You guys… 2020 is finally OVER. For real. And I know it doesn’t change all that much, but I think we all need a fresh start or a new mindset or to not live in the dumpster fire universe anymore. Even though it might take a while, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that just feels so good.
I don’t know about you, but I learned a lot from this year. They were definitely some hard lessons, but it prompted me to think harder about my life and what I want to make it. It was an extraordinarily difficult year, but I honestly think I’m coming out better on the other side. And also being more realistic about my blogging and reading goals because 2020 threw a giant wrench in that and I had to learn to be okay with it. That said, December wasn’t my most prolific reading month, but it was actually a good one (despite my only reading two books).
What I Read
We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter – ★★★★★
This is easily one of my favorite books of the year. I read this to finish out my five-star predictions (click the link if you missed that post), so it’s not really a surprise that I loved this book. It’s the true story about a family who, while separated and put through tremendous hardships, manages to all make it out of WWII alive. It’s told by one of their descendants, and is just an incredible story.
The Clothing of Books by Jhumpa Lahiri – ★★★☆☆
This was… okay. I think three stars is a bit generous if I’m being honest. But I had to fit a nonfiction book in this month and this was short and sitting on my shelves, so I grabbed it. Honestly, it’s a lot more about Lahiri’s personal preferences than anything else. Which is fine, but not what I was expecting. Didn’t hate it, but didn’t love it, either.
What I’m Currently Reading
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
I think this is my fourth(?) time reading this. And it’s great. One of my favorite books, and just the perfect think to transition into the new year and reinforce the fact that The Great Slump of 2020 has ended. I hope.
What I Watched
You can probably tell by how very little I read this month that I watched a lot of things. I literally spent the three days after Christmas binge-watching entire series – like, a whole different series each day. So, I’m just going to give you the highlights. (After I tell you that I didn’t like WW1984.)
The Queen’s Gambit
To everyone who recommended this: you were right, it was amazing. I watched the entire series in a single day and loved it. Also, it kind of made me want to learn how to play chess. I mean, I know the rules, but I’m not good at it (apologies to the very nice Indian business man who tried to teach me on a six-hour flight once).
Yes, this had its problems (namely that one scene that I’m still feeling slightly cringe about). But it was still fun. It was also nice to see black people in a period drama. As a history nerd, I don’t care if it’s historically accurate or whatever, I’m just happy to not see any more white-washed period movies. Because Queen Charlotte was very likely at least part black (Google her portraits), and it was nice to see that in a film.
I really enjoyed this one! It was that cute Pixar movie with a great message. Kind of like Inside Out. But also, it has Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey, so… it was fun. And I might have just been really tired when I watched this, but it actually made me think more about my life and what my purpose is. It was kind of a great movie to watch going into the new year, because it gave me more motivation to follow my passion and make my life better. That might be super cheesy, but I don’t care. I liked this movie.
What I Did
Got my first dose of the COVID vaccine!
I still have no idea how I ended up on the list for one of the first doses, but when I got the opportunity to get the vaccine, I took it. I still need my second dose, and I definitely had side effects (it just felt kinda like the flu for a few days), but it was totally worth it. It just really felt like the beginning of the end, and I already feel slightly safer and less anxious about going outside.
Read (almost) every day
After months of slumps and not great books, my reading habits had gotten kind of bad. So, this month, I decided to do something different. Instead of waiting until I felt like reading, I forced myself to read every night. Even if it was just a chapter or two (or that one time I read two pages before falling asleep), I read a little bit every day. And after a week or two, I started to look forward to it. And it really helped me get back into my good reading habits. Or at least start to. I think it’s something I’m going to try and keep up with.
It’s December, which means I posted all of my favorites. So I’m just going to post links to all of them:
Alright, that’s it for this month! Stay tuned tomorrow for my infamous reading stats infographic (check out the previous four years here!). It’s such a fun way to finish out the year. Since I haven’ finalized anything yet, I’d love some suggestions: what color should I do for 2020?