Books I Read and Shows I Watched in 2020 – Part Two

I’ll admit, the last part of 2020 had a lot less reading and show watching than the first half. With several small trips, buying a house, fixing up said house, holidays, and moving, I’ve had less time for them! It’s been a bit chaotic over here, but I can’t wait to get into a new routine and make more time for reading in 2021.

Since I did less of each, I thought I’d condense the blog post and share what I read and watched during the home stretch of 2020!

Yeah…I Didn’t Read Much This Part of the Year

A Breath of Snow and Ashes – Diana Gabaldon

Every year, I read the next Outlander book in the series to coincide with the next season of the series on Starz (I don’t read ahead any further than that, because I feel like I get everything mixed up in my head). This one, the sixth book in the series, admittedly took me a lot of time to read! It had some stuff mixed in that they introduced early into season 5 of the show, but also some intense new moments in the storyline that I was not expecting. I can’t wait to see how it’s adapted on screen and what will come next for the major characters.

Currently Reading:

Normal People by Sally Rooney

This is another book I got into after watching the show first. It is nearly identical so far. Initially, I was somewhat put off by the style it was written in, because the author does not use quotations for dialogue like I’m used to. Stick with it- I promise you’ll get used to it. I love this story primarily due to the relatability of the characters. It’s a kind of love story, but it’s not fantastical and grand. It has an awkward and messy realness that you don’t often see captured so well with words.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson

I’m working on building a new routine of reading self-help or informative books about topics I enjoy in the mornings to start my day. I got this book as a Christmas gift so it was the perfect one to kick off the routine! So far, I am enjoying the more blunt approach instead overly positive unrealistic language you see in some other self-help books! It has a unique perspective and I feel like I will benefit from reading it.

Which books should I read next?

Netflix is my BFF…

New Seasons

Lucifer (Netflix)

Lucifer Season 5 Promo image

Super Condensed Show Summary:
Lucifer Morningstar abandons his post in Hell to experience life in Los Angeles.

I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this show when we first began watching it, but it quickly grows on you. It’s funny and you grow invested in the characters with all their special quirks. We were both excited when Netflix picked up the show after it was canceled, however I’ve been a little disappointed with the dialogue after the switch and Detective Decker’s acting in the new seasons. Still, I enjoy seeing where the storyline goes and cannot wait for the next season to pick up after leaving us a surprising cliffhanger.

Yep…I Binged These…

In the Dark (The CW, Netflix)

In The Dark — Pictured: Perry Mattfeld as Murphy — Photo: Marc Hom/The CW -© 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Super Condensed Show Summary:
Blind, hot mess Murphy’s life is turned upside down when she believes she discovers the dead body of her friend.

I watched this show on a recommendation from my sister and man, does it get addicting fast. I truly binged this one because I simply could not wait to find out what would happen next. This show has a little bit of everything: mystery, romance, humor, crime, friendship – all while walking a perfect balance between dark and funny. This one is a must see!

Degrassi: The Next Generation (Amazon Prime)

Degrassi Season 1 DVD promo image

Super Condensed Show Summary:
The rotating cast of students at Degrassi Community School deal with some real life shit, and drama.

Once I realized this show was on Amazon Prime, I had to throw it back to my middle school days and watch it. I used to be OBSESSED back in the day, and it was nostalgic watching those old episodes with the original cast. I’d never watched the show all the way through, so I thought I would struggle with the new characters, but it manages to gradually make you care about them by introducing them early before the previous cast rotates out. I watched every episode (including when it moved on to Netflix). Such a fun trip down memory lane!

-P.S. He may be Drake to you, but he’ll always be Jimmy in my heart.

Sex Education (Netflix)

Sex Education Promotional image

Super Condensed Show Summary:
Socially awkward and inexperienced student, Otis, has a sex therapist for a mom. He starts a sex therapy clinic at school with a fellow student.

This show sat on my list for awhile, but I’m glad I finally watched it! I loved how the show was based in modern day UK, but is essentially a nod to the American teen dramas of the 80’s. The outfits, the decor, even some of the school’s sports are not ones you’d typically find in that time or place. I thought this was a fun touch. The show is incredibly entertaining and you can’t help but feel for each and every one of the characters as they navigate their own struggles and seek help from some completely awkward fellow classmate.

Shameless (Showtime, Netflix)

Shameless promotional image. I always think they make them so fun!

Super Condensed Show Summary:
Adaptation of a British Show with the same name. Frank Gallagher spends most of his time drinking and leaves his six children to essentially raise themselves with the eldest daughter, Fiona, at the helm.

Admittedly, it took us at least a year to catch up on all the seasons of this show, because it was one I watched with Chris! At first you think the show is such a train wreck, because everyone is a hot mess. I’ve even heard it described as “trashy”. Eventually, your heart warms to all the characters (Debbie took a while though, let’s be real) and you find yourself rooting for them even as they constantly make huge mistakes. It’s nice to see a lower class family and their struggles represented on television, and I think that’s a big part of the show’s success. There are a lot of seasons to become invested in the Gallagher family, and I’ve enjoyed the ride so far! I’m interested to see where the story takes them in the final season.

Wanderlust (Netflix)

Wanderlust Season 1 Promotional Image

Super Condensed Show Summary:
A therapist and her husband have a dwindling sex life. They decide to date other people in attempt to reignite the spark.

This was a quick watch for me, because there is only one season and not a ton of episodes. I thought it was a fun take on this type of storyline with some interesting turns along the way. At times, both main characters can be hard to like, but you also understand where they are coming from. It felt rushed at parts and doesn’t hold up against other shows, but I enjoyed it nonetheless for a casual watch.

Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Prime)

Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 1 Promotional Image

Super Condensed Show Summary:
Miriam Maisel’s perfect life takes a surprising turn and she discovers a hidden talent for stand-up comedy.

I’d seen this show mentioned A LOT, but somehow had zero clue what the premise was. After watching, I certainly understand the hype! It’s a highly entertaining show with a loveable main character and a fresh take on storytelling. Oh, and if the summary didn’t give it away, it’s funny too! I love all the characters – even the ones you initially don’t think you will- along with the visuals and costumes (Seriously, give me some of Midge’s clothes).It all wraps up to make a quality show that will entertain a broad range of people. I can’t wait for the next season!

Atypical (Netflix)

Atypical Promotional Image

Super Condensed Show Summary:
Sam Gardner is a teenager on the spectrum seeking more independence in his life. This leads his mother, and the rest of his family, down a life-changing path.

This is another show I had heard a lot about. Both parents were quite hard to like for me in the beginning, but I immediately loved the sibling dynamic between Sam and his sister Casey. This show can be funny and heartwarming, with many of its flawed characters simply trying to find their way in life. A great watch!

It’s really hard to pick favorites of the bunch, but In the Dark was certainly the most binge worthy. I would recommend that and Marvelous Mrs. Maisel as must-sees. I think a variety of people would love watching them.

What are you watching right now? What’s one of your all-time favorite shows?

2 thoughts on “Books I Read and Shows I Watched in 2020 – Part Two

  1. This is a really nice list with good shows and books. I particularly like the book the subtle art of not giving a fvck I think it’s a really great read.

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