Sunday, December 18, 2016

still technically around!

Current mood:
  • Four hours of sleep a night
  • Back at work full-time
  • Toddler got a stomach bug and threw up twice in my car and then on the couch
  • Have only ten pounds to lose post-partum but it's distributed so oddly that I cannot get any pre-pregnancy pants past my thighs
  • Upon review, that's not so much "distributed oddly" as "distributed in my thighs"
  • Whatever, I'm sticking to my story
  • Living in the last days of the Roman Empire, apparently
  • I have been reading but finding the time to blog is another creature entirely
Oh, and I turned forty. There was supposed to be some big profound post about that but then the election happened and I had a bit of a meltdown. However, I need to get some books listed here before the backlog gets completely out of control:

The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain, by Bill Bryson. Rather nice and comforting, even if Bryson's curmudgeonly attitude sometimes takes an unexpected turn into vitriol, and you get the feeling that he is one of those people who always acts shitty towards folks in customer service positions. Which is not cool. 

Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins. Decent. I really resented the killing-off of characters far more sympathetic than our narrator, especially since it was transparently done to emphasize that the world completely revolves around her. 

Witches of Lychford, by Paul Cornell. A super-fun novella about a small British village that maintains the barrier between our world and that of the fairies, and how a superstore coming to town could destroy that barrier. I love Cornell's urban fantasy. 

The White Shepherd, by Annie Dalton. A forgettable mystery that I read only because the heroine has just adopted a giant white dog. 

Wives and Daughters, by Elizabeth Gaskell. Victorian novels are such good comfort reading when things are rough. This was sweet. 

The Ghost Fields, by Elly Griffiths. I love this series about a female archaeologist getting sucked into crimes, even though the plots are hilarious stretches at this point. Such lovely characters and sense of place.

The Witch of Lime Street: Séance, Seduction, and Houdini in the Spirit World, by David Jaher. Did I even finish this? Not sure. That tells you how interesting it was. 

Seventy-Seven Ways to Make Your Life Very Slightly Better, by Tania Kindersley. This is a little self-published book by a blogger I love. It is about Scotland and middle age and dogs and natural beauty and grief, and it is periodically either free for e-readers or costs about two dollars and you should all download it. The self-help format may turn folks off, and I was a bit surprised to see that she had written something like that, but it is so charming and kind and smart and genuinely helpful. I think so, anyway. 

Shakespeare's Restless World: A Portrait of an Era in Twenty Objects, by Neil MacGregor. Oooh, just lovely. MacGregor takes twenty physical artifacts from Shakespeare's time and uses them to discuss the politics and social mores of the time and how those were reflected in the plays. It's wonderfully intelligent and informative, and just a physically beautiful book as well. 

All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation, by Rebecca Traister. Very well-done reportage, and fierce to boot. 

The Breaker, by Minette Walters. Serviceable but hostile thriller. I am not so much in the mood for the "people are inherently nasty and vicious" type of books right now. 

The Art of the English Murder: From Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes to Agatha Christie and Alfred Hitchcock, by Lucy Worsley. Really, really fascinating study of how English mystery literature evolved. I liked it a lot.

And now I must dash, since the toddler just informed me, "Mommy, your phone is playing hide-and-seek!" 

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