March Book, Movie, and TV Review

March 29, 2019

Happy Friday friends! Today I am so excited to share my book, movie, and TV review of the month with y'all! Before I start though- if you have any suggestions for me for April please let me know! I am constantly looking for suggestions so if you have any favorites - please pass them on! (Also- if you missed February's Review and are looking for some ideas yourself you can find it HERE!)

So there a few books (and one I sadly can't recommend), movies, and a thought about TV... here we go: *smiles*

*sad sigh* I wanted to love this book. I really did and went into it all excited. I don't think I have really shared this here or with a lot of people who even know me well but Wild at Heart written by John Eldredge is one of my favorite books. I honestly wish that I could get it into the hands of every man that I know because I think that there is a very dangerous mis-conception that guys who believe in God and are Christians should just be "nice guys". This is simply not the case. Was Jesus "nice"? Yes. But He was way more than that and I truly believe that God designed men to heroes, warriors, to live lives of adventures and risks and to be "dangerous" in the best sense of the word. When John wrote this more than a decade ago I wanted to shout "YES" as loud as I could because that is what Jesus was all about. We as Christians have done the greatest disservice to men by trying to say the opposite. John states, "It is no wonder that many men avoid church, and those who go are often passive and bored to death.". Amen. Amen. Amen. 

In addition to this I have mentioned more than once Captivating (co-authored with his wife) (the "girl version" of Wild at Heart (maybe?)) is simply brilliant. Honestly if you are a woman read it. (If you are curious and want to know more about the book Captivating I wrote about it HERE.)

So... when I saw that John had written a new book in 2017 that I hadn't read, Moving Mountains, I was excited to read it. Besides the books above I have enjoyed some of his other books (including Waking the Dead) but... I just couldn't really get into this one and on many philosophical notes I disagreed with him completely. So I can't recommend this book but would love to know your thoughts. Anyone else read this?

So a year ago I mentioned that I had gotten about 1/2 way through Crime and Punishment. I shared this last year, but my goal was to branch out and try reading some classic authors and books that I haven't read before. If I am honest I find with classic books that I tend to read and re-read the same books and authors again and again (hello all of my favorite Alexander Dumas books *smiles*) I realized that I had never finished this and made it my goal for it to happen this month... 

I will be honest... it's rough. It's a bit depressing, a bit dark... but I would recommend it because the story makes you really think about a lot of things. At the same time it I feel challenged by it and definitely recommend it. If you are looking to branch out and read something new in the classic section this one is one to read. You can find it HERE

Years ago I read these books when I first started to feel my health decline. I was teaching at the time and the wife of a co-worker of mine recommended this book. (I have Type A but there are books for each of the blood types.) So I decided that I would read them again and did. Honestly, I didn't find them particularly helpful simply because I realized that I was already eating basically this way. I don't find that I necessarily followed this eating pattern from years ago, but those of you who know me know that I am extremely strict about what I eat due to my health and so I didn't find this as helpful as it may be to others. If you haven't read it or you are looking into making healthy changes in your lifestyle than I would recommend it as something to add to your library. You can find Eat Right for Your Blood Type by clicking HERE and Blood Type A Book by clicking HERE

I watched this movie at the beginning of the month and honestly I still don't know what to write about it. I think that I went into with some different expectations maybe? I mean there are definitely funny parts, some parts that will just bring you to tears, and then there are some parts that seemed... a bit random maybe? 

As a bit of background I should say that I have always wanted to foster/adopt and before I got sick was starting the process to become a foster parent. I think the route to foster care is different for every family - so I think that realistically that was portrayed really well - especially in the group meetings. I laughed a lot because I think that I met "each of these people" in my beginning classes. It is hilarious in general but if you have been through the process you will find it even more funny. I also really loved that they showed the "not so fun side" of things when talking about fostering and the challenges that are unique in doing this... 

I think that I would have loved to have seen some more character development as far as the connection between these kids and the foster parents... it seemed a little "off" which was more centered around the couple itself in that they maybe weren't sure why they had gone in to fostering and then at one point were thinking about "returning the kids"... and then all of a sudden they didn't want to lose them... I don't know some of it just seemed "off". Also- I was turned off by the amount of language that really wasn't necessary - it just seemed to be added in for "drama" sake... I hate to say it because I wanted to love it but I can't say I recommend it. Anyone else disappointed by this one?
*happy happy childhood sigh*
Earlier this month we re-watched the original Mary Poppins and then when this released this past week we watched Mary Poppins Returns. Y'all, if you haven't seen it... go see it. It is sweet, will remind you to have an imagination, make you smile, and bring all the nostalgic feelings back. If you have read the books I would say that some ideas were taken from some of the later books and implemented but it is it's own story all on it's own. A few of my favorite things... 

(1) Dick Van Dyke. Need I say more? And seeing him still dance? Inspirational and wonderful all at the same time. I just love him. 

(2)The soundtrack... the way that some of the old music is woven throughout the movie in a seamless way paying tribute to the original Mary Poppins while introducing new music was nothing short of brilliant. Y'all know my love of music and I was blown away by the creative imagination and the time that this must have taken. Absolutely brilliant. 

(3) Lin-Manuel Miranda...So incredibly talented and he does a fantastic job.

(4) Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins... she is just lovely. So something that a lot of people don't know about me is that one of my favorite movies is The Young Victoria but for some reason I never mention it. hahaha! I have no idea why I don't talk about it more because I just think it is one of the sweetest movies of all time. The love story y'all... so so precious. Emily Blunt plays Victoria and seriously you forget that this is the same person as Mary Poppins - that is just how talented she is. 

It is hard to believe that this amazing woman has been gone for four years. When Kara died four years ago I wept because although we had never met, her words and her encouragement to find goodness in the midst of suffering and hard were a beacon of light in the darkness for me on my health journey. 

Over the last four years I have continued to re-read her posts at Mundane Faithfulness, re-read her books (The Hardest Peace, And it Was Beautiful, Just Show Up (which was co-authored with Jill whom y'all have met here on the blog), and Big Love) on numerous occasions and even had the humbling opportunity to share my heart on Mundane Faithfulness over the years. 

I have kept up with updates about this documentary and knew it was coming and so when it was released this month I knew I wanted to watch it. I admit though that emotionally I knew it would be difficult and hard to see and so I purposefully set aside some time where I could watch it knowing this. I walked away from it the same way that I have walked away from every interaction with Kara years ago... awe...and stunned silent at her realness in the midst of tragedy and suffering and the way that she pulled back the curtain into what real life was like in those last months. 

I didn't feel that there was anything "new" necessarily as far as being different then the books, the blog, and her speaking (if you had kept up with all of that), but there was a tenderness and grace that can only come with "seeing" that it put all of those things into a greater depth for me. She, her family, and her friends graciously drew back the curtain on life during that time... giving each of us a great gift.

I think I could go on and on and on about this documentary but I want to say two things... (1) If you are in the midst of suffering there is a beautiful hope that is found in this documentary and could be of great encouragement... and (2) to her family, her friends, her loved ones... thank you for giving us one more chance to be inspired by "your Kara" doing so you have beautifully continued her legacy but more than that you have sacrificed private moments for all of us to tell her story. 

Life has been so busy that I haven't really been watching TV so I am going to save those reviews for next month y'all! There have been some things that I have been watching and am finishing up from the last few months that I can't wait to discuss more next month!

If you are curious about other book reading lists I have done in the past you can find those posts below: 

What about you- what have you been watching and reading that you would recommend? 

Happy Friday friends! Thank you so much for reading today! I hope that you have a wonderful day and weekend!

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