Monday, June 29, 2020

A Month In The Life: June 2020

Congrats, y'all, we've made it halfway through 2020! I don't think any of us had any idea what this year would bring when it started, and it's been a doozy. I should be writing this after a fun girls long weekend in Charleston, and instead I haven't had a day off (besides Memorial Day) in months! Things in Nevada are trending in a not-great way, virus-wise, so it's hard to imagine living a life that resembles normal anytime soon unfortunately.

In Books...
  • Year of Wonders: This is the second epidemic book I've read during this time of actual real-world disease crisis, but I think being a little more removed from the height of the issue helped this one work better for me. Based on a real-life story of an English village which had an outbreak of plague in the 1600s and closed itself off entirely to prevent spread to other towns, it's mostly a sensitive and realistic look at what the twin pressures of isolation and illness can do to social structure until a WILD turn at the end that I did not love.
  • The Moor's Account: My book club read for the month! Another based-on-reality historical fiction, this one imagines the life and times of a Moorish slave who was one of only four men to survive an early Spanish expedition to Florida. I found Mustafa a sometimes irritatingly passive protagonist, and I felt like Lalami hammered her theme of the power of storytelling a little too hard at times, but her writing is gorgeous and this was an enjoyable reading experience.
  • A Dirty Job: I loved Christopher Moore's Lamb when I read it in high school, but I did not find his humor charming this time around. I found myself unable to ignore the weird gender politics of both the main character being constantly described as a Beta Male and the way young women working out at the gym are blithely, repeatedly referred to as "fuck puppets". There were some funny moments, and even some touching ones, but as a whole it fell flat for me.
  • A Perfect Explanation: Based on a truly bananas story of the author's own grandmother, who sold her own son (the author's father), the heir to an enormous fortune, to her sister for 500 pounds after a decade-long custody battle. You would think it would be fascinating, but the characters are never really rounded out and the plot just kind of plods along. The prose and style is pleasant enough but it never captured my attention. 
  • Daughter of Fortune: I'd somehow never read Isabel Allende before, and I enjoyed my first experience with her work. I do love a coming-of-age story, and this one about a young Chilean orphan raised by British expats in Valparaiso who follows her lover to California during the Gold Rush was a well-told one. Never knocked me out, but kept my attention and I found it entertaining and informative. 
  • The Queen of the Tearling: In a time when my mental energy reserves are running low, a plot-heavy young adult fantasy book seemed like it might do the trick. While it did keep my attention, I found it pretty lacking in a lot of ways: it left too many unanswered questions to be addressed in a sequel, and the character work was spotty at best. I'm unlikely to pick up the sequels.

In Life...
  • I celebrated my fourth wedding anniversary: While it seems like just yesterday that I was suffering through wedding planning, it's been four years since my husband and I got married now! There's nothing like sheltering in place and both working from home during a global pandemic to made it clear whether you've married someone you can really make it work with in the long term, so I'm even more happy to have married such a wonderful guy lately. Since neither of us is comfortable eating out right now, we didn't do much, but we got champagne and watched a movie and hope to enjoy a nice restaurant (or maybe even trip!) whenever it's safe again.

One Thing:

I've never been big into sci-fi, but my husband and I have been slowly making our way through Star Trek: The Original Series on Netflix for the past couple months. It's often silly (the fight choreography is just straight up terrible) but very fun to watch. I'd definitely recommend it if you're looking for something light to keep you entertained!

Gratuitous Pug Picture:


  1. Happy anniversary! All of my plans got canceled because of the pandemic too. I really didn’t think 2020 would be like this. I hope you have a great July.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. Thank you! And I think all of us were hoping for a better year, but I'm going to try to be hopeful that it'll be on the upswing from here!