Currently feeling the bittersweet and beauty of this time of year and trying to get in all the things we love to do like apple picking, golden hikes, seasonal baking, and reading outside.  Below I’m writing about a few of the books we’re currently especially enjoying and some odds and ends that have been serving us well, whether it’s a way to feel particularly in the moment or  some new floral shoes.

The gifted books are indicated by the thanked publishers who are so kind and wonderful to work with and the links are all affiliate, so thank you for using them or for shopping your independent bookstore.

My Current Reads

  • Mia P. Manansala’s Arsenic and Adobo
    • I’m listening to this cozy mystery and it’s exactly what I want out of a cozy mystery.
  • Rebecca Balcarcel’s The Other Half of Happy
    • Thank you, Chronicle! I just finished this middle grade novel the other day and ohhhhh is it lovely. Beautiful wisdom is scattered through this tender, resonating story of 12 year old Quijana and it is truly one of the most special books I’ve read.  A gem.  Please, please do yourself a favor and pick it up!
  • Michelle Harrison’s A Pinch of Magic
    • I just started this one and it’s DELIGHTFUL.  Perfect for this time of year- opening on Halloween night and full of mystery and magic. If middle grade and magic and books with maps at the front appeal to you, click to read the summary of this one.  Doesn’t it sound amazing?  Really excited about this find.


Current Kids’ Books We’re Loving

  • Poppy Green’s and Jennifer A. Bell’s Sophie Mouse and the Hidden Cottage
    • The Sophie Mouse series is the most read around here by far.  We all love these early readers and I can’t recommend them enough.
  • Janet Costa Bates’s and A.G. Ford’s Time for Bed, Old House
    • Thank you, Candlewick! I’m guessing you, too, appreciate a book that has a knack for making everyone sleepy.  This book is super sweet as a grandfather and his grandson say good night to the house to help the little boy feel more comfortable on his first sleepover. So loving, charming, and timeless.
  • Claudia Ruida’s Redlocks and the Three Bears
    • Thank you, Chronicle! We’re reading this on repeat and acting it out, which is always a lovely indication of what stories particularly capture our daughter’s imagination.  I love when writers play with fairytales and this is a cute take with Little Red Riding Hood popping into the book next door to escape the Big Bad Wolf, who ends up just being misunderstood.
  • Deborah Underwood’s and Cindy Derby’s Outside In
    • Picked up this one at our library thanks to the recommendation by Beth Anne. This one is so beautiful and I always love books that remind us to slow down and soak in the outside world.
  • Inga Moore’s Moose’s Book Bus
    • Thank you, Candlewick!  Book lovers a.k.a. all of you, please add this one to the shelf of a little one you treasure! It’s so classic feeling and heartwarming.  The illustrations bring a whimsical and cozy world to life and the story, of Moose creating a book bus after his fireside story time becomes too crowded, is a delight.  Read it with a cup of hot chocolate.
  • Emily Winfield Martin’s The Littlest Family’s Big Day
    • One of our top board books.  Everyone knows board books need to be particularly good since they’re read over and over again and this one stays fresh and magical with the most beautiful illustrations.
  • Sherry Duskey Rinker’s and AG Ford’s Construction Site: Road Crew Coming Through!
    • Thank you, Chronicle!  This is the newest in the beloved series and one of my favorites.  It’s just plain fun to read aloud with your kid with the wonderful rhythm Rinker always delivers on and the classic illustrations by Ford, but it also really made me stop and think about how much work goes into making a road, prompting some fascinating conversations.
  • Susan Hood’s and Linda Yan’s We Are One: How The World Adds Up
    • Thank you, Candlewick!  Gah, are the illustrations in this one cute.  It’s a poetic look, in both actual poetry and way of thinking, about how numbers make up our world, which is such a unique and wonderful combination. This book is a beautiful way to see how our world, well, adds up: all these small parts leading to big pictures.


  • The delightful rabbit holes I get to go down while learning with my kids.
    • In this case, I should say frog holes, because have you seen the glass frog? That is nuts.
  • Thinking about storytelling about our own lives.
    • I started thinking about it in the context of kids.  Like, what roles do we box our kids into because of the stories we choose and shape around them?
    • Then I started thinking about the narratives I might be trying to fit my life into or that I used to tell about myself that have changed. I’m still thinking about this and in what ways it can be harmful or helpful.  Even just thinking about life through this frame has been a useful exercise.
  • Using breath.
    • I heard someone talk about closing your eyes as you inhale and opening them on an exhale to center yourself in the moment.  I gave it a quick try and was surprised by how much it worked.  Since then, I’ve been trying it at different times, from looking at fall leaves to just sitting on my couch, and I love how peaceful and meaningful it is for such a simple thing.
  • Lingering over Anne Bogel’s post on “making things happen vs. letting things happen”.
    • This is an idea I come back to in life again and again and I love how Anne writes about it.
  • Loving these floral slip-on sneakers and eyeing this sweater.
    • I’m the person who makes any shoes slip-on shoes…oops, so I’ve been so happy to come across shoes like these. I like that they work with almost everything I wear and the floral pattern of these ones reminds me of Anna Rifle Bond at a fraction of the cost.
    • As for the sweater, I ordered it a bit ago in a color that ended up not working for me, but it was SO soft, so I might be trying again.
  • Enjoying consuming the fall content out there this year.
  • Ordering a few Christmas presents early.
    • This sightseeing bus, or as we’re pretending, London bus toy looks like it will age really well for our daughter, from batting at the bus and people to using it in imaginary play.  Our older daughter loves this fishing toy at school, so we’re going to surprise her with it and she asked for this Belle Lego set, which, yes, is like Polly Pocket and, yes, is held inside a book.  We’re thinking about this wind-up penguin bath toy as a stocking stuffer and this board game, which I’m hoping might be slightly more fun than Candyland ; ).
  • Dorie Greenspan’s punitions recipe.
  • The delight of Only Murders in the Building on Hulu.
    • The best crafted show I’ve seen in a long time.  Highly recommend!  (Also, fellow scaredy-cats, this is not scary).

What have you been enjoying these days?

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