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I was recently gifted by Annie Ernaux by my co-founder Yasmine. And by recently I mean last fall, but I’ve finally managed to get through some other books on my to-be-read pile and The Years was up next. Is anyone else manic like me and needs to read your books in the order you buy them/receive them? Oh, just me? Okay.

Ernaux has been on my radar for a while at this point, but I’d never read anything of hers. I knew that she was known for her memoirs and autobiographical pieces, right up my alley. I’m also always looking…


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Over the summer I gave a series of webinars on moving to France (One of my friends and colleagues in my years here in France, Molli McConnell, has gone through the student visa process twice and I asked her to write a guest post on the process. She also does consulting on the process, so her information is at the bottom of the post should you wish to learn more. — SH. recordings available on Nomadic Matt’s Patreon). One of the strategies I suggested for coming to France in the short term (given that some visa windows were indefinitely closed)…


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After I finished reading the latest novel by Elizabeth Bales Frank, Censorettes, I instantly felt the need to pick her brain and discover more about the author as well as the story. Elizabeth was kind enough to give me a bit of her time last week, on Censorette ‘s publication day, no less! Keep reading to learn more about the author, the history behind her novel, and her advice to aspiring writers.

Molli: Tell me a bit about yourself.

Elizabeth Bales Frank: Well, this is my second published novel, and my first one was published probably before you were born…


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Hard times out there. Between politics in the United States and the coronavirus pandemic worldwide, it doesn’t seem like we can get a break, can we? I live in Paris, and France has just re-entered a nationwide lockdown. It’s supposed to end on December 1st, but I’m betting something a little closer to the holidays.

While I am a natural homebody, I do really enjoy living in Paris and everything that goes along with it — the café culture, the museums, the picturesque neighborhood that I live in which just happens to be perfect for a stroll. In any case…


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This is not your parents’ job market. Long gone are the days when going to college, earning a degree, and scouring the classified ads meant landing your dream job. But, you probably knew that already. Now, even the job market of the early-mid 2000s doesn’t exist anymore. That’s the one where you scoured online job boards instead of newspapers.

Sure, there were a lot more options than the old fashioned classified ads in whatever city you were living in. This was the internet: the land of promise. …


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Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë is a book that had been on my radar for quite some time before I happened to notice a copy nestled amongst other classic titles in a basket selling books at discount prices in one of my favorite bookstores. Well, by “quite some time,” I mean, a few months…maybe a year. I have always been passionate about reading and writing, but I’ll be the first to admit that I was pretty clueless about classic British literature until I went back to school at the ripe age of 26. I grew up in the United States…


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You’ve likely heard of Oktoberfest, whether it’s the real deal or something your local pub puts on every October in the spirit of the season. Oktoberfest isn’t just a funny way of spelling an October celebration, it’s a long-standing German tradition celebrated in Munich each year. Don’t be fooled: there are several other celebrations that occur around the same time across Germany, but the official celebration only goes down in Munich.

Oktoberfest involves a lot of beer, a lot of traditional German food, special costumes, and a sense of community with your fellow fest-goers. Depending on your point of view…


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Before 2018, it would seem that living out of a van was something reserved for vagabonds, ill-fated family camping trips, or people really down on their luck. Now, the hashtag #VanLife has over 8 million tags on Instagram, R.V. park’s stocks are soaring, and new companies emerge almost daily to support the new trend of living out of a vehicle.

But, these van lifers are the farthest thing from vagabond: they are hippies that are actually clean, they outfit their vans in hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment, and they actually work from wherever they choose to park…


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My final semester of my Master’s degree was one of my favorite parts of my program. One of my classes was called “Minorities’ Literature.” The course focused on books written by immigrants living in America and highlighted the diaspora they each experienced.

We focused on the Chinese, Indian, and Cuban diaspora in America. As an immigrant myself, albeit a white immigrant in a majority white country, I couldn’t help but relate to several of the books that we covered. Although I immigrated from one western country (the United States) to another (France), there’s no denying the culture shock, separateness, loneliness…


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I was introduced to Essentialism by Greg McKeown by a colleague a few years ago, and since then I have gone back to the book several times. The first time I read it, I remember thinking “wow, this is genius. Why haven’t I always lived my life this way?!” And, whenever I feel like I’ve started to stray away from the main principles of the book, I take it off my shelf. This is definitely a book that Marie Kondo would approve of — I have and will read it again and again.

The concept of Essentialism is simple: “do…

Molli McConnell

Musings on feminism, books, and human connections.

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