Okay, I’m going to get into the ashy eye story in a minute, but also I just want you to know that I got a COVID test after flying across the country, and it is negative. So…whew.
But, yes, I have an ashy eye.
So I discovered this ashy eye issue the day I was packing/prepping to fly across the country. My eye had been bothering me since Thursday. It kept watering for no reason, which honestly happens to me quite a bit, but I thought it was just allergies. You know, a fire was raging, and debris was flying through the air, so it seemed logical. But that night I couldn’t sleep with my eye mask on because it felt like something was stabbing me in the eye.
Then, on Friday, my eye was still bothering me. It was still with the leaking and all, but I could smell smoke in my house, so, again, I just banked on allergies. Also, my daughter told me I looked like I had gotten punched in the eye because my eye was swollen. “Yes,” I told her. “It’s the allergies.”
Look, The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates is a well-written book with beautiful language, but my rating/review is probably (mostly?) more about WHEN I am reading it than the book itself.
The truth is this is a book club pick and if it were up to me, it is not what I would be reading. I have also read a lot (A LOT) of slave narratives and books about slavery. If I were new to the books about the slave experience game, I might feel differently about it.
My last post about prepping for courses to start in mid-February is like a time capsule into another world. Live theater? Flights? I mean, one of those things is still happening but the other most certainly isn’t–at least not where I live. Although I am course-prepping again because our school switched to remote instruction a week and a half ago, so I guess some things don’t change.
I am going to ease back into blogging by doing a reading update because I have a lot to say but am not quite sure where to start. So I’m going to start where I always start: books. I mean, I have two stacks of library books that will go back to the library…someday? I’m not even sure when because all of our local libraries are closed. On the plus side, I definitely checked out some books I have been meaning to read–a couple of them graphic novels–so I am going to make those my priority after I finish the book I’m currently reading (and that I assigned to my children’s literature class): Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly.
Whew, I am all caught up on S3 of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power and it got a little dark there, but OMG, I am in love with the fact that Bow’s dad’s name is LANCE, and it is the greatest gift TV has bestowed on me these past few weeks.
Well that and the twins from Sunnyside. They are amazing. Watch Sunnyside on Hulu, y’all! It’s a trip. Because the twiiiiiiiins.
Whew, this past semester has been a bear. Also, it ended last Monday, I turned in my grades that Tuesday, and then the summer semester started that Wednesday. Basically, I was a mess for the past month because not only was I dealing with end of semester stuff, but I also went to a conference and a training and also a friend’s birthday out of town. Yes, that means I make poor choices (just the timing of the travel, not the events [and especially not the birthday trip]), but it also means I will make better choices in the future. Let us hope.
Along with the semester ending and a new semester beginning, I did read some books:
Great book. Well-drawn and sympathetic characters…even when I didn’t want them to be.
3/31/16: I got to pick for book club (finally!) and picked this one. I feel the exact same way about the book that I did the first time, so yay for that. These characters break my heart. View all my reviews
It is really, really, REALLY hard for books or movies or TV shows to surprise me, and this book did. Also, Princess Ko is the absolute best. I 100% love her, and she has entered the pantheon of my favorite female characters, the likes of which include Ella from Ella Enchanted.
This past month I finished seven books, two of which were rereads and two that fulfilled categories in the Read Harder challenge (book about religion, historical fiction). I’m at 12 books out of 31 for Diversity on the Shelf, which means I still haven’t achieved 50% of the books I’ve read being by or about people of color. I definitely need to do better there. Oh, and Goodreads tells me I am three books ahead of schedule for their reading challenge.
Last week, I posted:
I signed up for the A to Z reading challenge, which means there’s quite a bit of activity here for the next month. Here are the posts I’ve made for the challenge so far:
[wrap-up-posts week=”13″ year=”2016″ category=”Blogging A to Z” listtype=”ul”]
As of today, I’m reading:
Yep, I’m still making my way through Necessary Endings. I started The Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks (it started as a webcomic) on the suggestion of a coworker. We were having a prof dev session on building a web presence, and I showed him this blog. Apparently, we read a lot of the same things, so he thought I might like ASG. It’s pretty cute so far, so he wasn’t wrong.
I was traveling this weekend and checked out The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin for my Kindle. I’m only about five or so pages in, so I have no idea how I feel about it quite yet. We’ll see how it goes the rest of the week.
Jaclyn Moriarty is a genius. This book. THIS BOOK. Love. Love, love, love.
Also, I have a deeper appreciation for the first book, which I obviously need to reread now.
3/27/16: Okay, I love this book EVEN MORE now than the first time. Of course because I picked up things I didn’t pick up on the first time but also because I fell super in love with the characters in a way I didn’t the first go around. I knew Princess Ko was pretty amazing, yes. And, oh, my heart aches for Jupiter so much (SO MUCH). But also Samuel is pretty great and Keira, too. Plus everything with Belle.
So, basically, this book is pretty great, and I still 100% recommend it and the first one in the series. I am suuuuuuper excited for the final book in the trilogy.
I’ll be blogging about fannish pursuits (aka things I’m a fan of or have strong feelings about). You can read my sign up post here.
As of today, I’m reading:
I’m still plugging away at Silver Sparrow and Necessary Endings. I’m actually almost done with the former. We’ll see how long it takes me to get through the latter. I hope to be finished this week, though.
My hold for The Magicians by Lev Grossman finally came in, which is terrible timing because (a) it’s an e-book, which means that I only have 21 days to read it, and (b) my copy of Tangle of Gold by Jaclyn Moriarty (the final book in The Colors of Madeleine trilogy) should be here tomorrow (!!!). Obviously, after the above review, you can see which book will take precedence. Also, The Magicians hasn’t really grabbed me yet and it’s kind of bleak so far, which may not be what I’m in the mood for. So, we shall see how it goes for that one.
In other book news:
Our department sent out the call for our fall textbook orders today, and I went into a bit of a panic because I still haven’t decided which novels I want to use for my ENC 1102 (research writing) class. The deadline is April 7. And it’s a hard deadline, too. So I kind of had a mini-freakout, basically.
Right now I’m thinking Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Gareth Hind’s Romeo & Juliet, and possibly Cinder or The Hunger Games. It’s those two possibles that have me on edge. WHAT IF I MAKE THE WRONG CHOICE? WHAT IF I THINK OF SOMETHING ELSE BETTER? Etc.
For my creative writing class, I’m 99.9% sure I’m going to use Stephen King’s On Writing. Oh, and I need to pick a textbook for my LIT 1000 (Lit Appreciation) class.
So I’m not at all prepared for that very, very close deadline is what I’m saying. And I am also open to suggestions. The general theme I’m working with for the research class is protest art or art activism. Or at least that’s what I want the last paper to be about. Which means I am also considering something like Fahrenheit 451 or 1984. Catch-22 might also be good. You can see how those last two novels become ever more important then and why it’s also so hard for me to choose, right? Right.
I finished this last night, forgot to post about it here, and, when I sat down to type this up, forgot how I felt about it. Which is to say that I liked it well enough while reading, but it was kind of forgettable beyond that.
Here’s the thing, though: If Gratz wrote more of these, I would read every single one. He integrates and updates all of the elements and characters really well. And I will be forever amused that Horatio’s sisters are all heroines from other Shakespeare plays, and Gratz includes nods to their plays as well (Mona mentions a jealous soldier boyfriend; Kate can outargue/outsmart anyone). Also! Gratz hinted at a Tempest story in Horatio’s future.
I read this because it’s the last in the Howl’s Moving Castle trilogy. This is the weakest of the three books, especially since I found myself putting it down and forgetting about it for days at a time.
I mean, it’s a fine way to pass the five minutes of pomodoro time at work, but other than that it’s pretty meh. What I liked most about it, though, is how obnoxious Charmain is. More books with difficult female characters, please!
This story took a little while to grab me because it didn’t really become interesting until about 1/3 of the way through. I loved the ending, though, and I really liked that it’s basically a character study that takes these two kind of small moments and expands them out to show how we can be simultaneously really crappy people and genuinely good people.
Bonus points for Nancy and Simon’s most excellent relationship.
I’m still making my way through Necessary Endings. But! I have also started rereading two books. One is The Cracks in the Kingdom, which I loved and am reading in preparation for the final book in the Colors of Madeleine trilogy out next week (!!!). The other is Silver Sparrow, which I loved and picked for my book club to read next month. Excitement!