The dog days of summer are upon us, and I, for one, am eager to see them gone! Fall is calling my name, as are the many witchy books on my shelves. But before I start celebrating spooky season, I’ll be closing out the season with a special summer activity. Next weekend I’ll be back home in Louisiana introducing my boyfriend to my parents and the Louisiana summer heat. And you bet I’ll be in search of a good snowball to celebrate the end of summer. Are you a fan of snowballs (otherwise known as snow cones, sno-cones, and shave ice)? My favorite flavor is Cotton Candy with Cream, but Coconut is a close second. Our travels mean I’ll be taking the weekend off next week, so this edition of What This Week (August 15) will have to get you through the next two weeks!
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What This Week: Reading
I’m nearly done with three of the summer books I’ve been reading for the past few weeks: Summer Darlings, The Invitation, and The Lost Summers of Newport. Unfortunately, this weekend was mainly spent reading clinical content to complete my continuing education requirements to renew my social work license. Needless to say, I’m eager to put the text books aside in favor of my favorite form of escapism.
Up next for me will be There’s Something About Merry, a Christmas rom-com coming out on September 6. I’m hoping this advanced reader copy will be the breath of fresh air I need after a few really heavy historical fiction novels. When in Rome is another rom-com ARC on the agenda this month, and I’m hoping to finish both while on my flights to/from Louisiana next weekend.
Speaking on heavy reads, I finished Daughters of the Occupation last week and highly recommend it to anyone who loved The Tattooist of Auschwitz. I’m still processing my emotional response to this deeply moving story of three generations of Latvian women. The book explored the intergenerational impact of Nazi occupation during WWII but also the Russian occupation that preceded and followed WWII. It’s a special book that every historical fiction lover should read.
What This Week: Listening
What the what!!! TikTok has been a source of entertainment for me this week. Not only is it a place to connect with fellow book lovers, I’ve also found a few new artists worth following! First is Morgan Clae, an LA-based queer BIPOC artist whose powerful anthems are sure to catch on like wildfire. Her song “Stay” is stuck in my head. I want to see some SYTYCD choreography set to this song!
Lovers of Daisy Jones and the Six need to know Sidney Bird and her song “Ms Jones.” She’s written a picture perfect anthem for Daisy that perfectly captures the chaotic nature of the character. I’ve seen a few Daisy Jones aesthetic videos featuring her hit song, and now I’m tempted to make my own. If you want to read.
Next week I’ll be front and center on the floor for Shakey Graves at the historic Wiltern theater in Los Angeles. I first saw Shakey open for Lord Huron in 2019 and instantly feel in love. Fans of the TV series Friday Night Lights might recognize him from his recurring role as The Swede. His music is a mix of blues, rock, and Texas country. I love his older albums/EPs, but his newest album is pretty great, too! Here’s my favorite tune of his:
What This Week: Watching
We are nearly finished with Bosch, a neo-noir police drama series based on the work of crime novelist, Michael Connelly. The show stars Titus Welliver as the rough-around-the-edges homicide detective, Harry Bosch. Los Angeles is another star of the show, with much of Downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, and the Hollywood Hills featured prominently throughout the series. We were late to the game, considering the series was first released in 2014. But it holds up for the entire 7-season run. We are eager to start Bosch Legacy, the spin-off featuring his daughter, Maddie. For now we’ll savor the last few episodes of one of the greatest TV dramas (IMO). If you’re in need of a new series, I highly recommend this one!
What This Week: Eating
I was reminded this week why living in Los Angeles is so special. There’s no where else like it, truly. L.A. is a melting pot of cultures, which means you can find authentic food from just about any culture. This week we ate at El Cochinito, an award-winning Cuban restaurant in Silverlake, Los Angeles. The Cuban sandwich there is INCREDIBLE, so much so that it’s been touted as the world’s best Cuban sandwich. Having never been to Cuba I can’t honestly say, but I know this sandwich is worth every calorie. So, if you ever find yourself in Los Angeles, be sure to swing by El Cochinito for an unassuming but brilliant lunch. And if you aren’t visiting soon, you can try this recipe at home!
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