What I’m Into: Winter 2016/2017

Ugh, you guys. I know. I’ve been a horrible blogger. I don’t have any excuses, except that it’s 80% this guy’s fault.

felix(Sorry about the crappy picture — I’m working from a laptop in a hotel room without my camera.)

He has decided recently that daytime and nighttime are basically interchangeable. Each day is made up of a period of light and a period of darkness and sleep has nothing to do with either.  So if you have any complaints about the way I am conducting my life, take it up with him. My body still hasn’t adjusted to his routine after two years.

Anyway, I thought it was time I shared some of the stuff I’ve been loving over the last few months. Because even though my day-to-day life has been kind of blech (curse you, Canadian winters!!!). . . I’ve been into some really awesome stuff!


Audiobooks have continued to save my life. I still don’t really get a chance to sit down and read physical books these days, but I can listen to audiobooks while I cook dinner or supervise Felix’s nighttime play sessions.

Cinder; Scarlet; Cress; Winter (aka The Lunar Series) by Marissa Meyer; Read by Rebecca Soler. Ignore the cheesy-looking covers of these books and have an open mind. This series was a ton of fun. If you enjoy young adult dystopian sci-fi, this series is for you! Each book is very loosely based on a fairy tale (Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White), but set in the future (and some of it in outer space). Cinder is a cyborg and her only friend is an artificially-intelligent android, for example. Cress is a computer engineer and hacker working from a satellite orbiting the earth. Very addictive. Impressive world-building. And Rebecca Soler’s narrating is perfection.

Dead Cold; The Cruellest Month by Louise Penny; read by Adam Sims. If you enjoy a good murder mystery, Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series is on point. (The aforementioned are Books 2 and 3). Lovable characters, thrilling plots, deep exploration of human nature. I am amazed by the depth of Penny’s characters. (If listening to the audiobook, ONLY accept versions read by Adam Sims, who is spectacular. Ralph Cosham, by contrast, is just AWFUL. I returned my copy to Audible after hearing him read the first chapter.)

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. This memoir is Glennon’s second book and it is just phenomenal. It’s a brutally honest retelling of her life story, with a focus on her marriage’s sudden tragic implosion a few years ago, and the difficult path of healing. The book tenderly and bravely explores sex, love, marriage, God, family, and faith. I found her story of self-discovery gripping and inspiring.

Children’s Read-Aloud Chapter Books

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell. We picked up this book from the library since Lydia enjoyed the movies and now the show (more below) so very much. Turns out, the movie is only very very loosely based on the original book. In the book, all Vikings already own and train dragons, which are hardly bigger than macaws. Hiccup just does it a little more nicely. Toothless isn’t even particularly interesting. It was an enjoyable read, but one of those rare instances where the movie is actually better (i.e. more interesting, more exciting, more . . . logical) than the book. Or maybe that was just us.

The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. Oh, what joy it is to read my childhood favourites to my daughter! There are few things that bring me more pleasure. At 5, I think Lydia’s a bit young to get full enjoyment out of these books, but she’s been eager to hear each chapter every night before bed. And I love getting to revisit magical Narnia.


Stranger Things (A Netflix Original Series). I’d been wanting to watch this highly-acclaimed show for quite some time, but didn’t have an opportunity until Felix kindly gave me a chance to watch them by myself in the middle of the night. HOLY CRAP!!! This show was one of the most terrifying but also MOST INCREDIBLE tv shows I’ve ever seen!

The story begins with a sweet, geeky adolescent boy vanishing from his small Indiana town, but things quickly become paranormal. The storytelling is so skillful that I immediately fell in love with all the main characters. It is at times heartwarming, and other times downright frightening. I was gasping and covering my eyes and occasionally tearing up. WATCH IT WATCH IT WATCH IT. (P.S. I’ve never seen any of the 1980’s sci-fi movies that allegedly evokes so much nostalgia for many viewers, but that didn’t limit my enjoyment at all.)

Dragons: Race to the EdgedragonsOkay, this one is actually for the kids. Lydia started watching it after we watched the How to Train Your Dragon movies. This Netflix Original Series is a spin-off of the movies. It takes place in the years between the first and second movie, and features all of the same characters. It is so good, you guys! I’m constantly wanting to sit down and watch it with her. The animation is great, the stories are compelling, and the jokes are genuinely funny. The girls kick ass, and the main character (Hiccup, who is now a young man) leads with cleverness, intuition, and compassion rather than brute masculinity. In fact I’m developing quite the crush on him. Is it okay for me to have a crush on a fictional, animated twenty-year-old Viking? Never mind, don’t answer that. P.S. I can now accurately identify a gronkel, nadder, monstrous nightmare, thunderdrum, deathsong, and quaken, and feel unreasonably proud of that fact.

Note: the intended audience for this show is probably more the 8-12-year range, but Lydia (5) still gets a lot out of it.

Sherlock Season 4. THIS IS THE GREATEST SHOW TO HAVE EVER GRACED TELEVISION AMEN. Holy crap you guys. I CANNOT STOP SHOUTING ABOUT SHERLOCK SEASON 4. The first three seasons were the best thing I had ever seen in my life and SEASON 4 OUTDID THEM ALL. I shouted. I gasped. I jumped out of my seat. I laughed out loud and punched the arm of the couch. I grabbed Felix by the shoulders (it was the middle of the night and we were all alone in the basement) and yelled “THIS IS THE BEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN!”* I don’t think I will say anything else though because then I might never stop and then I might ruin it for you. If you haven’t watched it yet WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU WAITING FOR??? (Oh, right. You might not be able to access it. We got our episodes from Pirate Bay.)

*Felix, not understanding language or most human emotions, was somehow not moved by any of this.

And that’s it for now. SO MUCH GOOD STUFF!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. I am eagerly awaiting Sherlock’s S4 American release.

    Also! I think I watched the first HTTYD movie, but not the second, and yes, we enjoy the cartoon, BUT the books on audio are narrated by DAVID TENNANT. Frankly I could listen to him narrate the phone book. But actually, the series is really good, and I legitimately enjoyed most of it (there were a few books in the middle that were just cranking out the formula *yawn* but the last two or three are actually quite brilliant). If you’re pretty familiar with the animated version already, though, you’d kind of have to think of the books as being completely different stories that happen to have characters with the same names.

    I loved the Lunar Chronicles also; glad to hear they’re good on audio.

    Good to see Felix!

  2. Thanks for the recommendations! I always appreciate hearing about what Lydia likes to read, because I also have a daughter about the same age. It’s so much fun to be able to do chapter books together!

    I actually would say that Stranger Things was probably the best tv show I had ever watched, rather than Sherlock, but you know, both excellent. I did watch the first episode of Sherlock season four a while back and felt like it was too much plot and not enough character development and I felt emotionally detached. Because I loved the previous seasons so much, I didn’t want to keep going. But I’m willing to give the rest of the season another shot, especially with your recommendation.

  3. Hey, Kathleen! I know this is way out there, but I recommend you check out Hunter x Hunter 2011. It’s a fantastic, deceiving, marvelous story about childhood in a brutal world with complex and unique characters, an incredible sense of adventure, and a grand tale you’ll never receive anywhere else.

    I know, I know: it’s too long, it’s too remote (anime?! not your typical Western art medium!), but trust me when I say it’s worth it. Even if you just give it one episode each night, or even one episode a week. You’ll know when it grows on you.

    If you can’t find sources online, I’m sure you’ll handle it – just like you handled Sherlock! *ahem*

  4. Oh I love so many of these things too: Cinder, Narnia, How to Train your dragon, Sherlock, tiny boys who aren’t sleeping. I did the first Louise Penny (hardback) but I think I might want to do more audiobook. Thanks for the narrator heads-up!!

  5. I LOL’d for real at your description of Sherlock. I’ve just binged the first three seasons (I was totally hooked by 10 minutes into the very first episode) and am so excited to start the 4th. My husband rolls his eyes at me every time I bring it up (which is a lot). The hubs has to travel some for work and I usually am bummed when he’s gone, but it means that I can sneak an episode in before bed since he’s not there to care, so… :D

    • I knew I was watching one of the best shows of my life within the first ten minutes of the first episode, too. It’s nice when you have someone to talk to about it! I found some other passionate viewers online so we could squeal about it together. :)

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge