Isolation – doesn’t that world have such a negative connotation? Isolation implies segregation, it means being alone and feeling lonely. Nobody wants that.
But, I’m a firm believer in the power of perspective. The idea that happiness is a choice and that a positive outlook changes everything. What if we looked at this period of self isolation not as a sacrifice, but as an opportunity? I’ve been in “stand down” from my job for a month but I took this time as a chance to re-set my batteries and you know what? I actually thrived in this mindset. So, let’s share some good news as I walk you through my new normal and April in isolation.
My life is basically scheduled down to the last minute. When I’m not at work, I’m blogging – I’m writing, responding to comments and stalking your blogs. I also live independently. That means I’ve got to keep my house clean, make time to shop for groceries and to cook my meals [I can’t just live off microwave meals or take-out]. Clearly, I don’t get a lot of spare time so to have an entire month with no obligations was such a blessing. So what did I get up to?
Well, for starters, I’ve been writing pretty much every single day which has kept me grounded and some-what productive during isolation. Would you believe, I’ve actually done some of my best writing in this routine? In said spark of creativity, I posted a list; 101 Things To Do In Isolation and was actually working through the list myself. [Fun fact: the list was actually born out of the fact that I was trying to come up with a lot of activities to keep busy].
Some of the things I checked off was re-reading the Twilight Saga [and bingeing the movies], I also spent a lot of my time on self care – setting aside time to relax in a bath with a face mask and a glass of wine. I’ve built a lot of playlists too and discovered a lot of new indie bands, having had the time to really comb through Spotify. It also felt good to get to those odd jobs around the house. I got out into my garden, I cleaned up my study [which I’ve now converted into a seriously cool rec room] and gave the house a good scrubbing.
My favorite memory was having social-distance-approved dinner parties via FaceTime with my parents. Long distance and self isolation didn’t stop us from cooking together. We did brunch with pancakes but my favorite was making BBQ marinated pork ribs with mac n’ cheese and vodka cocktails. Having a good ol’ fashioned family dinner is always the way to go.
And you know what? Now that I’m
sadly going back to work, not only do I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot, I feel organised and refreshed – ready to take on the world. But that doesn’t mean there were hard days – because there were. There are always going to be hard days. You’ve just got to trust in your strength, lean on your family and push through.
Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie | ★★★★☆ | Welcome to yet another deliciously morbid world of macabre bone magic and forbidden romance. Inspired by French folklore and the legends of les Dames Blanch, Bone Crier’s Moon is an action packed fantasy adventure brimming with ghostly apparitions and siren-like women.
To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo| ★★★★☆ | The Little Mermaid meets sweeping, high-stakes pirate adventuring in To Kill a Kingdom. It’s a deliciously dark, twisty AF retelling of epic proportions with a classic anti-heroine you just can’t help but root for.
Briar Rose by Jana Oliver |★★★★☆ | Briar Rose is a sexy, dark retelling of Sleeping Beauty with an antebellum twist. Brimming with metallic beasts, monstrous tyrants, fairy-like creatures and a magical curse. And okay, the characters lack depth and the dialogue is iffy but, for what it’s worth, Briar Rose is an engaging adventure – the perfect book to binge during self isolation.
All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace |★★★★½| All the Stars and Teeth has everything you’d want in a riveting, swashbuckler adventure. Boasting an incredible cast of characters, the stakes are high AF and the pacing full throttle as we’re swept up in the shifting politics of a watery world. Basically, the pirate book of my dreams.
These Broken Stars by Aime Kaufman & Meagan Spooner |★★★★½| What happens if you mix Titanic with Man vs. Wild and set it in space? You get These Broken Stars, a timeless love story about hope and survival against all odds. It’s a high-stakes survival adventure with a science fiction twist – a vivid and immersive reading experience
Twilight by Stephenie Meyre |★★★★★| After all this time, Twilight is still my favorite book ever. I could live perpetually folded between the pages of Forks forever – haters can hate all they want. A vivid literary world brimming with authentic characters and almost pliable emotions, re-reading Twilight is nostalgic, comforting and all-consuming.
New Moon by Stephenie Meyre |★★★★½| New Moon was my least favorite of the series – mainly because Edward is so absent from the narrative. Upon reflection, I’ve realized that I have to appreciate the sheer emotion of it all. New Moon is such a deeply poignant book but post-werewolf Jacob is still the worst.
Eclipse by Stephenie Meyre |★★★★☆| Okay, scratch that – I’ve now decided that Eclipse is my least favorite of the saga. Nothing really happens. For the most part, Eclipse’s plot is driven by emotion and Bella’s choices. That being said, Edward and Jacob’s testosterone-fueled fighting is still the best darn thing I’ve ever read. And the proposal!!!
Getting back to the daily grind is going to be complicated. Australia is still very much living in lock-down. There’s going to be new procedures to follow and social distancing guidelines to practice. It’s going to be an adjustment so I really want to take the pressure off reading this month. Let’s face it – I thrive when I’m not trying to stick to a TBR.
First up, I’ll be closing my return to Forks, Washington with Breaking Dawn. I’m actually going to be so sad to finish this series. Again. I’ve realized that these books will always hold a special place in my heart. Twilight is so comforting, so all-consuming – these books really got me through this unprecedented time. Then at some point, I should probably finish Little Women because I didn’t this month. Whoops.
I’m also excited about the return of YA vampires with Crave and for some reason I’ve felt the urge to read the Mortal Instruments??? I guess we’ll have to see how we go. No promises here.
I hope isolation treated you all well and that you’re coping in your new normal too. Have an amazing reading month and I can’t wait to chat with you in the comments. Happy reading!