January means my birthday and wintry weather and then warmer weather and then snow. It's setting the tone for the year and trying to stay afloat. It's dreaming about what could be, while taking stock of what is. January is full of possibilities.
Read and Reading
I was completely swept away by the characters and plot of The Lost Sisterhood (Fortier). It was so delightfully nerdy and in some ways reminded me of Elizabeth Kostova and Deborah Harkness. I loved learning more about the Greek and Amazon myths and how these all came together. I feel slightly bereft now that I've finished reading it. I don't know last time that happened. I could stay in the Amazonian world forever, which, frankly, is not something I ever would have suspected about myself.
If you love pop culture, the Bravo channel, or Watch What Happens Live, you'll thoroughly enjoy The Andy Cohen Diaries (Cohen). I loved this insider's glimpse into Andy's life- the behind-the-scenes on the Real Housewives and WWHL, his celebrity friends, the celebrities he meets, and his relationship with his family and friends. But the true star of this book is his dog Wacha, whom he adopts early on in the book. Watching Andy's relationship with Wacha unfold was lovely in every way.
I read People Who Eat Darkness: The Fate of Lucie Blackman (Parry) because of a recommendation on the Slate Culture GabFest. True crime is not my normal fare but the hosts were right: the compelling journalism makes it worth reading. Still, it's sad and disturbing in many places. The families affected went through hell when Lucie disappeared and that hell continued to ricochet throughout their lives thereafter.
We'll be discussing The Lemon Tree: An Arab, A Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East (Tolan) next month on The Red Couch. My introductory post will be up next week.
(I read 11 books this month.)
Must-see TV: Madam Secretary, Jane the Virgin, Top Chef, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, Once Upon a Time, Project Runway All Stars, Downton Abbey
I thoroughly enjoyed the first season of The Librarians. Many of the effects were cheesy but it didn't detract from the nerdy delight of the storylines. At least, not for me.
While I'm a sporadic viewer of any late night show, so far I like what I see Colbert's successor Larry Wilmore on The Nightly Show.
Has anyone watched Empire? I don't really have room for another show but the premise appeals to me.
Addie and I have started text-watching Hallmark movies together and it's the next best thing to watching them in person.
I saw Selma on my birthday weekend and haven't stopped thinking about it. It's a profound portrayal of the events in Selma that led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. David Oyelewo gave a flawless performance as Martin Luther King Jr. You could substitute "Selma" for "Ferguson" and the words would still, sadly, apply. I urge everyone to go see this movie. Then listen to this interview with Civil Rights leader and Congressman John Lewis on On Being with Krista Tippett.
The Grand Budapest Hotel is as quirky as you'd expect from Wes Anderson. I happen to like Anderson so I enjoyed this one.
New discovery: Scars on 45
Listen to the What I'm Into 2014 playlist.
If you read or write on the Internet, you absolutely must listen to This American Life's If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say, SAY IT IN ALL CAPS.
I don't want to say what this Reply All episode was about because I've never listened to this music and I don't want crazy teens descending here. What I will say is they took conspiracy theories to a whole new level and I wonder what they could accomplish if they directed their energies to something more productive. Also, I did consult with a friend of mine who is a known fan and she does not believe this theory at all.
Invisibilia kicked off this month and it's AMAZING. I was hooked from the Batman episode (blind people can see?!) that premiered on This American Life and all in for life once I listened to The Secret History of Thoughts. They re-aired the Batman episode last week.
I saved a bunch of archived episodes of On Being with Krista Tippett that sounded interesting and listen when I'm on a road trip- while also keeping up with new ones. I don't know much about the trans* community and found Joy Ladin's episode to be interesting and engaging, especially when she talked about the internal concept of beauty. I might have shed tears on I-24. Also of note, Reza Aslan on Islam's Reformation and the Indigo Girls on Finding God.
Things I Love:
- My 35th birthday: The night before, my best friend took me out for dinner and a movie and the day of, I headed down to Atlanta to visit my friend Amena and her husband Matt. We ate so much good food. The conversation was rich. It was just what I needed.
- We had dinner at FLIP Burger, Richard Blais's restaurant. We got fried pickles and I ordered the Lamburger, which proved to be the best lamb burger I've ever had. Lucky for me, they just opened a location in west Nashville so I can get another fix soon.
- The vegan options at Revolution Doughnuts. The Gingerbread cake doughnut was my favorite. I thought once I went dairy-free, my doughnut days were over but now I know they're not. Next time I go to ATL, I'm stocking up.
- A best friend who invites me over for dinner after a stressful day at work. It was such a relief to not have to figure out what to cook.
- My friend Jen came to town to see Abby and me. OK, it was for her sister's birthday but we got to spend most of the day with her. The weather was gorgeous so we went to Arrington Vineyard and sat outside, basking in the sun. We topped off the night with dinner at City House and drinks at Red Door.
- 50 degree weather over one January weekend
- My niece was born! I cannot wait to go out to see her. I cannot believe my brother is a dad!
- National Readathon Day because I'm a book nerd.
In the Blogosphere:
(If you want to follow me on Instagram, my user name is leighkramer.)
On The Blog:
This year I'm doing the Hustle and it already looks different than I imagined.
On the Leigh Kramer FB page, I asked for face moisturizer recommendations and you had them in spades. (This is why I love social media.) We also talked about Myers-Briggs and making resolutions and I shared the most important part of my bedtime routine.
(The best way to see updates in your newsfeed is by liking and commenting on my posts regularly. Bless those FB algorithms.)
What I'm Into Link Up Guidelines:
1. Today’s link-up will stay up for one week. The next What I'm Into link up will be Friday February 27.
2. Link the unique URL of your post, not your blog's home page. Readers peruse link ups months after the fact and you want to make it easy for them to find your What I'm Into post.
4. Visit at least 2 other posts in the linkup!
What have you been into this month?
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