I’m no Oprah, but these are some of my favorite things

Yup, I’m back! After nearly three years of neglect, I’m going to give this blogging thing a whirl. Don’t get too excited, we’ll see if it sticks. But for now, I’m back with a new feature where I’ll share with you the things I’m loving these days. There will probably almost always be a bookish thing featured, because DUH, but I also want to use this space to just randomly evangelize for awesomeness. Partly because I want to share those things with you, and partly because I think we could all use more corners of the internet devoted to thumbs up, don’t you?

So with that, here are my inaugural endorsements…

Devoted
by Jennifer Mathieu

I read (and loved) Jennifer’s debut The Truth About Alice, a few months ago, but I didn’t know she had another book out until I saw a roundup of cult/religion books on Stacked. Devoted is about a girl in a Duggar-type family, very faithful and modest, who finds herself questioning the tenets of her faith that make her who she is. It’s a book that deals so delicately with the idea of what faith means and the ways it can manifest itself. I love the way Mathieu deals with Rachel’s questioning of her faith and the hard decisions she has to make. I read it in two days, a major feat for me these days, because on top of being gorgeous, it was a total page turner.

The Royal We
by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

Oh. My. God. This book is 500 pages, and yet I pretty much neglected my entire life (and the revision I was supposed to be working on!) to read it in a weekend. It was utterly un-put-downable, incredibly swoony, so so dishy, and laugh-out-loud hysterical. As soon as I finished the e-book on my iPad, I raced over to Barnes and Noble to buy the hardcover, and I’m pretty sure I’ll read it again pretty soon. Seriously, go read this. It’s the perfect beach book, or for any long plane/train/car ride you’ve got coming up.

Rainwater Farm Bug Repellant

It’s summer, and if you’re anything like me, that means you’re frequently raising your fist to the heavens and asking WHY MOSQUITOES?! WHAT ARE THEY FOR?! I must be extra sweet (cold comfort when I’m itching my skin off), because the damn things love me. I can go outside to water the plants or pick the ripe tomatoes, and in five minutes I’ve got more than ten bites swelling and itchy on my legs. I hate it. But I also hate coating myself in deet for a ten minute trip outside, then smelling like a chemical factory all day and worrying about my kid (who loves to lick EVERYTHING) ingesting it. Enter Rainwater Farm, a company from my hometown, that specializes in all natural soap and other skincare products. You guys, this stuff is all-natural, smells good, isn’t greasy, and IT WORKS. I’ve avoided even a single bite with this stuff. If you’re prone to bites like I am, get some like, yesterday.

What about you?

Now here’s the fun part. Shareย your endorsement! Bop on down to the comments and let me know what you’re loving right now. Frequent posters may find themselves the recipient of fun bookish things!

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