Posts in Literary Lifestyle
Away With Words | A Literary Adventure
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You know how you can live somewhere for a long time before you ever visit a nearby town? Well, that can be said about Michaela, but not so much for Rikki. Michaela knows all the local haunts in the major cities. The best places to eat, drink, and shop. But Rikki knows all the surrounding towns, how to get there, what to see and do, undoubtedly a good pizza place, and the glimmer of familiarity if nothing else.

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We get a lot of comments on the good fortune of our literary friendship, but truth be told, we are two very opposite people. We have some overlap, but the differences can be startling on the surface. More than once we’ve been asked by real life friends and acquaintances how we’re even friends. To put it simply, there’s a strong mutual love of good books, better food, and fine wine. Plus, motherhood, an offbeat sense of humor, and California at our core. Really though, we just connect. We can talk for hours, we appreciate a good strong cup of coffee, a fun day trip, endless time in a bookstore, wine in the evenings, and plants. Oh, for the love of plants!

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Poulsbo is a nearby town with a Scandinavian and Norwegian heritage that glitters the downtown scene. You see it immediately upon crossing city limits with their “Velkommen til Poulsbo” sign. It’s charming to say the least. There are two local bookshops, a couple of coffee shops, a bakery, two breweries, a garden shop, a sweets shops, quilts, nautical, clothing, pubs, and more. We had a main focus upon entering town though. Books, coffee, lunch, and waterfront. We were not disappointed.

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Our first stop was an incredibly darling shop, Away With Words Book and Bath Shop. A great combination, right?! A pair of sisters (one an author) own the shop. It’s filled with the most fragrant bath bombs, salts, lotions, soaps, teas….and books! We were in it for the books, and while the selection was very small, it was impressively curated. We couldn’t help but note the beautiful editions, classics, and best new contemporary novels. Plus, author + owner, Geneva Lee’s signed books. There were beautiful cards and notebooks, bookmarks, and other goodies that would make for the perfect treat for yourself or gifts. Truly, we loved it. Michaela walked away with this Dickens classic, in the loveliest edition we’ve seen yet!

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After the first book store and bakery, we stopped at Liberty Bay Books. We’re familiar with their Bremerton store, but this was our first time at this branch. They are packed with books and even found this classic novel in Rikki’s favorite vintage penguin edition. We were thrilled to see Jane Mount’s work in the store, curated selections of local authors, Scandinavian & Norwegian authors to match the downtown theme, plus much more. When we walked in, there was a man on the phone with his wife trying to find a new historical fiction book for her to read. It was fun seeing the selections the store clerk offered. It was Leif Enger’s latest novel that caught my attention, she said it was her favorite of 2018. I wasn’t snooping, they were on speaker!

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It was a great morning very well spent. While this was the highlight of a long busy week, it’s these times of getting out and enjoying the season, the local businesses, and time with a good friend, that make the literary life seem so real and inclusive. We’re looking forward to a summer of literary adventures, good books, and shopping local.

Where are you going this summer?

Summer Reading | 7 Graphic Novels for Literary Snobs

We’ve found that graphic novels are a vastly under appreciated genre amongst fiction lovers, and while we ourselves are relatively new to the party, having just begun really getting into these magical books a year-ish ago, we can’t imagine our reading lives without them now. If graphic novels seem odd or frivolous to you, or you imagine that they couldn’t possibly hold as much weight and drama and characterization as a traditional novel, we have a few recommendations to change your mind. Each of these are so unique, and carry meaty stories with gorgeous artwork, unforgettable characters, and amazingly crafted narratives.

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The Best We Could Do

The first graphic novels to make me cry (and I am decidedly not a crier), this is a memoir where the focus is on one family's immigration story from Vietnam, but it manages to wrap in so much history and culture and personal stories and relationship drama. The way this novel builds its layers and characters manages to bee so elegant and impactful in a way I rarely see done, even in regular fiction let alone a graphic novel, plus I learned a ton about the history of Vietnam in the ‘70’s and the art is stunning.


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This One Summer

One of those rare books that captures the indefinable, and with perfect balance between words and illustration. The story focuses on the friendship of two girls at their annual summer vacation spot as they come of age, and mixes in family drama, the awkwardness of being on the cusp of the teenage years, friendship, growing pains, and the complexity of inner life. Some panels are heart-stopping in their elegant blending of text and art to create something meaningful. I especially love how the concept of memory was handled, but it captured so many hard to define emotions so, so beautifully. It also embodies my favorite moods of bittersweet and nostalgia, and I rarely see this level of layering in a graphic novel, which makes it extra special. We even did a literary dinner party for this one!


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Spinning

Another graphic memoir, this time about the competitive world of ice skating, combined with a coming of age narrative. The tone of this is a little more straightforward and realistic, less dreamy and complex than This One Summer, but it is beautifully illustrated and her story is compelling and real. Plus you’ll learn a lot about competitive ice skating, which is actually super interesting, and if you did any sports as a kid/teen you will absolutely relate.

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Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me

Tamaki excels at writing graphic novels that feel so, so intimately human, and Valero-O’Connell created art that says as much or more than Tamaki’s words, bringing life and personality to the entire story. I LOVED this one and sincerely hope they do another book together. It explores toxic relationships, friendships, and general growing up kind of stuff in a way that feels so nuanced and personal somehow, but with a good dose of plot. The atmosphere in this is just beautiful, and the story will give fiction lovers all the characters and drama and depth they could ever want.


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Relish

This was such a detailed, and fun, story of Lucy growing up with foodie parents. Then comes the divorce, and she illustrates how her world is changed by the vastly different directions her parents take (still centered around food and culture). Lucy had a fascinating childhood, incredible travel adventures, and an array of experiences that make you want to reach out to be her friend.


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Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey

Reminiscent of The Best We Could Do, Dare to Disappoint shows a young girl as she tries in vain to follow in the cultural and societal driven requirements of growing up in Turkey. Try as she might, she just can’t do what her big sister does and is constantly the dreamer. As the story goes, you see the internal and external struggles she faces, trying so hard to please her parents, and ultimately, has to find what works for her. This is such a fantastic and relatable story, regardless of geography, that you truly feel for the characters in this story, as they all seem to fight through their own battles.

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Americus

This is such a great YA graphic novel that shows the immense effect of censorship from parents who refuse to, or simply can’t understand their teenagers. The power, then, of standing together, speaking up, and the book community, was raw and exciting to follow in this story. You also get to see snippets of the Harry Potter-esque story that is fought over to ban, which also holds a powerful story of morality. This made me think A LOT about my own mom in relation to her dislike of books we were given to read in school (without having read them herself), along with now being a parent and how I handle the relationship between myself and my children and literature. Loved this one so much.


Do you have a favorite graphic novel??

What's On Our TBR | Summer 2019
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Heading into June behind the scenes here at The Ardent Biblio was a LOT of discussion about what we wanted our summer reading lives to look like this year. We both pulled a healthy pile from our shelves to focus on, and figured we’d share a little about why we’re excited about them!

Michaela

Apparently this is the year of the short classic for me. I’ve been meaning to read The Virgin Suicides for literally years because of it’s reputation for being pure atmospheric nostalgia; basically Michaela catnip. Picnic at Hanging Rock falls into the same category, and since it was compared to The Secret History, I obviously have to read it. Which, while we’re all thinking about classical Greek, enter Song of Achilles, because after loving Circe last year, I pretty much immediately grabbed this one, and it feels like a great summer book to follow up my reading of The Odyssey. I’m also very interested in re-readiing Travels With Charley with Rikki, in doing some armchair travel to 1920’s Paris via A Moveable Feast, and in picking up House of Mirth after loooovinnggggg The Age of Innocence this past winter! I’ll probably pick up a few contemporary novels as well to round things out, and am especially looking forward to Ask Again, Yes and On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, both of which all of instagram seem to be reading and raving about lately. Ask Again, Yes promises really well done generational family drama, and On Earth looks like it’s going to be both absolutely heart wrenching and absolutely beautiful. Wish me luck!

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Rikki

Travels With Charley | John Steinbeck - It’s no secret how in love with Steinbeck I am. I’ve been holding onto a few of his books that I REALLY want to read, and this is finally the summer for this cross country adventure!

We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live | Joan Didion - I’ve read some of Didion’s non-fiction, but am looking forward to this collection of her essays and short stories. She has a way of writing in her stream of consciousness that I find myself tailing like a lost puppy.

Collection of Poems | Rainer Marie Rilke’s - With a constant goal to read more poetry, I decided Rilke was were I’d begin this summer, after reading and loving Letters to a Young Poet.

Selected Cronicas | Clarice Lispector - Another collection of essays I’ve had my eyes on. I rarely stumble across her books in real life, so I’m anxiously anticipating a copy I’ve been waiting for and plan to dive into immediately. This collection, from what I’ve read, is a little different, but exactly what I’m looking for in essays and nonfiction right now.

A Year in Provence | Peter Mayle - I’m ready for some armchair travel, some charm, and fun. Much like Under the Tuscan Sun, I’m ready to be whisked away again into a life governed by the seasons and food and countryside.

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What are you excited to read this summer??

Wrap Up | May 2019
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Michaela

*some links are affiliate, and we deeply appreciate your support


A Brightness Long Ago | Guy Gavriel Kay
- Let me preface this by saying that Kay is my favorite author, his books are in a category all their own, I’ve read all but 2 of his books, and I enjoy everything he writes more than 90% of anything else I read. Phew. But. This was not my very favorite of his works. Tigana remains safely on it’s pedestal. A Brightness Long Ago was a brilliantly woven tale, with characters that feel alive, but it lacks the raw power of some of his other works and I can’t put my finger on why. Still, I loved being back with Kay; he creates worlds and characters I never want to leave, and this was no exception.

Death on the Nile | Agatha Christie- This was admittedly, not my favorite Christie. I guessed the “whodunnit” straight off, which I never do with her other books, but it was still fun and cozy, and honestly what more do you really need? This was a fun one on audio while I painted some rooms in our new home!

The Hate U Give | Angie Thomas- I read this for our IRL book club this month (Rikki read it last year!) and while it tackled some great hot button issues in a sensitive way, I found myself having the same issues with it that I do with most YA. Characters who are just giant globs of stereotypes, over the top drama, writing that is just okay, and general teen-ness. Again though, bravo to Thomas for writing this book, and good on the YA genre for being generally more progressive than adult fiction.

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me | Mariko Tamaki & Rosemary Valero-O’Connell - Tamaki excels at writing graphic novels that feel so, so intimately human, and Valero-O’Connell created art that says as much or more than Tamaki’s words, bringing life and personality to the entire story. I LOVED this one and sincerely hope they do another book together. This found it’s way to my graphic novel favorites shelf.

Ghost Wall | Sarah Moss- Hooooollyyyy crap this one was good…and brutal. The prose style, right from the very first page, establishes the oppressive atmosphere and eerie tone that the book carries so well. Super atmospheric with an original concept, I can see why this one was long-listed for the Women’s Prize for Fiction this year, and I spent a good amount of time mulling over it with a big glass of wine when I finished, which is always a good sign. There’s a great interview with Moss about this one right here.

Along the Infinite Sea | Beatriz Williams- I picked this up looking for something fun and light…and it was just okay. Plot driven, easy to blast through, and honestly mediocre at best. Not much else to say, as this book left me feeling pretty uninspired, but if you like the sound of the plot, and are just in it for plot, this could be a fun summer read.


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Rikki

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea | Jules Verne - A buddy read with my son this month; a book we’ve been meaning to read together for ages. I was blown away by Verne’s creativity and ability to create so much detail in the 19th century, it’s impressive. I read reviews where some said they found it boring. I will say the technical discussion over the Nautilus was extensive, but I really felt that it was tribute to the brilliance of the story. I loved it.

Barracoon | Zora Neale Hurston - A beautiful story that I’m so glad has been told. Hurston relayed Cudjo’s story that would have otherwise gone untold. We don’t get to read his full life in this story, which many asked for, and were upset that she didn’t leave an epilogue with the rest of his life. However, I felt the snippet we got to glimpse was beauty in itself. I loved hearing his recount of the cultural shift from his home country to the changes he was forced to make in a new culture and country.

The Hundred Dresses | Eleanore Estes - A love novella that reminded me a bit of Jane Eyre in some ways. It was short and sweet, but a lovely story for young children to read, and one that I passed onto my daughter.

Relish | Lucy Knisley - Such a fun graphic novel memoir. The kind of story where you realize, as a child, you don’t feel your life is all that extraordinary, but then you write about it and put it out into the world and, wow, what an interesting childhood and story to share! I really enjoyed this one and plan on picking up her other, French Milk, soon.

Anne of Green Gables | L.M. Montgomery - Oh Anne, where do I begin?! For fear of feeling let down because of the ever-present hype surrounding this book, I hesitated to pick it up for ages. Finally, I did. And oh what a beautiful story; the most charming story. Anne is truly as wonderful as I’ve ever been lead to believe. Getting lost in her imagination, in her world, was a gift.

Anne of Avonlea | L.M. Montgomery - I wasn’t sure I’d continue the series after Green Gables, which I loved so much. But I gave it a try anyway, and really enjoyed following her life as she grew from little girl to young woman. I’m looking forward to the next, as I keep hearing the series has other phenomenal books in comparison to the first beloved story.

Death on the Nile | Agatha Christie - So far, I’d say this was my least favorite Christie. After M read it, I realized I hadn’t and had to pick it up. It was a fun mystery, as all hers are, but unlike the others I’ve read, it was easy to figure out the mystery early on. I aim to read her Miss Marple series next.

Before We Were Yours | Lisa Wingate - I had no idea this story of the house of horrors, the Tennessee Children’s Society was a reality in the 1920s-50s. My heart breaks knowing how permanently altered so many lives became because of one sadistic woman. I read this for book club next month, and I couldn’t put it down. The story has two stories alternating as you read, from past to present and back again. I didn’t love the voice of the present day character, Avery, as her character didn’t feel as real as the past character, Rill, did. It was really great overall, and after reading up on some real life cases from this non-fiction event, I’d say Wingate did justice to so many who lived through this.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower | Stephen Chbosky - I picked this up for banned book club, even though I’ll be out of town for the actual meeting. I’ve been wanting to read it for awhile now, and I’m glad I finally read it. I flew through it in a day, really enjoying the story. I thought of my son a lot, as he will enter high school next school year, which is just crazy to even think about. Anyway, I can see why this book was banned; the amount of sex, drugs, and alcohol for high school students is jarring a bit, however, I also don’t believe in censorship, and I did gain a lot from this story. I imagine that there are many teenagers who can relate to various aspects of this book, and it’s nice to not feel alone.

If You Leave Me | Crystal Hana Kim - What an incredibly powerful book. I can’t believe this book hasn’t gained more popularity, and the fact that this is Kim’s debut novel, is really mind-blowing. I’ve said it many times, so it’s no secret how much I enjoy reading about Asian culture and history, and this book was beautifully detailed in that regard. It did break my heart over and over again, as I felt a kinship and affection for the main character, Haemi, as well as the dividing of Korea. I’ll be sitting with this one for awhile.

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me | Mariko Tamaki - A graphic novel buddy read for the month, this one explored some complicated issues with a lot of tact, a little obscurity, and some really great illustrations and strong characters that take you through. This actually was very reminiscent of Perks of Being a Wallflower since they were read nearly back to back, and were a great pair.

Pilu of the Woods | Mai K. Nguyen - My sweet pen pal, Cristyn, @paper.forests, recommended this one to me, and of course I had to read it right away. This one is definitely geared toward the younger crown (I plan to read it with my daughter), but is a fun one nonetheless. It handles grief and emotions EXTREMELY well, with only a genuine hint of loss, but with a fun relationship that helps to explore how to manage anger/confusion/grief/loneliness incredibly well. Loved this one.

Did you read anything you loved this month?

Wrap Up | April 2019
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Michaela

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We moved this month, so my reading life was seriously back burnered. Fun YA audiobooks were the extent of my reading, and I expect May to basically be Agatha Christie audiobooks and maybe a real novel or two!

The Raven King | Maggie Stiefvater- The final book in The Raven Cycle. It wasn’t as strong as some of the other books in the series, but it wrapped everything up satisfyingly enough. I really, really enjoyed this quartet and these characters. If you want some really sweet YA with beautifully written characters and a twist of magic, these are your books.

When Dimple Met Rishi | Sandhya Menon- Pure, unadulterated cuteness. I’d probably classify this as New Adult, and it was just an adorable love story with some bigger themes mixed in without much subtlety. I’d say this is a definite step up from standard YA romance fare; not exactly a literary masterpiece, but enjoyable enough.

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Rikki

The Octopus Museum: Poems | Brenda Shaughnessy - I had little expectation when going into this book, and while there were a few stand out poems in here, the book overall was a hodgepodge and moved toward a political tone that I really did not care for.

Love and Death in the Sunshine State: The Story of a Murder | Cutter Wood - I needed a break from some heavier books I was reading, and this was a nice shift. Overall, this book wasn’t really for me, but I will say that Wood is clearly an intelligent man, albeit, a curious one, and wove together his personal life leading up to this story in an interesting manner.

Pretending is Lying | Dominique Goblet - This was such a nuanced story, that I should honestly read this a few more times before talking about it. But, it was so unique and so well done (especially for a graphic novel) that I could see much of the depth of the story being overlooked without realizing it. Very well done.

Americus | M.K. Reed - Another great graphic novel that somewhat dramatically portrayed mothers and their teens and the power of our words and actions in relation to our children, but also to what we choose to believe in or not. In this case, the story specifically centered around two teen boys and one of the moms freaking out over a book series and pushing to ban it, without knowing the real story. There were also snippets of the story in question throughout, and I found that to be a really fun and interesting parallel to the main character’s struggle with morals and relationships.

Letters to a Young Poet | Rainer Maria Rilke - I absolutely loved this small collection of letters and wish that I could’ve read some of the work the achieving poet was writing to Rilke. Either way, there is such simplistic and grand advice, not just for writing, but for life. It was a seemingly candid and beautiful insight to a very intelligent man and writer. Also, I need a pen pal.

Still Life | Louise Penny - I’ve been meaning to read Penny for ages, as she’s so well loved in the book community. This cozy murder mystery was a fun break from my usual stack, and it’s a page-turner that I sort of enjoyed. I’m not hopping on the Louise Penny train anytime soon, and I certainly don’t feel compelled to read on in the series. But I do now want to revisit some old favorite cozy mysteries authors again.

Did you read anything you loved this month?

Abrams Dinner Party Meets Middlemarch
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We have been accepted into the Abrams Dinner Party line up for fall and spring 2018-2019. We are happily rolling through these fun, explorative dinners from the cookbooks Abrams sends us. Even more exciting for us is pairing various novels, or simply what we’re currently reading, with the cookbooks, much like our own dinner parties. Adding a little more of a literary touch is what suits us best as you can imagine, and there’s something especially lively about sitting down to a homemade meal with a good book and a glass of something refreshing.

This is also our final literary lunch at Michaela’s home in the city. She’s moving onto greener pastures and big spaces, AND geographically, we’ll be closer together again! You could say this post feels a little bittersweet, as I know her space as well as my own; where the light shines through best at all times of day, how to change up one area or another, and what she has on hand or in the yard to put together a literary lunch or dinner.

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Pescan and The Modern Cook’s Year were both lovely cookbooks which we immediately sat together and flipped through while showing one another various recipes that stood out. We settled on lunch, each one picking a recipe, picking up a few ingredients, and dining outside while the warm spring weather was being generous.

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Our classic buddy read has been Middlemarch, and it’s been a slow journey thus far. Admittedly, there’s a lot of busyness occurring for us right now, so we’re generously allowing ourselves to savor the book and take our time with it. It was a wonderful afternoon in Michaela’s backyard while discussing the cookbooks, our thoughts on Middlemarch, and how this would be our very last time in this space. This is where our literary dinners were born and grew into the beautiful work it is today. However, it’s none too bittersweet, her new space is equally charming and will soon hold many more functions.

So friends, we hope you’ve had a great week so far, we appreciate you stopping in to see what we’ve been cooking, discussing, and reading. Stay tuned for changes ahead and hopefully, a wrap up of Middlemarch in the coming month or two!

*We were sent this book in exchange for an honest review, and of course, all opinions are wholly our own. You can see our policy right here

Abrams Dinner Party Meets If You Leave Me

We have been accepted into the Abrams Dinner Party line up for fall and spring 2018-2019. We are happily rolling through these fun, explorative dinners from the cookbooks Abrams sends us. Even more exciting for us is pairing various novels, or simply what we’re currently reading, with the cookbooks, much like our own dinner parties. Adding a little more of a literary touch is what suits us best as you can imagine, and there’s something especially lively about sitting down to a homemade meal with a good book and a glass of something refreshing.

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*We were sent this book in exchange for an honest review, and of course, all opinions are wholly our own. You can see our policy right here

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Korean Home Cooking is a really great cookbook, as I love to make Korean dishes! Fun fact: I married into a Korean family and have grown accustomed to my mother-in-law’s homemade dishes over the years. I have a small pantry stocked with some essentials to make some of my personal favorites like, bibimbap, bulgogi, and as you see here, japchae and korean pancakes. It’s all much easier than you imagine it will be, it’s really just having the right things on hand and cooking with a hot skillet!

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I won’t lie, I’ve made both of these dishes before, but the cookbook helped jumpstart my memory and soon, I found myself falling into a rhythm as the aromas thickly enveloped the kitchen. Both of these dishes were quick to whip up and we sat down long before the sun went down, to a tasty and comforting meal. I really enjoyed picking up If You Leave Me, a story set in Korea and getting lost between story and food.

Thanks so much Abrams for having us as members for the dinner parties, we’re having so much fun already and look forward to the next one! Be sure to check out the first one we did and this simple weeknight dinner with a few good books!

Cheers to the Weekend 3.15.19
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*some links are affiliate, and we deeply appreciate your support

Around the web

As we wait for winter to fade into spring, we’ll be cozying up to watch these classic books on screen!

Did you guys see the Man Booker International Prize long list? Hooray for women and small presses, and it’s been a great reminder to read more books in translation!

When keeping your books on your shelves just isn’t enough, check out Elizabeth’s incredible use of her books!

Are you just as curious as we are about what Michelle Obama’s favorite books are?!

The options for family novels with unique dynamics never fail to pique my interest, and I’ve only read one from this list! Time to update my TBR.

Bookworms rejoice! According to this article, we’re going to live forever! Or, a long time—maybe.

Instagram

Katie has the most creative and interesting art journals, and book stacks I love perusing.

A lovely London flat, a cozy feed, and interesting novels keep me coming back to Patrick’s feed.

All the greatest movies, books, and selfies. Rebecka is a wonderful artist, plus, we’re in love with her orange kitty!

What We’re Reading

Michaela - I’m focusing on Middlemarch this weekend and can’t wait to pick up the pace!

Rikki - I recently finished the graphic novel, Dare to Disappoint, which was fantastic and the perfect way to break up a big classic. I’m fully immersed in H is for Hawk and Middlemarch right now, both of which are lovely.

Cheers to the Weekend 3.08.19
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Around the web

We love a well narrated audiobook, and this list has some great ones read by celebrities.

Family novels that span generations and countries can be so good to get lost in. Most of these are on my immediate TBR, and two of them are favorites! Have you read any?

100 of the most read novels of all time, according this leading library! So many brilliant classics!

Love letters between a beloved poet and an adoring woman. Downloading the book to my kindle right now!

The women’s prize for fiction 2019 longest is live! One of these was a buddy read and dinner party last summer.

We are utterly thrilled with these classics turning into films. It’s a perfect time to re-read some of these in anticipation!

Instagram

A wonderfully creative feed with a fun film vibe, quotes, and a wide array of books.

Sofie has an excellent eye for color and simplicity in her literary life.

The perfect mix of books and personal imagery that has me wondering what Nerea will post next!

What We’re Reading

Michaela - Middlemarch has stolen my heart, so I’m focused on that, but I’m also finishing off The Hours, which I knewwwww I needed in my life after reading Mrs. Dalloway this past December!

Rikki - A fun read I’m sort of enjoying right now is How to Find Love in a Bookshop, while also reading H is for Hawk, and Middlemarch for our buddy read.

A Literary Weekend in Portland
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We’ve been talking for an embarrassingly long time about going on a day trip to Portland. Mostly, to visit the beloved Powell’s together, drink coffee, and walk the city. We finally made it happen this past weekend and it was everything we hoped it would be. We drove the two hours south and crossed over the Oregon border, finding our way to local places for good food, books, coffee, and cocktails—you know, the necessities.

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I’m a little sad to say that having gotten so caught up in the hunt for books that have long been on our collective wishlists, we didn’t take nearly as many photos of our excursion as intended. However, we fully embraced the moment while scouring Powell’s shelves, and had the best time together. We could’ve stayed there all day long, but after many, many hours, we needed sustenance.

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We had lunch before Powell’s, then found an exceptional coffee place immediately after. We talked over the books we found and current reads, exciting reminiscing about how much fun we had just moments ago. Books are one of the best ways to connect, to talk, to get you out and explore. As they say, book people are the best people, and we’re never disappointed.

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When visiting Powell’s, we highly recommend checking out the staff sections, the end caps that spotlight genres for dedicated themes, and you can’t miss the rare book room! There are so many gems in there, but it’s also a moment to slow down and find an even deeper appreciation for the books and history we love so much.

If you’re taking a trip to any major bookstore, we found that having an actual list came in most handy! We each collect specific editions of books and when we come across them out in the world, it’s so much more fun than ordering online. Plus, supporting local bookstores is kind of our jam. Believe it or not, we’re very selective about purchasing books and want to ensure that we’re proud of our bookshelves at home. Our home filled with favorite books and beautiful editions is what makes our hearts soar. Corny, but true.

Here are a few of the phone snapshots from along the way…