Monday, July 14, 2014

Twitterature--July 2014

Some recent reads:

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In a Ship of Her Own Making, by Catherynne M. Valente.

This reminded me a lot of The Wizard of Oz, or maybe Narnia, or The Hobbit. Omniscient narrator who addresses the reader, child on a magical adventure, that sort of thing. It was fun and sweet and I think I finished it in less than a day.

The Walking Dead, by Robert Kirkman

I think I'm up to Volume 7 or 8 in the comic that inspired the TV show (which we watch religiously). Frankly, I'm not really a fan of the comic book/graphic novel format. I'm sure I'm somehow missing out on the subtleties of the art form, or whatever, but I feel like I'm reading the Cliff's Notes version of the story--sort of a sketchy summary of the depth of story you get in a book or a TV show. Also, I'm terrible at facial identification, so I'm always getting characters mixed up (this happens in TV and movies, too). It's interesting to see the differences between the comics and the show, and I know it's a classic. I'm not sure how long I'll keep up with it, though. Also: even darker than the show. Also: no Darryl. Worth a try if you need a zombie fix during the show's hiatus.

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, by Mary Roach.

I read Roach's Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers last year and liked it, and thoroughly enjoyed Gulp as well. I probably have a high tolerance for grossness in my reading material, but honestly Roach's exploration of her topics (in Stiff, dead bodies; in Gulp, digestion) is so fascinating that you forget it's supposed to be gross. Also, she's a great lover of puns. Perfect pick for armchair scientists and people who like to pick up random trivia tidbits to try out at cocktail parties.

The Nesting Place, by Myquillyn Smith.

I read this book and a week and a half later moved every piece of furniture in our two living rooms and painted a wall that I have hated for six years. Partially this is because her start-where-you-are, it-doesn't-have-to-be-perfect philosophy is inspiring, and partially it's because there was a picture in the book of a room with blue walls and oak trim. (The wall I hated was hunter green, hideous and dark. Unfortunately, the DDH a) likes hunter green and b) insisted he couldn't think of another color that would go well with the oak trim. And since the oak trim is a MAJOR part of the WHOLE HOUSE, I am not allowed to paint it. The picture proved to him that a blue-gray color also looks good with oak trim. He still thinks the old wall was fine. Everyone else agrees the new one is better.)

A Place of Greater Safety, by Hilary Mantel.

Mantel's later novel Wolf Hall is better (and still one of the best books I've read, ever). She's still finding her groove with style and pacing in this early novel, but it still works. I had a hard time finishing it, but I think this has to do with how depressing the events are. I knew very little about the French Revolution, and though of course this is a narrowly focused, fictional account, it's pretty horrifying. This would be a great book club pick; I wish I had someone around with whom to discuss some of the ideas it brings up.

Linking up with Twitterature at Modern Mrs. Darcy, if I remember to come back and link up since I'm a day early. But if you're looking for more suggestions on what to read (or avoid reading) this summer, check it out!

28 years and 19 months and 30 weeks

I know I never post anymore. I've been busy. And lazy.

T-Rex is 19 months now. So far, I have to say that I love the toddler stage. He is such a happy, curious, lovely little human. He plays independently. He cuddles and listens to me read books. HE SLEEPS THROUGH THE NIGHT (most of the time). He goes places and does things. He's learning words but not is not yet at the exhausting chatterbox preschooler stage. It's lovely.

He likes cars, dogs, bunnies, birds, and water. He adores fruit, especially bananas and blueberries, and will eat it all day long. He also really loves corn on the cob, but he dislikes avocado, lettuces, and blackberries. He loves to dance, and has recently started "playing" his piano and xylophone and "singing" along. He gives the dogs hugs, pets the bunny, and runs around like crazy all the time.

My brother was in town last week and we took him to the aquarium. He shrieked with excitement about the beavers and otters, which he called "big bunnies" and "water bunny dogs," respectively. He also liked the various fish, but was slightly scared of the shark tunnel until Uncle Michael picked him up and carried him.

We've taken him berry picking twice, which is how we discovered he dislikes blackberries. I was trying to pick blackberries, and after picking a few and spitting them out, he ran away from me, straight for a blueberry bush, where he happily stayed for a good thirty minutes, munching away on blueberries.

He feeds the dogs every day (puts their pre-measured cups of food in their respective bowls), retrieves his plate or bowl for me from the shelf when it's time to eat, puts his dishes in the dishwasher afterward, and cleans up the living room each evening. He loves to help put things away in the kitchen, cook, and carry things for me. He's really quite helpful.

I'm also just about thirty weeks pregnant with boy number two. I'm worried, because I'm in such a nice groove with T-Rex and because frankly, I dislike infants (have I mentioned I don't do well with sleep deprivation? Also, babies are boring), but we're excited, too. T-Rex has no idea what he's in for, poor little guy. But the pregnancy is going smoothly and I hope the brothers will be friends.

I turned 28 last week. I also found my first gray hair. I'm busy with things other than the toddler and the pregnancy, but those do take up most of my energy. And they're the easiest to talk about. I've been reading a good bit, and doing stuff in the kitchen, and working, and volunteering with church things. The usual.

So there you go. Twenty-eight years and nineteen months and thirty weeks. That's where we are right now.