Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Month In The Life: May 2017

I had a good run there in the early part of session, but with the lengthening work days, my reading is starting to slow down (the first book listed below I mostly read last month but didn't finish until the first day of this one). I know most of the rest of y'all just enjoyed a nice Memorial Day long weekend, but with less than a week to go to wrap up the state's business for the next 18 months, there was no holiday here in Nevada's Legislative Building. Otherwise, we're in full glorious spring in northern Nevada and I'm looking forward to actually being able to enjoy being outdoors very soon.

In Books...
  • A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius: It's hard to evaluate this on its own merits because it's so deeply rooted in Dave Eggers' personal style of writing. If you're not into this ADHD-panic-attack kind of thing, you'll hate it. If you love it, you'll love it. For me, I'm okay with it in small doses but 400 pages was A LOT. 
  • The Highest Tide: This coming-of-age story about an undersized 13 year-old boy, obsessed with the ocean, whose small seaside town starts seeing a lot of unusual marine life the summer before he goes to high school, was the book club pick for the month. It didn't do much for me, unfortunately. I got where it was trying to go, but I thought it tried to pack too many plotlines into 250 pages and ended up underdeveloping all of them.
  • Friday Night Lights: I loved the TV show, but hadn't ever read the book. It wasn't the same, obviously, but it was a well-told tale of not just a football season, but the context around it in a hardscrabble oil town in the late 80s. 
  • The Skies Belong To Us: I'd had no idea at all that during the 60s and early 70s, there were a TON of airplane hijackings, nearly all of which were resolved with no harm to the occupants of the planes in questions. This book talks about the broader trend, as well as a specific hijacking by an American couple who took the plane to Algeria, and it's incredibly interesting.
  • If We Were Villains: This book is good, but suffers for being clearly inspired heavily by The Secret History. If you're going to go into extremely similar territory to a beloved novel, you better make sure you're doing it as well or better. And while it's enjoyable, it's not as good, so the inevitable comparison isn't especially flattering to this new release. 
  • Migraine: I've had migraines since I started taking birth control in college, and have struggled to control them ever since (I've gotten a pretty good method down for now). So of course I'd read a book by one of my favorite authors focused solely on migraines! This text is definitely science-heavy, but if you're interested in this malady that's plagued people for thousands of years and which we still don't completely understand, it's fascinating reading. 
  • The Panopticon: Not all books focused on a teenager protagonist are YA books, and this one illustrates that perfectly. The young protagonist of Jenni Fagan's debut fights, steals, screws, and does a ton of drugs. But over the course of the book, you come to feel for the life that made Anais that way and there's a hopeful ending even though the rest of the book is pretty bleak. 

In Life...
  • Still in session, but in the home stretch! We're due to adjourn sine die on June 5, so less than a week and it will be none too soon. I can't even tell you how much I am looking forward to sleeping in later and walking to work and seeing my dog at lunchtime and getting off at 5 at night. Oh my god it's going to be amazing.

One Thing:
  • Bryan Fuller, with his sense of visual storytelling, was the perfect person to take on Neil Gaiman's American Gods as a television show. Combine that rich symbolism with some incredible casting (Ian McShane as Mr. Wednesday alone is fantastic) and it's something I'm eagerly looking forward to every Sunday!

Gratuitous Pug Picture: 

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