Saturday, August 13, 2022

Two Months In The Life: June and July 2022


I'm just going to stop pretending I'm going to do these updates more often than every other month. I'm not reading enough, and I'm too busy. Hence why the actual posting is so erratic! I actually have several months worth of pre-written reviews but I just can't get the other bits together. Turns out having a baby is time-consuming!

In Books...

  • The Viscount Who Loved Me: I'd heard that the second Bridgerton book was better than the first, so I went ahead with the series and it turns out I'd heard correctly. It was entertaining enough, though silly in parts, and made an easy, fun read.  
  • Wojtek The Bear: I was interested in this book initially just because of the humor of the idea of a beer-swilling, cigarette-loving bear who goes to war in real life. But it's actually a more sensitive story than I'd expected. The bond between the bear and his Polish comrades, the trauma that all of them's very moving and I'm glad to have read Wojtek's story.
  • Violet & Claire: This story about an intense friendship between very different teenage girls was something I expect I would have very much enjoyed when I myself was a teenage girl and experiencing those big emotions firsthand. But as a thirtysomething it just felt very overwrought. 
  • Dataclysm: This was a fun nonfiction read! It's from the former data chief at OKCupid and is all about interesting trends that can be gathered from the data internet users put out there, particularly the one he used to work on. It's entertaining but also honestly pretty light/forgettable.
  • Bookends: A bit of a spiritual cousin to Bridget Jones's Diary, this is the story of Cathy, a single thirty-something Londoner who, successfully but unhappily employed, decides to open a bookshop with the wife of one of her good college friends and develops a connection with the real estate agent who helped them find the location. There are honestly too many plot threads in this book, with some of them feeling like they don't get the weight they deserve. It's more or less fine but it's hard to muster any enthusiasm about it. 
  • The Graveyard Book: I'm not usually a fan of stories told as a series of vignettes, like this one is, but Neil Gaiman can do anything. I just love his storytelling. A very small child, given the name Nobody Owens, is taken in by the ghosts of a graveyard after his family is brutally murdered, and gets into some typical childhood mischief in a very unorthodox way as he grows up. I just loved it. 
  • An Offer From a Gentleman: The worst Bridgerton book I've read so far (which is just the three). Quinn goes directly for a Cinderella story, and while Sophie is a perfectly enjoyable heroine, Benedict is mostly pretty unpleasant so there's no real enjoyment in the way the love story unfolds. Not surprised to hear they're skipping this book for the TV adaptation. 
  • Concussion: I quite like watching football, particularly college football, but it's become harder in recent years to enjoy the sport in the wake of the research about the damage done to the brain by playing the game. I was really interested in reading more about how that research came to be, but this was mostly a miss for me. It's as much an uncritical biography of Dr. Bennet Omalu, who made the discovery of the tangles in the brain that result from multiple concussions, as it is a science story. I wanted much more of the latter and less of the former.
  • Binti: A novella is a challenging form and hard to do right (Capote and Sparks come to mind as authors who really have a feel for what makes a good novella). This is a good story, but I wish it were a novel rather than a novella. I super enjoyed Okorafor's world-building and wanted more! I also feel like it would have given the character of Binti herself, and the events of the story, more time to breathe and get comfortable. I'm definitely reading the sequels though!


In Life...

  • My husband went out of town for the first time since our son was born: It was just a few days, and I'd had a trial run of solo parenting when my husband had COVID and we were trying to isolate, but whew it's exhausting trying to handle everything myself and so much respect to single moms who do this every day.
  • I've starting planning some trips of my own: I'll be taking some long weekends at the end of October and the middle of December to spend time with my good friends! It's both really hard to think about leaving my baby and really exciting to think about sleeping without a baby monitor on!

One Thing:

This story was fascinating, and also in a way mundane. I feel like every girl who ever went to high school remembers the one teacher who gave off weird vibes and seemed to get a little too close to his students.

Gratuitous Baby Picture:  

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