issue #130 - the one on liking
Have you thought about how superlative things have become lately?
“I LOVED it!”
“I couldn’t stand it.”
“It was AMAZING!”
“It was AWFUL.”
What happened to just liking or enjoying something, or finding something just good, or being content?
You know that I loved season 2 of Bridgerton and the romance genre as a whole. I love Taco Bell, Hillstone’s spinach and artichoke dip and dirty martinis, Sushi Nonoka’s omakase with hot sake, and Edible Arrangements’ chocolate covered strawberries (the best in my humble opinion - the chocolate sticks to the berry perfectly and their mini cheesecakes are also bomb). I love Nesara kaftans (code hitha gives you $10 off!) the Philadelphia Eagles, and Fall Out Boy.
These are last meal, last book, deserted island kind of items.
But I like a great many more things, and I’m being mindful about using superlative terms sparingly, and embracing like a whole lot more.
I liked the television adaptation of A Discovery Of Witches - certainly there were things I hoped to see or shown differently, but adapting a series like that to the screen must’ve been challenging, and the producers had a very different style and vision that I had in my mind. But I really respect and value the art, and did enjoy seeing my favorite book series adapted to the screen.
I like mysteries, thrillers, spy novels, and personal development books. I like sports films and Bollywood. I like pizza, ice cream, and a fancy hot dog. I like long walks in through the city while listening to an audiobook.
In a similar vein, there are plenty of things I don’t like but also don’t loathe or hate (and in the interest of being respectful of other people, I’ll keep these takes to myself). To say I hate certain television shows, foods, sports teams, books, or fandoms minimizes the severity of the word “hate” or “loathe,” nor do I want to bring that negativity to my life. To say “I’m really glad you enjoy that!” and keep my opinions to myself is something I’m working more and more to embody, simply because it’s how I would like to be treated in return.
Here’s to liking more things, detaching ourselves from the things and opinions we don’t like, and reserving the love to the things that truly deserve it.
Like Taco Bell. Mexican Pizza, I can’t wait to be reunited with you next month.
On Seeing Clearly (sponsored by Felix Gray)
I have terrible vision. And I mean terrible.
I’m -11.5 in my left eye and -10.5 in my right eye, and very much focused on preserving what little vision I have left because I’m fairly certain my options for contacts and glasses are limited if things progress 😬.
This is what I do to preserve my vision:
be diligent about eye breaks during the day. I try to look away from the computer every hour and close my eyes for a minute or two, and take this moment to put in some eye drops. I should be doing it more often, but baby steps? (I also drink water and get in some steps before or after my eye break).
wear my glasses 1 day a week, and put them on once my final call wraps for the day and I’m easing into home mode. I also take this time to wash my face and do my nighttime skincare routine, do a 5 minute meditation in viparita karani (legs against the wall), and take a second before jumping into mom mode.
wear my Felix Gray blue-light blocking glasses during the day. I’ve been wearing these glasses since 2018, and they have reduced my eye fatigue, eye dryness, and even helped minimize my migraines when I’m diligent about wearing them. They don’t pinch my head and give me a headache the way other eyeglasses brands do, and they have so many stylish options (and a virtual try-on!) that make it easy to find your perfect pair.
Want to make your eyes happy? Get a pair of Felix Grays - code HITHA10 gets you 10% off your order!
What I Read This Week
Boss Witch by Ann Aguirre - you know I can’t resist a witchy romance, and this was a satisfying parallel book and continuation of Witch Please, which I liked a lot. But I think I gravitate a little more towards Clementine and Gavin in this book, who has a little more grit and mystery to them, and I can’t resist a dark overseer that comes in to meddle with the couple. It’s a sweet, satisfying read that I really liked.
Barbarian’s Seduction by Ruby Dixon - Ruby Dixon can do no wrong and I’m getting a little sad that my time with these blue aliens and the women who love them is coming to an end! Marlene and Zennek’s story is so sweet and I loved the flashback/present day format that was more rare in this series. I can’t pick a favorite couple, but I do have a very soft spot in my heart for sassy Marlene and shy Zennek.
The Half Orc’s Maiden Bride by Ruby Dixon - Ice Planet Barbarians walked so this book could RUN. I thought orcs might be a bit too much even for me when it comes to my romance limits, but Ruby proved me wrong and now I’m on a mission to get everyone to read this standalone novel, and for Ruby to write more. Many more. Give me all the orc romance - words I thought I would never type.
What Everyone Else Read This Week
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke- This book was recommended to me by a friend and fellow Substack writer, Sarah Miller. It took me about 50 pages to get into it, but then I was rapt. Go in knowing that you won't have a clue what's going on at first, but stick with it—it's worth it!
I’ve currently been reading a variety of books on BC Wine country - magazines, travel books, and articles that dig deep into it's history and growth. BC Wine country is this little secret of Canada that the world has yet to learn about and when it does, it's going to come as a surprise!
Funny You Should Ask by Elissa Sussman - This book is out April 12th, and is the story of a reporter who goes viral when she shares her account of a weekend-long interview with a Hollywood Star. Now it's 10 years later, his career has stalled, and hers can't get past *that* interview. Now his PR team wants her to interview him again, with the hope of re-igniting that magic from 10 years ago. I loved this book SO much - it's a celeb-normie romance, which SO much chemistry, told across two time frames. I read it in a day!
Top #5SmartReads of the Week
Canadian Politics: Understanding Canada’s Political System (Radio Canada International)
The rest of the week’s reads (and conversations!) are below:
Your Questions, Answered
Sophie Beckett dream casting for Bridgerton Season 3?
Since Shondaland loves its actors so much, I think Alexis Floyd (who played Neff in Inventing Anna) would be amazing!
Can you reshape your Bridgerton book rankings? Thanks!
I don’t remember all the titles but here they are by Bridgerton kids:
Resources-white southern American to learn Indian culture/etiquette new family!!
My friend Brittany (@AlmostIndianWife) has got you! She’s AMAZING!
Fav Bridgerton S2 scene? S2 was FIRE and I loved every second.
OMG this is so hard but here are the ones i’ve gone back to watch again:
-when KANTHONY meet
-the entire scene at Ascot
-PALL MALL (it was the one I was most excited for and it did not disappoint)
-both their dances
-when Kate makes chai
-the haldi ceremony and the scene when Kate is piling Edwina’s hair
-the “you are the bane of my existence and the object of my desires.’
But the final scene made me so happy. Kate’s dress in the final scene reminded me of an iconic lengha Madhuri Dixit wore in Hum Aapke Hain Koun...!. They are so happy and loved up, and I can’t wait to see more of them in future seasons (Simone confirmed she’s returning for seasons 3 and 4!).
I’ve never seen a Bollywood film. What are your top 3 recs for a Bollywood newbie?
- Kabhi Khushi Kahbie Gham (iconic, perfect first time Bollywood film)
- I have a softspot for Dil Bole Hadippa which is a Bollywood spin on She’s The Man (which I loved so much)
- Aamir Khan is my favorite Bollywood actor so it’s hard for me to pick just one of his movies, but my 3 favorites are Lagaan, Dil Chahta Hai, and 3 Idiots
- Dostana is just *chef’s kiss*
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a Nancy Myers film, your favorite?
- Father Of The Bride - my dad and I still watch it every single year together.
- The Intern doesn’t get enough love but I adored it.
- The Holiday - perfection.
And I REALLY hope her new Netflix project has any diverse casting, because we love her films and stories and aesthetics and would love to see ourselves in those spaces!
How to retain close friends without intimidating them?
My friend Leah Wiseman Fink is the perfect person to ask, and I think she exemplifies what true friendship looks like: supportive of each person’s very different goals, checks in on her strong friends, and drops truth bombs when you need to hear it. Her friendship has helped me be a more thoughtful, present friend.
I wish for all of you to have friends with these qualities, and to own these qualities as well!
What is your favorite thing you’ve bought this year?
This basket for ‘transition” clothes- gently worn clothes that don’t need to be washed but I don’t want to fold or hang and put them away in the closet. It’s honestly cured the “pile of clothes in chairs” problem.
Any tips for dealing with ineffective bosses who are unreceptive to feedback?
A little dramatic, but you have to be extra diligent about preserving a record.
Document absolutely everything from your meetings and send follow up emails summarizing the action items you both agreed on and how you both agreed it should be prioritized. When you’ve completed a deliverable, send an e-mail documenting it, referencing the meeting and e-mail that recorded the original assignment.
In my experience, people like these rarely ever change so consider your next job move. And good luck!
Thoughts on Discovery of Witches tv show? Did you read the books?
For me, the books were total and utter perfection. I re-read them every year.
I was underwhelmed by the show. I think the series was a lot for a screen adaptation and edits had to be made, but it wasn’t my vibe or speed and I liked it but was pretty underwhelmed by it,
You can absolutely scroll or craft while watching it, and I want a show that would grip all my attention.
Is the real estate bubble bursting anytime soon?
With building materials in shorter supply, contractors completely maxed out on projects, and private businesses buying out much of the available inventory, this bubble’s not about to burst anytime soon.
Friend in Toronto can’t find food Dr. for PCOS. Any PCOS/female wellness resources you suggest?
Dr. Marta Perez (my friend and go-to resource for OB-GYN questions) doesn’t have someone in Toronto specifically, but she recommended Dr. Natalie Crawford as an online resource.
Read Dating Dr.Dil so fast and loved it, any other recommendations similar?
Yesssss so glad you loved it! I love Nisha Sharma’s Singh Family series as well, and I think you’ll love Sonali Dev’s Austen adaptations!
Annika Sharma’s Love, Chai, And Other Four-Letter Words is a joy to read.
More book recommendations similar to the Karen Cleveland you recommended!
She has several previously published books to check out!
The Charm School by Nelson DeMille SHOOK me. So so so good.
I Am Pilgrim is one of the best geopolitical thrillers I’ve ever read. Ever. Must-read!
What are you liking right now? Hit reply and tell me - I would love to know.