Wednesday, October 30, 2019

A Month In The Life: October 2019

October, being my birthday month, has always been my favorite month. Besides the obvious, I love the fall weather you get in October, the way it's crisp but usually not too cold yet, peak fall colors, and pumpkin spice everything (I'm basic, I'm fine with that). And this October has been pretty busy! One of my coworkers/friends got married, and I got to go to an awesome sporting event with my best friend!

In Books...
  • The Age of Miracles: I'd read that this had been partially inspired by Saramago's Blindness, which had me prepared for something very grim. Though there is certainly darkness in this story about a teenage girl living through the experience of the earth's rotation slowing and the consequent social upheaval, it's generally lighter in tone. It struck a good balance between the coming-of-age story and the environmental-and-societal disaster story, and I really liked it!
  • The Overstory: I'd already gone ahead and bought it because it won the Pulitzer, but then it was picked for book club so I actually read it! I ended up with some mixed ideas: there are A LOT of tree feelings, some of them better expressed than others, and some spotty executions of characters. Lots of ambition, not all of it fully realized. 
  • Plagues and Peoples: This is an interesting subject matter, the effect of disease on the development of civilizations. It's clearly well-researched and thought out, but it was unfortunately as dull as dishwater. There's just no life to the writing at all, so even though there's good stuff from an ideas perspective it was just not compelling. 
  • Revolutionary Road: At this point, the idea that The American Dream Is Not All It's Cracked Up To Be is hardly a new one. But that doesn't mean it can't be explored in interesting ways. This book tells the story of a couple, Frank and April Wheeler, who seem like they have it all: he's got a steady, reliable job, they have two adorable children, and they have a cute house in the suburbs...but it turns out, that isn't necessarily a recipe for happiness. Not ground-breaking stuff, but it's well-told and engaging to read.
  • The Line of Beauty: This book examines the 80s/Thatcher era in the UK through the lens of a middle-class young gay man who becomes attached to a rich political family. As could be expected, there's sex and cocaine and AIDS. The writing is lovely, and it's paced well enough that it doesn't feel like it's actually 500 pages long.

In Life...
  • I turned 34 (and so did my husband): Our birthdays are two weeks apart, so we share a birthday month. I had a lovely birthday and was fortunate enough to get some nice gifts, while giving away a gift of my annual "best-of-the-year" giveaway was for a copy of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, which was won by Karen! 
  • Weekend in Las Vegas with my best friend: I've always loved figure skating, and this year, Skate America was held in Las Vegas...too close to not plan to go! Originally I was going to drag my husband, but my best friend Crystal stepped up and saved him. We had an awesome weekend and saw some amazing skating and it was super fun.

One Thing:

If you exist on the internet, you've seen someone you know post a link to a GoFundMe. We hear all about the most successful ones and how life-changing they can be for people dealing with a sudden job loss, or a devastating disease. But obviously for every mega-viral funder that raises millions, there are many, many people who raise next to nothing. This article really digs into how the mechanics of crowdfunding often end up benefiting those already comparatively better-off.

Gratuitous Pug Picture:


  1. I’m glad you had a great birthday! October is my favorite month, too. I love fall and cool weather. Happy November!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. My wish for crisp weather has been slightly was only 19 degrees outside this morning! Hope you have a great November too!