So, honestly, I never thought I’d write one of Leigh Kramer’s awesome “What I’m Into” linkup posts, even though I read them religiously on other people’s sites. But what can I say? It’s been a long winter. So, here goes nothin’:
ON MY KINDLE …
Christine Falls by Benjamin Black | Okay, I didn’t love this one as much as I usually love Irish crime novels. (No, really, it’s a thing.) But, still, there’s something deep and subtle in Black’s writing, and you might know him better as John Banville. Like others in his genre I love, he writes with a rich vocabulary (ultramontane or insouciance, anyone?) and now and then plants a sentence I just wanna hug. Like: “She was scrupulously, vengefully polite.”
And God Said, “Billy!” by Frank Schaeffer | While the strain of evangelicalism depicted in Schaeffer’s amazing Portofino was hilarious and real, this decidedly unhinged portrait of faith is a tad over the top and less familiar for me. Still this is one of the best sentences ever written: “Molly was so normal that it was like she wasn’t even saved.”
The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver | Kingsolver’s talent is undeniable, but this is now my third attempt at getting into one of her books … I’ll let you know how it goes.
Freefall to Fly: A Breathtaking Journey Toward a Life of Meaning by Rebekah Lyons | I can appreciate Lyons’ passion for mental illness, and I have to applaud her bravery as she shares her very personal and unique story. However I feel the general topic of anxiety deserves more nuance and complexity than she offers. (More on that another time.)
Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Mark Williams and Danny Penman | What can I say? The jury’s still out, but I did love this: “Everyone experiences periods of pain and suffering, and it’s naive and dangerous to pretend otherwise.”
ON SCREEN …
Downton Abbey, Season 4 | I gotta admit, I was disappointed this season. How many times will Tom Branson be lured into embarrassing situations by sassy-mouthed little crumpets intent on convincing him he’s not being true to himself? How many times will we wonder how dark Bates really is or what cruel thing Thomas will do next? Please, Julian Fellowes, start surprising us again, and for the love of all things stop casting Mary’s suitors with actors who can hardly be distinguished from one another unless they are standing side by side. (Oh, I see … Tony’s the tall one, who may have actually shaved today? It’s crystal clear now!)
The West Wing, Season 1 | Oh, shush—like you’ve never been too busy having babies to follow the best show on television for seven years straight. Honestly, stop shaming me, people. (And please don’t point out that I magically still made time in 1999 for Dawson’s Creek.) While West Wing does pale a little when watched alongside our current champion of all things Washington DC House of Cards (because Francis Underwood), I do think Aaron Sorkin’s writing has held up.
The Goldbergs | If you grew up in the eighties, don’t judge me here. Just go watch it. You’ll thank me later.
Sherlock, Season 3 | Love, love, love.
And, let’s face it, asking me to talk about TV is like asking the Cake Boss to talk about fondant. I have to draw the line somewhere or this will never end, but suffice it to say True Detective gets an honorable mention for being the darkest of the dark and being so totally engrossing and so incredibly acted by McConaughey. (I mean, how often does an actor win an Oscar the week before his first television show airs its season finale? Alright, alright, alright.)
IN MY EARS …
Pharrell Williams | I just can’t get enough of his fun, happy (no puns intended) songs. My favorite right now is still from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack: “Just a Cloud Away”
Robin Thicke | Did you see that? That was my feminist cred just going up in smoke. But seriously … I know, I know. It’s just, once you start listening to that falsetto and those amazing grooves … (Can I compare his music to crack if I’ve never actually tried crack?) Plus also, Justin Timberlake doesn’t make enough albums, so there’s Thicke. If you’ve never given him a try and you’re willing, again I’m going with the Despicable Me soundtrack (are you noticing a trend?) and suggesting this one: “My Life”
Lana Del Rey | I had to throw this one in to prove I’m not just sitting around listening to the soundtracks for cartoon movies. I got Born to Die on vinyl for Christmas and it makes great background music during the day.
Honorable mentions this month go to Katy Perry’s PRISM and Zedd’s Clarity, and I definitely blame my children for my obsession with songs from those albums.
AMONG OTHER THINGS …
My daughter and I can’t stop making these garlic knots. Can’t.
I also can’t stop pouring Tazo’s Awake Tea and drowning it with sugar and cream when I don’t have sweetened condensed milk on hand. It’s evil and delicious.
Lastly, I may or may not have been convinced by this amazing lady and this other amazing lady to download the almighty Voxer, which has revolutionized my ability to communicate with people verbally, since I haven’t handled real-time phone calls very well in about 15 years. (In the immortal words of Luther: “Get a reputation for answering phones and all they do is ring.”)
What about you? What were you into in February? Tell me about it in the comments section or put it on your blog and head over to Leigh Kramer’s place for the official linkup.