Mid-month Check In — January 15, 2021

Mid-month Check In

Is time starting to lose meaning to anyone else? Apparently we’re half way through January already…news to me.

My partner laughs at me everyday because I always hark on the fact that I can’t believe what day of the week it is. Now I guess we’ve just moved to months instead? Probably easier. 

The first half of January has been berserk. Not really a fan so far, but at some point it has to get better right? AND IT WILL! Eventually we will get to a place where we all look at each other and go “Remember when…(insert whatever insanity has happened in the past year here)”. 

For now we will persist. There are still struggles to endure, fights to come, and eventually wonderful things to celebrate! To brighter days for all of us *clink*

Let’s do a quick check in for the month!

My intentions this year are to start my Read Like a Gilmore challenge (which I have, killing it!), to start picking reads off of my existing TBR to cut down on unread books in my house. Some shelf help, if you will (again, killing it!), and that goes hand in hand with using the library to get my reads. I don’t have to own EVERY book I read, I say to myself over and over walking through Indigo… 

So ideally every one of the books I read this year should fall under one of these three categories. And they will, because I obviously always do what I say I’m going to do 🙂

Read Like a Gilmore

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley 

I made a previous blog post for it but to recap this is a dystopian novel. Definitely not a “light” read and is absolutely pure to the science fiction roots. I don’t read a ton of science fiction so it was definitely a nice change of pace for me and my reading life.

Shelf Help

Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall

I marked the hell out of this book. Lots of underlining and note taking. If you consider yourself a feminist (and you should!) please take the time to read this. I always thought I had a pretty good handle on what feminism is or what it should be but it is so, SO, important to read about topics from those who come from different backgrounds than yourself because you can never know everything or know too much. Kendall discussed pretty basic needs and issues feminists should be at the forefront of that made me go “Well of course…” but I never actually thought of myself because I’ve never HAD to think of myself. My privilege as a white woman has meant that I’ve never had to worry about housing or hunger or job security, realistically. We have to put in the work to make our communities more inclusive and not leave out or leave behind those in vulnerable positions.

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

This book has been on my TBR for a looooong time, it was also the flightpick for this month’s Modern Mrs Darcy book club pick. I read this one first since I still have a library hold for the actual book club book this month. And I hate to say it, but I hope I like that one more. There was nothing wrong with Evvie but it just wasn’t one of my favourites. I wish the book had focused a little more on what Evvie had been through a little more at the dront end of the book. I just didn’t feel that much of a connection with her character. I will say her house sounds wonderful and I’m happy for her. 

Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella

Hi, my name’s Chloe and I’m a Sophie Kinsella super fan. I adore her writing. She makes me laugh so hard while reading her books. She has such a talent for writing over the top characters but still making them lovable. It was fun because I read this one with a group of girls and we had lots of differing opinions. I always appreciate the comedy and the internal dialogue Kinsella includes in her novels. If you’re looking for a fun read then I recommend picking this one up!

Library Love

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

Oh my god, a book about libraries. What better way to start the year? This book is an ode to the library, written by a lifetime library user (the stars are just like us!). The Library Book tells the story of the Los Angeles Public Library that was set on fire in 1986. The flames got up to 2,500 degrees!! That’s wild! I got this from my library as an audio book and let me tell you, if you like podcasts, GET THIS! This was like a true crime podcast/love letter to books and libraries/fantastic interviews. It was enthralling. I started this book when going for a walk one day, a casual walk just to get outside for a bit. My legs were SO sore the next day because I couldn’t stop walking. I didn’t want to stop listening. Orlean’s writing is so smart and the person suspected of starting the library fire is a character, to say the least.

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

… this book was not for me. This book takes place in a school for magical people, but there are lots of monsters that break in and are around that will kill them. Basically this school is about survival and if you make it out alive then there are covens (I think they were called something else in the book, but that’s the idea) that you can be part of, if invited, for protection out in the real world. Anyway, this one was a little too slow for me. There was a lot of conversation and writing on all the monsters that are there/could be there and I felt like that’s all we were ever talking about. And in all honesty, I did not finish the book. I just kept hoping we would move the plot along and it wasn’t doing it for me. If you’re looking for a book about magic and monsters then maybe give this a try!

The Hazel Wood/The Boy Who Didn’t Come Home by Melissa Albert

This is my new obsession. I love the dark and spooky and I love fairy tales. So, hello there, Melissa! This is the story of Alice searching for her missing mother. Alice has never been allowed to meet her grandmother, who rose to fame writing a series of fairy tales set in a magical (real?) realm she calls the Hinterland, but she may be the only way for Alice to get her mother back. Oh man, this book was everything I wanted it to be. The atmosphere was perfection and the descriptive writing was fantastic. I can’t wait to read the next book!

That’s it so far! I have a few more reads to get to this month for my various book clubs but I’ll be back in a couple weeks with another recap! I’m going to read my first Fredrik Backman and I’m over the moon excited!!

Happy reading, everyone!

XO

1/339 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley — January 7, 2021

1/339 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Starting 2021 with a dystopian novel was either a really good idea or a really bad idea…

I want to take comfort in the fact that the world around me is not like the worlds that I read about but this last year is making it hard and it doesn’t look like it’s getting better. Watching the news I see the destruction and uncertainty happening in the real world and I think “Well at least x, y or z isn’t happening…“.

But! Let’s get all those bad vibes out of here for now and talk about Brave New World a little. No spoilers!

This book was very technical at the beginning. I was having extreme doubts about my intelligence and ability to read. Then he pulled out the chemical equations and I was the PTSD cat thinking of my days in chemistry and math class (NOT skilled in the maths over here, could somehow proficiently balance chemical equations in chemistry? I don’t get it either). Cliffnotes was my friend with this one. I’m a big fan of cliffnotes when I’m reading older books just to make sure I’m not missing anything important that I might not pick up. I find sometimes with texts if you don’t understand the time or place which a book was written you miss out on bigger picture things that the author is talking about. 

Huxley creates a “utopia” that includes genetically modifying humans, cloning, promiscuity, and a  heavily structured class system. Obviously all of those things are very much alive in our society today, which goes to show how much science has advanced in the last 90 years. Pretty spectacular when you think about it, but I”m distracting myself!

I also quite enjoyed the nod to Henry Ford in the novel. Using “Ford” to suggest how efficient this society has become at creating humans and keeping their system in place. People praised the name Ford like they would God in this world. 

I found my groove in the latter half of the book. This section focuses on a world controller explaining how/why their society is the way that it is. This is more my speed of science fiction. I can get lost in the numbers and chemicals because my brain just doesn’t work that way. But I can imagine those who do enjoy that type of science fiction would really appreciate the first half of this book. 

I will say I DID NOT love the section about, how do I put this, the freedoms they give children?? If you’ve read the book YOU KNOW what I’m talking about, if you haven’t, you can look it up as I’m not even comfortable enough to have it posted here. So that was uncomfortable…

All things told I can see why this is a classic and I’m glad I read it. They have also turned this into a TV series and I have the whole thing on my PVR so I will be bingeing that now! I will let you know my thoughts when I’m done!

XO

Let’s go back to where it all started… — August 13, 2020

Let’s go back to where it all started…

I started rewatching Gilmore Girls for inspo for the first blog post. Since starting I’ve already had a coke, ate an entire pizza AND half a pint of ice cream. I’m on episode 3, it’s been two hours!

While I’m revisiting one of my favourite shows I am realizing the impact it’s had on my life such as my adoration of small towns, my enthusiasm for coffee (preferably iced and now has to be decaf, please ignore my sobs), my seemingly inhuman ability to eat junk food, and my vast unnecessary knowledge of pop culture.

More than that, I’ve always had it as a constant. I was lucky to own the DVDs (yes, the dark times before Netflix!!) so I was able to escape into my favourite place whenever I felt the need to. Which happened to be more often than not.

I’ve always been an introvert. I would really just rather be at home watching TV or reading a book than being out with others and because of this I’ve never had a vigorous friend group. But lucky to have the few who I can count on and will let me disappear for a while when needed.

As an introvert, I know when I say I’m an introvert I’m met with eye rolls and sometimes condescending comments. Unfortunately, it is something you can never understand until you experience it. The anxiety towards the build up of social events (even ones you’re looking forward to!), and having a busy schedule can feel overwhelming. Also difficult since the word “busy” is subjective.

I need time and space by myself to recharge and sometimes in the day to day it’s hard to find those pockets. An hour here and an hour there simply doesn’t work for me, and that’s okay. I’ve learned that I need to be more selfish about my time and set boundaries when I need to. 

I’m always delighted to find other GGs fans out there because even though those are moments I’ve spent by myself, I feel connected to a large and thriving community. We spend our lives searching for and building our tribes and I feel right at home in Stars Hollow. 

All this to say, I am trying to coax our beloved fictional place into the real world just a little bit more with a book club. I hope for this to be a place where people can connect with reading, Gilmore Girls and whatever else we all have in common!

So whether you’re a rule breaker like Jess, dying your hair purple and listening to rock music like Lane, running around in a mad rush for coffee like Lorelei; let’s all take a pause and curl up with a good book (hopefully!) like Rory. 

Okay, let’s get started. It’s a long list y’all!