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. Read More »

What I’m Reading & Watching This Weekend

Like myself, I’m sure many of you have been super grateful to coffee and books for getting you through this week! I already feel like October has been the shortest & longest month ever – I can’t believe it’s already October 9th, but this month is so packed for me with school and work commitments. For today’s post, I thought it would be fun to fill you on what I’ve been reading in between work and school this week, while also sharing what books I hope to pick up and what TV shows I hope to sink into this weekend. Although I’ll be digging into school assignments and blogging this weekend, I’m hoping to read at least two of the books below this weekend.

What I Read & Watched This Week 

What I Read 

Those Who Prey by Jennifer Moffett (ARC)- I mentioned in my September Book Haul that the lovely team at Simon & Schuster sent me two YA thrillers, one of which being Those Who Prey, which comes out on November 10. I instantly wanted to pick it up for its college setting, as college freshman Emily is recruited into a religious student group and sent on a mission trip to Italy, where she begins to learn that the Kingdom is not what it seems. I’ve been able to read about fifty pages each night, and I’m hoping I’ll have it finished by tomorrow. 

What I Watched

Below Deck Mediterranean S5 E19 (Bravo) – I really don’t have a ton of time for TV during the week, but Below Deck Mediterranean has been the show this summer & fall I must watch at least 24 hours after it premieres. I know some people feel like this season has been a bit slow, but I’ve been enjoying it so much. The editors actually had to minimize one cast member’s role as much as possible because of their racist & sexist posts on Instagram and then had to focus on or amp up other storylines. I think since so many shows have been delayed from filming because of the pandemic, the editors created more episodes out of the footage – which goes to show how reality TV can manipulate storylines so much through editing, but here I am still watching! This season of Below Deck Mediterranean ends on October 19th, with the new season of Below Deck premiering on November 2. 

Emily in Paris (Netflix) – Like so many other viewers, I was pretty conflicted about how I felt about Emily in Paris. On the one hand, I blew through this ten episode season about a twenty-something who works for a marketing firm in Paris in three days. I loved the setting, Ashley Park’s character, Mindy, and Emily’s neighbor, Gabriel, because he was so, so dreamy. On the other hand… I can’t believe this show is being described as the millenial/Gen Z Sex & the City because it is not it. I know why it’s been described as so, since it was created by Sex & the City creator Darren Star, but Emily in Paris and Carrie Bradshaw can’t even compare. While yes, it was such a fun binge and escapist watch, I thought the storylines were wrapped up way too nicely each episode. I watched the final episode on Monday (hence why it’s in this post), and I didn’t think it was that big of a cliffhanger ending because it was super predictable.  As someone with marketing experience and you know, someone who uses social media, I did not understand Emily’s Instagram fame, and there’s no way she would be able to get away with half of what she did at her job. Also, I am for sure part of the crowd who doesn’t understand how this girl affords a new Chanel outfit or bag each episode…Read More »

Most Anticipated 2020 TV & Movies

Right after reading of course, my favorite way to relax and unwind is with a good binge-worthy TV show or ten. While there are plenty of books I am looking forward to in 2020, today I’ll be discussing the TV shows and films that I can’t wait to hit the big screen and my small screen this year.

TV

Schitt’s Creek S6 (Pop TV)

Release Date: January 7

Although I just discovered Schitt’s Creek in 2019, I know the final season of the show will be bittersweet because it’s just so well-done and it will be so sad to know that it’s over!

Zumbo’s Just Desserts (Netflix)

Release Date: January 10

Everyone knows that I love a good baking competition show. One of my favorites is Zumbo’s Just Desserts. I’ve been honestly waiting for a second season since finishing the first one in October 2018.

Grace and Frankie S6 (Netflix)

Release Date: January 15

Grace and Frankie just might be the show I am anticipating the most on this list! After binge-watching the first five seasons this summer, Grace and Frankie absolutely stole my TV-loving heart.

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ALMOST EVERYTHING I WATCHED: Favorite TV Shows 2019

Even though I feel like I dedicated more time to reading, given the amount of books I read, I also dived into a lot of TV this year. I’m always on the hunt for TV shows that I know I’ll likely enjoy from the get-go or will only take a few episodes to get into. With a few exceptions, the biggest theme of my TV watching in 2019 was watching shows with episodes between 20-20 minutes. I feel like I watched a lot of shows in 2018 and even earlier in the year that were hitting the near the 60 minute mark, so I think my head was just ready for some lighter and shorter episodes. As per usual, comedy also made up most of my watching.

Favorites

Derry Girls S1 & S2 (Netflix)

I’m likely going to say this about nearly every show on this list, but I love everything about Derry Girls! This show is set in 1990s Ireland and follows a group of very dysfunctional friends growing up in Derry. Only six episodes per season at 25 minutes each, I highly recommend binge-watching both seasons available on Netflix over one day—even though you’ll be on one of the worst TV show hangovers after.

Sex Education S1 (Netflix)

My friends kept telling me watch Sex Education back in March and I’m so glad they did. The premise- a socially awkward teenager provides sex guidance to his classmates inspired by his growing up with his sex psychologist of a mother- completely sold. I’m so excited for season 2 in January.

Grace and Frankie S1-S5 (Netflix)

I spent June and July absolutely obsessed with Grace and Frankie. The show had been on my radar for a while and I can’t believe I didn’t watch it sooner because it’s become one of my all-time favorite shows. Grace and Frankie is one of the few shows that is guaranteed to make me laugh out loud every episode. I recently got my best friend to watch it, and it’s been so fun re-following it along wit her. I definitely see myself rewatching a few episodes before Season 6 premieres in January.

Workin’ Moms S1-S3 (Netflix)

Workin’ Moms was the first show I dived into when I moved back home for the summer. The show follows a group of friends who are all dealing with the challenges of being working mothers while also finding themselves in a wide range of shenanigans and relationship problems. There’s definitely some mature content, aka sex, in this one that makes for a lot of funny moments. This is another gem that my best friend and I are both obsessed with.  We texted non-stop when S2 dropped this summer, and we had both finished S3 during by the second weekend of the fall semester. We’re unfortunately in for the long haul when it comes to S4 being available in the US, since it airs first on CBC and then goes to Netflix US after. It’s set to air in Canada during winter 2020, which means we likely won’t have it in the US until 2021.

The Politician S1 (Netflix)

If I can only show one show on this list to have the next season immediately, I would hands-down choose The Politician S2. I loved everything about this dreamed, and it definitely reignited my celeb crush on Ben Platt. Its 40+ minute episodes had me hooked throughout each episode. It definitely has a bizarre moment or two- it truly is a blend of AHS, Glee, and American Crime Story meeting high school politics- but it works so, so well! I’ve also been listening to the music/covers from the show non-stop. I’m so happy that we only have to wait until June for S2.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel S3 (Prime)

Considering that I’ve only watched three episodes so far, I am cheating a bit with The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, but how could I not love the latest season of one of my all-time favorite TV shows?? Based on what I’ve watched so far, I’m once again in love with the cinematography and how much this show gives me Gilmore Girls vibes. I’m also so interested in each other character’s development this season, and I really don’t know what to expect from Midge and Joel’s relationship.

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My Disney+ Watchlist

When Disney+ was first announced, I wasn’t that excited.

The day before Disney+ came out I wasn’t that excited.

I am a Disney fan, and an even bigger Pixar fan, but I didn’t really want to subscribe to another streaming service. My family subscribes to Amazon Prime and Netflix. I’m either going to have to subscribe to Hulu or borrow my friend’s account info. when Little Fires Everywhere comes out and I finally check out Looking for Alaska. On Disney+’s launch day, my best friend and I scrolled through her account and I realized how much I really wanted Disney+.

Disney+ basically has EVERYTHING that is even the slightest bit related to Disney– and yes, that includes nearly, if not every, Disney Channel Original Movie. Fortunately, Santa decided to come early for my family this year and I am officially a Disney+ subscriber. I’m really looking forward to some of their original content, as well as ALL the Disney Channel Original Movies and TV show rewatching.

Originals & New To Me Movies

Noelle Before I had Disney+, Noelle was the one movie I knew I’d watch with my Disney+ subscribing friends. Everyone knows that I need to watch Christmas movie ever, especially this one starring Anna Kendrick, Bill Hader and Billy Eichner. Anna Kendrick and Billy Hader play Santa’s daughter and son, Noelle and Nick, as they prepare for their father’s retirement.

Encore! I didn’t watch Kristen Bell’s Encore! when it was on ABC in 2017, but I’m so excited to follow this weekly docuseries. The show reunites high school alumni to recreate the musicals they performed while in school.

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Top Five Wednesday: Anticipated Movies

While I’ve focused on all the amazing new books coming out in 2019 lately, for today Top Five Wednesday’s freebie post, I’ll be discussing my most anticipated movies of 2019.

While I probably do spend more time reading than watching movies, 2018 was a pretty great movie year for me. To give you a taste of my viewing likes, some of my favorite new releases from last year included To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Mary Poppins Returns, Dumplin’, A Star is Born, Set it Up, and Crazy Rich Asians. And speaking of those book-to-movie adaptations, there are plenty more coming in 2019!

Ashes in the Snow (January 11) Inspired by Ruta Septetys’ Between Shades of Gray, aka one of my all-time favorite books, I wish Ashes in the Snow had a larger release so more people could learn about this often untold story from the WWII era (but I am very thankful for the digital download date being the same as its limited release date). I’ve heard that Ashes in the Snow is even better than the book- a feeling this fangirl rarely experiences.  

Captain Marvel (March 8)– Marvel did so many amazing things in 2018, and I’m so happy to see a new movie with a female superhero at its center. While comparing Marvel to DC isn’t so difficult, I really hope Captain Marvel lives up (and maybe goes beyond) the empowering messages in my favorite superhero film, Wonder Woman.

 

Little Women (December 21)Little Women has received the film treatment before- I absolutely love the 1994 adaptation and I’ve heard not-so great things about the 2018 adaptation—but this version has a completely star-studded cast (see Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, Laura Dern, Timothée Chalament) and will focus more on the March sisters’ lives as young-adults.

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COMEDY & MORE: Favorite 2018 TV & Movies

While the most amount of books that I’ve ever read in one year, 2018 has been a year where I’ve also felt that I turned to TV and movies more than usual. To be considered a 2018 favorite, the TV show or movie had to come out or have new episodes this year. However, because catching up with ALL the shows & movies are just as difficult as keeping up with all the new shiny book releases, I do have some honorable mentions that didn’t come this year.

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