Top Ten | Historical TV Series

It’s a cold, windy, and snowy Sunday here. That makes it a perfect day to cozy up with a blanket and hot beverage, and binge-watch some shows! I am a history nerd, and many of you already know that historical fiction is one of my favourite genres.  The past just fascinates me; so, naturallyโ€”when it comes to tv series I loveโ€”historical dramas are at the top of my list.

Here are my top ten historical TV series (in no particular order):


Outlander

Follows the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743, where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world in which her life is threatened. When she is forced to marry Jamie Fraser, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate relationship is ignited that tears Claire’s heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives. source

A woman torn between two eras and two menโ€”one of whom is a handsome tartan-clad Scotsman.  Need I say more? I adore the book series by Diana Gabaldon, and the TV adaptation does not disappoint. You should definitely read the books though. I will admit that the first season will always remain my favourite, because I just love Scotland as a setting.


Peaky Blinders

A notorious gang in 1919 Birmingham, England, is led by the fierce Tommy Shelby, a crime boss set on moving up in the world no matter the cost. source

I kind of have a crush on Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby.  Weโ€™ll just ignore the fact that heโ€™s the ruthless leader of a Birmingham gang.  This show is intense.  


Downton Abbey

A chronicle of the lives of the British aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the early twentieth century. source

There are so many memorable characters and moments from this series โ€” not to mention the absolutely stunning setting of Highclere Castle and the marvelous costumes. I also recently watched the movie and loved it! I will never tire of watching Downton Abbey over and over again.


Vikings

Vikings transports us to the brutal and mysterious world of Ragnar Lothbrok, a Viking warrior and farmer who yearns to explore – and raid – the distant shores across the ocean. source

I am utterly fascinated by the Vikings! I’ve visited (and revisited) countless “Viking” historical sites and museums throughout Europe. While sometimes a bit gory for my taste, I love the era, setting, and plot line enough to just cover my eyes for those bits.


Poldark

Aidan Turner (The Hobbit) stars as Ross Poldark, a redcoat who returns to Cornwall after battle to discover that his father is dead, his lands are ruined, and his true love is engaged to another. Can Poldark change his destiny, restore his lost fortune, and reclaim his love? source

Another excellent TV series based on books. The setting is spectacular (I MUST visit the filming locations next time we’re in the UK), there is plenty of drama, and I sure don’t mind the scenes of shirtless Aidan Turner. Haha, this is the part where I have to admit that โ€” yes โ€” many of these shows happen to have very handsome men in them. Coincidence? I’ll let you decide.


Mr Selfridge

In 1909 London, an American retail tycoon arrives at the unfashionable end of Oxford Street to jettison fusty British tradition and open one of the finest department stores the world has ever seen. Three-time Emmyยฎ winner Jeremy Piven (Entourage) stars as Harry Gordon Selfridge, the flamboyantโ€”and troubledโ€”entrepreneur and showman seeking to provide Londonโ€™s shoppers with the ultimate merchandise and the ultimate thrill.  source

This was such a unique take on this period of history! I love that it’s based on the life of the real founder of the department store. Such a fascinating time, and I just can’t get enough of the fashions during this time period.


Land Girls

Follow the lives, loves and highs and lows of four members of the Women’s Land Army who are working at the Hoxley Estate during World War II. source

I’m definitely a sucker for any books, shows or movies set during WWII. I love that this series focuses on the women’s lives. I’m not sure whether it’s still on Netflix, but I watched it several years ago and it might be time to rewatch it soon!


The Bletchley Circle

In post-war Britain of 1952, four former workers at the top secret Bletchley Park with an extraordinary flair for code breaking, have slipped back into the anonymity of civilian life. One of the four female friends summons the others to use their unusual skills to track down a serial sex killer. source

If you’re a fan of Agatha Christie or Sherlock Holmes, I think you’ll love this one! It’s another that I watched years ago and would like to revisit. It’s a suspenseful mystery that highlights how WWII transformed many women’s lives.


Medici: Masters of Florence

A political family drama set in Florence in the early fifteenth century. Cosimo de Medici finds himself at the helm of his banking dynasty when his father, Giovanni, dies suddenly. source

I haven’t come across many TV series set during this time period, and I am all for it! While it is definitely more of a soap-opera drama than a historically accurate look at the Medicis, I enjoyed the gorgeous setting and of course, the drama!


The Tudors

Jonathan Rhys Meyers stars in this original, history-based drama series as the young, vibrant King Henry VIII, a competitive and lustful monarch who navigates the intrigues of the English court and the human heart with equal vigor and justifiable suspicion. Natalie Dormer (“Anne Boleyn”), Jeremy Northam (“Thomas More”), Maria Doyle Kennedy (“Queen Katherine”), James Frain (“Thomas Cromwell”) and Peter O’Toole (“Pope Paul III”) round out the all-star cast of this lavish epic. source

I took an entire course on Tudor England, have read countless books, and have watched far too many documentaries about this time period โ€” featuring the notorious King Henry VIII. It premiered in 2007, so it’s been around for awhile, and I think I’ve watched the series at least twice now. I just can’t get enough of it! Royalty, drama, battles, sex, scandal…


Today we’re watching Poldark โ€” still on series 2, but making good progress! Vikings will be next on my list, since I still have a few to catch up on. Now I’m definitely in the mood to start rewatching some of these others though!

Have you watched any of these series? Do you have any other historical TV show recommendations?

My Top Reads of 2019

I intentionally lowered my 2019 reading goal. My 2018 goal was 60, and I ended up reading 72. I knew that with a new baby coming in August there was no way I could set a similar goal, so I decided to go with 50. I’m honestly surprised – but very proud – that I accomplished it! I ended up reading 51 books in 2019.

It’s so much fun to look back on my year of reading! I read so many excellent books this year, but some definitely stood out more than others; here’s a look at my favourite reads from 2019:

Fiction:

  • Greenwood by Michael Christie
  • The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri
  • The Whisper Man by Alex North
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber
  • A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin

Audiobooks:

  • City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Memoirs:

  • Homes: A Refugee Story by Abu Bakr al Rabeeah & Winnie Yeung
  • By Chance Alone by Max Eisen

Poetry:

  • Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
  • The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

Non-fiction:

  • The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction by Meghan Cox Gurdon
  • Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari

I’d definitely recommend all of these books if you haven’t read them yet!


Did any of your faves make the list? What were some of your top reads of 2019?

Book Review | The Beekeeper of Aleppo

The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

Published August 27, 2019, 317 pages

โ€œWhere there are bees there are flowers, and wherever there are flowers there is a new life and hope.โ€

Christy Lefteri, The Beekeeper of Aleppo

I finished The Beekeeper of Aleppo feeling speechless.  My heart ached. It still aches. I feel the need to thrust this book into the hands of everyone I see.  Maybe if more people read it, weโ€™ll see more empathy and compassion. Maybe it would propel us closer to a remedy for the issues plaguing our era.  Itโ€™s not very often that a story touches my heart as this one did. Iโ€™m still crying for Nuri and Afra. Images of burnt hives and lifeless bodies are still etched in my mind.  I can still taste the sweetness of fresh honey, smell the smoke, feel the icy water, and hear the marble rolling across the floor. Books like this one remind me of the power that words truly have.

Nuri is a beekeeper, and his wife Afra is an artist.  They live in Aleppo with their young son, Sami. Their idyllic life, filled with laughter, family and friends, starts crumbling as they witness the unimaginable horrors of the civil war.  War hits their home with an unthinkable tragedy, leaving Afra without her sight. As their lives in Aleppo become increasingly unrecognizable, Nuri convinces Afra to leave their home behind. They embark on a journey to escape Syria, with hopes of claiming asylum in England.

The story flows seamlessly between the present and past.  In the present, Nuri and Afra are living in limbo, as so many refugees are.  Theyโ€™ve left their home in Aleppo and survived the perilous journey to England.  Theyโ€™re living at a Bed & Breakfast, awaiting the results of their asylum claim. Weโ€™re transported back to their life in Syria and journey to the UK through Nuriโ€™s memories, flashbacks, and dreams. While the novel follows their physical journey from Syria to England, it also follows the journey of their relationship, as they navigate seemingly insurmountable challenges while plagued by trauma and grief.

I found my heart aching for the memorable and complex characters in this novel.  It is full of raw emotion, and had me in tears several times within the first 100 pages.  Past and present are woven together skillfully, which is far more engaging than if it were presented chronologically.  Despite already having the knowledge that Nuri and Afra make it to the UK safely, I still desperately needed to find out how their journey unfolded.  My curiosity propelled me through the book at a speed that I didnโ€™t think was possible with a 3-month-old baby.

Lefteri has drawn inspiration from her own experiences volunteering at a centre for refugee women and children in Athens.  She is also the daughter of Cypriot refugees. Her experiences and research are evident in the vivid details and descriptions throughout the novel.  I tend to gravitate towards books that tackle important social and political issues. While this book does that, it is so much more than that. It is a heart-wrenching, achingly beautiful story that touches your soul and reminds you of our shared humanity.

To sum up my feelings: READ THIS BOOK.


What is a book that you feel the need to thrust into the hands of everyone you meet? Tell me in the comments below!

Thanks for reading.

New Beginnings

After yet another few months away from my blog, I’m back!  I don’t feel like the same person I was when I left you…

I began my journey as a new mama on August 16th, 2019 when our beautiful baby girl Ellie Rose was born. Now she is almost THREE months old !@?#$%*

It’s been a whirlwind since then!  Caring for a newborn is exhausting and challenging, but also amazing.  I swear she changes every single day, and it’s incredible to see her grow and develop her own little personality.  With this new chapter of my life, I’m also taking a new direction with my blog.  My main platform is Instagram, and when I became pregnant I chose to expand my account from solely focusing on books to also including other snippets of my life.  Through doing so, I’ve been able to connect with so many more people and have meaningful conversations about books AND so many other topics!  I’m going to take my blog in the same direction.

I’ll admit that it’s more difficult these days to transform my thoughts into sentences you can actually comprehend… but I’m going to try  โ™ซ with a little help from my friends โ™ช (coffee, coffee… and more coffee).

I plan to continue with monthly wrap-ups and the occasional longer book review, but I’ll also be writing about the rest of my life.  I’m FINALLY crafting a post with photos and details from our vintage bookish wedding (umm, yeah that happened over a year ago…), and I’ve got some pregnancy, birth, and new mama life posts coming your way!  Let me know if there’s anything in particular you’d like me to write about.

I hope you’ll still continue to join me on this little journey of mine.

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July Wrap-up

July has been a great reading month for me!  Who knew that being 9 months pregnant could be so enjoyable ๐Ÿ˜‰  I had THREE five-star reads this month, which is pretty good… although one is about childbirth and I can’t reveal one of the others.

Total Number of Books: 8
Total Number of Pages: 3,310
Average Pages per Book: 414
Average Rating: 4.06

Okay… so the best book I read this month, I actually can’t include or talk about!  It’s slowly killing me to keep my mouth shut about it, because it’s a contender for my top reads of 2019.  BUT we are likely including it in our debut book subscription box this October, so I don’t want to spoil the surprise for those of you who follow my bookstagram/blog and who will also be ordering the box.  So you’ll have to be patient and wait a few months for me to gush about how much I loved it!

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Storm: It’s a Curse to Remember by Gurpreet Kaur Sidhu    โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…

Thank you to the author for sending me a copy of her novel in exchange for an honest review!  I loved the premise of this book and the plot was captivating. I got hung up on some of the wording, and sometimes the shifts in time and perspective had me a bit confused and having to flip back and re-read through sections. Having said that, there were many suspenseful parts where I could not put this book down. Overall I enjoyed it, and I’m interested in seeing where the author takes things with the second book in this series.

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Home Front Girls by Suzanne Hayes and Loretta Nyhan    โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…

Written as a series of letters between two women during WWII, this book sheds light on the everyday experiences of women on the American home front.It was a delightful read,  reminiscent of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (although not quite as magical).I’ll disclose that I’m a history nerd, and I love most novels set during this era, so I am slightly biased.I adored witnessing the developing friendship between Rita and Glory. I love how the letters capture their inner and outer lives in such a personal and relatable way.I wouldn’t say it was an amazing novel, but it was definitely a quick, light, and enjoyable read.  I would definitely recommend this book to readers who love historical fiction.  Publication date September 3rd 2019.  Thanks to HarperCollins Canada for this ARC.

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert    โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…

I listened to the audiobook narrated by Blair Brown, and I really enjoyed it! I loved the colourful array of characters at the Lily Playhouse, and was drawn in by the witty dialogue. I was fully captivated by the era and atmosphere, and I had fun exploring 1940s New York through the experiences of Vivian. My attention waned a bit towards the end of the novel, but I think that was just because I missed the entertainment and debauchery…

Gilbert has said that, “My goal was to write a book that would go down like a champagne cocktail- light and bright, crisp and fun.โ€ In my opinion, she succeeded in meeting her goal!

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The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…

I am going to have to keep this short, because I have so many thoughts and feelings about this book!  Eventually I’ll sit down and write a proper review of it.  There are such mixed reviews for this book, and I completely understand why.  Personally, I absolutely adored it!  Tartt’s prose is beautiful and evocative.  It is a deep, moody, and immersive book that needs to be read slowly and savored.  It is not a carefree or easy read, but if you love literature, detailed, rich prose, and gravitate towards art and philosophy, then I would recommend it.

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Good Girls Lie by J.T. Ellison    โ˜…โ˜…โ˜….5

First of all, I loved the setting of this novel!  An old, prestigious girls boarding school in a small town created the perfect atmosphere for intrigue and murder.  I loved the gothic feels, secret societies, and overall creepiness.  It was full of secrets and had a good twist that I didn’t expect.  I did find some of the characters annoying, and feel like the story would have been more convincing set further in the past rather than the present.  The story kept my interest and was enjoyable, but wasn’t amazing.  Expected publication December 31, 2019.  Thanks to HarperCollins Canada for this ARC.

Pregnancy-related books

Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth About Pregnancy and Childbirth by Jenny McCarthy    โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…

A funny and entertaining look at all of the changes that you may experience during and after pregnancy.  It was good for a laugh!

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth By Ina May Gaskin    โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…

Very informative and interesting.  I was terrified of childbirth, but this book along with the Positive Birth Company’s hypnobirthing course and of course our amazing doula have completely changed my mindset and made me realize that it is a completely natural process that our bodies are made for!  I’d definitely recommend this book to all pregnant women!


What was the best book you read this month!?  Any recommendations?  Thoughts about any of the books included here?

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Early Morning Musings

Are you ever awoken by words?

Swirling around endlessly, beckoning to be released.

Tormenting you until you put pen to paper.  

Always appearing at the most inconvenient of times:

In the middle of the night,

In the early morning hours.  

Your body and mind plead with them:

Let us rest for a few more hours.

Unsuccessful.

Defeated, you rise

And let the deluge of words pour from your mind,

Washing over the page.

No matter how insignificant or incoherent,

The words have been set free.

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It’s five o’clock in the morning.  I sit here in the sweet silence, because your wiggles woke me.  You are 37 weeks old today. Each day brings us closer to your arrival.  Each day brings an onslaught of new thoughts and emotions,  bubbling up at seemingly insignificant moments.  Washing over me like waves.

Yesterday, I sat on the deck, book propped on my swollen belly, surrounded by the gentle sound of rainfall.  As I inhaled the cool, crisp mountain air, a hummingbird flitted up to a flower basket, prodding the bright pink blossoms in search of sweetness.  I felt an instant surge of emotion rise up through my body, tears welling in my eyes as I reflexively rubbed my belly. What absolute beauty our world holds – a beauty that I can’t wait for you to experience.

How can such a simple, fleeting moment bring me to tears?  How can I already feel such a deep love for you? You have already changed me irrevocably.

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The calm before the storm.  

The quiet before the chaos.  

The last, fading moments 

of lives about to change forever.  

You stretch and squirm,

adjusting to your increasingly cramped quarters.  

The only home you’ve ever known.  

Pushing the boundaries. 

Responding to the mysterious sensations surrounding you.  

We prepare.  

We clean, organize, learn, 

and savour our moments together.

“Things will never be the same,” they say.

Of course they won’t be.  

You’ve already altered our lives.

Ever since those two little blue lines

appeared magically in front of us.

The anticipation.

The wonder.

The questioning and worrying.

You have grown so fast.

Time has passed so quickly, 

yet now it seems to slow.  

To pause.

My body urges me to relax, 

to contemplate.

Preparing me physically and emotionally

for what is to come.

The worries and hesitations

that have so long surrounded birth

swiftly disappear, 

as I realize that I’ll endure anything

just to finally hold you in my arms.  

I feel calm.  

At peace.  

Still in wonder of the miracle moving inside me.

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A bit of a departure from my usual book reviews and wrap-ups, but I hope you enjoy anyways.

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Life & Reading Update | 6 months later…

Hi everyone!  Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve made an appearance here… so much for my monthly reading wrap-ups and frequent book reviews…

I think I’ve got a pretty good excuse though?  Coincidentally, my last blog post was around the time we found out that I’m growing a tiny human inside of me! (Well, to be honest, the human is not feeling so tiny these days…)

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We are SO excited to welcome a little bookworm into the world this August!  I won’t say I haven’t had time for blogging, but I certainly haven’t made time for blogging.  Between teaching full time, being ridiculously sick during the first trimester, buying and moving into our first house, and preparing for baby, I’ve been pretty exhausted.  I have still managed to stay on track with my reading goal for this year – miraculously!

So here’s a little update on reading and life.

Reading Update

My Goodreads reading challenge for this year is 50 books! I know my life is about to change a LOT, so I lowered it from last year’s goal.

Well, instead of a monthly wrap-up, let’s go for a 6-month wrap-up!  Here’s a summary of my reading from January-June.

Total Number of Books: 30
Total Number of Pages: 9,702 (that was way too much math for a Saturday morning)
Average Pages per Book: 323
Average Rating: 4.06

Here’s the list with my ratings (and a summary of my rating system below):

  • The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
  • Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
  • The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
  • Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? by Jena Pincott โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
  • Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
  • Keeper’n Me by Richard Wagamese โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
  • By Chance Alone by Max Eisen โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
  • Hunting Annabelle by Wendy Heard โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
  • How to Stop Time by Matt Haig โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
  • Wishtree by Katherine Applegate โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
  • Homes: A Refugee Story by Abu Bakr al Rabeeah & Winnie Yeung โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
  • Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
  • Brother by David Chariandy โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
  • Fablehaven by Brandon Mull โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
  • The Two Lila Bennetts by Liz Fenton โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
  • Karamo: My Story of Embracing Purpose, Healing, and Hope by Karamo Brown โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
  • Circe by Madeline Miller โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
  • The Wisdom of Psychopaths by Kevin Dutton โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
  • The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction by Meghan Cox Gurdon โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
  • When We Found Home by Susan Mallery โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
  • A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
  • Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
  • Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding by Ina May Gaskin โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
  • Rick Mercer Final Report by Rick Mercer โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
  • On the Come Up by Angie Thomas โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
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Here are a few of my top reads so far this year:

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By Chance Alone by Max Eisen โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…

Max Eisen just turned 90 years old.  His memoir details his tragic, brutal, and heartbreaking experiences as a survivor of the Holocaust.  His story is incomprehensible, but so important.  I had to set the book down several times because it made me so emotional.  But that is what it is meant to do.  Some of the most important books are the hardest to read.  I am so happy that this book won Canada Reads 2019, because it truly is a story that needs to be told and shared – especially amidst the rise of divisions based on race, ethnicity, and nationality.

“I am inspired by the need to document my story so others may learn from the past. On a personal level, I have a highly developed sense of observation of the world around me, which constantly inspires and motivates me to take action.”

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Homes: A Refugee Story by Abu Bakr al Rabeeah & Winnie Yeung โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…

Homes was another Canada Reads finalist, and I love this story and also how it ended up being written.  Abu Bakr’s family fled their home in Iraq and moved to Homs Syria, just before the civil war broke out.  The book details Abu Bakr’s experience growing up in a war zone and eventually finding safety in Canada.  Winnie Yeung, his high school English teacher here in Canada, has listened to his story and written it, as told by him and his family.  It’s eye-opening, and sheds light on the experiences of immigrants and refugees.  Another important and timely read.

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A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…

The last season of Game of Thrones on TV got me back into reading the book series (because it is just so much better!).  I just love the description, detail, and all the different plot lines. If you haven’t read the books, I definitely recommend them!

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…

I listened to this on audiobook and it was SO GOOD! An entire cast reads it, and it honestly felt like I was listening to interviews with real people who had experienced these things.  In fact, it was so convincing that I googled the band and was looking for some photos and their songs… when I realized that they don’t actually exist.  THAT is good fiction!  I can’t say whether it would be as engaging to read, but I would definitely recommend the audiobook.

Life Updates

As I mentioned above, it’s been a big year for us!  We are expecting our first baby in August, which we are so excited about!  We’ve decided to keep the sex a surprise, and are looking forward to meeting our little munchkin this summer.  I’m lucky that my pregnancy has gone well so far.  I had a lot of “morning” (hah – it’s actually 24/7) sickness in the first trimester, but since then I have just been tired, hungry, and sore.  I’ve always wanted children, but I always dreaded being pregnant.  Surprisingly, I’m enjoying it for the most part!  Sure, some days are frustrating and increasingly uncomfortable, but it is also amazing what my body is going through.  I love feeling baby move around and watching my belly wiggle and ripple, trying to figure out which body part is jutting out here or there.  Yup, now I’m being one of those cheesy people who declares that pregnancy is just “such a miracle!” Haha… who’d have thought.

We also bought and moved into our first house this spring!  We absolutely love it, and I’ve enjoyed collecting plant babies…

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Plus we have the perfect reading window ledge in our bedroom (pictured here).

I’ve now finished teaching for the year, and it’s going to feel so strange not going back in September!  I’m definitely going to miss all of my students and coworkers, but I’m also looking forward to new adventures in motherhood.

My little bookish shop, Bibliophile Belle’s Boutique, is still going strong, and I’m currently working on my last restock of book sleeves before baby arrives!

AND just because there aren’t already enough new and exciting things happening in life this year, my friend Kristen (@my.book.is.calling) and I have started a Canadian book subscription box – The Uniquely Bookish Box – which will debut in October.  Visit our Instagram or Facebook pages for more information.  Our website will be launching soon, with pre-orders happening in July!

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Well, that’s about it for now!  Hopefully I’ll be around more often now that I am off work and have a bit more time on my hands.  Let me know what is new in your life – reading or otherwise!

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