What I'm Into

books worth reading

Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters by Mallory Ortberg. Oh, man, I needed this book. I laughed until I whooped over the text convo between Heathcliff and Cathy from Wuthering Heights in particular. Mallory Ortberg is not only brilliant, she’s wickedly funny. For the book lover/English Lit nerd in your life, this is the book to cackle over.

All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews. My sister is a reader of serious literature, particular Canadian lit. She is always my dealer for the good stuff: she’ll give me the lowdown on the Giller Prize nominees and the Canada Reads contenders. Plus we both have A Thing for books about the bond between sisters – those books just hurt so good. So she gave me this one for Christmas and I called her up after finishing it, sobbing, asking why she did this to me. It is a book of two sisters, beautifully written, devastating, and I BAWLED through the last quarter of it. Who gives books like this to their hormonal pregnant sisters anyway? It was the best kind of cry though. (And for what it’s worth, I think it should have won the Giller.)

Station Eleven: A novel by Emily St. John Mandel. Another Christmas novel, this one from my husband. I have a weakness for apocalyptic/dystopian literature and this didn’t disappoint. It’s dark and yet brilliant, beautiful and sad. It’s also strangely believable, a perfect read for a weekend.

A Thing of Beauty by Lisa Samson: Lisa Samson is almost the only novelist from the Christian market that I read anymore. (Only exception: Nicole Baart, too.) This is apparently her last novel as she’s quitting writing so I really wanted to love it. And I did like it – it was a good read with her signature quirky characters and love-without-sentimentality. It’s not my favourite though. I’ll miss her writing. (My favourite of hers? The Passion of Mary-Margaret)

The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It by Peter Enns. Fantastic, fantastic book. Can’t recommend enough.

television worth watching

All my shows (all three of them) are on their year-long hiatus now and so I have finally started watching Gilmore Girls. I have lost track of the long list of people who tell me that I will love this show so I figure I might as well get started while I work on baby sweaters in these last weeks of pregnancy. So far I’m about 7 episodes in and I quite like it – don’t love it yet, but I like it.

I watched the series finales for Miranda over Christmas. The Christmas special was a big old let down but the New Year’s special for the finale was vintage Miranda. I loved that show. It just made me so happy.

I still owe my few-and-proud Whovians the recaps for the season finale and the Christmas special. I have it on my Gigantic List of Things To Finish Before Baby Arrives so I’ll take one for the team and watch a lot of Doctor Who in a bit here. Better late than never.

movies worth seeing

We went to see Interstellar in the theatre recently. We couldn’t remember the last time we went to see a movie in a theatre so it was quite a treat to watch on the big screen. Otherwise, movies and I are barely passing in acquaintance these days. I can’t seem to muster the energy for a two-and-a-half-hour commitment in the evenings. When all the award nominees were announced this year, I realised I hadn’t watched a single one. And I’m just fine with that.

music worth hearing

I’m not a huge music person. I prefer silence or quiet to music – particularly since we have three loud tinies in our home already and silence is a rarity. So I rarely listen to music and pretty much exclusively listen to CBC Radio in the car. But I will say that I have been listening to John Mark McMillan’s most recent album Borderland sometimes and I LOVE it.

stuff worth reading on the Internet

Christian Women Were Made to Lead by Karen Swallow Prior – Propel Women launched this week! If you’re a woman who leads, check it out.

Things I’ve Learned in 40 Years of Living by Kristen Howerton

Since I’m just a few weeks from giving birth again, these photos obviously made me cry. So beautiful! 30 Canadian Birth Photos that Will Make You Want Another Baby.

They Say the Church is Too “Feminine” by Kate Wallace

6 Great Studies on Women in the Bible for Groups at The Junia Project (please tell me you follow this site? Amazing resource for the church)

In case you hadn’t heard, we are shutting down Deeper Story. This letter from our founder explains why. I’m both proud and sad about it.

Good news! Jonathan Martin is back online and his writing is better than ever. I stalk his preaching podcasts, I admit it. Dude can PREACH.

Tsh Oxenrider has launched a new e-course that I think looks fascinating, Upstream Field Guide. If you’re wanting to live your live more simply and with more intention, I can’t think of a better guide than Tsh.

Relevant Magazine listened my new book, Out of Sorts, as one of the twelve books they are most excited about this year which was very cool!

I am planning on finally talking about the book itself – what it’s about, why I wrote it, all of that fun stuff – in the next week or two here so make sure you sign up for my e-newsletter to get the scoop first.

And finally, this short video is pretty much the best thing ever.

pins worth re-pinning

This quote.

This Beatrix Potter alphabet print for a baby room

This is my fashion philosophy and no apologies for my black.

I’m completely obsessed with brussels sprouts lately and this is only enabling me.

These women in science that you probably don’t know about – and should.

Tina Fey’s and Amy Poehler’s Golden Globes opening dialogue is absolute perfection. Only they could make me laugh so hard at absurd truth. Best joke: George and Amal Clooney.

And finally, Mr. Afternoon T.


So, friends, what about you? What’s on your nightstand? What television show or movie or music has captured your imagination?

Linked up with Leigh Kramer for What I’m Into.

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  • Michelle Woodman

    Ah, okay! *Loved* the video clip. Makes me wish the snow had stayed away for a wee bit longer in southern Alberta so I could go out and *run*.

    Nightstand: “Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News?” by Phillip Yancey. Loooove it. Beautiful and true and I”m not even halfway through it yet.
    Television: Planning “Doctor Who” and “Eureka” mini-marathons in the near future as not much of what is presently on is holding my attention.
    Music: Plans to buy some tunes – new and old – from Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors.

    P.S. Looking forward to your remaining Doctor Who recaps!

  • Tasha

    I can relate to the lack of movies with tinies, but my husband and I recently splurged on a double feature on date night and saw The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game, and both were moving and fantastic. The kinds of movies you’re still thinking about days after you see them.

  • Pol

    Saw The Theory of Everything this afternoon – well worth a trip to the cinema. The ‘This Girl Can’ advert is running pretty much constantly on Channel 4 in the UK – I don’t watch much TV, but even so I’ve seen it twice a day for a couple of weeks – just brilliant. I’m watching the Russell T Davies series Cucumber and Banana – very very rude, but fantastically typical RTD.

  • gwally

    Thanks for including Kate and The Junia Project, Sarah! And I’m LOVING “Texts from Jane Eyre” – hilarious 🙂

  • Jordan Taylor

    I had not read about A Deeper Story! I am so sad.

    Nightstand: currently lots of reading for classes (Senior English major problems!), but my “fun” reading: Packing Light by Allison Vesterfelt, and Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor.

    Movies: not a big movie person. The movie I’m most looking forward to is Pitch Perfect 2 in May. haha.

    TV: Not a TV person as of late, but Big Bang Theory is always a constant. and Jimmy Fallon! Your posts about Doctor Who make me *almost* want to check it out…. all of my professors/friends in my school’s English department OBSESS over it. I’ve seen clips and just don’t get the hoopla. It’s all very weird to me.

    Music: Ellie Holcomb has been on repeat pretty much since September. I love her so. Listening to Bethel Music today, specifically You Make Me Brave! (my brain thinks it’s still 2014, apparently, because I was thinking it was their newest one. They had a new one just come out this week. Hahahaha).

    On the interwebs: Glennon rocked me this week with this one: http://momastery.com/blog/2015/01/30/cool-ashes/

    Sammy Rhodes shared this Brene Brown short on Twitter about empathy, and I love it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Evwgu369Jw&app=desktop

    Happy Saturday! 🙂

  • Just finished reading “Bad Feminist” by Roxane Gay. Such an amazing book and she wrote it with nuance, humor and emotion. Next up: “The Lemon Tree” by Sandy Tolan and “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank. I live in the Netherlands, where Anne Frank also lived and I recently visited a theater play about her. It was so moving and since I read her diary a lot of years ago I want to revisit it. By the way, if anyone’s considering coming to Amsterdam then you can still see the play even though it’s in Dutch. There are tablets in the theater with translation in different languages.

  • rachieannie

    I started watching Dr Who again last night because of your recaps (the new one). I had a roommate for awhile who loved it, so I tried watching it a couple of years ago, but just couldn’t get into it. This time, I am determined to push through, because it just feels like a series I would love. Got my husband to join in too, and tried to encourage him that it gets better.

  • David Antonini

    The Gilmore Girls were awesome, last season or two may make you unhappy because of plot/character’s choices.
    Leverage is a show we’ve been hooked on lately.

  • ColleenMary

    Sarah—here’s a rec for a new theology book that I think you’ll love: The Power and Vulnerability of Love, by Elizabeth O’Donnell Gandolfo. It’s centered in maternal experience and is just amazing. Liz has also written on breastfeeding “as contemplative practice and source for theology”—I think you’d find her work very powerful.

  • I love when you play along and I’m so happy you’re watching Gilmore Girls at last! I’ve been debating reading Station Eleven and you might have pushed me over to the Yes column.

  • Melanie Dale

    Oh, I’m thrilled to hear you’re going to blog about the Doctor Who Christmas special. I finally started liking The Doctor and immediately wished I could process all the feelings with you. I just finished Sophie Hudson’s “Home Is Where My People Are,” which was so funny, and last week I read Amy Poehler’s “Yes Please.” Just needing some laughter these days. I’m listening to the soundtrack to the Into the Woods movie, and did you watch The Librarians? It was like Doctor Who and Warehouse 13 had a cheesy baby. Fun. My very favorite new show is definitely Agent Carter, because the world needs more smart female superheroes who can rock red fedoras. She’s spectacular.

  • Em

    It’s going to take me absolutely forever to check into most if not all of the stuff you mentioned. But I kinda have to now, because I read your piece on women’s ministry and now I trust you. Thanks for writing stuff like this.

  • Lina

    Ashley Marston (one of the birth photographers on your link) is so great! Here is one of the pics she took for us. She did a whole photography story of our baby’s homecoming from the NICU. https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=851377988254291 (click on the home picture and it will play, also click on HD)

  • Gilmore Girls! Here’s to loving those Lorelais!

  • lemead

    LOVE everything about this post. Station Eleven totally rocked me. And I’ve still not seen Gilmore Girls but clearly need to add it to my list!

  • Donna-Jean Brown

    You are hilarious, Sarah Bessey. How you find the time to do everything you do – I’d love to follow you around for a day just to watch you in action, but I know I couldn’t keep up. Thankyou for all of these links.

  • Oh, I have to agree with The Passion of Mary Margaret. Amazing. Everyone raved about Quaker Summer, but I literally couldn’t finish it. The other one I read of hers that I think you would like if you liked the Passion was Embrace Me. Slightly weird, but Very good.

    • Rea

      I think Embrace Me might be my favorite.

  • laura mclellan

    With all the serious, heartbreaking things happening in the states, coupled with my propensity to read heavy books (Stokely, A Life; The Triangle: A Year on the Ground With New York’s Bloods and Crips; Black American Short Stories: A Century of the Best), Gilmore Girls has been a welcomed escape (plus it’s great to watch while I’m crocheting). I haven’t actually been to the cinema in so excited time, but I did finally watch Labor Day on Netflix yesterday (which was pretty good).

  • Lydia

    Lisa won’t be writing anymore?! How can this be?? Passion of MM is also my favorite of hers, but I agree with Krista that Embrace Me is really fantastic too.

  • Oh, I think I need to get Texts from Jane Austen. My teenage daughter and I would love it since we love all things Jane Austen. 🙂

  • Rea

    Today at the gym somebody asked me ‘When’s your due date?’ My youngest is 10. I was feeling a little angsty about that until I saw that video clip. Because I rocked the circuit class today, including an entire lap of walking lunges (OW!), because you know what? This girl can! (And this ‘girl’ is also 47.)

    Just finished reading this awesome book called Jesus Feminist. Went out and immediately bought a copy for a friend.

  • Gilmore Girls is something that grows on you, I think. For ages, I couldn’t get past the ‘they’re speaking so fast!’ element, but now I love it. And the love triangle with Jess is SO good.

    I’m so excited about Out of Sorts. I’m hungry for it already. Praying for you as you walk / waddle into the final weeks of nurturing your baby inside your body, praying for the delivery and after. Much love to you.