The Libby App: My New Best Friend

I love reading. I love books! I love spending money on books! My parents don’t love my spending copious amounts of money on books. Cha Ching! Normally, the answer would be to go to the library, but my family’s busy schedule didn’t permit bi-monthly trips to the library. So I mostly just racked up fines for books I finished but never returned.

This is where the Libby app comes into play. Libby is Overdrive’s little sibling. On Libby, you can listen to audiobooks, read e-books, and check out other digital content (think, books, magazines, and audiobooks).

Libby is great! I use the app itself mostly for listening to audiobooks. As I mentioned in my review of The Year of Less by Cait Flanders, I enjoy listening to memoirs while washing the dishes. The Libby app is great for this. I can change the listening speed by the tenth if I don’t want to stick to the standard 1x, 1.25x, 1.5x, 1.75x, and 2x. I tend to listen at 1.75 speed.

If you’re like me and like to listen to your books on multiple devices: phone, iPad, computer, the app with sync your progress to all of your devices!

The second way I like to use Libby is to browse my library’s collection of ebooks. I can put holds on books then check them out when it’s my turn. Here’s the best feature about Libby: you can delay the delivery of a book you have checked out. I do this a ton! If I’m still in the middle of a book when it’s up to be rented, I can just ask to have the book delivered later – in 1-180 days later to be specific! Also, your books are returned automatically for you, so you never have to worry about fines.

Honestly, Libby is the app I didn’t know I needed. I know this sounds cliche, but my life is so much richer with the Libby app in it. The Libby app facilitates my scholarly endeavors by making it easy and cheap to read and listen to books. You cannot tell me that is the best. thing. ever.

I can’t recommend this app highly enough. It’s just SO GOOD.

Install the Libby immediately! End of discussion. 

Also, in case you were wondering, I’m currently listening to Commonwealth by Ann Patchet and reading The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers. Funnily enough, it was Commonwealth’s cover art that first attracted me to the book when I saw it years ago. I think it’s so pretty.

What are you reading or listening to?



Why I Love My Peloton

shoes | look delta cleats | shorts (TTS) | water bottle | shirt (similar)

So, I meant to write this post about a month ago. Then, I got stitches on my knee and couldn’t do any “strenuous exercise” for two weeks. Then, I was so intimidated by the bike and the thought of my hard workout distressed me. And I was totally afraid of busting my stitches wide open. I mean, that’s the stuff of nightmares, at least it is for me. 

Today I rode in a little over a month. It felt really good. I can feel my body getting stronger. I’m feeling good. 

Peloton has given me an ultra convenient way to do cardio.

I’ve been wanting to increase my cardio for the various health benefits: increasing lung capacity, lowering chance of contracting dementia or heart disease, having a banging body! (Not a health benefit, but still!) Also, I’m asthmatic, so improving my lung capacity is important to me. The Peloton bike is always there – I just have to hop on and take advantage of all it has to offer. If it’s 11pm and I want to ride, then I can – it’s just that easy. I think this is a really great way to introduce yourself to cardio workouts. 

It’s a low stress way to exercise. 

There’s no one to compare yourself to, unless you want that (in that case, use the leaderboard feature). You can just focus on yourself and not worry about who is doing better than you. It’s just you, the bike, and instructor. I really love not wondering what I look like to the cars driving past or the woman walking her dog. I always feel super self conscious when exercising, so I appreciate being able to work out in the privacy of my own home. 

It’s an encouraging way to push your limits.

One of my issues when running is that I hate it and spend the vast majority of my time thinking about how hard it is and how much I would rather be doing anything else. I don’t have that problem (as much) when riding. This is because the instructor is just constantly encouraging you and reaffirming your decision to start this exercise. It also helps that they’re talking you through the intervals – 2 minutes left, 1 minute left, 30 seconds, etc. – there’s always an end in sight. Also, I finish the ride, and I don’t want to crawl into a hole and die. When I finish a run, I tend to want to crawl into a hole and die. 

It’s a really, really good sweat. 

I’ve never sweated more than when I’m working out on the Peloton. I’m usually dripping when I finish a ride. Just remember to bring a towel!

Ultimately, this is a method of exercising that I enjoy. I love the way my body feels after a challenging workout. It clears my mind and provides me with that lovely post-workout dopamine rush. Honestly, I had a crappy morning, but this ride has made me feel so much better. You should know that I’ve never been the kind of person who works out when stressed or someone who just loves to exercise. I am not that person. I do enjoy doing active things: kayaking, hiking, skiing (badly), but I’m not a gym rat. The fact that I’ve found an actually enjoyable way to do cardio is astounding to me, but here we are! 🙂 2020 the year of surprises…

Full Disclosure: I didn’t purchase a Peloton with my own money. My dad bought one after he had knee surgery and needed a low-impact option for cardio, so I just use his. 


A sweaty Marie

Book Review: The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter

The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Can some please explain to me why everyone and their mom loves this book? I just don’t get it. Like, really, I just don’t get it. 

This book felt unspecial and frankly boring. Honestly, I’m glad I read it, so I can say that I read it. But overall, I’m underwhelmed and unimpressed. 

Some back story: When I was younger, I used to go to a camp called Great Books Summer Program. It’s truly one of the best experiences of my life thus far, and it’s where I met some of my closest and best friends. Hello, Eve and Ben! Anyway, one summer I had a literature elective class called  Southern Gothic Women Writers. In this class, I read the first chapter of this book. I enjoyed it. Anyways, fast forward to this summer, and I’m looking for something to read because I’m getting bored of Pride and Prejudice. This where The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter comes in. I saw it while browsing on the Libby app one night, and immediately I rented it. I didn’t even stop to read the synopsis. 

So, I’m reading the book, and about ⅓ through the book I think to myself  “What the heck is happening in the book? Where is this going?”.  I’ll tell you the answer – no where. I mean, the book does have a resolution for all of the characters it follows, but this book was a slow meandering ride to nowhere. Still, as I read, I thought to myself, “Since I started reading the book without reading the synopsis, I want to finish the book without having read the synopsis. I’m too far in. I just have to commit.” This book is why I have a fear of commitment. I committed to finishing this book, and it was a lowkey waste of time. It’s better than watching YouTube but not better than watching an interesting documentary.

Yes, the protagonists are loney. Yes, many of them have traits that contribute to their loneliness in 1920s Deep South. Yes, there is some nice prose in here. But that is not enough to carry the book.

Final thoughts: I’m glad I read this book. I’m also glad I didn’t buy the book. Thank God for libraries! There are some books you read to be a part of the conversation – this is one of them. I’ll be able to take part in the conversations because I’m so cultured. 

A deepy “meh” book.