6 Things I’m Reading, Listening To, and Using

What has my attention this week?


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Reading: Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley

I picked up Huxley’s classic dystopian utopia Brave New World as part of my ongoing pursuit of the classics (I’m actually into the “L” authors, but Brave New World was at a library I don’t often visit, so I’m behind in grabbing it). His analytical non-fiction follow-up (some thirty years after the novel) was included in the back of the paperback version I was reading, and it immediately piqued my interest, in some ways even more than the novel. Although I ultimately disagree with much of Huxley’s worldview, I’m finding the collection of essays–which analyze the possibility and probability of the events in the novel–to be fascinating, both as a glimpse into his writing process and from the hindsight viewpoint of a still further sixty years into his future.

Brave New World Revisited Aldous Huxley

Watching: Downton Abbey, Season 6

I have a love/hate relationship with this show. Actually, it’s more like/hate. I like pretty everything about it (acting, costumes, history) except the storytelling. I believed in what was happening to the characters up through Season 2. I applauded the “tough choice” of seemingly crippling a major character during World War II–only to discover what is, in fact, the whole basis of the soap: nothing that happens matters. Lady Mary is blackmailed in the first episode of this season? No problem. She’ll get out of it by the end of the hour. The randomly episodic nature of the storytelling drives me nuts. It’s telling that the only events that actually affected the characters in any lasting way were Matthew’s and Sybil’s deaths–which weren’t organic story decisions at all, but rather forced by the actors’ decision to leave. Still, I keep watching. Gotta see who Mary ends up with!

Listening To: New Magnetic Wonder by Apples in Stereo

This is one addictive little album. It’s crazy-happy-pumped-up-funny-lovely-kinda-sorta-electronica. It’s weird, and it’s just plain fun, especially the popular single “Energy.” I dare you to hear it and not get it deliriously stuck in your head!

Apples in Stereo New Magnetic Wonder

Drinking: Bridgehead Coffee

The very awesome Johnny Eaton sent me this delicious organic brew all the way from Canada. Mostly, I think it was a neener-neener, since I can’t get it here in the States! I’m savoring every cup and enjoying its rich, fruity flavor.

Bridgehead Coffee

Using: Mossimo Knit Infinity Snood Scarf

I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but it has been freezing here this week. I’m going through Toasty Toes like crazy. I’m also loving snuggling up in this super-huge, super-soft cowl from Target. Best thing I’ve bought all winter!

Mossimo Knit Infinity Snood Scarf With Shine Grey Target

Cute Animal I Want This Week

Adorable Baby Pig

Let’s chat! What’s your favorite hack for keeping warm during the winter? Tell me in the comments!

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  1. I drink lots of hot beverages — tea, coffee, cider –but also am rarely without my sweater. On our coldest days, I find excuses to turn on my oven in my kitchen (where I typically work on my writing) and get out the space heater. Also have to throw a thick, wool blanket on my bed at night, and wear 2 – 3 pairs of socks. :p

  2. Lorna G. Poston says:

    It’s going to get to 55° today, but will drop to a bone-numbing 13° on Sunday with “winter weather” and cold temps most of next week. I’ll stay inside a lot. May use the weather as an excuse to use the oven—extra heat source—and bake cookies.

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      Whoa. That’s cold. I suppose that will be coming back my way in another few days. Cookies sound good though!

  3. I also fell out of like with Downton Abbey part way into the second season. I loved all of the period stuff and the fact that at least parts of the stories were anchored in the history of the time. But it just got to be way too much of a soap opera for me and I stopped watching. I have not missed it.
    I read Brave New World in high school and did not know that he did a follow up. I may have to look into that.

  4. I live in New Orleans, and “winter” plays peek-a-boo around here. It’s rarely cold enough to merit more than a hoodie or a medium jacket. I also grew up in Texas, so I am used to mild winters. My military travels haven’t put me any farther north than Virginia, however I was in a whiteout blizzard in upstate New York a few years back. That made for fun snowboarding.

    As I just stumbled on to your site today, I found it interesting that your newest book is diesel punk, and the book that I am currently listening to (because I don’t have the time to read while chasing around a two year old) is a steam punk book called The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher.

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      This is why I’m totally moving south one of these days. :p

      Yes, ‘punk of all sorts is a lot of fun! Lots of opportunities for all kinds of new stuff going on that genre these days.

  5. I’m pretty boring about keeping warm: I just shove a hot water bottle in the small of my back and drink hot tea.

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      Ooh, hot water bottles. I kind of forgot about those. They’re great for the bottom of the bed on a cold night!

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