Thursday, January 8, 2015

My Neck of the Woods

What I'm Reading: I just finished Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine and I'm currently reading The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker (both on my 2015 Reading Challenge list).

Y'all. I can't even count how many times I've read EE, and I can't tell you how many times I think to myself, "I probably won't love it as much as I did the last 15094 times I've read it...", and I can't tell you how many times I close the book and think to myself, "OHMYGOSH I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH WHY WHY WHY IS IT SO AMAZING *HEARTEYEEMOJI*!!!!!" So, there's that.

This time, I listened to EE on audiobook - highly recommend! It just brings the book to life. The entire time I was listening to it, I just kept thinking about how amazing this book would be as a movie. And then I would remember that they did make a movie out of it, and it was terrible - minus Hugh Dancy as Char - because they were not true to the book at all. So. Does anyone know any fancy producers that would like to re-make the movie to be true to the book? Much appreciated.

Why, I'd love to call you Char...
I would like you to know, Char, that I always say "Thank you" to chivalry...
You can sweep me off my feet anytime...
What I'm Watching: Surprisingly, I am not watching Ella Enchanted, the movie (just the gifs, apparently). Since all my TV shows are on their winter break right now (why do they do that to me?!), I'm currently binge watching Criminal Minds via syndicated marathons. It's gotten to the point where I'm watching the same episodes that I already saw earlier in the week, which I guess means it's time to find another hobby. Any other good recommendations?

What's Happenin': I traveled back home to spend Christmas with my family, which meant that I was off work for a whole week - I love my job, but sometimes you just need a vacation! I came back to work for two days before NYE, and rang in the New Year with Stardust and Larissa! We celebrated New Year's Day by cheering on the Ohio State Buckeyes in their Sugar Bowl win! The odds were not in OSU's favor so I didn't want to get my hopes up, so when they did win, I may or may not have cried a wee bit.

Oldie but rocking my Buckeye pride with my Buckeye seester.
And then... the plague hit. That's what I'm going to call it, because I've officially been away from work for a week. It's like my body says, "Oh, I'm tired of being sick in this way, so let's try something new!" WHO KNOWS. This means that I've had many opportunities to scour the TV schedule for when the next Criminal Minds episode is (there's only one today, how will I live?!), sleep 12+ hours a night, and figure out ways to pass the time when my cable and internet go out for hours on end (hair braiding, y'all). My deepest thoughts have been trying to decide if it's socially acceptable to go to bed at 7:30 pm (consensus: it is), so I'm really hoping that my body is on the mend so I can get back to "real life".

Link It Up:

The 2015 Reading Challenge - Modern Mrs. Darcy also set forth a reading challenge for 2015, and I think I'm going to try to check off all her categories in my own reading challenge! Here's to reading in 2015!

Ideas for Friday Abstinence - Jenna at Call Her Happy shares some great ideas for your Friday fast besides giving up meat. There's some great ideas on there for those Fridays where you just need that burger!

Ignitum Today - I've been editing posts for Ignitum Today! Head on over to read all the great things that I'm privileged to have come into my inbox each week!

What's happening in your neck of the woods? Share with me in my sickness-induced boredom!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

5 Most Memorable Reads of 2014

Yesterday, I issued myself a reading challenge for 2015. I know the first thought in all of your minds was "But Liesl, what were some of your favorite things that you read this past year?!"

Just roll with me, ok? You thought it, even if you didn't, alright?

These are 5 books that I read in 2014 that really stuck with me, both while I was reading them and long after. Just in case you want to join me on my reading challenge, you can add these beauties to your list.*

Something Other than God by Jennifer Fulwiler - I'm pretty sure that every person in the Catholic world has at least heard of this book, if not read it, by now, but in case you haven't, this highly anticipated memoir lives up to the hype! Her memoir is very readable and will have you laughing and turning the pages quickly to see what's next. I highly recommend this for Catholics and non-Catholics. Of course, the highlight of reading this beauty was getting to hear Jen speak and meet her in person!

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson - I have a slight obsession healthy fascination with 1900s England and WWII fiction, so I was excited to pick up this book. What I didn't expect was that I would be constantly thinking about when I could continue reading this book when I had to sit it down to do - you know, real life things - and how much it would make me think. Not only is the writing beautiful, but it really makes you ponder how events in our lives are linked together... and what could happen if you had the opportunity to go back and do it again.

The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett - I wrote here that Ann Patchett is one of my favorite authors and that I've never read something from her that didn't completely suck me in... and she did it again with Liars! I love how she develops the relationships of all of her characters, and I especially enjoyed the nuns in this novel.

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton - I've enjoyed all of Kate Morton's novels, each of them set in historical England, but this one is my favorite by far. She weaves English culture, history, and an engrossing mystery into each of her novels, and I loved the mystery that took me deep into WWII England in this one. While I did figure out the ending a little bit before the ending, her writing and characters kept me just as engrossed in the book as ever.

The Likeness by Tana French - I wasn't the biggest fan of French's first novel in this series - In the Woods - so I picked up this next one in the Dublin Murder Squad series with hesitation. I'm glad that I did though, because this one was so much better than the first, probably because I actually liked the main character, Cassie. The mystery kept me intrigued and the vivid characterization of each of the players kept me enthralled even after I figured out the whodunit. Unfortunately, I think it helps to read the first book in the series to have an understanding of Cassie's mindset, but good comes out of suffering, right?

What are some of your favorite books that you read in 2014?

*Just realized that all of these books are authored by women. Totally not on purpose, but girl power, ladies!
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