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Renovation Updates | Weekly Snapshot

Gah, October? Where did the year go? I'm suddenly realizing we are entering the busiest season of the year and there's going to be tons to do for the next three months. It is unseasonably warmer right now, which makes it harder to believe that it's October. The colors have started changing but it's almost like the trees don't care and aren't even trying to put up a show.  Renovation updates At this point, we have completed two weeks in our house while under renovation. Yes, it's every bit as irritating, annoying, frustrating, dusty, and allergy-triggering as they say a renovation can be. But it's also oddly fascinating seeing your house ripped down to the subfloor and peeking inside walls at the things that are typically hidden inside one. It was also satisfying seeing progress made - there's a wall one day, no wall the next day, and then all openings patched up the third day. This coming week is going to see the most progress - the hardwood flooring

Reading in bite sizes | Notes from my Reading

I'm currently in the middle of three delightful books - which is something that doesn't happen often. I rarely have multiple books in progress, mainly because my reading time is so scattered that it's hard enough to pick one book back up and three would be nightmare to manage. Somehow for the three books in progress - intermittent reading just works plus, they all have their time and place to be picked up. 

Last week, I started waking up an hour earlier than usual, hoping to get some reading time before the kids wake up. While a couple of times, they decided to ruin the reading retreat, most days, this change in schedule worked. Hopefully, it's something I can keep continuing, going into winter. 

Nonfiction in bite-sized pieces

I don't read as much nonfiction as I would like to but currently, I have two going on in parallel that I read a few pages of throughout the day. One thing I like about most nonfiction is their readability and hence suitability to be read even if you have only a minute or two. The two books that I am currently reading - Rage Against the Minivan and The Happiness Project - are especially suited for this as one is a collection of short and very engaging essays, while the other has an essay collection-like feel. I may not want to put the book down when interrupted but at least I don't feel frustrated by the interruption. Both books can be put in the advice category, even if one is focused on life in general and the other on parenting specifically. Occasionally, I did get them mixed up but that was easily resolved.

Here's a funny story. I picked up Rage Against the Minivan because the title fully represented my take on minivans, before I had kids. I hated them - they looked ghastly. In fact, that's a sentiment I still share. A minivan gave me the feeling of a tired looking vehicle having been put through its limits, and carrying screaming kids and weary parents. My husband and I had decided to never buy one. So, as soon as possible, we got an SUV, fully intending to use it as our baby vehicle. We would be the "cool parents". And use the SUV, we did. It didn't matter if our daughter couldn't climb the car by herself without help, "she'll grow up", we said.

And then our son came along, and suddenly we were crowding the SUV. It was no fun going out as a family as we all jostled inside it. Very soon after that, we found ourselves in front of a minivan, having decided to buy it after driving one during a vacation the previous year and grudgingly admitting that it was the most comfortable vehicle we sat in, in recent years. And there went our resolution to never be that minivan family. So, when I recently heard a young lady tell me that she would never buy a minivan, I secretly laughed, knowing what was going to come at her soon. Buhaha!

Boy Meets Girl...

Couple of mornings ago, I started reading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. Years ago, I used to read a lot of Sophie Kinsella's books and so when I started reading Eleanor Oliphant, I was immediately reminded of The Undomestic Goddess and Remember Me?. I do hope the similarities end there because I haven't read Sophie Kinsella in years and know that I likely won't enjoy her books today like I did then. I am not far in to make any judgment but I am enjoying the writing. I can tell that there's going to be something very dark in Eleanor's past.  

New releases this month...

I have not been staying on top of new releases, but there's one book that I've been waiting for since the beginning of this year. Rumaan Alam's Leave the World Behind has a very fascinating premise - two couples locked in a mysterious situation and forced to confront their biases without any lifeline to the outside world. This is very timely literature but also very intriguing. 

Two other books that are being released this month and are on my radar are The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab and The Cold Millions by Jess Walter. Both authors have previous books that are well-loved by many readers. I haven't read those books yet though I did sample A Darker Shade of Magic and loved what I read.

What books are keeping you engaged today?