Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Two Months In The Life: April and May 2022

I had such good intentions of getting back on a regular posting schedule! But life with a new baby is unpredictable so here we are again at the end of two months of radio silence, and this time I am not going to be dumb and promise anything about my posting schedule going forward! Things have been happening and I have done at least some reading though, so here's what's been going on.

In Books...

  • Bluebeard's Egg: I'm not a huge fan of short stories, but I AM a huge fan of Margaret Atwood, so I've acquired several of her collections. Like most short stories, I found these uneven, but her writing is so good that even the lesser stories are still very solid. 
  • Tuck Everlasting: Since my brain is still a little overwhelmed, I've been more inclined than usual towards less complex books. This is a childhood classic that I never actually read, and while I think middle school me would have found the question it raises about immortality to be powerful, adult me found the central romantic attraction between a 12 year-old and a 17 year-old to be kind of creepy. 
  • Everyone Wants To Be Me Or Do Me: I've long enjoyed Tom and Lorenzo's fashion blogging, so I was curious about their first book about celebrity culture, published nearly a decade ago. That it was pretty harsh, more so than is currently in vogue, wasn't surprising given the tone of their commentary at that point. What was surprising in a disappointing way was that it just...wasn't very funny. It was the same joke, essentially, throughout the entire book and it got old fast.
  • The DUFF: While there's definitely YA out there that has strong appeal across age lines, this is definitely one that will likely appeal most to actual teenagers. It's evident from the beginning where things will end up, and the drama feels silly in a way that's dumb even for high school.
  • The Princess Saves Herself In This One: I will freely admit that I am Bad At Poetry, but I really liked this collection, framing trauma through a fairy tale lens. It got a lot of flack for being more form than substance but I found it affecting.
  • Pointe: This is actually a great example of YA that's doing a bit more. In fact, my main criticism of the book is that it has a few too many layers. Theo is one of the very few students of color in her high school, the only Black ballerina at her studio, has a history of disordered eating, has a best friend who disappeared and suddenly returns, is coming to terms with the idea that the relationship she had with an older guy when she was 13 was not the consensual love affair she thought of it as, and is developing feelings for a classmate with a girlfriend. I wish it had been pitched as an adult novel, and given more room to breathe, because it's good even though it's a little underbaked in some respects.
  • The Virgin's Lover: I usually enjoy Philippa Gregory's Tudor books in a guilty pleasure kind of way, but this one was a miss. It dramatizes the love triangle of Elizabeth I, Robert Dudley, and his wife Amy Dudley. Amy was a doormat, Robert was smug, and Elizabeth was a wreck, none of which makes for a compelling character.


In Life...

  • We all got COVID: After two-plus years of pandemic and vaccines and a booster shot, we finally ran out of luck and the virus went through the house. The baby actually had the easiest time of all, a brief low fever and sniffles. I felt like I had a bad sinus infection. My husband felt like he had a bad flu. But we all recovered, and I'm hoping with continued precautions we don't have to go through this again.
  • I went back to work: I was actually supposed to end my maternity leave the week I got sick, so I had an extra week at home with C. It's been weird to be back, in both good and bad ways. I'm quite lucky in that my retired in-laws are taking care of the baby, so I know I'm leaving him with people who love him very much, but of course I miss him terribly...but also appreciate being able to talk to adults about things besides diapers.

One Thing:

I love magazines but am terrible at actually reading them so I had a million back issues of Vanity Fair piled up that I started working my way through during maternity leave and honestly it's my favorite magazine...especially once I gave myself permission to skip the articles about things I don't really care about. But it's hard, because even if I think I don't care the writers for VF are GOOD and sometimes I wind up caring after all!

Gratuitous Pug Picture: