Spooky Schools, Folklore, and Books About Books: My Most Anticipated Autumn Releases!

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you’re having a lovely day.

I go back to school next week, and while I’ve been busy gathering supplies and finishing up my summer work, I’m excited to settle in to a routine. And, alongside school, the fall season brings with it plenty of fun things: apple pie, my birthday (!!), and new books! Today I’m looking ahead to the rest of autumn, and I’m highlighting the books coming out that I’m most excited for. Check them out below!

Where Dreams Descend came out at the end of August, but I haven’t had a chance to read it yet. So, I’m including it in this round-up as well! Not only does the novel have a truly gorgeous cover, it also features magicians, a circus, and elements of Moulin Rouge and Phantom of the Opera. Magic + theatrical France is a winning combo, I think.

I’m looking forward to new releases from some of my favorite authors! The Lives of Saints is at the top of my wishlist, as it comes out right before my birthday. Plus, I think Leigh Bardugo is at her best when crafting short stories. Julie C. Dao and Jennifer Donnelly are publishing new fantasy titles as well: Broken Wish promises witches and curses in 19th-century Germany, and Poisoned looks like a deliciously wicked twist on Snow White. 

Continuing the folklore theme, The Forest of Ghosts and Bones and A Girl is a Body of Water have both caught my eye. Lisa Lueddecke’s standalone fantasy draws on the myths of Hungaria, and Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s latest novel is a feminist coming-of-age “rich in the folklore of Uganda.” I can’t wait to read both!

When it comes to the fall, I’m always on the lookout for a good ~spooky~ book. A Deadly Education, about a magical boarding school with no teachers, seems to fit the bill. As does These Violent Delights, a version of Romeo and Juliet set in 1920s Shanghai and featuring a mysterious “monster in the shadows.” Intrigue and twists are sure to abound!

Finally, I don’t pick up too much contemporary YA, but This is All Your Fault seems like my kind of read. Diverse, feminist characters? Friendship? A bookstore?! All my favorite things.

Which releases are you most excited about this fall? 

xx


lulu

My Favorite Book Genres! {Favorite Friday | September 4}

Hi friends!!

Today I’m participating in the Midnight Book Blog’s “Favorite Friday” tag, which encourages bloggers to discuss their favorite things in literature. This week’s prompt is Favorite Genre!

My favorite genre, for years, has been Fantasy (low fantasy! high fantasy! realistic fantasy in which the only fantastical element is a character who may or may not be slightly clairvoyant! all the fantasy!) Yet, as I considered the prompt, I realized many of my favorite books fall into specific niches. So, I’ve decided to zero in on three of my favorite subgenres, fantasy and otherwise.

Check them out below!

1. Fairy Tale Retellings

Does it have spooky woods? A fascinating magic system? Castle politics? A cheesy and unnecessary love story? A complex and well-developed love story? No love story?! I’m here for all the adaptations of classic folklore, but bonus points if the book is from the perspective of a “villain” or if bends the rules of the traditional tale.

{Featured: Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George | Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao | Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly}

2. “Cool Women Doing Cool Things”

Did I make up this genre? Maybe. But I have so many gorgeous (gorgeous!!) books celebrating trailblazing women, I felt that they needed their own space. I’m always down to read about awesome historical ladies breaking barriers.

{Featured: Brazen by Pénélope Bagieu| Women in Art by Rachel Ignotofsky | Bad Girls Throughout History by Ann Shen}

3. Heist Books!

There’s a reason people on Twitter wanted that movie with Lupita Nyong’o and Rihanna: heist stories, when done right, are tightly-paced and loads of fun. My favorite ones tend to involve magic and tragic backstories, but I’ll give anything with puzzles and twists a try!

{Featured: Heist Society by Ally Carter | The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Choski | Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo}

What are your favorite genres?

xx

lulu

August Book Round-Up

Hi friends!!

It’s September! Which means it’s almost fall! Yay!

I adore the cooler weather, spooky stories, and Dave Malloy music that accompany autumn, but I also feel like summer blew by. Whew.

Today though, we’re staying in the realm of ice cream cones, mini dresses, and sunshine. I’m looking back at the books I read in August, and while I didn’t get around to as many books I hoped to this summer, I did discover some of my new favorite novels. There were haunted mansions, talking gorillas, and fiddles galore!

You can check out the books I read last month, plus some brief thoughts, below.

Atonement was one of my summer reading assignments for school, and I was enamored with McEwan’s classical use of language! The book is an interesting treatise on the nature of writing, though the middle section – describing a soldier’s life during WWII in great detail – wasn’t my cup of tea.

This was my second time reading Americanah, and Adichie’s novel is well worth revisiting! It was a summer reading assignment as well, and I really enjoyed analyzing my favorite passages and quotes. I’m eager to pick up Half of a Yellow Sun, too.

Mexican Gothic, I think, is one of my favorite books ever. Noemí is such a stylish, witty protagonist, and the mystery freaked. me. out. As the title suggests, things get Jane Eyre-style spooky. I won’t spoil. But it’s real twisty. (And have you seen the accompanying paper doll? Silvia Moreno-Garcia understands my desire for literary-based crafts and I appreciate it. I also recommend you check out her FAQ on Goodreads, in which she explains how Mexican Gothic calls out HP Lovecraft and Arthur Conan Doyle on their racism.)

I mentioned how much I enjoyed The One and Only Bob a couple posts ago, but I really do love Katherine Applegate’s verse-like writing and canine protagonist. It’s a heartwarming story, and a fitting follow-up to The One and Only Ivan. Both reduced me to a big mass of tears.

After loving The Downstairs Girl and Outrun the Moon, I checked out Stacey Lee’s debut novel, Under a Painted Sky. It skews to the younger side of YA, yet I’m sure it would please history buffs of any age! I really appreciated the novel’s central friendship; Sammy and Annamae were so freakin’ cool. Plus, it’s a diverse western! Stacey Lee is the best.

What books did you read this August?

xx

lulu

Top Ten Books That Make Me Hungry! {Top Ten Tuesday | September 1}

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Today I’m participating in That Artsy Reader Girl’s TTT prompt: “Top Ten Books that Make Me Hungry.” I love to bake (and have far too many cookbooks!) so I’m quite excited about this week’s theme. Below, I’ve chosen five of my favorite recipe books, plus five novels that feature cooking, baking, or delectable descriptions of edible treats. Hopefully they’ll inspire you to create something in the kitchen, or at least eat a cookie. After all, cookies are great!

Twist by Martha Collison

The Great British Bake-Off is mandatory viewing in my household, and I eagerly seek out recipes from my favorite former contestants. Martha Collison’s debut cookbook, Twist, is a standout (its five minute recipe for a brownie-in-a-mug is both dangerous and amazing), and I also have my eye on Cheeky Treats by Liam Charles and Christmas with Kim Joy.

Baking With Less Sugar by Joanne Chang

I mentioned this book in my last post about blueberry nectarine pie, but it’s worth mentioning twice! My sister and I are frequent visitors to flour, Chang’s bakery in Boston, and some of our favorite treats are featured in this healthy(ish) recipe collection. It’s a great book if you’re looking to experiment in the kitchen!

Back in the Day Bakery: Made With Love by Cheryl and Griffith Day

This recipe book won my heart the minute I discovered it had a section devoted to “Everyday Cake.” From those pages, I discovered my go-to birthday treat: chocolate chip cake with chocolate buttercream frosting. It’s amazing, so easy, and so yummy. The whole book would be worth it for that one recipe, but there are plenty of other cakes and pies I recommend, as well!

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman

Deb never steers me wrong, and Smitten Kitchen might be the website I visit more than any other. Many of my favorite recipes of hers are online (zucchini quesadillas, for example, are so gosh darn tasty!) but her debut cookbook is just as reliable and accessible for home cooks like myself.

Kids Baking by Abigail J. Dodge (for William Sonoma)

This book is out of print, which is DEVASTATING to me, but you can still find it second hand around the web. The ideas are easy and big on fun-factor; I’ve used its recipes for muffins since I was little. (And I’m a muffin snob!!)

All Four Stars by Tara Dairman

This one is a bit of a cheat, as All Four Stars is still in my TBR pile, but my sister gave it high praise back in 2015, and the adorable cover makes me want a cupcake. Besides, the adventures of a pre-teen food critic? Amazing.

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

I expect With the Fire On High is on a lot of bloggers’ lists today, and with good reason! The book is so moving and the writing so descriptive; it’s one of the best YA contemporaries of the past few years. Plus, look at that cover! There’s fruit! Lavender! A beautiful color palette! It’s an ode to food, if I’ve ever seen one. (The art was done by Erick Davila.)

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Heartless is my favorite novel by Marissa Meyer, and it makes me hope she’ll write more stand alone books! The protagonist longs to be a baker, and while reading, I continuously craved a macaron. (There’s plenty of twists, too, if colorful sandwich cookies aren’t your thing.)

The Candymakers by Wendy Mass

It’s been quite a few years since I read The Candymakers, but it has some of my favorite things: multiple perspectives, supernatural candy-fueled powers, and a mystery! Plus, Wendy Mass rules.

I’ll Have What She’s Having: My Adventures in Celebrity Dieting by Rebecca Harrington

This book made me hungry out of sympathy. Author Rebecca Harrington tried out more than a dozen celebrities’ diets – quirks and celery loaves included – and maintained a detailed account of the experience. Harrington’s writing is delightful, and she maintained a similar column online at The Cut, if you’re interested!

Now, I’m off to grab a snack, but I’d love to know your favorite cookbooks and books-tangentially-related-to-food. I’m also curious: do you, like me, believe ice cream elevates every meal? (A key question!!)

Let me know, and enjoy the rest of your day!

xx

lulu

Currently Loving | August 23 – 30

Hi friends!!

I meant to get this post up earlier in the day, but, alas, my time management skills were somewhat lacking. So, instead, we’re getting a fun late night post! (And any time is a good time to chat about funny movies and blueberry pie, yes? I think so.)

You can check out the media I loved this week below, and be sure to share all the cool things you did too! I’m always on the lookout for stellar recommendations.

The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate | Few books have managed to break my heart in the way that The One and Only Ivan did. Its sequel, The One and Only Bob, isn’t quite so devastating, but it moved me all the same. The poetic writing and courageous (though stubborn!) titular pup are lovely reminders of why I so love children’s literature.

The Bold Type |The Bold Type often borders on ridiculous, even if one overlooks its characters’ questionable fashion choices. Yet it’s also fiercely sweet and feminist, and I’ve so enjoyed catching up on episodes over these past few weeks! (Also! If you’re a fan of the show as well, I encourage you to read and support actress Aisha Dee’s statement calling for more diversity in The Bold Type’s writers room.) 

Blueberry Nectarine Pie | I go back to school in a few weeks and my sister is moving into a new apartment, so she and I are trying out as many yummy new recipes as possible before then! Our latest creation was this blueberry-nectarine pie from the Baking With Less Sugar cookbook by Joanne Chang (of flour bakery fame!) I don’t believe the recipe is available online, but King Arthur Flour has a similar one, if you want to try it out! (Plus, this was my first time trying a nectarine! Apologies to all the nectarine-fiends out there for my tardiness; they’re great!!) 

Candace Against the Universe | Phineas and Ferb was a go-to show of my childhood (and of my teendom, ngl) and I was mighty excited to hear that a reunion movie would be released this August. Candace Against The Universe (on Disney Plus!) was deeply absurd but also deeply delightful, and I was happy to watch it to close out the summer!

The Baby by Samia | I LOVE Samia’s music, and her singles “Someone Tell The Boys” and “Ode to Artifice” have been on my regular rotation for months now. I’m so excited to add tracks from her new album, The Baby, into the mix! It was released on Friday, and I already adore “Minnesota” and “Fit N Full.” Her songs are the perfect moody-pastel soundtrack for the upcoming fall weather! 

Have a lovely end to your August!

xx

lulu

Top Ten Books That Should Be Adapted Into Netflix Shows or Movies! {Top Ten Tuesday | August 18}

Hi, friends!

I hope you’re having a lovely week! I’ve been getting ready for the upcoming school year, testing out some new yummy recipes (Smitten Kitchen’s Cherry Tomato Tart is a big hit in my house!), and enjoying the waning days of summer.

Today I’m participating in That Artsy Reader Girl‘s “Top Ten Tuesday,” a series of posts prompting book bloggers to reflect on their favorite reads. This week’s theme is “Top Ten Books that Should Be Adapted into Netflix Shows or Movies!”

As someone with very strong opinions about television (for example: The Great British Bake-Off is the best program to ever grace our screens), I am super excited about this prompt. Let’s get to it!

1 | Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Dread Nation has the makings of a stellar show: zombies! history! cool Black girl protagonists! Plus, the costumes would be *amazing* (albeit a bit bloody, by the end credits.)

2 | Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Out of the Easy has rich historical visuals, as well as intrigue of both the murderous and the academic variety. There’s a show right there!!

(And it also features a bookstore! Love those.)

3 | The Charlotte Holmes series by Brittany Cavallaro

The End of The F***ing World sometimes gives me Charlotte Holmes vibes, so I think Brittany Cavallaro’s twisty tales could thrive in a television format. A Study in Charlotte can be quite dark at times, which would fit the signature *gritty* mood of Netflix’s teen offerings.

4 | The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer

Marissa Meyer writes some of the best sci-fi soap operas in the YA business, and I would love to see how The Lunar Chronicles novels – and their futuristic fairytale aesthetics – translate to screen. (And YA thrives on presenting werewolves as serious romantic leads! It’s perfect!)

5 | Of Giants and Ice by Shelby Bach

It’s been a little while since I’ve read Of Giants and Ice, but I LOVED these books when I was younger! They’re similar to Percy Jackson – but with fairytales! – and have plenty of action and humor for the small screen.

(Somewhat unrelated, but I am so, so excited for the upcoming PJ series on Disney Plus!! Middle-school-me is crying, really.)

6 | Layoverland by Gabby Noone

A night spent watching The Good Place and Layoverland while contemplating existentialist questions about the afterlife? I’d be down.

7 | Rise of the Rocket Girls by Nathalia Holt

I love me a good documentary (recent faves have been Boys State on Apple TV and Howard from Disney Plus!) and I think that Holt’s books have the perfect combination of research and narrative necessary for a TV treatment.

8 | Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

It would be like The West Wing embraced its true calling as a rom-com! (Sorry, Aaron Sorkin.)

9 | Burn For Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Burn for Burn is such a binge-able book; it has the same vibes as Riverdale and Veronica Mars, but with an extra dash of feminist friendship thrown in. Plus, the trilogy is co-written by YA Netflix queen, Jenny Han!

10 | My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

I’m envisioning the humor of A Series of Unfortunate Events, but the costumes of Wolf Hall. Plus magic!

Are there any book adaptions you would love to see on screen?

xx

lulu

July Book Round-Up

Happy August everyone!

We’re in the midst of a quite toasty summer up here in New England, and I’m constantly in search of ice cream, air conditioning, and excuses to go swimming. (I work in an ice cream store, so that first one is rather easy to come by. Those latter two vestiges of warm-weather fun, though, they always manage to elude me!) July was a big reading month for me, as well, and I still hope to salvage the sad remains of my 2020 Reading Challenge. 

I kid, I kid. But I got to nine whole books! That’s almost ten! Read-a-palooza!! 

My favorite book this month was Julie Berry’s (AMAZING!) All the Truth That’s In Me. Berry, my love, writes the novel in second person, and the narrative device comes across as lyrical and poetic rather than clunky. The book has strong Scarlet Letter vibes, but it also is feminist as heck.

A close second was Rita Sepetys’ Salt to the Sea, a multi-perspective narrative chronicling the 1945 sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff. It’s a heavy read, but an important one, and Sepetys’ research and love of history shines. (Her debut novel, Between Shades of Gray, was also one of my July reads. I recommend it as well!)

If you, like me, were wowed by Julie Andrews’ iconic performance in The Princess Diaries films as a child, may I recommend Rachel Hawkins’ Prince Charming or Casey McQuiston’s Red, White, and Royal Blue? Hawkins’ novel is sweet for a younger YA audience (though I still prefer its companion, Her Royal Highness!) and McQuiston’s debut will charm anyone who has binged both The West Wing and The Crown

As a longtime fan of the SGE books, I was disappointed with One True King. Still, it was nice to return to the favorite series of my youth! I elaborate more in my Goodreads review, if you’re interested.

My love of historical fiction grew this July with Stacey Lee’s Outrun the Moon and Natalie Jenner’s The Jane Austen Society. Both were moving and comforting depictions of friendship.

I finished this month off with Thomas C. Foster’s How to Read Literature Like a Professor. (The book was a summer reading assignment, and I adjusted my expectations accordingly.) A bit dry and limited in perspective, but with some good insights!

What books did you read this July?

xx

lulu

book review | The Downstairs Girl

Hello, friends! This review contains mild, vague spoilers.

Historical Fiction has stealthily become my favorite genre of late! I have quite a few historical books on my TBR list, including My Calamity Jane and The Jane Austen Society, one of which contains a great number of werewolves and one of which does not. This past week I enjoyed Stacey Lee’s The Downstairs Girl, a moving story about family and identity in the late 1800s. The novel features hats, horses, and possible poisonings, oh my! Let’s get to it…

By day seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady’s maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, “Dear Miss Sweetie.” When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society’s ills, but she’s not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender.

While her opponents clamor to uncover the secret identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past and the parents who abandoned her as a baby. But when her efforts put her in the crosshairs of Atlanta’s most notorious criminal, Jo must decide whether she, a girl used to living in the shadows, is ready to step into the light. (Goodreads)

When readers first meet Jo Kuan, she has been fired from her position in a milliner’s shop. Jo’s employer admits that she creates lovely, unique silk knots in record time, but claims that Jo is too opinionated when it comes to their well-to-do white customers. Jo protests that these criticisms reek of racism rather than genuine concern.

It’s a fitting introduction to the novel, which addresses Jo’s struggle to understand her role in an increasingly segregated city. She and her caretaker, Old Gin, are Chinese, living in Atlanta towards the end of the 19th century. Battling discrimination and racism, the pair secretly lives in the basement of a newspaper print shop. Jo thus grew up in hiding, but also in an environment in which words carry great power and currency.

The stakes of the book are personal. While the cover jacket may boast of newspaper dramatics and of threats from a local crime boss, those stories tend to exist in the background of The Downstairs Girl. Instead, Jo’s growing boldness regarding her work and her family drives the plot. This is a character-based book, for sure; conflicts wrap up rather easily, and characters don’t stay angry for long. Still, the book addresses large themes like racism, intersectionality, and poverty, and it treats such subjects with the complexity they warrant.

Like my fave Ruta Sepetys, Stacey Lee exposes readers to an area of history they likely didn’t learn about in school. I appreciate Lee spotlighting this fascinating subject; YA historical fiction needs more diverse stories and voices. The novel also showcases important solidarity, with Jo giving her Black friend Noemi earnest support as they spar with racist white suffragists. Important messages, all around!

Jo is one of my favorite protagonists of late. She is progressive, relatable, and witty – especially in her work as Miss Sweetie – and I delighted in reading her newspaper columns. Throughout the book, Jo’s work as an “agony aunt” reflects her growing courage, but also her firm sense of self; she jumps from providing household tips to penning progressive manifestos with ease. Miss Sweetie’s columns and letters appear at the start of the chapters throughout the novel, giving readers insight into side characters’ woes. The columns are a fun framing device, and they never feel too gimmicky!

notes

  •  The Downstairs Girl is cover cousins with Lovely War, but I think a more fitting companion is Jennifer Donnelly’s These Shallow Graves. Donnelly’s novel is also about an aspiring girl journalist near the turn of the century, and, funny enough, her protagonist is also named Jo! (Louisa May Alcott would be proud)
  • Speaking of covers, The Downstairs Girl is such a gorgeous book. 
  • Stacey Lee is a part of the team at We Need Diverse Books, which I urge everyone to follow! Their work is fantastic and vital.
  • This was the first book I added manually to my StoryGraph account! I can’t recommend the site enough, but be sure to check out Rubyfruit Reads‘ review.

what have you been reading lately? 

xx

lulu

book review | The Fountains of Silence

Hello, friends! This review contains mild, vague spoilers.

I loved Ruta Sepetys’ Out of the EasyWith its impeccable research and compelling depiction of New Orleans’ historic underbelly, the novel quickly joined the ranks of my all-time favorite books.

I read Easy recently, and Sepetys’ work was on my mind. So, as the weather in my state grows hot and humid, I thought it natural to revisit The Fountains of SilenceTaking place in the summer of 1957, Sepetys’ latter novel explores life in the period following the Spanish Civil War, when Madrid was under the control of fascist leader Francisco Franco. I found the story, and its deceiving golden tones, fascinating.

Madrid, 1957. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, tourists and foreign businessmen flood into Spain under the welcoming promise of sunshine and wine. Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of an oil tycoon, who arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his mother’s birth through the lens of his camera. Photography–and fate–introduce him to Ana, whose family’s interweaving obstacles reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War–as well as chilling definitions of fortune and fear. Daniel’s photographs leave him with uncomfortable questions amidst shadows of danger. He is backed into a corner of difficult decisions to protect those he loves. Lives and hearts collide, revealing an incredibly dark side to the sunny Spanish city (Goodreads).

Sepetys’ main characters may be Dan and Ana, but she crafts her tale using multiple perspectives. Readers learn of the importance of persistence from Rafa, Ana’s earnest and optimistic brother. Puri, their young cousin, gives us a peek into the psyche of a woman questioning the society she has always obeyed. Julia, Ana’s older sister, struggles to provide for their family and survive amid suspicion. We even get brief interludes from a young bellhop and a matador-in-training. Quotes from US officials and ambassadors separate the chapters, providing real-life context for readers unfamiliar with Franco’s regime. 

The cast of characters is large, and it requires readers to process a lot of information. Luckily, Sepetys has experience in creating memorable supporting characters (Out Of the Easy’s French Quarter misfits were my favorite part of that story!) In this novel, highlights included: Carlitos, a preteen hotel employee whose love of Texas renders him Dan’s confidant, Ben, a grizzled (albeit trope-y) reporter/romantic sage, and Miguel, a kind photography store owner. With so many characters, though, a few inevitably fell flat: I struggled to understand the book’s stance on the elder Mr. Matheson, for example. But overall, a cast of vibrant personalities inhabits The Fountains of Silence and its vision of midcentury Madrid.

While the collection of fleeting perspectives can be unsettling, Sepetys’ structure is no mere gimmick. Rather, it complements the novel’s setting: the glimpses into characters’ lives reflect the voyeuristic nature of Franco’s Spain. The set-up worked especially well during the novel’s confession sequence, in which four young people successively talk to a priest. Those few pages manage to confront moral ideology, desire, and religion’s role in corrupt power structures.

I enjoyed The Fountains of Silence immensely, but it is not an easy read. Sure, the love story is charming and warm and moving. But like the novel’s tropical, wine-washed setting, dark tones lurk underneath the breezy surface. At no point does Sepetys shy away from the complexities of life under a dictatorship: The Fountains of Silence contains chilling descriptions of death, hardship, and heartbreak, and it has a slow, immersive plot.

Readers (both young and old! Sepetys’ writing targets a YA crowd but dances the line between teenage and adult literature) should take time to sit with the novel’s messages. I latched onto the opening line, which Rafa first utters while working at a butcher shop in Vallecas. His words haunt the book. 

“They stand in line for blood.”  

notes

  • I bought this book last year from my favorite local bookstore. If possible, support local booksellers and libraries during this time. Consider buying your next purchase from Moon Palace Books in Minneapolis.  
  • Sepetys’ earlier novel, Salt to the Sea, also has multiple perspectives. I am so eager to check out the rest of her work!  
  • Fountains of Silence, in structure and theme, reminded me of the BBC’s World on Fire. On a literary front, Sepetys’s novels recall Julie Berry’s books. (Berry is one of my absolute favorite authors, and I will forever maintain that The Passion of Dolssa is a gosh darn masterpiece.) 

xx

lulu

Currently Loving | May 10 – 17

Helloooo!

I hope you all had a great week! I had to spend an awfully long time studying for my AP exams, but I still snuck in some vital activities, like making chocolate chip cookies, scrolling through Instagram, and organizing my very small collection of nail polish. As you can tell, the studying was very focused.

Here are the songs, activities, and other media that caught my eye this week…

Julie’s Library Podcast | Julie Andrews’ delightful podcast with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, is such soothing, heart-warming content! Together, the mother-daughter duo read picture books and champion the wonder of words. It’s so, so lovely.

The Great on Hulu | Elle Fanning’s new show lives up to it’s name! And its promised level of historical (in)accuracy! Telling the story of Catherine the Great’s rise to power in Russia, The Great has sumptuous costumes, plenty of profanity, and a hilarious, self-aware take on history. I don’t know if Empress Catherine would approve, but I certainly do. 

Layoverland by Gabby Noone | Are you missing the comforts and stale aesthetics of airplane travel? Have a soft spot for comedies about the afterlife? Does Jell-O both fascinate and terrify you? If so, I can’t recommend Gabby Noone’s Purgatory-set Layoverland enough! It’s fast, funny, and a perfect distraction for those of us staying at home. 

Walks with Bella | My sister and I are making the most of our time together at home, going on plenty of walks (“adventures!”) Though the circumstances are not ideal, I appreciate the chance to celebrate nature and spend the afternoons with one of my favorite people. 

Candid by Olivia Foa’i | After listening to Moana approximately one bajillion times, I looked into the work of Olivia Foa’i, who provided vocals on the Disney film’s soundtrack. Her debut album, Candid, came out back in 2019, and it has lyrics in both English and Tokelauan. As the weather grows warmer and summer emerges, no songs appeal to me more!

xx

lulu

follow my blog with bloglovin’!