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Things I've fallen in love with this week…

 

Books

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata  – this book would have to be one of my favourite books I've ever read. If you love a romance that takes its time to build, this is the book for you! Characters you will fall in love with – real, believable characters with flaws… that would have to be one of the best things about this book. If you're anything like me, your reading requirements change weekly, sometimes daily. What I mean is, some days you're looking for a wham, bam thank you ma'am book full of hot sex and an alpha you can't get enough of while other days you're looking for a deep connection to a story. If you're on a day where all you want is sex, skip this book on that day, but I highly recommend when you're in the mood for slow and deep, pick this book up and read it!

The Sins That Bind Us by Geneva Lee – another slower, deeper book (I'm completely in the mood for these reads at the moment so if you have one you recommend please comment with the title!). I wrote a review for this one when I read it because it moved me so much –

Sometimes you read a book that you connect with on a deep level. A book that drags feelings out of you that you’d buried long ago—realisations you perhaps didn’t want to face yet. Sometimes, the book isn’t even about the same thing you’ve faced, but still the author’s words collide with your subconscious and force their way into your heart. They give you a way to connect with yourself. The Sins That Bind Us was one of these books for me.

 
“We don’t escape our addictions, they simply become our religions.”

 
I was sold on this book when I read Geneva Lee’s note to readers in the front. “I’ve been writing this book all my life and part of me wishes I’d never begun it.” I just knew this was going to be a deep book and I was right. I fell in love from the very first chapter and struggled to put the book down.

 
This is a book about addiction, regret and hope. It’s about a woman struggling with the sins of her past, and also about a man doing the same.

 
“My world is as fragile as glass, pretty lies blown carefully into a delicate bubble to cover up the ugliness in my past. The ugliness in me.”

 
These characters were so real to me. Flawed and vulnerable, they are the kind of characters you want to wrap your arms around and love. I related so deeply to Faith and cried over her inability to love herself and also over her inability to hope for anything more than what she had.

 
“One day you are going to find all the joy you’re capable of, and then you’re going to fly, Sunshine.” This time I like when he calls me Sunshine as if I could be the bright spot he needs in his life.
“I keep my feet on the ground,” I remind him. This—allowing Jude to kiss me—is the wildest thing I have done in years. “I don’t dream or wish. I can’t risk it, and I can’t fly.”
“Then I’ll build you wings.”

 
And Jude… Oh, Jude… I fell in love with this man. So broken, yet so willing to try and build a better future. And so open to love. His gentleness and patience won me over and I was rooting for him all the way. This love story is a slow build and I absolutely loved every minute of watching Jude fight for Faith.

 
“Don’t underestimate yourself.”
“It’s a force of habit,” I whisper.
“Then we’ll have to break that habit.”

 
One of the things I loved the most about Faith, and truly connected with, was her self-awareness. She has spent years examining herself and her life, and while she has her blind spots about herself (like we all do), she has dug deep and is honest with herself about many things. On the flip side, she refuses to be honest about many other things and I loved all the sides to her character.

 
“The ocean is so vast—fathomless—just like a person. I could know you for years and you would never see all the moments that made me the woman I am today. The ones that are forming me into who I’ll be tomorrow or five years from now. No one can ever truly know another person. We’re all mysteries just like the sea.”

 
I believe some books come into our lives right when we need them. This book may not be for you, where you are in your life, but I highly recommend it. Geneva’s writing is flawless and when I read certain passages, I had to stop and re-read them. My heart sighed at times. It was as if this author was in my head. She knew me. And those are the books I will keep locked inside me for the rest of my life.

 

Movies

So I finally got around to watching The Longest Ride.

*swoon*

And I cried. So. Many. Tears.

If you haven't watched this romance yet, do yourself a favour and watch it. A beautiful romance of two couples in true Nicholas Sparks style.

 

Podcasts

The Beautiful Writers Podcast – I'm a huge Danielle LaPorte fan and have been listening to this podcast for the last few months. This week I tuned in for her conversations with Brené Brown (who I have adored for years) and Robert McKee. If you're an author I highly recommend both of these. In the conversation with Brené one of the things they discuss is their inspirational rhythms. I love hearing about other writers processes especially about what being stuck really means. I think it was Danielle in this conversation who said that for her being stuck meant she was moving in the wrong direction. I could absolutely relate to this. And not just for my writing, but for my life! I've felt stuck for decades and I now know that was because I was moving in the wrong direction. They also discuss whether they read reviews and I loved Brené's response – “Does it serve the work?”. It's made me consider my own practices. The interview with McKee was great too. They discuss his concept of digitalness which he says equals shallowness. He also discussed something I truly believe in – attention span vs interest span. Many authors these days say their readers want shorter books because they don't have the attention span they used to. McKee challenges this and says it's not the attention span that has changed but rather the interest span that is of importance. “You failed to interest them,” he says. As long as the reader (or movie/TV watcher) is interested, time flies for them. He also talks about interest coming down to empathy. If a reader can't empathise with your character, they won't be drawn into the story. Check out this podcast and let me know what you think!!

 

I'd love to hear what you've been reading, watching or listening to!!

 

NinaL