Summer always comes with relief, but this June seems much more relaxing than any other has been. I’ve done lots of reading (surprise, surprise), crossed a couple movie off my never ending to-be-watched list, caught up on Gilmore Girls, done some writing, and laid around doing absolutely nothing. People talk about being bored in the summer, but I  think if you look in the right places, you’ll never be bored. It’s just a matter of wanting to pull yourself out of boredom.


My Name is Asher Lev – Talk about deep!? This book! Wow! The questions it presents about art and faith, responsibility, and family really cut me to the core. Chaim Potok does a wonderful job slowly building up his story. It escalates so gradually that one doesn’t realize the extent of the plot’s effects until the end. Honestly this book is brilliant and it’s one of those that everyone should read. It would work as a great screenplay too… (I think I smell another project in the air…).

A Good Man is Hard to Find – My dad first mentioned Flannery O’Connor to me and wow! is she good. She packs so much purpose into her short stories; every element is used for the execution of her message. Her endings are rather jarring, almost like Steinbeck’s endings (anyone else a little scarred by The Pearl or Of Mice and Men?). But quite frankly those kind of endings make me think much more deeply than the light hearted ones.

The  Brother’s Karamazov – It took me almost 200 pages to really get into this one, but now that I’m about halfway through, I’m thoroughly engrossed – emotionally and mentally. Dostoyevsky presents some very thought provoking questions about the effect of the choices we make upon our lives and the lives around us. It feels very “now how shall we live?” When I finish it, I’ll try to put my full thoughts up. I’ve been bad about putting up book reviews as of late.

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the western books are story research – of which you are not yet privy to *wink*


Gilmore Girls – Okay it’s not a movie, but since I typically never watch tv it deserves to be here. I’m almost done with the second season and ahhhhhhhhh feelings. I’m conflicted. It’s great. I love it. For those of you who know me, you should be proud I’ve made it almost three seasons into a tv show.


Interstellar – I watched it twice because – why not? It’s amazing and my best friend hadn’t seen her yet, so I (of course) had to explode her brain with the theory of relativity and black holes and such. My full review is here.

500 Days of Summer – This one produced a very mixed reaction in me. I liked its unconventionality and quirkiness a lot. The ending was thoughtful and that was nice. But I really didn’t appreciate some of the *ahem* content. The innuendos and language were really unappreciated. And I wasn’t sure I agreed with everything it brought up. But at the same time I still really liked it. So, I don’t know. Not sure I’d recommend, but it was good.


West Side Story – Ahhh! Why haven’t I watched this before? The music – my goodness – was golden. All that snapping, all the soprano parts, and Sondheim! – apparently Sondheim worked on some of the music, which I mean explains its greatness. My sisters and I keep quoting the movie to each other, especially “vamanose muchachos,” which lends itself well in many a situation. Anyways, I loved it, even though the ending was tragic. Every time I watch something based on Romeo and Juliet I always hope it ends different but it never does. *sighs* Also, Tony is very good looking. *sighs again*


Darkest Hour – I was really looking forward to this one, and I didn’t end up liking it as much as I thought I would. Of course, they did a great job showing Churchill’s determination against tyranny and it was well put together, but somehow it still fell flat for me. I guess I was expecting something more epic and it wasn’t quite as large in scale as I hoped. All that sad, it wasn’t a bad movie, just not particularly as good as I hoped.


The Secret Garden – Um, how did I not know Many Patinkin had such a large Broadway career when he’s so amazingly talented? I only knew like two songs from this from the good old third grade days of listening to the Broadway Pandora station. (Remember Pandora anyone? Spotify made that a thing of the past real quick.) I really really really liked it. It’s rather eerie in parts but ultimately hopeful. And the music is really well done.


Big Fish (Musical) – Very cute and sweet even if a little cheesy at times. I think I’d appreciate it more if I’d seen the movie, which I fully intend to see. The daffodils songs is especially sweet.

West Side Story – MAaaaRRRRiiiiiAAAAA. That’s all. My sisters and I can’t stop singing it.

The Light in the Piazza – I expected to like this a lot more. A lot more. And while the music was very very well done and interesting, I just couldn’t get into the story that much. The music is gorgeous though and I’d like to watch the 60’s movie.


Interstellar Soundtrack – Hans Zimmer is a genius. I keep learning new things about this soundtrack and I’m more amazed every time. The ticking in the back ground is a brilliant way to subconsciously make the audience anxious about the passage of time and the melody is soaring. I especially like the pieces “Coward” and “Stay.”


I told myself I’d write more this summer than this school year, and I think I have, just not as much as I’d like. I’ve done much journaling lately, began extensively outlining a plot and the characters for a story idea I have, and have continued editing Meg and James.

I also joined this really cool website for Christian authors called Story Embers. I really like their motto and they are very ernest about helping Christian writers create stories that aren’t flimsy and shallow. Highly recommend joining.


Mountain Vacation  

Every year, since before I was born, my family has gone to this small mountain town about 8 hours upstate. I’ve grown to love the drive and the town more than anything else summer has to offer. (Well, anything besides friendships of course.) I love the delicate beauty of the wildflowers and grasses amidst the strength of the pines and towering rock slopes. It’s beautiful there and I sincerely hope I live in that town, or one like it, someday. This year, like most years, we spent a lot of time relaxing and taking in the view, hiking, and consuming altogether too much coffee and sugar. T’was lovely.


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While I was there I had the wonderful opportunity of meeting… dun dun da daaa… Lissa! – of the charming An Attempt to Be Classic. We got to spend the day talking, sipping chai tea, traipsing through gold rush ruins, and laughing. I’m happy to say that Lissa is just as lovely a human as she is on the phone and on her blog.

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Beach Bookstore

I have been blessed to live in a state where both the mountains and the beach are not too far from my home, so a couple weeks ago my best friend (Katelyn), my two sisters, and I drove town to the beach and visited this charming little bookstore and drank some wonderful coffee from a shop facing the shore. At which coffeeshop we also discovered an espresso too strong for even Katelyn, who has a reputation for drinking coffee that might as well be gasoline.


It’s a small thing, a very small thing, but it’s worth mentioning here, considering my hair has only been cut a few inches in the whole of my almost eighteen years. A few days ago I chopped almost half of it off, and surprisingly, I haven’t regretted it. It looks healthier than it ever has and, according to my friends and mom, it suits my personality well. It isn’t short, but considering my hair has gone down almost my whole back my entire life, it is short for me.


That’s it for this month folks. How was your June?

Also, I will be signing off for the next couple weeks as I’ll be at camp out of state. Hopefully I’ll come back with much more to talk about!

6 responses to “June in Review”

  1. Lissa Avatar

    I’m so glad we go to meet! Thanks for you’re sweet words, you’re far too kind!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thebookshopbarista Avatar

      Me too! And naw, they’re all very true ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Melina Elisa Avatar

    You sounded like you had a super eventful june! Sounds amazing. I also live close enough to the beach and the mountains. While I’ve gone to the beach a few times, I still haven’t had much of a chance to go to the mountains yet! I think I’m going to the mountains in a few weeks though to spend the night there. Hope you have a great July xx

    Melina |

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thebookshopbarista Avatar

      The mountains are beautiful! Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Brianna Faith Avatar

    I love Gilmore Girls! I don’t watch a lot of shows, and I actually find it hard to binge watch things for some reason 😂 but Gilmore Girls is one of the shows I’ve actually gotten addicted to. Now that I’ve seen them all I can just watch random episodes without getting confused which is nice.

    Also ‘500 days of summer’ was cute for all of Zoey Deschanel’s quirky adorableness (not to mention her wardrobe) but I wasn’t a huge fan of the story itself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thebookshopbarista Avatar

      Honestly same. I’m not a big tv person but Gilmore Girls is great. Awww yes, I’m not at that level yet but soon lol.
      Yeah the quirkiness was really cute but I’m still sorting out my opinions on the message of the story.

      Liked by 1 person

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