How is it time for 2013 already? December flew by amidst Christmas parties and get togethers and family celebrations and shows. Love. It.
Read and Reading:I have so many thoughts about Overdressed (Cline). I bring it up in most conversations these days. Post to follow.
I received a free copy of Submerged (Pettrey) while at Allume. Way better than your average Christian fiction, I could barely put this story down. While the love connections are fairly obvious, the plot made me want to learn more about Alaska, scuba diving, and Russian history. And so I shall.
How to Use a Runaway Truck Ramp (Smucker) features gorgeous prose and a call to adventure and a guide on navigating the unexpected. I loved the way Shawn and Maile shared their family's 4 month RV trip across the US. I highly, highly recommend you read it.
Readers may be split when it comes to Gone Girl but I loved it. Even the ending. The story centers on a marriage gone wrong, as the wife disappears the day of their 5th anniversary. A psychological thriller, I diagnosed characters as I read. The author forces you to view True Crime from a whole other angle. She did a great job depicting personality disorders and I LOVE how she didn't take the expected route. Fascinating read.
I read Girl Meets God (Winner) a year or so after it came out. I don't remember it, other than being less than impressed. I'm now questioning my intellect because this second time around? WOW. Beautifully written memoir of Winner's conversion from Judaism to Christianity. Great insights about faith from both perspectives.
I reviewed Fundamorphosis here.
Currently reading: The Omnivore's Dilemma (Pollan), Happier At Home (Rubin), Everything (DeMuth), The Crowd, The Critic, and The Muse (Gungor), Walking on Water (L'Engle), When Helping Hurts (Corbett and Fikkert).
(I read 10 books this month.) (Oh, and 101 books this year and counting.)
TV: Must-see TV: Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Parenthood, Vampire Diaries, The New Girl, The Mindy Project, Parks & Rec
I had to put Parenthood on a time out. I haven't been able to watch the last few episodes because the Kristina storyline hits too close to home but also because the Bravermans have been driving me nuts what with their boundary and codependency issues.
Did the midseason finale of Once Upon a Time not kill you? I was so surprised they wrapped up one of the main storylines as quickly as they did but I am thrilled to see where they're going with good ol' sexy Captain Hook.
I'm going to see Les Mis tonight and will probably leave the theater singing. And brushing away tears, let's be honest.
Update: words fail me for how amazing this movie is. So worth seeing.
New discovery: The Wombats
For the second year in a row, I saw the Dave Barnes Christmas show and Andrew Peterson presents Behold the Lamb of God. Great annual traditions.
As a woman who appreciates a man with good facial hair, Decembeard cracks me up.
I baked Grandma's Coffee Cake to give to a few kind souls for Christmas. I love how good my kitchen smells while they're in the oven.
The fried pickles at 417 Union are quite lovely- lightly breaded and seasoned, which highlights the pickle itself. Definitely worth trying.
The Swap Shop in Glen Ellyn, IL has been my favorite Christmas discovery. It's a high-end consignment shop. Not necessarily cheap but still a great deal compared to how much designer clothing normally costs. Hello, Tory Burch tunic, DVF wrap cardigan, and Juicy Couture sweater!
I am so proud of my friend Abby. She recently launched Abby Leigh Creative, which focuses on branding, consulting, and general wordsmithery. Abby wrote my About and New Here pages, which absolutely blew me away. I wanted to be friends with myself by the time she was through. Please go check her out!
New Blog:Preston Yancey finally started a food blog. At last. Revel in his DTRs about butter and gin. I know I do.
Best New Tumblr:
Speaking of Preston, he and Dianna Anderson started When In Comment Sections. Prepare to spend the next hour or so laughing.
In the Blogosphere:
Christianity Today has a series called This Is Our City, which highlights the way Christians contribute to their cities. I've read a few of the essays and really enjoyed the glimpses they provided into other parts of the country. Take a gander and see if your city is featured.
Going to Hell with Ted Haggard was one of the best things I read this month. I don't entirely remember how I responded to the Haggard scandal but I do remember being upset by the hypocrisy that has hurt so many. To see him thriving in ministry to the outcasts is such a redemptive note. This made me examine how I respond to the Christian leaders I don't like.
Shawn Smucker wrote his last blog post (for now). Sadness.
A call to listen, whether you agree with the person or not. Great piece from Ally Vesterfelt.
This profile of Madeleine L'Engle in the New Yorker broke my heart a bit over her need to fictionalize some aspects of her real life. I know the line is blurry- I believe it's true of most writers and it's certainly true of me. But to write something autobiographical and be unable to tell the truth, I'm sad for her.
I may be biased but Parnassus is a fabulous independent bookstore here in Nashville. Loved this piece from Ann Patchett on the state of the bookstore.
Carolyn Weber takes a fresh look at life's interruptions. I'm bookmarking this one for future reference.
Fascinating interview with actor Martin Short. It makes me want to be his real-life friend.
Some of the best pieces I read on the Newtown tragedy:
- Do We Have the Courage to Stop This? via The New York Times
- Sandy Hook, guns, the mentally ill, and control via Heather of the Extraordinary Ordinary
- This time has to be different via The Washington Post
- Actually Now Is the Time to Talk Politics via Gawker
- "I Am Adam Lanzas' Mother": A Mom's Perspective on the Mental Illness Conversation in America via The Huffington Post
- President Obama's speech at prayer vigil for Newtown shooting victims via The Washington Post
On The Blog:
The Problem with Advent was my favorite piece here. It was good to slow down a bit for Christmas and I feel refreshed for the new year.
In exciting news, I'm now a featured content writer at Prodigal Magazine. Yay!
Over on the HopefulLeigh FB page, we talked about how many books I've read this year and I facetiously mentioned my Jesus Year is coming up. I'm afraid some people took me seriously. You guys. I'm just turning 33. NBD.
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What have you been into this month?