Fall Round Up

A few things that have caught my eye these past few weeks:

Snowpiercer
OH MY GOODNESS THIS MOVIE. This is one of the most innovative films I’ve seen since, er, well, Boyhood. It takes place entirely on a train. It’s a dystopian/apocalyptic action adventure film and it will blow your mind. Tilda Swinton (below) is incredible. The movie is very violent, though — be forewarned — but it definitely gives you a lot to think about. Watch it with people who are willing to engage in an discussion afterwards. It begs for a debrief.


Putting Cream Cheese on Top of Your Homemade Pizza

This practice has revolutionized my pizza-making. It’s a game-changer, folks. Try it.
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Listening to YA Books on CD
This is great for road trips. My attention span really struggles when trying to listen to intense, serious, fine literature on tape and find that YA books are especially accessible and entertaining when read aloud. A few quick recommendations: Schooled (Korman), Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie (Sonnenblick), The Breadwinner (Ellis), Forged by Fire (Draper). Right now I’m listening to Swanson’s critically acclaimed nonfiction account of JFK’s death, The President Has Been Shot! — so good.

Spending Tracker App
I’ve tried saying receipts and Mint.com and all that jazz but this free app is just so convenient. My husband and I have ours synced so every purchase — even the $1.29 I spent renting Snowpiercer from Redbox — is closely tracked. You can set your own categories and input recurring monthly bills. It also shows cool charts and graphs if you’re into that sort of thing.

Christian Wiman’s Once In the West
I wasn’t familiar with Wiman’s work until I read his beautifully written memoir My Bright Abyss last year. I enjoyed that immensely but have enjoyed his latest collection of poems even more. They waver between grim and hopeful and walk through life, death, faith, relationships, and memories with such depth that you will read and re-read — and possibly re-read — them again.

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Jane the Virgin

Don’t let the title of this one freak you out — this show is fun and smart with a rather addictive plot. Jane Villanueva is a devout Catholic who is actually a virgin but gets pregnant when her rattled gynecologist mistakenly artificially inseminates her. So, sure, it’s highly implausible and over-the-top (based loosely off of a Venezuelan telenovela) but it is both clever and funny in a self-aware, tongue-in-cheek kind of way that’s refreshing. I’m only three episodes in (the 5th one airs tomorrow), but NPR likes it, so, you know. That’s a good sign and all.

Un-Fancy (Fashion Blog)
Fashion blogs are often pretentious, but the premise of this one is particularly compelling: it’s a minimalist approach, with blogger Caroline making super cute outfit combos with just 37 articles of clothing. I like her taste and her extreme devotion to simplicity is inspiring. Thank you to Ensley for looping me in on this!

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Jackie Hill Perry’s The Art of Joy
Methinks the lady can rap. It’s an incredible album and YOU CAN DOWNLOAD IT FOR FREE (LEGALLY!) here.

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