I’m a bit late on this monthly recap, as I unexpectedly spent the end of January wifi-less in Germany (first transatlantic travel in 12 years!), but as usual I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer to share some of the things I’ve been into this January.
- The Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde, books 1-7. I really enjoyed these, especially 1-4. They’re quirky and there are a lot of fun references for literature geeks.
- The Graceling trilogy by Kristin Cashore. I mostly enjoyed this series, although as a fan of committed monogamy I found some of the main characters’ sexual mores a bit cringeworthy. Also, am I the only one who completely doesn’t buy the claim that Katsa and Po are supposed to love each other so much, but they really don’t want to get married? Not just don’t feel it’s necessary, but reject it completely?
- Bossypants by Tina Fey. This was my plane ride read when I realized I could not bring myself to be productive and read Heiko Oberman’s The Dawn of the Reformation. I regret nothing, and I only hope my chuckling to myself didn’t annoy my seatmates too much. If you like Tina Fey’s work as a screenwriter, you’ll like this book.
- The Secret Life of Walter Mitty–not amazing, but pretty not bad, as my husband would say. And some gorgeous landscapes.
- Despicable Me–I hadn’t seen this before and, while I think it may have been a bit overhyped, I did enjoy it.
- Aladdin–A rewatch, since I recently acquired it (I finally have a complete collection of Disney princess movies!). I get the genie’s numbers stuck in my head way too often, but it’s all good
- Legally Blonde: The Musical–Not strictly a movie, I went to see a local production of the play. Somewhat unfortunately, the two catchiest numbers are “Ohmigod You Guys!” and “Gay or European,” neither of which I particularly wanted to be caught singing under my breath, but I did enjoy myself. Aaron opted out of this particular show, and I went with some girlfriends instead.
- Austenland–This was a plane watch on the Toronto-Pearson flight. It wasn’t a bad way to spend two hours (although I’m glad I opted out of shelling out to see it in theatres), but I don’t totally buy the love story.
- I’ve been keeping up with the usual shows: Community, How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory, Parks & Rec, and Modern Family.
- We also watched through season three of Sherlock in one sitting, which in hindsight may have been a bad idea, since we’re now left waiting another year for more..
- I’ve been really into Ticket to Ride and Carcassone this month. I also played Dominion for the first time and managed to eke out a win despite having no idea what was happening.
- This potato, bacon, and caramelized onion pizza was really good. If you can get your hands on blue potatoes, I recommend using them because I think the extra shot of colour would be gorgeous.
- These hazelnut lemon curd cookies were some of the best things I’ve ever baked. So good!
- This Apple, Bacon, Chicken, and Feta Salad with Walnut and Cranberries was so good I actually made it twice in a month. I tend to prize variety in my menus, so this is pretty much unheard of.
- And, as usual, a selection of my favourite recipes of the month can be found on my What I’m Into Pinterest Board.
- I enjoyed Malcolm Gladwell’s thoughts over at Relevant on how he rediscovered faith.
- I got chills reading Joy Bennett’s description of her ordination, particularly the Luther Lee quote she included.
- And finally, Greg Boyd’s interview on Open Theism (or, as he prefers to call it, the open view of the future) over at RHE’s blog is well-worth a read. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Dr. Boyd. (Also, he answered my question!)
I finished up the Eshet Chayil cross-stitch I was working on, as well as an ironic “Home is” one that I quite enjoy. Currently, I’m almost done the Disney Princesses pixel people cross stitch from wee little stiches, and toying with the idea of designing Anna myself to round it out.
I’m also having a ton of fun with my TA work. I was assigned to a course on Early Modern women, which is my all-time favourite subject matter, so I’ve really been enjoying myself. To give you an idea of how much I geek out over this, I already owned the textbook because I had asked for it for my birthday two years ago.
Finally, on a less happy note, my grandfather passed away at the end of the month. It wasn’t unexpected, as he’d been quite ill for some time. I hadn’t seen him in 12 years, since he lives in Germany and my family hasn’t really had the money for transatlantic airfare for 6 in awhile, but my husband and I were able to come up with the money for me to head over to Essen for a long weekend and join my mother and her side of the family at the funeral. I’m so grateful I was able to go and to spend time with my grandmother and the rest of my German family. International travel tends to make me nervous, mostly because I tend to worry excessively at border crossings (I agonized for 10 minutes about whether to declare a Toblerone bar on the grounds that it was “sort of a milk product), but the border crossings went off without a hitch, and none of my planes crashed, and I’m not even terribly jet-lagged, so I’m going to call my first transatlantic flight in twelve years a success, even if the bathrooms on planes have gotten a lot smaller since I was 9.
That’s it for me for January, be sure to head over to Leigh’s blog to check out some of the other contributions.