Monday, July 31, 2017

A Month In The Life: July 2017

This post is coming at you from my beloved Michigan! We're probably somewhere near the Mackinac Bridge right now on our way back to Ann Arbor, but this is scheduled to auto-post. I am zero percent looking forward to having driven all day today and then traveling back to Reno all day tomorrow, but that's how it worked out scheduling-wise, so that's how we're doing it. Now that I've whined about my entirely self-inflicted wounds, let's look back at the last month, eh?

In Books...

  • The Good German: I know that I saw the George Clooney movie they made out of this book when I was in college but I didn't remember it at all. It's a shame it wasn't better, because this story about Berlin immediately after WWII and the questions of guilt and blame for the atrocities committed by the Nazis was both thoughtful and twisty and quite good. 
  • My Antonia: I do really like it when the book club selections match up with things I'm already planning to read. This Willa Cather pioneer classic didn't have much of a traditional story structure, but her writing, especially about the lonesome loveliness of the prairie, is beautiful. 
  • Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: I love Anne Helen Peterson's writing about celebrity culture at Buzzfeed, so I was stoked to be approved for an ARC of her book about female celebrities that transgress social boundaries. I think I would have liked to see fewer focuses to allow for more in-depth discussions (a lot of times it felt like it was skimming the surface of something much deeper) but it's still an incisive look at the ways women are constrained in how much we're allowed to be.
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay: I'm sure you, like me, have heard the massive hype around this Pulitzer Prize winner. It's all true. It's incredible. Beautiful and funny and heartbreaking and hopeful and sad and holy smokes it's so good. 
  • Crazy Rich Asians: I've generally found that a way to avoid book hangover after reading something stellar is to make a major tonal shift for my next read. And so I went from a Great American Novel to a frothy send-up of the rich and fabulous of Singapore. It was ultimately a little too frothy, with not enough substance, and employed one of my least favorite tropes: drama that could have been avoided if people talked to each other. 
  • Valley of the Moon: A good reminder of why I need to let go of my genre snobbery, this time-travel romance was well-written and enjoyable.
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day: This was my first Sedaris essay collection and I found them to run the gamut from generally amusing to actually laughing out loud while reading (which I don't do very often). I'll read more of his stuff for sure.
  • Station Eleven: The post-apocalypse subgenre has been a popular one lately, making it hard to find a unique take. But Emily St. John Mandel's novel is haunting and elegant and a real pleasure to read. 

In Life...

  • We went to see Ali Wong! If you haven't seen her Baby Cobra standup special, filmed when she was very pregnant, it's a must. I nearly wept with laughter. She was very, very funny live and we had a great time. 
  • We went to Michigan: Technically, like I mentioned above, we're still there. My dad is from a small town in the western half of the Upper Peninsula, and there's a family reunion at grandpa's every summer. I've obviously been a bunch of times over my life and most recently went two years ago, but this was Drew's first time there. We spent a few days downstate with family and friends and then headed to the UP and we're driving back today and then on an airplane tomorrow! We had a great time in both peninsulas, I very much miss Michigan so I'm always stoked to go back, especially when we had fantastic weather.

One Thing:

I've made a couple stabs at organizing my library with cataloging software, but I stopped using them and then things got really out of date really quickly. So I just did another round using, a service that I really like and want to/hope I keep using. Instead of getting ambitious and curating a list of my "want to read" books or including my Kindle titles, I'm keeping it simple-ish and restricting it to my physical library ONLY. The link to my personal library is here if you're curious about what I own in print.

Gratuitous Pug Picture:


  1. I hope you’re having fun in Michigan and getting some reading done while you’re there!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. Michigan was wonderful! Even though I didn't get as much reading in as I would have hoped...but that's okay, we were spending time with family/friends and stuffing our faces instead :)