Friday, September 27, 2019

The Art of Flaneuring: How to Wander with Intention and Discover a Better Life, or, The One Making Walking Fun Again

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The Art of Flaneuring: How to Wander with Intention and Discover a Better Life

by Erika Owen

Pages: 192
Publisher: Tiller Press
Publication Date: October 22nd, 2019
Cover Comments: I LOVE this cover. The colors, the mixture of fonts, the wandering road, it's all lovely.
First Lines: 
"You know those feelings that often have a German word associated with them - words that you have not chance of pronouncing correctly?
               Goodreads δΈ¨ Amazon
A fun and practical guide to cultivating a more mindful and fulfilling everyday life by tapping into your inner flaneur—perfect for fans of Marie Kondo and The Little Book of Hygge.

Have you ever been walking home from work and unexpectedly took a different path just to learn more about your neighborhood? Or have you been on a vacation and walked around a new city just to take it all in? Then chances are, you’re a flaneur and you didn’t even know it! Originally used to describe well-to-do French men who would stroll city streets in the nineteenth century, flaneur has evolved to generally mean someone who wanders with intention. Even if you’ve already embraced being a flaneur, did you know that flaneuring has benefits beyond satisfying your craving for wanderlust?

In The Art of Flaneuring, discover the many ways flaneuring can spark creativity, support a more mindful mentality, and improve your overall well-being, including:

-How flaneuring your mundane daily routine can boost your mental health
-Why flaneuring isn’t just for jet-setters—you can flaneur anywhere!
-How to manage your stress at the office by doing fun flaneur-inspired activities
-How to use flaneuring to connect on a deeper level with your friends and partner
-And so much more!

With this practical and engaging guide, you can learn how to channel your inner flaneur and cultivate a more creative, fulfilling, and mindful everyday life.



"Flanuering" is a word I had encountered before and immediately loved. As the subtitle indicates, it's a sort of wandering without a set destination. I think we've all done this at one time or another - especially as children. Flaneuring reminds me of how I used to wander the woods behind my house for hours, just poking into things, and the magical feeling of "discovering" an old barn or neighbors I never knew were on the other side of the wood. It's one of those nostalgic feelings that I've always thought of recapturing.

The Art of Flaneuring is just the book I needed for that. It goes through a short history of the original French flaneurs, and then dives right into how one can incorporate flanuering into your daily routine. I thought the recommendations were great, and there was pretty much something for everyone. I did get the feeling that flanuering would work best in a large walkable city, like New York (where I think the author lives), and many recommendations assume a city like that a little. However, there really is something for everyone, including recommendations for people who can't walk.

I would highly recommend The Art of Flaneuring for anyone who gets that wanderlust feeling at home. This book seems styled in the tradition of The Little Book of Hygge or The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up - small, well-designed, and focusing on a small change that can make a big difference in day-to-day life.


*Thanks to Netgalley and the author for the chance to read The Art of Flanuering before its publication date.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Sky in the Deep, or, The One with Viking smooches


Sky in the Deep

by Adrienne Young

Pages: 340

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Publication Date: April 24th, 2018

Cover Comments: Great detail on this cover, with the axe and the braids in Eelyn's hair. That axe looks pretty puny though, tbh.

Synopsis: Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother's betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

Part Wonder Woman, part Vikings—and all heart.



“We find things, just as we lose things. If you’ve lost your honor, you’ll find it again.” 

I picked up Sky in the Deep after getting approved to read The Girl the Sea Gave Back on Netgalley, which I had not realized was a sequel/companion novel (oopsies). It was already on my list though, and I remember hearing tons about this book last year, around the time Tricia Levenseller's Warrior in the Wild was making waves too. Female warriors are a trend I can get behind. While I think Sky in the Deep has been a tad overhyped, I loved the rich story, layered characters, and general badassery to be found in this novel.

The yays and nays, in no particular order:


1) Vikings!

Although they aren't called Vikings per se, the worldbuilding of the Aska and Riki clans are very much Viking-esque. I like the vaguely nordic field to the landscape, with the fjord and mountains. Plus axes and braided hair! I don't really know anything about Vikings as it turns out!

2) Slow-build romance

I really liked the romance portrayed in Sky in the Deep, and appreciated that it wasn't completely obvious from the first meeting of the two love interests. It's born of learning about one another and considerable breaking down of pre-conceived notions.

3) Complicated family loyalties

As revealed in the book synopsis, Eelyn discovers (very early on) that her brother is alive after many years of thinking him dead. Not only that, he's been living with the Aska's sworn enemies, the Riki. After spending time with her brother and some of the Riki, Eelyn's feelings toward her brother and the enemy clan grow ever more complicated. It was interesting to see Eelyn work through all these emotions and change her way of thinking over the course of the book.


1) Pacing

I feel like I should have flown through this book, but I felt like I was slogging through the middle portion. Not that it wasn't good or didn't advance the plot, I just wasn't racing through like I would expect to with a book like this.

2) Enemy treatment

I'm not sure this is even a real negative, but I thought it was interesting how the book treats enemy clans. The Riki start out as a enemies, but Eelyn's brother complicates things there, which added an interesting dimension. However, another set of enemies that show up later in the book are portrayed as wholly evil with no dimension at all. It struck me as odd after fleshing out the Riki as much as Sky in the Deep did.

A great debut by Adrienne Young; while the middle portion can be slow to get through, the characters, setting, and romance all make it well worth a read.

4 stars


Monday, September 16, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Noms & Drinks

Top Ten Tuesdays is a bookish meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl! There's a prompt every week, and you respond with 10 things, or 2 or 5 or 15. Me being me, I will never not do exactly ten. *straightens laptop on table*

This week, the prompt is Favorite Things to Eat/Drink While Reading. Reading, eating, and drinking are most of my favorite things in one sentence so let's get started!

In no particular order:


This is a no-brainer, I think. There's nothing like a warm cup of coffee at home or a latte at the local coffee shop along with my book to make me feel like I'm on Gilmore Girls. Plus, it extends my reading stints!

Red Wine

Again with the comfy vibes - wine is great for when I went to unwind and relax with a nice chill book. I actively avoid wine if I anticipate a sad event happening in the book though, cause it sure does loosen up the tear ducts.


Popcorn is great for those times that you're so into a really intense book that you'd rather just pop some popcorn than bother with doing that whole "making sustenance" thing. And it's not a food that you have to look at to eat (tell me I'm not the only one whose stuck a fork into their cheek when too entranced in something to check).


While I generally prefer coffee over tea, it's nice to change it up sometimes, and tea gives the same cozy vibes as coffee, without the caffeine effects.

Hot Chocolate with marshmallows

I LOVE hot chocolate in the winter time, and it makes such a cozy scene with a book! I'm very into hygge if you couldn't tell. If you don't put marshmallows in your hot chocolate, don't even talk to me.


I view reading as a lovely luxury, and cupcakes fall into the same category. Maybe it's just my town, but there's almost always a bake shop near the bookstores in town. Coincidence? I think not.


Ideal reading food when slightly hungry - berries are delicious and easy to pop in your mouth between plot twists.


Especially anything in a straw or rope format. Beware of sugar crystals on your precious book pages though!!


Morning time reading is made better by a nice smoothie with (reusable or paper preferably) straw! 


Preferably while reading Harry Potter, but any book is acceptable.