Hey everyone! It’s Day 11 of community quarantine here, and I’m still sane… so far. Mainly I miss walking around campus, seeing trees, and running, but I’m doing fairly well in terms of the social distancing aspect (perks of being an introvert, I guess). It’s also nice to finally be able catch up with my reading and reviewing, although I feel incapable of concentrating on anything else.
Posts This Week
Here are my reviews this week. I’ve paused doing other kinds of posts for awhile since I’ve wanted to catch up on my reviews, but let’s see if I can manage it when April starts.
- Book Review: This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (Monday)
- Book Review: Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin (Friday)
- Book Review: Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson (Saturday)
Books I Finished This Week
- I really enjoyed Mia Sosa’s The Worst Best Man, which I was finally able to pick up after I saw it on The Smut Report. It’s a fun and frothy enemies-to-lovers romance between a wedding planner and the brother of the guy who jilted her at her own wedding. The banter was cute, and the sexual tension was off the charts! It was exactly the distraction I needed during this time.
- I also finished Queenie this week. I’ve yet to gather my thoughts and I hope to post my review next week. My initial impression, though, is that while I sympathized with the character and found the themes of the book important, I wasn’t a fan of the storytelling itself.
- After I’m Gone is something I picked up on whim. It’s billed as a mystery/crime novel, but it’s also a character study, since it looks into what happens to a family after the father goes missing right before he was to be arrested. I enjoyed this one and I look forward to reading more from this author.
Books I’m Currently Reading
- I can’t seem to make much progress on Gottlieb’s memoir, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. It’s well-written and interesting, but lately I’m not in the mood to finish it. I’m wondering if I should put it on hold first for another time.
- I picked up Female Sexualization: A Collective Work on Memory by Frigga Haug for my research proposal. Despite being written inn 1987, it’s still an interesting and thought-provoking work about how women consciously or unconsciously work themselves into wider social structures of oppression.
- Patchett’s The Dutch House is next on my TBR for the Women’s Prize longlist. I’m about 40% into it, and while I find myself invested in the characters, I also feel really bored by them. It’s a weird feeling. I still have a long way to go so we’ll see if my impressions are going to change.
Posts I Loved This Week
- Here are a couple of reviews for the Women’s Prize longlist that I loved: Callum’s review of Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line; Marija’s review of Actress; Hannah’s review of The Dutch House; and Emily’s review of Red at the Bone.
- I’m back in a mystery/thriller mood, and I might pick up The Family Upstairs after reading Stephen’s review.
- On the romance front, I enjoyed Rosy’s review of Red, White & Royal Blue.
- Also, I got featured on The Smut Report!!! Wow, it sounds so legit to say that, even if it was just me chattering about my first smut. It was definitely a highlight of my week. Many thanks again for The Smut Report team for the post (and to Holly for engaging me in conversations on reading romance). ☺️
Some Non-Bookish Things
Series I’m Watching:
I don’t usually watch a lot of series—I dislike waiting for the next episode or season, and most TV shows move too slowly for my tastes—so when I do pick something up, it’s usually comedy and just a little over 20 minutes. This week I started watching Rick & Morty, and it’s so weird and funny and subversive. I’m having a blast watching it.
One really helpful article that I’ve seen going around was one by Monica Torres on The Huffington Post, titled “Please Don’t Be Guilted Into Being More Productive During The Coronavirus”. With all this time on my hands I often feel like I have to be doing something with it, like finally learn how to code and cook, but when I read this article I took some pressure off myself and decided to focus on what I can manage doing instead, which is reading and blogging. It was a very helpful and timely reminder.
Well, that’s it for my week. How was yours? Still sane or are you starting to get stir-crazy? Let me know in the comments. 🙂
15 thoughts on “Weekly Wrap-up | March 22, 2020”
Thank you for the shout-out! I hope The Dutch House gets better for you, but I agree that parts of it are boring. And I love the sentiment of the HuffPost article you shared – I’ve definitely been struggling with the same thing.
I just finished it and sadly it didn’t get better… quite disappointed since it was one of my anticipated reads! I definitely agree even more now with your review.
I’m glad you found that article helpful. Hope you take care during this time. 🙂
Aw I’m sorry it didn’t get better for you! My most anticipated book on the longlist has also been my least favorite so far…so strange that how that happens. And thank you! Hope you take care as well 🙂
Thank you for including my post! Hope you are well.
You’re welcome, it was a very balanced review! Hope you’re doing okay as well.
Thank you so much for mentioning my review 😊 I’m looking forward to your full thoughts on Queenie!
You’re welcome, and thank you as well! 🙂
Thank you for the shoutout!
I am sorry The Dutch House also didn’t completely work for you. And I agree, boring is a good way of describing it. Although around the halfway point I went past boring directly into actively irritated.
I just finished it and I feel the same as you, though I became actively irritated more because nothing was happening except for pining for the house. Like, seriously, get over it. And it seemed like Danny thought that women existed to cater to his needs. I was so disappointed too because books like that are usually right up my alley.
Danny was just such a frustrating character and the narrative seemed to agree with his assessments of women way too often.
“the narrative seemed to agree with his assessments of women way too often”—this is very well put. I read an interview of Patchett with Time and how she wanted to depict the way that men often do not see that “their lives are built on the shoulders of the women who carry them around”, but choosing Danny as the narrator wasn’t the best way to prove this point. He literally wasn’t aware of it in the first place.
Great post! I am tempted now to pick up “After I’m Gone”. “The Dutch House” did not work for me either. I also found it dull and thought it was actually very formulaic – there was there this usual “vivid and mysterious” house, the usual “traumatic” childhood, the usual influence of the past on the present affairs – it felt like I have read it all in so many books before. I do have an unpopular opinion on it.
Formulaic is the right word—I thought it took all my favorite elements but did nothing original with them, and all the characters remained cardboard flat until the end. I was so disappointed especially since it was one of my anticipated reads from the longlist. It’s comforting to know I’m not alone in my opinion—whatever unpopular one you have, it’s likely that I also agree with it.
Thanks for the mention! 🙂 I’m really looking forward to your thoughts on Queenie, and on The Dutch House- that’s one of the titles I’m hoping to get to before the end of the month as well.
Thank you! I hope to post my reviews for those some time this week. 🙂