What I’m Into (November 2012 Edition)

My friend Leigh Kramer (@hopefulleigh to you twitter-ers) does brilliant round-ups once a month where she shares the books, music, web posts, and general good stuff she’s into. Leigh has great taste, so I love reading her “What I’m Into” posts.

Starting this month, she’s making it a link-up, and I couldn’t resist playing along. Here’s a peek at what I’ve been into this past month.

Books I’m Into:

I spent much of October and November reading and re-reading books for Paper Gains. Favorites I re-read included Harriet the Spy, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and Five Children and It.

I just finished Barbara Kingsolver’s new novel Flight Behavior, which had many wonderful moments and a truly horrible ending.

Currently reading: What Alice Forgot, Christmas with Anne (of Green Gables, that is!), Torn, and The Writing Life.

I’m on a design kick, as evidenced by my book stack here:

By the way, I changed the way I’m tracking the books I’ve read. I made a pinterest board, and that link on the sidebar that says “What I’m Reading in 2012” will take you right to it.

Movies & TV

We finally wrapped up our Friday Night Lights bonanza: we’ve spent the last couple of months breezing through all 5 seasons. That is some good tv, folks. But I got behind on current shows while we were immersed in Dillon, Texas.

Now I’m catching up on Once Upon a Time. I’m afraid I’m hopelessly behind on Downton Abbey Season 3; I may have to wait till January to watch it with the rest of the Americans. I’m also keeping up with my new youtube crush The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.


I finally joined Spotify and am really loving it so far. I’ve listened to this playlist too many times to count; it features mellow-ish music from personal favorites First Aid Kit, Bon Iver, the Lumineers, and a slew of others.

I’m also excited to break out the Christmas music. I’ll be listening to Sufjan Stevens, A Spectacular Bluegrass ChristmasOver the Rhine, and my very favorite Andrew Peterson album. It’s aimed at kids, but I love it anyway.

At Home

I’m not really sure what’s gotten into me, but I’ve been on a home improvement kick.

First we finally made it to IKEA to replace our old couch that was literally falling apart. Here’s what my car looked like after our trip:

Then I started experimenting with new (cheap) art for the living room:

Then I reupholstered 6 (disgusting, nasty, grody) dining room chairs. Seriously, if I’d known how easy it was I would have done it years ago:

And I’m still poring through my giant stack of design books for more ideas. My next project is to paint something orange.

Smells of the Season

I love scents. Maybe that’s how we design-challenged folk compensate for our lack of seasonal decorating skills. Currently, my house is filled with the scents of mulling spices, Iowa Pine soap, cinnamon pinecones, and spiced nuts.

On the Blog

You all wanted to talk about…clothes. Which kind of surprised me, but maybe it shouldn’t have. Dress for the Day; Dress for the Life and A Shopping Strategy for Women Who Hate to Shop ignited great discussions about our relationships with our wardrobes.

Around the Web

I always need to be reminded of these 14 Writing Tips from Anne Lamott (over at the Happiness Project). I loved hearing the backstory on this one.

As a certified coffee geek, I’ve been following the story on Starbucks’ new $7 cup of coffee with interest. I also appreciated this (sorta) follow-up on coffee as an affordable luxury–not, for most people, an actual luxury.

I loved Leigh’s post on how to read more than one book at a time. She articulated the strategy I’ve (accidentally) followed for years.

I’m a little obsessed with discussions about personality, so I was completely drawn in by Penelope Trunk’s post on how to talk about your weakness.

This parody of Goodnight Moon:

In the great green-certified room
There was a smartphone
And a silver spoon
And a picture of—

A high-contrast, brain-stimulating black-and-white moon

These beautiful poached pears–when merged with my favorite recipe from The Joy of Cooking (basically, sub wine for water)–were a fabulous Thanksgiving dessert. They’d be great for Christmas, too.

For more “What I’m Into” posts, head over to Leigh’s blog. And there’s plenty of time to write your own post and play along!

What are you into this month?

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Leave A Comment
  1. Krissa says:

    I loved What Alice Forgot! I was telling my husband about this post and how I wish I had time today to write a “What I’m Into” post and he asked if he should email me a photo of himself and I could just post that. Hehe 🙂

    • Anne says:

      Thanks! It’s a regular photo blown up to a 3×4 at Staples. (It’s called an “engineer’s print” and they’re cheap!) I’ll be posting more how-to details soon 🙂

  2. Kate Frishman says:

    Another fabulous Good Night Moon parody is Goodnight iPad by Ann Droyd. So funny. Also, have you seen It’s a Book by Lane Smith? Wonderful!!

    I’m planning to try out the Lizzie Bennett series this weekend. I’m really looking forward to it.

    Is the photo an engineer print from Staples? I keep seeing that post on Pinterest and wondering if it’s accurate. Also, I’m now inspired to finally recover my grody dining room chairs!

    • Anne says:

      You’re so right about Goodnight iPad! But I haven’t seen It’s a Book….off to look it up now 🙂

      And yep, that’s an engineer print from Staples. I’ll be posting more how-to info on that soon.

  3. HopefulLeigh says:

    Flight Behavior has a horrible ending? OH NO! I love me some Barbara Kingsolver and I am dismayed to hear this. Tell me. Wait, don’t tell me. I’d better go request it from the library and then we’ll discuss it.

    Love seeing your home improvement projects. Great category! The Penelope Trunk article was fascinating. I read her sporadically and find her to have such an interesting perspective.

    Thanks for linking up, friend! Good talking to you the other day.

    • Anne says:

      On Barbara Kingsolver: in my opinion. I’m very curious to hear what other readers I know and respect think. (Read it! Read it!)

  4. Elizabeth Kane says:

    Went back and re-read the Penelope article. Another one of her posts worth digesting again. And I’m willing to bet that everyone’s car looks like this after a trip to Ikea. I cannot come back with less than that! It’s a trip I don’t make often, so I gotta make it count.

    Go you with upholstering! Even the mention of the word sounds intimidating. And thanks for the link from Leigh. I’m putting a ton of books on my “read next” wish list that I have no idea I’m going to get through. Tips are gladly welcomed!

  5. Adele says:

    Oh Friday Night Lights, one of my all time favourites; I’m currently re-watching and introducing my sister to it. Progress is slow though, working on season 2.
    About ten people are going to immediately jump down my throat but I’ll say it anyway: you’re not missing much with Downton Series 3. One or two half decent storylines but I needed a big jump in quality to redeem it after Series 2 and that did not happen.
    Am so looking forward to reading Flight Behaviour, is it still worth it even with the horrible ending?

    • Anne says:

      On Downton Abbey: I did see the first episode of season 3 and didn’t think it was fabulous, but it was mostly setting things up for the rest of the season, so I could forgive them for that. (I liked Season 2! It sounds like you didn’t?) I just put it on hold so I could wrap up Friday Night Lights. Good or bad, I still want to watch it and decide for myself.

      Flight Behavior has themes that are definitely going to make a lot of people angry (the plot hinges on climate change) but I thought the book was thoughtful, provocative, and well-done…till the last 3 pages! If you’re looking forward to reading it, don’t skip it just because I didn’t like the ending. Perhaps you’ll disagree with my assessment of the ending, perhaps you won’t–but don’t skip it just because of that!

  6. Kimberly says:

    The Lumineers and Bon Iver are big loves of mine too!! Also can’t go wrong with Mumford or Head and the Heart could you imagine how awesome a Christmas album would be from either of these artists/bands!!!

    • Anne says:

      Kimberly, those are two other favorites of mine! I’d listen to all their Christmas songs, for sure 🙂

      (I’m playing The Civil Wars’ O Come O Come Emmanuel right now–go track it down if you haven’t heard it!)

  7. Jennifer H says:

    We’re reading Harriet the Spy for our bedtime book after you mentioned it last month. Our Christmas music comes from Pandora through our TV – we created a Christmas channel by adding in songs we already knew we loved, and they added ones. I’ve never heard of Spotify. And thank you for telling us about Lizzie Bennett.

  8. Sarah says:

    I completely blame/thank you for my addiction to The Lizzie Bennet Diaries! I haven’t read anything by Barbara Kingsolver, but I’ve heard such good things that I may need to try soon.

  9. Corrie Anne says:

    Love Spotfiy. Listening to that playlist now. 🙂 I read Happier at Home the other day and Cooking for Mr.Latte last night while recovering from a half marathon. We’re into decorating our new house for Christmas for the first time!

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