Tales & Tiger Lily: August 2020

Sep 28, 2020

My sister recently joined bookstagram as @talesandtigerlily. Her name is Caroline, and Tiger Lily is her adorable sidekick (pictured above). Since she's discovered a love of reading, I've had the best time talking about books with her. Be sure to check out her introduction post to get to know her better. Once a month, you get a new installment of Tales & Tiger Lily. In each post, she reviews three of her favorite reads from the previous month and ends with a list of everything she read with ratings (and links to reviews, if applicable). Her top three from August:

“Maybe my mom was right about me when she said I wasn’t happy, but what she doesn’t understand is that since the age of fifteen, I’ve never even dared to want to be happy. I’m just trying to stay alive.” 

The Comeback by Ella Berman sounded like a book that was right up my alley. It tells the story of Grace Turner — a young actress who was completely under the influence of her extremely manipulative and abusive film director. Grace struggles so much with the burden of carrying her secrets, and she uses drugs and alcohol as a means to escape the pain. She doesn’t have much a family support system, and she makes a lot of choices that hurt her even more. How will she fight back and take charge of her life? And will she learn how to love and take care of herself amidst a world of people who just want to take advantage of her? 

In the U.S. alone, one in four girls will be victims of sexual abuse by the time they are 18 — and that is just what is reported. I think sometimes it’s easy to forget that every person has most likely gone through something terrible. Sadly, we often use things that hurt us even more to escape reality. And we may look at someone and judge them for their choices, yet we have no idea what immense pain they might carrying.

I LOVED this one. Ella Berman’s writing really clicked with me, and I couldn’t put it down. I look for books that make me feel — books that shine a light on the evil in the world. This one felt more character driven with an open ending, but that is my favorite kind of book. I really hope you buy a copy and enjoy it as much as I did. | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ

“Sometimes I wonder if my secrets are better swallowed than spoken. Perhaps my truths have done enough harm. Perhaps I should take my memories to the grave and let the dead judge my sins.”

The Year of the Witching is a story of a cursed child named Immanuelle Moore. She lives in the town of Bethel which is ruled by “holy men” who abuse their power. The town is surrounded by the Dark Woods where the condemned coven of witches live. Immanuelle is lured into the woods, and the events that unfold are truly creepy and suspenseful.

Blood. Blight. Darkness. Slaughter. These words are repeated throughout the book in a bone-chilling way. As she learns the truth about her mother who consorted with the witches and the horrendous acts of the leader of the Church, she knows that change must begin with her. I couldn’t stop turning the page to figure out Immanuelle’s next move.

I told you guys I needed a good witch story, and this one was perfect for my mood. The writing was so perfectly detailed, I could picture everything in my mind. I even dreamed about the witches in the woods with no pupils — just white eyes staring at you. So creepy and I LOVED it! Also, please excuse my tired look here. It’s August & I’m back to teaching third graders. I’m just trying not to hit snooze 15 times. | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ

“Many of them seem past caring what is true or not, only desperate for some reason, some order to the rearrangement of their lives, even if it is brought about by a lie.”

I don’t normally read a lot historical fiction, but the synopsis for this book sounded so good. The Mercies gave me similar vibes to Burial Rites, a novel I absolutely adored. It’s set in a 1600s Norwegian coastal village where a terrible storm has killed off all the island’s men. These women have to figure out how to survive not only this tragedy, but also deal with the new men who are sent to rid the community of alleged witchcraft.

The main character, Maren Bergensdatter, has lost her father and brother. In her loneliness and despair, she develops a relationship with Ursa, the wife of the man sent to kill witches. They bond and feel at peace in their silence with one another.

I really loved how this novel was inspired by real events of the Vardรธ storm and the 1620 witch trials. These women faced such cruelty at the hands of men — accusations, beatings, burnings at the stake. It was a sad, heart-wrenching story, but one I’m glad I read.

At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about The Mercies, but the second half was so wonderful I had to finish it in one sitting. I almost wish the book had been longer, or I could have tweaked the ending a bit just to get a little more from Ursa and Maren’s relationship. I still loved it though, and I highly recommend it. | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ

Recapping the Rest of Caroline's August Reads:
The Secret History by Donna Tartt | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ • Review
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ • Review
Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin (Re-Read) | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
The Margot Affair by Sanaรซ Lemoine | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ
The Less Dead by Denise Mina | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
Hollywood Park by Mikel Jollett | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ
Long Bright River by Liz Moore | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
Beach Read by Emily Henry | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
The Wife Stalker by Liv Constantine | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
All My Mother's Lovers by Ilana Masad | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
The All-Night Sun by Diane Zinna | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
Ghosts of Harvard by Francesca Serritella | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ.5 Review
The Golden Cage by Camilla Lรคckberg | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
The Night Swim by Megan Goldin | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review

Quick Lit: August 2020

Sep 25, 2020


We're almost at the end of September, and I'm just now talking about the books I read in August. Can you tell I've been in a rut? The worst part is that I've had all of these reviews written for weeks... I was just too lazy to finish taking photos for them! Whoops. I read 12 books in August – ten are reviewed below and then two re-reads mentioned at the end. If you enjoy this feature, check out other readers' reviews at Modern Mrs. Darcy.

IGNITING DARKNESS BY ROBIN LAFEVERS What an epic conclusion! If it's been some time since you read the His Fair Assassin series, I highly recommend revisiting those before diving in to this spin-off duology. You'll want all the political and historical details from that series. This book picks up right where Courting Darkness left off, and I couldn't put it down from the second I started. I love LaFever's blend of historical fiction with hints of fantasy, and she does a fantastic job of depicting the political intrigue of the time period and infusing it the gripping personal drama of her characters. These characters have my heart! I was so invested in their fight for their Queen and for one another – the way they hope for love, friendship, justice, and a better life for all. I'm So Obsessed With It!

TRUE STORY BY KATE REED PETTY – I went into this book a little nervous but with high expectations based on the buzz I'd seen online. There was a lot of talk about the way it blended so many genres and writing styles into one story, and I was excited to see how that was done. I had mixed feelings in the end – it hooked me immediately but felt gimmicky, too. It seemed to have an inflated sense of its own cleverness and the end result was a disjointed, often confusing read that didn't effectively communicate the premise or point of it all. I kept thinking, "I get what you were trying to do here, but it could be been so much better." It just didn't feel like a full, cohesive story for me. I was personally So Over It by the end, but I think that other readers could easily find it more satisfying than I did. 

TODAY TONIGHT TOMORROW BY RACHEL LYNN SOLOMON – Two rival overachievers whose relationship changes over the course of twenty-four hours? Well, I'm a sucker for hate to love at any age. There were a few things that reminded me of my beloved Anne of Green Gables, particularly the academic rivalry that's born out of hurt feelings and inspires a ginormous grudge. And the Seattle setting and scavenger hunt to celebrate the end of high school were both delightful elements! However, I wasn't personally a fan of the casual attitude towards sex (especially for teens) or how quickly the relationship morphs from antagonistic to (seemingly) a committed, serious relationship. Additionally, the myriad of political/social issues discussed occasionally felt a little heavy handed. I So Liked It

KNOW MY NAME BY CHANEL MILLER – This memoir was on my radar before my sister raved about it, but her review finally gave me the push I needed to read it. And wow, I'm so glad I did. Miller is an incredibly talented writer, and I'm so thankful she decided to tell her story. She writes with so much honesty, insight and emotion about the sexual assault she suffered and the additional trauma of the trial and sentencing. I have not stopped thinking about Miller's story since I finished, and it's one that I wish I could make everyone read. It's infuriating and heartbreaking but infused with so much hope, too. I'm So Obsessed With It, have already bought a copy for my shelves, and hope to read more from Miller in the future, even if it's fiction. This is definitely one of the best books I've read in 2020.

THE BOOK OF UNKNOWN AMERICANS BY CRISTINA HENRIQUEZ – I hadn't heard of this book before randomly buying a copy at the used bookstore, and now I'm glad this cover caught my eye. Henriquez has written a compelling, thoughtful story about two loving parents, their daughter, and the teenage boy who takes an interest in her. Woven throughout are the stories of the other residents of their apartment complex, which I adored. One of the things I love most about reading is how it reminds you that everyone has a story, and this book did such a great job of taking a topic like immigration and humanizing it. We see the pain of leaving the familiar behind and the hope for more that would cause someone to sacrifice so much. I So Loved It, and it was excellent on audio, too!

THE LAZY GENIUS WAY BY KENDRA ADACHI – Even though I haven't listened to every single episode, I'm a huge fan of the Lazy Genius podcast and was thrilled to learn there was a book coming out. I've had it pre-ordered for months! As soon as it arrived, I had to dive in. The genius (pun intended!) of Adachi's method is that it's practical, applicable to any situation, and doesn't require you to have the same goals or method as the author. Adachi genuinely wants you to be YOUR best self and to identify what matters to YOU. And y'all, I'm all in on being genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don't. And I think that's what makes this book such a great read! I So Loved It and look forward to re-reading, a little more slowly and highlighter in hand.

A PLACE AT THE TABLE BY SAADIA FARUQI AND LAURA SHOVAN – I was browsing in the children's section of the bookstore (because of Kelly's recent Middle Grade kick, of course) and spotted this adorable cover. I can't resist food in fiction! A friendship that's formed in a cooking class sounded right up my alley, and the end result was just as satisfying as I'd hoped. I loved how the two girls came from different cultural and faith backgrounds (Pakistani/Muslim and English/Jewish) and how it sparked so many thoughtful discussions about what it means to be a true friend. I liked how both girls came from loving but imperfect families that were working through financial and mental health issues. This warm-hearted novel was a delight to read, and I So Loved It.

OLD LOVEGOOD GIRLS BY GAIL GODWIN – From the moment I saw this cover, I felt like I had to read it – and it helped that the summary sounded great, too. Sadly, it was an instance where my biggest issue with the book is that it didn't really match its description. I was expecting "a powerful friendship" between "two college friends who have formed a bond that takes them through decades." Everything needed more development. Because I didn't see the connection between the two women, I didn't really believe they were friends. The writing was slow and literary, which didn't bother me until it became more stream of consciousness in the later parts. I'm just So Okay With It because I've thought more about what it could have been rather than what it actually was.

THE COMEBACK BY ELLA BERMAN – This wasn't on my radar before I saw it on Book of the Month (referral link), but I I'm so glad I tried it! This was a timely, compelling story about growing up as a child star, celebrity culture, and how someone copes with pain and trauma. It fits so perfectly into the #MeToo movement, though Berman began writing it before that took off. It was such a heartbreaking read because I was so deeply invested in the heroine. The whole time I was reading, I was rooting for her to find her voice and to move towards healing. It's a more character-driven book, but I think that worked so brilliantly. And Berman's writing just sucked me in from the very first page! I thought the open ending was very realistic, and it's just another reason I So Loved It.

The only other new-to-me book that I read in August was Let Them Be Kids by Jessica Smartt, a book focused on ways to create a happy and healthy childhood. I liked how it talked about things like boredom, adventure, technology, and ways to equip your children for the future. There wasn't anything particularly new or surprising, but I still appreciated the reminders. I could see myself revisiting it or using it to explore some of the topics in greater depth through other resources. My biggest issue? The author writes as an expert when she has three relatively young children. She is writing from the trenches, so to speak, and has a lot of parenting left to do. I still So Enjoyed It, but I think that's partly because I already agreed with much of what Smartt had to say.

As for re-reads, I had two in August: Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers and Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin. They're both the first book in a series, which I picked up to refresh my memory before reading the recently-released sequels. I listened to both on audio, loved both just as much the second time around, and finished both feeling so hyped on YA fantasy and these characters + their conflicts. If you haven't read either one, I highly recommend both! Courting Darkness has the slight edge (I'm So Obsessed With It), but Serpent & Dove is a solid So Loved It.

What have you been reading lately?

The Turning of the TBR in Fall

Sep 22, 2020

When I shared my Summer TBR in June, I was feeling very ambitious. I put 25 books on my list, and I'm wrapping up the season having finished only 15 of them. That's not terrible, but it definitely isn't my best showing either. Oh well! You'd think that I would have kept that in mind for my Fall TBR and yet... I've got 20 books on my list for today's Top Ten Tuesday topic, a few I've carried over from my previous list but most fresh new additions.


1. Anxious People by Fredrik Backman (September 8) – I just adore Backman's writing and am so excited to have something new to read from him! I just started it a few days ago and am hoping it will be a 2020 favorite.

2. The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty (June 30) – This was on my summer TBR, but I didn't get around to reading it, mostly because the length intimidated me. I'm carrying it over to this list so I'll finally pick it up!

3. Her Last Flight by Beatriz Williams (June 30) – Williams' past few books haven't been wins for me, so I've been a little hesitant to read this recent release. But I think it's time to rip the bandaid and give it a chance...


4. House Lessons by Erica Bauermeister – I saw Annie B. Jones rave about this one, and it sounded really interesting. I love the idea of a memoir focused on renovating a home and exploring what that place means to you.

5. The Rural Diaries by Hilarie Burton Morgan – I loved Hilarie Burton on White Collar and Jeffrey Dean Morgan on Grey's Anatomy, but truthfully I picked this up because their farm life intrigues me. I can't wait to read it!

6. Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl – When looking up foodie memoirs recently, it appeared that Reichl is a staple in the genre. With several to choose from, I decided to go with the most recent (and prettiest cover).

7. The Unwinding of the Miracle by Julie Yip-Williams – My sister bought this because it was a pick for Jenna's book club, but she hasn't felt motivated to read it. It sounds great to me, however, so I decided to borrow it.

8. Someone to Romance by Mary Balogh – I haven't been in a historical romance mood this year, but I can't resist to latest addition to this series that I love so much. Balogh rarely disappoints, and I'm hoping that's the case here.

9. We Are Not Free by Traci Chee – Books set during WWII always interest me, especially if it covers an aspect I'm less familiar with. This YA release focuses on the Japanese internment camps in the US and sounds fantastic. 

10. I'd Give Anything by Marisa de los Santos – While this wasn't on my summer TBR, I did intend to read it then. But since I didn't, I figured it would be a nice contemporary option to break my historical-heavy fall TBR!

11. Little Universes by Heather Demetrios – This sounds like a very emotional contemporary YA. I'm always drawn to books about sisters and have only read one other book by Demetrios, so I'm excited to try another from her.

12. The Secret Place by Tana French – I've had mixed feelings on this series, but I have to try this one since I'm on a mystery high after reading the latest Cormoran Strike installment. I'm so hoping this one will be a win for me.

13. The Night Swim by Megan Goldin – My sister and Kelly both enjoyed this book, so you know I've got to try it for myself now, too. I borrowed my sister's copy so that I'll be extra motivated to pick it up soon!

14. Miss Austen by Gail Hornby – This was on my summer TBR, and I don't know why I never got around to it. Luckily, it feels like a perfect fit for fall. I'm trying to keep my expectations low, but the cover is just too gorgeous...

15. The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner – Another carryover from my summer TBR! I was so excited for this book that I bought it as soon as it released, so why haven't I read it yet?! I have absolutely no excuse. 

16. The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline – When my sister and I were browsing at the bookstore, I was immediately drawn to this cover. And then once I read the summary? Sold! This doesn't sound like anything I've read before.

17. Fifty Words for Rain by Asha Lemmie – I bought this on a whim one day after spotting it at Target. The cover appealed to me, but the fact that it's set in post-WWII Japan is the reason I had to take it home. It sounded so good!

18. Betty by Tiffany McDaniel – Here's another "the cover caught my eye." My sister and I both bought ourselves this book while in the mountains one weekend, and she's raved about it so much that I can't wait to read it. 

19. Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano – I can't even remember what this book is about aside from the fact that it involves a plane crash, so that probably tells you that, once again, I bought it partly because of the cover. Whoops?

20. Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden – When the September Book of the Month (referral link) choices were announced, this one snuck up on me. The more I read about it, the more I had to try it for myself.

What are you hoping to read this fall?

September 2020 Goals

Sep 10, 2020

After seven months of progress and motivation, it was probably inevitable that I'd hit a lull. There wasn't any reason that mood struck in August, but it came on strong. I didn't read as much, neglected some of my household chores, lost my blogging mojo, and totally forgot about several of the goals I'd written down. I mean... what?! And I got more and more frustrated by the fact that I didn't feel like doing anything. Generally, I don't mind stalling out in one area if it's due to focusing on something else. For example, I don't mind falling short of my blogging goal if I was on a reading binge instead. But when it seems like I'm not productive in any area of my life, I get annoyed. 

However, I keep reminding myself that everyone needs to rest. That sometimes my brain and my body need to slow down and have quiet. So, I'm choosing grace over guilt as I look back at my progress in August and set new goals for September. I'm writing this post almost seven days later than I'd planned, but that's okay. Each morning is a fresh start! I factored in my current mood when setting goals for this month. My motivation will return eventually but, until then, I'm happy to keep it lowkey and relatively easy to accomplish.

On My Calendar:
– A trip to the mountains for Labor Day weekend
– The start of virtual preschool for my big boy
Finally getting my haircut
– The beginning of fall and (hopefully) cooler weather

Currently Obsessing Over:
– I've been on a major Great British Bake Off kick and can't stop watching it in the evenings. It's just so soothing and charming, especially for the mood I've been in lately. I don't enjoy baking but love watching other people do it.
– When I got an email that a pricey robe I'd been eyeing recently was temporarily 40% off, I pulled the trigger and treated myself. I got the short robe from Weezie and am obsessed. I love putting it on after I've showered while I'm doing my hair and makeup. It's the perfect length and thickness, especially since I usually feel so hot getting ready. 
– My big boy went from hating getting water in his eyes to opening them underwater in just days, but the biggest joy was watching him learn to swim and float over the course of a month. We loved his ISR lessons
– As for the random-but-useful, I love these new laundry hampers we bought. They solved a problem we were having with our dog! And my mom recommended this Dawn dish spray, which is another new favorite.

Yearly Goals:
(These should stay the same all year, so I'll just do month-to-month progress reports!)
– Read through the Bible in one year.
– Read a devotional every morning.
– Track my spending in the Goodbudget app.
– Blog 2x per week.

August progress: 
– I was doing great for the first few weeks of August, and then I got majorly behind and still haven't caught up. Oof.
– Still on track with this goal, however, and glad I've been able to maintain consistency here. 
– I wasn't adding things to the app immediately, so I lost the real-time look at our balance. Working on it now!
– NOPE. I think this is the first month I completely failed at this goal. Whoops! Let's hope September is better...

Revisiting My August Goals:
Schedule a monthly planning session. / Complete! One of my favorite things I've started in 2020.
Complete Six Months in the baby's journal + take monthly photo. / The monthly photos are my favorite, even when I'm a few days late. And I love the practice of sitting down and writing about the past month!
Complete Six Months in my big boy's journal. / I will forever wish that I'd found this journal when my big boy was a baby, but I'm glad that I'm getting caught up in it (to the best of my memory). Such a great keepsake.
Cull, download, rename, and backup July 2020 photos. / Done! One of the first things I do each month.
Celebrate our baby's half-birthday! / I'm checking this off, though we didn't totally celebrate. We did share our favorite moments from the past six months and get cute photos of the baby, so it feels like good enough.
Have a one-on-one date with my big boy. / This was one of my favorite things from August. We went on a few dates: picked up books at the library, got a cake pop at Starbucks, bought a prize for completing swimming lessons, went to the pool, and starting reading chapter books before bed. I can't handle the sweetness!
Brainstorm family traditions to implement. / I'm so glad I made this a goal and loved reading a few social media and blog posts about other people's family traditions. I got so many great ideas and created a list to reference. 
– Complete three 20 in 2020 items. / We were so close! I checked off two items in August: we walked a nearby hiking trail. and we created a new family tradition when we're sitting at the dinner table each time.
– Read one 10 in 20 book. / Whomp, whomp. There's a good chance I won't finish my list this year...
– Make a screen time plan for myself and my big boy. / I totally forgot that I'd made this a goal. Haha!  
Start a new evening routine. / I want to add more steps eventually, but for now I'm really pleased with the way I sit down with my planner at bedtime and review the day + make a plan for the next one. It's been so helpful.

My September Goals:
– Schedule a monthly planning sessions. 
– Complete Seven Months in the baby's journal + take monthly photo.
– Complete Seven Months in my big boy's journal.
– Cull, download, rename, and backup August 2020 photos. 
– Make my Fall TBR.
– Start new learning routine with virtual preschool.
– Research family photo books.
– Re-evaluate finance goal. 
– Complete three 20 in 2020 items.
– Start planning Christmas gifts for my boys.

Do you have any goals for September?

August 2020: Recap + On My Shelves

Sep 3, 2020

I'd expected August to be another productive month, but instead... I hit a wall. I had no motivation or energy and just didn't get very much done. And that's okay! We still had some fun family adventures, even with my weird mood.

1. Six Months of Our Baby Boy – We adore our baby boy, but we joke about how he's got a sweet and sour personality. He's so happy... until he isn't. And he'll let you know when he reaches that point! August marked six months since his birth, and I can't believe it's already been that long. I love looking back his baby book and writing down sweet things I want to remember, like the way he covers his eyes with his hands when he drinks a bottle.

2. Walking the Dinosaur Trail – Last year, I took my big boy to a nearby trail that had giant foam dinosaurs along the path. It was the perfect local adventure. He mentioned at the time that he wanted to go back with Daddy, too, so I put it on our 20 in 2020 list. We headed out one one August morning that was a little overcast and not quite as hot but were sad to discover that all the dinosaurs were gone. We still had fun, but it was definitely a bummer!

3. Sweetest Brothers – Throughout the month, I write down possibilities for this section of my recap in my blogging notebook. And I typically go through my camera roll, too! I'd planned to write about taking my big boy on a date to the bookstore and to get a Starbucks treat, but I apparently never took a photo. What I do have a million photos of, however, are these two boys cuddling, playing, and making each other laugh. It's one of my favorite things ever.

4. Learning to Swim – We hadn't thought much about swim lessons before, and then I kept putting it off because he hated his face getting wet. But when I read about how dangerous puddle jumpers can be, we immediately signed him up for ISR self-rescue lessons, which teaches kids to swim and float. The lessons last ten minutes a day, five days a week, for 4-6 weeks. It's a commitment, but we're so thankful we did it. He's a swimmer now!

Read 12 Books | Favorites:
Igniting Darkness by Robin LaFevers
Know My Name by Chanel Miller
The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez
The Comeback by Ella Berman

“You’ve always been the one who was brave—no, the one who was sure. 
You’ve always been so sure of the story you want me to tell, 
the story you’ve been asking me for since we were seventeen: 
The story about the things that happened while I was asleep. 
'It’s your story,' you would say. 'If you don’t let it out, it will take over your life.'
But the story is mine only as the victim owns the prosecution, or the whale the harpoon. 
Telling it has always been the privilege of the perpetrators, who have the actual facts, 
and of the bystanders—like you—who believe they know.” 
True Story by Kate Reed Petty

“Maybe that’s the definition of nostalgia: 
getting sappy about things that are supposed to be insignificant.” 
Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon

“Do not become the ones who hurt you. Stay tender with your power. Never fight to injure, fight to uplift. 
Fight because you know that in this life, you deserve safety, joy, and freedom. 
Fight because it is your life. Not anyone else’s. I did it, I am here. 
Looking back, all the ones who doubted or hurt or nearly conquered me faded away, 
and I am the only one standing. So now, the time has come. I dust myself off, and go on.” 
Know My Name by Chanel Miller

“When I listened to her, I understood: You have to hold out to see how your life unfolds, 
because it is most likely beyond what you can imagine. It is not a question of if you will survive this, 
but what beautiful things await you when you do. I had to believe her, because she was living proof. 
Then she said, Good and bad things come from the universe holding hands. Wait for the good to come.” 
Know My Name by Chanel Miller

“We force her to think hard about what this will mean for his life, 
even though he never considered what his actions would do to her.”
Know My Name by Chanel Miller 

“People do what they have to in this life. We try to get from one end of it to the other 
with dignity and with honor. We do the best we can.” 
The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez

“I didn't want to accept that in order to move forward, I had to walk through it. 
It was so much easier just to believe there was another path I could take around it 
and that at the end of that path would be the destination I wanted. 
It would be easier to want to end up at a lie, instead of the truth.” 
The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez

“We shouldn’t judge food until we try it. 
Just because it’s different doesn’t mean it’s less delicious. 
Same goes for people.”
A Place at the Table by Saadia Faruqi and Laura Shovan

“You can desire things that someone else doesn't. 
You can struggle with something that gives someone else joy. 
You can care about what matters to you even if it doesn't matter to someone else, 
and we can all lovingly and compassionately exist together in that tension.”
The Lazy Genius Way by Kendra Adachi

“Was a person like Merry born with her character, or had it been built up brick-by-brick
 by people who taught her to choose the good, the kind, and the true?”
Old Lovegood Girls by Gail Godwin

“We were always living different versions of the same story.” 
The Comeback by Ella Berman

Y'all, I don't know what happened to me in August! I'd had all this motivation previously and was doing great meeting my goal of blogging at least twice per week, and then it all went out the window. I was a little annoyed at myself because I wasn't in the mood to read or blog or do much of anything. Oh well! Because of that, I only shared five blog posts. I started the month with my July 2020 Recap and followed it up with my August 2020 Goals. I was excited to talk about what I'd read with my July 2020 Quick Lit Part One and Part Two, and then I shared what my sister, Caroline, read in Tales & Tiger Lily: July 2020. I drafted several other blog posts but didn't finish any of them. The creative thoughts were there, but I didn't see them through. September is a fresh start, thankfully.

Favorite Album: EMMA. (Soundtrack) by Isobel Waller-Bridge and David Schweitzer
I will forever and always love the instrumental soundtracks for my favorite costume dramas.
The one for Emma was no exception! I loved the movie and the music.

The Great British Bake Off, Seasons 7-9, starring Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig – I don't know why I find this show as soothing and as comforting as I do, especially since I don't even enjoy baking personally, but I know that I'm not alone. There's something about it that is just so endearing! I love that it's filmed in a tent, the camaraderie between the contestants, and the creativity of these amateur bakers. I wasn't in the mood to read or blog, but binging several seasons of this show was just what I needed. Highly recommend!

Book of the Month: The Comeback by Ella Berman, True Story by Kate Reed Petty, and The Unbecoming of Cassidy Holmes by Elissa R. Sloan

Bookstore & Pre-Orders: Act Like It by Lucy Parker, Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin, We Are Not Free by Traci Chee, A Place at the Table by Saadia Faruqi and Laura Shovan, The Lazy Genius Way by Kendra Adachi, The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall, The Exiles by Christine Baker Kline, Educated by  Tara Westover, and Igniting Darkness by Robin LaFevers

Used Bookstore: The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden and The Vanderbeekers to the Rescue by Karina Yan Glaser, Most Likely by Sarah Watson, The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez, Long Bright River by Liz Moore, The Veins of the Ocean by Patricia Engel, Things in Jars by Jess Kidd, Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan, Sunburn by Laura Lippman, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt, Age of Light by Whitney Scharer

Gifted: Lost Souls at the Neptune Inn by Betsy Carter

Audible: Igniting Darkness by Rovin LaFevers and Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Kindle: Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon and Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier
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