My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.
Today. Last chance for sanity in this country. I mean, I’m not really holding out hope for a miracle or anything, but still.
I think this SNL skit says it all:
What did I read last week?
Read and reviewed:
The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher: Done! My review is here.
After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid: Done! My review is here.
Read but not reviewed:
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones: I started the audiobook but didn’t care for the narrator, then finished this book the old-fashioned way. I can see, in a distant sort of way, why so many people consider it a must-read. The book is quite charming, and I wish I’d read it with my kids when they were the right age. Reading it as an adult, the tale just felt a bit simple and juvenile, although I did enjoy the clever word play and unconventional gender and age roles.
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway: I finished! I feel a bit like a cheater, though. I’ve been reading this with my book group, two chapters per week… and this week, I got to within the last ten chapters and just kept going. So yes, I finished the book early, but I’ll still be a good book group member and participate in the ongoing discussions, and I promise not to reveal any spoilers! So what did I think of it? Well, I’m glad to have finally read this one, but didn’t exactly love it. Objectively speaking, I can see why it’s considered a modern classic and appreciate Hemingway’s unique writing style, but as for my own preferences and enjoyment, it didn’t particularly rock my world or anything.
In short fiction, I read Everything But the Squeal by John Scalzi, a novella about a Biological Systems Interface Management worker (in other words, a pig farmer) in the high-tech walled city of New St. Louis. Great fun, especially if you’re already a Scalzi fan.
Pop culture goodness:
Despite finally catching the cold that everyone else in my household has already had, I did manage to get out to see a movie — and totally loved La La Land!
In TV news, I finished watching season 3 of Mozart in the Jungle, which continues to be fabulous. Although I’ve been grumbling… I hate waiting all year for a new season, then bingeing it all in about 4 days and having to wait another year for more new episodes. Grumble, grumble…
I hadn’t been on NetGalley in a while… and went a bit overboard with requests. These requests all came through in the past couple of weeks:
What will I be reading during the coming week?
Currently in my hands:
A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn: This is the second book in the quippy, fast-paced Victorian-era Veronica Speedwell mystery series. (Check out my review of A Curious Beginning, the first in the series).
And just for fun, I’m also read William Shakespeare’s Star Wars, which is totally silly and a great diversion. Yea, verily, ’tis a pleasure to read.
Now playing via audiobook:
Just finished: “I Give You My Body”: How I Write Sex Scenes by Diana Gabaldon. I’m a completist, okay? If Diana Gabaldon writes it, I pretty much have to read it. I’m not a writer, but I did find DG’s explanations of technique quite interesting, and I’d imagine someone trying to write effective sex scenes would find something to learn from this book. The audiobook is narrated by Herself, and includes lengthy selections from various works in the Outlander world with the original audiobook narrators, so all around, lots of fun.
For my next audiobook, I’m about to start Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger. I read Etiquette & Espionage when it first came out, and didn’t love it enough to continue with the series. However, after my Gail Carriger binge last week, I thought I should give the Finishing School books another try, and audio seems like a good approach.
My book group is STILL reading Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon — 2 chapters per week — and will be until June 2017!
So many books, so little time…