Dim Sum Diaries
2008 was an interesting year in many ways and I thought I'd list what I really dug this year in terms of books and movies...so without further ado...here we go!!

Best Stuff of 2008 (Part 1):

Overall Fave Must Read Book

Would have to be hands down Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book. I don't think I can stop raving about how much of a master storyteller that Gaiman is. I don't usually go for the genre of sci-fi/fantasy, but his writing grabs your britches from the get go and you have have have to finish reading the whole damn thing in one sitting. OR THE WORLD WILL END. Seriously. Here is a preview of Chapter One, for anyone interested.

Top Reading for The Sheer Pleasure of It Book

A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleypas. She writes *cough* certain scenes so well...and no one writes tortured heroes in need of redemption like Kleypas (without going over the top).

It's Christmastime in London and Rafe Bowman has arrived from America for his arranged meeting with Natalie Blandford, the very proper and beautiful daughter of Lady and Lord Blandford. His chiseled good looks and imposing physique are sure to impress the lady-in-waiting, and if it weren't for his shocking American ways and wild reputation, her hand would already be guaranteed.
Before the courtship can begin, Rafe realizes he must learn the rules of London society. But when four former Wallfowers try their hand at matchmaking, no one knows what will happen. And winning a bride turns out to be more complicated than Rafe Bowman anticipated, especially for a man accustomed to getting anything he wants.

However, Christmas works in the most unexpected ways, changing a cynic to a romantic and inspiring passion in the most timid of hearts.

'Nuff said.

Top Design Book

As I found out this year when I started doing more graphic design, dude, graphic designers as an industry like to publish hella countless books about themselves, not only showcasing their individual work, but their philosphy, the state of the world, where the field is going or should be going, blah blah blah. I have to admit that I've bought a few books curious to see what the fuss is all about, but so far I think my favorite type of design books are ones that showcase the art of cool designers from the past. My favorite one so far (and most expensive shhhh don't tell hubby) is Paul Rand: A Designers Art. He is a major figure and created the corporate logos for some companies like IBM, ABC, UPS and even Enron! I discovered that I quite favored the mid-century aesthetic (this interview probably explains it best), so I guess it's kind of like porn, in a sense. I can look at it for hours, oohing and ahhing and trying to incorporate it in some of my work without being too obvious (although working for a technology company, they wouldn't appreciate their products marketed as last century, but I can be quite clever).

Top DVD Purchase

I keep trying to remember if there was a movie I particularly loved loved loved so much, like When Harry Met Sally, but I couldn't really think of any, so here is the best DVD that I got this year instead. Some of you may know that I've been trying to lose weight/get in shape etc. Last year at my OB/GYN yearly physical, the nurse practitioner noted I was getting a bit on the plump side, and would I consider losing weight. This, coupled with watching the endless reruns of You Are What You Eat on BBC America...Gillian is a dietitian that goes into the homes of Britain's morbidly obese...evaluates their diet and makes them go on a 2 month diet/exercise regimen. Some of the more eye-opening things she does is take the food diary for a week and actually remakes/rebuys exactly the aggregate of what they ate and presents it on a table. It can be quite shocking. Then she also makes the person do a poo into a plastic box and she inspects it. I was so grossed out by this at first because sometimes you could see a fuzzy shot of the poo from a distance sometimes....but I recently noticed they don't show it anymore...she's just talks about it now (poo being off camera). But overall the show really motivated me to start eating more healthily and exercising, etc.

SO to make a long story short, I tried the Weight Watchers thing for awhile, then moved on to trying to watch my food intake. Bought countless DVDs from The Firm, and while had some success with these DVDs, they were just like...too long, I didn't want to be working out 1.5 hours every day. Finally happened upon 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michaels.

You only work out for 20 minutes (a blessed relief since it used to be 1.5 hours a day), and its intense but the cardio/strength combo make you lose the fat and reshape your body fairly quickly, and a lot more effectively then what I had been trying before. So if you are trying to jumpstart a healthier change, I can't recommend her high enough. Side note: Jillian is a trainer from the NBC tv show The Biggest Loser. My abs are actually getting quite ripped (still a bit to go) but dude, I can't believe I'm getting toned! I have muscles!@!!! ZOMG!!

That's it for this segment! Next up is Best Etsy Shops of 2008!

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