A Yearly Rewind

Hi friends!

Did you have a wonderful holiday? Isn’t this vacation the best? It’s flying by at a rate far too quickly for my liking, but I am nevertheless enjoying the chances to spend time with friends and family, read books aplenty, and plan for the coming year – I do love any opportunity to organize :)

With the start of 2017, however, is also the chance to reflect on the previous year. 2016 was a whirlwind, and a rather fun one at that, but I’ll admit, I’m ready to start anew. And so, I’ll keep this introduction brief; I’ve simply listed a few of my favorites forms of media from the past several months – a “rewind,” if you will. What made your year special?

2016-booksB O O K S: I didn’t read as much as I would have liked to in 2016 – that’s a junior and senior year workload for you – but I still found a number of stories that warmed my heart, prompted conversation and thought, and made their ways to my favorites shelf.

Additionally, the time I devoted to my assignments and extracurriculars left less time for my regular schedule of reviews, and consequently, I’m not feeling as excited about my typical “style,” so to speak, of reviewing. I’m still working through how and how often to talk books on Ciao Bella, but know that the eight above have all earned my full recommendation, published review or not!

{Listed: Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson, When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie Sue Hitchcock, You in Five Acts by Una LaMarche, Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas, The Lonely City by Olivia Laing, The Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar, and True Letters from Fictional Life by Kenneth Logan}

2016-moviesM O V I E S: My year in reading may not have been remarkable, but my year in movies certainly was! My sister and I made an effort to finally watch the movies that had long been on our list to see, as well as make it to the theater for highly anticipated titles.

It seems I have a soft spot for films with excellent soundtracks {just look to gems Sing Street, La La Land, and The Last Five Years to see why}, as well as historically based movies: Love and Friendship is a delight; Brooklyn lived up to its high praise; and A Royal Night Out is a hidden treasure on Netflix. You can be sure I’ll be watching these again in the coming year.

{Listed: Brooklyn, Zootopia, Sing Street, The Last Five Years, A Royal Night Out, La La Land, Love and Friendship, and Southside with You}

2016-musicM U S I C: I felt I had many a terrific discovery in music this past year too! It helps that I finally set up a Spotify account for myself {I know – I’m years late to the party}, making listening to my favorite tracks all the easier while studying, baking, or working out.

If you didn’t know of my love for theater already, I think the albums above make it clear: the soundtrack for Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 is terrific; I adore any and all songs from Waitress, and I could listen to the Dogfight tracks for days on end. Furthermore, I thoroughly enjoyed the songs from singers Leslie Odom Jr. and Andra Day. Is it bad that I still want to listen to Simply Christmas into the month of January?

{Listed: The Hamilton Mixtape, Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, Solange Knowles’ A Seat at the Table, Leslie Odom Jr.’s Simply Christmas, Dogfight, Beyonce’s Lemonade, Waitress, and Andra Day’s Cheers to the Fall}

2016-television-showsT E L E V I S I O N: Finally, if you’re need of a television show recommendation, not to worry, I have plenty. I typically don’t watch episodes the same night they air, so streaming proved mighty useful, allowing me to catch up with my favorite programs in my pockets of free time.

A few highlights: I fell in love with New Girl, a mere six seasons after it first premiered, and laughed my way through the hilarious Jane the Virgin. I also realized why Shonda Rhimes’ shows receive so much praise after binging Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder in the winter. And Grease Live! deserves a shout-out because it had me smiling from beginning to end – I look forward to FOX’s next televised event!

{Listed: This is Us, How to Get Away with Murder, New Girl, Grease Live, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Jane the Virgin, Scandal, and Quantico}

Have a lovely start to your 2017!


4 thoughts on “A Yearly Rewind

  1. ahhh i love rewind posts! especially given all that’s happened in 2016, it’s so lovely to be able to see the amazing art people have consumed.

    there was such a huge drop-off for me in terms of the books i read in 2016 versus 2015 too and so much of that has been because of how much busier i’ve gotten in the past two years. i’ve only read dangerous girls out of the eight you listed (which i enjoyed a lot) but there are definitely a couple that are on my tbr. the lonely city was actually one i added after you talked about it on your blog! and when breath becomes air and the smell of other people’s houses, i’ve just seen everywhere… hopefully i’ll be able to get to those three this year!

    i also watched brooklyn in 2016 and loved it soo much. i always forget how much i love movies because i don’t watch them very often but brooklyn made me want to watch more! (another movie i watched this year was spotlight which was also spectacular). want to watch zootopia, the last five years and southside with you too! as well as love & friendship (after i found out it was a jane austen retelling?) and la la land!! all of my friends have been talking about la la land since it was at tiff… and though it’s been properly at theatres for awhile now, i still haven’t gotten the chance to go see it. *sigh*

    YES to lemonade! and i’ve just started listening to solange’s album but i’ve liked what i’ve heard so far! it usually takes me so long to get thoroughly acquainted with an album though so i’ll probably need to give it a full listen about two or three more times. haven’t caught onto the hamilton craze yet, even though i am pretty confident it is exactly something i would love… i just don’t like listening to a soundtrack for a musical before i’ve seen it but i might reconsider because of the hamilton mixtape… so intrigued!

    and yesss jane the virgin. still haven’t caught up on season 3 but i watched all of season 1 and season 2 in 2016 and loved it.

    have a GREAT 2017 bella!! sorry for this long comment… i just love these posts… obviously :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my gosh, Annie, thank you so much for the comment! I really hope you try The Lonely City – I loved it, and I’m sure you will as well!

      Brooklyn was a delight, wasn’t it? I also loved Spotlight; it was so compelling and beautifully filmed. Love and Friendship is hilarious, and, yes, it’s a Jane Austen retelling! Finally, La La Land is all sorts of wonderful. Definitely worth a visit to the movie theater if you ever get the chance!

      And a fellow Jane the Virgin fan! What a terrific show – the entire cast is so talented.

      Have a wonderful 2017! :)


  2. It looks like you had a wonderful year of discovering great media! I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t read any books from your favorites list, but Dangerous Girls and The Smell of Other People’s Houses are at the top of my TBR. YES to the Waitress cast recording! I saw the show on Broadway this summer, and it’s just as incredible live. I also adored LOJ’s Christmas album and, of course, the Hamilton Mixtape. Also, JANE THE VIRGIN. OMG. I became obsessed this year. One of my favorite shows on television right now!

    Happy New Year! I hope you have a fantastic start to 2017! :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, Dangerous Girls is an addictive – I read it in one day because I was so intrigued by the story! The Smell of Other People’s Houses is absolutely wonderful as well – very atmospheric and heartwarming. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

      And I saw Waitress this summer too! Wasn’t it amazing?! From the set to the cast, I was in love :) You can’t go wrong with Leslie Odom Jr. or Hamilton either.

      Thank you so much for stopping by, and best wishes for the new year!


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