I had a pretty good month in December! I read a lot of things, and actually went to the movies more times that I’ve been all year, which was really fun. There are so many great things in this wrap up, so I’ll just get into it:
What I Read:
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett (audiobook) – ★★★★☆. After reading like six Gaiman books last year, I only managed to read one this year. While I did really enjoy this one, it was a bit of a disappointment because I’d heard so many great things about it and I wanted to love it. I still think it’s a great book, and I will probably reread it eventually. I also want to read more Terry Pratchett, so let me know where I should start!
Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham – ★★★★☆. I read this right after watching the Gilmore Girls revival, and it was perfect. I really enjoyed Graham’s writing and I loved seeing a behind the scenes look at the series.
The Bookseller by C. Robert Cales – ★★☆☆☆. I’ve had an ARC of this book forever, and decided to finally get it off my TBR. It initially caught my attention because its about a bookstore in Boston, but it was so disorganized and scattered that I couldn’t enjoy it. (Review)
Neurotica by Eliza Gordon – ★★★☆☆. After loving The Hating Game last month, I was in the mood for a bit more romance. Since that’s pretty unusual for me, I decided to indulge, and picked up this one. It was cute and fun and I loved the Star Wars references. I also like how the main character has some anxiety (particularly towards sex) because I could definitely identify with that.
The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan – ★★★☆☆. This one I picked up after reading (in Talking as Fast as I Can) that Lauren Graham and Mae Whitman are adapting this, and Graham is writing the screenplay. I’m a huge Kate Middleton fan (yes, I stayed up until 6am to watch the wedding), so I was hoping to love this, but the relationships were so convoluted it became annoying. I’ve still got my hopes up for a better movie, though.
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen – ★★★★☆. I read this book mostly because it won the Pulitzer this year, but also because one of my challenges required reading a book by an author from Southeast Asia, and that is surprisingly difficult to find. I still can’t articulate my thoughts on this book, but I did review it, so you can go read that. Overall, it was a really beautiful book about things I’ve never read about before. (Review)
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – ★★★★☆. And, finally, I finished this one last night. I kind of failed at my own readathon (sorry!), but, if I’m being honest, I probably should have attempted it while finishing my thesis. Still, I wanted to finish this book – and complete the Reading New England Challenge – and I did.
What I’m Currently Reading:
The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker. I’m only a few pages into this one, but I decided to start it since it comes out in January and I want to get a review up soonish. I’ve heard pretty good things, so I’m looking forward to getting into it.
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick. This is my current audiobook listen (Anna Kendrick reads it herself) and I am really enjoying it so far. It’s funny and personal and I’m just a huge fan of Anna Kendrick.
The Sellout by Paul Beatty. I’m not very far into this one either, but I was hooked from the first page. I actually picked it up in Barnes and Noble a week or two ago, read page one, and immediately bought it. It also won the Man Booker this year, and I tend to like those winners (and finalists).
What I Watched:
Moana. I absolutely loved this movie, and not just because of Lin-Manuel Miranda. It was so nice seeing a Disney cast that was entirely POC, and I think the story is beautiful.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Obviously, I had to go see this one, and I’m so glad I did! It was so good, and I thought they did a really great job with it. While I’m still on the fence about the casting of Johnny Depp, I’m obsessed with Eddie Redmayne and Alison Sudol – I’ve been a fan of A Fine Frenzy for years.
Good Girls Revolt (Amazon). I watched the entire first season of this show and absolutely loved it! It’s about how the female employees of Newsweek sued the magazine for equal opportunity in the late 1960s/early 1970s. I think the cast and the message are both fantastic, and I am kind of obsessed. I think this is one of those shows I’ll watch over and over. I can’t wait for season 2! (I will be picking up the book that inspired this series, soon, too.)
Sully. I watched this with my dad and we both really liked it. Though that may be because I’m a big fan of Tom Hanks. Still, I do want to read the book it was based off of, which was written by Sully himself.
Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. I started watching this on a whim, and I am obsessed with it. I didn’t know much about Scientology prior to watching this (other than it’s kind of bad and Tom Cruise is in it), but there is so much more to it. What I found most interesting is that, for the most part, I kind of agree with the ideas that Scientology touts publicly (in other words, what they say they’re all about). Watching this has made me understand more about why and how it attracts people, and also why it’s not something you want to be involved in. Such an interesting documentary! Every episode ends with me wanting more.
Rogue One. Star Wars + Felicity Jones and Diego Luna = good. I loved this movie. It was such a good addition to the franchise, and one I will enjoy seeing again (unlike Episodes 1-3).
The Magicians. I binge-watched the first season of this show and was really impressed. I lost interest in the book series a few chapters into book two, but watching this has definitely renewed my interest, and I am definitely going to go back to the series and see what I think about it.
What I Did:
I FINISHED MY GRAD SCHOOL THESIS. Well, kind of. It’s due tomorrow, so I’m still working on it, but it’s done enough that I could turn it in now and feel okay about it. I am so close to being done with grad school I can taste it. And then I’m going to hibernate and read all the books.
Mini Metro. This is a puzzle game by EA and I am completely addicted to it. I started playing a while ago, but recently rediscovered it and I can’t stop. It’s a nice writing break since there is a bit of strategy involved, but you can still think through other things. Plus, it’s just kind of beautiful.
Knit Picks. Last month (I think) I picked up knitting again for the first time in a while, and I have gotten really into it! I knitted two Christmas presents this year, and am currently working on a scarf for myself. Since California doesn’t have that many yarn stores (and even fewer that sell the kind of yarn I like and/or aren’t ridiculously overpriced), I order online. And while I’ve loved my Knit Picks needles for a long time – they’re rainbow! – this month I discovered how much I loved their yarn. It’s inexpensive, but really great quality and they literally have hundreds of colors. It’s made me more excited for future projects.
My 2016 Reading Stats. I worked really hard on this post, and I think it turned out amazing! It was a fun way to look back on my reading year, and I will definitely do something like this again.
Bookish App Reviews. I also like how this post turned out, since it’s something a bit different, but still something I think is interesting. I’ve tried a lot of book apps (for my phone) and I hope sharing my opinion on them was useful to some of you.