January in Review

      5 Comments on January in Review

Books Acquired:
Selected Poems by T.S. Eliot
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
Saga, Volume 4 by Brian K. Vaughan
Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley
What We See When We Read by Peter Mendelsund

Books Read:
An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin

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This was a quality reading month. I really enjoyed every book, and it was an interesting mix as well – Astronaut memoir, classic horror, contemporary mystery (ish), and a classic Russian novel in verse. The more I read about reading, the fewer disappointments I seem to have on my bookshelf, so if nothing else having a blog about books has helped in that regard. I’m still behind on the posts, currently at about mid-December, but I’m catching up and feel like I’ve gotten into the rhythm of things here.

I love notebooks, but I tend to never use them once I buy them. I always feel like anything I write in one needs to be breathtakingly poignant and meaningful, written in perfect cursive, but it always ends up obscenely stupid and looking as if it were written by a monkey with no hands. Despite this, my girlfriend pointed out the journal in the photo and I had to pick it up. I think I’ll leave it by the bed to help track quotes and notes while I’m reading, as I have a terrible memory at times and I refuse to mark a single page of a book.

Movies watched:
My Afternoons with Margueritte (2010) – Gérard Depardieu befriends an old woman who teaches him the joy of reading. A bit cliché with a fairly transparent plot, but a feel-good movie for the bookish. A lot of Albert Camus love.

When Harry Met Sally (1989) – Can you believe my girlfriend had never heard of the fake orgasm scene? I admit I hadn’t seen the movie, but not knowing that scene is akin to not knowing hakuna matata. I mean, really. What if I had faked an orgasm while having eggs Benedict one morning? It would have been completely lost on her. The movie turned out to be really good, actually, so if nothing else it was a good excuse to watch it.

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) – I loved this! Hilarious, beautifully shot, and Ralph Fiennes was brilliant in it.

TV watched:
Arrested Development, Season 4 (2013) – They did a great job of mixing up the series in an interesting way after their seven-year hiatus. It was less jarring than I thought it would be to watch the third and fourth seasons back to back rather than seven years apart, which is impressive. It’s also very cool to think how much the industry has changed in the last decade, to allow something like this.

The Mind of a Chef, Season 1 (2012) – I loved this so much. The first season follows David Chang, Momofuku founder, and each episode has a loose theme – pig, smoke, Japan, etc. The episode on different types of ramen has kept me in a state of perpetual hunger since I watched it.

Games played:
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (2014) (PC) – This is the game I’ve played this most this month. I’m playing through cooperatively with a friend of mine, and we’re having a blast. It’s very much Borderlands 2 with a couple of extras, but that’s not a problem for us. We’d been craving more Borderlands, and this hits the spot perfectly. We figure we’re about halfway through now.

Speedrunners (2013 Early Access) (PC) – I normally don’t play early access games, but we took a chance on this one. It’s cheap and if it didn’t work at all we wouldn’t be all that heartbroken. Thankfully, we haven’t run into any issues. Friends of ours had some launching issues, but overall it seems to be in working order. And it’s an absolute blast to play.

5 thoughts on “January in Review

  1. Lady Disdain

    I had to chuckle at how you described it as being written by “a monkey with no hands” – I can definitely relate! Especially when I’ve been typing for a very long period of time, and then pick up a pen like it’s a newly invented instrument.

    It looks like you’ve got in a lot of good reading in. What did you think of Dracula? I found it a bit underwhelming when I first read it, but at the same time, had to marvel at it for what it was in the context of its time – plus the Gothic atmosphere is delicious.

    Reply
    1. Rob Post author

      I also blame typing for my handwriting. My dad studied a bit of calligraphy and had really fantastic handwriting, so I feel like I should make some sort of effort to improve mine at some point.

      I really enjoyed Dracula, actually. I found it a bit jarring when it transitioned from Harker in Transylvania to the whole cast in England, as I was really loving that first third of the novel, but I was loving it again by the end.

      Reply
  2. Geoff W

    OMG not knowing the fake orgasm scene is like not being alive for the last 20 years! I feel like it’s been copied/mocked so many times since then even I know about it and I’m a pop culture dud sometimes.

    Glad you mentioned the reading about reading has helped, because I’ve noticed that a lot recently too. The more books I read about books or about reading books carefully, the more I find myself enjoying books I never thought I would.

    Also for the journaling, I was always do it haphazardly but I’ve been taking 10 minutes every day (most days I’ve misplaced it a few times) to just reflect on the day and write any random thoughts that come to mind. It does look crazy most days, but I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

    Reply
    1. Geoff W

      Ugh – just noticed you’re reading A Confederacy of Dunces. Not sure what your thoughts will be but I have a feeling they’ll be different from mine! Good luck, I struggled with it and just couldn’t identify with Ignatius, maybe I should re-read it now I’ve read so many books about books and reading.

      Reply
      1. Rob Post author

        I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’m really loving it so far. It’s hilarious. I’m actually listening to it on audio, and the reader really performs the humour well, so that probably helps.

        That’s a good idea about the journal, just spend a few minutes a day to jot down any half thought I have. If I ever try my hand at fiction again, that could help collect ideas I guess.

        Reply

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