Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Reading, Watching, Listening {February 2015}


I received this book from NetGalley for review back when I was more active on my book blog. It is essentially a collection of anecdotes about righteous living from the two authors, who have a podcast and blog. While I felt like the format worked better for a blog than a book, I did enjoy reading the life stories of these women. They are both touching and humorous. 3 stars

I've been reading this one slowly. It is a comprehensive examination of the doctrine behind Christ's crucifixion and atonement for the sins of mankind. It was absolutely beautiful and definitely worth digesting slowly. 5 stars

I loved Jean Kwok's first book, Girl in Translation, and also used to be into ballroom dancing, so I was really anticipating Mambo in Chinatown, the story of a girl who breaks out of her family's traditional lifestyle to become a ballroom dancer while still trying to remain close to them. While I found the book difficult to put down because the plot was advancing quickly, I found the writing and characters to be a bit flat. 3.5 stars

This book was heavy and emotional and gorgeous, and not for the faint of heart. The story of a girl who lost her sister and subsequently her way in life, and a boy who struggles with mental illness, but who is interesting and passionate and vivid, who meet and change each others' lives. I still can't stop thinking about this book days later. 4.5 stars

This book is an examination of LDS doctrine about what went down when Adam and Eve fell in Eden. It wasn't really any new information, but was a good reminder and also a good examination of the feminine in religion. 4 stars

This nonfiction book goes through a Victorian person's life from morning til night. It was very interesting and at times shocking to learn what was normal life for people in this time period. The writing was dense and it took a long time to get through, but the information was worth digging for. 3.5 stars

This companion novel to the Kingkiller trilogy was beautiful and ethereal. As the author warns, nothing much actually happens in this novella, and I doubt it would appeal to someone who hasn't read the other books in the trilogy, but if you do love these characters and a good dose of descriptive writing, The Slow Regard of Silent Things will probably appeal to you. 4 stars

This is a collection of talks from the 2013 BYU Women's Conference. I bought a huge bundle of these collections and am working my way backwards through them. I love how accessible they are and the way the women presenting them are normal women trying to live the best lives they can and sharing the lessons they've learned. Looking forward to reading more of these books. 4 stars

This is another novella based on supporting characters from a trilogy, in this case the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor. I read this on Valentine's day and it was absolutely stunningly perfect. Laini Taylor's writing is so perfectly vivid and unique, and I adore these characters and the chance to get to know more about them. Honestly, it might be worth reading even if you don't read the rest of the series. I loved this. 5 stars

This was a reread for me. I love Jhumpa Lahiri and have read all of her books; this was her first novel and I last read it when I was 18, so I figured it was time for a refresh. I think I liked it even better this time around. Heartbreaking as all of her books are (I wonder what her personal life must be like for her books to be so sad), but gorgeous. 4 stars. 

This was another review book off NetGalley, also based off a blog. The author is funny and definitely not one of those staged, "motherhood is bliss" types that populate so many of our instagram feeds. However, I would have liked to see more depth and dimension in this book -- it is mostly anger and sarcasm (although I guess I should expect as much from a book titled People I Want to Punch in the Throat). Still, her tirades can be refreshing -- we all have those moments when we want to roundhouse kick someone (right?). Probably not one I'd recommend, but it did have my laughing/nodding my head because I could relate a few times. 3 stars.


I'm planning on watching the season finale tonight. Can't wait to see how it all plays out, and wondering if there will be any (satisfying) resolution to the issues that built up during the penultimate episode!

Still enjoying my guilty pleasure -- I just started watching the 3rd season. There is nothing like a 20 minute sitcom to help me feel better after a stressful day. 

Confession: I haven't watched any of the seventh season yet. Scott just started watching it, so I have been watching some of the old episodes with him. I plan on watching the seventh season when he gets to it. Also, I don't want it to be over. 


:: Andrew McMahon and the Wilderness. My favorite band in high school was Something Corporate, I loved Jack's Mannequin in college, and now it seems appropriate that McMahon's new project is getting me through young adulthood. And his song, "Cecilia and the Satellite," about parenthood, makes me bawl my eyes out. 

:: I've been getting back to Josh Groban these days. Laugh all you want. His music is beautiful and comforting and it makes me happy. I think my favorite album right now is Illuminations, which may or may not be because that is the album he was promoting when I saw him on tour. 

:: Also going back to Mumford & Sons a lot these days. Somehow "Awake My Soul" slipped through my grasp when I was first obsessed with them. It's my current favorite of their songs. 

What are you reading, watching, and listening to these days? Any good recommendations? 

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