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Rilù
Writer, book blogger, tea drinker, late night snacker.
Professional cryer who spends way too much time online, eating books for breakfast.

Basically, your bookish best bud.

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Sicily, Italy

Lockdown Love List

 


2020 played a number on us, didn't it? I had all things planned and projects all lined up for me to work on but little did I knew, we had to spend half of the year locked up in our homes, scared and in a global pandemic.

I was so sure 2020 was going to be my year. And not in the cheesy way you always say it once you open up a bottle of prosecco at the end of the countdown. I was seriously convinced things were going to be good, for once.

Well, that didn't really work for any of us, did it?

At first, I thought it was just a virus keeping all of us on our toes. I live in Italy so once it hit us, it was too late and there was nothing we could do to prevent it.

I have to be honest and say that I wasn't particularly mad about it the first few weeks. I mean, I had a reason to stay with my family, my dad wasn't working so it was a chance to be together and play chess and binge some tv shows all day. It stopped being fun at week three when things got worse, our finances were running low and panic started to fill us with fear and anxiety.

We had to build ourselves anew and it's been hard. With no prospects of safety nor money to do the weekly shop, we struggled a lot and tried to keep ourselves busy in whatever way we could.

I became a workaholic. First, I was so into it, writing all day, taking pictures, sending emails, keeping my brain focused on the task at hand but then I quickly fell into what I can only describe as an apathy hole. I didn't feel anything anymore, I didn't have the energy or the will to do anything. 

I cried a lot - but I'm a cancer so that's pretty much every single day of my life - and did everything to not look at my phone. When everyone was writing about Covid, I did everything to avoid it. Instead, I gave myself the chance to snot up the bed and watch so much crap tv I actually fell sick from it.

I read books and made so. much. bread. I think I developed an intolerance for it. I ate too much and slept too little. My anxiety got worse and I felt like a prisoner in what it used to be my safe place.

But I also learned to look at the silver lining even when it doesn't feel possible to even hope for one. I was lucky enough that Publishers kept sending me books - although it was difficult, especially when everyone was working from home - and I read one after another, filling my days with literature and a good afternoon iced tea.

So here's a list of everything I've read and watched. Hopefully, it will make you want to go and check them out, especially some of these books because there are some rare gems hidden in there!



  1. Big Friendship by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman.
    It's a true story about the highs and lows of friendships. It's a very honest book and the creators of Call Your Girlfriend podcast really went deep into what it means to be a friend, how to be better and how to fix it when something goes wrong.
  2. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett.
    A delightful dive into the lives of twin sisters, from childhood to adulthood, growing up and apart in a world too white for them. The writing is beautiful and the storyline so thrilling and absolutely amazing.
  3. Last Tang Standing by Lauren Ho
    This was a fun one. It's about Chinese American Andrea, who doesn't feel the need to fulfil her family expectations to be married and have kids by a certain age. It's fun and witty and the romance is a slow burn/ hate to lovers trope we all love. 
  4. The Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman.
    The second instalment of The Devouring Gray duology, it's filled with magic and creepy secrets and a wild adventure into the woods. It was such a fun read, especially because I LOVED the first book so much! Starting from book one is absolutely a must!
  5. The Happy Ever After Playlist - by Abby Jimenez.
    A lot of people know her from The Friend Zone but I, a newbie, was really surprised by her second one. It's about two people falling in love over the phone without ever seeing each other. He's a musician and she's a painter and there's a dog that deserves all the love in this world. It's steamy and fun and yes, it's currently very high on the list of my favourite books.

You know, the fact that I haven't read that many books during this time doesn't surprise me at all. I'm a bookworm through and through but if I feel anxious and stressed, I prefer something to watch so that my brain can chill. So you would think I may have watched a crap ton of tv. Well, that's exactly what happened, folks. 
  1.  Dark. Obviously, I had to see what the fuss was all about, especially after seeing Curon - an Italian show which I also recommend! My mother and I binged the whole two season in a matter of days with only the third season to catch up on but by the time lockdown ended we were so sick of watching tv all the time that we needed a break. We have plans to finish it this month!
  2. High Fidelity. If in 27 years of my life I've been so sure to be straight, Zoe Kravits really went and trashed all my certainty in seconds. I'm only joking but seriously, she is so effortlessly cool, especially with that leather duster coat, I can't even! It made me want to venture out and go look for a record store. Absolutely brilliant.
  3. Locke & Key. Another show my mother and I watched together and absolutely loved. It left us wondering and gasping but got the news of a season two so now we can have sweet dreams.
  4. Normal People. Of course, I had to go and throw the bomb, right? Loved the book and probably loved the show even more. I blame Daisy Edgar-Joens for making me fall into the bang hole and I'm not sure I can forgive her.

Obviously, living here in Italy means we have different restrictions from other parts of the world and we basically enjoyed our summer as safely as we could. Lockdown ended before summer started so I left out all the books and shows I binged during these last three months. 

I really hope the situation we're living in hasn't affected you that badly and that you and your loved ones are safe and well. If you lost someone, my heart goes with you, wherever you are. I know it's been a tremendous time and that some people still don't have a job, I get it, I'm there with you but hopefully, we can move forward and find a silver lining even in the worst situations.

Stay safe and wear a mask.

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