Friday, March 31, 2017

A Month In The Life: March 2017

 March brings the first tentative steps into spring (only to be followed, of course, by several backwards steps retreating into winter) and this year, somehow even more snow and rain into the general Reno area (we're having the wettest water year on record yet). Let's see what else it brought, shall we?

In Books...
  • A Leg To Stand On: Oliver Sacks is one of my all-time favorite authors, and his memoir about the experience of recovering from a gruesome leg injury and finding himself as a patient rather than a doctor is, as always, touching and insightful and wise. 
  • Die A Little: I've heard so many raves about Megan Abbott's work, and this is her debut, a female-driven Los Angeles noir. It's a quick, enjoyable read that made me look forward to the other books of hers that are living on my Kindle!
  • Housekeeping: Our book club selection for March, I found Marilynne Robinson's writing exquisite, but the book's ultimate failure to develop much in either the way of plot or compelling characters undermined it. 
  • City of Thieves: Game of Thrones showrunner David Benioff is also a writer himself, and this book, about two young Russian men who get sent on a journey for eggs during the starve-out siege of St. Petersburg, was something I didn't expect to get too much out of but LOVED.
  • Green Girl: I found Kate Zambreno's novel about a confused young woman from the US living in London and trying to recover from a shattering relationship and the loss of her mother, to be both alienating and very difficult to put down.
  • Chemistry: I was lucky enough to score an ARC of Weike Wang's debut, which was one I was especially looking forward to, but although it was an enjoyable enough tale of an overachieving daughter of Chinese immigrants who hits pause on her Ph.D., it didn't quite live up to my expectations.
  • Stranger In A Strange Land: This is a sci-fi classic, but I found it pretty dull, honestly. A standard messiah-sacrifice story with lots of long passages of exposition about religious/philosophical beliefs and I had a hard time keeping myself interested, honestly. 
  • The Love Song of Jonny Valentine: This story about a Justin Bieber-esque 12 year-old pop star touring and starting to push back against the control of his momager develops a really great voice for its protagonist, who is both touchingly innocent and profoundly jaded. Never quite great, but very solid.

In Life...
  • Still in session! Until June, this is going to be essentially everything in my life because I do nothing but work all day and spend all weekend recovering and we're not even halfway through yet and it already feels like it's been about a century. We just got through the first major deadlines (bill introductions), with the next one upcoming in two weeks (first house committee passage), so it's definitely going at full tilt.

One Thing:
  • This probably makes me a bad American, but I love royalty...the number of books about royals on my shelves is a large one. So this piece from The Guardian, about what will happen when the Queen passes, was completely fascinating. Logistics!

Gratuitous Pug Picture:

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