It’s the most wonderful time of the year! My semester ended last week, and thus begins the next six-ish weeks of freedom until classes start back up for the spring. I’m really looking forward to spending my afternoons cozied up with a book beside the Christmas tree, baking cookies with my mom, and working on festive puzzles! Despite the crazy holiday hours at my part-time retail job, December really is my favorite month.
One of my favorite ways to get into the holiday spirit is to watch cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies. I live for the clear-cut tropes, the B-level acting, the over-the-top Christmas sets, and, most importantly, the holiday spirit. I’ve been trying to spend less time staring at screens lately, though, so I’ve decided to pick up some light holiday reads instead! Right now I’m breezing through Jasmine Guillory’s ROYAL HOLIDAY. I’ve only read one of Guillory’s previous romance novels, THE PROPOSAL, but I really enjoyed it and I’m hoping her newest is just as enjoyable. It follows a middle-aged mother on vacation with her daughter in England, and while staying at the royal family’s Sandringham estate, she falls in love with the queen’s private secretary. I love all things royal and all things Christmas, so this sounds like the perfect read for me right now!
Currently, I am counting down the days until the new film adaptation of LITTLE WOMEN by Louisa May Alcott is released. Not only is it directed by the one and only Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird), but it stars my two favorite actors, Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet, as well as Emma Watson, Meryl Streep, Laura Dern, etc. I’ve never read Louisa May Alcott’s classic American novel, or seen any TV/film adaptation, so it’s my number one priority to finish the entirety of the novel before the film is released on Christmas Day! I’ve always wanted to read it so I am grateful to Greta, Saoirse, and Timothée for pushing it up on my TBR. It’s been some time since I’ve read a classic (outside of uni classes), but so far LITTLE WOMEN is engaging and a pleasure to read!
I’m continuing my fiction streak with a National Book Award finalist, DISAPPEARING EARTH by Julia Phillips. I’ll admit I had absolutely no idea what this book was about going into it, and so far I’m surprised by how much it has hooked me! It follows the people of a small, secluded Russian town over the course of a year after the disappearance of two young girls, with each month featuring a different character’s perspective. I love novels like this where seemingly unrelated people are strung together through a specific event; Phillips very much focuses on the ripple effect of the girls’ disappearance. Not only is she a talented writer but she also has a very unique way of capturing her character’s thoughts and feelings. Though I am only about fifty pages in at the moment, I see myself calling this novel “brilliant” in the end.
You may have noticed I’ve been in a serious nonfiction mood lately; I’m working to catch up on all the memoirs, essay collections, etc. that everyone but me has read. First up, a newer release: KNOW MY NAME by Chanel Miller, the memoir of the Stanford assault victim more widely known as Emily Doe. KNOW MY NAME was painful to read and made me cry SO many times; Miller is a gifted storyteller, and her memoir deserves all of the stars!! I’m also reading another memoir that you may have heard of… Michelle Obama’s BECOMING. I may be a year late, but better late than never! Michelle is such an inspiration, and I can’t wait to delve more into her life story.
Of course, I always have some miscellaneous magazines on my nightstand… right now it’s the autumn/winter edition of The Gentlewoman, because I just could not pass up on the Margaret Atwood interview! I can’t wait to spend the next few days celebrating the holidays and finishing up these fantastic books.