Well friends, another week has come and gone, putting us ever closer to the end of the year. Time sure flies when you’re not paying attention. I’ve been trying to do just that lately, making an effort to be “in the moment” as I help care for my mother in her last days. It’s a humbling experience, to say the least. As always, reading is providing me the mental escape that I need to avoid falling in a pit of despair, so I’m thankful for that. But I’ve had to add something more physical to the regimen if I’m going to sustain the caregiver role for the duration. Find out what’s helping me stay sane in this edition of What This Week: September 26.
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What This Week: Reading
To say I’m a mood reader is the understatement of the century. I try to stay focused on advanced reader copies and blockbuster books for the blog and Bookstagram (got to give the people what they want), but sometimes I like to venture down a rabbit hole. Last year around this time I decided to read as many witchy books as I could, and I managed to read quite a few. This year I’ve decided to do the same. So, between ARCs I’ll be reading a sharing lots of witchy reads. If you enjoy all things witchy, stay tuned!
In the meantime, I just started The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches, a recently published (8/23/22) witchy book that is getting great reviews on Bookstagram. Promoted as a heartwarming tale, the story features Mika, an isolated British witch, who’s offered unexpected opportunity to train three younger witches. I’m in need of a heartwarming tale, so I have high hopes for this one.
I also just started The Witches of New York, a book that’s been on my TBR for a while. The story of two witches in Victorian New York promises a thrilling mystery as well as magical mayhem. I’ve not read any of Ami McKay’s work, but this one gets high marks on Goodreads. I’m most intrigued by the juxtaposition of witchcraft and Christianity, and the concept of female persecution in the name of faith. I have a feeling this one will be controversial, which I’m here for.
And because I can’t just read 1-2 books at a time, I’m also reading The Familiars, a witchy book that’s been on my TBR for a while now. Stacy Halls’ debut novel (published in 2019) is a richly woven story of womanhood and friendship set against the famous Pendle witch trails of 1612. Her second novel, The Foundling, is also on my radar, as is her latest novel, Mrs. England. As always, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on each when I’m done.
Pic of the Week
What This Week: Watching
I’ve not been watching as much television as last week, at least not on my own. My dad and I have been spending some quality time together after mom goes to sleep watching old Westerns, his favorite film genre. We watched an oldie-but-goodie this week that’s worth sharing here, mostly because it’s a bit of an anomaly. River of No Return is a 1954 Western starting Robert Mitchum (my favorite Classic Hollywood leading man) and Marilyn Monroe. Mitchum is the epitome of cool, no matter what role he played. His understated acting, debonair good looks, and tender but tough persona make him the ultimate leading man in my book.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: Marilyn Monroe in a Western? Like me, you might be skeptical of her ability to pull it off. But, friend, let me tell you: she nails it! Sure, she hams it up a bit at times with the pouty lips and simpering stare, but she’s really terrific in this film. Best of all, she sings most of her songs in the film and does an outstanding job in her vocal performances. I highly recommend River of No Return if you enjoy watching classic films, especially Westerns. The direction, cinematography, and set design all help to make this movie stand out in an otherwise overlooked film genre.
What This Week: Moving
Being back at my parents means late nights up reading and writing after they’ve gone to bed. But several times this week I found it hard to concentrate on either. I’m probably just exhausted, but maybe a little burnt out. Either way, I found myself on one of my mother’s yoga mats (she was an instructor for more than 25 years), and it’s really helped me feel more grounded.
I’ve been focused on hip openers, which help to release blocked energy, process anger/grief, and improve overall flexibility. My favorites have to be standing wide-legged pose and pigeon, though I’m out of practice so neither come easy right now. There was a time when I practiced every single day, but I lost interest in somewhere along the way in 2016. Since then, I’ve struggled to get back into a routine practice, but maybe my mother’s illness and inability to practice might inspire me to get back on the mat regularly. In the meantime, I encourage you to explore hip openers if for no other reason other than they feel GREAT!
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