Treat Yo’ Shelves
I was always one of those girls that put down ‘reading’ as one of her hobbies when you have to write a bio about yourself. I read voraciously as a child, I was a mini Hermione always with a book in my hand or bag. I read Gone with the Wind in fourth grade just for the hell of it. People around me had Nancy Drew and I was holding this bright red book with Scarlet O’Hara in a compromising position. Don’t get me wrong I love Nancy Drew, that was one of the one things my dad could buy me that I didn’t want to shove in a fire pit. Thanks to him I own every single one of the yellow back Nancy Drew’s and some Hardy Boys too.
But ever since law school my days spent reading until my eyes burn have gone downhill. Don’t get me wrong, there are still times when I play the game of ‘can I finish this book before the sun comes up’ and when I win that game I lose the next day at work. But since beginning law school and starting work I’ve felt guilty about reading for pleasure and I hate that. I felt guilty in law school because I felt like I should have been reading for class, I felt guilty when studying for the bar because I felt I should have been studying (this was the worst because I would have akin to panic attacks if I wasn’t studying), and now I feel guilty because I feel like I should be doing something more with my life than just sitting and reading.
I hate feeling guilty picking up a book. That feeling of guilt when I am trying to do something I used to love spirals into anguish. And that my friends is pure heartbreak for me. Reading used to make me feel wonderful, it was a relief to delve into a different world, it was a break from whatever was going on in my life, it was an escape to different places I’d never been and quite possibly could never see myself going. The past few years reading for me wasn’t anything like that.
But lately (the past two months) I’ve made a conscious effort to squash my guilt and just read. I’ve let myself pick up a book and enjoy. I’ve scheduled in time on a Saturday to drive myself to a coffee shop and just read – no electronics, just coffee and a book. Everyone talks about how self-care is important and I’ve realized that self care is different for each person – for me part of self care is letting me sink into a book and not think about anything else.
To foster my new/old leaf in life I’m resolving to tell yall about my book choices for each season (maybe if there’s enough interest starting a book club? Online? Dallas ladies?). Forewarned: I deal with some heavy stuff in my job so most of my books are light hearted or fantasy reads. I rarely read books that deal with terror and I refuse to read sad books.
What’s on my Bookshelf: Summer
A Study in Charlotte & The Last of August (by Brittany Cavallaro)
I love everything Sherlock Holmes, and can’t decide if I love Irene Adler or the Elementary Moriarty more – that’s my Ravenclaw/Slytherin dichotomy coming out, and in this take on the Holmes Watson relationship Holmes is a girl. Be still my heart. Holmes and Watson are in prep school in Connecticut and Watson is basically in love with Charlotte Holmes (who is the great x3 granddaughter of the famous Sherlock) but the two are accused of murder, Holmes is a sometimes addict, and Watson refuses to believe in himself. The story, which draws on names you know, and introduces names you don’t brings the Holmes and Watson line into the 21st century in a very believable way. I’ve just started The Last of August, which is the sequel, and already cannot wait for the third, The Case for Jamie, out next year.
King’s Cage & Glass Sword & Red Queen (by Victoria Aveyard)
I picked up Red Queen, the first in the series, when it first came out and it sat on my bookshelf for weeks. I didn’t pick it back up again until the second book, Glass Sword, came out and then I devoured it. I’ve just finished King’s Cage and I’m eagerly awaiting the next installment – bad news alert: it doesn’t come out until 2018. Any hints for us Victoria? This series is about the world divided into classes by the color of your blood – red or silver; and the possession of super powers. At it’s heart it’s a coming of age story of young girl, Mare, and two brothers, Cal and Maven. Betrayal, the realization of what is right and what is evil, and the brutal truth that all actions have consequences, even those made for the best reasons. Throughout all the books there is an undercurrent of a love story and your desire of a character redemption. After Red Queen I couldn’t wait to pick up Glass Sword, after Glass Sword it was painful to wait for King’s Cage, and after King’s Cage I need this fourth installment like I need my next meal. February 2018 is a long time away and I’m going to feel every day.
The Dime (by Kathleen Kent)
I’m in the middle of this book but so far I’m intrigued. One description that made me want to pick up the book read “Dallas, Texas is not for the faint of heart.” A Brooklyn detective turned Dallasite who tries to bring justice to a city and finds out her New York tendencies don’t fly in Dallas – yeah I’m interested. Fighting crime in Dallas is right up my alley and the push and pull between cult leaders, drug cartels, and society Dallas women makes this book unbelievable. Yet, after five years in Dallas I see how this book can be taken from the city right outside my front door. I’m excited to finish the book.
Public Relations (by Katie Heaney and Arianna Rebollini)
Peaking behind the PR curtain I started to wonder which of these celeb romances we see are done just for the headlines. The main character is a PR star and she has to reignite his career in the media but falls for him along the way, whoops. It’s funny and when it’s written by two former Buzzfeed Editors how can it not be hilarious and biting? I devoured it.
Small Admissions (by Amy Poeppel)
Kate, the main character, just got dumped by her fiance and gets a job working admissions at a NY Day School, where the five year olds who want in are accompanied by their ferocious parents from Park Ave. It gave me flashbacks to applying for law school but in a fun way, which was refreshing. The book also takes on Kate’s mending broken heart, which for this perpetually single girl is nice, makes me believe all men aren’t terrible.