Sunday Matters: With Spring, Comes Hope

Sunday Matters

I know many of you are still dealing with weather but here in California it’s been very mild with temps between 65-79 degrees. As I was walking around the neighborhood the other day it really did feel like spring was just around the corner. Everything is blooming and the grass is green again. We had a few weeks of mucky brown grass. This is one of my favorite times of the year. I feel so hopeful when the sun is out and the plants start popping.

Right Now:

We’ve been debating in-person church services. It would be nice to go back but I am not quite ready. Every time I drive by there is a large crowd. I miss it but we have online viewing options available to us so I’d rather be cautious. My youth group is about to meet in-person again so after that we’ll probably pull the trigger on regular service as well.

I really wanted to go to the zoo today but it’s a timed entry and you have to book in advance. Many of the exhibits are closed. I will wait. Instead, I will get a long walk in.

This Week:

Speaking of walks. I found this podcast recently and I’ve added it to my walking routine. Bookish talk. Lots of it. Each episode is roughly an hour long so it’s perfect for walking. Shelf Care is available for free on Spotify but you can also listen via Apple, Stitcher or SoundCloud. I’ve already added a few books to my want list.

Shelf Care

Reading:

I am finishing up The Sanatorium. It’s a Reese Book Club pick. It’s gotten very mixed reviews. I’ll write up the review as soon as I am finished but I usually do pretty well with Reese’s picks.

My next book will be Murakami’s new one, First Person Singular. It comes out in April but I can’t wait anymore. It’s a collection of stories. If you’ve read his stories before then you know how many of his stories could easily be the premise for a novel and some do become that. I am looking forward to it!

Watching:

Almost to Season 5 of Schitt’s Creek. Still super enjoyable.

The Walking Dead starts again tonight. Only six episodes this season. I will see how this season goes and then decide if I want to continue. I keep giving these showrunners a chance to rally this show back to what is used to be but it’s not been great and my loyalty has run out.

Grateful for:

  • University faculty who take the time to talk to a potential student. These people are invaluable.
  • Art and music and the different ways we can access it now. I’ve been listening to some great concerts lately. I’ve signed up for a few museum tours too.
  • Green juice. It’s a weird thing to be grateful for. I used to make green smoothies but I’ve found that V8 Healthy Greens has all the good stuff. No sugar or artificial flavors added. It’s quite affordable and shelf stable so I stock up. This is not sponsored but it helps me feel good so I wanted to share.

What does your March look like? It marks my one year anniversary of working from home. Feels so strange to say. I remember those early days and how weird it all felt. The streets were empty. You had to gather up all your courage to run to the market only to find that bread and milk were sold out, along with every cut of meat. My city eats well apparently. Forget shelf staples. They went for the meat case. Remember those days? I guess we have come a long way from that if you really sit down to think about it.

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Review: The Midnight Library

The Midnight Library

The Midnight Library
By Matt Haig
Viking, 9780525559474, September 2020, 304pp.

The Short of It:

What would you do if you were given a chance to live a different life?

The Rest of It:

Nora Seed has made some bad decisions throughout her life. Some affected other people, like her brother and her kind next door neighbor. She doesn’t feel as if she matters or belongs anywhere, or with anyone. One night, she just can’t take anymore and decides to end it.

But Nora is given another chance. She awakes to find herself in a library of sorts. This library is run by a person from Nora’s past, Mrs. Elm. Mrs. Elm walks Nora through this strange labyrinth of books called The Midnight Library. It’s a library that houses one particular book that could change Nora’s life, The Book of Regrets. In it, is each regret that Nora has felt or experienced over the course of her life. In addition to this book, are other books and these books represent the lives she’s lived by taking a different path. While she hovers between this world and the real world, she is given the option of borrowing one of those lives to see if it’s a good fit for her. Some work out more than others, some further illustrate the effects of her poor decisions over the years. These decisions do not prove easy for Nora and once you decide on a particular life, there’s no going back.

I can recall at least three other books I’ve read that had a similar storyline and yes, the story is a little repetitive and might remind you of the movie Groundhog Day. If you are looking for a totally unique reading experience, you won’t get that with The Midnight Library, however, it did come together quite nicely and I agree with most everyone that it’s a feel-good type of read but it takes a little while to get there. I also had a little trouble connecting to Nora. She’s detached from reality but not in the endearing way that Eleanor was in Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. If that helps any.

What I liked a lot was the opportunity to live your life a different way and to realize how your choices impact other people. I liked that Nora’s experiences helped to shape and define “happiness” and I liked the visual that Haig created with The Midnight Library itself.

It’s a pleasant, feel-good book. Gives you a little food for thought, too.

Source: Purchased
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Chatting with friends about books and life…