Books I've Read & Places I've Loved: December 2016

"Books I've Read & Places I've Loved" is a series that I'm starting where I talk about, yup, the books I've read and the places I've loved in a particular month (my titling skills are exquisite as we all know ;-)). We're starting with December, which I hope was a wonderful month for all of you filled with peace and happiness. 

This month was a whirlwind. Apart from decorating for Christmas and preparing for my school's Christmas concert, I had classes to go to, tests to take, essays to write, and friends to see. Throughout all of this, I managed to read ONE book (that wasn't for school, I read a couple others but they were for classes) as well as fall in love with some not-so-everyday places. 

BOOKS I'VE READ

 

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Earlier this year I was watching random movie trailers on youtube when I came across a trailer for a movie called "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl," and thought it looked good but felt it would be better as a book. When I found out it was originally a book, I went looking for it to read. Oddly enough, however, I kept passing it by every time I went to a bookstore and it happened to be there. There was always another book that looked better or I completely forgot that I wanted to read this one. Finally, the last time I was at a Barne's and Noble, I saw this on its own little shelf, and passed by it a good three times before picking it up. It still took me a while to actually start reading it (school and stuff), but once I started, I finished it in about three days. It has been compared to John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, which I actually really liked, but I think this book stands on its own. It's funny and sweet and I would actually compare it to Paper Towns (also by John Green) before TFIOS. All in all, I really enjoyed this book. Not only was it funny and sweet, but I found it touching in a way that YA books rarely seem to be (at least in my opinion). 

PLACES I'VE LOVED

 

Some-Christmas-Tree-Place-in-Northern-California

When my grandparents needed to get their Christmas tree, they enlisted the help of me, my mom, and my brother to look for it (as they always do), and we ended up at a place that greatly resembles the one I used to go to when I was little. I know this picture doesn't have any trees in it, but it's the clearest shot I could get, and besides, who doesn't love fairy light reindeer?! I love this place not only for the Christmas trees, hot chocolate, and fairy light reindeer, but also for the beautiful sense of nostalgia I got when I was there. 

 

Cal Expo: Winter Wonderland

I know I've already shared this picture at the end of my essay on looking for the good, but I loved this place so much it had to make another appearance. This picture was taken from atop a ferris wheel and from this height you could see all the lights in all of their twinkly glory. I loved this place because of the people I was with when I was there. Friendships were made deeper, and bonds were made stronger. Although, as I've said, this night began with feelings of trepidation, it ended with smiles and a mind filled with memories sure to last for many years to come. 

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Although this would usually be where I would end these, I wanted to quickly say that since this will be my last post of 2016, I wish you all a very happy New Year! I know that 2016 was rough for many of us, and 2017 may be looking dreary, but I hope you can all join me in wishing for happiness in the new year. May we all not only find ways to make this world a better place, but find ways to bring happiness into the lives of those around us. Thank you to everyone who has been reading what I've been writing, and I will see you in the new year! 

Xoxo,

Claira