What I Read & Watched This Weekend: November 2020 Edition

This past weekend was a super recharge weekend while also trying to tackle as much school work as possible. To be perfectly honest, November has been really draining for me. I know a lot of people both personally and in general from the blogging world that have felt that same way, especially considering how much the election consumed the first half of November (& continues to do so) and the fact that we’re experiencing a COVID-19 rise practically everywhere in the U.S. My fall semester of grad school will be wrapping in less than 4 weeks (!!!), and I’m coming right around the corner on final assessments in every course. That being said, aside from doing some school work, blog things, going for runs, and going to my sister’s field hockey game, I took this weekend to just let my mind and body relax. I decided to start out this week of blogging by sharing what I read and watched over the weekend. And yes, I am putting the final edits on this blog post after spending most of Sunday working on a final project and other school assignments while sneaking in an episode of Gilmore Girls and a holiday rom-com read. 

What I Read

The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd – If I had to describe my reading in this latter half of 2020, it’s been an eclectic mix of romance, YA, non-fiction, and literary fiction, which I’m also starting to feel like is my new reading style in general. I feel like I should be saving some of these thoughts for my 2020 wrap-ups, but I am beginning to realize that I’m really not as big as a fantasy reader as I ever thought I was? 

Anyway, I decided to pick up Sue Monk Kidd’s The Book of Longings to take a mini break in my contemporary romance reading game and because it was actually available in my library! It’s had so many holds since it came out in April. I had been reading this one over the week, and I took an hour or so on Friday night to just finish it. I think I read The Secret Life of Bees at some point in my middle school or high school reading life, but like everyone else, I was intrigued by The Book of Longings because it follows the wife of Jesus (yes, that Jesus), Ana. The book does follow Ana and Jesus’ marriage, but the book is definitely more about this young woman living in Galilee and Nazareth in a time (to say the least) where women weren’t respected and didn’t have many rights. The Book of Longings was such an informative read. I didn’t actually realize that there has been reason and research into the idea that Jesus did indeed have a wife. There’s nothing too scandalous about their relationship, but it was really interesting to think about Jesus having a wife and how this lack of one (or so we know) may have influenced the views on marriage and sex in religion. I admit that I wasn’t too attached to the writing style as other readers were, but there were some beautiful passages about Ana and the other women’s strength. I think having a foundation or small understanding of the Old Testament or Jesus’ story definitely helps immerse yourself in this book, but it is still easy to follow along and be invested in Ana’s story. Overall, I gave this one a 4 out of 5 stars. 

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren – I wasn’t expecting my e-library copy of In a Holidaze to come in from Libby until December, so I was pleasantly surprised over the weekend. And, I am so, SO happy to report that I am LOVING In A Holidaze so far. I was a bit hesitant going in and honestly didn’t go out to buy my own copy because I had heard pretty mixed reviews from readers I super trust. However, I am one of the readers who does in fact LOVE Christina Lauren’s newer releases, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised there! I’m looking forward to finish reading it this read and reviewing it on the blog soon.

Simmer Down by Sarah Smith – After feeling a little guilty for watching almost three hours of TV, I decided to start Sarah Smith’s Simmer Down and ended up staying up later than expected to read the first 50 pages! Simmer Down follows Nikki, the co-owner of a Flipino-inspired food truck in Hawaii, and her rivalry with the attractive co-owner of a new rival food truck. I didn’t realize until I was going through the title pages that Sarah Smith is also the author of Faking It, which I may need to pick up now. I started Simmer Down on Friday night and read more on Saturday afternoon, but I put it down to read In a Holidaze – I’ll likely flip flop between the two this week. 

What I Watched

Clouds (Disney+) – My sister and I decided to have a movie night on Saturday, and she had been wanting to check out Clouds on Disney+. We had heard this movie inspired by the life of Zach Sobiech and his struggle with osteosarcoma. My sister is also a huge Jane the Virgin fan, and the movie was directed and produced by Justin Baldoni. I absolutely sobbed during the last half hour. I was overall really impressed with Clouds. I still need to do some digging on its backstory, but based on what I know and what my sister told me, Justin Baldoni was beyond committed to making Zach’s story as true and authentic as possible. The end credits show footage from Zach’s life and the cast & crew’s interaction with real people they played. I was so impressed with how similar the actors look like to the real people/their characters, and the similarities even between Zach’s videos and the movie’s settings and outfits.

Dash & Lily (Netflix) – Despite me being a holiday book and YA reader, I am here to admit that I have not yet read David Levithan and Rachel Cohn’s Dash & Lily... but that might have to change after enjoying the inspired Netflix series! I don’t think I’ll be screaming about it across the rooftops or Internet, but it’s been a cute watch. More importantly, it’s been seriously making me miss New York City even more lately than I already am. I miss seeing the city decorated for the holidays, popping into bookstores like the Strand, and honestly just being in the city this time of year. 

Gilmore Girls (Netflix) – Gilmore Girls is one of the most quintessential comfort watches this time of year. My sister is just watching it for the first time and the other night I found myself watching the last 3 episodes of season 2 with her. Since then, I’ve re-picked up the show from season 3 and I hope to keep my binge going this month and in December. 

What did you read & watch this weekend? Have you read any of the books or watched any of the shows or movie I mentioned? Share in the comments! 

3 thoughts on “What I Read & Watched This Weekend: November 2020 Edition

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