Monday, August 26, 2013

On Good Reads...

As I mentioned last post, I am not only an avid reader, but I also work at Barnes & Noble, which means that I probably should be recommending some books to you guys.

Right now I'm reading the Martian Trilogy by Edgar Rice Burroughs, but Sci-fi is not my usual genre. Normally I stick to women's fiction, magical realism, or historical fiction, although I do like to take on different genres every once in a while. For example, I'm really into the Chew graphic novel series. It is so funny and great. I definitely recommend it. Another great read is The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker. It is a great book for those who are into magical realism. Fans of the Night Circus seem  to like this one.

But I'm not going to talk about those books today. The one I want to recommend to anyone and everyone is Juliet by Anne Fortier, which I actually read two years ago.

My well-loved copy
Containing all the beauty of Tuscany, the thrill of a good mystery, and the romance of Shakespeare's most famous tragedy, Anne Fortier's novel takes you behind the legend that inspired the tale of star-crossed lovers and into a world where "the plague on both your houses" may still be in effect. A thrilling romance that incorporates history and dazzling storytelling, I would call Juliet a must read for all different types of readers.

This is the description on back of the book:
When Julie Jacobs inherits a key to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy, she is told that it will lead her to an old family treasure. Soon she is launched on a winding and perilous journey into the history of her ancestor Giulietta, whose legendary love for a young man named Romeo rocked the foundations of medieval Siena. As Julie crosses paths with the descendants of the families immortalized in Shakespeare’s unforgettable blood feud, she begins to realize that the notorious curse—“A plague on both your houses!”—is still at work, and that she is the next target. It seems that the only one who can save Julie from her fate is Romeo—but where is he?
I've only read this book once, but I definitely want to read it again. Picked up on a whim at an airport while traveling for my first post-college job, this book caught me by surprise and served to fill the loneliness I was feeling during this period in my life. And when I finished, I felt ready to fall in love (I met my current boyfriend the following month, which might be entirely coincidental). It's a book that I feel deserves to be recommended because I'm afraid you may never hear of it otherwise. And if you're not a big fan of Shakespeare's story don't worry. While I liked the play, I felt that Romeo and Juliet were two reckless teenagers. However, in this book, my feelings were different, and yours will be too.

If you're looking for a good book to read right now, consider this one, and head down to your local Barnes & Noble today ;)

Friday, August 23, 2013

On Work...

OK, so we ended up not going to the beach last Sunday. I received a lot of work last minute over the weekend, which really ruined our plans. I feel like today is the first day I've truly relaxed in two weeks. But I don't want to complain that I had work because it helped me buy a new shirt today ;)

I don't think I've actually mentioned what I've been doing work wise lately. I've been working part-time as a transcriber for an educational company, transcribing online course videos for the hearing impaired. I also work as a bookseller at Barnes & Noble to supplement that income.

When I'm not working, I have, unfortunately, not been painting as I promised I would. I've mostly been cooking and watching movies, while ignoring the blank canvas sitting next to me on my desk.

My books have also been neglected lately, which is a shame because I'm having a hard time not using my employee discount at Barnes & Noble. My nightstand/bookshelf is being taken over. And the pile just keeps growing.

I've also been trying to cook. I bought the Test Kitchen's Pasta Revolution, and I've already made two dishes. The ravioli tonight was DELISH!

Friday, August 16, 2013

On Hiking, Natural Beauty and Starved Rock...

James and the purple light
This past weekend James and I, along with a group of friends, made the trek to Starved Rock State Park to hike and enjoy the general splendor of nature. It was a nice change of scenery. We got to escape the flatland that Illinois and the Midwest are known for and hike up the bluffs at Starved Rock. It was really beautiful, and all that stunning greenery kept us shaded and cool during our exercise. And exercise it was. I think we ended up hiking eight miles total in four hours, with intermittent sprints when we were being chased by a very determined horse fly.

I'm really glad we got to go. It was nice seeing a little bit more of my new home state, and being around that much nature was really refreshing.

This Sunday: the beach near Navy Pier in Chicago!
Andrew hiking up the incline