December 2017: Month in Review

What I’ve Been Up To:

There’s going to be a bit more on where I’ve been life-wise coming up in my 2018 goals post, but it will surprise no one that 2018 has been a year for re-grouping and coping. It was the worst of times and…it was also the worst of times. On the plus side, I did a lot of reading for mental health purposes and because Jessie made me.


I’ve mentioned this before, but I did consider closing my blog this year. There was a period of time in October where I was convinced I’d be closing it down in this post. So yeah. I don’t know how much more I have in me, but I’m feeling more inspired as the year ends and a fresh new one begins, so I’ll carry on, wayward daughters and sons until I’m sure I’m done with this. I have big plans for 2017, so I know I’ll be blogging a bit less, but I don’t know yet quite how that will shake out.


While I’d been doing a lot of dating, aka going on a lot of first and maybe second dates with people from OKCupid, as soon as the cold weather hit for good, my winter hibernation instincts kicked in. Though it sounds like potentially depressive behavior, I do feel fine, aside from not wanting to go anywhere or see anyone. That’s okay, right? Does anyone else get less social in the winter?


2017 has been a year of clinging to comfort wherever I can find it. That means I didn’t find a lot of new music this year. Instead of monthly playlists of new stuff I’d found, I have one playlist for the whole year, which I’m sharing below.

My favorite find was easily The Family Crest, but considering the whole playlist only has 83 songs and at least a quarter are The Family Crest, that wouldn’t have been hard for you to discern on your own lol.

Movies & TV:

Though I haven’t been watching much TV this year because of how freaking much time I’ve spent reading, I took a bit of a break during this holiday season, so I’ve got some binges to report.

Earlier in the month, Gillian and I did two Christmas movie watching sessions. First we watched A Christmas Prince, because Rose McIver + royal romance = Christina and Gillian trap. It was…not good. And not even in the fun way. If I’d been watching it solo, I would have turned it off. It’s like Princess Diaries 2 was eaten by a dog and then vomited up again semi-intact, plus a couple of scenes stolen directly from other movies, like the random foray into Beauty and the Beast. The acting is as wooden as the plot point acorn, perhaps because the script is atrociously awful. Swing and a miss, Netflix.

Our second venture, Christmas Inheritance, with Eliza Taylor, went sooooo much better. It hits all the points that it needed to, stays fluffy, has a solid ship, and doesn’t go for many cheap shots on the spoiled heroine, aside from the ridiculous opening scene. It’s really good at being a cheesy Christmas movie, and the plot, script and acting are huge improvements from A Christmas Prince.

I’m mired in the middle of season 6 of New Girl. Though it’s not gotten to late Gilmore Girls levels of bad, it’s not as solid as it was. Season 5 was also rough. They set everything up to get Nick and Jess back together but then didn’t. What’s going on feels a bit ooc at times, and I’m just not really in the mood right now. I will finish and watch the new season as it airs, but I needed a break.

I began my holiday binge of impulse watches with The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Gillian had recommended it highly, and I decided to give it a go. Immediately the snappy dialog and humor captured me, because it is an Amy Sherman-Palladino show. I absolutely love Miriam and Susie. Miriam’s parents are a complete hoot. The humor is massively on point, though it’s tragic how much of Miriam’s comedy about gender roles still applies. So far literally the only thing I don’t like is Joel. He in no way deserves to get to touch Miriam after what she did to him, and I want a new love interest for her SOON.

Since I was Amazon Prime, I followed my impulses to Doctor Thorne, a miniseries of a Trollope novel. I’ve watched a couple of other Trollope adaptations (The Way We Live Now and He Knew He Was Right) and I really liked them both, so this was an obvious choice for me. Doctor Thorne isn’t perhaps the best of them and I did find out at the end that it was the Weinstein Company which bleh, but I did enjoy it. Doctor Thorne has a very similar plot to Mansfield Park, though it’s much stronger and sweeter and doesn’t end with cousins marrying each other. The love interest is saccharinely sweet but handsome enough to pull it off. The heroine’s very likable if also a bit overly good. The titular Doctor Thorne is a very good guy, though I’d have preferred for it to be more the story of the younger people (although I did like the hint at a ship for Thorne himself at the end).

Sticking with Amazon Prime, I moved on to Good Girls Revolt. I’d heard a little bit about this one but nothing really on book Twitter. This show is precisely Mad Men meets The Newsroom. Set in the late 1960s, it follows a group of reporters (men) and researchers (women) at the fictional News of the Week (based on Newsweek). The show deals with sexism, racism, and other issues of the 1960s. The start’s rough, and overall it does feel more like Mad Men than anything else. As time goes on, the show does shift to feel a little bit less male gaze-y, but it never totally shakes that, despite centering on the female characters and their issues. I liked it, with reservations. It very much trends to the melodrama and ill-advised sexy times (which made me cringe rather than ship).

In an interesting contrast, I shifted to The Bold Type, because all the feminist shows I’d been downing reminded me how much I wanted to watch that one, and, when I found it was on Hulu now, HURRAH, my mind was made up. The Bold Type made a very fascinating thematic follow-up to Good Girls Revolt obviously, since it’s also about women working at a magazine, only a contemporary women’s mag. I really enjoyed this show, though again with some reservations. The show is, on the whole, unbelievably optimistic; this is personified in Jacqueline Carlyle, the magazine’s editor, who is forgiving and kind, only ever wanting to help the people below her and on point with her feminism. On the one hand, I think this weakens the show from a plot perspective, but given the current very real and terrible topics the show tackles, I don’t know if I could watch something more realistic. Adena’s road would not have been so smooth in the real world, I don’t think, but I’m glad that she’s okay. This show made me cry a lot and I have a bunch of feelings about the female friendship. The romances so far are okay but not great. I would love Kat and Adena endlessly, but it’s hard to see them actually making it work, despite the chemistry.

After that, I struggled to choose a new show to watch. I started and abandoned both Dear White People and Master of None. I loved the narration of Dear White People, and I think it’s very clever, but the chosen format is repetitive and doesn’t allow for the huge build in characterization that I like (it runs over the same events from the POV of a different involved character in each episode). I watched two episodes of it, and I might continue at some point, but I didn’t find it binge-able. Then I watched one episode of Master of None, and I really didn’t find the pilot episode funny. Does it get better? How much do I need to watch to get hooked?

Totally at a loss, I remembered that Debby had recommended/made me watch the first episode of Victoria, which is streaming on Amazon. I re-watched the first episode last night, and I’m going to binge season one of that next. After that, I think I’m going to go for season three of The Royals and then The Crown, but we’ll see!

Reviews Posted:

Even with my reading break, I’ve already read 34 books this month. I will hit 440 before the year ends, which should bring me to 37 for December. It hasn’t been a great reading month for me. Even with the DNFs, I’ve had a lot of low ratings. Oh well. On to 2018!


A lot of reads means a lot of DNFs. Well, at least at the start of the month. Then I had a string of great reads and got overly optimistic again, so I ended without many DNFs and a lot of underwhelming reads. *sighs*

Okay, I’m not going to itemize them, but I do want to call out a couple. Nobody, 100 Hours, and Smut were truly terrible. Doesn’t mean there’s no one who will like them, but, on the whole, if you agree with me most of the time, probably don’t bother. Fortune Favors the Wicked was really poorly written, but not problematic like those.

Optimists Die First is about a different sort of anxiety than I have, so it created a weird sort of cognitive dissonance for me. I had the same issue with 10 Things I Can See from Here, so maybe if you liked that, check out ODF.

I do think that the Bone Universe books by Fran Wilde are truly outstanding…if you’re not a character reader. The characterization and voice are seriously lacking, but the world building is phenomenal and the plots are interesting and the pacing is solid.

Shadowcaster is an interesting case, because based solely on the content of this series, they’re good enough I probably wouldn’t DNF. However, they’re spin-offs of Seven Realms, and the way that Chima dispatches her characters from that series is incredibly disrespectful and also wasteful narratively. It feels like she hates Seven Realms, and I don’t want to spend time with her characters if she doesn’t even like and respect them.

2 responses to “December 2017: Month in Review”

  1. I definitely get in hibernation mode, and would even more if I was somewhere where it gets genuinely cold all the time! I think that’s ok <3 and I am almost always about comfort music, I don't venture to new things often unless I find them by accident haha. Christmas Inheritance looked cute from the trailer!! Kind of glad I skipped Christmas Prince for now. I know exactly what you mean about New Girl- Seasons 5 and 6 weren't the best but season 6 gets really good in the last few episodes. And Season 7 is going to time jump a little, which is always good for a reset I think. I haven't watched any of the other shows you mentioned but I do want to watch Victoria and I got the dvd of Timeless Season 1 for Christmas so now I can finally finish the season! Finished catching up on Brooklyn 99 today too, huzzah. 37 books is just… I can't fathom!!! I bow down to you and Jessie both. Seriously amazing!! Noooo I'm bummed to hear that about Shadowcaster! And scared to read it because it sounded better than the first book but ugh why must she ruin Seven Realms 🙁 I hope your 2018 is off to a great start 🙂
    Morgan @ The Bookish Beagle recently posted…2017 End of Year SurveyMy Profile

  2. Gillian says:

    ” The acting is as wooden as the plot point acorn” NEVER FORGET THE PLOT POINT ACORN
    YAYYYY MRS. MAISEL and totally agree, Joel can choke

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