December Favorites

Hi all! Hope everyone had a fantastic holiday and New Years. Here are my favorites for december.


  1. Challenger Deep (Neil Shusterman)– An incredible YA book that covers the topic of mental illness in an honest and creative way. The style of writing was a bit hard to get used to at first but I eventually warmed up to it, realizing its choppy pace was part of the symbolism. Highly recommend!
  2. The Prophet (Kahlil Gibran)– A collection of poetic and philosophical essays covering everything from love to faith to friendship. An amazing and inspirational read that moved me to the core.
  3. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)– I’ve read many of his books and am quite a fan of his, but Eden was one I’ve never read until a few weeks ago. I’d place it at the top of my favorites list, alongside Of Mice and Men, and Canary Row. A powerful and captivating epic of love, loss and the basic human story of good vs. evil. Steinbeck’s writing was eloquent and just the right amount of descriptive. I especially loved the theme of “timshel”, thou mayest -a moving depiction of humanity.


  1. La La Land soundtrack – I absolutely loved the music from the film; jazzy, catchy and moving at times. Plus I love scores that are piano heavy, and this one definitely was. A few favorite songs are “Audition”, “Another Day of Sun” and “Mia and Sebastian’s Theme.” (currently learning the last one on the piano)

2. Beggar in The Morning (The Barr Brothers)– I heard this in a little indie flick recently           and really liked it. Never heard of the band but now I’m curious to check out more of             their stuff. The melody is moving and catchy, and the lyrics are meaningful.

3.1000x (Jarryd James ft. Broods)– Never heard of this artist either until this song played        on my spotify. The lyrics are beautiful and full of emotion. Their voices also sound                  really nice together.


  1. La La Land– What an amazing movie musical with a wonderful soundtrack. I really enjoyed the acting and the cinematography- the color schemes were so fun and detailed. The script was funny, emotional and entertaining; the message of the film was inspiring and uplifting, delivering a bittersweet and emotional ending. I highly recommend this to anyone who has felt frustrated and exhausted from chasing a dream that constantly eludes you. Also to anyone who just wants to feel good.
  2. Miss Stevens– Found this hidden indie film on Netflix and decided to give it a go. Very small in terms of action and plot, but moving in its message. The acting was wonderfully subtle and intelligent. A quiet and reflective film centered on its characters.
  3. Difret– Also found on Netflix under recommended movies. An Ethiopian film that is incredibly underrated; it’s a film which more than just the film festival circuit should see. The story is based on real events, following a young lawyer who takes the case of a young girl subjected to the Ethiopian tradition of abduction for marriage. Meaza Ashenafi, the lawyer, founded the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association years before and then risked it all to fight for this young girl Hirut. An incredible film and story of courage and compassion, as well as an important one. Abduction for marriage is a horrific human rights violation, which subjects young girls to rape, psychological abuse and a denial of futures. Ashenafi went up against systemic misogyny and corruption, fighting until she finally won her case, a feat which was deemed impossible.

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