Saturday, March 31, 2018

A Month In The Life: March 2018

And the year is officially one quarter over! Compared to the first couple months of the year, March was pretty calm. My mom's visit wrapped up early in the month, and my husband was out of town a little, but otherwise not much besides celebrating my in-laws' birthdays (like my husband and I, they share a birthday month). A laid-back schedule meant a banner month for me on the reading front, which felt great! I keep acquiring new books to read, so I need to get through the ones I already have.  

In Books...
  • Henry and Cato: Ever since I saw the movie Iris, I wanted to read one of Iris Murdoch's books. This one went on sale for the Kindle, so that's what I went for. It was good, with interesting parallels and themes and well-crafted prose, but it didn't blow my mind. It was good enough to make me want to pick up other things she's written, but it isn't something I'll need a copy of for my own shelf. 
  • Good Omens: I've come to be a big Neil Gaiman fan and this was actually somehow my first encounter with Terry Pratchett, and this has gotten a lot of raves so I went in with high expectations. Which were mostly met! This book is delightfully witty and fun to read. It's not perfect, but it's damn good. 
  • The Martian: I actually think this worked better as a movie? It's solid, don't get me wrong, but on the page the formulaic-ness of the plot (a problem arises, is solved, and then another problem arises, is solved, etc combined with a rescue mission) becomes very obvious. It doesn't mean I didn't like it, but it wasn't outstanding either.
  • Exit West: This was the book club pick for this month, which worked out perfectly because I'd gotten it as my Book of the Month a year ago but hadn't had a chance to read it yet. I was a little wary because magical realism is not something I particularly enjoy, but this was just gorgeously written and strongly rooted in a beautifully portrayed relationship between two young people in a city that's descending into violence. It's a stunning book.
  • Court Justice: As a college football fan (and someone whose husband loved the NCAA football video games), I've been interested in the O'Bannon lawsuit and the ongoing debate about the idea of paying college players, so this book seemed right up my alley. It didn't work, though, for me. The writing was clunky, and it felt like there was more information about O'Bannon's life and career than there was about the lawsuit. I'm sure there's a good book to be written about it all, but this isn't it. 
  • Stiff: I read Roach's Spook last year and enjoyed it, so I went back to read her first book! I learned a lot of really fascinating things about dead people and what happens to them, and my inclination towards organ donation was re-affirmed. 
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks: I've been hearing good things about this book for years now, and happily, my recommenders were right! This is a fascinating book, exploring the life of the titular lady (whose cancer cells were the beginning of one of the most widely-used cell lines in the world), medical ethics, and what's become of the children Henrietta left behind when she died at only 31. It's a little uneven in the pacing, but definitely worth reading. 
  • Possession: This book is so dense and rich I'm sure it takes a second or even third reading to really fully appreciate it, but I enjoyed it enough that I'll be happy to return to it someday. Compelling characters and an interesting, nerdy mystery that requires them to find and follow literary clues to solve it? Sold. 
  • Of Human Bondage: Books like this are why I continue to refuse to DNF. About halfway through, I was not really enjoying this character study of a shy, sensitive young man who can't figure out what he wants to do with himself. But by the end, I was glad I stuck by to watch him struggle and grow and change and finally find a kind of happiness. 

In Life...
  • I bought a car: It's actually less exciting than it lease was ending, so I decided to keep the car I've been driving for three years already. But this is the first car I've actually bought and I'm excited that it's mine (well, it's my credit union's, but it's basically mine). 
  • Campaign season begins: Our filing period for candidates for political office opened on March 5 and closed March 16, which meant a lot of time for me with elections offices websites and spreadsheets. Now that who's running for what is all set, primary campaigns begin (including one that my colleagues and I are working on)!

One Thing:

As a lifelong devotee of University of Michigan sports, there is no better place on the internet to read about football, hockey, and this time of year, basketball than MGoBlog! It's been a long time since I was an active commenter, but Brian Cook and his team are the first ones I turn to for analysis and commentary about the Maize and Blue! 

Gratuitous Pug Picture: 

No comments:

Post a Comment