January (2015)

January. proper noun. The first month of the year, characterized by New Year’s Resolutions and fresh starts and an absence of Christmas tunes.

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I’m ending the first month of 2015 by linking up with Leigh Kramer for What I’m Into. After taking a break in December and January (because life. And emotions.), I realized that I like collecting the stuff I’ve loved over the month. Maybe someone will enjoy reading it, too.

Reading

The Forgotten Garden – Kate Morton. Kate Morton’s books always take me a little while to get into, but once I’m hooked, I like them a lot. This book pieces together the stories of an a woman searching for her family, her story-seeking granddaughter, and a mysterious Authoress. It’s hard to keep the stories straight at first, but this seemingly innocent puzzle hides darker intrigue that keeps you reading.

Yes Please – Amy Poehler. I got this book from my sister for Christmas (thanks, doll!) and gulped down half of it by December 26. Amy is hilarious and honest as she tells stories about her family and life in comedy. I thoroughly enjoyed her writing about loving yourself and any time she talked about her boys. However, I started this half-expecting it to be an autobiography of Leslie Knope. It’s not. Amy swears a lot and is more open to drugs. But if you’re okay with some profanity and non-traditional values, I think it’s still worth reading.

Julie and Julia – Julie Powell. This is the real story behind the Julie and Julia movie. Julie is an angst-ridden, directionless woman who cooks her way through Julie Child’s The Art of French Cooking. She’s dramatic and swears at her failed dishes and falls to pieces a lot, but it’s strangely fun to read about. Also, her husband is a saint.

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice and A Monstrous Regiment of Women – Laurie King. These mysteries chronicle the adventures of Mary Russell, a teenager adopted by Sherlock Holmes as an apprentice. It sounds cheesy, but the books are so full of believable characters and good writing and suspense that they don’t ever read like cheap add-ons to a classic. Case in point: the first time I read The Beekeeper’s Apprentice was by the light of a book light on the way home from a far-away high school basketball game. The trip was taking forever because of a blizzard, but I didn’t notice because my nose was stuck so deeply in the book. I had forgotten enough of the story that the second reading proved just as captivating.

A Circle of Quiet – Madeline L’Engle. This book has become my reading right when I wake up. It’s reflective and calming, and I appreciate L’Engle’s accessible thoughts on failure and relationships and what it means to be a human.

I’m trying to read more consistently, even while I’m at school. So far it’s working.

 

Watching

Parks and Rec. As usual. I’m almost done with the 5th season and am approaching the 6th with trepidation because I don’t want it to be over. I’m also fighting the urge to start watching Friends and rewatching New Girl. Because I am a responsible adult who does not spend her entire life watching Netflix.

The Importance of Being Earnest. Sure, maybe this movie wouldn’t be what Oscar Wilde intended, but it does include the best one-liners and quirky plot twists of two men claiming to both be a character named Earnest. It also has Colin Firth and a young Reese Witherspoon.

Divergent. Though I didn’t think I could handle the intensity of this movie (and I’ll admit, I focused very hard on my knitting at some points), I enjoyed watching it. Mostly because I was with girls I love. And because of Four, obviously.

Notting Hill. This one comes up on the Netflix movies recommended for me all the time, so I thought I’d finally try it. After all, how bad could a Julia Roberts movie be? Not bad at all, as it turns out. Hugh Grant is bumbling and adorable, which sweetens this unlikely romance of a London bookseller who falls in love with an American actress. Bonus: spotting a young Lord Grantham from Downton sans servants and suitcoat.

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. My favorite flick of the month. A homeless, unemployed spinster snags a job as a social secretary for a flighty songbird juggling three lovers and three different career paths. Amy Adams steals the show with those huge, naïve, adorable eyes and ability to be a complete flirt without being obnoxious. Utterly delightful.

Valentine’s Day. Fun, but a movie only acceptable for a girl’s night. The best part is how awkward Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner are.

 

Listening to

Us the Duo. So much. Especially this song.

Oh Honey. I’m particularly fond of “I Love You Will Still Sound the Same.”

Meghan Trainor. The whole Title album is on Spotify. I listen to it too often.

Maroon 5’s “Sugar.” The music video is fun, too.

“Bang Bang” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj, for some inexplicable reason.

 

Into

I don’t know if asking these questions would make me fall in love with any random stranger, but they might spark good conversation.

Cognac riding boots. I jumped on the bandwagon and got them for Christmas. I love them.

This article, which proves what I’ve known all along about writing.

This list of intriguing cultural concepts that I want to adopt.

The not-that-cold January weather. It’s confusing but I’m not going to complain.

This collection of things Minnesotans are too nice to brag about. Especially the hockey hair video.

Writing letters, the old-fashioned snail mail way.

This video that proves in old-fashioned Technicolor Disney painters can actually, you know, paint. Narrated by Walt Disney himself. Starts slow, but gets fascinating.

Up to

Ringing in the New Year and doing other Christmas break-ish things like watching my brothers play basketball and making cookies with my grandma.

Starting new classes and adjusting to having a less stressful class load (hence the longer list of books read this month).

Learning how to do a long-distance relationship. So far it seems survivable.

Spending good time with my lovely RA staff and being slightly overwhelmed by some new responsibilities (but for really, really good reasons).

 

What are you into this month?

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