ReaderWriterVille

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Tag: movies

Weeknote 8

We’re settling in for the summer, which should mean that except for a trip in June, blog postings should be more or less normal. Which is good, because I’m finding these Weeknote posts both enjoyable to write and useful.

Work

The semester is officially over, which means I’m only working with graduate students (those are a 12-month responsibility) and doing the off-semester admin that never goes away.

Not much this week, since the first half of the week involved the road trip to get here. But I spent half a day doing necessary administrative work and another few hours unpacking and setting up my home study space. Now I have no excuses, which is good because it’s time to get to work.

Reading/Watching/Listening

I read Spring, the most recent installment in Ali Smith’s Seasonal Quartet. I didn’t find it as enjoyable or satisfying as the previous two, but I’m still not sure I’m being entirely fair to it. My review is in the previous post and Janine’s questions expand on some of the review points in helpful ways.

I also spent a few hours trying to read one of the new It Books in the rom com subgenre, Red, White, and Royal Blue. I tried it because a friend and I were having a long discussion while she was reading it and it was easier to just read parts of it myself. I abandoned it after 4 chapters or so because it was just so dire. It has loads of 5-star reviews at Goodreads, which reinforces my belief that people read books for a wide variety of reasons. I can only conclude that the readers who love this one are reading into the book a great deal that is not there and ignoring what is actually on the page. The characterizations are inconsistent and insubstantial, the setting bears no resemblance to anything in the supposedly real world in which it’s set (it’s an alternate timeline but not an alternate universe setting), and it is clearly supposed to be snarky and witty but for me it failed on almost every attempt. Some of the other negative reviews have described it as Tumblr-type fanfiction, which seems about right to me. The author has written an RPF fanfic of actors in The Social Network and after reading a bit of that story, I can see definite similarities in the approach and writing style.

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Weeknote 4

A lost week, for the most part. Although I did get to read a bit and watch movies and sports when I was awake.

Felled by the flu

No “Work” category this week because I didn’t do any. I woke up Monday morning with a sore and swollen throat which turned into a full-blown case of the flu. Yes I had my flu shot, and I’d avoided even a cold to this point. But this isn’t the longest flu season in years for nothing. I kept seeing news reports on TV about how the flu was persisting into spring. No, being one of many did not make me feel better.

On the plus side, I’m almost completely off the cold meds and I’m only coughing myself awake about once a night now. And I did manage to get some email and writing done yesterday. So the trajectory is positive!

We won’t talk about allergy season, though.

Reading/Watching

In between bouts of napping and full-on sleeping I managed to read a bit. I’m now in the middle of three extremely long books: Red or Dead, In the Night of Time, and now Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South. I pulled the last off my shelf because I wanted something that was engaging but not too demanding, and Gaskell fits the bill perfectly. Although I read a couple of her other novels ages ago, I’ve never read this one. It’s a real Condition of England novel, pitting Hampshire- and London-raised Margaret Hale against powerful mill owner John Thornton in Milton (Manchester), Darkshire (Lancashire). Margaret befriends a consumptive girl, Bessy , and her father, who joins a strike against Thornton and the other mill owners. And that’s as far as I’ve read. It’s got drama, romance, social commentary, and lots of Mancunian dialect.

I also managed to finish my TBR Challenge book and somehow cobble together a review, which is posted here. I also read a lovely Hugo-nominated novelette by Zen Cho and a newly released lit fic about white and Japanese Californians in World War 2 through the 1980s, and I DNF’d another new release. That writeup is here.

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