what i’m into :: january 2014.

Oh lovelies, we skipped What I’m Into in December, and it feels good to be back.  Although not everything can be captured, here’s a little nugget of life around here in the month of January.  As usual, linking up with Lovely Leigh

Resting in the new year.
Resting in the new year.

I read (in December and January): 

Steve Jobs (Walter Isaacson), 5/5 – Let’s be honest: Jobs was an ass, but a brilliant ass nonetheless.

Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery), 5/5 – How did I never, ever read this as a child?  Shame on me!

Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America (Darrell L. Guder), 3/5 – Perhaps had I read this is a shorter amount of time (instead of eight months), or while still in ministry, the book would have had a greater impact on me.

The Rosie Project (Graeme Simsion), 4/5 – Best winter “beach” read – just delightful!

Les Miserables (Victor Hugo), 4/5 – Speaking of books that take a long, long time to get through, it took me over a year to read this classic – and minus the intricacies of the French Revolution, it was just lovely.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson (John Green), 4/5 – Once again, John Green is brilliant.  Once again, a must-read.

[We interrupt this previously broadcast John Green announcement to bring you the The Fault in Our Stars trailer – can’t wait!]

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Ransom Riggs), 4/5 – Affectionately dubbed “The Creepy Kids’ Book” by my book club, that about sums it up.

Grace-Based Parenting (Tim Kimmel), 3/5 – It was a little too, well, how shall we say it… evangelical for me.

The Cricket on the Hearth (Charles Dickens), 3/5 – While I want to be a die-hard Dickens’ fan, I am thoroughly convinced his works should never be “read” on Audible.

The Husband’s Secret (Liane Moriarty), 3/5 – The author of What Alice Forgot (which was one of my 2013 favorites), this similar novel wasn’t my favorite of hers.

MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend (Rachel Bertsche), 3/5 – This is what I secretly wanted to tell Bertsche: wait 10 years before you write a book, sister.  You’ll thank me later.

Crush It! Why Now is the Time to Cash in on your Passion (Gary Vaynerchuk), 3/5 – This book helped me realize that I’m not a blogger who writes, but I’m a writer who blogs.  Big difference.

The Book Thief (Markus Zusak), 5/5 – utterly delightful, beautifully written, scarily haunting.

Eleanor & Park (Rainbow Rowell), 5/5 – One of the best YA books I read in 2013 – as mentioned in my top 20 books of the year, she captures the teenage voice unlike any other.

I’m reading: The Locust Effect (Haugen) – look for a giveaway next week!  Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir (Kephart); The Invention of Wings (Kidd), Anne of Avonlea (Montgomery).

I watched: Scandal. I think I have a girl crush on Kerry Washingon.  Downton Abbey – still feeling somewhat ‘meh’ about this season.  And the HBH and I are still slowly working our way through Weeds, although at this point, I’m not really sure why.

I met: hundreds of high school students at Santa Teresa High School in San Jose when I presented the seminar, “Look Back at Your Life: How I Became a Writer.”  What a great day!  (Does your high school or college need to hear something similar?  I’d love to speak to them!)

The cousins, all presenting and taking over STHS, one seminar at a time.
The cousins, all presenting and taking over STHS, one seminar at a time.

I saw: Cousin James in the touring Book of Mormon, here in San Francisco.  Amazing seats.  Fabulous company.  Incredible actually knowing one of the ‘someone’s’ up on stage.  (We’re proud of you, James Vincent Meredith!)

I ate: Baked kale chips – lots and lots of kale chips.  I suppose it’s the curse of having a winter CSA box, but I am perfecting the craft.  (lightly season with olive oil and sea salt, then bake for 10 minutes per side at 275 degrees – hey, I’m not a food blogger, but this one’s a fat-free gold mine).  The HBH also swept us away for a secret Napa overnight, and we ate like Real Life Foodies up there – now that is a food-wealthy city!

What you must watch:  (And you’re welcome, Full House fans).

What about you? What have you read, seen, eaten, and just plain ol’ LOVED this month? Do share!

14 thoughts on “what i’m into :: january 2014.

  1. Yes!!!! TFIOS trailer gives me goosebumps, tears, and excitement to see the movie! I sure hope that it does the terrific book justice! I could live on kale chips. 🙂 So many of your books are on my to-read list – Rosie, Eleanor & Park, Will Grayson…Oh, and I’m glad that I’m not the only one that thought about MWF Seeking BFF! 😉 I can’t wait until Scandal comes back later in Feb! Oh, and I just realized that I’m all about !!!!!! in this comment. 🙂

  2. Glad you’re now part of the Anne-tribe 🙂 She is one of my faves.
    All the books! I’m getting ready to read the Rosie Project, Eleanor and Park and The Book Thief.
    I will say though: MWF Seeking BFF is still one of my favorites. It really helped me think about things in a different way, and I credit some of that with the ways I’ve been more open to non-traditional relationships and ways of meeting people.
    Always great to see a little peek into what’s going on with you IRL. 🙂

    1. MWF seems to either have 5-star I LOVED IT review, or 2-3 star “meh” reviews – to each her own, I suppose. But in other news, at least when we write our books we’ll ONLY be getting 5-star reviews! I mean, that’s what happens with brilliance. 😉

      Cara Meredith

      be, mama. be. carameredith.com

  3. The Fault in Our Stars trailer gave me goosebumps and made me cry when I saw it the other day! I hope it lives up to my expectations. Just how creepy is the Miss Peregrine book? I’ve had it on my To Read list for a while because the premise sounds interesting but I keep holding off because I don’t do horror. I personally LOVED MWF Seeks BFF but I recognize part of that is how much I relate to Bertsche’s experiences/situation. So cool that your cousin is in Book of Mormon! I’d love to see that show at some point. I wish I liked kale chips but I’ve accepted they don’t do much for me. Instead, I make a lot of this kale salad during CSA season- http://lesleyeats.com/2012/07/04/chopped-kale-salad/ I leave out the cheese and nuts (sadness) to accommodate my food sensitivities but it’s absolutely delicious.

    1. Creepy children book – I liked it, but didn’t love it. I wouldn’t classify it as horror by any means, but one of the girls was unable to read it at night, so maybe I’m just not as sensitive to that stuff. Another girl said that he just kind of made it up as he went along – and you could tell. I think there are far better YA books to spend your evenings with. As per kale, I do love it, even if it seems to be a weekly occurrence in the box! I’ll definitely look up the recipe! xo.

      Cara Meredith

      be, mama. be. carameredith.com

  4. Such a great post! I Loved the books have read and are reading – looking forward to reading Eleanor & Park. (If I ever get it off the long library waiting list. 🙂 And, your seminar title you gave sounds wonderful – I would’ve loved to hear that talk! Always enjoy your blog and your VOICE Cara – thank you!

  5. Your comment about the Bertsche book make me laugh. The Fault in Our Stars is my book club’s pick for Feb. Just not sure I can do it though. I’m so not in the mood for a sad book at this point in my life. I had no idea that Steve Jobs was an ass. I guess I’ve only read the positive, motivational stuff about him. And I’ve not seen the movie. Scandal. What can I say? It’s amazing so far and I hope it stays that way. We’re still working our way through Season Two on Netflix.

    1. The Fault in our Stars may have sadness, indeed, but it’s also SO SO SO SO SO SO good. I didn’t finish it feeling depressed, just …better for having read it. Good luck, Shana! Let me know what you end up doing. 🙂

      Cara Meredith

      be, mama. be. carameredith.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *