Leap In by Alexandria Heminsley
Alexandria Heminsley recounts her story of becoming a year round, open water swimmer in this lovely little book. She writes conversationally, like you are sitting down with a girlfriend over a glass of pinot gris.
One of my top, top books of 2016 was Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies. It is the story of a marriage, college sweethearts, and the perspectives on their lives, shared and separate experiences. I am sure I am not alone in this, but it read as a perfect presentation of how our society works under its current patriarchal system.
Lotto describes himself and his journey as ‘I was born wealthy, white and male. I’d have nothing to work with if I don’t have a little struggle’. This summarizes the experience of the white male in our society, pretty perfectly. Lotto is poor by choice. ((There is so much I want to say about this book, so perhaps you should read the rest having read the book? Spoiler alert, maybe?))
Please be aware this post discusses suicidal ideation.
It seems to be pretty common knowledge now that Christmas is a time when people are especially depressed, and suicide rates can spike. I work in mental health, and am acutely aware of the loneliness and isolation people can feel at this ‘family time’. I will possibly write on that another day. But this is a different post. This is a post about how books can save you.
In my house I have an overwhelming pile of books I have bought and not read. Yet.
In the past (and possibly to this day) I have had shopping addictions for makeup, clothes, cheap jewelry and shoes. I buy plants like crazy, even though my garden beds don’t have all that much space left in them. When my husband and I built our own house, I felt ok in buying as many books as I wanted. I wouldn’t have to move them in forever. We weren’t saving for anything, and I was just about to finish my psychology honors, which would leave me with loads of time to read. Plus, when my parents divorced when I was a teenager, I had to give away a lot of my books. Like, most of them. I have a very, very small collection of books from my youth, and that really kills me. It’s one of those things that matter the world to me. So when I realized that I wouldn’t have to pack the books back into boxes and lug them to a new house, or even try to justify having to move them and not get rid of them as unnecessary clutter, it began. The book-buying obsession began slowly, very slowly.
Day one in Iceland. Well, actually, this wasn’t the proper day one. Our first day I don’t have any proper photos of. There was a strike on at the Reykjavik airport which delayed our flight by hours and hours, so we got in late, went straight to The Blue Lagoon (kind of a must do, but it IS really pricey. You can find cheaper thermal pools around Iceland if you are strapped for cash). While we were at The Blue Lagoon Iceland beat England in the EuroCup Semi final or something, and the city was going off (in it’s nice, quiet and polite way) when we got in. We were DEAD, so crashed out pretty quickly. So, excusing that long intro, here are some shots from the first day in Iceland.
So panoramas and waves don’t really work together, but I had to share this. The beach was pure bliss this morning. There was only the gentlest of breezes, the ocean was very calm and the water was warm. The sun didn’t have a bite to it. I could just stand in the water and feel supreme happiness. The best.