World-Wide House Arrest

end of world

This is going to be slightly different today. As in it doesn’t have a lot to do about books, but rather an update about how things are going during our Covid-19 isolation time. If you are wondering how my life has changed… it hasn’t.

When I moved back to Canada I struggled to find a job and could only get seasonal work. That position ended in February and, by then, my Mum found out that her surgery was scheduled for a little later in the month. Since she would need someone to stay with her (help around the house, ensure she takes her meds, keep an eye out for complications, etc) she asked me to not get a new job yet.

Just as I started looking for work again, the corona virus became a huge thing and companies were laying people off as the government asked us to self-isolate. I had already been pretty much house-bound for over a month by then: I would wake up, have breakfast, and read a little until my mom got up, get food for her, exercise, shower, then start lunch. I’d spend the afternoon with her until Dad came home from work. He and/or I would make supper, I’d do the dishes, and then finally escape to my room to read a bit more.

However, last week I somehow caught a cold. It was either from dad bringing germs home from work or my quick zip to the library to pick up some new movies for Mum to watch. Either way, this meant I was essentially banned to just my room because Mum cannot get sick right now as she isn’t even supposed to sneeze. This is what I found to be much more difficult as I wasn’t able to exercise or even get my own food so I didn’t spread my cold germs around the rest of the house —particularly as Mum has been camped out on the living room couch for her convalescence.

You would think I’d have spent this time chilling in my room with a book… but that didn’t happen. Not one single novel interested me and I was too fidgety to hold still long enough to read more than a page or two at a time. I actually ended up binging Marvel movies and Mr Kate’s decorating show (as well as Alexandra Gater, Hermione Chantal, The Sorry Girls, etc) crocheting while I watched. This means I have only managed to finish a couple of books in all of March, rather than per week. I definitely did not hit my minimum of five TBR books per month, that’s for certain.

Mum’s post-op doctor appointment was a bit worrisome. Not because we were concerned about her recuperation, but because it took place in Kingston where they were also doing coronavirus testing. She was terrified of touching anything, but doors and washrooms were a necessity. Despite the fact the doctor took precautions and only one person was in his waiting room at a time, Mum is now not feeling the best. She could have caught my cold, she could be having a reaction to all the cleaners being used here and at the doctor’s office, or she could have caught some bug from the hospital. We don’t know yet, but now we have to keep an even closer eye on her.

As I am feeling a bit better I am hoping to do a little redecorating in my room, and even convinced my dad to build me a floating shelf or two (hopefully there is some scrap wood in the garage somewhere). Once mum is also feeling better I plan to haul up some boxes from basement storage that I had not realized were mine when I was doing my KonMari declutter. I hope to see if something would be useful for my room and also what I can donate to a charity shop once normal life has resumed.

I know a lot of people are struggling right now. Those who have been laid off work, those who still have to work, those who are worried, and those who are beyond bored at home. Because my mind has been going a mile-a-minute I try find ways to keep myself engaged in the moment. If I start to feel anxious or bored (not wanting to read or have no idea what movie to watch next, etc) I tidy my room. It may seem a little weird, but I have found that once my things are organized I can usually settle into an activity of some sort.

How are you doing? What have you been doing since all this has happened? How has your town/country reacted to this pandemic?

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Book Review: Well Met by Jen DeLuca

wellmetSYNOPSIS: When her older sister was in a car accident, Emily relocated to help April recover and to watch over Caitlin. When she found out the only way her niece could participate in the local Renaissance Faire is with parental supervision, Emily had no choice but to volunteer alongside the teen. The person running the fundraising event is Simon, a man who always seems to find ways to irritate Emily yet looks swoon-worthy in his leather pirate pants. Though Emily is only supposed be in Willow Creek until the end of summer, she can’t help but wish her stay a little more permanent…

AUTHOR: Jen DeLuca previously worked as a wardrobe master in theatre, but now works as a paralegal who writes in her spare time. Her home in Florida is filled with rescued pets that shed everywhere.  This is her debut novel.

COVER: The artwork is cute, but I found it a little lacking. The background is a plain green with a male and female surrounded with white “faire-ish” images. Personally, I would have liked to see a bit of a Ren Faire scene drawn in the background rather than those floating doodles. Continue reading “Book Review: Well Met by Jen DeLuca”

Book Review: Love at First Like by Hannah Orenstein

love-at-first-like-9781982121464_hrSYNOPSIS: Eliza Roth co-owns a jewellery shop with her sister, Sophie, that is struggling to stay open thanks to the rent going up for their store location. So, when Eliza accidentally posts a photo to Instagram that makes their followers believe she is engaged, Eliza decides to go with it and turn the situation into a way to increase their sales. Before long, venues and companies are offering their services for the wedding in exchange for cross-promotion, and now all Eliza has to do is find a groom…

AUTHOR: Hannah Orenstein lives in Brooklyn. She has written for a variety of newspapers, magazines, and websites before trying her hand at novels. At one time she even used to be the youngest matchmaker at a top dating service.

COVER: This was a cover buy for me as that is what captured my attention. It is a very simple image of a hand holding a mobile phone on a plain green background. On the phone is a photo of a girl’s back with her left hand reaching behind her to hold a man’s hand… she is also wearing a diamond ring. This plays into pop culture on a variety of levels – millennials taking photos of everything, the current craze of cartoonish illustrations, and also the fame of a photographer who took “follow me” pictures of his girlfriend like this around the world. Continue reading “Book Review: Love at First Like by Hannah Orenstein”

Book Review: Would Like To Meet by Rachel Winters

wojld like to meeSYNOPSIS: If Evie has any hope of ever becoming an agent at the film agency she works for, she has to get Award-Winning Ezra Chester to turn in the script for a romcom within the next three months. Because he is uninspired, Evie commits to recreating various “meet-cute” scenes to see can find the love of her life and thus get Ezra writing again. However, many of these scenes end in disaster with Ben and his daughter as witnesses. Will Evie get her dream job… and dream man?

COVER: One of my favourite things about the cover of this book is the feel of it. It seems weird to pet books, but this has that velvety finish a fair few trade paperbacks are getting now. The artwork is drawn (is there a term for those not-quite cartoon cover images?) and depicting a couple about to have a meet-cute moment over spilled coffee. It is eye-catching and simple, yet clearly indicates what to expect from the story. Continue reading “Book Review: Would Like To Meet by Rachel Winters”

Teaser Tuesday (WLtM)

TeaserTuesday

Would Like To Meet by Rebecca Winters

A good meet-cute shows us it’s possible for a single moment
to change
everything for the better.

You can keep all the flowers and the heart-shaped boxes of chocolates.
When a man comes over to unblock your toilet, that’s romance.

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Tidying Up My Life: book declutter

Screen Shot 2020-01-11 at 8.06.57 PMIf you have been reading my blog since autumn, you will already know I have been on a decluttering journey. I returned to Canada after living abroad with the knowledge of needing to sort through my belongings (we’re talking twenty-five years worth of stuff). I have been reading a number of tidying books and watching decluttering shows, trying out various aspects of their advice. For me the KonMari method has been working the best, though I had to make small alterations to best suit my needs. The most obvious of this was saving the decluttering of my books until the very end. Continue reading “Tidying Up My Life: book declutter”

Book Review: Blind Date Diaries by Brenda St John Brown

blind date diariesSYNOPSIS: Dating? Lower than a bikini wax on my list of priorities. Blind dating? Let’s just say I’d rather have a Brazilian – and not the hot soccer-player variety. So the fact I’ve agreed to do a blind-date feature for Pink, the magazine I work for, and write it all up Bridget Jones style means one thing – Pink is in dire straits and this is my best shot at saving my job. Make that my only shot because date number one is with Jack Reese – the son of the publisher of Pink – and he dislikes me as much as I dislike him. Or at least I thought he did. (book blurb)

COVER: I have been told the author had three requests for the cover image – that the girl is curvy, the guy look similar to a particular actor, and the background should be pink. At first, I thought perhaps the author just likes the colour, and even considered it might be part of the millennium pink craze, but then decided it suited because the magazine the FMC works for is called Pink (which actually kind of brings us back to why pink?). Considering I have an ARC copy that is without a proper cover, I cannot actually give further detail than that.

WRITING STYLE: While I do enjoy the author’s writing I was a little surprised to turn to the second page and already have a sex scene. For the storyline it makes sense, but I generally like to get to know the characters a little better before following them into the bedroom… or in this case, on the kitchen counter. Continue reading “Book Review: Blind Date Diaries by Brenda St John Brown”