The Crown CREATED BY PETER MORGAN, STARRING CLAIRE FOY AND MATT SMITH (Netflix)
Last year’s inaugural season of The Crown was an opulent, satisfying drama, so this month’s second batch of episodes is a must-watch. Queen Elizabeth (Claire Foy) moves past her first days on the throne, through the Suez Crisis and into the early 1960s. At the same time, her relationship with her husband, Prince Philip (Matt Smith), gets increasingly complicated. Dec. 8
No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters BY URSULA K. LE GUIN (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
A beloved fantasy writer turns to an entirely new form in her latest offering: a blog. This volume collects entries written between 2010 and 2015, full of sharp wit and thought-provoking observations. She writes with dismay about today’s political climate, with warmth about adopting a cat and with insight about what it’s like to grow old. Dec. 5
The Shape of Water DIRECTED BY GUILLERMO DEL TORO, STARRING SALLY HAWKINS AND OCTAVIA SPENCER (Double Dare You)
Elisa (Sally Hawkins), who has been mute since birth, works as a cleaner at a mysterious laboratory in 1960s Baltimore. She often feels alone and misunderstood, until she meets one of the lab’s test subjects, a sea creature. They form a tender, ill-fated connection in this acclaimed film that’s equal parts love story and action-packed fantasy. Dec. 8
Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity BY SAUNDRA DALTON-SMITH (FaithWords)
We know what it’s like: the year is coming to a close, your calendar is filling up with holiday parties and you’re still trying to find the perfect gift for that relative who has everything. Enter Sacred Rest, a book that uses both science and scripture to help you find peace for body, mind and spirit. Dec. 19
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