Before December gets too advanced, a look back at some of the things I was into in November.
Books I Read
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman – An absolutely wonderful book! The book follows the story of lighthouse keeper Tom and his wife Isabel, who find a baby abandoned on Janus Rock and against Tom’s better judgement, choose to keep the baby. The consequences of their choice play out as the novel unfolds and I was riveted from start to finish. This book has been made into a movie that is set to come out in 2016.
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan – This book was good on a completely different level; it was less serious and more of a “fun read”. The story follows Rachel as she joins her boyfriend Nick for a summer vacation to Singapore to meet his family; a family that is not just rich but crazy rich, a fact that Nick forgot to let Rachel in on. Rachel struggles to fit in and find her place among Nick’s superficial, label-hungry family and must decide if she will ever be able to be a part of Nick’s crazy rich lifestyle. A really good book; I’d classify this as a beach read, even though I read it in the middle of the mountains, ha-ha!
Cold Mountain by Todd Frazier – One of my favorite books; although I don’t think I realized that until I started reading this book for a second time this month. The story; of course, follows Inman as he steps out of a Civil War hospital and makes his way home to Cold Mountain, walking to the woman he loves. Inman’s story is interspersed with Ada’s story – Ada being the woman he is walking toward. Frazier’s writing is so incredibly descriptive and I absolutely love reading this book! If you’ve never read it, I highly recommend it – and even if you’ve seen the movie, still give this a read.
Books in the Queue
I’d first like to point out that I actually read the books in my queue from last month – I can’t believe it! I mean, I can…but you know what I mean. Hehehe.
The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan – A book I’ve seen recommended so many places; the story follows a “commoner” from the US who attends Oxford and falls in love with the Prince of Wales; in this tale he’s Prince Nicholas. The relationship thrusts Rebecca (the commoner) into the harsh spotlight of public life and she must decide if her love for Nicholas is enough to overcome tabloids, royal family drama and a lifetime in the public eye. I’m planning to put this on my tablet and read it en route to London – it seems appropriate, no?
The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn by Allison Weir – The Amazon description of this book says: Drawing on a myriad of sources from the Tudor era, this book provides an examination of Anne Boleyn’s final days. The story explores the motives and intrigues of the people who helped seal the queen’s fate, unraveling that tragic tale of Anne’s fall, from her miscarriage of a son that would have saved her to the final dramatic scene on the scaffold. The Lady in the Tower presents the full array of Anne’s guilt – and innocence. Are you sensing a pattern with my reading choices here?
Can’t Miss Television
Fargo – Well, honestly I can’t decide if I like this season or the first season better. I was drawn to the first season because Martin Freeman was one of the main characters and I became thoroughly engrossed…so then, because season one was so good, I decided I’d check out season two. And it’s been just as good, if not better than season one. I love the dark humor, the story lines that spin out of random meetings between characters and I can’t wait to see how this story all unfolds…but I particularly love Ed and Peggy and their weird marriage dynamic as they battle against the Gerhardt crime family….determined to survive whatever comes their way, on their own terms.
|Hardened criminals and good guys – can you tell which is which?|
Scandal – I did it! I finished the first four seasons and apparently I have until February 11th to catch up on the nine episodes that have already aired as part of season five! I love this show but I still can’t pinpoint which characters I really love…which makes no sense, right? Perhaps that’s the beauty of the show itself; it reels you in and sets you to falling in love with a certain character, and then it snatches that love away because the character does something stupid. I want to be on Team Olivia + Jake, but I still find myself returning to Team Olivia + Fitz…and while at the end of season four, it looks like love will finally be in the cards for them. Sadly – I doubt that is how things will play out.
|These two….*shakes head*|
Reign – I suppose this is a can’t miss mostly because *spoiler alert* King Francis bit the dust in one of the most recent episodes and I’m intrigued as to how the show will move forward without one of the two main characters. Now, I know the show is aiming to have some historical accuracy and King Francis died very early into his marriage with Mary, Queen of Scots…I just feel like so much of the show was driven by the relational dynamics between Mary and Francis, so I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.
|Spoiler alert – someone in this scene bites the dust.|
I’m also watching: Castle, Bones and Sleepy Hollow…
Must See Movies
The Peanuts Movie – Which I loved. Absolutely and completely loved because it kept the original, tried and true spirit of the original Peanuts comics and translated it to a more modern look, without giving up the wholesome and heart-warming traits that the Peanuts are known for. Everything about this movie made me remember all the wonderful times I watched the Peanuts growing up and I was truly just happy and delighted for the whole ninety minutes I spent watching this movie – if you have kids (or even if you don’t) I’d say you have to see this movie! I especially enjoyed the toddler in our screening who happily squealed “the duck!” every time Woodstock appeared on screen. Ha-ha!
Music I Listened To
I Can’t Feel My Face by the Weekends – I’m probably late to this one (okay, I know I am – whatever) but I guess I only heard this in it’s entirety the last week of November and was pretty much in love as soon as I heard it.
Roses and Violets by Alexander Jean – Where did I hear this song? While watching Dancing with the Stars with my Mom; oh Lordy yes! I wasn’t sure about it initially; the singer has a very different sounding voice, but once I heard it a second time it grew on me. It grew on me enough that it is now taking up space on my iPod/iPhone.
Hello by Adele – I know…what a bandwagon song, right? I’m pretty sure everybody and their brother (sister?) has downloaded this song. I can’t help it though; it’s just that good! I mean, I think we all know by now that Adele can sing! I mean – she can SING. So, I’m definitely trying to warble along with her in the car. I’m sure she’d die if she could hear me butchering her song. *sigh*
CHRISTMAS MUSIC – because DUH. This really needs no explanation and I don’t feel the need to admit how early in November I started listening to Christmas music. It is what it is and I am not ashamed.
Yummy in My Tummy
Thanksgiving Dinner – Obviously. Ha-ha! I don’t know about you, but my Thanksgiving dinner was delicious! Turkey, ham, dressing/stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green beans, butter beans, corn, rolls….and for dessert, red velvet cake, pecan pie and lemon meringue pie. I mean – I’m drooling just remembering it.
Coconut Latte – So, we went to a Christmas open house at a local nursery and they had a coffee/dessert bar of sorts. I ordered a flavored latte and against the weird looks from my parents, told them to put coconut into the latte – and y’all, it was the best latte I have ever tasted in my entire life. I’ve now made it my life goal (okay – a life goal) to find Torini Coconut Syrup so I can put it in all my coffee forever. Ha!
What I’m Looking Forward To
Christmas Cookie Swap – Something I’ve always enjoyed going to…and this year, my Mom and I decided to host our own. There will be yummy Christmas food, party games, door prizes and of course…cookies!
Trans-Siberian Orchestra – This is my Mom’s birthday present (to herself) and I’m so glad I get to join her for this concert. Trans-Siberian Orchestra will be in DC on the 10th and we have tickets to jam out to the music. I can’t wait!
Christmas Ornament Exchange – I joined my Mom for this last year; her church’s women’s ministry holds the event each year and it’s always a good time. There is brunch and then a good old fashioned dirty Santa style exchange for the ornaments. I will admit I hope I come out better this year than last…
Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Because I’m just that much of a nerd, I’ve had my ticket(s) for over a month now and I can’t wait to see the newest installment of the Star Wars franchise. I was raised swinging wrapping paper rolls around like light sabers, so here’s to many more years (or at least two more after this one) of adventures in a galaxy far, far away.
London for Christmas – Just in case I haven’t mentioned that yet. Ha-ha!