Winter Reads

I’ve just gotten through a few great books. They were deeper reads, so as winter moves in, I decided I wanted a much lighter book next. I just picked up Tina Fey’s Bossy Pants. After reading the first chapter I am convinced it’ll be just what I need. Below are the books I think are worth digging into this winter.

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Homegoing by Yaa Gyaasi was brilliant. This historical fiction is about two half sisters who never meet, and are born into different tribes in Africa, just as the slave trade is becoming a major part of the countries landscape. The story is about love, luck, culture and belonging. Gyasi highlights a theme I’ve read about time and again – the idea that every small decision we make impacts the long term trajectory of our life and where we end up. This short book made me think twice about the very really struggle so many “African Americans” feel concerning their identity. Many years after slavery had been abolished, the descendants of the original characters in the book find homes in America, but still somehow all feel displaced and disconnected. It was astonishingly sad, but a really important read.

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Never Unfriended, by Lisa-Jo Baker, is another book I have thought about often since reading it. Baker is brutally honest about what it takes to be in honest and real female friendship. She doesn’t shy away from tackling tough topics. I felt a knot in my heart reading as I realized how often I have acted out of fear, insecurity, and jealousy when it comes to female friendship. This book is a call to arms – encouraging us all to live authentically – knowing that real friends worth keeping will know us fully and love us despite our flaws and fears. It’s also a great reminder that we never truly know what another person is living through, and because of that we have to have soft hearts and forgiveness at our core. We need to offer those things and we need to accept them from others too. Baker is a Christian author, so the key message is that if we approach friendship the way Jesus would, it creates a lot more space for joy, grace, and longevity in our relationships.

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Along The Infinite Sea, by Beatriz Williams, came out a few years back, and it had been on my “book list” that I keep in my phone since then. I have read a lot of other books Williams wrote, but this one was my favorite. While fiction, her books are packed with accurate historical references and details. In this World War II drama there is love, deceit, death, and redemption. It was a total page-turner that I read quickly in two drives back and forth to Vermont. It would be a great one for the winter break!

Travel: Playa Grande Beach Club

With a quick weekend getaway on the horizon, I have travel on my mind. The anticipation had me thinking about my most recent trip. It had been way too long since I had traveled with girlfriends, so this past spring a handful of friends and I did a mid-winter getaway for a long weekend. I… read more

Fabulous Brand: La Double J

For the last two years I have been obsessed with all things La Double J. The label was created by American-born, current expat JJ Martin. Martin is a journalist by trade with a keen eye for bold patterns and styles that flatter. She was always drawn to vintage fashion, and after creating a website that… read more

Great Non-Profit: NEXT for Autism

Today it’s my honor to introduce you to Christine Lai, an awesome woman who also happens to be the parent of a child with autism. Christine is open, honest, and incredibly brave, never shying away from the challenging work of advocating for her son and others facing autism. Many of us have been touched by… read more

Time Well Spent: Cooking Class with Courtnay Arpano

When it comes to purposeful time with friends, I am a big fan of long walks. It’s the perfect way to get exercise while also catching up. I’m also a big fan of a large glass of red wine on a cool fall night. But sometimes it’s nice to do something that isn’t just cocktails… read more

Best Books: Memoirs of a Goldfish

This book, Memoirs of a Goldfish, by Devin Scillian, was our favorite read of the summer. Parts of this cheeky tale remind me of The Day the Crayons Quit which I blogged about here. In this story Goldfish lives a relatively mundane life, swimming circles around his simple fish bowl. Things take a turn for… read more

Little Wings Event: School Supplies for Hurricane Victims

For the last 8 years Little Wings Foundation has done a family volunteer event during the holiday season, but from time to time we do an event out of season when we think people need our help most. We’ve all seen the devastating images from Texas and Louisiana because of Hurricane Harvey. It’s hard to… read more

Rad Art: Cj Hendry

At first glance the works of Australian artist Cj Hendry look like thick blobs of oil paint photographed on a blank canvas. Get ready to have your mind blown – this entire series of hyperrealism drawings, titled Complimentary Colors, was actually created with nothing more than colored pencils. I can’t even. The highlights and shadowing… read more

Great Read: Hillbilly Elegy

Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance, was on my nightstand for months before I got to it. After a handful of people insisted it was a “must read”, I finally took it off the shelf last week. This book offers up a fascinating look at what it means to be truly poor and living in America…. read more

Being Prepared: The Hostess Pantry

I was reading an old issue of House Beautiful, and stumbled upon this article written by “entertainologist” Lulu Powers. She offered up a fabulous list of things to always keep on hand so that you can whip up delicious treats any time a friend pops by. The white truffle and sea salt potato chips sounded… read more