What I’m into (January 2015 edition)

What I’m into (January 2015 edition)

from instagram: winter coping strategies

This month we rang out the old year, made crazy plans for the new, endured some truly terrible dreary winter days and a few gloriously sunny and un-frigid ones, read a lot of books, and built a lot of fires.

We celebrated a few milestones: a bunch of years cancer-free. Sarah got her ears pierced. Two boys had birthdays.

birthday collage then and now

Silas’s original birthday, and his fifth

I’m also starting to think about what’s going to happen when I pick up my NaNoWriMo manuscript again. When I finished it back in November, I closed the file, shoved all my notes in a drawer, and resolved not to touch it till February 1. It’s almost time …

What I’m watching

We stayed up way too late watching the series finale of Parenthood. So good.

I’m watching Downton Abbey again (although I haven’t seen this week’s episode yet). Is it just me, or is this season way soapier than previous ones?

I gave The March Family Letters from Pemberley Digital a try … and I’m not sure I care. Nice premise, but it’s no Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

In my ears

I’ve been listening to a few new-to-me podcasts:

The Popcast by Knox and Jamie. They remind me of how much I don’t know about popular anything. Their Oscar coverage is terrific.

• I’ve followed Jeni at The Blog Maven for a while now and finally checked out a great episode of her Blog Smarter podcast, where she talks with Tsh Oxenreider about simplifying your blogging life.

I just started listening to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, one of the six (!) books I got from Audible’s big sale. (It’s over for now, but I hope there will be another one soon.)

my highbrow amazon cart

my highbrow Amazon cart

What I’m reading

I finally finished The Brothers K, a book I’ve been meaning to read that has been recommended by numerous people with great taste.

Fairest and Veronica Mars: Mr. Kiss and Tell arrived on Wednesday: two of the books I can’t wait to read in 2015.

And I started my reading year by knocking two more books I’ve been meaning to read off the list: I finished Still by Lauren Winner and The Sensory Child Gets Organized by Carolyn Dalgliesh.

2015 reading challenge

On the blog

My accidental capsule wardrobe. I sat down to write a post about why I don’t have a capsule wardrobe—and then realized that I did.

The beginner’s great big guide to audiobooks. This is, uh, huge. Everything you need to know to get started, but I’d be surprised if experienced audiophiles didn’t pick up a few tips and titles, too.

The 2015 MMD Reading Challenge. (It’s not too late to join!)

9 novels to curl up with this winter. Your winter reading list.

Survival strategies for winter, my least favorite season. My favorite coping tips. I loved the ones you shared, too.


Best of the web

19 perfectly emotional Parenthood moments. Grab the tissues. (I have been thinking about #15 so much recently.)

The meteorology of Little House on the Prairie. “I’d never had a real clear idea of what “the train can’t get through” really meant. But, as it turns out, when the train company said they couldn’t get the trains through, they were not messing around.

There are two kinds of readers; one is more likely to become a writer. “What’s perceived as the antisocial nature of “substantive” authors, whether it’s James Joyce’s exile or J. D. Salinger’s reclusion, derives in large part from the social isolation that’s necessary for inhabiting an imagined world.”

7 surprising things that can help you stop worrying. Change your bedtime, eat chocolate, smell a grapefruit. I love grapefruit.

That time Queen Elizabeth terrified the Saudi King with her driving. This makes me want to rewatch The Queen immediately, and read all the Eleanor Roosevelt books I have stored up on my Kindle. I realize the second one makes no sense, other than they’re clearly both badass women.

What were you into in January?

Linking up with Leigh Kramer to share what I’ve been into lately. 

more posts you might enjoy

47 comments | Comment


Leave A Comment
  1. Hey Anne …

    I’ve been hanging out here, kind of quietly, the last month of so. Just love your space and the conversations back and forth. And yes, I’ve been reading, reading, reading.

    Is there anything else to do in January?


  2. Melinda Stanton says:

    I have been a Downton fanatic for years and I’m so disappointed in season 5. Not enough to break up, but at this point I’m really hoping they kill it off before it “jumps the shark.” Really, Julian Fellowes? Can we not find a good story line without resurrecting the old put-a-Bates-in-jail-for-murder line, and can we not find a suitable scandalous girlfriend for Tom without making her rude and boorish?

    • Delphine says:

      Agreed. He just keeps reusing the same story lines. Bates probably murdering. Barrow bullying. I would be so sad if it got cancelled though!

    • liz n. says:

      I have a vague memory of Julian Fellowes saying that Downtown will go another two seasons or three seasons, and then done.

      And, yes, Season Five is wearing on me. I feel like the audience is being set up to sorely dislike Miss Bunting so that Fellowes can throw in a dramatic incident to make us all think, “Ohhh, well, then, she’s actually wonderful!” If he pulls this trick, I will fix the television screen with a glare worthy of the Dowager.

  3. karen says:

    Loved Winner’s Still. And have been inspired by your Reader’s Challenge. So many great bloggers reading great works of fiction… think I’m going to have to up my reading game this year. 🙂

  4. Delphine says:

    Ugh, Downton. I knew when Matthew died it was never going to fully recover, but I keep watching in hopes it will! Can’t Edith be anything but the sad, red headed middle child? Agree with comments above about Miss Bunting. And even Mary’s story line is just kind of boring. I wish it would come back to life!

  5. Katie says:

    On the link to the fast company article it should say how to stop worrying not start! I don’t want to do anything that will help me start worrying!

  6. I look forward to hearing more about your novel manuscript! I write (short stories + novels) but haven’t done NaNoWriMo. I think your approach makes a lot of sense. Yay for Feb 1!

  7. I’m not sure how I came across you but on a binge read through your archives I learned how to better organize drawers, found some great podcasts, was inspired to dig back into books and document with that cute book journal:) Discovered A Paper Source and although it was an hour and a half away…we happened to have a yearly Drs. Appointment that got us a mere five minutes from it so I found my Joy journal and some other beautiful goodness. I can’t wit to see what you gave in store for the Restore workshop. Feeling grateful in January:)

  8. E says:

    Thanks for a great post with lots of great things for me to look into this weekend! Speaking of which, how can I find The Blog Smarter podcast on itunes? I’ve tried searching for it under every possible term and can’t find it anywhere! Any ideas?
    Thanks! E

    • Jeni says:

      Hi E, I just stopped by to thank Anne for the share and saw your comment. I’m not planning to submit the Blog Smarter podcast to directories until I have five or six episodes done (that was the first!). For right now, you can just listen to that episode or download it straight from my blog. And your best bet for future episodes will be to subscribe via email; I’ll definitely let my list know when another one is published. Hope you enjoy it!

  9. liz n. says:

    Let’s see, January, January, what have I been into?

    As per usual, my January is filled with “getting done,” and I end up reading very little. In fact, I’ve only read two books! It’s been project after project, all of which came to a sudden stop when we discovered a leak in my closet. Every. Single. Item. In my closet is now cluttering up the bedroom, living room, the MOTH’s closet, dining, etc., while repairmen make a lot of noise and mess.

    Fortunately, we’ve had such mild weather that my winter blues have been sunshined away, and that is good!

    And I have a major embroidery project that is driving me up the wall sideways, but I’m enjoying the challenge!

  10. Lizzie says:

    I just started watching Parenthood a week or two ago. I’m in season two now. It’s so good (though avoiding spoilers is a bit difficult), I don’t know how it evaded me all these years.

    Also, I heard (though I don’t know for sure) that the The March Diaries isn’t made by Pemberley Digital, just distributed by them. Fingers crossed for the next PD production, though I don’t think anything will ever beat the phenomenon that was the Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

  11. The March Family Letters hasn’t been the greates but, if you liked the Lizzie Bennet Diaries give The Autobiography of Jane Eyre a try – it’s not from Pemberley Digital but it is comparable to Lizzie Bennet; Also the Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet is so much better than I expected it to be and I hear that this summer they are releasing a spinoff/sequel from Lydia’s perspective.

  12. Breanne says:

    I blew through Veronica Mars: Mr. Kiss and Tell- I haven’t read the first one but this one was just fun. I loved hearing more of the backstories and the character development. Yup, major fan girl over here. 😉

  13. Anne says:

    Watch out, I have read two books instead of racing to finish only one before Quick Lit! Haha! But that also makes me two Downtons behind. I’ve been listening to Jennifer Fulwiler’s podcasts (just parts of her Sirius show). 3-4 bloggers had read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn 1 or 2 Quick Lits ago….totally put it on my TBR list. Never read it as a girl. Are you all deciding each month which book to check off the challenge? Or did you line up all your books for the year?

  14. “Downton Abbey” is a little soapy this season, but soapy ain’t always bad. I’m enjoying it thoroughly, although that storyline with Edith and her child is breaking my heart. Gut-wrenching! (That said, I have a feeling the baby-daddy will be coming back into the picture soon.)

    I wouldn’t say I’m into the flu, exactly, but it certainly seems to be into me. I missed four out of five days of work this week. It is good to be resurfacing and slowly rejoining the living. Otherwise I’m into Trader Joe’s scones, esp while watching “Downton.”

  15. Angela says:

    The last NaNoWriMo was my saddest year ever! I didn’t get much writing done at all. Too much things happening around me. I hope this year will be different. Good luck on your manuscript…I’m guessing revisions and editing?

  16. Suzanne says:

    I am a fan of #7 on the worrying list. Thanks for staring the constant love of books. I want to rekindle my love of reading and your passion helps.

  17. Leigh Kramer says:

    If you need a sounding board when you pick your manuscript back up, you know where to turn. Downton is a bit soapier this season but I don’t mind too much. I would definitely like them to wrap up this stupid “Bates is maybe a murder suspect” storyline. Been there, done that.

  18. Laura says:

    I’ve been doing more knitting than reading this winter, but have a few that I want to get through before the spring. I love your suggestions, I just added the Brothers K to my list.

  19. Renee P. says:

    Yes, Downton is not up-to-snuff this season. Maybe we’ll be surprised at the end?? I’ll keep watching and keep hoping! (Though I’m so tired of poor, depressed Edith.)

    • Anne says:

      I’ve heard great things about Classic Alice but haven’t tried it. Thanks for the nudge. 🙂 And thanks for the rec on East & West—that one’s new to me.

  20. Melodee says:

    The March Family Letters is a disappointment so far. They released a pilot episode back in March and I got SO excited — but then their actress for Jo in the pilot had to back out of the project and I’m having a really hard time liking the new one, and the chemistry between the cast isn’t the same either. The pilot Jo had delighted me immediately. (Oh, and a previous comment is correct – this is made by a group of young people in Canada and just distributed through PD.)

  21. Jamie says:

    I feel like what you’re into one month fills up my next month. I prefer that method.

    Thank you you too for The Popcast high five. We are here to educate the world on things that entertain, but don’t matter. 🙂

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