Best Dressed at the 2013 SAG Awards

I’m not a huge awards show person, mainly because I’m not a huge TV/movie person… at least not in a timely fashion. I never watch TV actually on TV, and I go to 3 times the midnight showings than regular trips to the movie theater (the theory being if I’m not super excited to see the movie, then I can wait for it to come to Netflix).

However, I do enjoy the red carpet fashion, and the SAG Awards on Sunday, as usual, ran the gamut. My far and away favorite of the night, though, was Marion Cotillard. She is an unbelievably classic beauty no matter what she’s wearing, but her fashion sense appears to be impeccable as well. The Dior she wore was richly elegant and simple enough to look effortless. Her makeup, hair, accessories, and shoes flawlessly rounded out the outfit with subtlety and class, serving to feature the dress rather than detract attention from it. And the color of her eyes matched the color of the skirt perfectly, which just makes her all the more stunning. LOVE love love. (Especially the pockets!)

hair and makeup

the dress

Other winners of the night’s fashion parade in my opinion included Amanda Seyfried and her dramatic mermaid gown, January Jones rockin’ the Bowie hair, and Helen Hunt with her silver sequins.

Preorders for the New Year

I’m judging by this cover

As much as I love looking back on a year of good solid reading, I like looking forward to one to come even better. And although I cannot begin to say how 2013 is going to turn out, publishing and reading wise, from here, it’s looking pretty great. With the first month of the year nearly gone (2013 is flying already!), it seemed high time to highlight what we can look forward to in the next eleven. I find if I’m not preparing for new releases, they’ll inevitably disappear into the gaping black hole that is my TBR list. So without further discussion, here are 10 2013 releases I’m excited about:

Truth in Advertising, John Kenney – January 22:  A book blogger I follow describe it by saying, “Truth in Advertising is what would happen if Mad Men had sex with Jonathan Tropper,” and that was enough for me.

I drink with men sometimes too

Drinking with Men, Rosie Schaap – January 24: I read a review of this memoir on NPR and thought it’s easygoing bar stories sounded right up my alley.

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, Anne Therese Fowler – March 26: I’m a huge fan of the Jazz Age/Lost Generation era. Huge. Ask anyone that attended my wedding (it was 20s-themed, right down to the guests’ attire). So naturally, a bit of fact-based fiction starring the first American flapper is at the top of my list this year. Bonus points for an incredibly gorgeous cover.

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, Mary Roach – April 1: I’ve read and loved everything else Mary Roach has written, and I’m hearing stellar things about this one as well. Her dry, footnote-filled popular science books are extremely informative and hysterically witty.

graphic awesomeness

Odds Against Tomorrow, Nathaniel Rich – April 2: I know very little about this book, and that’s okay. I glimpsed the words “Empire State Building,” “apocalyptic,” and “thriller,” and that was enough to make it on the list.

The Lost Journal of Bram Stoker: The Dublin Years, Elizabeth Miller - April 4: This one’s not going to be a bestseller or a favorite of the masses, but I like Stoker a lot, not to mention he’s a character in the book I’m currently outlining.

Call Me Zelda, Erica Robuck – May 7: See above, re: fact-based fiction about Zelda Fitzgerald.

glorious Gaiman

The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman – June 18: I’m really late to the Neil Gaiman party. I’ve read only 2 of his previous works (in the middle of the 3rd), but I am officially on board for this one. I expect I’ll have more of his novels behind me by the time June rolls around too. He is a sharp, imaginative example of quality writing in the modern age. I’m really looking forward to a new book.

Seven for a Secret, Lyndsay Faye – August 15?: I can’t find much information about the true release date of this one. I only know of it because I practically stalk Lyndsay Faye and her Twitter feed. Her third novel is a sequel to last year’s The Gods of Gotham, which takes place in 1860s Manhattan and is an incredibly cool read.

MaddAddam, Margaret Atwood – September 3: Margaret Atwood is a major oversight of mine. I’ve read her nonfiction work on writing, but I am going to be actively going at her fiction bibliography this year. This new novel is the last in a trilogy, preceded by Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood. I’m pretty sure Maggie A can do no wrong, so I’m catching up on the trilogy and then jumping headfirst into this new one.

There are also a few books that I’ve been hearing a lot about, ones that bloggers and critics are currently reading and forming opinions on, but I’m not entirely convinced yet. Sometimes even the best of us need to be talked into spending time with a book. I’m waiting to read a little more about these (or in some cases, read the author’s earlier work) before I make any serious preorder commitments, but I’m watching closely:

letters that are actually essays

The Blue Book, A.L. Kennedy – March 12
Life After Life, Kate Atkinson – April 2
All That Is, James Salter – April 2
Letters to a Young Scientist, Edward O. Wilson – April 15
Inferno, Dan Brown – May 14
Transatlantic, Colum McCann – June 4
Doctor Sleep, Stephen King – September 24

Also just heard about the plans for an Amy Poehler memoir in 2014. Here’s to looking forward to all the books and the future in general too.

P.S. What have I missed?! Feel free to let me know.

Happy Birthday, P&P!

Today marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

your hands are cold

I honor it with my two favorite quotes, both spoken by Lizzie:

“I am the happiest creature in the world. Perhaps other people have said so before, but not one with such justice. I am happier even than Jane; she only smiles, I laugh.”

“But people themselves alter so much, that there is something new to be observed in them forever.”

And the first proposal scene from the BBC version (Colin Firth on a Monday morning; you’re welcome):

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And last, the soundtrack from the 2005 Joe Wright version via Spotify, composed by Dario Marianelli and performed by Jean-Yves Thibaudet.

Happy Birthday, Pride and Prejudice!

Reading Resolutions for 2013

Yesterday, I wrote about my resolutions for the new year: 2. Read everything. I thought, perhaps, that one deserved an explanation. Really “read everything” can translate to “read as much I can,” but it’s more than that. I plan to read more than last year, and also more broadly, more in-depth, and more creatively. I realize now that this is all still pretty vague, so I’ll break it down into mini-resolutions.

1. Read more: I read 42 books in 2012; I want to read 60 in 2013. Doable, but ambitious. (Book bloggers who read double that without even trying, not a word, you!)

2. Read more broadly: I’ve read more leisure nonfiction in the past two or three years than probably the rest of my life combined, but I want more of it in my life. I also plan to broaden my fiction horizons more actively. I’m never opposed to thriller or romance or fantasy, but my tendency is to lean toward literary fiction, and that’s not exactly fair… or the most fun. I’m branching out. Give me your scifi and your essay collections!

3. Read more in-depth: In-depth can mean a few different things in this context, and I’m pretty sure I mean them all. I want to pay better attention to what I’m reading and retain details over time. I want to discuss literature with friends and feel more comfortable stating a confident and sure-footed opinion. I want to read books that inspire me to read other books and read those too. Did I get them all?

4. Read more creatively: Three years ago, I had never listened to an audiobook. Two years ago, I had never read an ebook. Last year, I started a book club and also started reading books with long-distance friends as a way to ensure regular and stimulating conversations. What will I do next?!

5. Read research: I am both thrilled and terrified to say that I’ve got some very serious book ideas rolling around in my brain right now. Of course, I couldn’t possibly make writing a novel easy on myself, so they’re historical ideas that require quite a bit of research in order to get right. My 2013 reading life needs to be at least 30% research material in order to get this silly thing on paper before I die.

Outside of my general reading resolutions, my only concrete reading goal this year is to reading the complete and annotated Sherlock Holmes canon out loud with my husband. I’m new to this whole marriage thing, but this is what it’s about, right? Sharing passions? (i.e. convincing him to be as wholly obsessive about the Sherlockian universe as I am?) Right? Don’t worry. He’ll love it. I’m doing voices.

Resolutions for 2013

I like New Years’ resolutions. They are hopeful and happy. They are reflective and cathartic. Every year, I write down ten resolutions on a slip of paper, seal it in a little envelope, and keep it in my desk. It’s a bit like a time capsule by the end; although I like to keep my resolutions vague enough to be achievable, they have somehow still become a crystalline look back at my expectations and ambitions for a fresh, unsullied year of life.

The events of this past week are not something I’m ready to comment on publicly, but they have taught me that we must live in order to honor those that don’t get the chance. And ultimately, that is my whole plan for 2013.

Broken down, it looks like this:

1. Be happy.
2. Read everything.
3. Listen to people and to music.
4. Travel to new places and old places too.
5. Write fiction.
6. Write nonfiction.
7. Save money.
8. Do new things.
9. Eat well and healthy.
10. Learn.