The Labyrinth of the Spirits {Book Review}

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Looking for a gothic, spellbinding read topped with beautiful atmosphere? Look no further than The Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz ZafΓ³n! Warning: This book is long and heavy, but that totally adds to the gothic feel.

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5/5 stars – If you love gothic haunted stories, you’ll love this read! It is the last book in the enchanting series, The Cemetery of Forgotten Books.

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Sadie by Courtney Summers {Book Review}

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Sadie by Courtney Summers: 5/5

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β€œIt was a terrible thing, sure, but we live in a world that has no shortage of terrible things. You can’t stop for all of them.”

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Told though alternating voices, Sadie tells that story of a girl who is going after the killer of her younger sister after she had been found dead near a burning old schoolhouse. A radio show host, who specializes in forgotten towns in America, hears Sadie’s story after she has gone missing and devotes a podcast to document trying to trace her down.

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Courtney Summers has written a few other books, but this was my first time reading one, and I was stuck with this story. Because of the shifting points of view, learning new bits of information came at a great pace, so it’s extremely hard to put down! The main reason I liked Sadie was because all of the characters felt very real, and even the incredibly flawed ones were relatable. Sadie is such a formidable character that you are triumphantly rooting for the entire time. There is a lot of character development here, and a very honest look at family and betrayal.

You can see my rating, as well as other books that I’ve been reading recently, on my Goodreads!

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Toil & Trouble {15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft}

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I’ve been reading a lot of short stories collections lately, so when I saw this brand-new release, I could not stop myself from going to the store and buying it! These stories are perfect for this time of year, and with such a wide variety of witches from all different backgrounds. I’m obsessed with all of these authors now and the vibe that it gives me in this spooky month, and especially that cover.

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4.5/5 stars! Head on over to my Goodreads to see what else I’m reading.

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-Heather

The Nature of Memories | The First Day of Autumn

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You can feel it in the way the wind changes that Autumn is here, and with it brings a burst of memories from all stages of my life during this wonderful season.

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Flashes of things come back to me. Autumn things like blankets wrapped around me after coming home from school, the crunchy leaves under my shoes, the smell of cinnamon when my mom would bake apple crisp. And the scents? Those were my favorite parts of all! Apple and pumpkin and nutmeg! The colors and smells eventually swirl into comforting memories that fuel my inspiration further.

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Having more leaves appear under the trees each morning is evidence that the most beautiful time of year is here. I often feel a rushing urgency to enjoy it as much as possible before it slips away from me, as it does time and time again.

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Be soft. I tell myself this, a reminder that enjoying each whistle through the trees only takes a moment of mindfulness. The taste of a pumpkin donut on the first day of Autumn. Moments that I intend to collect, to bring out next year like a box of trinkets, treasuring endlessly.

Blouse – TJMaxx

Skirt – Target

Tights – Target

Shoes – Primark

β€œI look at the stars and at all nature, and it speaks to me of you in the clearest accents.”

β€” Mary Shelley, from a diary entry wr. c. October 1822 featured in β€œJournals,”

 

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A Skulk of Foxes

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“When I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit at the top of the dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds, until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost unbearable sounds of the roses singing.” — Mary Oliver

Autumn is my favorite season, the season that I fall in love with. Foxes are my favorite animals. I realized that perhaps because of their coloring, I had always associated them with the fall. I decided to do some research on what foxes do come Autumn, which is a lot of eating berries and exploring the forest floor. This is what I like to imagine little foxes doing, if they were able to do some of the Autumn activities that we like to do (in the style of Over the Garden Wall or Fantastic Mr. Fox)

{August}

Traveling under covered bridges on their way home from a day in town. They kick up their little boots as the first leaves fall. Looking up, they see a great big oak tree that is starting to change colors, the shade from it engulfing them and making them shiver. The cold makes them so much happier when they get home and make up a fire to sit beside. They close all the windows in their little fox den so they can stay warm and snuggly inside. They look through the windows up through the trees and as the sun goes down, the mist rolls in.

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{September}

Their little paws getting sticky while they eat their apple pecan fritters. After having a sugar high, they roll around in the rustling leaves. All of the trees are now golden, and on either side of the street, the colors fall softly to the ground.

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{October}

On their way to the pumpkin patch, the little foxes clutch their favorite books to their chests. In a moment of surprise, there is a rainstorm, and they dash around trying to find a dry place for their books. When it finally clears, the light through the trees has a magical glow, and they spend some time looking up from the forest floor happily. They remind themselves next time to bring hats on their journey. Later when they drink their coffee, they recall the spooky sounds of the forest, and they tell ghost stories until they fall asleep.

This was just me geeking out over fall, so I might do a few drawings of these little foxes sometime. Happy writing!

-Heather

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Early Autumn Haul {2018}

Early Autumn Haul {2018}

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After much shopping on my week off of work, I shopped a lot. Which was good, because now I have more than two pairs of pants to wear to work! But during Labor Day Weekend, there were more sales, and I ended up shopping some more. Here are the results of that.

One place to check for sale things is Free People. When I can, I try to pop in and find gorgeous pieces without paying the full price. I found this lovely navy knit shirt that is the perfect transitional piece.

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These prints. We saw them everywhere. I am obsessed. My favorites are the grey plaid (with more of a warm tone) and gingham print. I also saw houndstooth absolutely everywhere, but some restrictions had to be made.

Plaid pants are at every major store! I bought these at H&M and was so happy to find so many options. Since they are all made of different materials and have different fits, it was nice to try a lot of them on to make my decision. H&M is a my go-to fast fashion store because they are working so much harder than other stores to use sustainable or recycled materials. If you bring clothing that you wish to recycle, you get %15 off your next purchase!

The gingham print pajamas are from Forever 21. I love these because they are nice and light, so for late summer nights into Autumn, they are still cool. But the black and white pattern is trendy for fall, so I’m excited to wear them into colder weather, along with big fuzzy socks and a sweater.

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And yes, if you are so inclined, you could wear your pajamas out for a stroll in the woods. (Something that I think Beatrix Potter would do)

And…I’ll probably not be shopping for a long while now!

-Heather

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The Seas by Samantha Hunt

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I’m reading a few books at once right now, but this one stopped me in my tracks! Let me know in the comments below if you also have the problem of reading too many things at one time.

THE SUMMARY:Β The narrator of The Seas lives in a tiny, remote, alcoholic, cruel seaside town. An occasional chambermaid, granddaughter to a typesetter, and daughter to a dead man, awkward and brave, wayward and willful, she is in love (unrequited) with an Iraq War veteran thirteen years her senior. She is convinced that she is a mermaid. What she does to ease the pain of growing up lands her in prison. What she does to get out is the stuff of legend. In the words of writer Michelle Tea, The Seas is “creepy and poetic, subversive and strangely funny, [and] a phenomenal piece of literature.

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When you strip away a lot of the details about this story, this is a tale of loneliness. Our narrator finds it difficult to connect to the few people that live close to her. The only person close to her is Jude, the man she is in love with, and while she does everything with him, she is not in a romantic relationship with him. This is agonizing for her, and most of the details of her life feel like her wanting, wanting, wanting. She wants to believe she is a mermaid because she does not connect with our world. While she does and says many strange things, I was struck not only by her quirkiness, but by her brutal honesty for how isolated she feels.

Her thoughts are rich and clear, even when they are dripping with hyperbole, which I found amazingly refreshing.

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One of my favorite parts of this book was funny enough, but stayed with me as a perfect example of the tone of sadness in the story. Our narrator is listening to her own heartbeat with a stethoscope in the bathroom. She sees mold above the shower and holds the stethoscope up to it, saying that she hears the mold say, “We never would have left the ocean had we known what a horrible place this is.” And the narrator says, “Me too.”

So anyway, 5 stars for this book, but seriously, I would give it 5 million stars if possible on Goodreads. Check out my account here. Has anyone else read this book that would like to share their experience? And have you found anything else like it that I could pick up next? Tell me everything.

-Heather

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