Book Review: The Christmas Pig

I am a huge fan of the Harry Potter series, so I was really excited when I heard that J.K. Rowling was writing a new children’s book. However, I kept my expectations low since I didn’t love her latest book, The Ickabog, which was almost meant for children. It was pretty dark without the redeeming warmth and humor that make the Harry Potter books so loveable. But I was still excited to get The Christmas Pig as a Christmas present and I dove into it right away.

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Book Review: The Other Black Girl

I finished reading The Other Black Girl a week ago, but have still been thinking about it and wondering what to say in my review. It brought up so many complex ideas that I don’t know where to start. I love books that show me a different perspective and make me think about something familiar in a new light. And this book, while not flawless, definitely did that. 

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Book Review: Poison for Breakfast

“Some people might call Poison for Breakfast a book of philosophy, and hardly anyone likes a book of philosophy. When a person begins investigating this bewildering world and their own inevitable death, they begin to suffer from a deeply troubling kind of bewilderment experienced by anyone foolish enough to love literature.” — back copy of Poison for Breakfast.

I love literature, but I do not love philosophy, so maybe that’s why I didn’t love this book. I should have taken its warning, but I really enjoyed A Series of Unfortunate Events and wanted to see what Lemony Snicket’s writing for a different audience would look like.

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Book Review: Fangirl

It’s surprising that it took me so long to discover this book, but once I read the back cover I was hooked. The book follows a girl named Cath through her freshman year of college. I related to Cath on many levels—she’s a brown-haired, introverted English major with a twin sister who is her best friend. And she is an enthusiastic participant in the Simon Snow fandom, which appears to be the equivalent of Harry Potter in her universe. Everyone knows about Simon, but Cath is a fan on a greater level—she writes her own Simon Snow fanfiction and is famous in the fandom for it.

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Let’s try this again…

It’s been just about 7 years since my last post on this blog. At the time, I was single, living with my parents, and just starting an entry-level job at an educational publishing company. It seems like both forever ago and yesterday. I had no idea where life was going to take me, but it was starting to feel real and exciting.

My blog was pushed aside as I spent more time prioritizing my career, personal growth, and relationships. Fast forward to today, and I’m married, own a house, and still work at the same educational publisher but now as a manager. Aside from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, I’m really loving life and am at a place where I feel secure and stable. And I finally have plenty of time to read for pleasure!

The more that I’ve started reading, the more that I’ve wanted to write down my thoughts. It’s sad how little writing I’ve done recently outside of emails for work! I thought about making a new blog, but I still love this one very much. So, at the risk of making this blog sounds like one of my middle school journals that I rediscovered after several dusty years, I’m going to give this another try.

When I started this blog, I was desperate for a job in publishing and trying to amplify my online literary presence. This time, I’ll be writing just for me. It may not be very frequent or very interesting, but I’m looking forward to writing in order to make sense of what I’m reading again. And, of course, sharing some cute cats. 

Two Extraordinary Friends: Iris and Thula

Today I discovered the artwork of Iris Grace, a five-year-old girl with autism. Iris is slowly learning to speak and develop social skills, but her painting abilities are extraordinary. Her understanding of form, movement, and color is amazing for someone so young. Her mother says she she can concentrate on a painting for two hours, and her paintings are being sold to help pay for her therapy.

In many of the pictures of Iris painting, she is accompanied by a fluffy cat named Thula. Iris’ parents had heard of the value of a therapy animal for children with autism, but none seemed to help Iris until they found Thula. Thula does everything with Iris now—from helping her paint, to going on walks, and even taking baths. Iris recently went through a phase where she disliked bathing and having her hair washed, so Thula now jumps in the bath with her and lets them shampoo her first!

While the cat is not a trained service cat (Iris did not seem to care for those), there’s not doubt that she has a special touch with the little girl. Her parents say Iris is more active in the morning now, and will talk more to Thula than to others (short phrases such as “sit cat”). I’m so inspired by both Iris and Thula! It seems like they are both very good friends, each with their own special talents. To see and buy Iris’ amazing artwork, visit her official website.