Today is the last day of the year! 2016 has been a crazy year: I started out the year in January with a trip back to Michigan for my best friend's baby shower (she had the baby in March and he's the cutest!), I got married, went to Chicago on our honeymoon, I made my first (hopefully not last!) trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and read, well, a lot (101 books at final count)! This month in particular hasn't been especially hectic, but here's what I've been up to:
In books: I spent most of this month doing my annual holiday re-read of a book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series...this year, I re-read A Storm of Swords. Maybe by the time I catch up, The Winds of Winter will finally be out, eh? Anyways, it slowed my pace a little as I went back through it while I was reading my new books, too!
- Freakonomics: How much you buy into a lot of these statistical quirks depends on how much you buy into the idea of behavioral economics as a whole. It's all about the hidden incentives that act upon our decision-making, and while the theories are interesting (his linking of abortion access to crime rates was something I found myself nodding along to), I regarded much of it with skepticism.
- Seating Arrangements: The writing quality was wonderful, and I enjoyed it overall, but I wished this story of New England rich people behaving badly over a wedding weekend had focused less on the father character. I found him mostly irritating and wished the story would get back to virtually anyone else when it centered on him (which was, sadly, most of the time).
- The Wonder (ARC): This was our book club read for the month, and while I had high hopes for it, I didn't end up liking it much at all. I found that it had pacing issues that significantly undermined characterization and plot development, by my standards anyways. I know other people liked it, but it wasn't for me.
- The Red Queen: I wasn't super hot on the first entry in Philippa Gregory's series on the Wars of the Roses, The White Queen, because I found Elizabeth Woodville's characterization completely boring. But this book, focusing on Margaret Beaufort, did a much better job creating an interesting-if-not-really-likeable character, and I enjoyed it much more.
- The Moonlight Palace: This book is pretty light and fluffy, about a young royal descendent living in a decrepit palace in Singapore in the 1920s. It was short and while it wasn't good, per se, it was pleasant enough.
- The Guineveres (ARC): So many books get compared to one of my all-time favorites: Jeffrey Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides. This time, though, I thought the praise was legitimate. A delicate yet powerful story about four young women, all improbably named Guinevere, who end up in a convent in their teens for wildly different reasons is sensitive and well-told. An auspicious debut.
- Went rock climbing for the first time: The indoor kind, of course. One of my work friends and I have been trying to get together to do lunch and activities every so often, and after I took her to a pole class, she took me rock climbing! I've never done it before and wasn't quite sure what to expect. It was HARD! But I liked it and think I want to try it again.
- Holiday parties: 'Tis the season, after all. Drew's work had their holiday party, and then of course we had our holiday parties with my in-laws. Lots of togetherness and happy feelings and wine (and missing my own side of the family on the other side of the country).
- After having been a longtime audiobook resister (I just don't think it's reading, for better or worse), I found my niche: nonfiction! So this month I've been really getting into Overdrive through my local library system, and have listened to some really interesting stuff, like the official biography of the Queen Mother and a chronicle of Basque history.