The Four Tendencies

“It’s been freeing to focus on what works for me rather than what’s wrong with me.” In May I wrote a blog post about Better Than Before, Gretchen Rubin’s very practical guide to habit change. That book overflows with helpful ideas, and one of them is recognizing our natural response to expectations. According to her…

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

“It is sometimes easier to be happy if you don’t know everything.” Reading this book changed me, and changed my life forever. It’s become a favourite in a way not many other books could; I love the main character, Precious Ramotswe. She seems so real to me that I’d have to remind myself (were I…

Happiness the Mindful Way

“Mindfulness refers to keeping one’s consciousness alive to the present reality.”   -Thicht Nhat Hanh Happiness The Mindful Way… I’ve had this book for a few years now; it was published in 2015. It’s definitely the most useful resource I’ve seen for understanding this powerful idea in bite-sized portions. This is the kind of book that…

My Life In France

“I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate.”  ― Julia Child  She’s so funny! Julia Child wrote this book about the three things she was most in love with; her husband (Paul), France, and cooking; she had the time of her life when she and Paul moved together- in 1948-…

The Mysterious Affair At Styles

“Every murderer is probably somebody’s old friend.” This is the book that began it all… Agatha Christie’s first ever published novel! She wrote it during World War 1, and after being turned down (hard to believe!) by more than one publisher, it finally made its way into bookstores early in 1921. Since then, Agatha Christie…

The Zookeeper’s Wife

“I don’t understand all the fuss. If any creature is in danger, you save it, human or animal.”  This is the only book of Diane Ackerman’s that I’ve ever read, and I’ll readily admit I only even heard of it because of the movie of the same title. I’m so glad she wrote this, so…

The Summer Before The War

“War does have a way of interfering with one’s most closely held desires.” This yummy novel is part love story, part ode to the English summer of 1914, and partly a gentle feminist manifesto. Beatrice Nash is a very clever, well read, highly educated woman; more so than is deemed quite proper, really. She’s coming…

Haiku

I’m an avid Happier podcast listener! Sometimes it’s practical and helpful, other times merely interesting, but always funny. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a weekly conversation between two sisters; one who lives in New York city and writes books about human nature and happiness, and the other who lives in Los Angeles and…

Footsteps in the Dark

“It was growing late, and though one might stand on the brink of a deep chasm of disaster, one was still obliged to dress for dinner.” ~ Georgette Heyer Delicious. This really hit the spot. Interwar England is one of my favourite settings to read in, and Georgette Heyer is one of my favourite reasons…

Pemberley Shades

“Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted?” Ooh. Aah. This is a vintage sequel, the second Pride and Prejudice spin-off ever published… It came out in 1949! (Incidentally, the first ever sequel to Pride and Prejudice, the most famous- of Jane Austen‘s novels, was published in 1915, entitled Old Friends and New Fancies.)…