Life By Kristen

Go, and embrace your liberty. And see what wonderful things come of it. – Little Women

Archive for the tag “ann patchett”

5 on Friday (#10)

1. This is my busiest, most stressful time of year at work and this week has kicked my butt. This weekend is supposed to be rainy, so I’m spending it in total relaxation mode- sleeping late, lots of reading time, and no work emails ( hopefully). Much needed.

2. I’m headed to Nashville for a work trip in a week or so. I’m only there for about 72 hours, but I was very excited to learn that the hotel I am staying at is right near Parnassus Books, an independent bookstore owned by one of my favorite authors Ann Patchett. This bookstore is frequently listed on ‘bookstores you should visit’ lists, so I’m so excited that I’ll have a little bit of time to visit.

3. As I said before, work is crazy busy right now. I’m dreaming about it, making lists about it, and really my brain is consumed by it. I feel like I cannot do the other things in my life until this exhibit opens, which is slightly inconvenient for getting things done– like my overdue oil change, gifts to send to friends, and so on. Only a week more to go, so I just need to bear down and get through it.

4. Spring-like weather is arriving, the snow is slowly melting, and I’m so over wearing wool. I’m anxious to do a clothes purge and reorganization, especially since I ordered my first StitchFix! It should arrive Monday and I’m very excited to see what kinds of goodies are in store.

5. 2015 goals mini status update: doing really well with journal writing ( about 4 nights a week I accomplish a quick life update and 5 things I’m grateful for); kicking butt at meal planning and eliminating food waste; have updated curtains in sunroom. Others are in works as warmer weather arrives and I’m committed to baking bread this weekend!

Enjoy the weekend!


* StitchFix link contains referral credit for me, so if you sign up, I get some money off my next order!

Five on Friday- Books

I’m only 3 books behind in my quest to reach 50 new book reads by the end of the year, which is a much better pace than last year. I’ve (re)discovered the awesomeness of audio books for my commute.

Here’s five recent reads that I highly recommend ( in random order):

1. I like to alternate reading fiction and nonfiction and in recent years have come to love memoirs. The End of Your Life Bookclub was a selection of Twookclub a few months ago that I wasn’t quite in the mood to read, but enough other people told me about this book that I picked it up from the library. It was a really sweet and touching read that was nowhere near as sad/tragic as I thought it was going to be. I thought it was a really great book about mother/son relationship and a lifelong long of reading/books.

2. I cannot recommend Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder enough. Ever since my mother thrust Bel Canto into my hands a few years ago, I’ve made my way through Patchett’s titles ( definitely read it if you haven’t). I ‘read’ State of Wonder as an audio book ad was so captivated by the story that several times I found myself sitting in the driveway or parking lot at work waiting for the chapter to be done. It is definitely one of the better things I’ve read this year.

3. The Night Circus is something that I would not have picked up on my own without the recommendations from friends and a few good reviews. The circus is something that interests me and I’ve read a few great fiction and nonfiction books with life under the big top as a central theme ( also as an aside there was a PBS mini documentary series called Circus a few years ago that I highly recommend). In any case, while this book has a lot more fantasy elements than I cared for, I overall enjoyed the level of intrigue and mystery to the book, even if the whole time my brain kept thinking “this could never happen!” I wouldn’t highly recommend it, but it was a fairly quick read and if you aren’t into reading fantasy but want something a bit whimsical that will still make you think, this is a good choice.

4. In my fiction selections, I love books that fall more into the genre of historical fiction or follow a group of characters over a large period of time so you can change, development, etc. J. Courtney Sullivan with her 2 previous titles ( Commencement and Maine) has quickly made her way onto to the list of authors I will always read and her newest title, The Engagementsdid not disappoint. The story is pretty much about how the diamond ring became such a huge part of marriage culture in the United States, and follows different story lines related to this. I loved the format and the various storylines, especially the way how it is revealed each character vignette relates to the others.

5. Curtis Sittenfeld is another favorite author and in the few years since American Wife came out, I’ve been clamoring for another novel from her. There are a good handful of authors who I feel this way about so when I read that Sittenfeld had a new book out in June, I was #5 on the huge waitlist at the library. Sisterland was a quick read with great character development. I wasn’t too happy with some of the developments towards the end of the book, but I would recommend it.

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