In this feature we’re wrapping up the month by sharing our favorite activities, pursuits, and interests. We’d love to hear what you’ve been up to, too, so let us know in the comments. Enjoy!
Beth: Under the Dome by Stephen King. Though I’ve not seen the TV adaptation of this novel, I was intrigued when it came out last fall, so I picked up the book. This 1000+ page behemoth requires a commitment but it goes pretty fast. It describes what happens to a small town when the people inside are trapped one day by an invisible dome that separates them from the rest of the world. There was a lot I found disturbing in the book (animals dying, a rape scene) but the story was so compelling that I pushed myself through those parts to find out what happened. Not exactly an uplifting ending, but a satisfying one, nonetheless.
Another winner from this month’s reading pile was Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. If you like historical/period fiction, you’ll love this. It takes place before World War II in New York City and follows one young woman’s experiences moving between different social classes: aristocratic, nouveau riche, working class, and professional, all while trying to navigate her love life and career path. Fascinating–I gobbled this one up in three days and was so bummed out that I’d finished it.
Sarah: How does an obsessed girl get her smack when she blew through the first and second seasons of House of Cards? By reading the book! This is the 1989 novel that the House of Cards series was based on, but with obvious differences. The book takes place across the pond in the world of British Parliament. Frank is there, of course, but in the book he is Francis Urquhart–still power hungry and maniacal, and after the position of Prime Minister. It’s fun to read through the book and figure out where the character inspiration came from for the US series. So far I’m enjoying it, and Francis hasn’t even stepped on anyone yet. I have the feeling it will continue to be a good read.
Beth: I included this link in a Links We Love post at the end of January but didn’t try it out until just recently. The author has adjusted the typical chocolate chip cookie recipe to cater to those who love either chewy or crunchy cookies. I myself love chewy cookies so that’s the version I tried. It delivered–very chewy, soft cookies that stayed that way for days after baking.
Sarah: I tried my hand at making gnocchi recently, and it was so easy, now I’m thinking about different types of potatoes and flavors to created my own versions. If you’ve never made gnocchi before, don’t be scared. It’s much easier than typical pasta. And guess what? In the next few weeks I’ll be sharing my gnocchi making experience with you here on the website, so you can try it out for yourself.
Beth: Orphan Black. I’ve been hearing good things about this Canadian sci-fi series for awhile so I decided to give it a whirl (it’s included for those who have Amazon Prime). The basic premise is that a group of women discover they are clones of each other, that someone’s trying to kill them off, and that people are watching them to see what happens, like a science experiment. Fascinating, quirky, and binge-worthy.
Sarah: Don’t judge me. I had not let myself start this series because prior to now because everyone told me I wouldn’t be able to stop watching. But damn if I am not hooked on the glass Walter White is cooking, because I CAN NOT stop watching Breaking Bad. Bryan Cranston is so mesmerizing, I now understand why people couldn’t get enough. Damn you Heisenberg!
Sarah: Well, I’m currently on the Central Coast of beautiful California. I always forget how green it stays here. Boise is as brown as it can be during winter, and it takes a while for things to blossom and green up come spring. Here in San Luis Obispo and the surrounding area, just about everything is verdant. Such a nice reminder that winter is over!
Even the beach has green parts!
Sarah: With a 5K coming up at the end of April, it’s time to get my body back in running shape. I’m always good for a few miles, but for some reason anything over 2.5 becomes a challenge for me. Now that spring has officially sprung, it’s time to get myself back out there and start pushing myself farther. I’m sure I’ll make repeat visits to one of our favorite blogs around these parts, Run Eat Repeat, for training and nutritional advice. She eats pancakes after her long runs. I like that.
I also strapped skis onto my feet for the first time in my life this past winter. Albeit cross country skis, I found out what a great workout skiing is. I didn’t necessarily feel like I was working too hard as I was skiing along, but once I stopped I could feel how worked my lower body was. Plus, I was proud of myself for trying something new that involved my feet not being firmly planted on the ground. I have a weird thing about that.
Beth: Yeah, it’s an oldie but I’ve been listening to Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black album on repeat. I think I need to bring back the word “fuckery” (from Me and Mr. Jones). You know, in everyday conversation, like if my husband makes a mess in the kitchen–“What kind of fuckery is this?”
Sarah: One of my all time favorite UK bands, Elbow, just released a new album and that is seeing a lot of play in my house right now. Elbow is one of those groups that has been together for quite a long time (25 years), but it took a little while for their talent to fully be recognized. I love their melodic, interesting song arrangements. If you’re not familiar with them, here’s a song you might recognize… no fuckery going on here.
So, what are you currently into? If you’re in a sharing kind of mood, let her fly in the comments!