December 2020: Recap + On My Shelves

Happy New Year! 2020 was a year we'll never forget, and I know I'm not alone in hoping that life will be a little more normal in 2021. But first, I've got to recap our December! It was a month full of happy holiday memories.

1. Our Holiday Traditions – In some ways, December felt like every other month lately. We spent most of our time at home, indoors, as it got colder in Georgia. But the holiday season did add some special memories and break up the monotony! From reading Christmas books to driving around to look at lights, some things still felt like normal. 

2. A Very Merry Christmas – We had a wonderful Christmas and loved seeing the joy on both of our boys' faces! The baby was mostly interested in our dog, wrapping paper, and his brother. But our big boy's excitement over his gifts (all dinosaur-related, per his request) was infectious! Thankful for this sweet family of mine.

3. Book Shopping with My Sister – This isn't the best photo, but it's all I had to work with! One afternoon, I picked up my sister and we drove to a few used bookstores that were about an hour away. And oh boy... we hit the jackpot! We each got 13 books and had the best time nerding out together. I can't wait to do it again! 

Read 12 Books | Favorites:
This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens
The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner
In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren
My Southern Journey by Rick Bragg

“Life is change – if nothing's changing, you aren't living.” 
This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens

“We do not get to choose when in our lives we feel pain," said Matthew. 
"It comes when it comes, and we try to remember, even though we cannot imagine a day 
when it will release its hold on us, that all pain fades. All misery passes. 
Humanity is drawn to light, not darkness.” 
Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

“The point of stories is not that they are objectively true, 
but that the soul of the story is truer than reality. 
Those who mock fiction do so because they fear the truth.”
Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

 “Part of the comfort they derived from rereading was the satisfaction of knowing there would be closure—
of feeling, each time, an inexplicable anxiety over whether the main characters would find love and happiness, 
while all the while knowing, on some different parallel interior track, 
that it was all going to work out in the end.” 
The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner

“We love Jane Austen because her characters, as sparkling as they are, 
are no better and no worse than us. They’re so eminently, so completely, human. 
I, for one, find it greatly consoling that she had us all figured out.” 
The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner

“This is how we move forward-one house, one tradition, one generation at a time. 
It takes vision and hope and not a little naivete, but in the end, 
we can make something beautiful. Useful. Strong.”
House Lessons by Erica Bauermeister 

“I was coming out here to ask why you were acting so weird, 
but I see I need to keep things present tense.” 
In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

“It never occurred to me that you might be mine.” 
In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

“But I hope I will never have a life that is not surrounded by books, by books that are bound 
in paper and cloth and glue, such perishable things for ideas that have lasted thousands of years, 
or just since the most recent Harry Potter. I hope I am always walled in by the very weight and breadth 
and clumsy, inefficient, antiquated bulk of them, hope I spend my last days on this Earth 
arranging and rearranging them on thrones of good, honest pine, oak, and mahogany, 
because they just feel good in my hands, because I just like to look at their covers, 
and dream of the promise of the great stories inside.” 
My Southern Journey by Rick Bragg

December was my most prolific blogging month! I love the end of the year and always feel inspired by reflections and recaps. I started the month with my November 2020 recap and my December 2020 goals. I had to catch up on October 2020 Quick Lit (Part 1 and Part 2) Tales & Tiger Lily. Then, I shared my November 2020 Quick Lit (Part 1 and Part 2) and my sister's November favorites. Several of my posts were lists that I loved discussing: six holiday books I lovetwenty books on my winter TBR, and our four favorite holiday traditions.

And finally, I ended with my series that I call My Year In where I recap some of my favorite things in various categories: Music, Movies & TV, Books, Obsessions, Adventures, and Goals. I love ending the year with those posts! I have a few more posts coming to wrap up 2020, but I'm excited to kick off the new year, too. 

Favorite Album: Evermore by Taylor Swift
One surprise album was a shock! But a second? Y'all, I'm shook! I've died and gone to heaven.
I love Taylor's new sound and imaginative storytelling. Let's turn this duology into a trilogy!

Mulan (2020) starring Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen and Li Gong – I'm pretty sure Nick and I watched this in November, but I forgot to write it down so it didn't make it into my last recap. Visually, I thought this movie was excellent. But I just found myself zoning out while watching it! I love the animated version and can appreciate that they wanted to do something different with the live action one, but I was missing the humor and music of the original!

Holidate (2020) starring Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey – Y'all, I generally hate holiday movies, but I loved this one! Here are my caveats: the humor got crude at times and there were a few slapstick moments that made me roll my eyes. I have to admit that I laughed out loud a bunch! It was the December BFF Movie Night pick, and it hit just right. Ridiculous but fun! And I know it helped that Luke Bracey was easy on the eyes and ears... 

1917 (2019) starring George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman – I'd meaning meaning to watch this WWI movie and finally grabbed it at Redbox one day. This was a beautiful movie with a great cast and a movie story. However, it wasn't necessarily the kind of movie I'd ever want to watch again. I wanted to know if/how the mission would be successful while I was watching, but I found the movie a little forgettable once it was over. 

Emily in Paris (2020) starring Lily Collins – This show is so dumb and so addicting! I couldn't turn it off, even as I scoffed at the characters and mocked it to my sister and Kelly. I loved the Parisian setting, and I know that was a major part of the appeal to me. It reminded me of Younger, another Darren Star show, for the way I have to suspend all disbelief to watch it. And yet... I finished it and will probably watch the second season, too.

Book of the Month: The Chicken Sisters by KJ Dell'Antonia and In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

Barnes & Noble: Where I Come From by Rick Bragg and Admission by Julie Buxbaum

Used Bookstore: When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton, You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley, Ava's Man and All Over but the Shoutin' by Rick Bragg, Dinner: The Playbook by Jenny Rosenstrach, Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta, and The Lost Man by Jane Harper

Store Credit: The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton, Snow & Rose by Emily Winfield Martin, Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry, The Dutch House by Ann Patchett, Case Histories by Kate Atkinson, Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein, Deacon King Kong by James McBride, Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly, and Bringing Down the Duke and A Rogue of One's Own by Evie Dunmore

From My Parents: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Classical Mythology A-Z by Annette Giesecke, and Half Baked Harvest Super Simple by Tieghan Gerard

From My Sister: Perestroika in Paris by Jane Smiley, Wintering by Katherine May, The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, and Lore by Alexandra Bracken

Kindle: The Heir Affair by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan and The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Audible: The Best Cook in the World by Rick Bragg and This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens

NetGalley: Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

1 comment

  1. Yay for holiday events & successful secondhand bookstore runs! ;) I also feel the same way about evermore, which I still continue to be obsessed with.


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