What’s Making Me Happy In May: Nostalgia, Book Clubs

This month, I’m into… Nostalgia podcasts.

I’ve been listening to The Babysitters Club Club (that second “club” is not a typo) for awhile, but I only recently discovered that’s it’s part of a whole realm of nostalgia podcasts in which the hosts dissect past books and television shows. My new favorite is The West Wing Weekly, in which the hosts dive into one West Wing episode every week. One of the hosts, Joshua Malina, played Will Bailey on the show (he currently stars in Scandal, another fave) and they do interviews with former cast members like Rob Lowe and Bradley Whitford. My favorite was their interview with the god of screenplay, Aaron Sorkin himself.

I’m also loving short-season, limited run podcasts, like the six episodes of Missing Richard Simmons (SO good) and the game show Tell Me Something I Don’t Know

I’m grateful for… my online book club.

I joined the Modern Mrs. Darcy book club when they opened to new members in January. It made sense, because I already got at least half of my book recommendations from Anne Bogel (“Mrs. Darcy”) via her blog, newsletters or podcasts. We read one book a month and discuss it in the forums, and (best perk ever) participate in a book chat with the author at the end of each month. My favorite was the talk with Laurie Frankel, who wrote This Is How It Always Is, a novel about a family secret involving gender identity.

My favorite things about book club (in no particular order):

  • I’m encouraged to read books I might have otherwise overlooked
  • It connects me with people who are truly passionate about reading
  • As a writer, I learn more about what readers want from books and authors
  • I get a TON of great book recommendations from the discussion forums
  • It pushes me to read more than ever before.


I think that’s worth the $10 monthly fee, don’t you?

I’m loving… our new porch!

When we bought our house, it came with a screened-in porch and deck. But the open deck was on the primary living floor, and the screened-in part was attached to the basement (we live in a raised ranch). We rarely used either, because the top deck was too bug-infested to enjoy, and it was too much of a hassle to bring food downstairs to the screened-in part, which was also very dark. A few weeks ago, we had it flipped. The bottom is now open to the play area, and the top is now screened-in, so we can enjoy coffee, lunch, or a meal just steps away from the kitchen. It’s bright and bug-free. I’ll post a picture when we get our new patio furniture set up.

Check out my friend Sara’s list of things that are making her happy this month, with a super-cool Icelandic theme!

What’s making you happy this month? Podcast listeners, do you have any other ‘nostalgia’ podcast recommendations for me? 

2 Responses to “What’s Making Me Happy In May: Nostalgia, Book Clubs”

  1. Yay for joys and gratitude! 🙂 Sounds like you and your husband made the right choice by flipping the deck and the screened-in porch. Outdoor dining is lovely when the weather is just warm enough – and when the area isn’t teeming with bugs, of course.

    Also, glad we could link up again this month. I’m sorry I didn’t touch base with you about it beforehand. It’s just been really busy lately, between writing, work, finishing the GoFundMe photo album from my Iceland trip, and other things.

  2. This is the second time I’ve heard Missing Richard Simmons mentioned in the span of a week, so that must be a sign for me to give it a try. I want to start exploring podcasts, though so far I haven’t been able to find a convenient time to listen. It would be ideal to listen while making dinner, but so far I haven’t found a good way to do that.

    Great idea about the porch/deck. It’s so nice to be able to be outside and protected from bugs! Hope you and the family enjoy it all summer, and beyond!


  1. What's Making Me Happy In June: Pizza, Parenthood, Patio Furniture:: Leanne Sowul, Writer - […] month, I wrote about our new screened-in porch and deck. We finally got carpeting and furniture for it a…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Subscribe To Leanne's Newsletter,

The Perspective Post

You don't have to subscribe. I know pop-ups can be annoying. Just so you know, though: if you do subscribe, the newsletters will be the total opposite of annoying. I'm aiming for inspiring, creative and delightful.

Also, there's a special, personal offer in your first email after subscribing. 

But it's still okay if you just want to close the box. Although if you've stuck around to the end of this paragraph, I already like you. And I think you'd like my newsletter. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!