Gratefulness and Love and Favorite Things

It’s been documented, if not at least well-touted on the internet, that expressing thankfulness - even for the smallest or most mundane thing - has an emotional benefit and boosts a person’s experience of life. For a while I made an effort to keep a list, in the vein of Ann Vokamp’s One Thousand Gifts. I liked the experience of being thankful for small things, for mundane things, even for mildly absurd things, and although I no longer keep a physical list I still like to share some of the things that I notice and for which I am grateful.

  • The ability to copy and paste a Microsoft Office file into Outlook. Just ctrl+c and ctrl+v to share information.

  • The One-Pound bag of pretzels from Aldi.

  • My new house!

  • Figuring out that I should rake the dead grass out of my mowed lawn. I don’t love the work, but I love the clean yard that is left behind.

  • Drinking cold water from a blue mason jar.

  • Central air-conditioning and being able to sleep at night.

  • Tombow drawing pencils.

  • Friendships that are long-lasting and beautiful. I have felt a great deal fo joy over several sweet moments lately.

  • Raspberry sauce on Lemon bars from The Smitten Kitchen.

  • This wall in my house.

  • The Goose. And The Chicken.


Should I De-Bone the Anchovies? And Other Questions You Don't Know Who to Ask.

olives, anchovies, and garlic… just a typical Thursday night.

olives, anchovies, and garlic… just a typical Thursday night.

I haven’t done a lot of cooking in the last few months. I struggled to find the energy and time between work and graduate school; and since both of my roommates are fairly accomplished as home cooks, the pressure to make a “nice meal” was pretty minimal. And then with a week away from home for work and the holidays, this week has been one of the first real opportunities I have had in months to cook an honest meal - as I said, I have been eating just fine, thank you. I made tomato soup the other night, from The Pioneer Woman’s Dinnertime cookbook. But this recipe caught my eye and called out to me… the perfect recipe for making on a chilly night when time is a bit more available and stress is low… Pasta Puttanesca.

If you aren’t familiar with it, Puttanesca sauce is flavored with olives and anchovies, cooked down in onions, wine, and broth. It’s a salty, briny delight (if you like that sort of thing). But the preparation of this meal gave me the opportunity to ponder, are you supposed to pull those tiny, translucent bones out of the anchovy filets? When I opened the yellow tin and saw the filets, I was pretty sure I wanted to remove some of the more obvious bones, although that task wasn’t quite as easy as it seemed. I pulled and failed to grasp several times before managing to remove a bone, repeating until all of the fish has been looked over and cleaned up. As I stood at my kitchen sink, twinkle lights and wine adding to the warmth of the night, it came to me: Was this even necessary? Surely I wouldn’t die if I diced up the filets and threw them in the sauce, bones and all? Which was the correct way of thinking about these teeny, tiny fish? Someone, somewhere had to know. And yet… I kept pulling at the tiny, tiny bones.

I could get really philosophical and deep about the need for community and mentoring. As human beings we will always encounter questions that we just can’t grasp the answer to… or perhaps just struggle to interpret all of the results of our Google search. And as Christians, it is vial to our growth to live in community with other believers and learn from those who are mature in the faith. But frankly, I’m struck by how I all too often edit my own questions, failing to allow vulnerability to creep through into my relationships as I wrestle. Maybe anchovy bones weren’t the biggest issue I faced today (they weren’t) but the fishy taste has me searching for something more… something akin to trust.

Asking questions isn’t a terribly scary thing when you are two - the entire world is a question. My friends who parent beautiful and bright-eyed children wrestle with how to keep their own sanity while navigating the barrage of questions from their toddlers who just want to understand every last thing about the world in which they live. But somewhere between two and twenty it seems as though we lose the ability to ask questions. Oh… is it just me?

I don’t mean the polite social questions of “Do you have the time?” But the big, earthy, scary questions. Who am I? What am I doing here in the world? Do I de-bone the anchovies or am I just wasting my fine motor skills and time? The question isn’t the point, necessarily. There’s an implicit amount of vulnerability that comes with asking a question: “I don’t know the answer and I am willing to risk seeming like a fool to receive your wisdom.” It’s a risk of vulnerability to find out that yes, in the end, I was wasting my time by pulling out the bones… after Googling the question… apparently, the bones actually dissolve in the heat on the stove. But if you have some knowledge to the contrary, let me know. I’m willing to learn.


Dream a Little Dream With Me

Do you ever play this game? Pull up next to an empty building and imagine what you’d do with it? The building could be new or old, modern or classic architecture. Brick, concrete, wood. Any building will do for the game: What would you do with that building? Could be a coffeeshop, a bookshop, a boutique. I love playing this game at traffic lights and afternoon walks. What was that building and what would I do with it today? Most of the time, it is a fleeting idea. Something that I entertain for the length of time the building is in my sight and forget until I happen to drive the way again.

But this building… this building sits empty in the middle of Clayton, a short walk from my office, and I think about it all the time. I love the brick building, the little center cupola, I even love the way it sits so low to the ground compared to the tall business buildings next door. It’s easy to miss when you are driving by, it gets lost in the skyline. Overlooked and forgotten.

Forsythe Plaza, Clayton, MO

Forsythe Plaza, Clayton, MO

But believe me, I know what I would do with this place.

Forsythe Plaza

Forsythe Plaza

I would renovate the downstairs storefronts for use by local artists (including me). One side would be a nice restaurant that served breakfast and lunch and good coffee, and then could convert into a meeting space for late afternoons and evenings. There is a great opportunity for daytime food service in Clayton (there is a high school nearby and lots of businesses as well as the county courthouse) so I think this is a surefire way to bring people into the location. Having reservable space for student groups or staff meetings (with coffee) also seems like a fantastic offering for the afternoons. And once people are in the store, the other side would be a large boutique for local art and goods. One idea might be to offer booths or space to artists in exchange for hours worked. This way, no money is really exchanged. I would love to have a way to show my art without having to spend money I don’t have on booths and space. But if everyone worked a few hours a week to man the storefront, that might help young and struggling artists get on their feet. Oh… and did I mention the coffee?

Upstairs I would transform one side to a personal apartment and studio. I’d love to have those front windows expanded and looking out over Shaw Park while I paint or write. One of the biggest things I find I need is space to put my paints and paper out for working. Not everyone works this way, but I find that if my tools are packed away it is difficult to get them out and start a project. The same is true with writing. To have the space… dedicated table space… for these practices would be amazing.

On the other side, I would split the space into two or three apartments and use them as part of a new program to encourage young artists to teach art in underprivileged schools. The idea would be that for two years, they would be able to live rent-free so long as they taught for twenty hours a week. Studio space would be in the apartment, so the remainder of their ‘work’ week would be for creating.

It’s a dream. It’s not something I think I will ever be able to make happen. But I love the dream all the same and wanted to share it with you.

P.S. There are a couple of fabulous buildings sitting empty across the street, if you want to dream with me.

8135 Forsythe

8135 Forsythe


Hutchmoot 2018: An Attempt at a Reflection

All the way back in March, I made a decision: I would try for Hutchmoot tickets. I have tried in previous years, but the event is so terribly popular that tickets sell out, and quickly. I was online at 9:50 am for a 10:00 ticket release… I got my ticket, but the event sold out in about ten minutes. So for about six and a half months I have been waiting to go to Franklin, TN and see what all the fuss has been about. Y’all - it was more than I ever could have thought to hope for or anticipate.


If you are not familiar with Hutchmoot, it is a yearly conference put on by The Rabbit Room, a publishing house and ministry that works with musicians, authors, poets, and theologians (among others) as they work out what it means to be a Christian who creates. (PS - visit the Rabbit Rooms website and make a donation to help them renovate their workspace at North Wind Manor!) The conference has been around for nine years now, and I have constantly heard people say that it is a refreshing and encouraging time, with meaningful conversations and plenty of people who get it. They are other like-minded creatives and lovers of all things… rabbity and mootish.

I was feeling pretty nervous to go on my own, without anyone else in tow. There was no relational safety blanket, and I knew that was going to be rough for this highly sensitive introvert. But when I walked in, totally overwhelmed from the start (I think that’s Russell Moore! Jonathan Rogers! Pete Peterson!), everyone was so kind. The volunteers were kind and helpful, and everyone else there was in the same boat. It became so normal to sit with someone, ask their name and where they were from, only to discover some shared part of our stories. (Side note: I would have expected that to be Covenant Seminary; but it was always the University of Arkansas. Woo Pig.)

The first night was amazing: for our supper, we had Chicken Cassoulet and roasted vegetables accompanied by a beautiful essay from our chef, John Cal. The food was amazing, with twinkle lights and good wine, and plenty of laughter. I really appreciated the openness and joy of the people I met that night, who really set the tone for my experience. After supper, we were treated to a beautiful concert from Andrew Peterson and other guests (The Gray Havens, Ben Shive, etc.) - I was so tired from my drive that day that I left early and went back to my hotel. But something I really appreciated about Hutchmoot is that from the beginning they told us: you’re grown ups. If there is something you don’t want to do, you don’t have to do it.

The problem was that I wanted to do everything. The breakout sessions on Friday and Saturday were all so appealing, but I went to one focused on what it looks like to build a creative community and another on how to battle resistance, my third choice was on how writing changes the writer. Oh, and in between sessions on Friday there was Banh Mi for lunch. It’s always so difficult to know how to choose breakout sessions. Do I go to the session that addresses my felt needs? Aspirational goals or current projects? Do I go based on the speaker? Or the topic? I chose the morning session, Pushing the Bus Uphill, because I know that I need to help develop creative community around me. What I really appreciated from this session was the reminder from Janna Barber that if you want people to read what you write, you need to be writing and putting it out there. Another speaker pointed out that a lot of the time, as creatives, we say that we want community and support, but we have to build vulnerability in order to accept good critique and questions. Creative community isn’t just about feeling good about your work (though it can be), but it is about finding people who can push you to grow and change in how you approach your art, and help you make something amazing.


There’s so much more say; and it’s important to say that I’m glad that my family, my friends and roommates, even my coworkers, were all so supportive of my going. I don’t take it for granted that there are so many people in my life who not only understand the power of doing something like this conference, but helped to make it happen. Even if it was mowing the lawn for me while I was gone, or a kind gift of a new journal from a coworker, I have felt very encouraged in this pursuit of my creative work.

On to the next thing!


How to Break Through a Creative Funk*

I have been in a creative funk lately. My fingers want to be writing and painting, but 'inspiration' seems to have run dry - whatever that actually means. Even my eye for silly Instagram snaps seems to have taken leave and left me with a slightly bland view of the world. Rather than just continuing in my misery, I thought that perhaps the best way I could overcome the funkiness is to name it for what it is (a creative block, a bad week, soul-weariness, the mid-August Funk) and come up with a few ideas for how to beat the blues. Below is my not-so-tried-and-true list of Creative Funkbusters*.

*It has not yet been determined if these ideas actually work. But if they do, I get 90% of the royalties.

1. Clean Your Room - Yes, really. I did a major clean this week. I may not have written much in the meantime, but my desk is ready for me when I finally sit down to do so.

2. Go to the Art Store - Well, this only works if you have funds to splurge a little. Often, I am content with a new ink pen or tube of paint. But given that I start back to school in a few weeks, I have been trying to spend sparingly so that I can pay my part of the tuition. So no temptation for me this week, but this usually helps me find something to be excited about and gets me thinking about how to create.

3. Re-Read Stephen King's On Writing - This is the only book I have read in King's vast catalog. But this is a book I would recommend to writer who wants to take their craft seriously. I'm underlining everything this time. "Your job isn't to find these ideas but to recognize them when they show up." (King, p. 37)

4. Make an Artistic Mess - Excuse the photo below, I use my bed as a creative space a lot of the time. Bad for sleep patterns, but it is the biggest flat surface I can command at any given time. Besides the floor, and let's be honest: I'm too old for all that up and down. Either way, sometimes the best thing to do is just make a mess, experiment with mediums and try to make something out of what you have. So tonight I got out my Jane Davenport collage papers and the jar of ephemera that I keep on my shelf, and just tried something. It's not the greatest... but also, not the worst thing I have ever created. I think...



5. Sleep In - I'm not actually sure this helps. In fact, this has been a key indicator of a creative funk. But it's what I've been doing, so I am including it on the list. Seriously, I know sleep is vital to a good creative burst. I recently bought a weighted blanket and I love it. The last several nights have been some of the best sleep I have had in a long while!

6. Go to the Bookstore and Buy Magazines - Despite what I said in Step #2, this use of funds was approved by my internal banker (who truly is terrible at her job) when I saw the new issues of Flow (a magazine for paper lovers). Sorry bank account. But I don't even know how to explain my love of paper... I have a set of C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia that I just pull out so that I can smell the paper. 

7. Play with Washi Tape - because.

8. Drink Coffee - Again, I don't really know if this really helps. But coffee is probably the most consistent part of my routine... so why quit now?

Happy Creating!


A Book for You... and for You... and for You...

Summer vacation is always a great time for reading - and I loved my vacation! I read three and a half books (I'm finishing the fourth book). I loved reading The Last Equation of Isaac Severy by Nova Jacobs, and would recommend it if you like mysteries and internal, observational monologue. And maybe a little string theory thrown in for a challenge. If you are at all familiar with L.A., you will probably enjoy the the scenic references and landscape. I have never been to Los Angeles, but I felt like I was right there. While it wasn't quite the book I was expecting, I thought it was completely worth the time to read!

Reading by the Pool on Vacation

Reading by the Pool on Vacation

While I was on vacation, my friend Dawn asked for some book recommendations and so I thought I would round up some favorites here, under a few different headings. I won't spend a lot of time on describing the books, just a few thoughts on why I loved the title. We are all looking for something different in our summer reading: sometimes I want a funny book that moves quickly. Sometimes I want something deep and engrossing, the lack of humor made up for by the depth of character. The beauty of summer reading (or winter reading, for that matter, if you are in the Southern hemisphere) is the joy of immersing yourself in just the right book. Hopefully something will strike your interest!


I love to laugh. Laughing is my favorite.

The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde. Set within a world of popular nursery rhyme characters and their crimes... what really happened to Humpty Dumpty? Start here, and move on the the follow up, The Fourth Bear, before trying your hand at Fforde's Thursday Next series.

Bossypants (Tina Fey), Yes, Please (Amy Poehler), Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (Mindy Kaling). Caveat: Not everyone will like these books - I don't always love this style of humor. But aside from some good laughs (see Tina Fey's story of her honeymoon cruise) what I really appreciated about each of these memoirs was that you could really see into the process of what being a comedian, writer, storyteller means for each of these women. As a woman, this is a big deal. Each of these books have taught me something about writing, crafting a story, and taking the risk to get the laugh.

Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple. This novel contains some of my favorite lines: "This is why you must love life: one day you're offering up your social security number to the Russian Mafia; two weeks later you're using the world calve as a verb." There are a lot of humorous and poignant observations in this novel, but what I found most compelling in this novel was the need for answers and the need for humor when we take on fear and change.


Every once in a while, I just like to sit down with a book of poetry and dip my toes in the graceful waters. I am not a poet (and I know it) but I can appreciate the value the work of those who are so skilled. A few recommendations:

Sailing Around the Room Alone and The Rain in Portugal by Billy Collins - both collections of Collins' work. He has a wonderful observational eye.

A Thousand Mornings and Dog Songs by Mary Oliver. As a starting place, Dog Songs is wonderful if you have a favorite puppy in your life. Oliver captures the joy and sorrow that come with loving and sometimes losing a dog.

Fire in the Earth by David Whyte. This one gave me words and images in a season of life when I was dry, trying to understand myself. I just got his new collection, The Bell and The Blackbird. I cannot wait!


A lot can go under the heading of 'Fiction' but here I am choosing a few novels that I thought were especially thoughtful about the beauty of life and the world in which we live... or the lack thereof.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. I have a hard time staying away from Dystopian novels... but this one was especially moving. A story about the connections of human life, art and culture, the things we will keep and the things we will want to remember. I will think of this novel every time I fly or hear Shakespeare, and that is a good thing.

Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver. Set in the Appalachia of Kentucky, this is a novel that weaves various threads together into a stunning tapestry of the natural world and human appreciation (or dismissal) of the beauty that surrounds.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Another Dystopian novel, but one that is funny and witty and full of 1980's references and Easter Eggs (if you can do it, listen to this book as read by Wil Wheaton). Raises some excellent questions about reality, freedom, and what it means to be real.


'Cause it's real, y'all.

My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud'Homme. Child's nephew interviewed and wove together a charming tale of her life with her husband, Paul, during his embassy assignment to France in the aftermath of World War II. Yes, this is where she learned to cook. But it is also a beautiful story of how Julia (as she is known in my house) found her craft and learned to love the whole of France.

Just Kids by Patti Smith. New York in the 1960's terrifies me and fascinates me. Smith was a firsthand witness to cultural revolution of the 60's, and writes vibrantly and eloquently about her pursuit of art, the world she inhabited, and the people who journeyed with her in that time. Not a book for the squeamish, but certainly a book full of passion and appreciation of beauty.

Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr. I just read this over the end of winter and the hints of springtime emerging... perfect for a lovely meditation on the new life of parenting (twin boys), a new culture (Rome), and writing a new book (an eventual Pulitzer winner).

Happy Reading!



When Everything Feels Broken

I came down with a nasty stomach bug and stayed home from work on Friday, waking up late in the morning to the news that Chef Anthony Bourdain had died of suicide. This follows quickly on the heels of the suicide of designer Kate Spade on Tuesday. I'm not one to become easily distraught by celebrity deaths, but these two deaths felt especially upsetting to me: I work in a support role in the fashion industry, and so the death of Kate Spade reminds me that even the people who make our lives beautiful often carry darkness. And this latest news really caught me a bit off guard, as Bourdain had been there at the beginning of my own journey with depression.

I first began to watch Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations during the summer of 2011. I had just quit a job that I had hoped would be my career. I watched a lot of Netflix that summer, trying to drown out the buzzing anxiety. I didn't know what to do next... I didn't know who to be next. I had pinned a lot of my identity, and all of my plans, on pursuing a very specific path. Seven years of my life had been dedicated to this job either through school or actual vocation, and then one day in May it was all gone. I remember sitting on my roommate's bright red couch, my laptop open on the coffee table as I struggled to fill out applications or complete a new resume. Stringing words together, one by one, became a laborious and painful chore. And I got through the days by watching Ken Burns' Baseball... or 30 Rock. And Anthony. I would sit there, upset beyond words, and travel the world with him when I didn't even know if I was going to leave the house that day.

At the time I wouldn't have said I was suffering from depression. I would probably have said I felt depressed, but I wouldn't have admitted that anything more was wrong. I told myself that grief was normal; that change and disappointment took time to process. And while those are true statements, it is clear when I look back that my reality was one of deep depression. After I moved back in with my parents that fall, my depression worsened and didn't lift for some time. In many ways, I would say it did not begin to heal until last summer when, after suffering two anxiety attacks, I began to take an antidepressant. 

There are many differing thoughts and opinions about depression. This might be because there are many different people and equally unique reasons why we struggle with depression. Even if it is biological, situational, spiritual... I suspect there is no one answer to every person's experience. But there are so many ways to seek help. I spent almost three years in counseling after I moved home to St. Louis. I had to process the grief and disappointment. I was lashing out at friends and family; I felt like I was living someone else's life and I was scared. I would say those hours spent in the counseling office helped me profoundly. I understood myself better, and came up with better coping strategies. It was out of this season of life that I began to draw and paint. I felt that even if I wasn't writing, I was still telling a story, still creating. My constant subject was the lower section of a tree. Just the bark, sometimes the roots. Never the leaves. Much later it came to me that I was drawing the state of my soul: still alive, rooted, but not flowering, not bearing fruit.

Tree Drawing, Heather Sparkman, 2015

Tree Drawing, Heather Sparkman, 2015

Even though counseling helped me put some of those deep wounds to rest and regaining a sense of "me" again, things happen: in one year, my father battled cancer, my mother was diagnosed with kidney disease, and my brother had emergency neurosurgery. My job became a significant stressor in my life. As much as I want to say I was able to handle these problems with grace... I did not. I found myself in a very painful place in early 2016. And I seriously considered asking for help, reaching out to a medical professional for medication or going back to counseling. But I did not. And I became more depressed, and more angry, and even while I was growing as an artist, and finding the artistic voice inside of me that I had not heard in years, I was still coming home and feeling numb. Or become outrageously angry over small things. And I began overeating again, and not exercising. The list could go on. The movement from winter to spring lessened some of the sting, but not all of it. And when I saw my doctor for a yearly check up, we discussed a game plan.

I did not want to go on medication. I was afraid it would kill my creativity, or make me lethargic (something I already struggle with). My doctor was willing to work with my hesitation, and suggested that I try L-Theanine, an amino acid that had helped some people with minor depression, but since it was an amino acid, my doctor said it shouldn't have the same problems as an anti-depressant, but it also might not work. I was game, and began taking this every day, and even twice a day during the winter. The L-Theanine helped, and I really began to feel better. I thought I had outsmarted the problem But sometime last summer I began to feel a real difference in my ability to process emotions. I had changed positions at work, and I believe the change opened up some deeper well-springs of anxiety.

My first panic attack happened at work; I was coming down the main stairs and suddenly lost my breath; my heart rate sped up, and the world lost focus. Though the attack lasted only a moment, I was weepy for hours afterwards. My nose ran and I would cry without reason. At one point one of our Vice Presidents approached me at my desk to ask a question; he was gentle and I am thankful for that, because I am sure I was a complete mess. I was tense and upset through the rest of the work day, but enjoyed a nice dinner to celebrate a friend's graduation. I was hopeful that this was a one time event, I could move on and move past it. The next morning, rushing to get to the graduation ceremony, I experienced another attack. This time it was more prolonged, and terrifying. I sat in the stairwell at Powell Hall and waited to regain my breathing. I eventually made my way to a seat and cried through a lot of ceremony, absolutely worn out and shaking. When I saw my friends after the ceremony, I still looked pale and ill. 

I saw my doctor a few weeks later, and broke down in tears as I described my symptoms. After performing an EKG to rule out any heart issues, she prescribed an antidepressant. And things did not get better right away. The first week was awful - I felt nauseated and emotional all the time. I was lethargic and tired most days for several months. It took time to adjust to the medication, both physically and mentally.

But 283 days later (because I track my daily medication use), I can say that I feel more like myself than I have in years. I still create and have started to write again. I can tell you that most days have been good - something that I cannot take for granted when I see that there are so many people who are silently struggling. I cannot take these days for granted.

I wanted to share all of these things in the hope that someone will be encouraged in their journey. You are not alone in your struggle. You are not the only one who feels this way. I hope that maybe my experience with depression and anxiety resonates with someone in a way that prompts you to find a counselor, a doctor, a friend. There are a lot of ways to seek help... you may need to give yourself permission to try... and fail. Not everything will work all of the time, or might need to be coupled with another option. But it is worth trying. You are worth trying.

And I suppose I would hope that not only you see that it is possible to get help, but that you might also need help. A wise friend (that former roommate I mentioned above) pointed out today in a post that depression is a medical condition and it is important that we seek medical help for a medical problem. Yes, you can couple that with counseling... or exercise... or making changes... but please don't feel shame for taking medication. I lost some precious parts of my life because I refused to ask for more help, and would not want that for you. Before you get so far down the road that it looks like there is no hope, please know right now that there is hope. And help.


Show and Tell

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My friend Janette showed me this picture the other day and I had to share! Her husband, Sean (a skilled renovator of homes), installed this white shiplap in their living room and put up shelves to display some lovely items... and some of my artwork! Oh my goodness, it does an artist's heart some good to see their work up and existing in the world, living a life of beauty and color. I had to share this with you (with permission) because I just loved how it all worked together. Janette has an amazing creative eye and Sean's work is impeccable. So I feel in awe to have my little pieces in their home!

Hurley Living Room

Summer Reading Plans

Summer is the time of year when I start to long for a good book, for a story that pulls me in and doesn't let go until the very last word. For years, I would finish school and head off into my summer breaks to meet my reading goals, which usually had to do with reading more books than I had the previous Summer vacation months - you know, back when school let out in the middle of May and started back in early September? I would keep a list of all the books I read, make notes on what I thought, and I was voracious. Even when I was in seminary, I could usually read upwards of 30 "fun" books during the summer.

While I don't have nearly as much time these days, I have been looking forward to my upcoming "beach" vacation and have now decided which books (plural) I will take along on the journey. I've limited myself to two, assuming that there will be plenty of time in the airport/airplane to make a pretty good dent. And as of this week, I know what I'll be reading:

Nova Jacobs

Nova Jacobs

The Last Equation of Isaac Severy by Nova Jacobs

This book was pitched to me as a sort of Westing Game for adults. Having just read The Westing Game earlier this year, I was sold. I love the idea of self-revelatory treasure hunt, of familial understanding and personal growth. And I love a good mystery. So I'm really looking forward to falling head first into this story.


Ross King

Ross King

Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Waterlilies by Ross King

My aunt gave me this book for Christmas, and it was a hard decision to wait, but I knew that I wanted to really have time to enjoy and learn. When I first visited St. Louis (and subsequently moved to call this place home) seeing Monet's Water Lilies in the St. Louis Art Museum were a pivotal experience. I still have to stop in each time I visit and take in a little bit of the color and magic.

What are you planning on reading this summer?