Winter Reading Update

Well, I’ve successfully crossed one book off of my winter reading list – The Great Gatsby.  It took me just under three days to tear through the rich two-hundred or less pages.  I had no idea it was so short when I decided to read it nor did I really know anything about the plot or the time setting.  It really was all about parties and love and secrets in the fabulous 20s.  I know already that I’ll have to read it again since I was blazing through the pages.  Everyone has told me that there are so many subtleties and nuances that you have to catch again and again.  Mostly, I’m glad I read it and look forward to reading it again in the near future.

And now, since I got The Casual Vacancy for Christmas (Thanks Mom and Dad!) I’m dipping in to that.  So far it’s been interesting to read a J.K. Rowling that isn’t Harry Potter.  Sure, I miss the magic and Hogwarts but so far this book is incredibly interesting.  It’s still the incredibly detailed and cozy world that Rowling so often creates it’s just a different setting and a different type of drama.  I won’t spoil it for anyone who is still planning on reading it, but thus far, about one-hundred pages in, I’m not too disappointed.

What are you reading this Christmas season?




Winter break reading wishlist.

Break is fast approaching – I’ve got two take-home finals left to complete.  Yes, I’ve procrastinated on finishing them because honestly I would rather watch Christmas movies and go shopping than stress about these finals.  They’re both open book, open note, open everything so I really have nothing to worry about, except actually sitting down and doing them.

But along with break comes the time for me to finally be able to do some leisure reading, which I’ve been neglecting far too much during the semester.  Sometimes you just need to sink into a good book to get your mind off of things.  I’ve only got about two weeks of break before the whole mess starts over again, but I’m hoping that I can squeeze in at least these two books off of my reading wishlist.

The Great Gatsby.  This is one of those books that I feel like I already should have read, but never got around to.  I was never required to read it in school, which is surprising.  But I know so many quotes from the book, have heard so much about the book, and am totally excited for the movie coming out this holiday, that I think it’s about time I cross this book off my list.

The Casual Vacancy.  I’m a huge Harry Potter fan and as soon as I heard that J.K. Rowling was writing an adult fiction novel I couldn’t wait to try it out.  I’ve heard some reviews saying that it’s an incredibly dark tale, but really, what do you expect after reading the last four books of the HP series?  Rowling has such a talent for weaving deep and rich stories that I’m hoping this book will be under the tree so I can dive right in on Christmas morning.  If not, I’ll cue it up on my Nook and get to work.

What’s on your reading list for the holiday?



Five Friday Favorites: Favorite Christmas Movies

Five Friday Favorites: Favorite Christmas Movies
It’s that time of year and we’re getting down to the last week before Christmas.  I always like to prepare with some viewings of some of my favorite holiday films.  These movies all remind me of my childhood and the joy that the season brings.
  1. Muppet Christmas Carol is a staple in my family around the holidays.  My brothers and I have the soundtrack practically memorized along with most of the dialogue.  This classic Christmas story is told much better by Muppets, in my mind.  And who can beat a Ghost of Christmas Present that looks like an Irish Santa Claus?  No one.
  2. Scrooge, with Albert Finney, is one of my mother’s favorite Christmas movies.  This grumpy, hunchback Scrooge always gets me laughing, especially during the song “I Hate People.”  Check this version out if you’re looking for an older version of the classic story.
  3. Christmas Vacation.  What’s better than Christmas with the Griswolds?  Every family is a little bit Griswold-ish at times and I’m sure everyone has that crazy Uncle lurking around.  So flick on those holiday lights and enjoy this family disaster…I mean, celebration.
  4. Elf.  Will Ferrell is quite possibly my favorite comedian and to have him star in a Christmas movie is like a dream come true.  There are so many good parts of this movie – the mail-room dance scene, the goodbye letter, and especially the confrontation with Peter Dinklage, the South Pole elf.
  5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  Sometimes I watch this movie to remember what Taylor Momsen was like before Gossip Girl, but other times I watch it to laugh until my sides ache.  Jim Carrey is magnificent and incredibly creepy as the Grinch.  Favorite part – when he stands on Mount Crumpit, hating the Whos….alphabetically.

Enjoy these holiday movies and hope for some snow!


I went to grad school and all I got were these silly glasses.

Friends, my eyes have been killing me lately.  It all started towards the middle of the semester when, after hours of working on my laptop, reading through articles, and staring at PowerPoint presentations, I would have this incredibly severe pain in my eyes.  Once it was so bad during a lecture that I had to close my laptop, stop taking notes, and try to soothe my watery eyes by looking down at the table.  I realized just how much more I was using my eyes now.

That sounds silly, I know, but graduate school has meant a lot more screen time and a lot less relaxing time.  So I decided to get my eyes checked out and lo, and behold, my doctor suggested I get a pair of reading glasses.  Well, more so reading-working-on-the-computer-and-in-class glasses.  And since that’s basically all I do anymore, they’re pretty much going to be an all the time thing.

While at first I was a little bummed out because I’ve never had any eye issues before.  Having glasses seems like just one more thing for me to keep track of an inevitably lose.  And it’s not like I could ever wear contacts – I hate using eye drops or putting anything on my eyes.  After some initial disappointment and a short chat with my mother, I decided that I was excited to explore the glasses-wearing world.

A friend suggested that I check out this company called Warby Parker, named after two Kerouac characters.  I thought, alright, I’ll give it a try.  And then my mind was blown.

WP carries all kinds of classic and unique styles that pretty much anyone can appreciate.  I signed up to use their Home Try On system where they send you five pairs of glasses of your choosing and you have five days to test them out and show them to your friends.  Then, after you’ve decided which ones you want to actually buy, you ship them all back, order your pair online, and they’ll get your frames and prescription lenses sent on their way!  It’s pretty awesome to be able to test out the glasses at home before you buy them, even if they aren’t your prescription.  I’ve been wearing the Ainsworth around all day to test them and I can’t wait to get my pair in the mail next week, just in time for me to be able to do some leisure reading without straining my eyes over the break!




P.S. Did you notice the snow?!  What a lovely little add-on!