Friday, September 30, 2022

Two Months In The Life: August and September 2022


And now it's the end of September! Everyone told me that time flies when you have a kid but I don't think I really realized how fast it would go! This time last year my pregnancy was just starting to really show and now I have a baby who can sit up unsupported and babbles and laughs!

In Books...

  • Z: This was a book that had been on my list for a really long time, and it was obvious to me as soon as I started reading it that I'd actually grown past this phase as a reader. I would much rather read an actual biography at this point than a fictionalized one. Perhaps for this reason, it didn't do much for me. I didn't find Zelda herself all that compelling, and while her actual relationship with Scott was fascinating, it flattens here into high spirited wife v. controlling alcoholic husband in a way that's just not very interesting
  • Intimacies: I would describe this book as spare. Kitamura's writing is spare, the characterization is spare, the plot is spare. I don't necessarily mean this in a bad way. It largely works. But there were times I wanted more than mere hints at depth, so this was good rather than great for me. 
  • Candide: Historically, satire has not worked super well for me. This was one of the more enjoyable ones for me, but that's not saying a lot. It was fine. 
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin: A classic of American history, but whew. I often had to remind myself that it was less intended as a novel than as a persuasive piece to convince Christian white women of the immorality of slavery. It is often deeply patronizing and problematic, but it was seeking to portray Black people as human beings with souls in a way that was revolutionary at the time. 
  • The Bird Artist: A book club pick that was already on my TBR, this fell flat for me. The character names are ridiculous and the dialogue is studied and stilted. Margaret is a fascinating character, but it's hard to tell if that's organic or because she's the only one that resembles an actual person in the novel. 
  • Romancing Mister Bridgerton: I just do not have the time and mental energy to really sink into a big sprawling epic while I have a small baby, so this is definitely the time for romance novels in my life. This fourth entry in the series was much much better than the third, which I hated, but never really went anywhere besides "pleasantly diverting". 
  • Chime: I didn't have particularly high hopes for this, the cover was cheesy and I couldn't remember how it had gotten on my list in the first place. But it turns out I loved it! It drops you right into the middle of its world in a way that I suspect will make it a no-go for some readers, but I absolutely loved the prose and added Fanny Billingsley's other works to my list! 


In Life...

  • More solo parenting: I'm getting the hang of it, I think. There were a few days in August and then almost a week in September for the Lake Tahoe convention I've always gone with my husband to in the past but this time stayed home during.  
  • Fire season: We had a terrible week and a half or so of smoke coming over the mountains from a wildland fire in California, with air quality often hitting hazardous levels. Thankfully a storm system moved in that dumped a bunch of rain in the area or who knows how long this one might have lasted. I'm just glad to be able to take my baby on walks now that it's not a million degrees outside and/or smoky!
  • My husband started a new job: After seven years at his former gig, my husband got a new job! It has different hours, but it was time for something new and we're adjusting to our new normal as a family.

One Thing:

A Pure Barre opened up about a five-minute drive from my house and I think I'm a convert! It's done a lot to help strengthen my core again post-partum and I enjoy the low-impact but high-intensity aspect. Yoga and pilates often don't feel like enough effort to make me really feel like I've worked out but that isn't a problem here! I often have to stop to rest midway through sets but I can feel myself getting stronger!

Gratuitous Pug Picture: 

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