media favorites

January Media Favorites

This is part 2 of my January favorites posts! Here are my favorite books, movies, TV, and apps of January.

Books

For more about my 2018 book journey, check out my Goodreads account!

This book is heart wrenching and has unforgettable characters. It has elements of magical realism and curses, and you feel for every single one of the voices in this book. I can’t wait to read more from this author.

I love dystopias but lately my threshold has gotten really high with the influx of poor writing and lazy worldbuilding on contemporary dystopian fiction looking to cash in on the success of the Hunger Games. The Windup Girl does not fall into this trap. I could immerse myself in the smoggy, high-stakes Windup Universe. Every character was believable and differentiable (since this was written from multiple points of view). Very plot-driven as opposed to character driven, but I didn’t mind.

Oliver Sacks was one of my favorite personalities in academia. After listening to a podcast about him and his death, I decided to read all of his books. I began with his most famous. Every tale in the book is fascinating, and Sacks writes about all of his clients with so much humanity. My one critique of the book is in the language use in the last section entitled “The World of the Simple.” Reading that section dates the book back to the 60s, when it was written. We are in a different time in which individuals on the autism spectrum aren’t really spoken about the way Sacks writes about them. But again, the book was written in the 60s. Nonetheless, this is a perennial read for lovers of psychology and neuroscience, and I can’t wait to read more of Sacks’ books.

Movies

I was quite skeptical about this movie when I first heard about it. Without giving too much away, it is a love story. A fantastical love story. The movie is beautifully shot and written, and I cried at least three times. A beautiful movie for a rainy day.

I watched this on a plane last year, but I watched it again in January. This movie is so funny and poignant. I’m glad I watched it twice.

I saw this movie in theaters, and it was such a lovely coming of age tale that didn’t center a girl’s development around falling in love. The movie focuses on the title character’s relationship with her family, particularly her mother. I love this movie and hope to see more like it.

TV

Once again, I was a skeptic of this show. I tried to watch season 1, and I didn’t understand what all the hype was about. Then, I saw an episode from one of the later seasons and I laughed at every joke! I finally gave Friends a chance, and now it’s climbing the list of my favorite shows.

Apps

  • Moment

Moment tracks your phone usage and helps you use your phone less. This January, I had the opportunity to take a class about disconnecting from technology. (My school is on a 4-1-4 schedule, which means we have a 4 month Fall Term, a 1 month January Term in between, and a 4 month Spring Term. This class was for January Term). After my one month “tech detox,” I deleted social media apps from my phone and tracked my phone usage as well. Moment provides insights into your app usage, and I have found that tracking my phone usage helps me use my phone less. Look out for a future blog post about disconnecting and tech detoxing.

  • MyFitnessPal

I used MFP on and off over the past couple years, but I was able to have my longest streak ever in January, and that streak is still going. My Fitness Pal helps me count calories so that I can reach my weight goals, and I also log my exercise and count my steps with it. The addition of blog posts on the home page has helped me a bit too. Those blog posts show healthy recipes and exercise inspiration.  

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