Plays and Marie Kondo

School starts today, and I am about 75% ready. More importantly, though, I’m requiring one of my classes to blog every week, so I figured I better get back into it myself post haste.

Here’s what happened since my last update:

1. I won the lottery to see the touring production of Frozen, which means I got to see it for $29 (once the fees were added in). My seat was to the side of the stage so some of the action was cut off, but for $25, I have so few complaints. It was a lot of fun, and it was interesting to see how they changed the production to make it work on stage (rearranging scenes, adding scenes, more songs, different ways of getting the characters in the same room, etc.). The biggest change was that they made Elsa and Anna’s dad less terrible than he is in the movie, though he’s still not great. Oh, and Elsa’s motivations and fears are just a little bit clearer.

The best part was probably the young woman behind me who LOST HER MIND when “Let It Go” started. The gasp of joy she let out when those first few notes started was just such a highlight. (It also helped me forgive her for singing along with the other songs prior to that–just a little.)

2. I also went to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child up in San Francisco. The effects in the play were mind-blowing. The guy in front of me kept losing his mind–like, legit LOSING HIS MIND–every time some bit of magic happened on stage. I could see him trying to figure out just how they did everything, and he would turn to his girlfriend (?) every time like, “Did you SEE THAT???” Hahahaha, it was (sorry, not sorry) magical.

The play itself was really spectacular. My friend asked me who was the cursed child, Harry’s son or Draco’s, and, really, there are, like, six cursed children in the play, if you count the two kids, Harry, Draco, Cedric, and SPOILER. (I know you know that I’m not telling you.)

The guy who played Scorpius was really good, and I thought Harry was also perfectly cast. It’s always wild to me that Harry, Ron, and Hermione are my age, and so, you know, they were actually MY AGE on stage. Wild.

I wish I had re-read the play before I went because I could not remember a lot of the fine details, though none of the big twists or reveals came as a shock, and I would love to compare how I imagined it to how it actually played out on stage. As it is, I will just have to re-read it at some point in the future, I guess.

3. I also finished one book:

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and OrganizingThe Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is probably the best self-help book I’ve ever read. It’s grounded in spiritual practices like gratitude, and it has clear, actionable steps that can be taken immediately.

I listened to the audio, so A+ on the narration as well. This is a book in translation, so some of the terms were awkward to my American ears, but I got over that pretty quickly.

Also, my favorite part about this book is all of the stories about a tween Marie Kondo trying to tidy her family’s home, so it was like having a bonus middle grade story in the pages of a self-help book. Hot tip: I would 100% read a good middle grade novel about a girl trying to tidy up her family home while realizing that she really needs to deal with her own stuff instead. Come to think of it: that’s probably why I liked this book so much. I saw the adorable middle grade novel within. Also, of course, I can now easily find all my clothes because I use the KonMari folding method.

View all my reviews

4. I am going to have to step up my reading since, again, I’m requiring my students to do so much of it.

Have a great week, everyone!

More abandoned books! #IMWAYR

(I don’t know why I am feeling the exclamation point for post titles so far this year, but I’m going to leave it.)

The title, btw, is only a little misleading. I mean, I did *finish* a book, after all.

SadieSadie by Courtney Summers

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I listened to the audio, and I love a full-cast audio, so this really delivered. Rebecca Soler (narrator of The Lunar Chronicles) narrates all of Sadie’s parts, and she is the actual best so that was A+++.

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My first reading update of the new year! #IMWAYR

Welp, I said I wasn’t participating in any reading challenges, and then here comes Audible with their three  audiobooks in three months challenge, complete with a $20 gift card if you complete it.

Audible Challenge 2020

And if you thought your girl wasn’t going to read and WIN MONEY for doing so, then you don’t know me at all. Not to mention I have (a) plenty of audiobook credits to spare and (b) a 20-minute commute Monday-Thursday while I teach the winter session. So. Here we are.

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#AMonthofFaves Jólabókaflóð

Today’s Month of Faves topic is actually favorite books read this year. However, I’m still reading, and one of the two books I’m currently finishing could make that list. So instead, today I’m going to talk about how we celebrated Jólabókaflóð (Yule Book Flood) that I mentioned in my #AMonthofFaves This Is How I Holiday Away From Home post. This can either be categorized as a part two of that post OR as fitting the day/weekend in the life post that I missed because I was grading non-stop.

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Here was the plan for Jólabókaflóð.

Everyone (me, my best friend Fernie, her husband, and the four kids–“kids” even though three of them are grown) are all going to put our names in a hat, draw a name, and then go to the used bookstore and pick a book for that person. Then, we’re going to make hot cocoa and sit around and read on actual Christmas Eve.

Here’s what we actually did based on ideas we all contributed as we tried to work out logistics. As a reminder, there were seven of us in total participating.

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#AMonthofFaves Challenges and Goals

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THU. | Dec. 26 – #AMonthofFaves Challenges and Goals – Reading challenges, personal goals, resolutions – how did you do? Which was your favorite book read (and / or least favorite) for each challenge – or from all of them. Did you make New Years Resolutions? Did you get to all of them? Are you making any for next year … next month … next season?

My personal goals for 2019 were:

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#AMonthofFaves This Is How I Blogged in 2019

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MON. | Dec. 23 – #AMonthofFaves Blog Posts This Year – Tell us how you blogged – most popular (and/or favorite) blog posts for the year, or each month, did you try anything new on your blog this year, did you make blogging goals – how did you do? What are the essential programs, apps, plugins, websites you use? What’s your blogging routine, any blogs on blogging that you follow, blog tips you learned and used this year.

Here’s a fun thing I discovered while going through my blog stats for the year:

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#AMonthofFaves This Is How I Holiday Away From Home

FRI. Dec. 20 – #AMonthofFaves This is How We Holiday – Rep your home’s holiday look, share pictures of your holiday decorations. Christmas tree, your favorite holiday traditions, holiday festivities, favorite ornaments, places to go, holiday drinks, holiday eats, holiday themed reads.

I’m visiting my friend for Christmas this year, which means I’m doing things a little bit differently.

For one, she has decided that we’re going to participate in the Icelandic tradition of Jolabokaflod (or Christmas Book Flood). She has a voucher from a local used bookshop, so everyone (me, her, her husband, and the four kids–“kids” even though three of them are grown) are all going to put our names in a hat, draw a name, and then go to the bookstore and pick a book for that person. Then, we’re going to make hot cocoa and sit around and read on actual Christmas Eve.

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#AMonthofFaves Winter Reading

I was still in the throes of wrapping up my semester Monday and then I spent all day today traveling, so I’m coming to this one a little late. It’s a combo Month of Faves / It’s Monday (Tuesday)! What Are You Reading? post.

Mon. | Dec 16 – #AMonthofFaves Winter Reading – Your fave reads from last Winter, or seasonal reads you love, or books on this year’s winter reading list.

I’m going to focus on the books I plan to read over winter break (the next two weeks!). There are three of them, though I may, of course, finish more.

 

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#AMonthofFaves 2019 Christmas Wish List

My friend asked me what I wanted for Christmas the other day, and I was too overwhelmed with grading to answer properly. I am slightly less overwhelmed with grading today, so this prompt is right on time.

A Month of Faves

1. I am torn between the Dewey Decimal and books cardigans. So both would be nice, I think. I wear an XL.

I also like the proofreading marks one, but the color looks terrible on me. It’s cute, though.

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