What a week! We began with Teacher Appreciation Day and will end with Mother’s Day. Such reasons to celebrate! I’m turning the morning alarm off and enjoying an indulgent breakfast this weekend and hope you’ll find a way to celebrate, too!

What I’m Reading:

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender was a delightfully unexpected read. Not typically a fan of fantasy or the supernatural, I wholeheartedly dove into this book because of the premise behind it: Nine year old Rose suddenly becomes privy to the inner feelings of those around her through the food they prepare and offer to others. In an instant, she can feel her mother’s sadness and need for more and ultimately ends up discovering secrets about those she thought she knew the most. It stopped me in my tracks to think how others might feel knowing my inner thoughts and feelings that are rarely shared or hidden…..and how that might indicate a need for change. This was an incredibly powerful book.

Next up is a book I will reread over and over and over again: The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George. Jean Perdu, a lonely, heartbroken bookseller tends to the souls of others through his Literary Apothecary. Needing soothing himself, he heads to South France, finding friendship and making revelations along the way that point to the next phase of his journey. Caught between love and loss, mourning and loving, this book gives you all the feels and might even stir dreams dormant in your heart, too. Just as Jean feels that the author of Southern Lights wrote the book especially for him, I believe Nina George wrote this book especially for me. What a gift.

What I’m Writing:

Last week, the Literary Hub celebrated Annie Dillard’s 76th birthday by sharing some of her best writing advice to others. There are MANY golden nuggets here for you to ponder, but the one that struck me most (and sent me straight to my notebook) was this:

Write as if you were dying. What would you begin writing if you knew you would die soon?

While not a very positive writing prompt, it is a very provocative one. What would you leave on the page and what legacy would you leave behind? I can’t get this idea of my head this week.

What I’m Learning:

While I have been a reader for my entire life, it is only in the past few years that I’ve actually decided to keep careful track of my reading life over time. I write down titles in my notebook, write reviews on Goodreads and even track my titles with Google Sheets and Forms. Really =) And here’s why: I fall in love with the books I can read, but often forget the title later on when I want to recommend them to others. If this sounds familiar to you, too, then you might like this post from The NY Public Library on how to find a forgotten book title.

I’m learning something else: I’m not always a good listener. At work, certainly. At home? Maybe. So I really enjoyed reading this Manifesto of Listening and am going to work hard to make it my own.

One last thing: Do you know that the word ‘silent’ is just a rearranged version of ‘listen’? Mind blown. What other words have this very clever relationship? Send them my way. I have a new page in my notebook just for them!

What I’m Loving:

I found a new chocolate shop where the cacao has been carefully sourced via direct trade from small hard working equatorial family farms around the world: Naked Chocolate. Oh, these look DELICIOUS.

Look at these mimosa sugar cube sets! Monday’s Day is almost here and this is the perfect way to celebrate. Simply drop a cube into your champagne glass and watch it turn into a mimosa or Bellini cocktail!

There you have it! I hope this inspires you to make space for more reading and writing in your own life. What are the highlights from your literate life this week?
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