Sunday, January 31, 2021

A Month In The Life: January 2021



And just like that, we've made it through the first month of 2021! Legislative session somehow starts tomorrow already, so the next 120 days are about to be an entirely new way, since we won't be on site at least at the beginning here. It may be a new year, but it wasn't much different than the past 10 months have been, as we continued to stay home and wait for our turn at the vaccine. As healthy adults working in non-essential professions, we're likely near the end of the line and that's okay! But even as terrified of needles as I am, when I'm up I will happily put my arm out!

In Books...

  • The Wife Upstairs: This is a spin on Jane Eyre, which is a classic I really like but did not read for the first time until I was an adult so I don't feel a strong sentimental attachment to. I found this Southern-tinged, thriller-type take on it to be fun but ultimately kind of hollow. The twists were not hard to see coming, and though it was definitely a page-turner there's not a lot of there there. A great plane/beach read!
  • The Satanic Verses: I wanted to read this both because Midnight's Children was great and its own notoriety. It's interesting, because while Rushdie's debut felt like a more technically accomplished book, I thought this one (his fourth) demonstrated real growth in storytelling prowess. I enjoyed reading it more even as its flaws (including just way too many characters) were obvious. 
  • Go, Went, Gone: I had some mixed but ultimately positive feelings about this book, which tells the story of Richard, a recently retired classics professor in Berlin who finds himself drawn into the world of a group of African refugees in the city. I wish there was more time given to the perspective of the refugees themselves, but there was some interesting development of themes about borders, about time, and about choices.
  • On Hitler's Mountain: This is a memoir from a woman about her girlhood in a small mountain community very close to Hitler's Eagle's Nest before, during, and after World War 2, and while I can be picky about memoir I do tend to enjoy those by people who lived through important historical events. So I did appreciate this, which is well-constructed and interesting, though I wished there had been more information about the author's later childhood/early adulthood years.
  • Murder on the Orient Express: I'd never read Agatha Christie before, which was a MISTAKE. I really enjoyed this tightly-plotted, clever mystery with fantastic dialogue. Mysteries in general have generally not been my favorite but this was a very entertaining book and I appreciated its quick, efficient storytelling that made it feel like not a word was wasted!
  • The Sea: I wanted to find this novel lackluster after reading that its author, John Banville, made snooty comments after he won the Booker Prize that the Booker usually goes to "middlebrow" novels. Unfortunately, it's actually very good, with beautiful prose and packing a real emotional punch despite being less than 200 pages long.
  • All Girls: I'm a sucker for a boarding-school novel, so this book (which releases in February) about an all-girls school dealing with the aftermath of a resurfaced sex scandal seemed promising. Unfortunately, its multiple-perspective structure kept it from ever settling in or developing momentum, and the Layden indulges in rhetorical devices that make it obvious she's not confident enough that her writing is making its own points by underlining them.


In Life...

  • Getting ready for (virtual) session: As to be expected during a global pandemic, for an occurrence that drives hundreds of people to regularly cram into a building for four months, our legislative session will be virtual at least to start. I do have to admit that I won't miss making the 40-minute commute to Carson City, over several bridges that often freeze over, during the month of February (but do hope we make it eventually)!

One Thing:

Looking around here, it should be pretty obvious that I'm not much of a romance reader...and I haven't been much into romantically-focused movies or TV either. But I figured I would give Bridgerton a try on Netflix after hearing some raves and I wound up really enjoying it! Even if it doesn't seem like your thing, I would encourage you to give it a shot, it's fun and dishy!

Gratuitous Pug Picture:


  1. I felt the same way about Bridgerton. I don’t like romance, but I watched it because everybody else was watching it. It’s a fun show. Have a great February!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. Right? Not something that seemed like it would be my deal but I'm glad I gave it a shot, it was a treat! Hope you have a good month too!