Life, Currently // Four

Date // January 10, 2017

Time //  Tuesday night, just finishing up revisions for a design project and ready to settle in with a good book before bedtime.

Reading // Sleeping Giants, a science fiction novel I picked for January book club.
(Also currently working my way through: Lab Girl, Girl Waits with Gun, and Before We Visit the Goddess. Not to mention a stack of graphic novels from the library!)

Watching // Sex and the City. Because I made it to 26 years without watching it—it was time.

Loving // Sex and the City.

Raving about // Getting enough sleep. Am I getting enough hours at work to make up for the Christmas over-spending? Not quite, but freelance work is decent for the moment, and there’s nothing quite like not worrying about new years resolutions and just getting enough rest to start the year off right!

Working on // Getting to the gym twice a week. I signed up in December and have proven my longstanding theory that I would like running better if I could just stay in one place. All my love for treadmills and earbuds.

Anticipating // A slow season. Fall + the beginning of winter had a lot going on, especially travel, and I’m happy to stay still and do some housecleaning, both literally and not-so-much. 

Considering // Blogging again. Next up, some recent reads including When the Moon Was Ours, The Young Elites, the Gotham Academy series, and My Name is Lucy Barton. See you then!

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Books, Lately [Midsummer]

pages of the book as a bird flying away

Welcome to Quick Lit! This is where I partake in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s link-up and share short (sometimes) and sweet (cavities not included) reviews of what I’ve been reading lately.

I was raised in Florida. We visited Chicagoland every single winter, but from 1 month to 18 years, I belonged exclusively to the sauna that is steamy South Florida.

And yet, this hot-baked weather we’ve been having is completely messing with my composure. Have I completely lost my knack for withstanding bracing heat in the years I’ve been here? It’s only been three years, if you don’t count college years when I spent summer at home, but pitifully, I think it happened. And possibly because of that, I find myself clinging to my Florida-native identity even more now when discussing the weather with customers!

On the bright side, Chicago winters are so totally easy now. Ha!

Oh, yes. Books, including two that are on my short summer TBR list:


SO YOU’VE BEEN PUBLICLY SHAMED
Jon Ronson

Bethany always picks good books for her months of book club (I call us the Interrobangs, but I’m not sure anyone else cares), and this month was not an exception. Non-fiction is my weakness, and not in the admirable way: I enjoy non-fic, I enjoy learning from it, and I’m always happy to have-read it, but picking it up is not my natural state. So when I crashed on my boyfriend’s couch and read 90 pages of this straight-through while he played video games, I was a little surprised at myself. But it really is just good: Ronson does an excellent job at weaving a narrative that I got pleasantly stuck in, and the subject matter is just lurid enough.


BONE GAP
Laura Ruby

I never felt a strong opinion on this one. Not while reading it, not when I finished it up, and not now. It’s this slow, but not boring, sort of magical realism that sneaks up on you. It’s also YA, but that doesn’t stick out much at all. Possibly the best description, now that I’m forcing myself there, is deliciously subtle.

I doubt I will, because I’m only a re-reader at the rarest times, but there’s a part of me that feels like I’d only really understand this the second time through and I don’t mind that feeling one bit.


ENDER’S GAME
Orson Scott Card

Ender’s Game! Isn’t it the absolutely best when a hyped-up book, whether by the media or your boyfriend, lives fully up to expectations? I’ve already read the next, Speaker for the Dead, and I’m waiting for the third on hold. I’m happily open to carrying on until I’ve read all dozen or so in this universe, however long that takes me.

And this is definitely making me want to expand my sci-fi repertoire, so I’m taking all book recs.

 


THE FORGETTING TIME
Sharon Guskin

I have a habit, when I’ve read too much since the last post to cover everything, of picking out just what I’m excited to write something about. But every reading life has so-so moments, and this time I’m including one of mine. There was nothing I particularly didn’t like about The Forgetting Time, and I was really looking forward to the “reincarnation from both an academic and narrative perspective” premise, and the excerpts from real-to-life books on the topic were a great add-in.

But I was bored. And not the bored of a difficult novel, or the bored of a dry text, because both of those have reasons and a sense of accomplishment when you push through or even grow into them. Between a few admittedly fascinating bits, I kept forgetting I was reading this.


ENDER’S GAME
Brandon Freaking Sanderson

Finally, this was 88 pages of extremely bizarre bliss. Mr. Leeds is not insane: he asserts that because insanity is  partially defined by an inability to function through and even enjoy life because of one’s disorder, he can’t be. The fact that he has quite a few hallucinations that live with him and are all geniuses in their own fields? That have helped him crack impossible cases and made him infamous in the academic community? It’s irrelevant. He functions quite well, despite his recluse status, and enjoys his life just fine. But it does land him in an interesting situation involving a camera that can take pictures of the past.

But he is definitely, most certainly, not insane.

Basically, Sanderson is being ridiculous while being amazing at it.
(There’s a novel length sequel to this.)


WHAT’S UP NEXT

I picked I Capture the Castle for this month’s book club, and I have no regrets — even though I’ve read it before! (Review) On top of that, I’m trying to find that balance between reading new releases and engaging what’s collecting real dust on my shelves and digital dust of my wishlists.

These coming months, that means newer titles like Modern Lovers, The View from the Cheap Seats, and Sleeping Giants are all on my holds list, but also means I’m going to be waiting eagerly for the new-only-to-me next books in several series:  Xenocide (Ender’s Saga), The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad), and Rebel Angels (Gemma Doyle series). And if I finally finish House of Mirth from my 6-book summer TBR list? All the better.

Books, Lately [Spring]

pages of the book as a bird flying away

Welcome to Quick Lit! This is where I partake in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s link-up and share short (sometimes) and sweet (cavities not included) reviews of what I’ve been reading lately.

Woops! I went a bit without anything there, but I’ve definitely been reading plenty. Here’s just a few bits of what I’ve read over the past spring months.


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THE SCORPIO RACES
Maggie Stiefvater

I gave this three stars right after reading it, largely because it took me a while to get into. But the atmosphere has seriously stuck with me, and I keep getting the itch to reread it, and now, months later, I absolutely remember it as five stars.

 


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METALTOWN
Kristin Simmons

I recently interned for Browne and Miller Literary Associates, and when I spoke to one of the agents at a publishing fair before my interview, she gave me this ARC to check out. (I’m a big fan of any event I leave carrying more books than I entered with.) I read it quickly, though I can’t remember if it even came up at my interview, but I really enjoyed it. And, through one of my first tastes of actually getting to meet an author I’ve read, I can also tell you that Kristen Simmons is also a ridiculously nice person with several other titles now waiting for me on my shelf.



10194157SHADOW AND BONE

Leigh Bardugo

The ebook for this makes reviewing it tricky for me: at around 50% of the ebook, I realized I was tired of the story. My library loan was about to be up, and I had other things I wanted to read. I eventually checked it out again and gave it a shot, and, to my great surprise and consternation, arrived at the epilogue at 55%. What? It turns out the Kindle edition has several long excepts of the sequels. That’s not a problem in and of itself, but no wonder I quit reading! If that had been only halfway, then it was seriously dragging. But if I had known, I would have been much more excited to enjoy the climax and the set up for the next book.

So I find it hard to review. The world was enjoyable, the concept interesting, and I always love anything like a magic school, even if that aspect won’t be in future books (I assume). I’m looking forward to picking up the second book soon and giving that a much fairer shot!


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ELIGIBLE
Curtis Sittenfeld

I feel ill-qualified to review this. While it is its own story, it’s also intrinsically tied to its source matter. And while I’ve read and enjoyed Pride and Prejudice, and love the BCC miniseries, I am not a Jane fangirl (and am now preparing for a series of “how could you say this!” feelings directed my way). And I’m also pretty far from a purist when it comes to retellings! But I was greatly amused the entire way through, and the ways Sittenfeld mussed with the basics of the story were ingenious (IMHO, obviously!).


WHAT’S UP NEXT

Everything! At least, I wish that were somehow possible. I’ve been looking at my list of titles I want to get through this year (a goodreads shelf I keep that largely is meant to hold me accountable to get through more and more nonfiction each year), and I’m realizing I still have most of it left. So I need to get on that!

7 Lessons from Temping

So I know that after six weeks of data entry temping, I’m probably not an expert on the temping world. But just like anyone else who knows just a little bit about something, I’m totally going to take full advantage and exploit my experience for a blog post.

Just kidding. I obviously mean I’m going to humbly share what little I’ve learned from temping.

Here it is.

7. Most people who temp in Chicago seem to be actors.

In fact, they’re probably all actors. I might even be an actor and just don’t know it.

6. Temps (obviously, I suppose) don’t get ergonomic workspace set ups.

This means your copy-and-paste-finger muscles will be sore for a while. Really, it’s just weird to be so aware of the muscles in your fingers at all.

5. No one tells the temps anything.

Good luck finding out about the food you can order for delivery, or even finding the bathroom, latte machine, or beer fridge. (Why is there a beer fridge in an office? Because apparently millenials + startups = beer fridge.)

4. The real employees may not ever bother to talk to you.

Why would they? You were only supposed to be there for two weeks, and your job has nothing to do with anyone else’s. Or, on the other hand, your supervisor might just give you all comp tickets for Disney on Ice. Be ok with both situations.

(Unless you’re temping in your chosen field, in which case, make people talk to you! Network! Invade! But if you’re at a startup in the car dealerships world typing in data? Maybe don’t worry about it.)

3. Sometimes, at the office, you’ll hear that there was poop on the men’s bathroom floor.

The lesson you learn: don’t ask questions about the men’s bathroom.

(I wish I didn’t have to mention that story, but at the same time, how could I not mention that story?)

2. There is a car dealership in the US called ‘Dick Says Yes.’

Also, posing with a lion, tiger, monkey, and whale is a surefire way to sell cars: http://www.calworthington.com/longbeach/

And finally, most importantly:

 1. Be nice and share your snacks.
Your fellow data-entry professionals can either become friends or people who tell you to shush every time you sneeze twice.
And if they are very strange, sometimes they become both.