Saturday, June 30, 2018

A Month In The Life: June 2018

And as of today, we're halfway through 2018! These first six months have had their challenges, but for the most part it's been a positive year and I'm really looking forward to the rest of it. Especially since we'll finally be doing more of the "getting out of town" bit...we've been squirreling away our vacation days and we've got some trips coming up that'll hopefully be fun! This month, though, was mostly pretty calm.

In Books...

  • The Sky Is Yours: First of all, this book is intensely weird. Dragons are only the beginning of it in this story of a far-future New York City menaced by the scaly beasts that's been winnowed down to the very rich and the very poor holding out. Weird is usually alienating to me, and indeed I never quite bought all the way into it, but damn if it wasn't well-written, entertaining, and compulsively readable. A very promising debut.
  • Boy, Snow, Bird: A fresh and powerful take on the classic Snow White fairy tale, Oyeyemi plays with race, surface appearances, identity, and mirrors. Up until the end, I found it compelling and thought-provoking, but there's a twist that, and kind of derailed the whole thing. 
  • Motherless Brooklyn: I was intrigued when this was selected for book club, since I'd had it on my TBR a while ago and then actually taken it off later because I decided I probably wouldn't like it. Was I right to add it or delete it then? The latter. I hated it. I never got involved in the mystery or cared about anyone involved. 
  • The Girl With All The Gifts: I bought this on a Kindle sale whim and was unsure about it before I started reading it...horror can be very hit or miss for me. But it's really good, twisting the zombie story to give us a tale about an unexpected bond and what it really means to be human after all.
  • Love Medicine: This book is more like intertwined short stories than a novel, but it's beautifully written and an interesting look at the lives of modern Native Americans and explores the rich variety of complications that love and family bring. I'm definitely interested in continuing the series!
  • Sloppy Firsts: I don't know how I missed this series when I was a teenager myself, because I would eaten it up. As it is, even 32 year-old me really enjoyed this story of a misanthropic high school girl trying to make it through the endless sea of high school b.s., which took me back in the best possible way. This is another series I'll be continuing. 
  • The Completionist: Feminist dystopian fiction is having a bit of a moment, but to be honest this was not a shining example of the genre. It's set in a future where there's been disaster resulting in a virtual vanishing of water and a growing crisis of fertility, leading to increasing restrictions on women who've managed to get pregnant. A young ex-Marine and his older, pregnant sister search for their other sister, a Completionist (basically a midwife) who's gone missing. I loved the character of the pregnant sister, but the book as a whole fell apart under scrutiny.
  • The Feast of Love: This Ann Arbor-set book had seeds of greatness (the prose is amazing, and the characters are vivid) but I couldn't get over how falsely the portions of the book written from the perspective of a young woman rang. It completely undermined the book for me. 

In Life...

  • Primary elections: Our client that had a primary made it through, so now we've got that race and a couple other to get ready for in November! Campaigns are hard work but they're always interesting and I'm fortunate in that I've gotten to work with amazing candidates that I really believe in. Anyone who doesn't think their votes count should be there as local candidates watch numbers come in, every one matters!
  • Our second wedding anniversary: Two years of married life down, forever to go! We celebrated with an ice cream cake (an annual tradition now!) on Father's Day, and then our favorite Italian place for the day-of, and I am a very lucky lady. 

One Thing:

That some people have made blogging a lucrative full-time career should no longer be a surprise. We've all heard about the thousands of dollars a Kardashian can command for a single Instagram post, and the reality is that there are people whose reach and dedicated following in their fields (travel, fashion, parenting, etc) are valuable enough to be worth a substantial amount to marketers. But by and large, this doesn't extend to book bloggers. Laura at What's Hot? has a very interesting piece about why the bookternet should be getting paid. My own following and engagement is small enough that I'd never be able to turn pro at this, but for those who do have it and whose work leads to sales for publishers, they should be compensated!

Gratuitous Pug Photo:


  1. Enjoy your trips, and happy anniversary! I’m glad your client did well in the primary. I’ll definitely be voting in November. I wish I got paid for blogging because it’s a lot of work. I used to work in publishing and didn’t get paid much for that, either. Book publishers don’t make a lot of money.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. Thank you! Going into the general we've got three candidates and a ballot question, so the second half of election season is going to be a bigger push. On the publishers/payment side of things, it's a hard line to walk...on the one hand, the kinds of things that the giant lifestyle bloggers usually get paid for (household goods, fashion, makeup) usually have much higher profit margins and marketing budgets than books do. But on the other, with the proliferation of "celebrity" book clubs, publishers are clearly starting to recognize the value of social media promotion and if someone can show that (at least some) book bloggers are able to drive sales, I think there should be some sort of compensation for that beyond "you got a free copy of the book".