Once she put him in bed, her “me time” frequently overlapped with her “eat king-sized chocolate bars alone time.”
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The Need to Know: The Moth Presents All These Wonders is a gorgeous treasure of a book.
There was something about The Moth Presents All These Wonders that I was drawn to. It could have been the stunning cover. Or the fact that the Foreword is authored by Neil Gaiman. Or the very nature of the Moth project itself, which offers its participants the opportunity to tell a story about their lives to an audience.
It's D: all of the above.
All These Wonders is a collection of forty-five stories by well-known author/speakers like Louis C.K. and Ishmael Beah and people who I didn’t recognize by name. According to Artistic Director Catherine Burns, these stories were taken from spoken-word stories and “transcribed and lightly edited for the page.” The fact that these stories have been transcribed does make for a slightly different reading experience. I was reading and listening to someone’s unique speaking voice; that experience reminded me that these speakers were bold enough to not only put their words down on paper but to speak them into the world.
Each story is fairly short and centers on an important event in the author/speaker’s life. We hear from people who are getting their big break, people who are losing their big break; people who are bringing people into the world; people who are saying goodbye to people who are leaving the world; people who have known the violence of others; and people who have known great love. The diversity of these stories, and how they cover the gamut of the devastating to the joyous, is incredible. Regardless of the nature of the event that each author/speaker writes about, each person finds something powerful to hold onto and share with the reader.
I don't want to go into detail about the individual stories because they are lovely to watch unfold. But as a collection and individually, these stories are mesmerizing, wonderful reminders of what it means to be human. They are brimming with the things and feelings that happen to ourselves and to others that we don’t typically share—or if we do, we share them only with our dearest and closest. As Gaiman says about these stories in the Foreword: “Honesty matters. Vulnerability matters. Being open about who you were at a moment in time when you were in a difficult or an impossible place matters more than anything.”
This book is a moving exploration of the human experience. Besides that, the hardback book is absolutely beautiful—a book that I’ll be so happy to add to my shelves. I highly recommend it for you and also as a gift for others. It’s one of those books that I think that will make many people feel connected and loved.
I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books, but all opinions expressed in this review are my own.
His flyaway curls smelled of baby shampoo and maple syrup.
If you missed previous One-Sentence Stories, check them out here.
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She lingered over her morning coffee and tried (unsuccessfully) to pretend that it was a normal Saturday and not the morning after she had made out with the worst person she had ever met.
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February mewled as softly as a kitten, so she leapt out the front door garbed in the colors of spring.
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ThisBathing Beauty Bathing Suit from ModCloth. I don’t know about you all, but I think $89.99 for a bathing suit is expensive. If you can go the Target route like I could for years, I say go for it! But here’s the deal: I am a pear shape (thanks for the help identifying me as that, MC) with a sizeable backside, and I also had a one-year old last summer. These factors led to a less than enjoyable swimsuit shopping experience. I bought several bathing suits (b/c it was hard to try them on with my son), and then returned them all because they were really bad fits. Saying that they were extraordinarily bad fits would not be an understatement. Then I Googled something really embarrassing (like: cute bathing suits for new moms. Yes, really), and I found this beauty in red. I’m usually a size 6 and bought the size 8 (and probably could have comfortably fit in the 10). The red bathing suit looked like something a Hollywood starlet from the 1930s would have worn, but the emerald is gorgeous too! There's a reason why this bathing suit has so many incredible reviews on the modcloth site.
The article “Following the Path of Historical Romance to Women’s History”: I used to be embarrassed by my love of romance novels (and chances are, if you talk crudely about sex, or in particular a sex scene in my book, I’ll probably still get embarrassed). But then I started thinking more about the value of romance novels, outside of the Happily Ever After they offer. Yes, they often feature attractive characters with fantastic chemistry, but as this article states, romance novels can actually teach you things about the world—whether you’re reading historical or contemporary—and it’s amazing to read books which are female-centric. Another thing I’m loving about them is how increasingly diverse and inclusive they have been and are becoming. I understand if they’re not your jam—I’m not a huge fan of 1970s postmodernism books, for example—but give them a shot if you haven’t already. You might just be surprised. See Sarah MacLean's book above; she's one of my favorites!
This VW play-bus: We got this for my son at Christmas and it is pretty darn adorable. Sam looks so cute diving through the door (usually to escape me or chase after me). Also, there’s been a bonus use: my dog, Dobby, likes to use it as a dog-house of sorts. Land of Nod has some cute ones, but this VW was a ton cheaper, especially because I nabbed it on sale.
These Rifle Paper Co. Keds: Bring the smelling salts. These Keds are proof that God loves us and wants to cheer us up after the greatest presidential misstep (or catastrophe) in US history. I am a HUGE fan of Rifle Paper Co. products—I have bought their desk calendar, planner, and stationaries—and I love these shoes.
Activism. You guys, just because Lindsay Lohan says that "if you can't beat him [Trump], join him," doesn’t mean we actually have to. I know that many of my beloved family and friends have jobs where it’s just not practical or possible to squeeze in a phone call to your Senators (only to hear a dial tone in a lot of cases), but if you can try, give it a shot. I’ve also heard that faxing is an effective means of contacting our representatives, as well as attending protests and town halls. My peppy pitches might get (are likely) annoying, but I'm trying to keep myself encouraged just as much as I'm hoping to keep you encouraged.
This project to create fun signs for cat adoptions: So happy that people like the man responsible for this project exist. Delores’s sign is killing me.
At this point of my life, it feels extra special to buy a new, hardback book. I typically buy used books or check out books out from my library. But I’ve been crushing on Book of the Month (BOTM) for several months now, and at Christmas I decided to buy myself a 3-month subscription and say that it was from my husband. (Daniel, this will be a test to see if you actually read my blog. I will wait anxiously to see if you ask me about this supposed gift later today ;) )
You can check out how Book of the Month works here.
I (cough: Daniel) opted for the 3-month plan, which theoretically meant that I would receive a total of 3 books. But, BOTM was offering a magical offer when I subscribed, so I was actually guaranteed a minimum of four hardback books to add to my library. Happiness. But wait, it gets even better.
For the month of January, I selected Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney. All BOTM subscribers also received a free copy of Gillian Flynn’s The Grownup, as a just-because extra gift!!!!! Finally, I got a BOTM tote because it was offered when I signed up. While you’re not supposed to make absolute statements, I have to say: everyone loves a good tote.
So let me tell you, I was very excited to open my box of goodies on Wednesday morning. I was so excited that that day I took several pictures of my books and complimentary paper bookmark, and tore through the roughly fifty pages of Gillian Flynn’s The Grownup, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
The Grownup is marketed as an “homage to the classic ghost story.” Yes, please.
Although I can make myself scared over almost anything, I love a good ghost story, and Flynn’s The Grownup is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. It’s one of those slight but dense stories that I would love to discuss in a book club or a class because so much happens in 50-odd pages and the ending is one that’s open to interpretation.
But let’s go back to the basics. The unnamed female narrator—who has had a series of very interesting jobs—is currently serving as a clairvoyant. She is very skilled at reading people, but the clairvoyant claim is a scam. Still, when a desperate woman named Susan asks her to cleanse her home, the unnamed narrator accepts because of the extra cash and the relatively easy job—she might have time to read from the woman’s library while she’s “cleansing” the home.
Once she arrives at Susan’s house, the story gets more complicated. The unnamed narrator discovers that she is also affected by how the house looks and feels. Add a creepy step-son and you’ve got a rich, weighty ghost story to get scared by and lost in.
Why don’t you read it so we can discuss the ending?
I’m not sure if Daniel will buy me a longer subscription to BOTM once this one ends, but I am loving BOTM so far. If you would like to sign up for BOTM, and you use this link, I’ll get a free book!
Now I’m going to try to enjoy today, and tomorrow, my BFF Laura and I, along with other friends, will be participating in the Lexington, KY Women’s March. Let's remember to stand up for what we believe in and what we know to be right. In the words of Patton Oswalt: "So if we're really going to fight back, and resist, the first thing we have to do -- and it's only a little thing, really, but it's gotta be everyday -- is an ongoing, gentle blowing on the tiny spark of sanity that's still left, to keep it glowing."
*This is not a sponsored post. I just love BOTM so far and wanted to share my experience with you.
About the Author
When my toddler and infant sleep--or are otherwise engaged--I write, read, and eat lots of chocolate.