September kicked off quite the busy fall. Most weekends I'm either traveling or hosting company until November. My parents visited for the first time since helping me move down here. I had a blast showing them around town and taking them to all my favorite haunts. Then I visited a friend in Louisville, followed by a magical writing retreat at a lake house with dear friends. I even snuck in a visit with an old Grammar school classmate. We hadn't seen each other since we were 14 but it felt like we'd just had a sleepover and watched the New Kids on the Block Christmas special. I had one free weekend and now one of my favorites Jill is visiting for a long weekend. See? Busy fall. But oh so much fun.
Are you going to the Influence Conference? It's working out for me to be there for the Saturday sessions. Let me know if you'll be there so we can connect.
Read and Reading:
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Skloot) is easily one of the best books I've read this year. The Phenomenally Indecisive Book Club recently took it on. Immortal Life defies genres. It's a mishmash of history, science, memoir, and biography. The story of Henrietta Lacks, her family, and her immortal cancer cells is a spellbinding one. It raises questions of faith, ethics, and science. And truly, we are all impacted by the ethical issues afoot. I grew to truly care for the Lacks family and was horrified nothing can be done to rectify their mistreatment and disparity. The author set up the Henrietta Lacks Foundation "to provide financial assistance to needy individuals who have made important contributions to scientific research without personally benefitting from those contributions."
I plowed through Divergent, the first in a dystopian YA trilogy. I figured out one plot twist fairly soon on but the rest captivated me. I liked the ravaged Chicago setting and how the way society is set up (five different factions dedicated to cultivating one particular virtue) leads to its destruction. I rooted for Beatrice (or Tris as she's later called) all the way.
My friend Elora wrote her first novel Come Alive and it is a heartbreakingly beautiful story. Full review coming soon because I have so much to say about it. In fact, I love it so much, I'm going to give a copy away when I review it. I just decided that right now. You're welcome.
I was given a free copy of Inciting Incidents and will be reviewing the collection soon as well.
My friend Anne wrote her first eBook Work Shift. It is a tremendous resource for families and those considering having a family one day. I hope to review it soon, too.
(I read 10 books this month.)
TV: Must-see TV: Once Upon a Time, Hart of Dixie, Revenge, Parenthood, Vampire Diaries, The New Girl, Nashville, The Mindy Project, Parks & Rec (note: these have not all had season premieres yet but this is what I'll be watching this fall)
Parenthood is back!!!
I might give Beauty and the Beast a try over on the WB. I'm a sucker for such tales.
So You Think You Can Dance has crowned another winner. Actually, winners. I'm not sure why they decided to pick both a male and female winner all of a sudden but I'm not going to complain. The best dance of the season goes to Cyrus and Twitch. Holy buckets.
Adam Scott's scholarly analysis of Ice Ice Baby. Brilliant.
Confession: all I've been listening to is the new Avett Brothers and new Mumford & Sons. I have anxiety over neglecting one album while I listen to the other. It's like trying to pick a favorite child AND I CANNOT DO IT.
In the Blogosphere:
No mid-month links this time around due to my sabbatical.
Dan Haseltine shares a new direction for Jars of Clay that's decidedly less Christian Artist and actually makes me want to listen to JOC for the first time in years.
"I wonder if they will be able to get past evangelical hang-ups...I can’t wait to meet the people that this record IS for. I bet they have lived some hard times. I bet they have some unanswered questions. I bet they pray a lot, without the motive of getting something, but rather, to remind them that the foundation is under their feet somewhere. I imagine the person who appreciates this record will care about the nuance of both music and life."
This post from Lore Ferfuson has been reverberating through my mind ever since.
I'm new to John Blase's poetry but man, I'm glad I found him. Epistle is stunning.
Enuma Okoro has become a new favorite voice. I liked her take on friendship past 30 for Her.meneutics.
Did you read the Letters to Pearl link up? Beautiful stories of the lives baby Pearl has touched. Good news: the Van Fund goal was met! Plus, Pearl just celebrated her two month birthday! The Washington Times also ran a nice feature on Pearl.
My So-Called Life was one of my favorite shows and I'm not sure I've ever gotten over the loss of seeing Jordan Catalano every week. This is a great interview with the cast. I'm trying not to be mad at Claire Danes for being the real reason the show ended.
Addie Zierman nails it with More Than You Can Handle.
Jena Nardella's prayer at the Democratic National Convention is my prayer, too.
I love the spirit behind Election Day Communion. See if there's a church in your area participating or ask your church to sign up. Let's remember what's truly important and show the nation there is another way.
Tina Francis' manifesto was made for you and me. Let's look fear in the eye and leap!
Fascinating post from Tanya Marlow on introverts, social media, and Narnia.
On The Blog:
I unveiled the new blog design and discussed why I'm Reveling in the Now. Thank you for bearing with me while I took it a bit easier this month. I have lots of things I want to share with you all and I'm hoping to get back into a new routine.
In the meantime, you're always welcome to follow me on Twitter and keep up with the HopefulLeigh FB page. I especially enjoyed the FB discussion on the last books we stayed up all night to finish reading.
What have you been into this month?