Reading: I read 5 books in December (all reviewed on this blog -- follow the links):
- "The Baker's Daughter" by D.E. Stevenson
- "Women & Power" by Mary Beard
- "It's Even Worse Than You Think" by David Cay Johnston
- "Gaslighting America" by Amanda Carpenter
- "Out of Grief, Singing" by Charlene Diehl
My goal for 2020 will be modestly higher, at 30 books.
There was no library book club meeting in December, but our January discussion (later this month) will be "The Alice Network" by Kate Quinn, which I read & reviewed earlier this year here. And my D.E. Stevenson group will be starting its discussion of "Mrs. Tim Flies Home" (which I read in November and reviewed here) next week.
Current read(s): Just started "Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why it Still Matters" by Anne Boyd Rioux. :) Hoping to see the new movie version of the book shortly!
(Some) recent purchases/additions to the TBR pile (that I haven't read yet):
Ford vs Ferrari" earlier in December. I'm generally not interested in car racing, but Christian Bale was in it, and he's been great in everything I've ever seen him in (here included). Matt Damon is also in it, and also very good. Both dh & I enjoyed the movie overall!
We also went to see "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" on New Year's Day -- a great way to start the new year. :) I can't believe I have been following the saga of the Skywalker family for the better part of my life -- 43 years, since the first, iconic movie came out when I was 16!! -- and that this is the end, at least of that storyline. It was an emotional experience -- I tend to start reaching for the Kleenex as soon as I see those words, "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...." (much to dh's amusement) -- and, for the most part, it was a satisfying wrap-up to the series.
We watched "Ad Astra" on New Year's Eve at BIL & SIL's on pay-per-view. BIL picked it because it was about astronauts, & while it starred Brad Pitt & had other great visuals (lol) it was, we all sadly agreed, a bit of a snoozefest.
On television, I still haven't had time to get into Season 3 of "The Crown."
I've been wanting to see "Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice" ever since I heard about it, and finally got to see it on CNN on New Year's Day. They've been heavily promoting it, and I'm a little sick of the ads :p but I don't think I'll ever get tired of Ronstadt's music -- whether it's her early country stuff, the rock & roll & even new wave stuff of my youth, her musical partnership with Emmylou Harris & Dolly Parton, operetta ("The Pirates of Penzance" on Broadway), her standards albums (she was one of the first rock stars, if not THE first to try doing this) or the albums of Spanish-language folk songs she recorded in tribute to her Mexican heritage. It's so heartbreaking that she's no longer able to sing (at least to her satisfaction -- the end of the program showed her singing quite passable, if not very powerful, harmonies with her cousin & nephew) -- but what a legacy! (I was amused to read the reactions to the show on Twitter, and see just how many younger people had no idea of the breadth of her accomplishments, or that she was essentially responsible for bringing the Eagles together, or that she & California Governor Jerry Brown were an item back in the 1970s.)
Listening: I have LOTS of podcasts to catch up on...!
Following: My Kobo wishlist... I try to check in on it every other day or so, if not every day. You never know when one of the books you want will be on sale (usually for one day only!). (I've been trying to buy more e-books vs paper lately, given our limited storage space, although I still prefer paper. I've also been buying e-replacements for some of my paper books when I see them on sale for $2.99 or $4.99, etc. There are some books, though, that I will always keep in paper!)
Drinking/Eating: New Year's Eve dinner was takeout Chinese food (ordered earlier in the week to get ahead of the rush) at BIL's. The kids took Great-Nephew over to see his other grandmother, so it was just the four of us, plus SIL's elderly father, and the dog, who was royally spoiled in the absence of his human brother (I am sure he has been feeling somewhat neglected these days!). ;) Still eating way too much leftover Christmas chocolate, but can't bring myself to waste perfectly good chocolate and throw it out wholesale...!
Buying (besides books, lol): Most of December's purchases were Christmas gift-related. And we haven't really been shopping since we got back home (other than for groceries... we did stop at the bookstore -- all hardcovers were on sale 30% off -- but the lineups were HORRENDOUS, so we actually decided to pass!).
(But, see "Wearing," below.)
Wearing: Just before Christmas, I bought myself a study new pair of "sensible" black shoes (Earth Origins) for everyday walking around. I've had a similar pair of Clarks for several years now that have served me very well (I wore them while walking around in New York City, six years ago, and didn't develop a single blister, lol), but the heels, treads and inner cushioning are all quite worn down, and they're pretty scuffed up. I figured it was time for something new.
Trying: To wrap my head around the fact that I'll be 59 (!!) very soon! (eeeeeekkkkkk....)
Wanting: To do something nice/special for my birthday. Just not sure what it will be.
Procrastinating: On taking down the (artificial, pre-lit) Christmas tree & decorations. Love having the tree lights on -- an extra bit of light and cheer amid the winter dark & gloom. Both dh & I were too tired this week to tackle it. I'm half Ukrainian, and Ukrainian Christmas is Jan. 7th, so I've always felt I'm justified in leaving things up until then, lol. Also, my mother tells me the Swedes have a tradition called "Little Christmas" (also known as Knut's Day), which wraps up the Christmas season on Jan. 13th. That's the day when Swedes traditionally take down their Christmas trees and eat up any leftover Christmas goodies! (I am also part Swedish... as well as part Irish.)
Enjoying: Setting up my new planner/datebook for 2020. I have used a Filofax organizer & "week on two pages" calendar inserts for more than 20 years, and use different coloured pens for different things (appointments & reminders, birthdays & anniversaries, incoming deposits & bills to be paid, mail sent & received, phone calls made, etc.). Works for me!
Loving: Sleeping on my own mattress & pillow again! (It's not bad at Mom & Dad's, but there's nothing like your own bed, right?)
Feeling: Tired and disoriented and still trying to get back into a regular routine, post-Christmas vacation. I love holidays & vacations, but they always throw me off -- and having a holiday (New Year's Day) right in the middle of the week doesn't help (even though I'm retired). I have had no idea what day of the week it's been for most of the week...!