November 2018 Reads

My holiday plans never require me to go too far from home. Our extended family is both minimal and local, so on days like Thanksgiving, my family and I are usually back in our PJs by 8 p.m. and delving into movies or books for the rest of the night. My low-key holiday break last month meant I had plenty of reading time, and after a stint of feeling very meh about the books I finished, November finally delivered with some fantastic reads!

I had some of the books below pre-ordered or on hold for what felt like forever, but they were well worth the wait. You can expect to see one of these appear in an upcoming post on my favorite books of the year!

Kate: The Future Queen, by Katie Nicholl (★★★★☆)

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I downloaded this in a moment of impatience when my library holds seemed perpetually stuck on the #1 spot. I’ve read another Kate Middleton biography in the past, but this one is by Katie Nicholl, a very reputable royals reporter. Following Kate’s life right up to after she gave birth to Prince George, the book is definitely the most comprehensive take on her that I’ve read. It included details about her family and her relationship with Prince William that I never heard before, and you’d be hard-pressed to find some royal dirt that I haven’t come across.

I finished this before all of the recent stories about Kate and Meghan Markle feuding emerged (I think the reports are exaggerated and come from a slightly misogynistic media perspective). Given that news, thinking about the royals has stressed me out lately, but Kate: The Future Queen was the perfect definition of easy, breezy reading. Yes, I know what’s going to happen, but it’s nice to just jump into a non-fiction story that has a happy ending.

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What I Wish I Hadn’t Missed

Distance not only gives nostalgia, but perspective, and maybe objectivity.

~ Robert Morgan

1) Simon & Garfunkel’s Central Park concert

2) Newsreels played before movies

3) Wearing a hat and gloves for your daily errands

4) Midnight releases of the early Harry Potter books

5) The original Broadway productions of My Fair Lady and The Music Man

6) Experiencing high school without text messages

7) A television world with only three main channels

8) The heyday of Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire movies

9) Nights that ended with watching Johnny Carson

10) The prime era of drive-in movies

11) The hair and fashion of the 1940s and ’50s

12) Sitting with loved ones while watching the very last episode of M*A*S*H 

13) Nora Ephron’s New York

14) Baggy flannels and wide-rimmed glasses being ’90s men’s go-to fashion

15) The Tina Fey-Amy Poehler era of SNL‘s Weekend Update

16) Watching new Friends episodes on Thursdays

17) Gene Shalit’s TODAY Show segments

18) The novelty of the first few seasons of Real World

19) Swaying to Glenn Miller at USO dances

20) Needing to watch TV in real time at risk of never seeing a certain episode

21) Consciously living through the height of the Spice Girls’ fame

22) Big, wavy hair being in style, a la Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally

23) Being able to avoid feeling engulfed by the news or that I’m missing the next best thing, and knowing that we can disconnect without realizing we’re doing so

One of the virtues of being very young is that you don’t let the facts get in the way of your imagination.

~ Sam Levenson

6 Episodes of TV That Made Me Cry the Hardest

If you saw my post about which movie scenes always make me cry, then it’s no surprise to you that I cry over certain TV shows on a regular basis. It could be a character’s death, an emotional monologue or, in the case of the usual suspect Call the Midwife, a particularly devastating medical twist. I seem to be ridiculously sensitive to TV trauma, and because I’m such an emotional sop, I wanted to share 6 of the TV episodes that made me cry the hardest.

There are definitely spoilers ahead (mostly with a theme of dead characters), and I’ve reserved the most spoiler-y episodes for the last two slots on the list. If you’ve yet to finish the most recent season of This Is Us, watch out for No. 1 in the post. As for the rest of them…well, it’s been quite awhile since they aired!

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3 Topics That Will Convince Me to Pick Up a Book

If you’re a longtime reader of this blog, you probably have a sense of what kind of topics I gravitate to the most in books and TV shows. My reading material is particularly predictable, and I’m a little less likely to try out a new book genre than I am to watch a different kind of TV show. Essentially, I know what I like, and supernatural, fantasy, paranormal, and thriller stories rarely interest me. Even as a kid, the Harry Potter books were really my only foray into fantasy stories. and I mostly read contemporary or historical fiction.

Below, I’m sharing the top topics that are bound to convince me to read a certain book. No matter how many books I read with these features, I can never get enough! I’m always looking for recommendations, so leave a few titles in the comments if you know a book that fits one of these molds!

1. The Kennedys

I’m a fiend for non-fiction about the Kennedy family. When the summer comes around each year, I just get in the mood for long, in-depth books about these people. You know that I love stories about big, multi-generational families, and the Kennedys are the real-life equivalent of that. I can read as many as two or three Kennedy-related books in a row before I have to take a break. This year’s books were Jackie, Ethel, Joan: The Women of Camelot and Jackie After O. Yes, there’s tons of books out there about JFK and RFK’s politics, but what draws me in are the family sagas and marriage narratives. I’m secretly hoping for a new Kennedy dynasty to become 1960s-level famous just so there are more books about them someday.

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