramatic than they had been a little while ago. The change in light was our cue to start dinner for real, and we gathered at the table to enjoy the meal and the company. 

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The "floating" flowers and candles hanging from the arbor really did look like they were suspended in mid air by magic once the sun started to set. The entire scene really came to life once dusk set in and the candlelight took over. Watching the light turn over the course of the dinner was so perfect for how the play goes from day to night over the course of the story.

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"I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight"

-Oberon (Act II, Scene I)

After dinner, we really wanted to honor one of the most famous quotes in the play, so we walked through the garden over to Rikki's stone steps where we spent some time relaxing before dessert. The steps are cut into the slope of the hill, and gently part the sea of colorful wildflowers that carpet the entire area. So we sat chatting amongst the flowers, our wine and books in hand, and the shadows of the woods dark behind us. How perfect, right?

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By the time we were ready for dessert, it was fully dark, and our table was awash in golden light; it could not have been prettier. We stuck to a simple berry tart, which is our favorite summer treat, and a perfect ending to the evening. Slices were passed around, wine was finished off, and as always, we said our goodbyes.

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Cheers to the Weekend 8.31.18
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*some links are affiliate, and we deeply appreciate your support

September, here we come! We are downright giddy about entering into the -ber months and welcoming fall and a school routine back into our lives. Both of us had a really amazing reading month in August, and are hoping to keep up the momentum. Fall is our favorite reading season anyway, when the best place to be is on the couch with a hot cup of tea and a good book, and we're thinking about some bigger classics we want to start into. Our summer is decidedly ending, the last heatwave has past, and the mornings are gray and misty again, so we'll be using the mild weather this weekend to be outside as much as possible. What about you?

 

Around the Web

Did you know this place existed?! If you need us, we'll be planning our trip.

If you need more classics in your life, but are filled with dread at some of the heftier tomes, here is a great list of quick ones for busy adults! #7 is one of my favorite books of all time for it's sharp wit and hilarity. 

Are you looking forward to any of these books that will release in September? I'm impressed with how many indie titles are on there! And there's a YA list, too!

Have you seen Bookriot's fall readathon? It's great because it's going to focus less on hours read, and more on the seasonal shift to fall reading and will be full of activities, giveaways, and cozy tidbits. Count us in!

This article series is our favorite, and they're back with a fresh interview with a bookseller from my hometown!

You had me at "Shakespeare retelling".

 

Instagram

The loveliest at home lifestyle feed that keeps us constantly inspired 

Friends with a simple, cozy vibe, and books mixed in with all the real life moments

The beautiful Irish countryside and charming bookstores has us wanting to hop on a plane right now

 

What We're Reading

Michaela - I went on a complete reading tear the past few days to hit my Goodreads goal for the year (yay!) and polished off Windhaven, The Best We Could Do, and Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows in a single day so honestly, I might just take a breather this weekend. I know that finishing Where the Crawdads Sing is next, though!

Rikki - I just finished Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, and I'm still reeling in that story. It was so good! I'm also currently, and still, reading The Witch of Blackbird Pond (almost done!) and Cinder. This has been a really great reading month and I'm even more surprised how much I ended up being able to read!

 

Wrap Up | August 2018
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Michaela

I Believe in a Thing Called Love | Maurene Goo- A fellow kdrama fan recommended this to me, with fair warning that it was cotton candy level fluff, and she was right. Super fun to catch all the kdrama references, and had a cute, quick plot, and that was about it. Good fun if you need a light YA novel!

Social Creature | Tara Isabella Burton- Ugh. One of the worst books I've read this year, it was just trying wayyy tooooo hard. Trope filled and not particularly good, while also being just stuffed with useless shock-value things in an effort to be edgy. It was a vaguely interesting look at social media in society on a very specific level, but that's about it. Blah. Thank you to Doubleday for gifting us a complimentary review copy. 

I'd Rather Be Reading | Anne Bogel- We got to read this a bit early thanks to Anne and Baker Books, and we are so glad we did! This essay collection spoke to my bookish heart. All of them were relatable, a couple were funny and warm, and some were seriously interesting. Like have you ever thought about what the author acknowledgments reveal about the author and the work? It's a quick read and will make you feel like someone really gets you and your bookworm-y ways.

To All The Boys I've Loved Before | Jenny Han- Yes, I gave into the hype! I decided I wanted to read the book before watching the movie on Netflix, and I'm not sorry about it. Basically this is a heartwarming rom com with a really relatable heroine. Reading about ladies kicking ass and being spunky is awesome, but it's also nice to see a lead who just loves her family and wants to chill and knit and read like most of us. An interesting shift, and the series is a fun one. My one complaint is that the narrator is supposedly sixteen, but seems very juvenile. 

Girl, With Guitar | Tracy Young- What a smart piece of YA, and with such a refreshing lack of romance! This was frankly a cut above the other YA I've read recently for it's wit, humor, and heart. Young has crafted a fierce, but entirely relatable narrator and her motley crew of friends and bandmates, who is out to win her town's Battle of the Bands. The plot was fun and engaging, and the characters were well developed and interesting, all backed by a solid message of empowerment and swathed in dry wit. Thanks so much to the author for the gift of a review copy. 

Bitter Orange | Claire Fuller-Hands down the best book I read this month, and one of the best of the year so far. I can't thank Tin House enough for sending us an early review copy, because holy crap. Bitter Orange is like if Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night and Du Maurier’s Rebecca had an eerily atmospheric, glittering book baby. It’s been a long time since I’ve read such an atmospheric novel, and it was such a clever, clever twist on the unreliable narrator thing. It’s subtle and layered and builds so thoroughly and smoothly, and the ending just got completely under my skin. It is going to make such a perfect fall release, with it’s creepy vibes and sinister drama under it’s sunny facade. A stunningly written and complex mystery. Slow clap, Ms. Fuller, that was amazing.

The Best We Could Do | Thi Bu- I am decidedly not a crier, but this graphic memoir was so impactful it had me misty eyed at the end. The focus is on one family's immigration story from Viet Nam, but manages to wrap in so much history and culture and personal history and relationship drama so elegantly and meaningfully. I loved this so much, I immediately bought myself a copy after returning it to the library. No question, this was one of the best books I've read this year. 

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows | Balli Kaur JaswalThank you Bad People Book Club for a complimentary copy of this book. I have to say this book surprised me; I definitely did not expect it to be as layered and well developed as it was, and found myself really enjoying the story. There is a lot packed in here about feminism, immigration, insular expat communities, the duality of community, the struggle between tradition and modernity, all brought out through a group of widows writing steamy stories. Just really unique and chock full of good stuff. 

Windhaven | George R.R. Martin + Lisa Tuttle- This was a graphic novel adaptation of the existing novel, and honestly I think some of the complexity and nuance were lost in translation. While the story was good, there were points where it felt jarring, and distinctly like you were missing something, and made it harder to follow than it should have been. Decent, but honestly I just want to go read the novel now and see what pieces were missing and experience the full extent of it's power. Thanks to Random House for the complimentary review copy!

What We Were Promised | Lucy Tan- I did not finish this one. I got a little over halfway and gave up on it. It simply wasn't strong enough to be such a character driven novel, and I found myself actively bored and frustrated with the writing, so it wasn't worth finishing for me. Thanks to Little Brown for gifting us a review copy. 

 

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Rikki

The Lover | Marguerite Duras - I was really unsure about this story while reading it, but I loved Duras' writing. She has a beautiful and sparse prose that often had me rereading passages. The story took me off guard, even more so when I learned it was autobiographical, but I found her reflective format a perfect way to write a memoir. 

Listen, Slowly | Thanhha Lai - Adding to my diverse ya reading, I used one of Lai's books for my thesis project, and wanted to ensure I was familiar with her work. This is definitely a middle grade novel, but it was considerably well done. I didn't care for the tropes added in for the benefit of the main character to match her age, but otherwise, it was a great story of a young girl exploring her Vietnamese culture and learning about her family's history, all while getting over herself. 

Of Mice and Men | John Steinbeck - I can't believe it's taken me so long to read Of Mice and Men! I LOVED this story so much, and although it completely broke my heart, it was excellent! I never know what to say about Steinbeck's books, because they're so down to earth, but absolutely rich with detail, narrative, place, and solidly developed characters - I can scarcely articulate more than that.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince | J.K. Rowling - I don't want to talk about it! Why Joanne?! WHY?!

Fahrenheit 451 | Ray Bradbury - I went into this with absolutely no expectations, except that it's a well-loved book that has stood the test of time. I'm quite exceptional at avoiding spoilers. I was blown away from the beginning, being instantly pulled into wondering "what is going to happen?!" It's a grim look at a potential future of life without literature (NOOOOO) and how this overwrought community navigates the curiosity and laws surrounding that.

I'd Rather Be Reading | Anne Bogel  - A complimentary review gift from Anne, such a treat! This book is a small collection of essays detailing different facets of a reader's life. It's like a warm hug from an understanding fellow reader who gets all the quirks, dilemmas, and up-too-late-now-i'm-grumpy-and-tired scenarios. I really enjoyed this quick read, mentions of my favorite books, and moments that struck right in the heart. 

The Best We Could Do | Thi Bui  - A multiculturally diverse YA graphic novel that kind of blew my mind. There is so much packed into this graphic novel; it's full of history, generational family building, and the overall story of Bui's (very interesting) life -- I was really impressed.

Circe | Madeline Miller - Our August read-along. I was slow reading this in the beginning, as this book is so far outside of my usual reading style, but I ended up really liking it. Miller did a brilliant job weaving mythology into a fictional recount of Circe's life. The story spanned millennia flawlessly and painted vivid pictures, all while handling maturity, motherhood, and finding independence so well, you couldn't help but resonate with the all-too-real moments. Truly impressed by this one.

Inside Out & Back Again | Thanhha Lai - I didn't love this book as much as Listen, Slowly, but it was a really good, strong example of the struggles immigrants (particularly children) can have when adjusting to a new life and culture. This is a great middle grade read I'll be passing off to my kids.

The Pearl | John Steinbeck - Where do I begin?! Ugly crying over your broken heart maybe. The one thing I've always known about this book, is that the ending is scarring and brutal. So I'll admit that while I enjoyed this like I do all of Steinbeck's novels, I stopped before the very end. I'm reimagining a happier ending. Sorry, I just couldn't do it. 

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows | Ballin Kaur Jaswal - Thank you Bad People Book Club for a complimentary copy of this book. I loved this story! It is so down-to-earth and real, with great character voices and dialogue throughout the story, along with a little mystery, intrigue, and cultural awareness. It can make a modest woman blush, but all the things women tend to fear saying out loud was spilled wide open. Round of applause.

What did you read and love this month?

Back to School Shopping Must Haves
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I've been back to school shopping for my kids for years, but it just doesn't compare to when it's you cracking open a new notebook, sharpening a new pencil, and even picking out a few new outfits (can't hurt, right?!). I CANNOT HELP MYSELF, I LOVE a new bundle of pens and pencils, untarnished folders, and all the little bookish gifts I've been eyeing and finally splurge on.

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I am a SUCKER for stylish totes and bags as we head into the school year. For me, I've been in classes since January and kept on all through summer, it's finally time I treat myself. I've been eyeing this messenger bag, but for my book loving heart, I might get this one too! For bookish totes, these are my latest obsession.

I have a constant and endless supply of bookmarks, but these still stand as my most favorite.

As I am finishing the Harry Potter series, I just CAN'T HELP MYSELF with these pencils! I will also splurge for THESE ones too and this for a mechanical when I feel the need, it's so cute! For pens, I've read these are so great, especially as I write notes I don't want to forget and fear pencil wear. 

This standard journal is excellent, but I also love this leather bound one. But of course, I need the occasional spiral-bound, and this is the tried and true one I always pick up and have on hand.

How have I been living without these sticky notes my whole life?!

Has anyone picked their big cozy fall reads yet?! I'll have mine in tow as I head to the coffee shops Saturday morning, and Michaela will have hers.

To get us through those long nights, we aren't going to feel guilty about a strong diverse novel and a custom cocktail from Bad People Book Club. Ardent10 for 10% off your order!

To make up for that cocktail, I'll pick up a fresh new mug for the next morning's strong cup of coffee.

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You have got to tell me what you're picking up as back to school shopping goes into full force! What are your favorite things?!

Bad People Book Club | August 2018
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*We were sent this box in exchange for an honest review, and of course, all opinions are wholly our own. You can see our policy right here

The day our Bad People Book Club box arrives cues a flurry of texts between us trying to figure out the soonest possible date that we can get together to open it. Books + cocktails? What's not to love. You guys know how much we love to pair drinks with books we love! This month we received Homefire and all the ingredients to mix up a very tasty drink.

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We always have such a good time unboxing, reading about the book, and discovering the drink of choice and how it connects to the chosen novel. We thoroughly enjoy the taste testing part, too! We've said it before, and we'll say it again, our favorite part of literary dinner parties, or subscription boxes, or any of it, is the way they allow us to sit down together and connect over bookish conversation. Bonus points if we have a tasty food or drinks!

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This box is especially great because it's simple; we aren't left with anything we won't use, and their book choices are completely on point with what we've been loving lately: diverse books with strong ladies! Even with the best of intentions, many boxes are filled with goodies that have little utilitarian purpose. While it's fun, it adds up if you do multiple months of a subscription. Enter, The Bad People Book Club, because we are fully on board for a fun cocktail every month as we crack open a great new book!

If this sounds like something you need in your life, you can use our code ARDENT10 for 10% off your order. Cheers!

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Cheers to the Weekend 8.24.18
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It's finally cooling off around here! We're ready to enjoy jeans and maybe even *gasp* sweaters on our weekly coffee date while we catch up. We're also planning our final summer dinner parties now that it isn't miserably hot outside and actually gets dark before 10pm, but honestly, we're really just excited for fall dinners! The end of August is when we get antsy for autumn to start, and this year is no exception. What are you guys up to this weekend?

 

Around the Web

Apparently the blogosphere was preoccupied with reading slumps this week. Ways to get out of them, best books to get you out of them, and advice and musings on the nature of them. Is the end of summer sending us all into slow reading periods?

Did finishing To All The Boys I've Loved Before give you a book hangover? Here's a great list of books to pick up next! Incidentally, I just read one of these!

Speaking of Lara Jean, how amazing is this watch party of the Netflix movie of To All The Boys I've Loved Before?? 

Do you think this is cool or crazy?

And how do we feel about the re-emergence of chain bookstores? This was a more complex issue than I expected.

Finally, if you saw Crazy Rich Asians this week and loved it, guess what? The sequel is already in the works!

 

Instagram

A moody feed perfect for fall, filled with lifestyle shots that make us want to think more creatively

Franziska is the cutest and has the loveliest space filled with books

We absolutely love the mix of fun and contemporary literary novels, taken wherever she goes. I feel like we could probably sit and talk books for hours.

 

What We're Reading

Michaela - I'm planning to focus on finishing Where the Crawdads Sing this weekend, if I don't get too distracted by the rest of the Jenny Han novels! I'm also working on Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows and really enjoying it as well. I've had kind of a weird reading month, so I'm hoping to finish with something great!

Rikki - This past week I read The Best We Could Do, an excellent graphic novel on immigrating from Viet Nam. Coincidentally, I also read and finished Inside Out & Back Again, which was about a young girl's transition from immigrating from Viet Nam. My oldest and I are buddy reading The Witch of Blackbird Pond, I'm about halfway through; it's a great middle grade story. Lastly, I read The Pearl by John Steinbeck and read to almost the end, deciding I didn't want to actually read the sad ending. I didn't love this one as much, it just broke my heart the whole time.

Michaela DevineComment