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Solo Lisa Reads: July 2020

Round-up of July book recommendations featuring Bringing Down The Duke by Evie Dunmore, The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley, It Sounded Better In My Head by Nina Kenwood, Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory, The Swap by Robyn Harding, Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice, Beach Read by Emily Henry, Parachutes by Kelly Yang, Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

This month has passed by so quickly: A huge software release at work, vacation days, a quick getaway to Tofino, and now a heat wave as we both WFH. I've just been trying to relax as much as possible and curl up with a good book in between, which explains why this month's round-up contains 9 recommendations. And true to last month's pledge, I'm trying my best to diversify my picks. July's round-up contains books by a Black writer (Jasmine Guillory, a recurrent favourite in these book review posts), an Indigenous Canadian writer (Waubgeshig Rice, who might be the first Indigenous author I've featured here), and two Asian writers (Kelly Yang and Min Jin Lee, who have written two very different novels about very specific Asian experiences). I hope you'll find something intriguing enough to add to your reading list!

Drugstore Delight: Summer Skincare

Round-up of affordable drugstore summer skincare products featuring La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Fluid Lotion SPF, Trader Joe's Hyaluronic Moisture Boost Serum, and Derma E Vitamin C Renewing Moisturizer

When I pictured my 2020 summer, I did not foresee so many long WFH days and so little travel or vacation time, nor did I anticipate how tired and burnt out I'd feel. It seems as if all my brain bandwidth has gone towards work and just getting through the days and not much else. To save myself from daily decision-making fatigue, I've defaulted to variations on the same lounge-at-home outfits (Roots sweatshorts with a tee, or a loose and flowy T-shirt dress), and I've forgone experimenting with tons of new skincare. Instead, I've opted to add just a few products to my routine that are making my summertime complexion happy. Think lightweight textures, SPF protection, and an antioxidant boost. The best part? These products are affordable and accessible Drugstore Delights.

Empties: June 2020

Round-up of empty beauty, skincare, body care and makeup products from a mix of Korean, natural, drugstore, luxury and French beauty brands including TONYMOLY, The Face Shop, Innisfree, Not Your Mother's Naturals, Bioderma, Dermalogica, Mifa and Co, Biore, Lavanila, Pixi, Scentuals, Ulta, Rocky Mountain Soap Company and Caudalie.

I meant to post this empties round-up in May, but, well, life happened. In total, there are 26+ products from a mix of Korean, natural, drugstore, luxury and French beauty brands. As you can imagine, most of them are skin and body care, including plenty of moisturizers, sheet masks and hand lotion. Ready?

Solo Lisa Reads: June 2020

Round-up of YA, romance, and thriller book recommendations featuring Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn, The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary, The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton, You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson, The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa, and The Happy Every After Playlist by Abby Jimenez

My social media and blog have been pretty quiet lately for a number of reasons. I've been WFH all this time, on a team that is committed to delivering a lot and understaffed for what we have to do, and I've just been feeling burnt out from 2020 overall. I've also been listening and learning as much as possible about Black Lives Matter and anti-racism, reflecting on my own behaviours and possible biases and where I can do better. And while learning to become a better ally can be a lifelong journey, I immediately identified one small area where I could improve right away: Featuring more books by Black authors in these monthly round-ups. Going forward, I'm going to try to feature 1-2 books a month by Black authors, and true to my literary tastes, the books will probably be a mix of YA, romance, and pure escapism. So if you're looking to add something light and joyful to your summer reading list, might I recommend these 6 books?

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