Hello my darlings,
Here we are, on the cusp of Summer 2021. It’s been surreal, hasn’t it? I’m fully vaxxed at long last and enjoying the ability to go outside the house with less fear, although being in Maryland does mean that I occasionally have to wade through crunchy drifts of cicadas.
I could have said this at any point in the past year or so but: this is such a weird moment in time.
I feel a little bit in limbo, knowing that many people are protected from COVID now but not everyone, and never knowing what information to trust or who to believe. I’m also feeling some FOMO as people hurry into the “return to normal.” I’m vaccinated and extremely grateful, but the fact is that my chronic health issues mean that it’s still going to be hard for me to go out and do things. The popularity of Zoom and virtual attendance of events over the past year gave me more options for personal and professional connection than I’ve had in a long time and I’m afraid that’s going to go away.
If you follow me on IG, you also know that I was in the hospital recently. I’m fine now, but I’ve had to reassess how I’m spending my time to make room for some new doctors and new treatments, which means I’ve had to cut down on writing. I’m very grateful to have access to healthcare when I need it, especially now that it’s less dangerous for me to be around people, but it’s always a bit of a bummer when I need to scale down on things I enjoy to make space for complicated, boring, exhausting, expensive medical treatments.
With all of that said: it’s warm outside, the sky is beautiful, flowers are blooming, and I’m able to spend time INSIDE BUILDINGS with my friends and family again and that’s the most incredible joy. I missed my people desperately and it’s such a relief to be able to host brunch or sit in a car with my sister or hug my parents. I’m so grateful for the science that made the vaccine possible and the various factors that meant I was able to get mine.
I don’t know what’s coming next and things aren’t perfect, but there’s so much to be grateful for right now.
How are you doing, my darlings? Are you enjoying a bit of a “return to normalcy”? Do you also have conflicting feelings about where we all are right now? Have you read anything good recently?
What I’m reading:
Rosemary And Rue by Seanan McGuire (October Daye series): Indiebound/Amazon.
I found this series through an author’s Twitter recommendations and I am obsessed. It’s Urban Fantasy centered around the life of October Daye, a San Francisco Private Investigator who just happens to be half-fae, which means she specializes in mysteries that affect both the supernatural and human communities. Fantasy with a bit of mystery is exactly what I want right now. It’s a vivid, gorgeously plotted, totally absorbing series with complex, interesting characters and elaborate mythology. I’m on book 10 and still enthralled. The first book is a little slow, but by book three I knew I was reading a new favorite.
Touch The Dark (Cassie Palmer series) by Karen Chance: Indiebound/Amazon
Another Urban Fantasy series I devoured recently! Cassie Palmer’s story isn’t as perfect a fit for me as October Daye, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading it all. These books have a bit more of a True Blood vibe: there’s constant motion, as the heroine is catapulted from one dramatic blood-soaked situation to another, while occasionally making time to have sex with interesting and often supernatural men. There are almost no quiet moments in the entire series, every pause for breath is interrupted by an attack or plot twist. There are vampires, ghosts, psychics, demons, and ancient gods. It’s very fun, especially when you’re looking to bury yourself in a distraction that has nothing to do with your own life.
The Devil Comes Courting by Courtney Milan: Indiebound/Amazon
I’ve always enjoyed Courtney Milan’s Historical Romance, but her recent books (this one and the wonderful The Duke Who Didn’t) have reached a whole new level of heartwarming, squee-worthy delightfulness. Such a perfect mix of intriguing historical material, thoughtfulness, characters’ journeying to find their own truest selves, and pure gorgeous human connection. Milan’s recent books have also focused on mixed-race main characters and main characters of color, which is all too rare in the Historical Romance genre.
The Lost Romance of Dance Cards is a look into a fascinating artefact from one of my favorite eras.
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The Strange and Mysterious History of the Ouija Board. Tool of the devil, harmless family game—or fascinating glimpse into the non-conscious mind?
Contraceptive Jewelry? How Earrings Could Deliver Birth Control.
You know you want to read a post about 18th century buttons on All Things Georgian.
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What Is a Reliquary? Here’s a Short Introduction To the Bejeweled Medieval Vessels.
Overanalyzing every book in Ted Lasso to Predict Season 2, at Book Riot. Do you LOVE Ted Lasso as much as I do? That show is a treasure.
Book images via UnSplash. This post contains affiliate links.