Getting Personal #194: My Favorite Things of 2019

Image Credit: Quote Master

So, before starting the lists of favorites, here’s my tally for books and Book Reviews for 2019:

Ratings Tally

  • 5 stars: 4
  • 4 1/2 stars: 5
  • 4 stars: 5
  • 3 1/2 stars: 2
  • 3 stars: 0
  • 2 1/2 stars: 0
  • 2 stars: 0
  • 1 1/2 stars: 0
  • 1 star: 0

ARC Reviews – Zero this year. Here’s to more in 2020.


Now, on to my favorites!

Favorite Books

Favorite Movies

  • Avengers: Endgame
  • A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
  • A Girl Like Her
  • Blinded by the Light
  • Captain Marvel
  • Dolemite Is My Name
  • Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
  • Frozen II
  • Long Shot
  • Midway
  • Shazam!
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home
  • The Devil We Know
  • Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Favorite TV Shows

  • The Act (Hulu)
  • Cold Case (Netflix)
  • Emergence (Hulu)
  • Flint Town (Netflix)
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit – Seasons 2 – 6 (Hulu)
  • Mindhunter (Netflix)
  • Stranger Things – Seasons 1, 2, and 3 (Netflix)
  • Sesame Street 50th Anniversary Special (PBS)
  • The Orville – Seasons 1 and 2 (Hulu)
  • The Passage – Season 1 (Hulu)

Favorite Podcasts

  • Aftermath
  • American Girls
  • Bag Man
  • Cold
  • Dateline NBC
  • Forensic Files
  • Not Guilty
  • The City
  • The Dream
  • The Thing About Pam
  • Today in True Crime
  • Visitations

Well, that wraps up my favorite things for 2019!

What about you? What were some of your favorite things of the year?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #191: “30 Day Disney Challenge” (Day 25)

30 Day Disney Challenge

Image Credit: Meerkat Musings

Day 25 – Your favorite scene from your favorite movie

“Falling With Style” scene from Toy Story (1995)

Image result for toy story 1 falling with style

This is the result of one of the most tense moments / scenes in Toy Story. It looks like Woody and Buzz will be lost forever, as the moving van with the rest of the toys gets further and further away. But, Buzz remembers the rocket on his back. Will the rocket explode, and them along with it?

Buzz becomes the hero, in Woody’s eyes. They fly and soar across the sky, hoping to at least catch up to the moving van, let alone Andy’s car.

It’s such a nail-biter of a scene, but also a triumph. Toys can fly! Or, rather, “fall with style.”


Come back tomorrow for a new post!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #181: “30 Day Disney Challenge” (Day 16)

30 Day Disney Challenge

Image Credit: Meerkat Musings

Day 16 – Your favorite classic

Fantasia (1940)

Image result for fantasia 1940

Image result for fantasia 1940

Image result for fantasia 1940

It’s so hard to pick a favorite!

I love this movie. The classical music alone, mostly performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra, is top-notch. My favorite segments are The Sorceror’s Apprentice and Night on Bald Mountain. I clearly remember both of them frightening me at first, but as I gained a greater appreciation for both classical music and animation, I fell in love.

I was in orchestra for eight years, from fifth grade through high school. We learned to play several pieces featured in the movie. To this day, I think my favorite is Night on Bald Mountain.


Come back tomorrow for a new post!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #152: My Favorite Things of 2018

Favorite Things - Quote Master

Image Credit: Quote Master

I’ve seen several blog posts like this pop up in the last week or so. I wanted to do my own!

Also, I wanted to capture how many books I actually read in 2018. Several blog posts mentioned this, and I wanted to tally mine. One young lady read 110 books this year. That’s incredible!

So, before starting the lists of favorites, here’s my tally for books and Book Reviews for 2018:

Ratings Tally

  • 5 stars: 2
  • 4 1/2 stars: 8
  • 4 stars: 5
  • 3 1/2 stars: 1
  • 3 stars: 1
  • 2 1/2 stars: 0
  • 2 stars: 0
  • 1 1/2 stars: 0
  • 1 star: 0

ARC Reviews (First year ever!)

I really enjoyed reading these two books. I hope to read more ARCs in 2019!


Now, on to my favorites!

Favorite Books

Favorite Movies

  • Ant-Man and the Wasp
  • Aquaman
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Black Panther
  • Blockers
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Christopher Robin
  • First Man
  • Game Night
  • Incredibles 2
  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
  • Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
  • Maze Runner: The Death Cure
  • Mission: Impossible – Fallout 
  • Ready Player One
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Favorite TV Shows

Favorite Podcasts

  • Assassinations (Parcast)
  • Conspiracy Theories (Parcast)
  • Female Criminals (Parcast)
  • Hostage (Parcast)
  • Kingpins (Parcast)
  • Small Town Dicks
  • The Adventure Zone – “Amnesty” (Maximum Fun)

Well, that wraps up my favorite things for 2018!

What about you? What were some of your favorite things of the year?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Commentary #78: “T10T: Unexpected Levels of Impact” (Reblogged)

Thanks to Destiny at Howling Libraries for inspiring this post!


Here’s my top ten, in roughly chronological order:

Baby-sitters Little Sister - Amazon

1. Baby-Sitters Little Sister series, Ann M. Martin, circa mid-1990s

  • I can’t name a specific book in this series. There’s over 100 books!! I loved the adventures Karen got into, and how realistic her life was. Her entire family, and neighborhood, felt real to me. Martin also covered a lot of poignant issues in the eyes of a child: Divorce, two houses, re-marriage, school trouble, friendship issues, and more! I was about Karen’s age in the books when I started reading them, so I identified quite a bit with her.

Pleasant Company Catalogue Holiday 1991

2. American Girl Central Series, Various Authors, circa mid-1990s

  • I grew up with devouring the six-book series. I’m slowly rebuilding childhood library. I started with Samantha’s books, then Felicity’s, and eventually read all of them. Molly’s books remain my favorite. However, I feel close to Felicity, too, since her stories are set in Colonial Williamsburg!

Image result for harry potter and the sorcerer's stone book

3. Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone, J.K. Rowling, circa 2000-2001

  • I was definitely late to the party with reading the Harry Potter books. I remember telling my classmates who had read everything that had been released to that point, “I don’t like fantasy. I’m not interested.” Once I tried it, though, I was hooked. I finished Sorceror’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets by the time the first movie was released, and my obsession only grew!

4. A Walk To Remember, Nicholas Sparks, 2003-2004

  • I’m pretty sure I watched the movie before reading the book. But, it was my first introduction into Sparks and his books. It was sad, but I wanted to read everything that Sparks had written after that. I ended up doing my college senior thesis on his books, so I’m fairly certain his books had a significant impact on my life.

5. This Lullaby, Sarah Dessen, 2004-2005

  • Like Destiny, I was hooked after finishing my first Dessen book. I remember taking out 2-3 books of hers at a time from the library!

Speak - Wikipedia

6. Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson, circa 2006-2007

  • I think I borrowed this from the library? Regardless, I identified somewhat with Melinda, and her struggles. Anderson quickly became another favorite author, and I appreciate her writing and crafting of compelling characters. I’ve re-read this book multiple times, at several different stages of my life, and the impact is the same, every single time.

The Battle of Jericho - Amazon

7. The Battle of Jericho, Sharon M. Draper, circa 2005-2006

  • I don’t remember why exactly I picked up the book from the library, but I loved this book. I laughed, I cried, and I wanted more. Reading this book gave me a glimpse into the lives of African-American teenagers, and I found it fascinating and well-written. I have actively read almost all of Draper’s work because of her storytelling and care for her characters!

Looking For Alaska

8. Looking for Alaska, John Green, 2011

  • This was one of my assigned reading books for my Young Adult Literature class in the spring of 2011. I hadn’t read anything from Green until then, and it was such a powerful book. I thought it was fitting that I took this course during my last semester of college. A lot of the themes resonated with me, and I found myself reading it several times after graduation. Since then, Green has become one of my favorite authors.

Image Credit: www.shapingyouth.org

9. Tornado Warning: A Memoir of Teen Dating Violence and Its Effect on a Woman’s Life, Elin Stebbins Waldal, 2015

  • It was clearly a cover draw when I found it at the library. I remember circling back to it during that library trip before picking it up and taking it home. I cried. It was such a hard book – I felt like I knew Elin and her struggles, given my own with my abusive relationship with John. I was compelled to buy my own copy after borrowing it from the library years later – All I could remember to search on Amazon was the title, and a yellow-orange flower. The copy I own, although used when I bought it, was lovingly signed by the author. It’s a book I will treasure forever.

Prez: A Story of Love

10. Prez: A Story of Love, Margaret Garrison, 2018

  • This book impacted me in several ways. First, it’s written by a fellow P.E.O. sister, which boosted my confidence in wanting to become a published author. She signed my copy, and it’s a really good story. It’s Garrison’s debut novel, and it’s an impressive one. I loved the story, the element of historical fiction, and having a woman break the proverbial glass ceiling in university administration.

Tell me about a book (or two, or five, or ten!) that impacted your life!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

howling libraries

TTT-Big2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week’s prompt was to list ten books with Sensory Memories, and I decided to take it a bit further.

These are ten books that impacted me on an unexpected level, in a good way. Some of them are books I expected to impact me at least a little, but not as much as they did in the end.

These are sorted in order from oldest memories to newest. 🙂

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Commentary #66: “T5W – Favorite Science Fiction & Fantasy in Other Media” (Reblogged)

Star Wars

Image Credit: Quora

I think I need to start doing these different posts during the week! This one from Thrice Read caught my attention immediately. By the way, T5W stands for Top 5 Wednesday. Too cool!

I’m married to a wonderful, amazing geek, so I have a much greater appreciation for science fiction and fantasy now!


Here are my Top Five:

1. Star Wars (Movies)
2. Star Trek (Movies and T.V. Shows)
3. The Princess Bride (Movie)
4. Jessica Jones (T.V. Show)
5. The Flash (T.V. Show)

Star Wars (Movies)

Full disclosure: I already liked the Star Wars franchise before I met Al. I have now watched all of them. I wasn’t partial to the sequels at first, but now that we watched all of them in “machete order,” I understand why they were produced. I don’t have to like them, though. My all-time favorite Star Wars movie is currently The Force Awakens (2015).

Star Trek (Movies and T.V. Shows)

I have definitely gained a greater appreciation for the Star Trek franchise since meeting Al. I remember watching The Next Generation as a kid, and loving LeVar Burton! We’ve seen all the movies. The Wrath of Khan (1982) and Star Trek Into Darkness.

The Princess Bride (Movie)

This is one of my favorite movies!

Jessica Jones (T.V. Show)

Like Thrice Read, I love this show! Netflix struck gold with this one. We just finished watching all of Season 2, which we both think was better than Season 1!

The Flash (T.V. Show)

We loved this show from Day 1. It’s a good series. Plus, Grant Gustin is a local boy! My mom’s best friend taught him piano!


What about you? What are your favorite sci-fi and fantasy in other media? Let me know!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Thrice Read

It’s another Wednesday and another really awesome top five Wednesday.

Obviously I’m a huge fan of sci-fi and fantasy, but this week I get to completely geek out over the genres.

This week I’m going to give you guys the low down on my favorite science fiction and fantasy’s in other media.


The 100 (T.V. Show)

The 100 wasn’t a show I would have watched without Jenn pushing me to watch it. It’s a CW show and it’s not really within my demographic any longer, but I absolutely love it. It’s got both elements of science fiction and fantasy and it’s just everything for me.

Jessica Jones (T.V. Show)

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this show. From the cast to the story line, this show is everything to me. I’m about two episodes from finishing the second season and, honestly, I may just go…

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Writing Prompt #38: My Favorite Christmas Music

the-diamondback

Image Credit: The Diamondback

Merry Christmas Eve!

Happy Hanukkah!

I woke up this morning feeling inspired to write a post about my favorite Christmas music! I love listening to music this time of year – It always gets me into a festive mood.

This list has a mix of secular songs, carols, and hymns. I hope you enjoy!


“All I Want For Christmas Is You”

Mariah Carey‘s version is my all-time favorite. I certainly can’t sing like her, but I try! It’s one that always makes me excited for the season.

If you haven’t seen the recent mash-up of the song courtesy of James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke, it’s awesome!

“Carol of the Bells”

I love this song. It gives me chills every single time! My parents play handbells at church. That’s my favorite way to hear it, but I love a good string quartet, too.

Here’s a few others that I’ve found:

“Christmas Canon”

Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) is one of my favorite musical groups of all-time. I was lucky enough to see them perform in 2012 at our local Hampton Coliseum. Since then, I’ve desperately wanted to see them again!

Their spin on Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” is impressive, titled Christmas Canon.

“Christmas Eve / Sarajevo 12/24”

Another classic from TSO. This is one of my top three Christmas songs of all-time, one that I listen to multiple times every single year. It’s stunning!

“Go Tell It on the Mountain”

This is one of those songs that I look forward to singing every year.

“It Came Upon A Midnight Clear”

I remember learning to play this on my viola. I love singing it, but also listening to it.

“Mary, Did You Know?”

Let me tell you, I went crazy for Clay Aiken after he became runner-up on season two of American Idol.

That’s part of the reason I love this song now. His version was just beautiful. I remember receiving his Christmas CD and playing it on repeat.

“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”

This music always gives me chills. It’s almost haunting.

I fell in love with this version the minute it started. I think it’s partly because I played piano, and then viola, so anything with piano and strings captures my heart: O come, O come, Emmanuel – (Piano/Cello) – The Piano Guys.

“Silent Night”

Hearing this song always makes me think of the end of Aldersgate’s Christmas Eve services. We all light candles, and the entire sanctuary is darkened as we sing. It’s just a gorgeous scene.

Lindsey Stirling is my girl. She’s amazing! Seeing her in concert at the NorVA a few years ago blew me away. Take a few minutes and listen to her version of Silent Night.

“You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch”

Sung by Thurl Ravenscroft for the 1966 Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas special, I love this song!

Fun Fact: We watched this on TV last night!


However you celebrate the season, I wish all of you many blessings, safe travels, and cherished time with family and friends!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂