Here is my yearly reading summary. I love that Goodreads does this. Sometimes Kindle books get marked done before they are so it’s actually 43. In terms of numbers worst reading year in a decade. Not great in variety either, however I did read the weirdest book I’ve ever read (it’s the shortest one).
My Man Jeeves; Carry On, Jeeves; Thank You, Jeeves; Right Ho, Jeeves; The Mating Season; Ring for Jeeves; Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit. Y’all know I think these are great.
New to Me Fiction
Anna Karenina. I was pleased with myself for reading this. I actually semi-enjoyed it. I was fed up with Levin’s philosophizing by the end. Those last 20 plus pages about killed me. I definitely prefer Tolstoy to Dostoevsky. I clearly didn’t get to War and Peace, but I’m hoping to this year.
Remembering and A World Lost Wendell Berry. I’m trying to read all Berry’s work. These weren’t my favs.
Quartet in Autumn, Excellent Women, Crampton Hodnet, No Fond Return of Love, Jane and Prudence, Civil to Strangers: And Other Writings by Barbara Pym. I searched “autumn” in the Libby app and that got my started on my Barbara Pym
The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh. Cute but rather to sad for me.
The Eight Mountains by Paolo Cognetti. Interesting but depressing.
This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki. Eh.
The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero. Absolutely fascinating, highly recommend. In following this unique man’s history, you get some Irish history, a tiny bit of Australian history, and some U.S. history.
This Is Your Brain on Birth Control: The Surprising Science of Women, Hormones, and the Law of Unintended Consequences by Sarah E. Hill. Here is my Goodreads review:
“I liked the information presented in chapters 1-8. I think all women (and men) could stand to learn how hormones affect our bodies and lives. However, like other commenters, her stance is way too deterministic and limited. We aren’t just our hormones. We aren’t just our bodies to me. Read it to better inform yourself with a grain of salt since 1) This hasn’t been studied enough and 2) She’s not in the medical field (which I somehow missed while reading) and while to dismiss her for that reason is a fallacy, she doesn’t have practical working knowledge of these fields, she’s working from studies which I don’t think is a strong position to have adequate knowledge to understand the studies and interpret their data well. However, since we are limited in our books on women’s health and anatomy and physiology from the medical [perspective], I still recommend the book for these chapters until we can get better options.
A few other notes. She seemed to rather idolize the pill which caused her to omit pertinent information such as the usage of birth control types and percentages, data which does exist. This leads to her to make grand generalizations and assumptions which get worse in the later chapters. These chapters I just skipped, she started in on a political, personal opinion/paradigm schtick riddled with fallacies and jumping to conclusions and ignoring sociological/demographical data.”
A few notes now. I was leery of the pill from what I’ve heard of other women’s stories combined with my mental health during puberty. I still almost started it, I got a prescription and then never took it even though I had a slight sense of being histrionic. Turns out, no, I wasn’t since I took supplemental melatonin (a hormone!) which triggered a mental health episode, so just be very careful if you’ve had any history of hormonal caused mental health issues, if you are going to use the pill make sure you have everything set up with your doctor and a psychiatrist in case it doesn’t go well.
Also, I’m quite a bit fed up with people and pop culture throwing around inaccurate information. These stats are important:
Aerobics Program For Total Well-Being: Exercise, Diet, And Emotional Balance by Kenneth H. Cooper. This is a very old book, so the full fatal dangers of smoking are missing. It’s also written for men, so I’m not sure what the points would be for women. If you fill that in mentally, or ignore the smoking parts it is great!!! I read this shortly after a sobering doctor’s visit in June. I also started running and working on my diet. Several things went into this, mainly the doctor’s visit, but I’m sure the book helped a little. I think I want my own copy.
I relooked up the last quote in my last post thinking I’d deleted it . . . I hadn’t, I had a whole other set of quotes in another place. So here are the rest.
“Ross, Ross, Ross, listen, who are you kissing at midnight, huh, Rachel or Phoebe?”
“Well, you gotta kiss someone, can’t kiss your sister,”
“Well, who’s going to kiss my sister?”
“Ah, man really?!”
“Dude, Dude, Who would you rather kiss your sister, me or Chandler?”
“That’s a good point.”
Ross to Monica, “Chandler was totally flirting with the hot delivery girl.”
Chandler to Ross, “Thank you for that.” To Monica “I was not flirting.”
“It’s okay. I don’t care. It’s fine.”
Both Ross and Chandler, “Really?”
“It’s no big deal, I do it all the time.”
Chandler, “So, ah um, you you you flirt with guys all the time?”
“Sure, it doesn’t mean anything, just like I know it doesn’t mean anything with you.”
“Okay, but there’s a big difference, alright? You are a lot hotter than I am.”
Joey walking behind, “True story.”
“Gee, like, this actually bothers you?”
“Yes, it does bother me, and I think it bother a lot of people. Rachel, when, uh, when you were going out with Ross did it bother you when he flirted with other women?”
“Uh, no, no, it bothered me when he slept with other women.”
Ross, to Chandler, “And thank you for that.”
This is all I have written down. I may have missed some, and I intentionally didn’t try to list all the Hallmark movies. I also watched a lot of Youtube, especially in the November and December, mostly goofy stuff like KnJ and their group of friends videos. I just needed that level of absolute nonsense and fun.
Country at Heart. Hallmark, can’t remember at the moment
When Harry Met Sally. I actually think this one was kinda fun. But oh my stars the sexism/misogyny! I don’t identify as feminist for a variety of reasons because it’s a mess, and I don’t use those terms lightly. I think men and women are of equal worth not exactly the same (why would you want to be?!), but I also don’t think they fall into stupid, unscientific personality and taste categories/stereotypes. Any sentence that starts with or implies “all such and such are such and such” is usually an “if some then all” fallacy, and also just infuriating. And again, why does it feel like there is more accuracy/nuance/equality in the 30’s and 40’s movies and more sexism in the 50’s, 60’s, (and now in my experience), the 80’s movies and tv (I’ve not seen enough 70’s to get a feel)?!
“Why are you getting so upset, this is not about you,”
“Yes, it is; you are a human affront to all women and I am a woman.”
Mystic Pizza. This caused me to think, yeah, most 80s movies are misses.
St. Elmo’s Fire. I take it back, this is so much better/accurate than now. Actually this was pretty silly and shallow, it was just fun, also I loved Kevin, so.
Alec, “Leslie has to marry me soon.”
Kevin, “Why, you pregnant?”
Started rewatching Friends. Initial gut reaction I love Chandler and I really, really hate Ross (not always, but man, he is such a pig sometimes; I mean not comedically). Example Ross being “generous and a nice guy” (sick face),
“You know what, you know what, if things were the other way around there is nothing you could put on a list that could ever make me not what to be with you.”
“Well, then I guess that’s the “differences between us. See, I’d never make a list.”
Dude pines after and then does nothing, then gets into a relationship, then can’t decide. Can’t decide buddy boy?!!! That’s your decision right there, it ain’t me. Also while it was Chandler’s idea, he only came up with it because Ross couldn’t decide (again, ugh). Rachel is super annoying and an airhead the first season or two. But bimbo and jack*** are not in the same category, they don’t equal each other out. Anyhoo, for some funny quotes.
“I don’t know what I know what I’m gonna do. What am I gonna do? I mean this this is like a complete nightmare!”
“Oh, I know this must be so hard. ‘Oh, no! Two women love me! They’re both gorgeous and sexy, my wallet’s too small for my 50’s and my diamond shoes are too tight!'”
His cadence and build up though, I’m crying.
“Ding dong the pyscho’s gone.”
Monica, “We’re not having birthday cake, we’re having birthday flan.”
Chandler “Excuse me?”
Monica, “It’s a traditional Mexican custard dessert.”
Joey, “Oh, that’s nice. ‘Happy birthday, Rachel, here’s some GOO.'”
Rachel’s extravagant barbie bridesmaid dress.
“I think you should seriously consider the marriage thing, give Rachel another chance to dress up like princess bubble yum.”
Later, Ross and Rachel come in,
“I’m sorry, we don’t have your sheep.”
“Hey guys does this look like something the girlfriend of a paleontologist would wear?”
“I don’t know, you might be the first one.”
“I knew it, I knew it, I always knew she liked him. You know. She’d say no, but here we are, right, we just broke up, first thing she does.”
“You didn’t just break up.”
“Hey it’s been like three weeks.”
“You slept with someone three hours after you thought you broke up, I mean bullets have left guns slower.”
Monica, “Man, I would be great in a war, I really, I think I would make a fantastic military leader. I mean I know would make general before any of you guys.”
Chandler, “Before or after you were shot by your own troops?”
Ross, “I know where Joey would be, he would be down in the foxhole protecting all of us.”
Chandler, “Yes, if the foxhole was lined with sandwiches.”
See How They Run. Cute, but a bit blah. Except when she thinks it’s him and knocks him out with a shovel. That was great.
Hallmark aplenty, standouts were: Three Wisemen and a Baby (I’ve been a Tyler Hynes girl since It’s, Christmas Eve, before he was cool y’all, lol), Time for Him to Come Home for Christmas (Tyler Hynes again!), A Holiday Spectacular (which starred Derek Klena), and A Fabled Holiday (which briefly featured Lindsey Sterling and her gorgeous Celtic influenced rendition of Joy to the World).
American Underdog. Interesting, a bit cheesy. And less dramatic than I thought since they aged the characters 20-10 years (events took place over a bit under 10). It is way more dramatic (impossible?) for a guy in his 30’s to get into the NFL for the first time than for a guy in his twenties which was the real case.
Remember the Titans. My experience was a bit hampered by 1) (especially by) The fact that I mashed what I knew of this movie with what I knew of We Are Marshall. When they don’t all die at the end as expected, that does ruin the pathos one expected. 2) I think it’s overhyped. 3) It’s Disney and it shows, very much glossed over stuff and changed things for dramatic effect. 4) Which leads to being me, I had to look up the actual facts . . . many of the points of major significance were mostly false or changed enough to increase the impact.
I watched two football movies yet, I’m remarkably ignorant of the rules, player positions, etc. of American football. Quite a feat for a big sports family and for someone who has actually played backyard football. I really feel like I should remedy that.
Post is here.
- The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis
- An Anton Chekhov novel
- Another of Sigrid Undset’s works
- Beowulf (Tolkien’s translation) WINTER
- George Eliot’s shorter works
- Henry VI, Part 1
- Henry VI, Part 2
- Henry VI, Part 3
- Henry VIII
- Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
- One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
- Pamela by Samuel Richardson
- Persian Book of Kings
- The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
- The Scarlet Letter and/or The House with Seven Gables by Nathanial Hawthorne
- War and Peace
- The Idiot
- King John
I did a birthday hike with my mom at the beginning of September (pics on my Instagram here). The rain gave us a lovely fog over the river (the photos don’t do it justice). And it also gave me a lovely wipeout. So we stopped at Target for an outfit before heading out to eat. And then I had my first facial with dermaplaning and an eyebrow wax. Highly recommend!
And that was the highlight, lol. My web development course rather took it out of me. And I didn’t study extra like I needed, so this semester looked glum. Then I decided to be stupid and get on dating apps. And then did some other “research” on my looks and such involved with that. All of which served to make me crazy (and tended to get the “men are pigs” sentiment going quite nicely). Then as I was winding that catastrophic experiment down, I got covid (the week of our huge company walking challenge, which would have normally put me right in 4th or 5th place!). I got enough better according to the current policies to do training (downtown) most of this past week and half of next. All the while trying to get a seasonal weekend job.
I’ve been exhausted, but I’m mostly relaxing this Sunday, and trying to plan for a fun fall. I want to enjoy my favorite season!
I’m looking to see if I can get a spot in the next semester for web dev and spend this semester studying. I’ve got a part-time weekend job that should start this month. I’m almost done with training, which should give me about 2 hours a day back and make it easier to pick my exercising back up. I’ve got my race with my mom at the middle/end of this month (with hopefully a bit of exploring after), and then the last week I’ve got a staycation (hallelujah!). I think I’ll try and start that off with another facial!
I’m hoping I can get some fall decor and goodies next paycheck since, you know, it’s actually still fall! Hopefully it isn’t sold out since every season and holiday starts about two months earlier lately!!!!!
My mom dropped off apples, apple cider, and an apple cider doughnut this week, and my sister and I had our seemingly annual fall get-together with some childhood friends complete with plenty of pumpkin treats. I also managed to snag a couple jars of pumpkin (I still had plenty of molasses, it took me so long to find last year I made sure to grab several, but I think I might still grab some more this year). I’m also thinking of the cozy savory fall foods to have like saurkraut, potatoes, and sausages, yum!
I’m going to plan some more stuff for fall today, so to sign off, a video from the Autumnal expert herself.
Here’s to Autumn and all things Autumnal!!!!!!!
I didn’t do a great job at tracking everything, so I may have missed a few things, I feel like I watched 10 Things I Hate About You somewhere in these months.
The Makeover (Hallmark)
“If I belonged to a younger generation, I would say,’Dang, he is fine!'” “Might I remind you that is the exact generation we are trying to rescue from such phrases?”
The Terminal List. Um yeah, skipped a lot, probably should have stopped it early on. Beyond morally questionable. Went from understandable targeted vigilantism (but with unjustifiable methods, aka torture!) to “sucks if you are in my way.”
The Expanse. Dad has been obsessed with this show since it’s been on Amazon, and so after the above show, I opted to try it. Less overtly, over the top violence, but still I can’t deal with that “amoral” and actually immoral, zero sum, dehumanizing choices and viewpoints. I didn’t pursue past the first episode or so of season two (wasn’t interested in the new people either). I was burned out with moral ambivalence (to put it generously) and violence.
Cranford and Return to Cranford (a family friend/dad said there is also, “Sick of Cranford”). I got Britbox again, and after stupidly trying some violent shows (Rachel, do you ever learn?). I finally settled on fairly relaxing. I’d had these on my list for forever (aka, mainly because of Tom Hiddleston, hello). Wow, there is a lot of death though, but when I honestly thought about it, in the real time period, there actually probably was more! The last season felt really rushed.
What If. I’d seen this on a post of Olivia’s and added a few from her list to my TBR. But sometimes those just sit there. I was searching for funny or something on Amazon Prime, and this popped up. And wow, this is a new comfort rom-com (up there with Leap Year, Clueless, 10 Things I Hate About You). My sisters make fun of me for rewatching my favorites very close together, but I seriously might just turn around and watch this again. Super cute and funny and minimal of the stupid miscommunication drama (and when it happens, real grown-up apologies from both parties). Just happiness and comfort. Also, side note, I might actually get a tattoo, I didn’t realize/hadn’t seen, actually feminine ones before. We’ll see. Who is this woman talking?!!!
More Boy Meets World. I needed some funny, comfort, so I tried to pick up about where I left off in the Spring.
“Feeny with an earring.”
. . .
“Shawn, he’s on to us, he singled us out on the first day.”
“No, Cory, he singled you out on the first day, you singled me out.”
I decided I needed to get back into doing these! Link here.
My mom started our homeschooling with 5 in a Row, which I believe is based on the Charlotte Mason method. In middle and high school some of our history was the Beautiful Feet curriculum which is also I believe based on the Charlotte Mason method. So we had a rich experience with good books starting with wonderful illustrated classics. Either these books were part of the school program (either read to us or assigned to us) or they came from learning about the author from a different book we were assigned. I’ve included some of the stand-outs in the kids (so many other great ones though).
- Miss Rumphius
- Blueberries for Sal
- A New Coat for Anna
- Calico Bush
- Mara, Daughter of the Nile
- The Eagle of the Ninth (first Sutcliff, feel in love with these novels and Roman Britain)
- Warrior Scarlet (first books I remember crying over, granted I think I was already emotional at the time but still)
- Black Ships Before Troy (Sutcliff’s writing with Alan Lee’s Illustration, y’all!)
- The Wanderings of Odysseus (same as above)
MayRewatched both Princess Diaries. Always a comfort duo.Breakfast Club. So, maybe this was ground breaking at the time (?), but I was bored and unimpressed.Miss Congeniality. Hilarious, also, wow Benjamin Bratt was super attractive, I was trying find other things he was in near that age that I’d be interested in watching.Only You. Young Robert Downey Jr. and Marisa Tomei. Cute and funny. I’m not sure I’d even heard of this before I found it from someone’s Insta story (I think).
JuneIf I watched anything I didn’t document it.
JulyTop Gun, original, I enjoyed it.. Now, I need to watch the new one.Rewatched The Magic of Ordinary Days. Super sweet, sometimes a little to raw real, and awkward.Persuasion 2022 (wrote about that in detail here).Rewatched Love Comes Softly. First time I’ve seen it since I watched it over 15 years ago. Raw emotion that it’s hard to watch.Tombstone. Cheesy, Kurt Russell’s character irritated me. Also, didn’t scare me that much (except for the dark, rainy night part, anything predatory like that scares me). I didn’t feel much at most of the deaths.Juno. This popped up free on Youtube, I already knew the story, I didn’t know how cute and funny it was. Also, because I knew the story I skipped through almost everything with Mark in it.
I didn’t grow up with movie Anastasia. The first time my family watched I was a teenager and grounded (!), so I missed out; I’m not sure I watched it until I was an adult. My little sisters did grow up with it. And one of them (L) went on a Northeast trip in 2016 or 2017 and saw the/one of the original Broadway casts, and she came back head over heels for Derek Klena. I, of course, already loved Ramin Karimloo from the Phantom, and I wish I’d just splurged and immediately gone to NYC just for that. I’d 0nly heard bits and pieces from youtube, but I think more of my sisters listened to the whole thing.
For my 30th I bought tickets when it came to Louisville in 2020. Literally the week before my date (I think they’d done a few performances), our state shut down. It got delayed and delayed and then cancelled. I was dreading driving downtown (I’d only driven twice maybe in my life), so I wasn’t super disappointed (and this is why I miss out on stuff). But my sisters saw it was coming back this year (I’m not sure if this would be the cast that was traveling in 2020 or not), so all of us sisters and my sister-in-law bought tickets. We all dressed up, some buying dresses especially for the event, and I on a budget and because I’m me, made mine, finishing it the evening of and running late to meet the sister I was riding with. Classic.
So, as I mentioned I wasn’t familiar with the Broadway version, my sisters said it didn’t have Rasputin and that it was attempting to be more realistic (although yes, the magic part was unreal, but there was something unnatural/supernatural about what it took to kill the real Rasputin). L also thought that the replacement bad guy (Gleb) had a lot more singing because of Karimloo. So, yes, while they didn’t literally reenact the murders (thank the stars above), it was artistically displayed with dancing, shots, and the Red Army. I was holding back tears.
I couldn’t remember if it had “Back to December.” It did and several other songs from the movie as well. My sisters didn’t think that Anya (at least some of us thought she had better voice than the original Broadway singer) and Dmitry (no Derek Klena) had much chemistry, but she sure did with Gleb (Ben Edquist). But then, wow, he kind of stole the show. My sister-in-law ventured to say he might be better than Ramin Karimloo, I don’t know about that but I think I preferred his voice. And oh, he knew he was good, he was sending kisses to the audience at the end! For him alone this is worth going to!
We had so much fun, and we are hoping to do more events like this together in the future. It’s just so fun to dress up and go places (when I’m not driving).
10 TROPES We Hate About Rom Coms. This channel is just so good. I just love their breakdowns of various tropes, relationships, character development, etc. in entertainment.
So here is another. Relationship Therapist Ranks Disney Romances. I so appreciate the breakdown of Tangled, love, love that movie, and this makes me love it more.
A huge round of applause for this influencer acting out how awful movie Harry and Ginny were compared to the book. She does more book to movie differences, too.
The Five Stages of Gender Reveal Parties. I’m crying. The headline.
Ancient Roman Bust Found at Goodwill. Absolutely wild.
For when you need the warm fuzzies, Top 5 Katniss and Peeta Moments. Those moments in Catching Fire always get me (they missed a few). They didn’t top those in the last (of course Peeta got wrecked by the author, so that kind of wrecked that).
See post on Classic Club here.
When did you join the Classics Club?
Looking through my old posts, it looks like I’ve been part of it since the first year, 2012 (I was not quite 22 at the time of my first post). I didn’t finish my first list, I forgot about it/fell off from it, and since I moved my blog, when the new moderators cleaned up their links, my old ones were removed since I didn’t update the links. Classic procrastinator.
What is the best classic book you’ve read for the club so far? Why?
I don’t think I have my old list saved any where (stupid, I need to remember to preserve this one in a post), so I’m going by the reviews I did manage on my blog. I started the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries and fell head over heels for him. I don’t care for all of the novels, but the ones I do are now on my comfort reads list.
I see that I tried Jeeves and Wooster again (I didn’t get it when I tried for our church bookclub), and this time it stuck. Definitely another comfort read for me.
What is the first classic you ever read?
I can’t remember, I know my dad read Narnia to us when small. I know I loved Little Women as a tween and teen. And then later more of Alcott and LM Montgomery. My first “grown up” classics that I can recall was Pride and Prejudice at around 14 or 15, I believe (my mom borrowed after we watched the 95 version with friends, both the film and the book were a touch beyond my total comprehension at the time, but that started my JA novel/movie obsession of the time). I think I’d skimmed the Bronte novels, but I didn’t read the two most famous in their entirety until I was 19 I believe.
Which classic book inspired you the most?
I feel like the introduction to Jane Austen as well the homeschool classics blogging world as a teen as well as few years later as being part of a church book club got me more into the classics; my reading/focus ability crashed and burned due to some OCD or some mental break as a teen, all this slowly helped me back.
What is the most challenging one you’ve ever read, or tried to read?
Lis Mis was challenging in it’s length and tediousness. Same for Brothers Karamazov. Also, the philosophy of the latter was beyond me.
Favorite movie adaptation of a classic? Least favorite?
2022 gave me an easy least favorite, Persuasion. Favorite is harder. I’ve many Jane Austen adaptations, and some are more accurate than others, but in the last several years Emma 2009 has become a comfort movie for my sisters and me. I think that Emma herself is one of the least accurate, but the overall movie is peaceful (excluding Box Hill) and hilarious and the scenery is beautiful, the music is wonderful, and I just love the costumes.
I grew up (at least teens I think) with the 1994 Little Women, so although the Laurie Jo plot still infuriates me to this day, nostalgia, you know?
A childhood favorite was the 80’s made for tv Heidi. I watched that obsessively, and in my tiny heart crushed on Peter, envied Klara her boots, and called milkmaid braids Heidi braids until I learned as an adult they were already named milkmaid braids.
I’m sure there are more (like I said, favorites are harder), but this is off the top of my head.
Which classic character most reminds you of yourself?
Has there been a classic title you expected to dislike and ended up loving? Respecting? Appreciating?
Middlemarch was a dark house, and it was a slow start, but then I really got into it. I need to reread it. Talk of underwhelming adaptations and underappreciated classics.
Also, after a couple other Russian tries, I was pleasantly surprised to find when starting Anna Karenina (I’d skimmed as a teen and maybe early twenties, not ready for it then, so I did know a lot of the story), that I enjoy it.
Classic/s you are DEFINITELY GOING TO MAKE HAPPEN next year?
Well, hopefully most of the ones on the list I don’t get to this year, since my end date is next September. I’m currently almost done with Anna Karenina, about to start Count of Monte Cristo, and hopefully will start War and Peace after that.
Favorite memory with a classic and/or your favorite memory with The Classics Club?
I love rewarding myself with film adaptations after finishing a novel. I did read a lot (but very repetitively) as a child, but I struggled as a teen, and I’m not naturally drawn to super long novels, so finishing a novel that is a bit harder to get through and then getting to watch a film is fun.
I also of course love learning about new favorites to add to my comfort reads.