Living with a chronic illness is a constant battle, a struggle that extends beyond the physical symptoms and into every facet of life. It can make maintaining a regular work schedule difficult, leaving you confined to your home, dealing with a mix of debilitating symptoms like pain, fatigue, mood changes, brain fog, and other daily symptoms that make life challenging.Feeling trapped at home can compound physical discomfort with mental and emotional stress — often leading to boredom and a sense of isolation. But there are coping mechanisms and activities that can bring solace and even joy during these tough times. 

Enter your book era: Reading as an Escape

Reading is not just a way to pass the time; it's a gateway to other worlds. It's an activity that can be as restful or as stimulating as you need, depending on what you choose to read. Whether it's fiction that takes you on adventures far from the confines of your home, or non-fiction that stimulates your mind and expands your knowledge, reading is a versatile companion through the ups and downs of chronic illness.

Tips for Making Reading a Rewarding Experience:

• Choose books that lift your spirits or engage your curiosity.

• If concentration is difficult, try audiobooks. They can be comforting and require less physical strain.

• Join online book clubs or reading communities to connect with others and share thoughts about what you're reading.

My Favorite Reads for February 

February may be the shortest month of the year, but it didn't stop me from devouring some incredibly captivating books. Here's a rundown of the stories that kept me company alongside a cozy drink and a comfy couch:

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
 By: Taylor J Reid 

Description: Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?
Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.
Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

 I'm Glad my Mom Died 
 By: Jennette McCurdy

Description: Jennette McCurdy was six years old when she had her first acting audition. Her mother’s dream was for her only daughter to become a star, and Jennette would do anything to make her mother happy. So she went along with what Mom called “calorie restriction,” eating little and weighing herself five times a day. She endured extensive at-home makeovers while Mom chided, “Your eyelashes are invisible, okay? You think Dakota Fanning doesn’t tint hers?” She was even showered by Mom until age sixteen while sharing her diaries, email, and all her income.
In I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette recounts all this in unflinching detail—just as she chronicles what happens when the dream finally comes true. Cast in a new Nickelodeon series called iCarly, she is thrust into fame. Though Mom is ecstatic, emailing fan club moderators and getting on a first-name basis with the paparazzi (“Hi Gale!”), Jennette is riddled with anxiety, shame, and self-loathing, which manifest into eating disorders, addiction, and a series of unhealthy relationships. These issues only get worse when, soon after taking the lead in the iCarly spinoff Sam & Cat alongside Ariana Grande, her mother dies of cancer. Finally, after discovering therapy and quitting acting, Jennette embarks on recovery and decides for the first time in her life what she really wants.
Told with refreshing candor and dark humor, I’m Glad My Mom Died is an inspiring story of resilience, independence, and the joy of shampooing your own hair.

The Guest List 
By: Lucy Foley 

Description: The bride – The plus one – The best man – The wedding planner  – The bridesmaid – The body

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.
But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.
And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?

My favorite this month ... I'm glad my mom died. 

This memoir leaves you feeling heartbroken, angry and disappointed for the struggles in the life of Jennette. Her brutal honestly made you feel like you were living it and in her shoes.

Each title has infused this month with excitement, introspection, and a little sadness. They were all different in genre and writting style but inited in their ability to captivate and provide a retreat from the humdrum of life and a distraction from your daily battle from chronic illness.

Chronic illness can make you feel like you're living in the shadows, but within those shadows, you can find activities that not only fill your time but also provide comfort and joy. Reading and books in general can help you face the resilience of these daily battles is commendable.

Did any of these titles make it to your book list? What are you reading right now? 
Share your thoughts in the comments.

Ps. If you to are in your book era check out my boutique featuring comfy clothing and merchandise perfect for all the book lovers.

Book clothing isn't just about wearing your love for literature on your sleeve – it's about making a statement of who you are and what you cherish. Keep the pages turning and the fashion current!


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