On the second day of blogmas my blogger gave to me…
Only two recommendations because she didn’t do anything but write all November!
Basically, this is an abbreviated Favorite Finds post because this past month I did almost nothing but write, watch Warriors games, and sleep (I mean, besides full-time momming).
Side note: Because I am always hesitant to read novels when I’m in the throes of fiction writing for fear of getting 1) totally discouraged because my work will never compare and 2) influenced in style/tone/plot/characters, I don’t have any books to recommend for the first time! But if you’re interested in book recommendations, I devoted all of October’s Favorite Finds post to some awesome books, so you should check it out.
Stranger Things 2
Okay, it’s not like Stranger Things 2 needs any help from me in hyping it, but I have my two cents nonetheless. The sequel (and not “season” because of reasons I find confusing), is solid for many reasons, primarily in overall story, character development, and visual scope. It is stellar for one: Noah Schnapp. Schnapp plays Will Byers, the kid we barely knew but around whom the whole story revolved in season one. The actor who isn’t included in much of the social media fodder surrounding the Stranger Things craze as a result (and probably to his benefit; the amount of attention these kids get in real life kinda freaks me out).
The entirety of the sequel relies on him once again and he still isn’t really getting the credit he deserves. This kid is tremendous. Schnapp’s deeply sensitive, guttural, and nuanced performance as Will Byers is one that should be earning awards. The entire season hinged on Will’s storyline and its success is a testament to Schnapp’s performance. On the page, and with a less skilled actor, this story could have been wooden, stiff, derivative; a boy at war with the beast inside. But in practice, Schnapp manages to draw us in to his terror, ache for him in his pain, and yearn for his salvation. Everyone in the cast does their job this season, no doubt, but it is Schanpp who sells it and keeps us hooked. There’s a lot to like about the second season, but Schnapp’s performance is the reason to watch.
Great British Baking Show: Season 4
I’ve written about GBBS before as part of shows you should watch on maternity leave (still holds true), but I am at it again because I barreled through the most recent season when it came out on Netflix the week before Thanksgiving and loved it. I had been losing steam on NaNo and needed something less fast-paced than basketball to both simultaneously calm and inspire my brain. The fourth season is an utter delight as always, though I think the contestants are more aware of themselves and the stakes than in previous seasons due to the massive popularity of the show, so they are a tad more competitive. The challenges are fun, the baking is exquisite, and it’s totally inspiring. I baked an apple pie from scratch late into the night on Thanksgiving eve because I believed Mary Berry would have wanted me to.
If you need a brain break or a hit of inspiration, just sit back and enjoy.
Any good shows/books/podcasts/music you’ve discovered recently? Let me know!