Wednesday, February 27, 2019

A Month In The Life: February 2019

Two months down, ten to go! And as always in session years, this was a very busy month...and the next few will only get busier! And it was extra exciting for another reason: in the fulfillment of a lifelong dream, I taped Jeopardy! I'll definitely have more details on when you can see me on the show, so watch this space for updates!

In Books...

  • Hausfrau: This was very trendy around the book blogging space a few years back, and I was curious to see what all the fuss was about. While there's definitely some quality writing here, I could not get invested in this tale about Anna, an American expat housewife living in Switzerland who's less than faithful to her Swiss husband. It's sometimes a little too on-the-nose, and I found Anna to be just completely uninteresting.
  • The Mind's Eye: This collection of case studies focuses on disorders of visual processing, and features Sacks not only as doctor but as patient in his own right (dealing with face blindness and a loss of stereoscopic vision after a bout with ocular cancer). As always, it's compellingly written, but I didn't think it quite had the zing of his best work. 
  • The Buried Giant: I've loved the other books I've read by Kazuo Ishiguro, but this one, a fantasy novel set in a Dark Ages Britain populated by ogres and pixies and dragons, didn't quite work for me. The themes of memory and forgetting and revenge are powerful and the writing is elegant, but I never really got into it. 
  • Forest Dark: This was a book club pick, and while I appreciated the skill of Nicole Krauss' telling of her parallel tales of American Jewish people searching for a purpose in Israel, this was another one I struggled to connect with, partly because the two stories were too disconnected for me. 
  • Daisy Jones and The Six: This story of a fictionalized 70s rock band, who recorded a classic album and then broke up on tour, is told like an oral history explaining how the record and the bust-up happened. I'd heard great things about Taylor Jenkins Reid before, and after devouring this book, I'll definitely be reading her other work...I totally loved this and had a hard time putting it down even at bedtime!
  • The Silkworm: This is the second in J.K. Rowling's Cormoran Strike mystery series about a private detective in London, and I thought it worked better than the first one from a plot perspective. I also appreciated that we got deeper into the emotional lives of the main characters, but mystery as a genre just doesn't really do it for me even when it's well-executed (as it is here). 
  • The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie: I'd seen the movie version of this ages ago, but had completely forgotten the plot by the time I started reading it. It's an interesting but underdeveloped (for me) take on the "special teacher" genre, about a group of girls taken under the wing of the titular Ms. Brodie, who seeks to make them in her own image...with uneven results, both for her and the girls she nurtures.  

In Life...

  • I taped Jeopardy!: Being on Jeopardy! has been a total life goal of mine for about forever. I've taken the online test several times, but this past July I got invited to audition, and then I got a call last month and taped a few weeks ago! Of course I can't tell anyone anything, but if you're curious, keep an eye out for me on April 19th to see how I do! 
  • First month of session down: As of Friday, the first four weeks will officially be over, and it's been hectic so far! Not in the least because of the nutty weather we've been having. After a beginning of winter that didn't see all that much in terms of precipitation, we've had SO. MUCH. SNOW, which is zero fun when you've got a 40 minute commute through the foothills. 

One Thing:

I'm not usually one to be drawn to a book by its cover...most of my choices of what to read are based on recommendations or going back to writers whose work I've loved before. But I'm not immune to the appeal of a catchy cover, and this article about cover design and the way it's been impacted by mobile browsing and #bookstagram was super interesting!

Gratuitous Pug Picture:


  1. Oh, wow, Jeopardy!! That's so fun!

  2. Oh my gosh - I can't believe you were on Jeopardy! That's so fun! Please let us know when your episode airs...I'll record it!

  3. You’re going to be on Jeopardy?! My grandma loved that show. I don’t think I’ve watched it since she died. I’ll have to look for you.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. I'll admit I tend to catch it when I remember to rather than slavishly watch it every night, but I've always wanted to be on and now I will be!