Thursday 1 February 2018

Things I Read in January

Happy February! Is it just me, or did January feel like the longest month in recorded history? Like honestly, I could swear it was about 3 months long, and I normally don't even hate January THAT much. As I have been doing writing prompts all month (more about which in my Sunday Sundries post) I was curious about what would happen to my reading, and the answer turned out to be, not that much, really. I whizzed through 8 books, wrote lots of things, and somehow managed to have (a bit of) a social life too! Guess how much tv I watched, it is not much.

Anyway, the books!
Great mathematical minds amongst us will note that this is a photo of 7 books rather than 8, and that is because I borrowed another book from the guy at work who lends me books and gave it back as soon as possible. Fun story, huh?

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay- Discovering my adoration for Roxane Gay in December meant I finally pulled my finger out and read Bad Feminist in January. It's pretty great! A lot of dissection of pop culture and book reviews and basically Roxane Gay's view on the world which is exactly the one I wanted at the time of reading. These are very good essays, you should read them, I will allow you.

Harry Potter: The Character Vault by Jody Revenson- This is the book I borrowed- another coffee table style book from the Studio Tour. I actually enjoyed it less than the locations one, mainly because it wasn't so much about the characters as the clothes they wore, which I guess is fine because, you know, films, but also, I AM VERY INVESTED IN THESE CHARACTERS. Basically I'm good with the face that I didn't spend what I'm sure is an ungodly amount of money on this book at the Studio Tour the end.

Shrill by Lindy West- I didn't know too much about Lindy West before I bought this (I think I kind of combine her and Mallory Ortberg in my brain which is... quite inaccurate) but I did know that she wrote that amazing takedown of Love Actually that is the best thing in the world. Now that I've read this, I'm pretty sure that I am Lindy West, because it feels like everything she says about her experience of the world, I have experienced too. This obviously biased me towards being very very into this book, so I have no objective thoughts about it- I related, you might not, but Lindy West is pretty good at writing so you might want to give this a go.

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King- My first post-challenge King! In usual me style, I'm going to write about this, I just haven't gotten around to it yet, but I really enjoyed it, even though I don't really think it's feminist in the ways it thinks it is. It's complicated and I'm not sure I can go into it without spoilers so it might be interesting how much of a mess THAT review is...

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly- Hey, I actually did review this! If reviews are a little TL;DR for you, then basically this is an awesome book celebrating the achievements of black women (and men, a little) that are barely even acknowledged by anyone else which is obviously ridic. Also it's better than the film, yes I am calling it.

My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf- I feel like everyone has been reading this comic book of late, and omg you guys. It's pretty good. Backderf actually went to high school with Jeffrey Dahmer (which was probably, weirdly, pretty good for his career) and this is a sensitive look at the origins of a serial killer, some of the warning signs, his relationships with other people and lots of other fascinating things. You may or may not want to read the Wikipedia page about Jeffrey Dahmer afterwards, it depends if you want to sleep soundly ever again...

Dear Life by Alice Munro- Alice Munro, in case you didn't know, is a short story writer, and the uncomfortable truth about this book is that I enjoyed it a lot as I read it, but now, basically 3 days after I finished it, I pretty much can't remember any of the stories from it. But I enjoyed it as I read it! Isn't that enough?! It is for me.

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain- This book is FABULOUS and I'm definitely going to review it so I'm going to save my energy for that. But it's FUCKING FABULOUS and you should have read it already, I can't believe you haven't.

To summarise- I read a FUCKTON of non-fiction this month. I think this was helped by Sleeping Beauties being so giant, in that I didn't want to read any other fiction alongside it, and it took a good half of the month to read. It is, though, the only sustained piece of fiction I've read this year, and I need to step it up with the stories, to be honest (I'm already on it, don't worry). My pick for this month's Monthly Motif (link in the sidebar) might help, too:
Postcards by Annie Proulx. The prompt for February is 'one word titles' (seriously I love how open the monthly challenges are) and I have surprisingly few, and this is one of the few Annie Proulx books I haven't read so yeah, those are my very exciting reasons for choosing this. If it is terrible, I reserve my right to change my mind and read something else, as always.


  1. You should read Lindy West's review of Titanic. And pretty much all of her movie takedowns. They aren't as glorious as Love, Actually (how could they be) but they are fantastic nonetheless.

  2. That is an amazing number of things read last month -- and serious ones, too! I loved the Roxane Gay collection, and now that I've heard her give a talk on two different occasions, she's officially one of my favorite writers. Haven't read the LIndy West book, but it's definitely on my list of things to read eventually.