What I’m Into (December 2012)

because shoveling is fun when you're two

I can’t believe it’s the end of December already! I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer again to share What I’m Into this month.

TV and Movies

On the tv front, I’m just waiting for Once Upon a Time and Downton Abbey to come back from hiatus.

I finally got around to watching the BBC 2009 version of Emma starring Romola Garai. Actually, funny story: I went to a party with my husband and met a nice single guy. On the way home I brainstormed which of my single girlfriends I could set him up with. Then I decide it’s a good time to dive in to Emma. I didn’t realize the connection until I was taking a shower the next morning. Funny, no?

I also finally watched Lost in Austen, which was kind of fun for it’s alternate-Austen-universe bit, but all in all, meh. It did have its moments of brilliance. Mr. Collins was so creepy in it it was almost unwatchable.

And I’m still holding steady with the Lizzie Bennet diaries.

Reading

I’m reading too many books to name here, but you can always check the sidebar for what I’m reading, or check out my Pinterest board of the books I read in 2012. I’ll be starting a new one very soon for the 2013 titles.

I had the privilege of meeting Shawn and Maile Smucker at Killer Tribes last spring, when they were in the middle of their cross-country tour on Willie the Big Blue Bus. They’ve just released their book documenting the journey, and it’s excellent. I highly recommend How to Use a Runaway Truck Ramp, which takes its title from a terrifying episode on the Teton Pass.

I loved The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, but I have some complex thoughts about that book. (Mostly, I cannot believe how many people recommended this book to me, knowing I’ve done time as a cancer mom.) More thoughts coming soon.

One of the perks of being a blogger is getting to read great new releases before they come out. Laura Vanderkam’s new ebook What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend was well-timed for me, since weekends at my house have radically changed recently. It will be available on Tuesday for $2.99 (though you can pre-order it now).

I also got a jump on Dan Pink’s latest, To Sell Is Human, which is also releasing on Tuesday. I’ve been looking forward to Dan’s next book for a long time–and that was before I even knew what his subject was. I appreciate his thoughtful, fresh, and sometimes contrarian perspective on life and work. As a writer who’s not exactly comfortable with selling myself, his insights about why “we’re all in sales now” are very encouraging (and practical).

The Highly Sensitive Person. I hadn’t heard this definition until I read Susan Cain’s Quiet earlier this year, but I instantly recognized myself as an HSP when Cain profiled them in Quiet.

Around the Web

5 Phenomenal Pride and Prejudice Adaptations. I don’t agree with Book Riot’s top 5, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy reading them.

The Bookstore Strikes Back. I loved Ann Patchett’s article about her co-founding of Parnassus Books in Nashville that i read in my actual print version of the Atlantic. “You may have heard the news that the independent bookstore is dead, that books are dead, that maybe even reading is dead—to which I say: Pull up a chair, friend. I have a story to tell.”

Work Wear: Office Style at the New York Public Library from the Wall Street Journal’s SpeakEasy blog. Sure, the clothing is interesting, but check out these backdrops! Gorgeous.

The Inconvenient Truth About Mental Health and Gun Control at Rage Against the Minivan. I’ve been avoiding the Sandy Hook news as best I can, but I made myself read this one. I’m glad I did. (Warning: read the comments below and think twice before clicking this one.)

Listening to Xanax: How America learned to stop worrying about worrying and pop its pills instead. “If the nineties were the decade of Prozac, all hollow-eyed and depressed, then this is the era of Xanax, all jumpy and edgy and short of breath…”

On the Blog

You’re gonna have to wait till tomorrow for this one: I’m sharing my Bloggity Highlights of 2012 tomorrow.

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Comments

  1. says

    I liked that version of Emma! I also just went to see a live musical production of Emma which was super fun. Well, I thought it was. Noel was less enthused…

    I think I may be one of the TFiOS recommenders…oops, sorry. I can’t remember if I specifically recommended it to you, but I know that I’ve been plugging it like crazy!

    • Anne says

      I think you might have been :) You should have seen my face on page 5. (Also, there may or may not have been profanity involved.) But I’m glad I stuck it out, so thanks for the plug all the same. But it definitely made me aware of the potential repercussions of my own recommendations. …

  2. Karen says

    I have enjoyed your blog immensely, but I wish I hadn’t clicked on the link about gun control. I must be a highly sensitive person. :-)

  3. says

    I am constantly swapping books with one of my good friends. A few years ago she lost her beautiful young daughter to leukaemia. I have to be so careful about what I recommend to her. It just requires a little thoughtfulness, right? Thanks for the heads up about The Fault in Our Stars. :)

    • Anne says

      That’s so fun that you have a good friend you’re always swapping with! And so sweet that you’re so aware of her sensitive spots. (I felt less crazy about the cancer book thing when a friend of mine, who had cancer herself as a young mother in her twenties, never ever ever reads any book whose plot hinges on a parent’s death.)

  4. says

    I’m still chuckling over the Emma revelation. :)

    Did I recommend The Fault in our Stars to you? Eek! I hope I cautioned you away from it. I did love it but I recognize the need for sensitivity.

    Thanks for linking up with What I’m Into!

  5. says

    Wish I hadn’t clinked on the link you gave for “The Inconvenient Truth About Mental Health and Gun Control” at Rage Against the Minivan.

    So many discussions in recent weeks about guns, and so many only partially informed or blindly biased by the media instead of actually informed by the facts and history’s lessons. I don’t know whether to weep or scream.

    • Anne says

      Jamie, both reactions seem perfectly appropriate to me. (And I’m sorry! I tried to warn you about the link, but I’m going to edit to make it more emphatic.)

  6. Linda says

    It’s funny, I was just thinking about borrowing that version of Emma from the library again. I really preferred it to the Gwynneth Paltrow version. I enjoyed Lost in Austen, mostly because I think that many imaginitive readers place themselves in novels and wonder what it would be like if the hero fell in love with them. Having said that, I have to agree, Mr. Collins did give me the creeps!

    My daughters are with you. They too are looking forward to Once Upon a Time’s return!

  7. Heather says

    I’m a very sensitive person, and I thought that gun/mental health article was one of the most balanced and well-thought-out I’ve ever seen on the subject. I am very glad I read it, but you do need to brace yourself, going into it!

    Thanks so much for pointing out the Highly Sensitive Person book. I just bought it off amazon (and a toddler potty seat :) ). Could I ask a quick question? Some of the reviewers mentioned sensory issues, and I think you’ve talked about your son and sensory issues. I used to have big problems with stimulation (the feeling of dirt or sand on me), and today I’m generally highly sensitive. My son flips out when anything “messy” is on him. Is this all related, or are they different things? Is there anything I can do to help him with over-stimulation as he grows up?

    • Anne says

      Heather, I’m about halfway through Elaine Aron’s book, and my initial impression is that while sensory issues (like the feeling of dirt or sand on skin) and the traits of highly sensitive people (extremely sensitive to the emotions of others, violence, as well as stimulation from lights and sounds) overlap, they are not exactly the same thing.

      I would highly recommend you check out the book The Out-of-Sync Child, and perhaps its companion The Out-of-Sync Child has fun. I wrote about them here as Books That Make Me Feel Like I’m Not Crazy.

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