Today I am resurrecting my long, forsaken blog. And while before this blog was dedicated exclusively to interior design, I am rebooting it with an expanded point of view. Let’s talk about the things that spark happiness and make our soul take flight.
For me, those things include great books, worthwhile movies and television, travel both near and far, yummy healthy recipes, my pups, any great hack that helps me to keep or create a good habit and, of course, interior design. I hope you will join me in sharing the things in your life that allow you to breathe in an exalted breath of fresh air.
Over the past two years, I have recaptured my love of reading. Whereas before I was lucky if I read five books a year, in 2019, I read over 40 and thanks to www.goodreads.com (sign up if you are a book lover) I set a goal of 50 for 2020. When you read often, you know pretty quickly when you have discovered the rare book that is both a page-turner and a story that expands your perspective. Three books, that I recently read, hit that mark for me, all illustrating the human capacity for good in a world of harsh realities.
“News of the World: A Novel” by Paulette Jiles takes place post-Civil War with an aging News Reader, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, who agrees to take a 10-year old orphan, Johanna, captured by the Kiowa tribe, across a dangerous journey from northern Texas back to her surviving relatives in San Antonio. What affected me most about this novel was the relationship that develops between the hardened veteran and the “wild” young girl who no longer speaks her given language. Akin to Atticus Finch and Scout of “To Kill A Mockingbird”, it is a relationship that stays with you long after the last page is turned.
“Giver of Stars” by Jojo Moyes chronicles the fictionalized lives women who became Pack Horse Librarians delivering books to rural families by horseback in Depression ear Kentucky. The Pack Horse Library Project was a program that delivered books to remote regions in the Appalachian Mountains between 1935 and 1943. Beyond the historical significance, what captivated me most about the book were the strong female characters and the friendships that developed among a diverse group of women.
“American Dirt” by Jeanine Cummins opens with the Mexican Cartel’s brutal annihilation of a woman’s family committed as retribution against her journalist husband. Lydia and her young son, Luca, survive only to face a treacherous journey across the border to the United States, leaving behind their home in Acapulco. This book is a roller coast ride from page one that I could not put it down. I found myself holding my breath as I emotionally took the perilous migration with Lydia and her son Luca in what becomes a very complex story about the risks that she must face to save her life and that of son. This novel will stick with you for a very long time.
Have you read anything exceptional? Please share!