December Spotlight

What we are reading, watching and listening to this month.

As we celebrate the end of 2021 with family and friends, take a moment, grab your favourite tea and sit down to discover what has caught our eye since last time. From simple self-care to ambitious reading challenges, here's a few picks that might make it to your 2022 lists.


The Ultimate Fantasy Reading Challenge

After a weekly check-in, I realised I had been slowly but surely drifting away from one of the bigger reading projects I had planned for 2021.

Last year I came upon this amazing list, The Best 100 Fantasy Books of All Time, by TIME. As I looked it over I knew this would be one of my "must read" projects; as a huge fantasy lover this list fit my preferences and introduced some new authors as well as ones I'm already fond of.

When I started to set up the list, I quickly became aware of the fact that many books were the second or third in a series. Not to be deterred, I decided that I would read all of them - which makes this a particularly crazy ambitious reading project with nearly 300 books!

To be fair, I'm taking my time as it is something that I intend to enjoy without putting undue pressure on myself. As the new year is approaching, I will include more of these books in this section. 

The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang

This is book two of The Poppy War series. Rin is on the run, haunted by her actions to end the The Third Poppy War, she is struggling with her own consciousness and fighting to gain control of her powers and the Phoenix god. The powerful Dragon warlord offers her and the Cike an opportunity to get revenge on the Empress Daji, should she accept it? 

The Gunslinger by Stephen King - Dark Tower I

The last Gunslinger, Roland of Gilead, is hunting for The Man in Black. His first step towards his main goal: The Dark Tower. Set in a world reminding us of the Old West, another world that resembles our own, we follow Roland on this intriguing quest. Genre wise this is a mix of dark fantasy, dystopia and western, you can't really help but being dragged into this strange story. 

The Dark Tower series is a series that consists of eight books and one short story. 


Arcane (Netflix), an adult animated series set in the League of Legends universe. Amidst the escalating unrest between the advanced city of Piltover and the repressed undercity of Zaun, we follow the two sisters Vy and Jinx. They find themselves on opposing sides of a ongoing war over twisted ideologies and arcane technology. This series is hands down the best series I have ever seen. They way these animated characters become so real and the way the story is told has made me binge it more than once. Season two has been announced, and as we wait for its release, we will watch it a hundred times more. 

The Wheel of Time (Amazon Prime), the highly anticipated epic story based of Robert Jordans series with the same name. We follow Moiraine, one of the Aes Sedai, the powerful organization of women who can use magic. She believes she has found the reincarnation of the Dragon in a small village. It is said that the Dragon will either save or destroy the world. The only problem is that she does not know who it is, with her Warder, Lan, Moiraine takes the group of young people, Egwene, Matt, Nynaeve, Perrin and Rand with her on a journey. 


Creative Pep Talk 

A really motivating and interesting podcast about being creative and the process. Andy really makes you get excited about being creative again with his perspectives, observations and insight. On top of that there are tons of good episodes with guests that are worth listening to.  

Other podcasts we are enjoying this month: 

Self-care and mental health 

After finishing Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, I was not quite finished with stoicism. I spent some time diving into recommendations and came upon this book: The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman. 

The book is set up as a page-a-day guide to stoicism. It offers daily quotes by Marcus Aurelius, Seneca and Epictetus and commentaries to guide you through your life. I've only just picked it up, but so far I've enjoyed reading it first thing in the morning, with a cup of tea, before I start my day. This will be a year long reading project, so a full review will come at the end of 2022. 

I would also like to recommend nao on Youtube. Recently I came across her channel, which is completely different to other channels I've been following. Quiet, calm videos with subtitles, nao, who lives in Japan, takes you through some of her daily routines. Its calming, soothing, simple, a wonderful change from the more "noisy" Youtubers I've followed in the past. My favourite tip from her is to drink a cup of boiled water every morning, as it feels like you are slowly waking up your body from the inside. 

This blog post was written by Gabriela Saez. You can follow her reviews on Instagram @bookstrider

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