Rambling Recommendations: The Paper Magician Series

I am OBSESSED with these stories! I got The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg (the first installment) to check out for free through Amazon Prime Reading, and I just fell in love with Ceony and Emery.

I wasn’t sure at first–fairly early on, Ceony goes off on an adventure (seemingly) far from the magician she’s apprenticing for (the adorable and charming Emery Thane–a pairing I was already shipping HARD) so my interest waned slightly. But, guys, there’s still a pretty great love story woven into her battle for Emery’s literal heart, one that I think is sustained really well throughout the three books. Full disclosure, there’s a fourth book in the series but I haven’t read it…yet.

The summary, for those who need more: in this world, magicians are bonded to a certain material that they’re able to manipulate (paper, plastic, metal, glass, rubber…). Ceony is assigned to a paper magician despite her desire to become a Smelter (one who works with metal). She grudgingly learns all the weird lessons Emery assigns her, until a woman breaks into his home and steals his literal heart (she’s evil/bonded to flesh, so *mom disclosure* there is some fighting involving tossing vials of blood around, but it never really struck me as graphic/gruesome, so I think even the more squeamish will be ok). Ceony creates a paper placeholder heart and chases her down, determined to save her mentor’s life.

Also, there’s an adorable paper dog who just melts my heart. The whole thing is so imaginative and delightful. It’s a fast read; I read through all three books in about a week (granted, I was on vacation for some of that time, but we were exploring Louisville so my reading time wasn’t *so* extended). I highly recommend this series for anyone looking for a fun, easy read that will still linger in your mind long after you’ve set it down!

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Fantasy Football is Here

Let me start this out with full disclosure: I rarely watch live tv. I am one of those millennials happily killing the old-school entertainment industry with my streaming apps and my DVR. But last night was the Bachelorette season finale and I’m not NOT gonna watch that live, amiright??

For this reason, I was tooling around on my phone (you know, millennial-style) with one eye drifting to commercials every so often when I saw it. 

It was a Duracell commercial about your mouse dying during your fantasy football draft so you autodraft a kicker in the seventh round (which is bad, okay) and I kept laughing as it kept going on about how his life was ruined. It made me happy we’re doing a live draft this year so there’s no way that can happen to me (and then panicky thinking about how that means my phone needs to be charged and my WiFi on point and my friends to not be d-bags because I live a little too far away for a Friday night in person draft so I’ll be calling in…I digress).

Suddenly I got this feeling like I’d seen it before. Whether or not it’s a repeat commercial, I had the same feeling I get when I see the “they DO exist” M&Ms commercial every Christmas. Like now the season is officially here, roll out the rest of the commercials. 

I know that within a week, the onslaught of commercials will get so painfully old, but for now, I am pumped for Fantasy Football season and thankful to Duracell for the fun reminder. 

Magic of Home

So as I was driving home the other day, I was trying to think of the right words to explain the love I feel for where I am. Every time I try to simply say “I love Saint Louis,” it doesn’t capture what I mean. My husband is able to make it smaller, explain away the magic with rationalities like the convenience of city living or the newness of this environment for us.

And he’s right, but he’s also so very wrong. When I say how much I love it here, I mean so much more than the architecture or stores or restaurants or people. They’re all fantastic, sure. But there’s something…more. Deeper. More pure. It’s a knowledge in my bones that I belong in the world. It’s magical. It’s home.

And as I reached my exit, I glanced up at the bridge that spans the highway like I always do — there’s often someone standing up there, just watching the cars pass, and for whatever reason, it makes me smile. Today, though, was more magic.

Someone had written a marriage proposal in painted cups wedged into the chain link barricade. Whoever Jonna (Ionna? Tonna?) is, I hope they say yes.


And for all the other people dating other Jonnas who take 44E home, tonight may get a little awkward.

MAGIC, GUYS!