I’m new to the novels of Mhairi McFarlane and am definitely captivated. Speaking as a lifelong, voracious reader, what makes McFarlane’s novels stand out are that they not only fulfill my wish for uplifting reads, but also, and quite impressively, they pair a feel-good, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy vibe with an exploration of some very complex and painful issues. Sounds like a difficult feat to pull off, right?
It is, but Mhairi McFarlane does it beautifully and believably. After all, I cannot imagine any real-life happily ever after being attainable without facing some pretty tough and unpleasant truths about ourselves, others, and the choices we make.
Mhairi McFarlane brings her protagonists to a state of deep realization and wish for change, and in so doing, brings them to a well-earned happiness. Sort of like what I get from reading my favorite uplifting, self-revelatory author, Jane Austen. It’s all relatable and resonant. And hugely entertaining.
If you have mixed feelings about the holiday season, you’re not alone. It can be elevating, exciting, and inspiring, and it can also be stressful, exhausting, and bewildering. Fear not. You just need a bit of cinematherapy in the comfort of your home. That and my favorite essential oil blends, Lift-me-up and Merry Christmas!
What are your favorite holiday movies and series? Happy viewing, and wishing you all good things!!
Fear. Uncertainty. Stress. Sometimes it feels like we’re in one of those movies when the monster has finally been defeated–and then gets up and starts attacking again. It’s enough to make you want to dive under the duvet.
While the following list won’t make you queen of the world, it will help you be queen of YOUR world.
1. Turn off the newsfeeds. It’s an abyss and no good can come from it.
2. Give your social media a time out. Do you really want to read someone else’s rant? Isn’t your own bad enough? Hint: If you can’t stay away, just do a quick drop-in to post a picture of a puppy, kitten, or baby condor.
You always knew Jane Austen was a feminist, right? What better way to soothe the disappointment of cancelled 4th of July events than to enjoy some intellectual fireworks?
Register for this live online lecture, JANE AUSTEN’S MESSAGE FOR YOUNG WOMEN TODAY, where “Dr Georgina Newton examines how the hopes and concerns of today’s young women compare with those of Jane Austen’s era and how the author of Pride and Prejudice has much to say to modern readers.“
It’s hosted by the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute (BRLSI), a non profit organization “set up 200 years ago as a centre for Enlightenment ideas and intellectual discussion in Bath, England (where Jane Austen lived!).
“Jane Austen’s novels typically conjure images of love, romance and femininity. But her acute observations on how society treated women in relation to equality, financial independence and opportunity reveal a mind strikingly in step with feminist thinking in the 21st Century.
Are you a bookworm, bibliophile, avid reader, nose-in-a-book sort of person? Then you’ll love Lit Hub, “the best of the literary internet,” a somewhat recent discovery of mine. You’ll find bits of wisdom from great authors, writing encouragement and inspiration from great minds, things you must know about your favorite authors, insights about the publishing biz, and much more.
So much more that, like me, you’ll want to sign up for Lit Hub‘s weekly or daily digest and dig in. Enjoy, fellow lit lovers!
On Twitter, someone asked for book recommendations for Austen fans, and what came to mind was not a continuation, a sequel, or an inspired-by. It was JULIET, NAKED by Nick Hornby.
Nick Hornby is my idea of a contemporary Jane Austen. So is Zadie Smith, particularly her novel ON BEAUTY. Both authors make profound observations of human nature, give us romance without sentimentality, have a divine sense of humor, and are simply master storytellers. In my writing workshops I inevitably read passages from both Hornby and Smith.
For me, Hornby’s JULIET, NAKED brought to mind some of the online discussions that occur amongst Austen’s most devoted readers. A central premise of the book is that no matter how much the admirers of an artist’s work examine that work, study it, parse it for meaning, and become “experts,” they can never acquire irrefutable proof that the creator felt a certain way or had a particular type of experience at the time she created it. Bottom line is that it’s nothing more than speculation. And speculation is often wrong. (more…)
Everyone who knows me knows how much I love essential oils. Just got these early dharmaceuticals essential oil gifts for the holidays and couldn’t help but open them and start spritzing and diffusing. Love it!
The Lift-Me-Up spritz put me in the perfect frame of mind to get going on today’s writing….ttyl :))