June 5, 2020

cool stuff i like

A month has gone by without blogging, but I think you would have been camping in outer space not to realize that there's been a lot going on. And I think most of you know that we're living through some pretty outrageous historical moments, in real time.

There is so much insightful and powerful writing about the Black Lives Matter (LOTS OF RESOURCES THERE IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHERE TO START) issues at hand and the continuing racism problem in our country. I don't find it useful at all to add to that conversation at this time other than to outline things that I intend to deal with here on the blog and my social media. I need to take the time to listen to voices like this and to further educate myself.

In my personal life, there is literally a lifetime's amount of work to actively (keyword - active) combat racism that needs to take place, but I specifically want to discuss Julia's Bookbag. I've realized that while I will always enjoy tea parties, fairy tales, and pretty vintage books, my focus here has become more narrow than I would like it to be. It's become more narrow than it should be.

This blog began when my daughter was 5 and I focused on children's books for years and years. As she grew older, I moved away from blogging about her life, and moved more into my own interests, and then when I began creating book surprise boxes, my emphasis shifted more to that. Now that I'm pulling back from seasonal boxes, I feel like my focus needs to shift again.

There have not been very many books written by or focusing on people of color included here. That will change. It's unfortunate that it took the events of the past few weeks to make me realize why that's unacceptable. The niche I immersed myself in here has become too constrictive.

 There is no rightful place for racism, hatred, or inequality in our world. And yet here we are in 2020 and very little has occurred to diminish its prevalence in our society. I think our current administration is a joke and downright evil, but I've done next to nothing to address any social injustices in my personal life, or here, long before the current president came to office. And I'm more than disappointed in my apathy when it involved issues of systemic racism in this country and various social issues in general. I didn't spend much time thinking about these topics, because I didn't have to.  My growing up life in Hawaii with varying ethnic groups made me think that I was embracing in my views towards people who didn't look like me, and that living life as a person just thinking inside my head that I'm against racial inequality was enough. It. is. not. even. close. to. being. enough.

Things of online interest this week:

BELLE DA COSTA GREENE. This is an INCREDIBLE read. Never heard of her. I want to see a movie about her life! I want to read a book about her! Divine Goddess of Libraries!!!

Why 'The Secret History' never became a movie. (one of my all time favorite books) Did I already post this last year? I feel like maybe I did. Oh well. I just recently found my copy that I thought I'd lost, so it was in my brain.

Black owned independent bookstores. You can order online! Does Amazon really need more of our money? I think we all know the answer to this.

Fabulous 'she-shed'! (and bitch-barn! love it)

Hill House Vintage is the most delightful Instagram account. I discovered her feed a few months ago and I've been enthralled ever since. Her clothes! Her house! Obsessed.

I've made this soup twice during quarantine -- using 4 cups stock plus 2 cups water, only 1 cup lentils, a bit more corn, and half a lemon. It was still WONDERFUL.

Living in a turret.

Rachel Cargle's #revolution reading list.

Confetti Cinnamon Rolls.

Black YA fiction novels for your TBR pile.

A new post from Lobster & Swan! I kid you not, on May 29th I thought to myself, I wonder if Jeska has posted lately? Went to check and THAT DAY she had a new post up, first since February. I am magically in tune with the universe, it appears. Speaking of magic, did you catch my post from last month about magical books?

Cool Book of the Week: 150% OBSESSED - are you watching the show??? Are you reading the book? 'Normal People' by Sally Rooney had been on my radar for months and months - just never got around to it. Then the show dropped on Hulu, and I was a bit bummed to watch before reading the book but I went with it and I'm probably going to immediately begin watching the show again when I finish it. The acting performances have knocked me speechless; I'm stopping and rewinding scenes to watch the cinematography and certain facial expressions over again - and that is something I've never done with a show before.

But we're talking about the book now, and I just started it, and it's as quietly moving as the show. If you're not familiar, the best way I can describe it is that 'Normal People' examines how two individuals can be completely known to each other in a relationship, even if they don't know themselves. If you were wondering what all the hype is about, both the show and the book - let me tell you, I GET IT NOW. If you've heard rumors about all the sex, yes there's a lot of it shown and discussed in the both the book and the show. But that's not the takeaway. This type of intense romantic fascination that seems particularly acute in young adulthood has never been more sensitively expressed, in my opinion.

My friends, please stay safe and be well.



  1. Thank you for the links and resources. You are a treasure. Also: BITCH BARN! That's a scream. I am madly in love with that little space. I dream of sitting in it while it rains, drinking hot tea. Heaven. xoxo Aloha

    1. Thank you dear friend! I've been dreaming of an outdoor tea shed or sun room for years and years - maybe someday!

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    2. I need to make that soup! (Also, I can't type on a phone! Thus the deleted comment.)

    3. The soup is very bright and fresh tasting! I like the addition of corn.

  3. Your blog is delightful!! Love all the links and info you share! I live in the middle of nowhere so it is nice to read interesting and informative writings! Love that you suggest books and the links you share! Take care and stay safe!

    1. Angela thank you SO MUCH and I'm so sorry about the late response! Blogger platform has revamped, and thinks are very wonky with the comments!! Just seeing this now!

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