Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Monthly Rewind: August

3 Things About My Life This Month

1. I visited a friend in Philadelphia! Last summer I became really close with one of the girls in my research group and we were able to see one another again this summer and it was THE BEST. There are just some people that you click with and can be so open with and she's absolutely one of those people for me--literally we sat in a restaurant for three hours, just talking and eating so slowly,  I'm sure our waiter hated us. Anyway, it was one of the best days of the month.

2. I WENT TO PARIS! I was so, so nervous before boarding my flight to Paris. I honestly don't even know why, but I thought I'd hate everyone in my program and wouldn't have any friends and would find Paris to be less than what I imagined it would be was perfect. I've already become such good friends with so many of the girls in the group and Paris was so, so beautiful despite the heat. I just want to re-read Anna and the French Kiss and The Chocolate Thief now that I've finally been to Paris!

3. I am now in Aix-en-Provence! I was in Paris for a week and even took a day trip to Giverny to visit Monet's gardens but I am now in Aix where I will be living for the next four months! Aix is completely different from Paris and while it wasn't a love-at-first-sight type of interaction, I'm slowly but surely growing to love it. It's beautiful in its own way and I've really enjoyed getting to know the host families and other locals who live here.

Top 3 Books I Read This Month

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1. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

3. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

I read a lot more adult fiction this past month than I usually do but I loved these three books the most. Everything I Never Told You is a historical fiction mystery novel about a Chinese American family and the prose is beautiful. It's honestly one of the most well-written books I've read. Maybe in Another Life was a surprise for me since I didn't like (at all!) Reid's latest book, One True Loves. But Maybe in Another Life and Dark Matter both feature the multiverse theory, albeit in different ways. Reid's novel is more of a romance/coming-of-age tale while Crouch's is a page-turner unlike anything I've ever read. All three of these come so highly recommended from me!!

3 Most Popular Posts This Month

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Post I Wish Got a Little More Love

My  review of The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi is one I wish had gotten more traction this month. I was so excited to pick up this novel and it wound up being a complete disappointment, so I hope more readers can go into this book with altered expectations and maybe actually enjoy it, unlike me. Certainly, this is an author I'll be looking out for but this book was just not my cup of tea.

Obsession of the Month

PARIS! This city was everything I wanted it to be and more. I'm totally in love with its culture and food and metro and museums and the Seine and the wine and...just everything. I want to live in Paris forever.

3 Things I'm Looking Forward to Next Month

1. Meeting my HOST FAMILY! I've been living in an apartment for the last four nights of August since my host family is in Canada but they're coming back September 1st and I'm so excited to finally meet them and move into my room and really get settled in like the rest of my friends have gotten the chance to do, already. My host mom sent me the nicest e-mail with a photo of her family and another one wishing me for my birthday and I cannot wait to put personalities to their names and faces! :)

2. Visiting Cassis and other cities in the South of France! As a group, we're visiting Cassis in September and I'm so excited to see this beautiful town! There are a lot of other towns in the South of France, like Nice and Cannes and Monaco and Arles and Nimes, that my friends and I are hoping to visit this semester, if not this month itself, so I can't wait to do more traveling and exploring!

3. Getting into a the end of September. I'm nervous about starting classes in French and speaking to French students and professors and I'm even a little nervous about starting to study and take notes again after traveling for a good portion of the summer. BUT, I am really looking forward to that moment at the end of September when I'm adjusted to my courses and my host family and my professors and classmates. If I could just skip to that moment in time, I totally would but the difficulties of the next month are important experiences, no matter how hard they may be.

So...what have you been up to in August? Are you all excited to be going back to class/having your kids go back to class/etc.? Any fun plans for September? I want to hear about all of it!! :)


  1. Oh if you're coming in Montpellier you need to tell me!!!!Nimes is nice you need to go to Le jardin de la Fontaine, I love it! Cassis, la Citoat are beautiful. Not a fan of Marseille but it's nice.

  2. SO EXCITING KEERTANA!!! I did a study abroad program but we didn't have host families, groups of us just had apartments together. I think I would have preferred a host family to show me the ropes! Can't wait to hear all about it:)

  3. Aw, your host family sounds wonderful! My sister did an exchange in high school but it was two weeks of a french girl staying with us and then two weeks of my sister staying at their place - they were together; I don't mean they actually exchanged one girl for the other! hah I'm sure you'll do great and have a ton of fun. Ooh Paris! I'd love to go someday. It sounds lovely. I'm actually visiting London for the first time in the beginning of September so I'm excited for that. It's just a trip, so at least I don't have to worry about assignments and the rest!


  4. Everything I Never Told You is one of my favorite books. SO thoughtfully written.

    Your life seems so lovely these days! Enjoy the south of France! What kind of classes will you be taking?

    & I'm happy to hear that you fell in love with Paris. I’m heading to Paris by myself for 2 weeks in December and I’m going in with zero expectations but I’m still nervous/excited!

  5. So cool! I'm bummed you didn't pick up that package with the holes in it so I could come along. ;) Friendships and Paris! Who could ask for more? It sounds like you are having a great time and I bet you'll end up loving Aix as well. I know you will rock French. Think about it, you could be like me who kept speaking Spanish in her French class when asked a question. ROFL! Have fun!

  6. Wow Keertana! You have so much awesomeness to look forward to! And don't be nervous at all, when I visited Paris I hardly knew a word, just how to ask for the bill and tell people my sister has a wheat allergy! I'm sure you'll do great. I can't wait to hear about how you get on and see some of your posts on Instagram too!

  7. You're a Euro girl like me now! I'm so very happy for you, Keertana, and I hope you'll continue to thoroughly enjoy France.
    As for your favorite reads, I'm happy you liked Dark Matter, I'm actually just about to start reading it. Your opinion is making me feel really enthusiastic.

  8. You finally got to go to Paris!!! Yay! I love the city, food, and I loved getting around on the metro. I'm going back Thanksgiving Day and visiting Loire Valley and Bordeaux, as well. Hope you love your time in France! I can't imagine actually taking classes in French. You must speak and write it pretty well to do that. I'll be lucky if I have a few phrases nailed down before we go again. It feels like I can't wrap my tongue around the words! I've tried an audio course, but stopped because I thought it better to do it closer to our trip otherwise I'll never remember anything.

    I read one book by Taylor Reid Jenkins and hated it: After I Do (I rated it 3 stars and should've rated it 1, but I couldn't bring myself to do that since a friend recommended it to me and she loved it! Ack! I still feel like I need to change my rating.) and I can't bring myself to pick up any other of her books.

    I do want to try Dark Matter. Heard really good things.

    Can't wait to hear more of your updates from France, Keertana! More pictures, please! :)

  9. Oh wow, that is incredible Keertana. I would love to visit all the places I read about and I think it's very apt to read Anna and the French Kiss, makes the countries more loveable from your favourite reads. What's a host family, I've never heard of that? Sounds like such an amazing experience though. Have a great time! :)


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