Wednesday, 13 January 2021

The Making of Outlander by Tara Bennett

 


Any other Outlander fans in the house? I have been slowly working my way through the books and the television series. My process has been to read a book and then watch the corresponding season on Netflix. Along the way, I discovered these beautiful books from Tara Bennett. There is one for Outlander seasons 1&2 and this one for Outlander seasons 3&4.

The Making of Outlander is a guide to the behind the scenes process for the creation of the show. It has interviews with the cast and crew, gorgeous photography, and insights into each episode. When reading the most recent instalment for seasons 3 and 4, I particularly enjoyed all of the details about the visual effects work done to bring the show to life. Who knew digital water could be so interesting?! And true Outlander book fans will be satisfied in learning the reasons why the show sometimes takes creative differences from the original novels.

Finishing this book definitely has me excited to pick up the next book in the series. I'm on The Fiery Cross (book 5). I believe the 5th season of Outlander is coming to Netflix in Canada later this week, so this would be the perfect book to browse through before you begin binging the next season.

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me this copy to enjoy. I loved it!
xo
Jenn

Saturday, 2 January 2021

My Favourite Books of 2020 and 10 Hopefuls for 2021

 


Picking my favourite books of the year is never easy. I usually try to stick to a top 10, but this year I just couldn't do it. I had it narrowed my titles down to a dozen or so, but then it felt completely ridiculous to keep going back and forth to decide which books I liked just a little bit more than the others. I didn't want to judge them so much, and it felt entirely unfair to the authors. I read so many wonderful books this year, and I want to celebrate all of them. I read 90 books this year, and I made a stack of my Top 16 (in no particular order).





In 2020, I read 10 less books than 2019, but according to Goodreads, I only read about 600 pages less. I definitely read bigger books this year! #thankslesmiserables. I find it particularly fascinating that I read less given the pandemic. I felt like I was reading more, but it turns out that wasn't the case.




In general, I'm quite pleased with what and how I read in 2020. I read so many incredible stories, I made progress on my unread shelves, I used the library a bit more often, and, while I know it can be better, I did read more Canadian authors and authors of colour this year than I ever have before.

A few more bookish stats (2019 numbers)

34% were published this year (39%)
29% were ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐  reads for me (23%)
0.5% were rereads (0%)
17% were nonfiction (27%)
0.5% novellas (2%)
80% were by female authors (85%)
18% were by authors of colour (14%)
22% were by Canadian authors (20%)
0% books in French (2%)


Right now, I own 226 unread books. This year, I want to have as few reading commitments as possible (outside of my IRL book club.)

What I am keeping in my reading life for 2021:
*Focusing on my unread shelves
*Not setting a numerical goal for the year
*Seeking out compelling stories from BIPOC/LGBTQ+/Canadian authors

What I am focusing on in my reading life for 2021:
*Less reading challenges and buddy reads
*Discovering and reading more books in French

Reading from my unread shelves remains a priority for me and on that note, here are my top 10 TBR for 2021.



Friday, 1 January 2021

2021....finally



We are all taking our first steps into this new year today, and it is not easy. We are still in the midst of trauma, and from what I can glean from our social media posts recently, many of us are endeavouring to begin healing at the same time.

So, while I navigate this tension between an ongoing difficult situation and lessons learned, I will walk gently into 2021. 

I will hold space for hope; however tentative it may be.

I just finished reading Wintering by Katherine May, and it has been a long time since I so readily highlighted passages from a book. In one section she says, "Life meanders like a path through the woods. We have seasons when we flourish and seasons when the leaves fall from us, revealing our bare bones. Given time, they grow again."

I imagine us all to be here. At that point when the leaves have fallen, and we are all exposed. We are entering this new year raw and drained and clinging to any light we may find in our day for nourishment. At least, I know I am.

My intentions for 2021 are soft. I hope to be kinder to myself and more patient with others. There will be many days that I forget this intention, but I hope deep breaths and the kindness that is often shown to me by others will help me remember. I hope that for all of us.

"In the meantime, we can only deal with what's in front of us at this moment in time. We take the next necessary action, and the next. At some point along the line, the next action will feel joyful again." Katherine May, Wintering.

xo
Jenn

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