Hello friends! I hope you are all well in body and spirit, and that if the sun’s not shining yet today, that it will be soon, because being able to go outside is one of the top three things keeping me sane these days. 

What I’ve been reading…

I’ve read some really great books the past few weeks (and one dud)! The Rome of Fall, by Chad Alan Gibbs. This book alternates between the present day and the fall of 1996. It’s nostalgic, sarcastic, heartwarming, thoughtful, absurd, and lots of fun. The Dry, by Jane Harper is about as far from The Rome of Fall in tone as you can get, but it’s fantastic in its own way. A federal detective goes back to his tiny hometown in rural Australia for a funeral and stays to investigate what appears to be a murder-suicide. The incident bring up long-buried tragedy, and of course everyone has secrets they are trying to hide. The Dry is very atmospheric and suspenseful. It’s also the first in a series, so if atmospheric detective novels are your thing, I’d give this one a try.

Another stand-out for the month that I’ll mention is a book of poetry: The Peace of Wild Things, by Wendell Berry. I’ve developed a bit of an interest in poetry the last couple of years, a fairly casual interest to be sure, but enough of one to actively seek out volumes that catch my attention. The Peace of Wild Things is absolutely delightful. It’s thoughtful, inspiring, grounding, deeply connected to nature, and--true to its title--I’ve found it very peaceful. 

What I’ve been watching…

Jeremy and I finished Star Trek: Picard, and the series was fantastic. It was fast-paced, and intriguing, with some surprising twists and turns. The characters and casting were spot on, and the cameos from The Next Generation were done just right. True to the Star Trek aesthetic, it balanced action and sci-fi fun with big philosophical questions, and of course, who is going to complain about getting more Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard?

I’ve also been finishing up my re-watch of The Office (which makes me about like a million other people). Although technically, since I’d never seen the last three seasons, the past month was more of a first-time watch. I can understand why the last two seasons (those without Michael Scott) don’t get a lot of love, but honestly I still enjoyed them, and the series finale was just the level of closure and sappiness that I wanted (as was the season seven, Steve Carrell/Michael Scott finale).

What I’m grateful for…

A big backyard, a neighborhood with sidewalks so we can easily go for walks/bike rides, and educators that are making at-home learning relatively pain free (at least on the kindergarten level). 

A little inspiration…

“I go among trees and sit still.

All my stirring becomes quiet

Around me like circles on water.

My tasks lie in their places

Where I left them, asleep like cattle.

Then what is afraid of me comes

And lives a while in my sight.

What it fears in me leaves me,

And the  fear of me leaves it.

It sings, and I hear its song.

Then what I am afraid of comes.

I live for a while in its sight.

What I fear in it leaves it,

And the fear of it leaves me.

It sings, and I hear its song.

~ excerpt from Sabbath Poems, by Wendell Berry

Do you know anyone else who likes share what they’re reading or is always looking for something new to watch? Feel free to share this newsletter with them: https://amandawatersauthor.substack.com/

Also, if you’ve read You Again (thank you!!) and haven’t left a review yet, would you mind taking a few minutes to rate it and write just a sentence or two? It’s one of the best ways to help increase the book’s visibility to searching readers (and you don’t need to have purchased it from Amazon) You can go straight to the page HERE, scroll down to where the reviews start, and on the left you should see a link to “review this product.” 

And as always I love to hear about what you’re reading, and the interesting (or not so interesting) things that have caught your attention lately!