The New Normal

Well. What a time to find myself itching to blog again. It’s safe to say that the world is more than a little bit scary and confusing right now and, you know what, I don’t really want to dwell on that here. Because you probably don’t need another person’s opinion or think piece on the matter. Suffice it to say, I’m working from home for the foreseeable because I’m fortunate to work in an industry, and for a company, that can work remotely and I am very grateful for that.

Truth be told, I’ve found myself in a bit of a lull anyway due to a mixture of personal circumstances (we had a family bereavement at the start of the year) and a general lack of reading and blogging (the two are definitely a vicious, connected cycle). The upshot of this has meant I’m six books behind my Goodreads reading goal for the year and I don’t even want to look at how my other yearly reading challenges are going.

Despite all this, I want to be more mindful of how I spend my time and set proper time aside again for reading and blogging.  Not having a commute or a proper reading lunch break any more (I know, I need to work on that) in the last week or so has really illustrated to me how much I relied on those designated reading times built into my usual daily routine. Whilst I’m trying to create working routines whilst working remotely, I might as well try to include more specific reading time in my schedule! And I want to stop finding excuses for not reading or not blogging – specifically I want to stop worrying too much about everything needing to be perfect or original before I hit ‘post’ on a blog post I’ve been drafting. Because, right now, the world is far from perfect and it has been great to see the online book community come together even more than usual to keep each other safe and sane in this ever-evolving, scary situation the world finds itself in.

So, what have I been reading whilst the world is (metaphorically) on fire? Well, I’ve mainly been reaching for comforting things. Mainly due to watching Drinking By My Shelf’s reading vlogs where she read The Princess Diaries series and A Series of Unfortunate Events in 24 hours (a phenomenal feat, to be honest), I decided to re-read the first The Princess Diaries book by Meg Cabot and it was a lovely exercise in nostalgia. Mia is such a dramatic 14-year old girl and I just loved it. So fun, so funny, made me facepalm at her questionable teenage decisions – what more could you want from a trip down memory lane in the form of that book? (Thanks to Disney+ arriving in the UK at the exact right time I’ve also indulged how much I love the films and rewatched the first one because Anne Hathaway is a delight and Julie Andrews, a national treasure.)

I also won a giveaway on the author Lucy Parker’s Twitter, where I won ebook copies of her London Celebrities series, so I had to re-read the first book, Act Like It which I listened to on audiobook last year and adored. It’s such a fluffy and fun contemporary and is based on the antics of actors in the West End and involves fake-dating so, obviously, I love it. I highly recommend it, and the audiobook is fantastic and on Scribd for anyone with a subscription.

In a not-at-all comforting vein, I’m also currently reading Libba Bray’s The Diviners, mostly via audiobook thanks to the chilling and perfectly pitched narration from January LaVoy. It’s set in 1920s New York but has a heavy occult/paranormal bent and I absolutely adore the vibe of the book. I cannot believe it has taken me so long to finally pick it up (I’m kicking myself so much) but I’ll be sure to continue on with the series once I’ve finish up this first book.

 

So there we have it – this is the New Normal, I guess, but in the meantime I’m going to return to books and blogging to help maintain that sense of normality in what will hopefully be a temporary world.

How is everyone? Please check in and say hi in the comments and let me know how you’re doing! What was the last really great book you read? Looking forward to any books being published soon? What are you reading at the moment? Let’s chat books!


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