Charity book sale haul

Saturday, September 28, 2019

The most magical time of the year is upon us once again! The library charity book sale has returned, this year a month earlier than normal. Despite the fact that I still have several unread books from previous years of the very same sale, I once again found myself leaving with an armful of ridiculously cheap books. Here's what I picked up:

Veganomicon - Isa Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero: I actually had to content with multiple people scouring the cookbooks table for vegan cookbooks. In Lincoln, Nebraska. I was a little shocked, but happy. I found this gem before the others and I'm so glad because I've been wanting a copy since we gave one to my parents as a Christmas gift last year. It's not the updated version, but it was only $1.50!

Little Fires Everywhere - Celeste Ng: Honestly I know little to nothing about this book aside from the fact that it's been absolutely everywhere lately so it must be pretty good. Hardbacks aren't my favorite, but this recent of a book is quite the find at these sales so I swiped a copy.

Le Mariage - Diane Johnson: I actually read the previous book in this series, Le Divorce, when I picked it up at this sale a few years ago. I enjoyed the read, and it had some interesting commentary on the differences between French and American culture, so I'm sure the sequel will be a fun read as well.

Behaving Like Adults - Anna Maxted: It's a British chic lit author. Nothing else required.

The Complete Poems of John Keats: I really liked learning about Keats' poetry when I was in college so for a little over a buck I figured I'd pick up all of his works and get back into Romantic era poetry again.

Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe: I have this hair-brained idea that I should read the Guardian's list of 100 books everyone should read, and this one is on that list. I don't know that I'll ever accomplish that feat, but if I do, this purchase will help. Plus, the cover of this version was lovely, and I'm a sucker for book design.

Heartburn - Nora Ephron: I saw Anna from The Anna Edit recommend this book last year so here I am.

The Sun And Her Flowers - Rupi Kaur: Again, it's all over everywhere, so why not see what the fuss is about. At the very least, it's really visually pleasing!

Sketches of Young Ladies, Young Gentlemen and Young Couples - Charles Dickens: I think my brain is yearning to be back in school and learning about 19th century novels again. Charles Dickens is always a good pick, and I've never seen this before! I'm excited to dig into some social commentary.

Shell Seekers - Rosamunde Pilcher: This is a completely indulgent purchase. I already owned a copy of this from a previous book sale, but it's the mass market smaller format, which I find harder to read, so when I saw this trade paperback version I grabbed it right up. I've read a few of her novels before and really liked them, especially as autumn reads, but I've yet to read this one, arguably her most famous work. When the air gets brisk and the leaves start to turn I'll probably crack this one open.

Ladies CoupĂ© - Anita Nair: I always have a few random picks, and this is one of them. A feminist Indian novel, it follows the stories of different women riding together on a train. Sounded interesting and I like to read books from women authors outside America, so we'll give this a shot.

White Teeth - Zadie Smith: Another recommendation from The Anna Edit. I love anything with an expansive, sweeping plot with lots of characters so this very is promising.

Dirty Pretty Things - Michael Faudet: Another book I know nothing about -- it just looked pretty.

Some thoughts on shopping

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Popping on here again to share a couple thoughts on shopping I've been mulling over in the past week.

I haven't really made any conscious decisions to change my shopping habits, but in the last few year or so they've definitely changed. I've been shopping a lot less, there's way less in my wardrobe than there used to be, the pieces are all a lot more considered than before, and I only get something new after spending quite a bit of time considering it first.

Most markedly, I haven't been finding myself enjoying the actual activity of shopping as much. I get this idea to head out to the mall, and if I don't manage to talk myself out of it before I actually leave, I tend to get bored of it all after the first shop or two. I used to shop for hours on end. Maybe it's just because my best shopping buddy no longer lives near me, and the shops in my local malls aren't the places I want to be spending money at, but it seems to have lost it's fun.

I don't think I was entirely conscious of the change in my perception of shopping until I happened upon Leena Norms' 'Why I'm failing • no buy challenge update' video. She talks about her relationship with capitalism, how she did at buying nothing unnecessary for 6 months and what it means to live within a capitalist world while you're trying to cut back on shopping (amongst several other thought provoking and humorous topics). Her video was in response to Hannah Louise Poston's content about her no-buy year, so naturally I had a deep dive into her channel. About 5 hours and several videos later, my brain was firing on all cylinders. Watching Hannah's 'My First Shopping Trip After The No-Buy Year (Storytime)' video was like watching her explain my own thoughts on shopping to me. It was uncanny.

So. Here are some videos. I hope they resonate with you as much as they did with me!

It's been awhile...

Sunday, September 8, 2019
Back in April I wrote a long, meandering post about burnout and how overwhelmed I was feeling. Apparently that was the straw that broke the camel's back, because despite not planning on taking a break from posting I didn't write another word until right now -- 5 months later.


So I guess I did have a lot going on. Even though our ceremony and reception was a pretty low-key affair, wedding planning is no joke. Add to that already rather ominous load planning and organizing a honeymoon, fixing up and selling a house, moving and combining two lives, in all the big and small ways that entails. At the time I was definitely feeling the strain of it all, hence the post in the first place, but I think I thought I was able to keep a lot more juggling balls in the air than I probably should have been attempting.

Now that the dust has settled and I've given myself a bit of time to recoup there's finally a small space of time that I'm wanting to fill again with this little hobby, but only with a renewed outlook. This isn't my full time job. Hell, this isn't even earning me a single penny. Previously I gave myself a little challenge to post every week, which for the most-part was a nice, friendly little push to do something regularly and resist the urge to come home every night and waste away the evening. But eventually, when things really started piling on, I felt the pressure rising.

It was never the writing -- that was always the easiest part. Nor was it coming up with ideas. It was always the photos. For whatever reason, taking photos -- finding the light, a "cute" area of the home or subject of the photo, getting a suitable backdrop, etc -- just started to feel like a huge uphill battle that repeated week after week. When I was thinking about returning to this blog, I knew I needed to let that pressure go and find a new, sustainable approach.

So here's how this return is going to go. In order to make this a no-pressure space to just share what I'm feeling, what excites, intrigues or troubles me, I am not going to stick as closely to a schedule as I used to. I don't aim to turn this into anything big, so amassing a great following that eagerly awaits a scheduled post isn't a goal of mine. I'm fine being a little bit more loosey-goosey with it all. Secondly, I am not going to put pressure on myself to create picture perfect images for posts. I might even post quicker, more off the cuff posts with none at all. That might be a bit strange in this image-centric Instagram-devouring society we're all living in right now, but we'll see how it goes. In fact, I'll start with this post today. #yolo and whatnot.

If anyone out there is still reading, I appreciate you, I'm excited to be back at it again, and I hope you're onboard with this new plan. Be on the lookout for a few more rambles again shortly!