January 2017 Recap

This is how the month of January shook out for me. These are the things I watched and read:

Books:

Total: 49
Picture Books: 27
Middle Grade: 6
YA: 4
Adult: 12
Fiction: 41
Non-Fiction:8
Audiobooks: 5
Total Pages Read: 5596

Favorite Reads in January:
30231763Always Happy Hour: Stories by Mary Miller: A collection of stories about women in doomed relationships. While most are romantic in nature, there are a few where unhealth friendships or other non-romantic relationships are explored.  All of the stories are beautifully written, with searing truths about what it is like to be an American woman in this day and age, and Miller’s writing cuts right to the bone.  There are some standouts here; in particular “Big Bad Love” and “The House on Main Street,” but all of the stories can stand on their own.  This is one I’d like to own, so I can revisit favorite passages again and again.

The Poet’s Dog by Patricia MacLachlan: I read this short middle 28594983grade novel in one sitting at the desk at work, and I had to work very hard not to sob while doing so. It’s a simple story narrated in large part by a dog who has recently lost his owner, a poet.  The dog rescues two children in a terrible snow storm, and the three form an intense bond. The result is a lovely story about the unconditional love dogs have for humans, the wonder both children and poets have, and the hope that life can bring. I loved it.

6527979The Thingamabob by Il Sung Na: A very cute, beautifully illustrated picture book about an elephant who cannot figure out what the thingamabob is supposed to do. It will captivate young readers and entertain adults, too. I have hopes of using this in a toddler storytime sometime this year, because I think it will be a hit. Il Sung Na is an author to watch out for.

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo: Amanda has moved to a 26156987new town after a brutal attack and is hoping to start over as her true self. But she also knows she has to try to fly under the radar for her own safety, which becomes harder when she falls for a boy at her new school. A story about a trans girl by a trans author that doesn’t result in total tragedy or darkness, this is a contemporary, necessary story that’s important not only for cis teens but for trans ones as well. It’s romantic, universal, and engaging. I loved it.

Movies:

Total: 17
New: 11
Re-Watch: 6

Favorite Movies in January: 
hf.jpgHidden Figures: The Oscar nominations for this movie are well-deserved. It’s a fairly typical bio-pic, but it’s still compelling as hell and very moving. I loved every minute of watching these amazing women solve math problems and face unbelievable sexism and racism.

American Honey: Definitely overly-long (I couldn’t believe the ah.pngruntime was nearly 3 hours), but very compelling. Star says she’s 18 and might be telling the truth when she hooks up with a ragtag group of teens who travel the country in a van, selling magazines and partying in cheap motels. The result is a road trip movie that sort of meanders through its storyline, and if it weren’t for the excellent cast and interesting directing, it would fall apart. But the result is a beautiful movie more interested in examining the inner life of its female protagonist than anything else. I really liked it, but I’ll admit it’s not for everyone.

October 2015 Recap

Reading:

Best Book of the Month:  Infandous by Elana K. Arnold

Books Read: 21
Adult: 0
MG: 0
YA: 21
Children’s: 0
Fiction: 21
Non-fiction/Memoir: 0
Graphic Novel: 0
# of Pages Read: 5343

Thoughts on October’s Reading: 

I read a lot of books but still feel like I could have read more.  I love reading for the Cybils, but work has gotten unexpectedly busy and life is getting in the way consistently.  I’m hoping to at least match the number of titles read for November, but we’ll see.

October was a bad month for watching stuff.  I watched a few movies and marathoned The Good Wife, but nothing to really report on here, which is embarrassing.

Goals for November:

  • At least 20 more books read for the Cybils.
  • At least 10 movies that are new to me.  I need to get out of the habit of re-watching shows/movies I’ve already seen.  It’s easy to do when you’re a distracted viewer and like to multi-task, but it’s wreaking havoc on my pop culture goals.

 

September 2015 Recap

Reading:

Best Book of the Month:  Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Books Read: 14
Adult: 8
MG: 0
YA: 6
Children’s: 0
Fiction: 12
Non-fiction/Memoir: 2
Graphic Novel: 0
# of Pages Read: 5,022

Thoughts on September’s  Reading:

  • I read a fair amount in September, and I read fairly evenly between adult/YA titles.  I read a lot of stuff that was merely okay, and a few knockout titles.
  • I’m participating in the Cybils again this year, which means an increase in reading volume for October-December, but it will all be YA fiction, so I should probably kiss goodbye the adult titles I still have sitting on my nightstand from the library.

Watching:

TV:

  • I’ve mostly been re-watching shows I love, like Parks & Rec, The Office, and Buffy, so I haven’t marathoned anything new this month.
  • Fall TV is here, and I’m really into Fear the Walking Dead, Switched at Birth, and am enjoying Blindspot and Quantico.

meearlMovies:

Best Movie in September: Me & Earl & the Dying Girl
Total Movies Watched: 12
Theater Trips: 0
Re-Watch: 1

Thoughts on Movies: 

  • I’m doing an unofficial fall movie challenge, so my movie watching is up this month.  I watched a fair amount of stuff, but the best things I watched included Me & Earl & the Dying Girl (SO GOOD) and Belle.
  • I also watched Welcome to Me, which I liked a lot, and The One I Love, which was weird and sort of wonderful.

 Goals for October:

  • Watch at least 15 new movies
  • Read, read, read.  It’s Cybils time, so this is pretty much a given.

August 2015 Recap

Reading:

Best Book of the Month:  From Where I Watch You by Shannon Grogan

Books Read: 8
Adult: 4
MG: 0
YA: 4
Children’s: 0
Fiction: 6
Non-fiction/Memoir: 2
Graphic Novel: 0
# of Pages Read: 2641

Thoughts on August’s Reading:

  • Way down on reading this month, for some reason.  I have a ton to read and very little motivation to do so.
  • I’ve read considerably more YA this month, which is good.  I still have a lot to catch up on.

Watching:

TV:

  • Still chugging away at Beverly Hills, currently stuck in the 8th season.  Don’t get me wrong: this has never been a good show, but we’re well past jump-the-shark territory, and now it’s kind of boring.
  • Definitely ready for fall TV.

Movies:

rickiBest Movie in August: Ricki and the Flash
Total Movies Watched: 1?
Theater Trips: 1
Re-Watch: 0

Thoughts on Movies: 

  • Embarrassingly, I didn’t track movies watched in August, but I’m not sure I watched any with the exception of Ricki & the Flash.
  • I have goals for September, but I’m still hammering out the details.  Obviously more movies and less TV (it’s just so easy to marathon Royal Pains).

 

 Goals for September:

  • Watch 5-10 movies.  Seriously.
  • Read at least 10 books.
  • Keep up with keeping track.

July 2015 Recap

Summer is hard, guys.  I don’t read as much as I think I will and a lot of my movie-watching ends up being half-hardheartedly watching TV while doing other activities.

Reading:

Best Book of the Month: Rad American Women A-Z by Kate Schatz

Books Read: 12
Adult: 9
MG: 0
YA: 2
Children’s: 1
Fiction: 5
Non-fiction/Memoir: 7
Graphic Novel: 0
# of Pages Read: 3544

Thoughts on July’s Reading:

  • A bizarrely large amount of non-fiction this month, due in part to the fact that I’ve been reading a lot about weight-lifting.  We all need hobbies, guys.
  • Much of the non-fiction I read was great, and some was just sort of forgettable.  But I’m glad to be branching out.

Watching:

TV:

  • I’ve been watching Everwood from start to finish, which has been interesting.  It’s not a show that has aged well, and it’s also not as compelling as it thinks it is.  It lacks many of the things that a show that relies on a slow-burn needs to be really compelling: strong writing, actor chemistry, etc.  But I keep watching.
  • Still chugging away at Beverly Hills, currently enmeshed in the 6th season.  It’s just all so ridiculous.  I love it.
  • Every once in a while, I dip into an episode of Pretty Little Liars, but the show seems to be giving viewers the exact same story every week.  It’s a mystery that people keep tuning in (this applies to me, too).
  • Definitely ready for fall TV.

Movies:

infinitelypolarBest Movie in July: Infinitely Polar Bear
Total Movies Watched: 11
Theater Trips: 3
Re-Watch: 8

Thoughts on Movies: 

  • Three theater trips in July, and all three were solid choices.
  • I rewatched Beyond the Lights (it’s on Netflix and you should go watch it) and still love it.  I watched a couple documentaries near the start of the month, including Blackfish and Hot Girls Wanted.

 

 Goals for August:

  • Watch 5-10 movies.  Seriously.
  • Read at least 10 books.
  • Keep up with keeping track.

May 2015 Recap

I actually skipped a recap for April because my reading was so off the skids with getting ready for the move.  But I was back on track for May, so here’s what I read and watched last month:

Reading:

Best Book of the Month: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Books Read: 12
Adult: 8
MG: 0
YA: 4
Children’s: 0
Fiction: 9
Non-fiction/Memoir: 3
Graphic Novel: 0
# of Pages Read: 3802

Thoughts on May’s Reading:

  • I read a few excellent things, including Bryan Bliss’s No Parking at the End Times and Kathy Charles’s John Belushi is Dead (this is probably one of the most outstanding YA fiction books I’ve read from my backlist  in recent memory).
  • I have a good mix of fiction and non-fiction, and I hope to continue that this month.

Watching:

TV:

  • I’m basically in a Shameless hole and I’ve been watching that almost exclusively.  I love it.
  • I also did a rewatch of Orange is the New Black season 2 to prepare for third season.

Movies:

Best Movie(s) of the Month: The Babadookbabadook

Movies Watched: 10
New: 5
Re-Watch: 5
Theater Trips: 5

Goals for June:

  • I’m trying to continue reading a lot more than I have been, which seems to be going well since getting my new library card.
  • I want to watch a few more movies this month, and hopefully have them be new.  I’ve been relying on stuff I’ve already seen, and that does nothing to shrink my ever-growing list of things to see.

March 2015 Recap

I hit the skids this past month.  I definitely hit a reading slump and wasn’t watching a ton of stuff, either.  Here’s what I got up to:

Reading:

Best Book of the Month: Get in Trouble by Kelly Link

Books Read: 11
Adult: 6
MG: 0
YA: 5
Children’s: 0
Fiction: 10
Non-fiction/Memoir: 1
Graphic Novel: 1
# of Pages Read: 2875

Thoughts on March’s Reading:

Watching:

TV:

  • J. and I got really into House Hunters this month and plowed through the episodes available on Netflix.
  • I’ve been doing a slow, distracted rewatch of the first few seasons of The O.C.  It was so much fun and just went completely off the rails.  It’s too bad.
  • I’m looking forward to April, which marks the return of Outlander, Game of Thrones, and Orphan Black.  TV right now is pretty bleak.

going clearMovies:

Best Movie(s) of the Month: Going Clear

Movies Watched: 14
New: 2
Re-Watch: 12
Theater Trips: 1 (but we didn’t stay for the movie. It’s a long story)

Goals for April:

  • Get back on the reading train.  Read at least 15 books.
  • More movies I haven’t seen before! I’ve been all about the rewatch lately, which is fine but doesn’t help me cover the myriad movies I want to see.