Wednesday, February 28, 2018

A Month In The Life: February 2018

And we've officially reached the point in the year when I've mostly stopped writing the wrong date on everything! This month started out improbably balmy (in the 60s!), but it's now properly cold and snowy, which we do need to have but also I hate. And while things were a little calmer here than they were last month, we did go see a comedy show and have a visit from an out-of-towner to keep us busy!

In Books...
  • Lost Horizon: This book, about four people in the 1930s who wind up stranded in a Tibetan monastery called Shangri-La, was...fine? It's well-written enough (with the exception of the casual racism that probably was unremarkable at the time but is definitely remarkable now), but didn't really grab my imagination or make much of an impression on me. 
  • Thank You For Smoking: I watched the movie version of this when it came out when I was in college, so of course I wanted to read the book. It's a delightfully witty satire, and will ring especially true if you've ever worked in the corporate communications/lobbying world. 
  • The Sellout: I'm always extra excited when a book club selection is a book I already had on my TBR! For this book, I don't know if it was that I read it directly after another satire that hit closer to home for me personally, but this one didn't blow me away. It's insightful, witty, and well-crafted, though, so definitely worth the read.
  • Wonder Boys: I think the movie version of this book is criminally under-rated, and honestly, it's better than the book. Chabon has rapidly become one of my favorite writers (this is the third of his books I've read in about a year), and his writing is as wonderful as ever, but the overgrown man-child at the center of this novel was not someone I ever rooted for. 
  • My Name Is Venus Black: This book had an intriguing premise, about a girl who kills her stepfather when she's 13 and then gets out of jail at 19 and has to figure out how to live in the world...and tries to find the autistic little brother who disappeared while she was inside. But the plot didn't hold up and the writing is super flat. 
  • The Selfish Gene: This book is remarkable mostly in how it renders sophisticated concepts in understandable language...including the first time I've ever felt like I had a decent grasp of game theory! Also a lot to think about in regards to genetics and how life not only continues but evolves. 

In Life...
  • The Olympics!: I LOVE the Olympics. Especially the winter ones, because figure skating is my jam, but I also like to watch downhill skiing, hockey, and curling, so basically I spent two weeks watching obscure sports and loved every minute of it. 
  • We went to see Tiffany Haddish: I'd heard great things about her, and Drew and I are always trying to get out and do more things, so we snagged tickets when they went on sale a few months ago. It was a good thing I did, because they totally sold out! She was indeed super funny and I definitely recommend going to her show if her tour hits your city!
  • My mom is in town: Today is my mom's birthday, and she came to visit to spend time with me! I haven't seen her since last summer so I've taken the day off of work and we're spending the day together!

One Thing:

As a frequent LL Bean shopper, I have mixed feelings about their new returns policy. While I understand that there were people abusing it to the degree that it was becoming unsustainable (people were picking up their products secondhand at thrift stores and returning them for a full refund or just treating it as a way to get new snowboots for their kids every year as their feet kept growing), it seems like there should be some sort of intermediary step between return-it-forever and returns-only-for-one-year. After all, many of their products, like their adult duck boots, are MEANT to last for years. I've been willing to spend a little bit more for their products with the understanding that if they didn't hold up, I'd be made whole, but I think I'll be more selective before buying there in the future.

Gratuitous Pug Photo: