Friday, April 30, 2021

A Month In The Life: April 2021


This month has seen a major life change: we've moved! As much as we both loved living less than a ten minute walk from work (our work buildings are actually just across the street from each other), it was time to move on after six years where we'd been. Moving is always stressful, but in the middle of legislative session made this a very hectic month indeed!

In Books...

  • The Girl on the Train: I feel like just about the last person in the world to have read this best-selling thriller, and while I can understand why it was popular (it's fast-paced and reasonably engaging), I have to admit it didn't wow me. I'm not sure she sold me on all of the plot twists, and there were some characterization issues as well. A great airplane/beach read but not much more than that.
  • The Final Revival of Opal & Nev: This is similar to recent smash hit Daisy Jones & The Six in that it's told like an oral history, about a fictional musical act, but that's where the similarities end. This story is deeper and more poignant, about a white man from the UK and a black woman from Detroit who made a few rock'n'roll albums together in the 70s and became notorious when a riot broke out when they were performing. The pacing is inconsistent, but the format keeps it moving along and the story really grabbed me. 
  • Swamplandia!: The people who love this book really love it, but I'd been a little hesitant on it because it just didn't seem like it was going to be for me. It was picked for my book club, which meant I got to confirm yet again that I've developed a pretty good sense of what I'm going to enjoy. The writing was vivid, but I just don't get anything out of the Southern Gothic style and I felt like the plot didn't really go anywhere.
  • Endzone: This nonfiction book has a very specific audience...if you are someone who loves Michigan football, and has less-than-fond memories of Dave Brandon (guilty on both counts), this is a book that will fascinate you. Bacon strives to give a real, three-dimensional portrait of Brandon, and depict the process that led to the hiring of Jim Harbaugh as the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines. If you're not interested in those subjects, though, this will be a tough sell. 
  • Fangirl: In a stressful moment, this very sweet YA novel about a girl in her first year of college struggling with social anxiety as she writes slash fanfic about her favorite series (centered on a boy wizard fighting evil) and finding first love went down very smooth. I'd not loved my first try at Rowell but found this one very enjoyable indeed. 


In Life...

  • We bought a house: That's right, we didn't just move, we moved into our first house! We started looking in mid-February and put in two offers that didn't work out before we made it happen. Reno is a surprisingly bonkers real estate market! We love our new place and we're super excited to make it our home!
  • I got my first dose of vaccine: My second dose is actually tomorrow, so in just about two weeks I will be about as immune as it is possible to be to COVID. I'll be able to go out to restaurants again, feel mostly comfortable traveling to do things like finally meet my own nephew...after over a year of this disease having changed our world, this is such a relief.

One Thing:

I am a dedicated Oscars-watcher, and have always wondered about the ill-fated year when James Franco and Anne Hathaway hosted together. It seemed like such an odd idea, and was so uncomfortable in execution, that I'd been very curious about the thought process. This behind-the-scenes look at it was interesting and entertaining, especially as the ceremony continues to struggle to find secure footing amid ever-declining ratings.

Gratuitous Pug Picture: 


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