Saturday, February 29, 2020

A Month In The Life: February 2020

Happy Leap Day! It's March tomorrow, but the weather lately seems to be convinced that it's proper springtime...for the past few weeks we've been seeing highs in the 50s and even 60s! Flowers are starting to bloom! Of course it's this winter, when I'm not commuting to Carson City five days a week, that we're having this mild weather. It seems inevitable that there's more snow and cold in our future but I'm enjoying it while it lasts.

In Books...
  • Perfume: This book was...strange, more than anything. It's about an amoral young man born in France in the Middle Ages without a personal scent but an extraordinarily powerful sense of smell and his quest to make the most beautiful perfume in the world. This requires the murders of young women. It's very odd and sometimes repellent but strangely compelling.
  • Whores of the Devil: This is a non-fiction book chronicling witch-hunts (and witch-hunters) throughout history, and the title should have been my tip-off that it was going to go in a highly sensationalized direction. There was a LOT of editorializing going on as well, with little in terms of overarching structure to tie things together. It's not good.
  • Funny Girl: I really loved About A Boy and High Fidelity, but I was starting to wonder if I'd ever read a Hornby that was actually good instead of just alright again. This one, which tells the story of actress Sophie Straw and the people she works with on the opposites-attract sitcom Barbara (and Jim), is not quite a full return to form but comes very close: sweet, funny, and with sparkling dialogue. 
  • The (Hidden) Lives of Tudor Women: I am a real sucker for nonfiction about the Tudor period, especially anything about royalty. This book tries to marry a chronological look at the period with Shakespeare's Seven Ages of Man in a way that isn't always successful, but it's interesting information and least, if you're into this sort of thing.  
  • The Year of Reading Dangerously: As someone who was a voracious reader as a child, went through a period of reading very little, and then got back into books myself, this memoir by Andy Miller recounting a very similar experience was something I was predisposed to like. It's not anything memorable, but it's pleasant enough to read.
  • The Holdout: I've always been fascinated by juries, so this legal thriller about a sequestered jury which renders a controversial verdict and then is reunited a decade later only for murder to ensue seemed right up my alley. It's one of those where you have to turn your brain off a little, the main character behaves in ways that are so dumb for a person in her position that it's not believable. It's entertaining enough, though, until an ending twist that landed with a thud.
  • A Visit From the Goon Squad: I am going to go ahead and officially acknowledge that the "interconnected short stories" genre of literature is not one I enjoy. This book does it about as well as it can be done...Jennifer Egan is super talented and engages in some interesting experiments with form. But some segments are weaker than others (the last story fell pretty flat for me) and I really wish it was just an actual novel.

In Life...
  • My mom came to visit: For her birthday (which was yesterday!), my mom made a trip out west to visit the people who are important to her...which obviously includes me and her son-in-law. She was only in town for a few days but we had a nice dinner and a fun brunch and (of course!) a trip to the bookstore. We also saw the new Little Women, which I loved so much.

One Thing:

I work in the political sphere, but I am not at all inclined to run for office myself. But I absolutely understand the obstacles in the way of women who of which is the sheer cost of looking professional all the time. Which is why this move from M.M. LaFleur (a retailer which I have never purchased from, mostly because my job doesn't require business formal attire outside of 4 months every other year during session) is so great: they will help outfit ladies running for office with the kind of clothes they need to be taken seriously. This is an awesome move!

Gratuitous Pug Picture:



  1. Your winter sounds like the opposite of mine. There’s so much snow! And we’re supposed to get more tomorrow. I’ll have to check out that Tudor book. I also love nonfiction about royalty.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. We actually got some last night! Just a few inches, but it's the first we've had in weeks so we're all glad to see it. If you're into the Tudor era, definitely check out the Norton book!