Books I Couldn’t Put Down
Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch by Sally Bedell Smith – This book is like The Crown brought to life, which I realize might sound a little silly, but it’s such an accurate description. The book is enjoyable and informative and I’ve loved reading it!
The Alienist by Caleb Carr – The book behind the new TV series on TNT; the story follows a crime reporter, a police secretary and an alienist (the name for a psychologist in late 1800’s) as they solve a string of murders in New York City. This book started slow but picked up and within the first 100 pages, I was hooked! I stayed up later than I’d like to admit a couple nights in a row to finish this – it’s an excellent read!
Fairest of Them All by Serena Valentino – A look at the story of Snow White from the vantage point of the Wicked Queen; this book was a quick and interesting read! I liked the way the story was laid out and although it’s probably more of a YA book, I still really enjoyed reading it. There are three more in the series (at present) and I just started The Beast Within…I bet you’ll never guess what story it ties in to?
Books on the Shelf
Y’all – I did it again! I still haven’t made a dent in the books I bought during last year’s book spree but I bought several more books on Amazon earlier in the month to add to my list. I grabbed the Once Upon A Dream: Twisted Tales and Villains series; both Disney book series. I’m pretty certain they’re both young adult but I can’t wait to read them. The Disney hangover is real…
I guess I also need to read all the books I bought last year too, huh?
Must See TV
Victoria – All things British royalty; that’s one of the genres that appeals to me, so lucky for me as The Crown ended, Victoria took it’s place. From one great (female) British monarch to another! The second season of Victoria picks up right where the first left off and in only five episodes Victoria and Albert have welcome a second baby, are preparing for a third, held an extravagant ball that enraged the common people, took a trip to France and Albert learn’s some troubling news about his family…all that in five episodes! Can’t wait to see the rest of the season!
The Alienist – This series, based on the book of the same name that I devoured this month premiered on the 22nd on TNT. I’ve only seen two episodes so far (of what will be a 10 episode limited series) but so far it is playing out much like the book for me; in that it has started slow but is picking up. It’s NOT like the book in many ways that I’ve picked up on so far – but with only two episodes watched, I can’t make a final judgement yet. Either way, at least I get to look at Luke Evans, ha-ha!
Home Town – This show; it’s like Fixer Upper’s quirky cousin! And the funniest part is that it’s set in Laurel, MS…a town I used to drive through again and again going to and from college in Hattiesburg, MS. I love watching Ben and Erin take old houses throughout Laurel and turn them into something new and unique…it’s especially fascinating to watch Ben take bits and pieces of the house that most people would discard and re-purpose them into beautiful pieces! I’ll keep this in the rotation, especially after Fixer Upper ends it’s final season.
The Handmaid’s Tale – Talk about an intense story; this would be it, oh my goodness. The television show is based on the book of the same name by Margaret Atwood and follows the book very closely. I couldn’t decide whether to watch the show but after the show racked up on the Golden Globes, I signed up for a free month of Hulu and watched the 10 episode first season in about a week. It’s definitely intense, aspects of it are hard to watch but it’s extremely good “television” and I can’t wait to see season two in April!
Movies of the Month
The Shape of Water – What a surprise this movie was! I wrote in an earlier post that the trailers left me somewhere between intrigued and a bit weirded out, but the intrigued portion won out and I’m so glad I went to see the film! I will say this film is certainly not for everybody but I enjoyed it so much; the characters were warm and funny, the story spoke to seeing people that society views as damaged or “less than” and was really a touching love story. Parts of the movie are a bit odd – I’ll definitely say that, but all in all – such a good film!
Beyond that movie; I didn’t see any new films but I did see The Greatest Showman for a second time with my friend Rachel! It’s such a good movie and has an excellent soundtrack!
Everything on this month’s compilation is from our week at Disney – mostly because there were so many delicious things to be eaten at Disney World. *sigh* I’m still dreaming about the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup, the Braised Beef from Be Our Guest and the Blue Cheesecake Mousse with Passion Fruit Curd from Satu’li Canteen in Pandora.
The other reason everything is from Disney? Because the Tuesday after we returned from Disney, I stated the Arbonne Thirty Day Cleanse and I haven’t really eaten anything that just blew my mind since January 16th – I mean, I can’t even have my beloved coffee. I’m counting down the days until February 15th.
The Greatest Showman soundtrack – The music in this film is spectacular and I’ve been playing the songs on repeat! My personal favorites are A Million Dreams, The Other Side and Rewrite the Stars…and Never Enough is my very favorite!
Walt Disney World: The Official Album – The Disney hangover in musical form; this is quite literally the soundtrack to the park, with songs and musical score from rides and lands throughout Walt Disney World. I’m thoroughly enjoying it!
And all my favorite podcasts, including The Popcast with Knox & Jamie, the English Renaissance History podcast, a Storm of Spoilers and the Big Boo Cast.
What I’m Looking Forward To
Warmer Weather – Honestly; if it isn’t going to snow then I just don’t understand the point of the cold. I love living in a place with four seasons but the lack of snow so far this Winter has been a bit sad. So I honestly feel like if it isn’t going to snow, then it might as well just go ahead and warm up, ha-ha!
The End of the Cleanse – My thirty day clean eating challenge/cleanse, whatever you’d like to refer to it as ends on…funnily enough, Valentine’s Day! I am SO very much looking forward to the end of the cleanse because while for the most part it’s been fine, there have been days that were a real struggle for me. I’m especially looking forward to the morning of February 15th when I can finally have my precious coffee once again!
That’s all I’ve got for the first month of 2018 – I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year brings!