Bubbly on Your Budget, Marjorie Hillis
I was enraptured when a friend sent me a link to a great profile of "daringly sensible" writer Marjorie Hillis (see Open Letters Monthly). And so it was inevitable that I would pick up one of her books; Bubbly on Your Budget (originally titled Orchids on Your Budget) was a steal on Amazon, and it's a charming little read if you need a pick-me-up and a reminder that enthusiasm and resourcefulness can be worth as much as, if not more than, a well-stocked bank account. If you're feeling low, there's no time like now to start to turn things around: although "it's both wise and courageous to live in the future now and then," Marjorie writes, "it never gets you entirely away from the present. The present ... is always with you, and every miserable day you let yourself endure is a large enough proportion of your life to be worth salvaging." Sure, some of her advice is dated, but passages like that are timeless and utterly lovely.