The end of semester fatigue is real, and I am not sure when it’s going to end. Like, it has just been a lot and all I want to do is sleep. I was thinking something was wrong with me, but I had a psychiatrist appointment last week, and she pointed out that I’m coming down from all the adrenaline of the semester and moving my daughter back into town so of course I’m exhausted. And then I talked to a few colleagues who said they are feeling the same way. So I’ve decided to stop fighting it and just lean into the exhaustion. Hopefully, it’ll be over before the week is out, and I’ll feel more like a full human before the week is up. Hopefully.
So, here are the books I’ve read since my last post:
The Plastics were all played by members of the global majority, which seemed to work okay for the musical since that was more about fitting in. The movie, however, is very specifically about the ways White girls bully each other and jockey for power. The book (Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman) is also more about the latter but makes the connection to White womanhood as well. That said, it was–dare I say–so fetch and super fun. The woman who played Karen stole the show with Janis right behind her. They were all phenomenal, though. And I may have bought more than a little merch. Ahem.
I give up. This book is too depressing. Not only is the constant talk of racism relentless (and not adding anything new to the conversation), but the main character keeps getting sexually assaulted/threatened with sexual assault. I just can’t. And I tried it in print and audio.
Also, everyone, I promise you that most professors are not that pretentious. Good grief.
Whew, child, this book put me through it all while traversing some tropes of African American lit mixed in with the Arthurian legend stuff. Lots of excellent commentary on generational trauma (also sometimes called generational curses in the Black community) as well as politics. Also, I need someone better versed in Arthurian legend to tell me which story/stories she is mainly drawing from so I can teach this book in my class.
Alice is the real MVP. And I knew it was only a matter of time before (view spoiler)[Morgaine or Mordred (hide spoiler)] would, as the young people say, enter the chat.
Also, it should be noted that there is an extensive and stellar author’s note at the end.
But grief isn’t a competition. It’s not an identical pain that we all meet one day when death finds us. It’s a monster, personalized by our love and memories to devour us just so. Grief is suffering tailored.
Since when has a man’s title prevented his brutality instead of further emboldening it?
Wanting fiction to be fact and having the power to convince other folks of the same…that’s how power stays put.
None of that puritanical judgment. I’m not “good.” I’m fair.
I don’t know what to say about this book. I wanted to like it more than I did, but I think the author did a lot of interesting things in her reimagining of the Grimm Brothers’ Cinderella story. I love the way the three balls are handled, for example, and I liked that magic was a fantasy yet the story kept fantastical elements. And I also really dug the idea of stories being used and manipulated to support the narrative of the ruling class.
I liked the LGBTQ+ elements. However, I didn’t like the instalove plot. Also, as noted in several other reviews, there are a lot of pacing issues.
So, it’s a mixed bag, overall.
I usually use Cinder to teach adaptations, but I am considering using this instead. So I definitely like it enough to teach.
Reread 2/2/23 – I did decide to use this book for my class, so listened to the audiobook, which is narrated by Bahni Turpin.
While listening to the audiobook, I wasn’t bothered by/didn’t notice the pacing issues noted in my initial review. The instalove was also less annoying because it played more like fascination and wonder. Sophia was a *lot* more stressful this time around, though, so there is that. I would give the audio four stars, instead of three, so I’m bumping up my rating based on that.
To wit, this exchange I had with a friend on Friday:
Me: I’m trying to get it together over here
Her: I’ve given up hope of ever getting it together
Me: I need to do this. I was almost to the gym before I realized I left my headphones at home which meant I had to do my workout in silence like some kind of animal–a dolphin perhaps? Or a gym rat Then when I changed out of my swimsuit I discovered I left my bra at home.
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Also, to continue last week’s trend, I got to two places early this past week only to wind up late because of parking. Again. So, yes, I have given up on ever getting ahead this month. You win these first three weeks, January. I’m just keeping my head above water and making a wave when I can here for the rest of the month now.
I’m blaming both the fact that my flight home last Thursday (Jan. 5) was delayed and that my stupid job had our stupid FLEX (professional development) day on January 6. (Can you tell I’m still salty about it?) Ever since I have worked at this school–this is my sixth year–the FLEX day has been in March, after school has already started. March! So when I made my travel plans, it didn’t even register that they had moved it, and I didn’t even realize it was the Friday BEFORE the semester began until the last week of class when they sent out the registration link. I have been teaching a very long time, and I would never (never) book a flight that got in the night before I had to be at work first thing in the morning. UGH.
Anyway, I missed the first session of the day because I was too exhausted to get up, the guy leading the second session went over FIFTEEN MINUTES into LUNCH TIME (like, sir, are you kidding me? I had to raise my hand and let him know because he was gearing up to keep going. I seriously do not believe he would have stopped if I hadn’t called him on it) and then had the absolute audacity to say he was going to start the second session “promptly at 1.” That barely gave us enough time to collect and eat our lunch, so I was late getting back because, of course, I had to use the restroom. Then he went over the end of the session which made me late for the next one. The only reason I didn’t just up and leave both times is that he was doing the EEO (equal employment opportunity) hiring training, so I figured whatever he was saying was important.
I spent all day Sunday rushing to get my classes planned and published (the goal was for the first two weeks for all of them to be up and running in the learning managing system). I was on time to my first class on Monday but the door was locked, and I thought I didn’t have my key (I did) so got started late. The same thing happened on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I got to therapy early but the parking garage was weirdly full so getting parking was a challenge so I wound up being late for that. I then had to rush to get to my class because of the travel time between the therapist’s office and my home and lunch and work. Thursday was fine, but I found out I had to go into work on Saturday (SATURDAY, sigh) for a job fair because I’m on the hiring committee (see above re: EEO training). I was on time to that, but late to church yesterday, so, basically, you know, who has two thumbs and needs a three-day weekend?
What does everyone think of the little prompts that WordPress has been so generously giving when you open the editor to write a new blog post? Today’s for me is “What’s your favorite cartoon?”
I had a good weekend which made this a good week. On Friday, I went to a for your consideration screening of Abbott Elementary with a friend of mine that included a Q&A with the cast and crew and that was followed up by a reception that turned into a dance party. On Saturday, I won the lottery so got two $25 tickets to see the touring production of The Book of Mormon, which was amazing. I didn’t know much about the show so didn’t know what to expect (except that it would include irreverent humor), and I loved it so much. Lots of great social commentary and it made fun of systems without making fun of people, if that makes any sense.
Anywheedle, as the blog post title says, it is Monday and instead of what I read last week, I’m telling you about what I read this past month since, you know, I only read three books and also posted the review of the book I finished this week in the underrated books post.
I cannot believe I have not updated my blog since February. FEBRUARY. I thought for sure the last time had been in April. Clearly, I was very, very wrong. Also: this has been the longest year ever. I know because when prepping to write this post I came across a book I read in April of this year, and I could have sworn I read it last year. That’s all I’m saying.
A brief overview of things that happened since February:
I went to a taping of Ellen’s show (guest host)
I went to Mexico
I went to the LA Times Festival of Books
I went to Florida
I met one of my cousins for the first time
My daughter graduated from college
My daughter’s friend gave us COVID (mild cases; everyone was fine)