November is a month dedicated to family, friends, and loved ones, so I decided to compile a list of books to read and TV shows and movies to watch to get in the right mindset. These selections revolve around the importance of family and the relationships, whether strenuous or genuine, that develop over time. With Thanksgiving just right around the corner, it is essential to always remember the power of love and know that there are people who will support you and be at aide through any of life’s difficulties. These works represent some hardships and discoveries that may resemble significant similarities that occur in your life. Take what you need from these suggestions and always value the virtue of family.
Photo: Georgia Vagim on Unsplash
This is Us
This show is probably one of the best I have ever seen before. I am generally more inclined to watch movies, but there is something about this particular program that keeps me coming back for more. It is a heartwarming and emotional storyline that follows the lives of parents Jack and Rebecca, and their three triplets- Kevin, Kate, and Randall. There are flashbacks dating back to when Jack and Rebecca first met and shows the progression of their relationship to marriage and parenthood. It also moments in present time depicting individual battles each of the children carry throughout life. This show is nothing less of truth and revelation about identity and the power of familial bonds.
This historical fantasy revolves around the playwright J.M. Barrie (played by Johnny Depp), the creator of the beloved story Peter Pan. The film tracks the platonic friendship between Barrie and Sylvia Llewelyn Davies (played by Kate Winslet). He meets her along with her four sons Jack, Peter, George, and Michael whom he spends countless days playing with them and taking on the role of their surrogate father. A heartfelt and emotional story tells the story of how love and nurture can create amazing works of art. I recommend watching this movie with your family and friends this Thanksgiving and reflect on the importance of having loved ones around you at all times.
The Glass Castle
I remember reading this book when I was in my sophomore year of high school and even though the story depicts turmoil in a familial relationship, Jeannette Walls, the author, explains how she carved out a successful life for herself. Her father, Rex Walls was an alcoholic and her mother, Rose Mary Walls, was a painter and a teacher. She retells vivid descriptions of her childhood through her memory as her family lived a nomadic lifestyle. Despite some children that may have resented their parents, Jeannette describes both her mother and father as people who wanted to desperately care for their children. She had immense affection for both of them and successfully wrote an unconditional love story about a family with many flaws but persevered through many misfortunes.
The Center of the Universe
This memoir by Nancy Bachrach illustrates the meaning of love through an emotional, dark, yet beautiful story. While living in Paris, her father was killed aboard his cabin cruiser and her mother, the center of the universe, is in a terrible coma with an ending projected towards death. Nancy, along with her brother Ben and sister Helen, come together for a family reunion in a time of sorrow, but somehow manage to find hope and show unconditional love indefinitely. Grab this book this month and read from start to finish this genius tale of the resilience of love.
Little Miss Sunshine
Every person must see this movie at least once, and I’m sure you will fall in love with it because it is so pure and heartwarming that it will make you want to watch it on repeat. The film revolves around the Hoover family: Sheryl, the mother, Frank, her brother who tried to end his life, Richard, the father who is unsuccessfully trying to sell his self-help techniques to reach success, Dwayne, the son, and Olive, who is competing in the Little Miss Sunshine pageant. At first, this family may seem a bit dysfunctional, but no family is perfect because there is no such thing. As the Hoovers travel across the country, we are along for the ride on a comedic and emotional roller coaster that is nothing less than brilliant. This film will make you want to go buy the DVD as soon as you finish watching it the first time.
This November, remember to be grateful for everything that has occurred in your life, whether they are positive or negative circumstances. It is important to always know that your family will support you and love you, despite the probable incidents of hardships and emotional occurrences. The recommendations above are some of my favorite and help me realize that I am thankful for everything that has come in and out of my life.
Hailey Foster, 19, is a rising sophomore studying journalism and media at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She loves to watch old Hollywood movies in her free time, especially Breakfast at Tiffany's, her favorite and go-to.