Hello again, my dear friends! I hope you’ve had a lovely month! It seems cliche to say, but this month (and this year because oh my god 2019 is at its end somehow???! And it’s the end of a whole ass decade too like oh my god?!) flew by so fast. With the month, the year, and the decade all closing, it’s time for some endings, some beginnings, and some big changes for all of us I’m sure.
Reflecting back on the past 10 years, I can’t believe how much has changed for me and that I’m where I am in my life now! All in a good way, though! There’ve been low points for sure, but there were definitely way more high points and things to be grateful for. Bottom line is I’m so happy to have made it through and I’m hopeful for what’s to come.
Let’s get to what y’all came for: the wrap up!
✵.* • : ★ .•
B L O G N E W S
B L O G P O S T S
- November 2019 Wrap Up
- 10 Books From The Past Decade I Need To Read
- My Top 10 BEST Books/Series Of The 2010s
✵.* • : ★ .•
B O O K I S H S T U F F
Sadly, while I started a few books in December, I only managed to actually finish one. Luckily, I did greatly enjoy that book! The book I finished was The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White, which I gave 4/5 stars. The Guinevere Deception tells the story of Guinevere, who is actually a changeling sent to protect King Arthur. The story was so much fun and I loved all of the characters. All in all, it was a great time to read!
I actually don’t really have anything on my TBR for January. Unfortunately, I’ve found myself in a bit of a reading slump, so I don’t want to put pressure on myself about what I should read. That being said, I hope I’ll read at least one book so keep your fingers crossed for me!
In terms of books acquired, my haul for December is pretty sparse. I did get hardback copies of Kingsbane by Claire Legrand and the special 10th anniversary edition of City of Bones by Cassandra Clare for Christmas, but that’s all. Regardless, I’m really thankful and excited for the books I did get!
✵.* • : ★ .•
D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9 F A V O R I T E S
I rarely go to see movies when they’re in theaters but I was so excited for Knives Out that I dragged my mom to the theater to see it. (Okay, okay! Admittedly “dragged” may not exactly be the correct term, seeing as she really wanted to see the movie too. But anyhoo…) And luckily it paid off! I love love loved the movie!!! Everything about it was *chef’s kiss* absolute perfection! From the acting to the setting and atmosphere to the plot—it was all just brilliant! I especially loved the characters of Marta, who I really related to. If you’re into the board game Clue and/or classic murder mysteries like Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes, then this is absolutely a movie for you!
I also watched the beginning of Netflix’s adaptation of The Witcher and…wow! Talk about a great show! As someone who has never watched Game of Thrones but did passively pay attention to the show’s progression, as well as news for the show, let me just say that I think The Witcher is absolutely a strong contender for a replacement show now that Game of Thrones has ended! But even better is that I’ve heard from folks who’ve watched through this first season of The Witcher that the show contains no rape and/or brutalization of women and little mention of it happening off-screen, which in my mind puts it a cut above Game of Thrones! Full of action, adventure, romance, and humor, The Witcher is a promising new show I look forward to following!
I got into a new audio drama podcast called TANIS, and, man, it it good! It’s follows a (fictional) podcaster, Nic Silver, who’s obsessed with the mystery of this thing called Tanis. No one knows what Tanis is (Is it a place? A thing?? A person??? Who knows.), but Nic sets out to find it, despite the violence and general weirdness and creepiness that seems to surround Tanis. TANIS is suspenseful and full of mystery and keeps you hooked the whole way through. A great podcast to check out!
I’ve absolutely got to mention Harry Style’s latest album, Fine Line! Oh. My. God. Wow! Talk about a surprise favorite! I wasn’t a big One Direction fan and I didn’t even get into Harry’s music when he first went solo. I mean, I heard a few of of the popular singles off his debut album, but nothing ever struck me. But one day this past month I randomly decided to give Fine Line a listen and…wow. There’s not much more I can say! His latest music is fresh and fun and I love it! He’s got that British Invasion rock sound mixed with a hint of modern pop and it’s so much fun! Definitely give it a listen!
A good friend of mine recently introduced me to the YouTube channel ContraPoints and I just fell in love with it! It features a trans woman hilariously discussing all kinds of topics regarding society and it it a riot! Definitely check it out if you have a chance.
I also fell in love with this Target coat and thus immediately nabbed it! I love how fitted it is and how the tie adds a little extra to that. Plus it reminds me of a female Sherlock Holmes-eque coat and how can you say no to that? You can’t.
In other news, I read this article from The Atlantic which talked about the downsides of the morning routine trend and I found it absolutely fascinating! As someone with ADHD and chronic fatigue, I’ve never subscribed to the whole morning routine fad, but I’ve always wondered if I could, would it make me more productive? This article made me feel a bit better about structuring my life the way I need in order to be most productive and not the way society tell me I should.
Another thing I’ve been loving is @aaolomi‘s regular Twitter threads on Middle Eastern folklore and mythology. For those of you who don’t know, I’m part Lebanese, so reading these threads is such a treat! It makes me so proud to see people interested in our region of the world for something other than violence. The threads are full of such magic and wonder and I love seeing a new one hanging out on my Twitter timeline most weeks!
Speaking of Twitter, I’ve got one more favorite from there to talk about. It’s Jessica Dore’s account! Dore is a licensed social worker who uses daily tarot readings to reflect on mental health topics. I love her combination of mysticism and mental health and I always come away from reading her tweets feeling I have a bit more clarity and knowledge.
✵.* • : ★ .•
D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9 M E M O R I E S
I’m not gonna lie, December was quite up and down for me emotionally. There were plenty of high points, but I really struggled with my depression during the first half of the month. But, despite that, I actually rounded off the month strong and feeling much better, with lots of happy moments.
First off, I finished off my college fall semester strong, landing an A in my Calculus I class and a B in my Intro to the Short Story class! More importantly, I feel like the Fall 2019 semester was the first time in a long time that I genuinely enjoyed school, which was a great feeling! All in all, I think we can count this past semester as a great success.
Speaking of school, a good friend of mine graduated college and so my friend group and I all went out to a fancy dinner to celebrate. As per usual, I had a great time with my besties and I even got to see and catch up with a good friend of mine who I hadn’t seen since high school!
And, of course, there was Christmas, which was a total success this year! My family has a tiny, tiny tree which we decorated along with the help of my best friend Abi and which turned out really pretty. The Christmas feast was great too with a delicious spread of greens, Mediterranean style stuffing, salmon, and lemon blueberry cake. And, naturally, the presents were great! I got some clothing, books, and bath/beauty products and I’m so excited to get to everything!
Last but not least, New Year’s Eve was an absolute blast! My best friends and I went to a big party and we had a great time! We laughed, we danced the night away, we had a great time! I’m so glad to have spent my New Year’s Eve with such awesome people who I love so much.
✵.* • : ★ .•
F O R W A R D T H I N K I N G
January is here and it’s a whole new year, friends! Whew! Can you believe we made it through 2019? Can you believe we’re in a whole new decade?! It’s so crazy, right?!
Now, with the new year comes the timeless tradition of setting New Year’s resolutions. However, I, personally, have never been much of a resolution-setter. Why’s that? Well, here’s the thing: when you think about it, technically, every day marks the beginning of a new year and, as such, every day brings with it a new opportunity for growth and change. So by that logic, we shouldn’t pigeonhole ourselves into only setting goals during a certain period and giving ourselves a strict timeline to accomplish them or else we’ve failed.
But that’s just me.
Truthfully, beyond that philosophical quibble, I also have always had difficulty setting and accomplishing New Year’s resolutions due to my severe ADHD.
This year I thought I’d try something new and different.
I’ve been thinking about it and I really like the idea of setting an intentional “power word/phrase” as a theme to focus on in the coming year. I’ve seen plenty of other people do this and it seems a great alternative to concrete resolution setting.
So, with that being said, my focus phrase for 2020 is… self love!
I feel like in 2019 I kind of lost sight of myself and so in 2020 I really want to turn my focus back to myself and practice self love in all its various forms. I feel like self love is a deceptively tricky thing because it seems so simple, but in fact involves a lot of hard work. Cutting toxic people out of your life, creating firm boundaries, getting rid of habits that don’t serve you and/or your goals—these are all forms of self love that I plan on practicing that are incredibly difficult. But it all starts with a step and I’m happy to say that I’m ready to take that step!
✵.* • : ★ .•
T E L L M E A L L A B O U T I T
- How was your December?
- Is there anything you’re looking forward to in January?
- Do you set New Year’s resolutions? If so, what are your top 2020 resolutions?
- If you set an intentional “power word/phrase” theme for the new year, what is your 2020 word/phrase?
✵.* • : ★ .•
Hey, friend! If you enjoy my content and want to help make Hardcover Haven the best it can be, please consider becoming a paying patron via Patreon!