Botswana, Kurdistan, and Star Trek

Well, things have gotten weird since we last talked. I’m trying to go with the flow and take one day at a time, while also holding on to a feeling of normalcy where I can despite changes in plans and routine. And I’m trying to be a good member of my community, and daily figuring out what that means. My prayer for all of us today is peace and comfort, for good health, and for an abundance of patience. 

Now! On to the books and TV and things to inspire us and a multitude of things to be grateful for. Stay tuned until the end for a fun little bonus related to my novel You Again!

What I’m reading….

I finally read one of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books by Alexander McCall Smith, and it was absolutely charming. It was a small, leisurely book, a trip to Botswana with fascinating characters and with a bit of mystery on the side. (I read Double Comfort Safari Club. Also, in looking up a link to the book, I learned that there was an HBO series adapted from the first book! I wonder if I can find it anywhere to watch it).

I just finished a library find called The Kurdish Bike, by Alesa Lightbourne. It’s a novel about a woman who goes to Kurdistan (Northern Iraq) to teach English. I’ve lately been on the lookout for books about the Kurdish people, and this one was mostly enjoyable, although the main character/narrator got on my nerves after a while. This would be a book I’d hand off to a reader who really enjoys memoirs, because although it’s fiction, it reads almost like a memoir. I think next time I look for a book set in a non-Western culture, I’m going to try and find one written by more of an insider than an outsider. Both kinds of books can be enjoyable, but now at least I know what I want next.

What I’m watching…

I started watching Star Trek: Picard with my parents while they were here visiting, and it is so good, y’all. Very action packed and intense, and of course Patrick Stewart is as fantastic as ever. I also finished The Mandalorian last month, and I think I could have watched that show forever. Why is it so good?? It’s easily my favorite thing in the Star Wars universe. I loved that it had such a deep story, but with so few words at times, and I loved how it really highlighted the depth of the world building in the Star Wars universe. 

Also worth noting: Netflix has released The Great British Baking Show: Beginnings (i.e., the very first season ever!) and it’s exactly what I need right now. (except it makes me want to bake and my grocery stores are low on flour, and honestly is everyone who is camped out at home baking right now???? Hopeful for a restock next week)

What I’m grateful for…

I’m grateful for a lot of things right now, but here are just a few: a wonderful Spring Break visit from my parents, HEB grocery stores, group texts with friends, and the fact that my favorite local coffee roaster is offering free shipping from their online store right now.

A little inspiration... 

I have two bits of inspiration today: First, I want to highlight an ordinary, but extraordinary, stranger I encountered on the internet, someone who gave her phone number to her kids’ school teachers to pass along to any working parent who needs a place for their kid to hang out during the day while school is out. How awesome is that?! I am in awe of that kind of service. 

Second, a Bible verse I came across this morning: 

“Know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.” - Deuteronomy 4:39


And now it’s time for the fun (and free!) bonus: links to download two beautiful coloring sheets designed to accompany my novel You Again! I’m offering them as a free bonus to book clubs (a purchase of 5 or more books), but wanted to also offer them as a thank you to my newsletter subscribers. Links are HERE and HERE. If you don’t have a way to print them yourself, just reply to this email and we can talk about sending you some in the mail.

If you know anyone who likes to color (or who might enjoy getting this little newsletter in their email every month!), pass along the link to sign up for the email too! I’ll be offering the coloring sheets as a newsletter sign up bonus probably until summer.

Now it’s your turn! Hit reply and let me know what you’re reading or watching or listening to right now! What are you thankful for?