January in Review
I’m adopting a new format for my monthly updates. Instead of just recapping for you everything I’ve read, it’ll be more general, sort of taking the place of my old “bookish and not-so-bookish” weekly updates… because, come on, I’m not going to have time for that anymore. I’m also throwing in some random pictures from throughout the month; maybe it’ll inspire me to actually take more interesting pictures.
So, let’s get to it…
Still pregnant. My due date is two months from today. I had my baby shower a couple weeks ago, which was also my last visit home pre-baby. In a couple weeks I won’t be able to travel anymore. They don’t want me going more than 50 miles away, and while I take that as more of a guideline than a rule – it’s not the travel that’s the issue, it’s the not being nearby if something unexpected happens – it is kind of nice to have a doctor’s note excusing me from any six-hour round-trips in the near future.
Movies & TV
The biggest news, of course, is that Parks and Recreation is back! And by this time next month, it will be over already… which is sad, but also exciting that we don’t have long to wait to see how it all ends.
The final season of Psych is on Netflix now. I re-watched the finale a few weeks ago. Endings, with all their expectations and baggage, can so often lead to mixed feelings about the result, but I really thought they nailed this one.
I watched the first episode of Sherlock. I thought this episode was better than the other one I’ve seen (“The Hounds of Baskerville”), but as for the books they were based on, I liked The Hound of the Baskervilles more than A Study in Scarlet.
Finally, I had a girls’ night last weekend and we watched Pitch Perfect, which I somehow hadn’t seen yet. It’s just as much fun as everyone says.
Remember last fall when I was so excited about going to see the Dubuque Symphony? Well, we’re going again this weekend! The feature piece of the evening is Beethoven’s third symphony, but what I’m most looking forward to is the Brahms double concerto with violin and cello. (I have a weak spot when it comes to the cello.)
I’ve also been listening to more classical music in general lately… which I could pretend is for Snickerdoodle’s benefit, but really it’s for mine. It’s just nice to have an excuse to make it a priority again.
This is what you really came for, right? Thanks in part to Bout of Books, I read a ton in the first half of the month – 10 books by the 15th! – but then the classics slowed me way down at the end. Here’s what I read this month:
Koko, by Peter Straub (1 star)
Fortune’s Pawn, by Rachel Bach (4 stars)
Honor’s Knight, by Rachel Bach (4 stars)
Heaven’s Queen, by Rachel Bach (4 stars)
The Virgin Queen’s Daughter, by Ella March Chase (3 stars)
Reversion, by Amy Rogers (3 stars)
Reconstructing Amelia, by Kimberly McCreight (3 stars)
The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath (2 stars)
A Study in Scarlet, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (4 stars)
Master of the Game, by Sidney Sheldon (3 stars)
Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley (3 stars)
Dracula, by Bram Stoker (3 stars)
The highlight of the month was the Rachel Bach trilogy. Devi is a great heroine, and the rest of the characters are interesting as well. The world is complex, but not to the point of being overwhelming. The second book doesn’t feel stale the way that middle books sometimes can. And the final book is (almost) everything I wanted it to be. The whole story was just really fun.
The disappointment of the month was The Bell Jar. I’d wanted to read this for a long time, but it gave me a similar feeling as The Catcher in the Rye… like I should have gotten more out of it, but I just didn’t quite see the point. I couldn’t get invested in the story. I couldn’t muster up much empathy for the character. And especially having experience with depression myself, I was really surprised it didn’t make me feel more.
My original plan was to start my hiatus in a month, but if you’ve read some of my posts so far this year, you know I’m already struggling. So I’m not going to fight it anymore. I’m stepping back now, and I’ll be gone for five months instead of the four I’d planned… which seems like an eternity in internet time. Don’t forget me while I’m gone.
I won’t be completely gone though. At least until the baby is born, I’ll still be reading blogs on a mostly regular basis, and even commenting now and then, when I actually have the brain power to put words together. I also have two scheduled posts each month, and after the baby comes, I’ll still do my best to check in and reply to comments as I can. And you can always find me on Twitter.
Of course, all these plans may end up going out the window; I’ve heard that babies tend to have that effect. We’ll just have to show up and see what happens.