3 Things From The Past Week | 18

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Yesterday I started reading a book that, at its core, is about female friendship. I haven’t gotten very far into it because I keep stopping and scribbling down notes in my journal. Friendship in your thirties is so different then when you’re younger. Some day I’ll find the right words to explain what I mean by that.

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I’m well aware of the fact that some days are just going to drain me. Some weeks, even. Like this week. I’m siting here absolutely blown away by the fact that the weekend has…

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3 Things From The Past Week | 17

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I’ve stopped being able to write in coffee shops. They used to be the only place in which I could focus. Home holds too many distractions, I said.

Now home is the only place in which I get anything done.

When you’re a new, aspiring writer you read all those blogs that tell you to designate a writing space that is completely yours. I never believed in that. I always thought a writer should be able to write anywhere.

I grew up in small houses. Cozy, I’d say. I love my house here in Vegas,…

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July Reading List

It’s been hot as heck here in Las Vegas this month. I mean, uncomfortably so. I don’t spend much time outside when the weather is like this, unless I’m in the pool. And if I’m in the pool, I want to be laying in our new margarita pool float with a book in my hand.

Most of what I read this month, though, I read inside where there is air conditioning and iced coffee never too far out of reach. My kid has even taken to picking up a book off my shelf, slid back onto the couch and open it. “I’m mama!” he says excitedly. I so approve.

What I read in July:

  • WE ARE NEVER MEETING IN REAL LIFE by Samantha Irby  – Some good, some bad. I haven’t read Samantha Irby’s writing until now and while this collection of essays started out making me laugh and smile it quickly fell flat. I found myself glossing over paragraphs at a time. It’s too bad, I had high hopes.
  • ALL GROWN UP by Jami AttenbergI’m not one of those people who sit high atop their married with children horses and tell everyone else that their life should look like mine—so with this in mind, I kept giving All Grown Up a chance. I get that Andrea’s life turned out differently than she liked. I get that she’s incredibly unhappy and terribly unfulfilled, but what really got me about this book was that she seemed to do absolutely nothing to change her situation. In fact, it seems that even though she was in therapy, she only really dealt with “life” by doing drugs and sleeping with men she knew for a millisecond. And that I just don’t get. This book was touted as being “wickedly funny”, which is a gross overstatement. I may have chuckled a time or two, but that does not a wickedly funny book make. All Grown Up was just a sad, disjointed sob story that fell flat.
  • CONVERSATIONS WITH FRIENDS by Sally Rooney – I had written a lovely review on this book, and then my website crashed and I lost it. What I do remember is that I loved this book. I loved the interesting, complicated relationship between these two friends. I couldn’t put this one down.
  • GOODBYE, VITAMIN by Rachel Khong – Before reading “Goodbye, Vitamin” I did something I don’t usually do—actually, something I downright refuse to do, which is look at the reviews of a book before I read it. You see, I want to open a book unbiased; I don’t want other people’s thoughts swarming around in my head before I’ve even given the book a chance. I logged on to Goodreads and read four or five reviews. Thankfully, they didn’t stop me from buying the book. Goodbye, Vitamin was written in small vignettes that made my heart beat faster. I was so pleasantly surprised.

In Progress

Here’s what I’m currently reading:


Coming Up

If you want keep up with what I read during the month, follow me on instagram @racheldelxo and @alovelettertobooks.

 

3 Things From The Past Week | 16

 

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I can’t quite remember how it came up, or why, but last night, after I put my son to bed, I said to Dom, “Look at the guys I comment on, they’re always older. Robert Downey Jr, Charles Esten, Kevin Richardson…” I turned to him, “I wonder what that says about me? Is it because I’m a total daddy’s girl?”

He said, unblinking, “I think it’s probably the opposite. It’s probably that you want someone to take care of you. Someone responsible. Someone older.”

I nodded, because that has always been the case.

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3 Things From The Past Week | 15

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I can’t remember exactly what it was my son was doing, but he was standing nearby, close enough that I could think, for what feels like the hundredth time, that he has such beautiful, long eyelashes. I looked at him and I thought, I can’t believe that I made you.

He’s four and I’m still in awe of this fact.

I had my phone in my hand because my father-in-law had just sent me a message. I opened up our thread and wrote him: “I still look at DJ and can’t believe I made him. Do you ever look at your kids and think that?”

He said, “They’re still the best things I’ve ever done with my life.”

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June Reading List

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

After reading as much as I did in May I had a feeling that June wouldn’t be as plentiful. And I was right. Instead of reading this month I spent time traveling for work and trying (and failing) to make progress on my Finding Lily novel re-write. Not feeling sorry for myself though, no–that would be silly. (Hello sarcasm!)

What I read in June:

  • THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO by Taylor Jenkins Reid (BOTM) – I quite literally don’t have the words to describe how much I adored this novel. Go pick up a copy for yourself if you haven’t already.
  • SOMEBODY ELSE’S SKY BY JESSICA HAWKINS – Like the first in the series I read this book quickly, devouring it. Knowing I have to wait until October to read the final installment in the trilogy is torture.
  • SLIP OF THE TONGUE BY JESSICA HAWKINS – Ok, so I’ve been reading a lot of her work lately. It’s just what happens when you fall in love with an author. Like all her other books that I’ve read, this one did not disappoint.

In Progress

Here’s what I’m currently reading:


Coming Up

If you want to keep up with what I read during the month, follow me on Instagram @racheldelxo and @alovelettertobooks.

3 Things From The Past Week | 14

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I’m coming to you this week from Kansas City, Missouri.

As I write this I’m fighting off tears. It’s Friday morning, I’m cold and I’m tired and more than anything I want to be back at home with my family.

My job thankfully doesn’t involve much travel. But when it does, I don’t like to be gone long. It doesn’t take more than a day away for me to miss my boys. To miss my bed. To miss home cooked meals and regular sleep patterns. Comfortable clothes and running shoes and a good cup of coffee.

I know the tears aren’t just about being away from home. I can blame it on that all I want but the truth is—and I’m finally admitting it—my writing isn’t going well. And I can’t recall a time I have ever struggled so hard. Every day, before I even sit down to write, I feel depleted. My heart is in it, but the rest of me isn’t. Even writing this, now, feels like a struggle.

So maybe I’ll let the tears come. As long as they heal me.

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3 Things From The Past Week | 13

Author Rachel Del is always on vacation
1. I read something incredible this week. It was called On Finding Love Again. (No, I’m not trying to tell you anything; it just caught my eye and I couldn’t stop reading). You know how sometimes, when you’re reading, you come across something so profound that you feel the need to underline it? That’s what happened to me. This is my version of underlining what stood out to me.

We are all desperate for love. Every single one of us.

It’s true, isn’t it? 

This is not “being a girl”. This is being a human.

Some of us are more honest with our desperation. Others of us have gotten good at hiding it and stuffing it. Some of us have learned the art of knowing and acknowledging our need for love and finding realistic ways to meet it, without manipulating or cajoling. We’ve learned how to be the love of our own lives, to ask clearly and directly for what we are wanting.

Others of us are constantly performing and manipulating or taking love by force (which is not actually love by the way) because we haven’t yet learned the art of sitting with our own need, with our own desire, the art of going without something we crave. But regardless of where we are in our journey, there is one thing that levels the playing field.

We all crave love. We just do. We are all desperate for it.

Every single one of us.

I sent the link to a friend of mine and out of the many, many words, those first two lines is what she immediately highlighted and sent back to me.

It doesn’t matter where we are in life; married, single, etc., we all need love. Because we are human.

2. Next week I’ll be away for a few days for work. For some reason, I have it in my head that I’m going to just take a carry on. On Thursday night after my kid had gone to bed I pulled out the carry on with the intention of doing a dry run with my clothes, etc to see if I was crazy. Dom took one look at my clothes and said “no way.” I’m not a competitive person at all, but that made me even more motivated to fit everything.

You should have seen his face when I showed him how I could make all my clothes fit in just half of the carry on.

I think I’ve got this one in the bag. Pun most definitely intended.

3. I discovered the most delicious coffee this week. It’s called Stone Street Coffee and it’s brewed in one of my favorite places–New York. I ordered the Tanzanian Peaberry blend and it’s all I could ever ask for in a coffee. And probably the best thing about it is how low in acidity it is. For someone who drinks as much coffee as I do, that’s important.

I almost didn’t order the coffee. It had been sitting in my amazon wishlist for weeks. I told a friend I was nervous to try something more expensive. If I liked it, would the more affordable coffee start to taste lackluster?

But I ordered it anyway, and I’m so happy I did.

Some Thoughts on “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo”

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo since I finished it five days ago. This is not abnormal. Not when it comes to novels by Taylor Jenkins Reid, who quickly became one of my favorite authors after reading One True Loves last year.

Reid has this extraordinary way of creating at once the most complex, infuriating, satisfying and likable characters I’ve ever had the honor of getting to know. The Seven Husbands is no exception to the rule. In fact, Reid took her skills to a whole other level.

“[The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo] is an unforgettable and sweeping novel about one classic film actress’s relentless rise to the top—the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.”

I can’t even begin to put into words how much I loved this book. It was beautiful and engaging and a little something like reading a gossip column, but in the best way. I can honestly say I’ve never read anything like it. Reid has outdone herself, continuing to show amazing growth as an author. I can’t even begin to guess where she’ll take us next, but I know I’ll be first in line to buy it.

And can we talk about the book cover for a moment? Everything about it is so beautiful, the colors so rich. It is so perfect.

Because I share so much of what I read online I often get asked the top five books that I would recommend. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo has definitely found itself a place on that list (speaking of which, would anyone actually like me to share my top five list?).

Anyway, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is out tomorrow, so you should think about grabbing yourself a copy.

 

3 Things from the past week | 12

This is 331. I turned 33 this week. I’ve been having a tough time with that number; what it means, what it doesn’t mean, what it’s leading towards and what it means I’ve left behind. I try not to be the type of person who looks back on their life, tortured by the things they cannot change. Instead, I want to look forward as much as possible—to what is ahead of me. To the wonderful things that will happen to me this year—at 33.

A work trip to a city, a state I’ve never seen before.

Two days spent by the water with my boys.

Finishing writing and re-releasing Finding Lily.

Bedtime stories.

Meals with friends and family.

Waking up beside the love of my life.

… and so many more things I can’t even begin to dream of.

So perhaps 33 won’t be so bad. Maybe it will turn out to be one of the best years of my life.

I certainly hope so.

2. An ex messaged me on my birthday. He was a wonderful boyfriend, but we were young. We thought we knew—but had no idea—who we really were. We’ve both, separately, made wonderful lives for ourselves. Still, it’s odd to look back now, knowing it’s been this long since we were together, knowing how I felt about him back then. It’s a startling reminder that love can fade, but that hurt can, too. I couldn’t imagine my life without him once. But look how well we’ve done. Apart. The way we were meant to be.

The truth is that it made me unbelievably happy to know he was thinking of me on my birthday, if only for the five seconds it look him to reach out.

3. There’s somewhere I’ve been wanting to go. A real destination, not some place in my head like I often go to. There, the trees are thick and plentiful. The water calls for me. Nothing but fresh air. Nothing but quiet.

We may go, finally. But it’s not for certain, and by saying the name out loud I feel like I may stop it from happening.  So I’ll keep it in my head and my heart, for now.