Wednesday, April 1, 2015

What I read - March

this is Beth's reading pile from the Library

I thought I thought I'd share what I've been reading, a few movies I watched, and a couple blog posts I enjoyed reading this month because these lists are some of my favorite to read on my friend's blogs.

I'm slowly plugging away at The Best Yes & Fringe Hours which are both very good, but to be honest I'm struggling a bit with the writing style of both of these books. They touch on a similar topic of making better choices about how we spend our time and that is something I deeply resonate with. I just need to go ahead and finish reading them.

I'm enjoying Cold Tangerines very much! I both want to devour the whole book in a single weekend and savor each page. Each chapter reads sort of like an essay or longish blog post. They are loosely connected and I have LOVED them. The one about her old house is one of my favorites.

I requested this from my Library after I read how much Corinne had enjoyed it. I read it really quickly and then handed it to my oldest daughter who read it in an afternoon. It was lightweight and predictable, the narration switching between various characters (sometimes for a single chapter) was rather annoying but the story was, at it's heart, really enjoyable. I finished this book at Starbucks with a huge smile on my face. I haven't read a story with magic around the edges of it in a very long time and I thought it was sweet.

BTW: Getting out of the house for a couple hours so I could finish reading my book was such a wonderful moment during the week. I need to do that more often!

This is on book club lists everywhere right now and it was, for the most part, delightful. It's a book-lovers book of sure. (every reference to "The Hobbit" made me smile) It spans quite a long period of time, which is always difficult and I didn't love the ending, but it was a quick, light read that filled several gloomy boring weekend hours.

This was another one from Corrine's list.  I sat on my couch one rainy Thursday and read this nearly all the way through and I finished it while my family was watching American Idol later that night. I both loved and hated it. I loved feeling transported to another world. I enjoyed the setting, I was gripped by the story but it is a heart-breaking one. One of the main characters was totally awful and I didn't enjoy that he was such a one-dimensional "villan" character and I felt really uncomfortable with some of the more graphic scenes. I don't know about this book. I'd say I could only recommend it with reservations.

I read about this book on Anne's blog and immediately requested it. The best book I've read all year. Written by a neuroscientist it is intelligent, compassionate and ultimately heart-wrenching. There were moments here and there when I got bogged down in some of the science-speak but overall I enjoyed it so much.

This one just barely slides into this month's list, since I finished it today. I started this book last night and equally hated it and couldn't put it down. (I stayed up till nearly 12am reading. Which I haven't don't for quite a while) Which is saying something because for the last week I haven't been able to get past the first chapter of a couple books I've tried to read. It jumps between Jane Austen and a Jane Austen fan. This is another book-lovers book. I couldn't wait to see how it ends, and found myself speed reading through the shorter chapters. It's a little bit like "the husband'a secret" "FanGirl" and "Dear Mr Knightly" all mashed up together. Not terrible, not wonderful. 

What I watched:
Whenever I start to write these posts I can't help but write about some of the things we watched too!!

Big Hero 6 - this beacame Eli's favorite movie for the 3 days we rented it. Such a great family movie. 

Divergent (again) loved it so much!!

Insurgent - in the theater. Okay, so the ending had me freaking out. Can not wait for this to come out for rent so I can watch it again and waiting for the next movie to come out is going to be  t o r t u r e!

Ultimate Survivor Alaska (National Geographic Channel) we have been watching this every weekend lately. The series just finished but you should be able to catch it OnDemand. My favorite TV show this season, hands down. Every week the teams are racing through gorgeous yet brutal terrain. It's a great family show.

I took my younger girls to see Cinderella (since I'd be taking Beth out to see Insurgent) and we enjoyed it. The theme of the movie is captured in a line that is repeated quite often throughout the movie "have courage and be kind" Ella has opportunities to show both courage and kindness again and again. It was everything I thought a modern fairy-tale should be.

Unbroken - if I'm honest I didn't love this. It feels wrong to say it, but that's how I feel. It was hard to feel strongly attached to the main character. There was so little dialog it was even harder to know how the main character was responding inwardly to his circumstances. It was basically a story of when bad things get worse. Every time you thought "this can't get any worse for him" then they would. 

We watched this as a family at the discount theater last weekend and it was really cute. It was a little scary for our youngest. He ran around the house screaming "Katie's going to STUFF ME!!!" after we watched it, but I don't know how much of that was because the movie was a little bit scary or because he was just wound up. I grew up with Paddington stories and this felt more like Paddington adjacent. A lot of the heart of the story of Paddington was the same and a lot if it was very different. Some for the better, some for the worse. But the animation was AMAZING.

Blog posts I loved:
Without an Agenda (Emily Freeman)
Bread is the New Hustle (also Emily Freeman)
Decision Fatigue (Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy)
Lent Loser (Jess at Naptime Diaries - because I too felt the call to "slow down and get quiet" during Lent but seriously struggled with it.)

Websites my kids are enjoying:

none of the links on this post are affiliate links - just so you know :)

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