Are you the type of person to always have a bookmark in place somewhere, sneaking away to read a few pages whenever you get the chance? Do you enjoy curling up under a blanket with the remote in hand after all the kids are in bed? Do you fill your time with a musical soundtrack that makes you happy? I can give a resoundingly positive answer to all of these questions, and here’s a sneak peek into my current obsessions on the book, TV, and music fronts:

  • les_miserablesReading: “Les Misérables” by Victor Hugo— Sure, call it passe, but I did start Hugo’s classic novel back in early December in anticipation of the movie’s release. (The movie that I’ve now seen three times… you could say that I take my obsessions very seriously!) I’m not sure which version I read the first time back in college, but the unabridged translation that I read about ten years ago is the one that I’m reading again now. It was done by Hugo’s friend Charles Wilbour and appeared the same year the novel was published in France. Coming in at 1260 pages, it’s a book that I know will keep me busy for a good amount of time in 2013, especially since I’m “only” 430 pages in right now. Readers new to the book should be warned of Hugo’s habit of inserting bits of social commentary between pieces of the narrative, as well as including long asides on topics such as the Battle of Waterloo and the history of convents. (Seriously.) But, even with those tangents, Les Misérables remains one of my most favorite reads, and it always encourages reflection on what it means to be a good person.
  • raising-hopeWatching: “Raising Hope” on Fox— A show about a young single father parenting the daughter that he had with a serial killer sounds depressing and just plain terrible, right? Let me reassure you that it is quite possibly the funniest thing on television today. Combine side-splitting writing that always surprises viewers with a cast of folks who perfectly embody hilarious ignorance and heartfelt familial love. I adore Martha Plimpton, whose return to the screen brings me so much joy, and Cloris Leachman, always a comedic genius. Each week, as my husband and I finish the latest episode on our DVR, we turn to each other, shake our heads, and burst into laughter all over again, compulsively repeating lines from the show that got us good.
  • some_nights_funListening to: I’m not an iDevice owner, so I opt to ingest my music either through online streaming or with those old-fashioned things called CDs. Thank goodness for Spotify, because I tend to be specific about the artist or the exact song that I want to listen to, and I can plug it right in and hear it immediately. I’m never quite ahead of the pack on my picks for good new music, so thanks to the radio, I was introduced to fun. last summer with the tons of airplay dedicated to “We Are Young.” Though I cringed a bit at some of the lyrics when they came out of my six year old daughter’s mouth, we always cranked up the radio when the song came on, for its inherent catchiness was undeniable. Now their album Some Nights is my top pick to stream when I’m working on lesson plans for my class or washing the dinner dishes. “Carry On” has been my favorite song on the album since I first started obsessively listening to them a few months back, and I believe it’s the one you can hear right now if you turn on local pop music radio stations in our area!

Got any pop culture obsessions of your own right now? Feel free to share in the comments, and if you’re with me, back me up on the hilarity that is Raising Hope!

Dawn loves to talk all things books, tv, movie, and music, and she’s the first to admit that her tastes run fairly mainstream. Beyond parenting and teaching preschool, she reviews books at 5 Minutes for Books and blogs as morninglightmama at my thoughts exactly.