I really dropped the ball on last week's Sunday Sundries, huh? No excuses, just, you know, I watched Orange is the New Black all day Saturday and hung out with my family all day Sunday and weekends. You know how it is.
I didn't really have much to report anyway, (see: Watching Netflix all day Saturday) so I probably saved you a dull post, you lucky things! This week is much the same- I worked a lot at the start of the week, and then towards the end of the week I worked less but it was sunny so I made friends with my back garden* and also built a clothes rail for mine broke (SOB) which has turned out to be a blessing in disguise, for my new one has SHELVES, and I now have a shelf for running clothes, and yesssss this is great.
So this past week wasn't much, but this week coming has a few things. Firstly, I'm working three full days instead of 5 half ones, which sounds like I'm totally being lazy (I have 2 days off in the week! YAY!) but actually works out to more hours, and hopefully to more hours spent doing productive stuff on non-working days (but don't count on it). I'm quite excited, or maybe just optimistic about the change, so we'll see how well it works out.
The other big thing for this week coming is that my cousin's baby is having an operation. I say baby, he's 4 and a half, but he's still OUR baby, at least until my other cousin has her's later on this summer. I can't remember how much I've talked about him on here, because it's kind of not my story to tell, but he had brain cancer when he was tiny, his first operation when he was 1, tons of chemo, proton treatment... the whole kaboodle. When they operated on him before, they had to take away a big chunk of his skull, so he's been wearing a helmet for the past three years, and now this operation is to close up his skull again. Which, in one way is a really good thing, because it kind of feels like a proper ending to everything, but at the same time it's just really scary and awful and I can't really think about it without being kind of upset.
So. That's happening on Wednesday, so if you just keep him in your thoughts and, if you're so inclined, your prayers, that would be awesome. I know that's all I'll be thinking about all day, so.
And now, for the slightly less heavy topic of the books.
Top Ten Books I've Read So Far This Year
1. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt- Still so so so incredible that I can hardly stand it. Would re-read again in a heartbeat. Review here.
2. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion- So good that I've even forgiven it for making me cry on public transport. Was exactly the book I needed to read, at exactly the right time, showing how even though grief is always different, it's still universal. Review here.
3. NOS4R2 by Joe Hill- The second book on this list that I actually started last year, this was both so much fun and made my skin crawl- although with me, those two things aren't always separable. Easily as good as some of daddy Hill's (Stephen King's) good stuff, and way better than his bad stuff. Review here.
4. Bleak House by Charles Dickens- The first readalong of the year of my very first Dickens. It's difficult to say if I liked this better because I got to discuss it weekly, but Lady Audley's Secret is not making it to this list, so this really must have been good. I don't know if I can say I'm not scared of Dickens anymore, but I definitely luxuriated in his writing in this, so that's not nothing.
5. Franny and Zooey by JD Salinger- Franny and Zooey is the reason I won't be saying mean things about Salinger anymore. I really liked this, it reminded me a bit of Sylvia Plath (totally a good thing) and a bit of something awesome. It's pretty great. Review here.
6. World War Z by Max Brooks- Everything about this book is perfect. I'm still surprised by just how much I liked it, but I probably shouldn't be considering it's that rare and beautiful blend of good writing AND pure entertainment. It's probably up there with The Goldfinch for best best book of the year so far. Review here.
7. The Housekeeper And The Professor by Yoko Ogawa- Japan strikes again, with this beautiful and quiet novella that I still can't quite get out of my mind. Highly recommended. Review here.
8. Running Like A Girl by Alexandra Heminsley- Encouraging a new love for running with books about running, I didn't necessarily expect to love them, but it turns out I really did. This was especially great, running from a female perspective (rarer than you'd think) with bonus history of women's struggle to even be allowed to compete in marathons. Great fun, and weirdly emotional (another one where I cried on public transport). Review here.
9. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami- I may like this one less for its running stories than for its memoir-qualities, but either way, it proved to me that Murakami can write non-fiction just as well as fiction, and I guess you can take that any way you want to! Review here.
10. Chicken With Plums by Marjane Satrapi- A bit of a left field decision here, and apologies to some of the great non-fiction reads I could have chosen instead, but this graphic novel completely sucked me in, and I really feel like it left me with a better understanding of people, even though that's such a hyperbolic thing to say. Shut up, it was good. Review here.
And there you have it. As a slight mid-year (ish...) update, I'm going to say that I've been reading books that I've pretty much universally liked, but not that many that I think are going to be lifelong favourites. I'm reading a pretty even male/female split, and although the women were winning a week ago, I've managed to finish 3 books by dudes in a week, so I'm now on 15/14 male/female. Which is fine, because I'm in the middle of 3 books by women, so it's all good. I'm still reading too many white people, and I'm reading more on my kindle which is great in terms of validating its existence, but not so great at reading the books I have in physical form. But never mind, it's all just good fun, right? Right.
And now I shall leave you to your lives, and your days. Have good ones!
*Not a euphemism