Happy 2022!

This week, one of the challenges in the Skimm newsletter was highlighting bibliotherapy – reading to reduce stress. They say, “studies have found that it can also treat moderate depression. And no lie: Even fiction does the trick. So today, crack open a book for 10 minutes and let those good vibes set in.”

To honor that, I’ll begin with my book recap of 2021 – all books with * before them I recommend, **I highly recommend.

  1. *Nobody Will Tell You This But Me: A True (As Told to Me) Story – Bess Kalb
  2. Big Summer – Jennifer Weiner
  3. The Roommate – Rosie Danan
  4. *The Girl With the Louding Voice – Abi Dare’
  5. Memorial – Bryan Washington
  6. **Anxious People – Fredrik Backman
  7. *The Happy Ever After Playlist – Abby Jimenez
  8. *Hamnet – Maggie O’Farrell
  9. **Writers & Lovers – Lily King
  10. The Book of Longings – Sue Monk Kidd
  11. Crave – Tracy Wolff
  12. Much Ado About You – Samantha Young
  13. Luster A Novel – Raven Leilani
  14. *In a Holidaze – Christina Lauren
  15. *The Midnight Library – Matt Haig
  16. *Second First Impressions – Sally Thorne
  17. Leave the World Behind – Rumaan Alam
  18. Who is Maud Dixon – Alexandra Andrews
  19. **People We Meet on Vacation – Emily Henry
  20. Milk Fed – Melissa Broder
  21. **The Soulmate Equation – Christina Lauren
  22. *The Office of Historical Corrections – Danielle Evans
  23. *Group: How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved My Life – Christie Tate
  24. *The Devil Wears Black – L.J. Shen
  25. *Beautiful World, Where Are You – Sally Rooney
  26. The Song of Achiles – Madeline Miller
  27. *The Heart Principle – Helen Hoang
  28. *The Husbands – Chandler Baker
  29. *The Devil in Disguise – Lisa Kleypas
  30. The Matzah Ball – Jean Meltzer
  31. The Cows – Dawn O’Porter
  32. * Any Way the Wind Blows – Rainbow Rowell
  33. *You Can’t Be Serious – Kal Penn
  34. *The Last Thing He Told Me – Laura Dave
  35. Something She’s Not Telling Us – Darcey Bell

My favorites from this list are:

  1. Anxious People – As previously discussed, I LOVED this book. 5 stars for me.
  2. Writers & Lovers – Casey wants to life the creative life she’s dreamed of, but the real world and all of its pressures make that challenging. So well written.
  3. People We Meet on Vacation – I liked her previous book Beach Read also but I loved this one. It’s fun, it’s funny and there’s romantic tension. Great combo.
  4. The Soulmate Equation – I recommend Christina Lauren books every year, I just love the way they write and the stories they tell. This one is a great example of why they are so, so good. I also loved their In a Holidaze.
  5. Group – I probably wouldn’t have believed this were true if it didn’t say memoir on the cover. I have a master’s in psychology but I have never heard of group therapy like this.
  6. You Can’t Be Serious – You may be asking, “Do I really need to read the memoir of the guy from Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle?” I would answer with a yes. It’s witty, insightful, laugh out loud funny, and yet another lens providing us with a view of racism within the entertainment industry. He manages to break through and then takes a break to go into politics so he could serve his country. A great read.

As for the rest of 2021, I don’t really feel like doing a summary. I can tell you that I really enjoyed Tick Tick Boom and Spider-Man No Way Home. Let’s move onward!

TV

I might be the only person still watching network television. There’s some good stuff there, people! I watch a lot of news and do stream some stuff but everything seems so dark and depressing. Sometimes I just want to laugh. Here are two sitcoms that I am enjoying:

“Ghosts” – CBS. A youngish couple inherits a run-down castle they’d like to turn into a bed and breakfast. After bumping her head while falling down the stairs, Samantha gains the ability to see and speak with the many spirits also living there. It’s funny and sweet.

“United States of Al” – CBS. Watching a Marine and his interpreter who served his unit in Afghanistan struggle to (re)adjust to civilian life in Ohio may not sound funny, but it is. It is also sad and powerful. The events of this past year are reflected here and, at times, it is hard to watch but important to do so.

Speaking of important, I will plug one streaming show:

“Dopesick” – Hulu. My cousin and I watched the first episode and then took a long pause. It is not easy to watch the Opioid crisis bloom and take over the country. She and I picked it up again and then finished the season in two sittings, with my son and husband joining in. It is disgusting and upsetting how Purdue Pharma was able to do what they did. It hurts to watch but you should. Michael Keaton just won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of a doctor in Appalachia; the whole cast should be awarded. The acting is terrific.

Movies

Don’t Look Up – It is NOT about a comet coming to destroy Earth. It is an allegory for climate change – we know it’s coming, we can see that it’s coming, we know the steps we can take to reduce the damage and yet, the indifference shown by every government and all of the media ensure nothing gets done. I’m not sure I loved it but I hope everyone sees it and is moved to do something. Anything.

The French Dispatch – I am a Wes Anderson fan. I have no idea how he thinks up these screenplays and then convinces studios to pay for their production but I’m so glad he does. This one centers on an American newspaper in a fictional French city, with each article coming to life. It’s quirky, confusing and utterly delightful.

Resolutions: I don’t do them. But after seeing how appalled my chiropractor was when he learned that I don’t stretch before or after tennis (or any activity) whilst I’m complaining of aches and pains that I need him to fix, I realized that I should probably rectify that. I found this great Super Pilates Stretch through the FitOn app. Hopefully this link works. The instructor is lovely and calm. I like when she tells me that every day is different. Have a little bit of grace for where you are and just work from there. I think that applies to life in general.

Happy 2022, be well.

2 thoughts on “Happy 2022!

  1. Laura

    I hope everyone watches dope sick. The brutal reality of what addiction does to loved ones cuts to the core of the problem. Every time I have to face a loved one that has relapsed I think of the characters in Dope Sick and how no matter how hard they tried they could not stop themselves. Everyone should watch this. They’ll come away with such a clear perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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