In this post, I share a book review of The Authenticity Project, plus four joyful finds, including a dress, a meditation podcast, the perfect working background noise, and some new dinner recipes.
Long time readers will know that there are a few things that I that particularly adore: books, London, coffee shops, and yellow cars. The Authenticity Project, by Clare Pooley, is a story that includes all of those things, and I delighted in every page.
The Authenticity Project Book Review
This heartwarming story is told from the perspective of six strangers who become connected through a simple green notebook. The notebook is left behind in a cafe, and picked up by the shop’s owner, a 30-something girl named Monica. The moment she reads the first page, she becomes intrigued by the 79-year old man who poured out his deepest secrets in his entry.
In turn, Monica is inspired to use the book as a confessional to unload some of her greatest struggles. She writes an anonymous entry on the next page. From there, the little green notebook weaves its way in and out of the lives of four more individuals, who are each facing unique challenges.
As they connect, the characters learn that in sharing their truest, authentic selves, they are able to make others feel loved and accepted. I wanted to cry as I just typed that sentence, as it’s exactly what I try to encourage through this blog and my brand.
The Authenticity Project is a feel-good book, without the fluff. The writing is fantastic, and by the end, the characters will feel like friends. If there’s a book to enjoy alongside a good cup of tea, this is the one. It is hands-down my favorite book I’ve read this year so far.
Here are a few more things that are bringing me joy this week:
Yellow Sundress from Amazon
I purchased this yellow dress from Amazon a couple of months ago, dreaming of an occasion when I’d get to go out and wear it. Truthfully, I couldn’t wait and put it on to go to the supermarket, soon after it arrived. But last Sunday night we went out to dinner, and I finally had an appropriate reason to put it on again. The dress, mixed with my excitement around being out for the first time in forever, made the whole thing very magical. I may have twirled.
The Morning Ritual Meditation Podcast with Lilly Balch
As I shared in my first book review/joyful things post, I have been slacking on my meditation habit lately. But this week, my sister Laura sent me the perfect thing to get me back on track. The Morning Ritual with Lilly Balch is a meditative podcast that boasts a sprawling archive of topics like gratitude, goal setting, creativity, and clarity. Most of the practices are under ten minutes and Lilly guides you through each one with grace and peace. Unlike all of the apps I’ve used in the past, the recordings are all free, with no signup involved. I can’t recommend it enough.
Walking Video Tours on YouTube
August is the time of year when wanderlust hits the hardest for me. It’s when my family typically took our vacations when I was a kid, and more recently when my husband and I do our traveling. We’re staying put this month, but I’ve found an alternate way to explore the world without leaving my desk: walking video tours on YouTube. This week, I’ve been keeping these streaming on the tv in my office. They make the perfect background accompaniment to work. If you search, you can find just about any location. I’ve been rotating through the places I love and miss most: Walt Disney World, Cape Cod, and London.
Recipes from Pinch of Yum
Like many of you, I’ve been using quarantine to hone my cooking skills and try new recipes. This week, I feel as though I’ve started a new chapter, thanks to the site Pinch of Yum. I’ve been following and bookmarking their content on Instagram for a while, but finally tried out two of their recipes: Buffalo Chicken Tacos and BBQ Salmon with Mango Avocado Salsa. Both were home runs. The recipes are easy to follow and the food tasted incredible. I’m so glad that the site has such an extensive collection of recipes because I’m ready to try all of them.
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We need to see a picture of YOU in that dress! It’s so cute.
You’re too kind, Brianna! I’m still in love with the dress. 🙂