Happy 2021! Here’s hoping that 2021 is a better year for all of us!!
So I’m going to confess that I felt there was a lot of pressure for my first book of the year. I want to start the year off on the right foot and set a positive tone. But, that’s a lot of pressure for a book. I mean, what if I don’t like the first book? Does that set a bad tone for the year to come? Well, fear not faithful readers – I started off with a ringer!
My first book of the new year wasn’t a new book at all – but a reread. I originally read Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn at the end of 2019 and I loved it. In fact, I had planned to write about this when I first started the blog, but like so many others, I moved it to the back burner.
This week, I picked it back up because of a conversation I had with a friend about my plans for a March Madness Book Boyfriend Bracket idea (coming soon to a blog near you – this one) and we were discussing our favorite book boyfriends. My friend reminded me that Reid – freaking – Sutherland is one of the best there is! A light bulb went off. OF COURSE! YES! I NEED TO REREAD THAT. So I did.
In New York City, Meg Mackworth – a hand lettering artist (she designs and creates custom planners) – prepares for a presentation that will take her business to the next level. She’s recently stopped doing wedding invitations and other wedding items after she accidentally (on purpose) hid a coded message into a client’s wedding program indicating that the bride and groom might want to reconsider their marriage. When Reid, the erstwhile groom, comes to ask Meg about how she knew (since he and his bride called off the wedding), sparks fly between these two exceptionally lonely people. They take on a project to help Meg get inspiration for her presentation and help Reid try to fall in love with New York City.
There is just so much in this book to love and not JUST about the guy. But of course I’m going to start with Reid. A sweet, misunderstood, slow-to-emote hero who is a geek at his very core. I dig those nerdy boys. I think all of us hope for a Reid in our lives. Someone who supports us, doesn’t want to change us, and is, in fact, just a nice person.
Next on the list is Meg. I can relate to Meg. Her world seems to have fallen from a social butterfly into a pit of loneliness – she’s not getting along with her best friend and roommate and while she has colleagues that she works with, they aren’t really her friends. She spends so much time alone and she just feels so lonely. I have definitely been there. I’ve lived in places where I felt lonely or alone. I am slow to make friends, and slow to trust the ones I do make; therefore, I could totally empathize with Meg’s emotional state. While Meg struggles to vocalize her wants, needs, and struggles, I find that entirely relatable. I have worked to overcome the struggle of talking things out with the important people in my life.
Letters. I have never read something that so beautifully describes an art form the way Kate Clayborn does about hand lettering. Reading about Meg’s obsession with the letters is just mesmerizing. It’s visceral the way the letters and numbers within the story are so wonderfully interwoven into the story. You can actually visualize the different fonts and believe it or not, I have a new appreciation for signs (no really, signs.) So much so that while Meg and Reid took on the project to locate hand lettered signs around NYC, all I wanted to do was tag along. I desperately want to return to NYC to see the city through Meg’s eyes. In fact, if there is one criticism I have about the book was the lack cool fonts or illustrations of the lettering within the story itself. I think this would have been a great addition. But, this missing link is why immediately started researching.
I should also probably tell you that I am 100% NOT an artistic person. Not that I don’t want to be, but I am never willing to practice or learn. However, this book had me Googling ideas for bullet journaling, hand lettering, brush lettering, calligraphy. I tried to locate someone like Meg to follow on Instagram (I mean, I’d love to watch Meg’s videos on how to draw – there has to be someone out there, right?) On this reread and given the state of the world and how I never go out and do anything anymore, I finally jumped in and started a journal. See the picture below to see my (extremely beginner) progress. Any and all resources and help would be so greatly appreciated – leave me a comment with your suggestions!!
Love Lettering is such a beautiful exploration of loneliness, creativity, generosity, and love that you’ll be right there with me.
Love Lettering, published 2019