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  • Giftz by Karen

A Book, A Coffee, A Good Day!

Updated: Oct 24, 2021

Super excited this week. Karen is my guest author. I love Karen's writing. She has always been so positive and inspirational. Even back when we actually wrote letters back and forth to each other, her words were always so encouraging and creatively put together. It continues in her blog posts. BTW she is also the artist and photographer on this post.

Hope you enjoy her post.

I usually always have 3-5 books on the go at once and a stack in a couple of rooms so I can pick up a book and read in my "pockets of time" wherever I am in the house! I seem to be fairly random with my reading in 4 categories - fiction, biography, travel and inspiration/self-help. I also get easily distracted by “shiny things” like a book that catches my eye and I just have to start reading it, therefore the reason for diving into multiple books at once!

This is the stack that I have lined up for the start of 2021. There are 3 fiction, 2 inspiration, 2 biography, 1 self-help and 1 travel; a nice mix! I have been on a "rereading" kick lately, so the top 3 on the stack are books I have read before. Here’s why I’m drawn to each of these books!

1. Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult. I love the emphasis on the importance of mother-daughter relationships in parallel with learning about how amazing memories and family are to elephants! I am reading this together with my Mother across the continent which helps to bring us a little closer. My good friend and fellow blogger MJ is also reading this with her Mother across the globe! And, I have read all of Jodi's books and met her!

2. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. This is an enchanting fairy-tale with beautiful winter descriptions of the Alaskan wilderness and wildlife! I like to reread this every winter.

3. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. A fantastic, whimsical book to support and encourage creative living. It contains my favorite quote on creativity, “Most things have already been done, but they have not yet been done by YOU!

4. The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben. For a nature lover, this is a very interesting perspective that showcases trees as living entities that are able to communicate with each other, defend themselves and feel!

5. Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle by The Countess of Carnarvon. A wonderful journey back in time to an amazing young lady that married the 5th Earl of Carnarvon (they only met in social situations about 6 times before getting married and he was present at and funded the excavation of Tutankhamun's tomb!). This time period parallels the series Downton Abbey!

6. Dare to Lead by Brene Brown. I have read all of Brene’s books except this one. They inspire confidence and give you the tools to get back up after a setback! My favorite book of all-time that I continually re-read is Brene’s The Gifts of Imperfection!

7. Not in a Tuscan Villa by John Petralia. A retired couple moves to Italy and through all the ups and downs, discover what’s important in life. I love books about folks who step out of their comfort zone to try living in another country or give up all their belongings to travel around the world for a year. Lots to learn during travel; it’s an education unto itself!

8. No Time Like the Future by Michael J. Fox. As a fellow Canadian, I admire his resilience and humor through a difficult health journey. This gift from my brother will be treasured!

9. The World of All Souls by Deborah Harkness. This will be a fun, detailed dive into the world of A Discovery of Witches book trilogy (and also a TV series – season 2 released on Jan. 8!) I have read the trilogy and the prequel, Time’s Convert – a very enjoyable journey into a world of witches, daemons and vampires which I didn’t know I had an interest in, but it’s a fun series!

One of my New Year's wishes is to replace endlessly scrolling through social media with reading books, watercolor painting or nature journaling!

I would love to hear in the comments what you are reading or if you have read any of my book picks!

Here’s a reading challenge and book list to check out on my good friend and fellow blogger’s latest blog post, A Random Walk with MJ!

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Karen Houlding
Karen Houlding
Jan 11, 2021

Thank you for the kind introduction! I am thrilled to be a guest!

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