G is for Giant Days #AtoZChallenge #PandemicAlphabet

If you’re looking for a lighthearted series to take you through the pandemic, may I suggest Giant Days by John Allison?

It’s a comic book series that has also been conveniently packaged into fourteen multi-issue volumes plus two bonus collections. (There are also three novelizations, but I haven’t read them so will not be discussing them.) I don’t know about you, but sometimes words words words on a page are too much so I like to turn to graphic novels because the pictures give me something else to look at and I still get to read. It’s win-win, especially when the illustrations are engaging, fun, and include sight gags. You know, like the ones in Giant Days (illustrated by Lissa Treiman and Max Sarin).

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E is for Ella Enchanted #AtoZChallenge #PandemicAlphabet

Just like with my letter A (Anne of Green Gables) and B (The Baby-Sitters Club) posts, you may be wondering again (again!) if I mean Ella Enchanted the Newbery Award winning book by Gail Carson Levine or Ella Enchanted the movie starring Anne Hathaway.

And, yes, again I am talking about both.

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A is for Anne of Green Gables #AtoZChallenge #PandemicAlphabet

I could not for the life of me figure out what to write about for this year’s Blogging from A to Z Challenge, though I got some very good suggestions from friends (bucket list, books, pop culture, things you would want on a deserted island). I didn’t want to rehash topics I have done before, but I also couldn’t think of new topics either–or enough things to fill the topic suggestions. Everything just seemed so overwhelming, and I realized that all I wanted to do was NOT and just sit on the couch and watch TV or something and then *boom* my topic was so obvious: comfort watches and reads for these here pandemic times. This topic also seemed like a good fit because last year I did devote one of my blog posts to book recommendations, so this seems like the perfect time to do a blend of books and visual media as well as a deep dive into why I would recommend the things I do.

One of the other struggles I had with the suggested topics was that I couldn’t come up with anything for A. When I was doing some light journaling to figure out what I might write about for comfort watches/reads that would start with A–because SERIOUSLY WHAT ON EARTH STARTS WITH A–my brain literally went “Anne of Green Gables, duh,” and honestly, if it could pull the perfection that is Anne of Green Gables out of the ether, then the rest of the challenge is going to have to be easy breezy, right?

I like to think so.

“Akilah,” you may be thinking, “when you say Anne of Green Gables, are you talking about the fantastic book by L. M. Montgomery or the fantastic movie starring Megan Follows?”

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Five Random Things, Two Random Books

I didn’t post last week because I didn’t finish any books and then about halfway through the week I was like, “Okay, but that has literally never stopped you before???” And I seriously don’t know what I was thinking but it was so ridiculous that I had to tell you all.

I mean, it’s certainly not like other stuff didn’t happen. So here’s a list because honestly my brain is kind of mush.

1. I finally got DDR–yes, Dance Dance Revolution–for my Xbox, so have been playing it almost every day. The thing about DDR is that the songs are the most important and the Xbox has the worst options for songs, I swear. They only have one DDR game with a good tracklist. All of the other ones have weird Japanese songs with NO BEAT. My daughter was watching me play, and I kept missing the arrows and she asked me “Does the pad not work?” and I was like, “No, these dumb songs have no beat.” The proof is that I did just fine on both “Dancing Machine” and “Conga.” So anyway, I need a PlayStation to get a version of the game with a better tracklist.

I did, of course, buy the version with the good tracklist and have been crushing those songs, thank you very much. But only on basic because that’s just who I am.

2. My daughter went back to campus for spring semester. She’s doing well.

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It’s Monday & I’m doing a reading deprivation

If you’re unfamiliar, a reading deprivation occurs in week four of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. During a reading deprivation, you give up reading for a week. I started mine on January 1 so that means I’m currently on day four. Just like last time, I have basically given up all media that uses words, including social media. I also gave up Bejeweled (except–TMI alert–when I’m in the bathroom) because I definitely use it as a form of distraction and admit that about myself. Unlike last time, I am a little less crazed–probably because I knew what to expect this time and also, maybe, because I have grown as a person in the last four and a half years.

As a result of the no words thing, I am VERY into the Pop Goes Classical playlist/station on Spotify. It is getting me through. Current faves include “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Queenz of Piano and “Lose Yourself” by David Garrett.

The holidays were nice and low-key. Jólabókaflóð (Yule Book Flood) was a success this year. I received The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (reviewed below) and milk and honey by Rupi Kaur (started but, obviously, on hold until the end of the week). I gave The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas to my daughter’s friend who said she wanted to read more classics, and I gave my daughter The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo because she said she wanted to read more about minimalism. We exchanged books, drank hot cocoa, and read together for about an hour or so. It was a delight. Christmas was also a lot of fun with us hanging out, opening presents, watching movies, and eating some food.

I did make a post last week, and I did read some books and watch some movies that I didn’t post about here before the end of the new year.

What I posted:

2020 End of Year Book Survey

What I read:

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It’s Monday & I hope this posts before midnight

I am writing this at 10:55 p.m. WILL I MAKE THE DEADLINE? I hope so. (The answer, btw, is yes. Hitting post on this at 11:15.)

I won’t be participating in Month of Faves this week because I never post my fave books before December 31 as I may read one of my favorite books of the year between now and then. So, here’s a recap of all my Month of Faves posts from the past week instead:

I also read some books and watched some movies:

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#AMonthofFaves 2021 Favorites

A new day, a new Month of Faves topic. Join in! Topics are at Kimberly’s Instagram.

⭐ DEC 11 – Favorite Things [Daily Life Edition] ⁠
(Recipes tried, happy moments, shows watched, skills learned, or just 5 things you appreciated about 2020)⁠

Welp, I guess today is the day I tell you everything I ate during quarantine.

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#AMonthofFaves 2020: Popular Books Worth the Hype

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That’s right: A Month of Faves is back, hosted by Tanya and Kim over at Girlxoxo. As of this writing, the official post isn’t up on the website yet, but the prompts are posted on Kim’s Instagram.

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Where did November go?

I mean, seriously, where? I ended my last post by saying I hoped to update more often and then somehow did not. I guess I just got in the weeds at work and busy re-acclimating to being back home and then just wound up not posting. I also hate starting posts by talking about how I meant to post but dropped the ball, but I really did keep meaning to post and somehow…didn’t.

Anyway, so here we are. A list to catch up (sort of):

1. I do have a voting story, which I plan to share one day. The short of it is “do not forward your mail if you leave town in the month before an election.” The long of it is a blog post I hope to write someday. I hope I can remember all the details.

2. So, yeah, how about that election, huh? Whew.

3. Also, as mentioned in my previous post, my daughter’s friend is staying with us now and will probably be doing so at least through the new year. My daughter is thrilled because she has always wanted a sibling and now the house isn’t so lonely during the pandemic. I affectionately refer to both of them as “The Twins” since they’re the same age (e.g., The twins went to the boba shop or The twins are watching a movie).

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It’s Monday & I have consumed some media

I’m finally home after my five-week (!) Eastern time zone adventures. There may be a lot to say about that some other day, but I have read some books and watched some TV & movies, so let’s get into that first. Also, if anyone is on Letterboxd, give me a shout so we can follow each other. (Or, you know, sign up and then we can follow each other. Either works for me.) My username over there is englishist.

First, the books:

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