What We Were Into: July 2017 Edition

Today’s post by Marybeth Whalen and Ariel Lawhon | @MarybethWhalen and @ArielLawhon

Besides trying to 1) stay cool and 2) actually enjoy our children instead of fussing at them every time they ransacked the kitchen (I mean really, they’re like a swarm of locusts) we were obsessed with several things in July.

First and foremost we’ve been way into our event that is coming up September 17th in New Orleans.

#ReadNOLA is daylong reader’s getaway including a moveable feast luncheon, afternoon panels, and a keynote conversation between Christina Baker Kline AND Joshilyn Jackson. The good news? Registration is now officially open! Tickets are $55 and cover all activities (including lunch) from 12:00 – 6:00. Click here to purchase your tickets and to see other confirmed authors.

We were also both into this purse. The friends that buy purses together stay best friends forever. Isn’t that how the saying goes? Marybeth got it in the cognac and Ariel got it in the olive. If (when?? yes??) you see us at #ReadNOLA please compliment us on our taste in purses! And if you are nosy (we prefer calling it curious) like us, you can check out this video, which started it all. What is it about women that we really do want to see what’s in each other’s bags?

We also did do some stuff on our own (because obviously, we live 400 miles apart). Here are a few things we’ve enjoyed over the last few weeks. We’re not being paid to promote any of them. We just thought you might like them too.

Marybeth was into:

The podcast Up and Vanished. This podcast is not only riveting, it is one where, through their investigative efforts, they actually solve a cold case that is 11 years old. Since the novel I’m working on is about a missing person, I counted the hours and hours of bingeing as research, and didn’t feel bad about neglecting my life to listen one single bit. (Not much, anyway.)

I’ve also listened to a few episodes of– and really enjoyed– the podcast Book Tour With John Grisham. He comes across as genuine, self deprecating, and funny– all while being a mega-bestselling author. And he’s had some great guests with him. If you’re a writer, or a reader, which if you’re here we’re betting you are this is worth the listen. Especially if you, like me, ever find yourself in the kitchen cooking a bunch of meals to freeze in preparation for your family vacation. (Work alllll day so you can take time off from cooking. This is my approach to vacation. Surely someone else follows that logic, right?)

The Stars Are Fire by Anita Shreve was the best book I read this month. The other ones I read were… ok. So I won’t mention them here. But this one had me rooting and cheering for the main character until the last sentence. And oh, what a last sentence it was!

The Zookeeper’s Wife was the best movie I watched this month. I loved this heroic story of people who put their lives at risk to save others. And the fact that it’s based on a true story only makes it better and more inspiring! It really got me thinking? Would I be that brave? Would I love others enough to put my life– and the lives of my family– on the line?

My husband and I are also continuing with the third season of Grantchester. If you love British dramas, this show– which I would call a cozy mystery in film form– is so, so good.

Ariel was into:

This mattress topper. My husband and I bought a new memory foam mattress about a year ago. It was really nice and really expensive but it was also really firm. Like sleeping on the sidewalk firm. Bizarre for memory foam to tell the truth. But all the reviews said it softened up over time. So we gave it time. Then more time. And then a bit more. When I finally complained that sleeping in the bathtub would be more comfortable so my husband bought this topper (on a recommendation from a friend–which is always the best kind of recommendation). I can’t even explain how much we love it. We’ve gone to bed an hour early every night since it arrived. We don’t toss and turn. We don’t wake up in the middle of the night. Heck, I don’t even think we roll over anymore. Hello eight-plus hours of sleep every night!

RoC Skincare Products. I am notorious for buying cheap face lotion and then regretting it. Do that often enough and it’s not cheap anymore. So, on a recent pass through the drugstore, I upgraded to RoC night cream on a whim. It was less than $20 and much to my surprise, it worked. So I bought the day cream. Then the eye cream. Then the serum. The products work even better together and I love them. Yes, I know I sound like a commercial. But I’ve never actually used anything on my face that does get rid of fine lines and wrinkles before. I’m just…stunned.

My first Stephen King novel in twenty-two years. I finally bought a hardcover copy of 11/22/63 and now I remember why I spent five years in my teens reading everything of his I could get my hands on. The man is a genius. He’s the master. All hail the King!

About Marybeth Whalen

Marybeth Whalen is the co-founder of She Reads, mother of six, and life-long reader. She is also the author of two novels with a third out in July: The Mailbox, She Makes It Look Easy, and The Guest Book.

One Response to What We Were Into: July 2017 Edition

  1. Susan Cushman August 10, 2017 at 10:17 pm #

    I just read A Piece of the World and The Almost Sisters, which are both amazing books. This will be a terrific event. I’ve known Joshilyn Jackson for ten years… she encouraged me to (1) start my blog, which I did in 2007, and (2) finish my novel, CHERRY BOMB, which was just published a couple of weeks ago. Such inspirational women! CHEERS!

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