A good friend of mine, Alexandra, does monthly wrap ups over on her website, Twirling Pages, and it inspired me to do the same for every month in 2020! Not only is it a fun way to catch everyone up with what I’ve been reading, watching, and doing each month, but it’s also a great way to reflect, savor the big moments and the small, and remind myself that each month is meaningful and filled with wonderful discoveries.
Books I’ve Read in January
- The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black
- In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado (audiobook)
- La Passione: How Italy Seduced the World by Dianne Hales
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
- A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
- Bluets by Maggie Nelson
- The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden (audiobook)
My favorite read of the month most definitely has to be A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which is a Shakespeare play that I’ve had on my TBR shelf for years, and I never seemed to get around to it. I picked it up on a whim and read it in one day! It was such a hilarious, wonderful play full of shenanigans and meddling characters, and I can’t believe I hadn’t read it sooner.
I also really enjoyed The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden. This is the sequel to The Bear and the Nightingale, a book I had read in 2019 and was pretty okay with, but the sequel was absolutely explosive. It kept me on the edge of my seat. I couldn’t stop listening to the audiobook, and it was a rare sequel that I thought was better than the first novel.
Inspired by how much I enjoyed A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I went over to my Instagram to ask people if they had any play recommendations, and boy, I got over 100 replies.
People sent in a slew of recommendations which I wrote down in my journal, and I’m hoping to read at least one a month. I’m using the hashtag #LetsReadPlays to keep track of my progress and to invite anyone else, on Instagram, to read plays with me.
This was a totally unexpected interest I delved into but I’m glad I did! I got such a big reception from simply asking what everyone’s favorite plays were.
- The Imagineering Story
- One Day at Disney
- Inside Llewyn Davis [rewatch]
- Zodiac [rewatch]
- The Haunting (1999) [DNFed.]
My absolute favorite movie I’ve seen in January has to be 1917. It’s such a stunning movie, in terms of cinematography, while also showcasing the horrors and atrocities of war. The way the movie is filmed to look like it’s one continuous shot is magnificent, and I am still in awe of the production of it all. I wrote a full review of 1917, earlier this month, so be sure to check it out!
Some Things I’ve Been Loving
I recently began Schitt’s Creek, on Netflix, because I know the last season just recently aired, and I’ve seen so many clips of the show that I became curious as to what it was about. And, I absolutely love it! It’s a show about a rich family who loses all their money and is forced to live in Schitt’s Creek, a rundown, quirky town that the family had bought as a joke. The dry humor, the ridiculous personalities that all these characters have, and just the situations they put themselves into makes me crack up, which is rare considering I hardly ever laugh at anything. I’m having a lot of fun with it!
A song that I’ve played on repeat and sobbed to, when I first listened to it, is “Anyone” by Demi Lovato. This is her first single since she took a hiatus from singing to focus on her mental and physical health, and the song is just one big cry for help and support. You can feel the utter pain and desperation in her voice as she sings this song, and her Grammy performance of it is heartbreaking. It’s a song that gives me chills, no matter how many times I play it.
Exciting Opportunities and Adventures in January
While January tested me, mentally, because I felt uninspired and useless for the first two weeks of it, it slowly became a month of creative bursts, for me. I began filming a series for my channel where I’m building a miniature library set, and while it’s tested my patience, it’s a series I really love and hope others will too, once the episodes premiere.
Not only did I film my “Building a Mini Library” series, but I just filmed a ton, in general. I felt so inspired to create all the content, and while a lot of it hasn’t been posted yet, simply working on things I love has put a smile onto my face.
Another wonderful and exiciting opportunity I had was being a rep. for NOVL’s January box curated by Libba Bray! So not only did I get to receive King of Crows (the final installment to The Diviners series that I have been reading since middle school) but I also got to dress up as a flapper for the photo I took for Instagram!
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SURPRISE: I’M A @thenovl REP. FOR JANUARY, OLD SPORTS! What's a NOVLbox, you ask? It's a monthly care package, from @theNOVL, that’s curated by an author, content creator, or NOVL! What's inside, you ask? Well, old sport. This month’s #NOVLBox is curated by @libbabray ! So not only does this box have the long awaited King of Crows, the 4th and final book in the Diviners series, but it also includes three other books that Libba Bray hand picked to be included: • Cruel Prince by Holly Black • Ash by Malinda Lo • Internment by Samira Ahmed There are other amazing goodies in this box like chocolate, 20s inspired pins, and tarot cards inspired by The Diviners, and more! Note: this is not a subscription box. If you want the chance to win this box, you can enter at http://thenovl.com/novlbox. The last day to enter the box is 1/31/20. #TheDiviners #20sStyle #Flapper #NOVLrep #Partner
January tested me mentally. It brought me down, felt like 5 years in one month, and brought along some bad news that I’m hoping to fix in February, but it was also a wonderful month full of wonderful books, movies, and adventures along the way.
I hope you enjoyed this first installment in my 2020 Diaries series, and I hope February is kind to us all. xx Olivia