Five Years Ago This Month: June 2016

Five years ago this month...

...I reviewed Death Comes for the Archbishop. I didn't mind this book, but it didn't make as much of an impression as some other priests-in-the-wilderness type books that I read around the same time. I'd still say that I prefer Cather's other book I've read, My Ántonia.

...I looked back at June 2011. Nothing much was going on on the blog. I was enjoying wandering around the city on my weeks home from working up north.

...I reviewed Hotel. This was such a fascinating time capsule of a book. I'm surprised I didn't really make much note in my review of the television series inspired by the book, which was on the air for five years.

...I wrote my fourth retrospective post. While the previous retrospective post had been something of a low point for the blog, an entire three years prior to this one, I think this retrospective marks a bit of an upswing. What I'm saying in a roundabout way is that the second half of the project took a lot less time than the first.

...I was distracted. Nothing much happened, although I guess I started using Litsy around that time. I'm currently a sometime user of the app, which has failed to really launch.

A hosta that simply couldn't survive the conditions in my backyard.


Current Distractions, May 2021 Edition

It's the end of May!

Reading
Pamela by Samuel Richardson (since January)
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary
Maurice by E. M. Forster

Watching
Spartacus
Twin Peaks season 2

What I'm Reading: March 11-April 1, 2021

I've been procrastinating when it comes to writing this post for a really long time, so I could technically be writing about ten books right now instead of just five. But unfortunately I'm pressed for time and I don't want to rush through everything, so I'm sticking with five for now. Oops!

Here are five books that I read between March 11 and April 1, 2021, in the order that I completed them:

 

Dubliners by James Joyce

242 pages

I know what you're thinking, and yes, I did voluntarily read another of the works of James Joyce. I did this because I figured I'd read three and I might as well finish the whole set. Plus I'd read one of the short stories in this collection for an english class and actually thought it was pretty good.

And yep, if you want to give James Joyce a try but avoid all the nonsense, Dubliners is the way to do it. That is, start here, not with Finnegans Wake like I did. Not a ton to say other than that really - I still don't get along with James Joyce, even when he's writing something that it's possible to read without wanting to scratch your eyes out.

 

Uzumaki: Spiral Into Horror, Vol. 2 by Ito Junji

197 pages

After reading the first part of this manga in January, I decided to keep going, and picked up the second volume, which just escalates things and provides more spooky images and stories. Ick.

 

The Most Human Human by Brian Christian

275 pages

The subtitle of this book is "What Talking with Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive" and it was a book club selection. The book is a combination of tech journalism and philosophical musings on conversation much more so than a pure exploration of artificial intelligence, which is what I was expecting. It's a little bit out of date, since it was published a decade ago and obviously things have progressed a lot since then in the field of chat bots.

 

Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson

319 pages

The trailer for the CBC show, Trickster prompted me to move this higher up on my reading list. And then the book completely blew me away, with the possible exception of the ending (i.e. I'd usually rather read one self-contained novel than a trilogy).

This is the story of a teenage boy named Jared, who has had what I can only describe as a tough go of things. I thought that the book would be YA, but the subject matter is extremely mature. Mind you I don't have a good grip on the YA genre. But basically Jared's home life is extremely dysfunctional, and the book is way way more about that than it is about the fact that he's the "son of a trickster" which barely comes up honestly.

 

This Word Now by Owen and Jodi Egerton

283 pages

This is a book about writing, which has been on my shelf for years, that I've resisted picking up because I just don't really write anymore anyway. But I decided I needed to basically shit or get off the pot and see what I thought of it, and it was actually quite good and made me feel like maybe my writing practice could come back someday after all. Of course we'll see. But I'm going to hang onto this one for a bit. The authors, by the way, are a married couple who have done all kinds of interesting performance and writing work, which gives the book a different energy than some other writing guides that I've read.