Book: The Night Circus

nightcircus-erinmorgensternIt’s been awhile since I’ve done a book review (one year to be exact), but I just finished The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern… I know I’m a little late to the game since this book was released in 2011, but I can truly say it’s one of my favorite books.

I absolutely loved it.

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

Reading The Night Circus was like stepping into the world of Le Cirque des Rêves, each page had me spellbound, anxious to see what happened next… or exactly what had just happened. I found the non-linear writing style to be a perfect compliment to the dreamlike world in which the story takes place, often giving glimpses of events before revealing how or why.

The Night Circus is a story about two illusionists, Marco and Celia, who were bound together long before they ever met in a mysterious competition for which the circus serves as the venue. The circus makes it way around the world as the lives of Marco and Celia become more and more intertwined with that of the circus. The whole experience comes to life on each page, and at times it felt like I could look up and discover myself lost in the Cloud Maze or wandering through the Ice Garden.

Almost all of the characters were enchanting in their own ways, and I found myself invested in each of their lives as the narrative weaves across the nearly thirty years in which the main plot takes place. The ending felt a little forced, but it didn’t detract from the incredibly rich and surreal world I felt as though I’d been living in all day.

Wonderful book that I’d highly recommend!

February Goals Update

En Pointe Photography

(via enpointephotography)

Happy leap day!  I can’t believe another month is down and I feel as though I’ve been accomplishing so much. I love having a list of goals to keep me on track.

  1. Read 4 books
    Success! I did a lot of reading this month so I flew past this goal with 8 books total!
    Bruno, Chief of Police on 2/7
    Murder in the Sentier on 2/7
    Murder in the Bastille on 2/8
    Murder in Clichy on 2/10
    The Dark Vineyard on 2/12
    Freakonomics on 2/23
    Casanova: The Venetian Years on 2/23
    Murder in Montmartre on 2/26
  2. Finish funding my Moving Fund
    Check.  Complete on 2/3 and already being drained with an application fee. 🙂
  3. Begin full inventory of items
    Well, I started this.  Finish… not so much.  But I guess this counts as complete since I started it?
  4. Continue writing in my gratitude journal
  5. Practice French 15 minutes a day
    I *kind of* did this.  Up until the last week so this was a fail.
  6. Complete 10 days of absolutely no spending!
    FAIL.  Oh well… there’s always next month.

How did your month end up? Any goals you struggled with or were super successful with?

(photo by En Pointe Photography.  You should go check out her dancer photos, they’re amazing.)

March Goals

I truly can’t believe that it’s already almost March!  Time has been flying by for me.  So without further ado, here are my March goals:

  1. Read 5 books (Getting close to the end of my 52 in 52!)
  2. Pack my stuff for the move!
  3. Keep up with gratitude journal
  4. Practice French 15 minutes a day
  5. Begin practicing yoga again

So far 2012 is off to a wonderful start and I’m really excited about all the big things going on in my life right now.

How are you continuing your 2012 goals?


Book: Bruno, Chief of Police

I don’t write a lot of book reviews, but I really enjoyed Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker.  Walker’s quirky Chief Bruno and a band of  characters from his small town of Saint Denis introduce his little peaceful corner of the Preigord in the Dordogne.  That peace is broken, however, as the math teacher’s elderly Algerian father (and star rugby player’s grandfather) is found brutally murdered with a swatstika carved into his chest.

The book is unusually light for such heavy material, and I found that I could have happily followed the country policemen along wherever he might have taken me.  Bruno seemed a sort of superhero in his small town that made ever me, a self-proclaimed city girl, want to move to the French countryside… or at least visit.

I’m happy that despite my reluctance to begin the series I finally did.  I’m so happy I have the second book, The Dark Vineyard, already lined up next.

January Goals Update

Oh January.  1/12 of the new year has already passed, but I feel like I’m already making significant progress on changing my life, and I couldn’t be happier! Here’s how the month shaped up:

  1. Read 6 books
    Check!  I’m rather pleased with this result after last month’s failures.
    A Crimson Warning on 12/31
    Stumbling on Happiness on 1/2
    Murder in the Marais on 1/5
    Murder in Belleville on 1/15
    Pictures at an Exhibition on 1/18
    Heat Rises on 1/22
    America’s Hidden History on 1/28
  2. Pay off one of my credit cards
    Check!!!!  Soooo happy I was able to knock out my Bank of America card, first on my financial priorities list, when I sent the last payment on 1/24. 🙂
  3. Throw out 20 things
    Check! I got rid of 20 different things as of 1/31
  4. Keep a gratitude journal for the month (to get started on my 2012 goals)
    Check! Somehow I managed to write down my gratitude every day for 30 days.  Change is coming 🙂
  5. Put money into my Roth IRA
    Check! $200 in the retirement account this month. Not a lot but certainly better than nothing. Now that I don’t have a 401(k) that gets put in automatically, I think I’ll need to step this up.
How has your new year started?  Did you make any progress on some major goals for the year?