I don’t know how long you all have been quarantined, but I’m wrapping up week 6 on my end. My husband, who serves in the military, was away at a military class until last Friday, so it’s been great having him home (finally) this week.
In the past two weeks, I’ve given a lot of thought to what things “spark joy” in my life. If you know the reference then you might say I’ve been Marie Kondo-ing my life. I’ve been thinking a lot about whether I personally value and love myself as the person I am. If I do love and respect my person, then I need to evaluate all things in my life. If it’s not bringing joy to me or if it’s causing problems, then keeping those things in my life is not being kind to myself, right? I’ve been pretty introspective and ultimately working towards being the best version of myself. So my question to you, dear reader, are the things in your life– the habits, the routines, the relationships, and job—sparking joy? Is there something you need to break away from? Maybe something you want to explore?
What better time than now to better yourself?
I hope you’re being kind to yourself, offering yourself grace, and taking this time to create positive habits or lifestyles. I hope you’re allowing this time of social distancing to better yourself. Why don’t we all just Marie Kondo our lives together! Anyways that’s all I have for you between my “life binding.” I hope it gives you pause to think.
Now, let’s talk books.
Godshot by Chelsea Bieker was one of my most anticipated 2020 reads. It centered around a cult, which maybe I’m twisted, but I love a good cult story. I have always found it fascinating how one person’s ego and search for power could culminate in several others blind fellowship. Typically those people are easily preyed upon, which, from a psychological standpoint, makes them even more intriguing. Unfortunately, while this book had everything I would want, perhaps my hopes were too high or the execution wasn’t quite where it needed to be or both. The plot was fine, but it did get a little cheesy by the end. Perhaps even cliché? The pacing wasn’t very great either. My heart completely broke for the main character though, and I would say the character building as a whole was solid. This book was decent, but didn’t really stand out as special. 3/5.
I would say Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan was my next book, but I had actually started it several weeks ago. It was, however, the next book I finished. I used to read several novels at a time, but don’t typically do that anymore, because I feel like it makes me lose focus. However, I do make an exception when it comes to lengthier novels. Anything over 450 pages is a little daunting to me, so I take my time with these longer novels. Anyways, this particular novel was actually very closely based off the true story of Pino Lella and his involvement in WWII. It shows the Italian side of the war, an aspect not often looked upon. Pino is an incredibly likable character and this book definitely made me cry. Boy did it ever. I was a sobbing mess by the end of it. However, what really was remarkable about this book was the afterward when we learn each characters’ truth. As it turns out, Pino Lella was a complicated man who tried to move past the war, but deep down, I don’t think he ever did. Some of his life is less admirable, but that only made him all the more real. I really enjoyed this novel. It was an easy and engaging read that also turned out to be quite the adventure. I would definitely recommend this book for lovers of historical fiction or WWII based literature. 4/5.
Just last night I finished Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn, a family saga with roots in magical realism and Hawaiian folklore. The writing style was somewhat experimentally edgy in that it was so beautifully written, but also had moments of vulgarity from the characters. I couldn’t decide if this cheapened the writing or if it made it stronger, because clearly the writing was well-done while still holding true to the characters, who, at times, were crass. Due to this novel’s lyrical prose, it was one to savor making the pacing slower. Unfortunately, I found myself frustrated with every character at one point or another and kept waiting for everything to culminate in a larger sense plot wise, but it never did, despite it hinting otherwise. This debut novel had such great potential with it’s hints of magical realism and Hawaiian folklore, and while it was good, it just wasn’t great. 3/5.
Valentine is my next read! And with this quarantine, I have a long list of books to get to! If you have subscribed to my blog, you are entered into a chance to win Miracle Creek, my favorite book of last year! I will be notifying everyone of the winner on May 1st! In the mean time, spread the word and read on dear ones!