We’re back again with the series of books and songs – this time during winter break. Funny enough, Taylor Swift released another album(!) and so she inspired another post where I must rave about my favorites from evermore. I definitely love evermore more than folklore. It has a sadder, lyrical vibe that I just flow with more.
So starting with the books, I just finished 2 books, and I’m rereading another.
Books during winter break
“The books we love, they love us back. And just as we mark our places in the pages, those pages leave their marks on us.”
I read Nevernight, a fantasy novel by Jay Krisoff. This is one of those books where you either love it or hate it. I didn’t like it as much as I like the Illuminae series co-written by Krisoff. The worldbuilding is intriguing, but I entered the story very disoriented and the main character wasn’t the most likeable to me. If you can’t relate to the main character or if you don’t like them, it can be hard to enjoy the story. There were solid twists and turns, so I will give Nevernight props for that. I just felt like it dragged on too long for me to be invested enough to try the next book in the series. You should definitely try it for yourself if you like strong worldbuilding.
Moral of the story: Figuring out what you don’t like is as important as figuring out what you do.
“The task lies in the desert where God is not feelable and naked faith is all we have.”
Henri Nouwen’s work is usually taken from speeches or talks he had given that were expanded. There is a lot to this work which is only 160 pages. It was a shorter read than I’m used to but there’s a lot packed in. You don’t have to be religious to find a lot of concepts Nouwen brings up interesting. He talks about intimacy in the sense of connections between individuals in groups, how priesthood is no longer seen as a desirable profession and why, depression throughout college that affects decisions in post-grad life, and so much more.
He meandered a lot so I sometimes felt a little lost. But I also spent months reading this. At school, I’m not always good at reading before bed.
Moral of the story: We all need to have good boundaries in place where we feel seen and heard by those we love.
What We Remember, What We Forget
“I can’t walk away from the feeling you give me—
it’s like watching a plane
work across a white sky in winter
and pass behind a beige-brick building
—something like loneliness”
What We Remember, What We Forget is an anthology collection with David Levithan as the editor. I know! If you’ve been on the blog a long time, I keep mentioning Levithan. Well, I have a little story for you. A few years ago, I picked up this anthology at the library and devoured it. This poem in particular quoted above is On Newbury Street, July by Will Fesperman. I have been legitimately LEGITIMATELY ~unable~ to get this poem out of my mind. I totally forgot the title of the collection and I stumbled across it on Amazon a few days ago and got it shipped to me. I’m so happy!
But seriously, the collection is full of good stories and poetry – about self-realizations, about strange relationships with parents, about suicide, about the things we try but fail to use words to explain. I highly recommend the anthology if you’re in a reading slump. A collection of poetry and fiction can often spark your interest and if you don’t like one story, there’s always the next.
Moral of the story: Some things stay with you until they inevitably return.
Now for the songs section of this edition of the books and songs series
Songs During Winter Break
This was the first song I listened to after evermore released. I immediately declared it my favorite song on the album. And it still remains true (except with one song to make me doubt it). Sonically, this is the perfect song for my ears. It’s a story, there’s piano, and it ends hopefully. What more does a girl need?
Swift surprises us with the shift in tempo of this song and it’s just so dang good. This song is dance-y while talking about feeling down that someone you care for has everyone else’s attention as well. Those teenage movies where the popular kid has all eyes on him and the main character legitimately has this song downloaded in their ipod. (Do kids even have ipods anymore?) It’s the perfect song to be jealous to.
The winter song of the year is tis the damn season. It’s catchy. There’s a Robert Frost reference for us American kids. Your hometown friends see a side of you that your college friends don’t see. Growing up with no clear direction but unlimited dreams, this song feels like feeling the weight of real life and wanting to go back to before when life was simpler.
This is the song that competes with Champagne Problems. I just love Taylor with a piano. We all have people in our lives where they don’t appreciate us or anything we do. This song is the saddest pinnacle of that — imagine falling in love and your significant other just tolerates your love.
Now the end of the evermore favorites, but still with the perfect winter songs. I just love a good piano song. It’s simple and cuts to the bone. Hard memories have a way of staying with us. Yamagata just has the softest voice, ideal for sad songs. Seriously, check out Worn Me Down if you don’t believe me (but also because it’s so good!).
I miss A Fine Frenzy so much. Her first album is absolutely incredible, and this song reminds me of an old middle school crush. The imagery is stunning and it brings me such nostalgia. Do you have anyone from the past that comes to mind from time to time? That’s what this song is about.
Hope you are reading books and listening to music and staying warm this winter!