Category Archives: Blog Hops

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Books Releasing During the Second Half of 2024


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Closeup photo of a pale-skinned woman with long, black, straight hair reading a book. She’s sitting outdoors next to grass that is partially green and partially brown and dry. It looks like grass that has gone dormant in the summer heat!It looks like this week’s list will be shorter than last week’s list was.

Here are some books I’m looking forward to that are coming out in the second half of this year.

While researching this post, I noticed that there didn’t seem to be as many books to choose from as usual.

Maybe it was a coincidence, or maybe there will be some real treasures popping up in a month or two that just haven’t quite been announced yet.

It will be interesting to see what happens.

 

 

Nexus: A Brief History of Information Networks from the Stone Age to AI by Yuval Noah Harari

Publication Date: September 10
Why I’m Interested:

Book cover for The Bog Wife by Kay Chronister. Image on cover shows a drawing of the face, neck, and trunk of a young, pale, white woman who has a small pile of dirt on her neck. She does not look dead, just very pale.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bog Wife by Kay Chronister

 

Publication Date: October 1
Why I’m Interested: Occasionally, well-preserved bodies from a few thousand years ago will be found in the bogs in Europe. I find it so interesting to read about the things scientists have discovered about these societies and am interested in reading a fictional account of something that seems sort of related to this phenomena.

 

Book cover for Sally's Lament (A Twisted Tale) by Mari Mancusi. Image on cover shows a drawing of a young girl standing in a forest. She is bathed in shadow and only a dim outline of her body can be seen. At the bottom of the image you can see a small drawing from The Nightmare Before Christmas where the ground slowly unfurled as the protagonist walked on it. It was an iconic scene in that film that happened during one of the songs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sally’s Lament (A Twisted Tale) by Mari Mancusi

Publication Date: October 8
Why I’m Interested: I liked The Nightmare Before Christmas when I was a kid and am curious to see what this retelling of it is like.

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Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Things I Totally Misunderstood as a Kid

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

Photo of a few hundred dollars bills crumpled up in the hands of a light-skinned person. The bills look like a bird’s nest. In the background of the image you can see a forest floor. Here are a few fun stories about things I misunderstood as a kid.

Story #1

There was a wooden box in the foyer of the church my family attended. I saw someone put money into it when I was about 3 or 4 years old and asked my parents what that person was doing.

”They’re giving it to God,” was the reply. As God was somewhere up in the sky so far as I knew, I wasn’t sure how the money was going to make it from that box all the way up past the clouds.

After thinking about it for a while, I decided the church ushers probably unlocked the box, took the money outside, and threw it up really high so God could catch it once everyone had cleared the parking lot and it was safe to stand out there for a while.

 

Story #2

”My doctor recommends Dr. Pepper” is a phrase that has echoed through my head since I was five. Did I see it on a commercial or billboard somewhere? Did someone tell it to me jokingly? I feel like I might have seen it on an old poster, possibly by the community swimming pool, but I don’t know if that part of the memory is accurate.

What do remember is being very suspicious of any doctor who thought soda was something you should drink every day. He or she couldn’t possibly have known what they were talking about in my concrete 5-year-old worldview.

 

Story #3

My parents were making spaghetti and talking about prom in our family kitchen one evening. They disapproved of the things teenagers did after prom.

“What will they be doing?” I asked. I was about 5 at the time.

”Oh, acting like they’re married,” my parents said. What they meant is that there might be premarital sex after the dance, something that was strictly forbidden in our church.

But what I thought was, “what’s wrong with making spaghetti? Maybe they’re really hungry after all of that dancing?”

 

Story #4

Drug Abuse Resistance Education, or D.A.R.E, was an American educational program that teaches elementary-aged students about the dangers of drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes in the hope that it would prevent them using any of those substances when they grew older. (So far as I can tell, it’s rarely taught these days although similar programs are still around).

I happened to switch schools at exactly the right stage in life to miss out on being part of this program. My old school gave these presentations to sixth graders, but I stopped attending it after the fifth grade due to a cross-country move my parents made that summer for a new job. The new school my family enrolled me in only taught it to fifth graders,  so little Lydia wasn’t eligible for it when she started the sixth grade that autumn.

My misunderstanding about the program was about its name. I thought each word in it signified a different step in the growth process:

First you did drugs.

Then came abuse.

Then came resistance to change.

Then came education and, I presumed, the end of the cycle and a healthier future.

It felt a little too dramatic in my mind, but I was sure the grownups had good intentions.

Honestly, I was about the last kid in the world who needed this class, though. No one in my family smoke, drank, or did drugs. Even when a few relatives dabbled in smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol when I was older, they only did so socially and occasionally. Nobody was addicted or anything, and I grew up to have zero interest in anything other than the very rare strawberry margarita or something before I gave up even that tiny amount of alcohol as well.

That class may have been more meaningful for kids whose friends or relatives had substance use disorders, though. I was very lucky to grow up in a family that was not tempted by such things.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books on My Summer 2024 To-Read List


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

A adorable little figurine of a yellow rubber ducky who is sitting in a beach chair and reading a book. This figurine has been placed on a beach, and you can see a wave gently reaching the shore in the distance on this calm and sunny day. Look how many answers I came up with for this seasonal TBR post!

I often struggle with them due to being a mood reader and relying on my local library for the majority of what I read, so I was thrilled to see how long my list was this time.

Last summer was very smoky here in Ontario due to the massive wildfires burning across our country, and there were quite a few days when we were strongly encouraged to remain indoors due to the poor air quality. It’s been better so far this year, but thank goodness for books on days that are smoky!

I’m writing this post in advance while hoping that this June will have much cleaner air. Fingers crossed.

Book cover for The Afterlife of Mal Caldera by Nadi Reed Perez. Image on cover shows a series of seven images that look like stained glass windows. They show a skeleton doing things like dancing, singing, playing a trombone, and, at the top image, talking to someone who is still alive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. The Afterlife of Mal Caldera by Nadi Reed Perez

Why I’m Interested: I love ghost stories in general and enjoy them even more when they’re written from the perspective of the ghost herself.

Book cover for querade by O.O. Sangoyomi. Image on cover shows a drawing of a gorgeous African woman wearing a red dress and red headdress. She’s surrounded by large golden flowers. There is an elephant behind her, and its trunk is lightly hugging her legs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Masquerade by O.O. Sangoyomi

Publication Date: July 2

Why I’m Interested: A retelling of Persephone set in Africa in the fifteenth century sounds amazing to me.

Book cover for querade by O.O. Sangoyomi. Image on cover is a comic-style drawing of a little orange cat who has a speech bubble above her head with the title written in it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Woe: A Housecat’s Story of Despair (Library Binding) by Lucy Knisley

Publication Date: July 2
Why I’m Interested: Cats are fascinating to me. I can never be around them due to how terribly allergic I am to them, so books about them must suffice.

Book cover for We Carry the Sea in Our Hands by Janie Kim. Image on cover shows a stylized, oceanic-themed drawing of a pair of blue hands attempting to clasp a liquid swirl of gold and blue matter as it drains and disappears from view.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. We Carry the Sea in Our Hands by Janie Kim

Publication Date: July 9

Why I’m Interested: I’m interested in books about foster care, adoption, and race. This book covers all three topics.

Book cover for  Ruin Their Crops on the Ground: The Politics of Food in the United States, from the Trail of Tears to School Lunch by Andrea Freeman. Image on cover shows a close-up photo of two ears of corn that have black kernels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.  Ruin Their Crops on the Ground: The Politics of Food in the United States, from the Trail of Tears to School Lunch by Andrea Freeman

Publication Date: July 16

Why I’m Interested: It sounds fascinating.

Book cover for The Bluestockings: A History of the First Women's Movement by Susannah Gibson. Image on cover shows part of an old painting of a wealthy white woman who is wearing a flowing blue gown and holding a book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. The Bluestockings: A History of the First Women’s Movement by Susannah Gibson

Publication Date: July 23

Why I’m Interested: This is a slice of history I don’t know much about.

Book cover for She Who Knows: Firespitter by Nnedi Okorafor. Image on cover shows a drawing of an African woman who is wearing an animal skull and vertebrae as a hat. Golden light is shining on her face.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.  She Who Knows: Firespitter by Nnedi Okorafor

Publication Date: August 20

Why I’m Interested: Ms. Okorafor has written some incredible stories, so I always check out her new stuff.

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Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Characters I See Differently Now Than I Used To

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

Photo of a red barn and a red farmhouse. There is a grassy field in the foreground and a nice, big forest behind the house. The sky overhead is partly cloudy. I was only able to think of one answer this week.

Marilla Cuthbert

When I first read L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series as a child, I thought Marilla was far too stuck in her ways and strict with Anne.

I reread that series a year or two ago and was surprised by how much more I sympathize with her now. Marilla was a single, childless woman who had zero parenting experience and who had grown up during an era when children were supposed to be seen and not heard.

Of course she had some trouble adjusting to suddenly raising a stubborn, hyper, 11-year-old girl who never stopped talking! As much as I love Anne, I would be just as perplexed and overwhelmed as Marilla was in that situation. It would take time to figure out how to successfully parent a kid her age and with her past, especially in the 1800s when there were no social workers to call for advice and few if any parenting manuals to read.

 

 

 

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Summer Bookish Wishes


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

My previous bookish wishes are as follow: Winter Solstice Bookish Wishes, Bookish Wishes, Bookish Wishes 2, Bookish Wishes 3.

As always, I do not wish to have any books purchased for me or to purchase books for others. Some of my wishes will be a little too esoteric for that, and the rest can be satisfied if anyone has a good recommendation or two for me.

Three flat, white stones stacked on top of each other on the perfectly smooth sand of a beach. You can see the lake or ocean water in the distance. 1. A Lighthearted Beach Read About Friendship

Romantic subplots are totally fine, but I’d prefer the main storyline to be about platonic relationships.

Summer Sisters by Judy Blume was one book in this genre I’ve previously enjoyed.

 

2. Nonfiction Books About Biology, Archeology, or Similar Subjects 

I love reading about science and living organisms whether the topic is hunter-gatherers from the distant past or how tree frogs are doing in 2024.

3. More Uninterrupted Time to Write 

It can be hard to concentrate again after you’ve been interrupted!

 

4. No More Writer’s Block

It has been slowing me down so much.

 

5. No More Forest Fires This Year

Canada’s forest fires were awful last year. Is it too much to ask for clean air to breathe while I read and write?

 

5. Dairy-Free Chocolate

Do I technically need it while I read and write? No, but it sure is enjoyable.

 

6. Stories About the Underdog Winning

They can be from any genre. I love seeing the little guy get justice  and prevail against nearly-impossible odds.

 

7. Short Stories

Almost all of the short stories I read are science fiction, fantasy, or horror, but I’ll branch out to many other genres: mystery, westerns, romance, etc. All I ask is that the tale itself is well written.

 

A photo of a black hardcover book lying on a forest floor in a patch of dirt. Maybe it’s next to a tree whose leaves are too numerous to allow grass to grow there? In the distance you can see the calm water of a pond. 8. Humorous Fiction

I am hoping to go to the beach this summer, and there’s nothing like reading something funny while the sun shines down on you and the seagulls fly in the distance. It’s so relaxing.

 

9. Spanish Media

I have diligently been studying Spanish these past couple of years. If you have a favourite Spanish picture book, song, or tv show to recommend, I’d love to check it out.

 

10. Quiet Reading Time

Maybe I’ll go somewhere outdoors to get it?

 

 

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Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Books That Are Tearjerkers

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

Photo of a biracial woman dabbing away tears from her cheek as she cries. She is wearing a white, longsleeved blouse and has a lovely Afro. I enjoyed tearjerkers a lot more when I was a kid than I do now as an adult. Or maybe my tastes in this genre have simply evolved over time?

If a book advertises itself as a tearjerker, I am generally less interested in reading it than I would have been at 8 or 10. (Perhaps this is why so many of the stories on my list are written for roughly that age group give or take a few years?)

But if a well-written story happens to have a few scenes that make me cry, I don’t mind it one bit.

Here are some tearjerkers I’ve enjoyed at various ages. As I haven’t reread most of them recently, I can’t say whether my opinion of them remains the same! Hopefully, they’re just as good as I recall, though.

1. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

2. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

3. Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World’s Worst Dog by John Grogan

4. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

5. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

6. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (Logans, #4) by Mildred D. Taylor

7. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams Bianco

8. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

9. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

10. Still Alice by Lisa Genova

11. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (Whistle Stop #1) by Fannie Flagg

12. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

This last book is my one exception to the rule. I reread it last year and it was even better than it was the first time around. If you can handle something that talks about infertility, child loss, and grief in a 1920s-era but still fairytale-like format, I highly recommend it.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Had Very Strong Emotions About


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

A photo of the arm of a pale-skinned person who is holding two balloons against some beige drapes. Both balloons are yellow. One shows a kissing face emoji and the other shows the emoji whose eyes have been replaced with two little red hearts. What a cute scene!Interestingly enough, the Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge topic for tomorrow is about books that are tearjerkers.

To balance that out, today I will list some books that made me laugh. If you are in the mood for a humorous read, go check out these titles if you haven’t read them already.

1.The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, #1) by Douglas Adams

2. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett

3. The Princess Bride by William Goldman

4. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

5. I Am America by Stephen Colbert

(No, you do not need to be American or have ever been to the United States of America to enjoy this satire!)

6. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

7. Furiously Happy: A Funny Book about Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Museums I Want to Visit

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

A photo of Stonehenge on an overcast day. The stones are covered in a thin, spotty layer of moss. My answer to this week’s question is basically all of them. It’s rare for me to hear of a museum or gallery and not want to see it! The Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario here in Toronto are both excellent. If any of you are ever in town, I highly recommend adding them to your itinerary and would visit them with you, too, if you’re interested.

With that being said,  here are the museums that are still at the top of my list to visit someday.

Stonehenge

It’s not a traditional sort of museum, but it’s a mysterious historical site that I’d love to visit. If only we knew more about who created it, how they managed to move such massive boulders, and what they used this location for!

. The rest of my answers will be of actual buildings one can visit to see art and exhibits.

 

The National Museum of Ethiopia

I have never been to Ethiopia, but this would be the first place I’d visit if I did go there. Not only do they have Lucy, the first Australopithecus Afarensis remains that were ever discovered, they also have multiple floors dedicated to Ethiopian history and culture. It would be amazing to soak up that knowledge and history.

 

Mütter Museum

This museum is in Philadelphia. Their exhibits explore advancements in the medical field that have saved countless lives, rare birth defects, bodies that were preserved in unusual ways after death, the history of how various diseases were treated, and so much more. I think this would be a fascinating place to spend a day.

 

Neanderthal Museum 

You all may remember how much I love learning about prehistory and Neanderthals. The name of this museum gives away what it’s about. It is located very close to the Neander Valley in Germany where the first Neanderthal remains were found in 1856. I wouldn’t want to leave until I’d read and examined every bit of every display there.

Louvre 

Imagine being able to see the Mona Lisa in person in France among the many other famous works of art to be found here.  That would be incredible.

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Was Super Excited to Get My Hands on but Still Haven’t Read


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Surreal painting of a little pale-skinned person sitting on the edge of a pond with their legs hanging over the water while the sky above is dark but there is a pale blue light over the horizon. The light in the sky is brighter than the moon but dimmer than the sun. You can see a reflection of it in the pond, although it is partially distorted by ripples in the water. The pond is set on a hill, and you can see two more hills behind it. Is this set at dusk or dawn? Why is the person wearing a hat but not a jacket? Why are they alone so close to the water and at such a lonely time of day? I own ebook copies of all of these titles, but there are so many incredible books out there that I have not yet managed to read anything from this list yet.

Part of the problem is that my attention span isn’t as long as it was when I was a kid.

I tend to gravitate towards short stories, novellas, and short novels these days instead of mostly reading regular to long novels like I did back then.

Maybe Toronto will have a lot of thunderstorms this summer?

I find I’m more interested in digging into something full length if the weather outside isn’t conducive to doing something active there instead.

It’s hard to remain cooped up inside on a pleasant, sunny day.

At least half of these recommendations came from my friend Berthold Gambrel, so I’ll tip my cap to him for recommending them. If you love talking about indie books or older films, he’s a great person to follow. Just tell him that Lydia sent you over to say hello. 🙂 

 

 

Book cover for Vander’s Magic Carpet by Patrick Prescott. Image on cover is a photograph of train tracks taken at night. You can see what might be the light of an oncoming train at the very edge of the cover. Then again, maybe it’s moonlight instead!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.Vander’s Magic Carpet by Patrick Prescott

Why I’m Interested: Patrick is an Internet friend of mine, and I’ve been curious about this story of revenge and magic carpets for a long time.

Book cover for The Devil and the Wolf by Richard Pastore. Image on cover shows a sketch of two people, one in a blue suit and one in a red suit whose colour fades to grey at the shoulders, walking down a grey path and towards the head of an enormous blue-grey wolf that looks like it is about to devour them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. The Devil and the Wolf by Richard L. Pastore

Why I’m Interested: This sounds hilarious. Richard is another Internet friend of mine I’ve gotten to know well over the years.

 

An Assortment of Rejected Futures by Noah Goats. Image on cover is a photo of the branches of a leafless tree against a starry night sky. It appears to be dusk or dawn as the sky is purple instead of plain black.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. An Assortment of Rejected Futures by Noah Goats

Why I’m Interested: I love both reading and writing short stories. They can be so entertaining and memorable.

 

Book cover for The Left Hand of Dog - an Extremely Silly Tale of Alien Abduction by Si Clarke. Image on cover shows the silhoutte of a person and a medium-sized leashed dog standing on a hill and admiring the night sky. Curiously enough, there is a gigantic purple, blue, and pink teapot in the sky that is pouring some extra light into the sky through its spout.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. The Left Hand of Dog – an Extremely Silly Tale of Alien Abduction by Si Clarke

Why I’m Interested: Silly science fiction about aliens? Sign me up!

 

 

Book cover for Born of the Sun: A novel of human ancestors by Peter Munford. Image on cover shows a drawing of a large leg bone lying on cracked and dried red soil. The sun is setting over this desert scene, but it still feels unbearably hot and dry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.Born of the Sun: A novel of human ancestors by Peter Munford

 

Why I’m Interested: I love reading about prehistory and the various hominids that have lived on Earth. This is set about 2 million years ago, so it could be quite interesting to compare how people are now to how pre-human species were back then.

 

Book cover for A Reconciliation With Death by Cody Ray George. Image on cover shows a drawing of a short-haired person sitting on a couch and looking wistfully through the blinds at the world outside. Have they finally decided to try to heal from their trauma, maybe?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. A Reconciliation With Death by Cody Ray George

Why I’m Interested: So many post-apocalyptic books end before their characters have any chance at all to begin recovering from what they’ve endured. I relish the thought of reading something that acknowledges that a terrible plague happened but then speeds forward to see how the characters recover from it. Healing is vastly underrated in speculative fiction in my opinion.  We need more hope in the world.

 

Book cover for Little House on the Wasteland by Laura Ingalls-Wei, Amanda Platsis (Illustrator), Christopher McElwain (Translator). Image on cover is a drawing of the characters from Little House on the Prairie but in a futuristic postapocalyptic setting. They are walking down an abandoned road and keeping an eye out for trouble. This scene is framed by a torn and decaying white and red gingham curtain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Little House on the Wasteland by Laura Ingalls-Wei, Amanda Platsis (Illustrator), Christopher McElwain (Translator)

Why I’m Interested: Horror and Laura Ingalls Wilder are two things I’d never think to blend together, but the people I know who read this book really loved it. I need to find out for myself how such wildly different styles of writing can improve each other.

 

Book cover for American Chimera by H.R.R Gorman. Image on cover shows a gold scarab beetle against a gold and brown background. The beetle looks like it’s a toy or a pin instead of a real beetle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. American Chimera by H.R.R Gorman

Why I’m Interested: Chimeras are fascinating.

Book cover for Roach by Liz Boysha. Image on cover is a drawing of a red, winged, six-legged insect. It is nothing like any roach I’ve ever seen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9.  Roach by Liz Boysha

Why I’m Interested: People turning into bugs in stories is one thing…but a roach turning into a person? This could be really good.

 

Book cover for Born in a Treacherous time (Dawn of Humanity #1) by Jacqui Murray. image on cover shows a drawing of a long-haired person holding a spear and a wolf striding confidently towards the viewer. Behind them is a mammoth who has been superimposed onto the scene.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Born in a Treacherous time (Dawn of Humanity #1) by Jacqui Murray

Why I’m Interested: As mentioned earlier, I love reading stories set in prehistory. This one is set 1.8 million years ago, a time period I have not read as much about as I have other time periods. Here’s hoping it’s an exciting and educational read.

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Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: How I Feel About Staycations

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

A photo looking down at someone’s legs as they stand on a porch next to a welcome mat that has the word “home” written on it in a thick black font. The “o” in the letter home has been replaced with a red heart. I have mixed feelings about staycations.

Sometimes they’re the perfect choice if you’re exhausted and/or don’t have the budget to travel elsewhere.

They can be a nice, relaxing way to recharge under those circumstances. There is definitely something to be said for keeping things low key and thrifty.

On the other hand, there’s the temptation to treat a staycation like any other time of the year and not make any fun memories during them at all.

This happened to my spouse and I years ago. We didn’t have the funds to travel anywhere that time, and I totally understood and accepted that.

The problem was that we didn’t do much stuff that was out of the ordinary for us during our staycation from what I can recall. I still washed the dishes and did the grocery shopping, (most of the) cooking, and laundry. We still ate out at the inexpensive fast food restaurants we’d normally visit if I’m not cooking that night for whatever reason.

Other than not working, it was completely like any other week. We didn’t try any new places from what I can recall, and I only remember going to one free place that I’d previously enjoyed. The rest of the time was spent watching tv and wandering around a local mall. (No offence meant to people who think that sounds like the perfect vacation, by the way! To each their own. It’s simply not my cup of tea.)

These days I’m more assertive about staycations. Yes, I’ll stick to whatever the budget is for the week, but I am going to break my daily routines and go to some nice dairy-free bakeries, parks I don’t get to visit very often, or free local events at the bare minimum! My spouse doesn’t have to accompany me, and I certainly won’t fill every day with long lists of places to visit or anything like that. A couple of hours every other day or so to spend on stuff I really love to do is enough to make me happy.  That leaves plenty of time for walking around the mall, watching tv, or doing nothing in particular, too. 😉

I simply need more from a vacation than doing the same things we always do and then going home to do chores. That’s not my idea of a good time.

Staycations can be a wonderful option if you treat your local community as if you’re a tourist there and go to places you normally don’t visit (or places you’ve visited before and already know are perfect for your tastes!)

They can also be disappointing, at least from my perspective, if you stick to the same old routines every day and don’t branch out at all.

So much depends on how you plan ahead for them and how much effort everyone puts into the experience.

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