April Catch-Up – A Little Bit of Everything

Once again, I’ve been really overcomitting myself on the reading challenges, and my “currently reading” shelf stands at 13 books. 😮 I shall try to make heads or tails of it in this post.

The weather has been pretty lovely here, by the way. Still kind of chilly, a classic Northwest April. Daffodils and morning birdsong are the little reminders that life indeed goes on!

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January Catch-Up – Five Reviews

I feel like this is going to be another whirlwind year in slow motion (yes, that’s a thing). Goodreads says I’m already behind on my reading challenge. Oh well—I’ve been reading, anyway!

Here are some books I’ve needed to review but didn’t feel like doing an entire post or video about. Naturally, it’s turned out to be a long post, so brace yourselves…

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Grateful: Kafka’s Lost Writings, etc

In my off-hours this week, I’ve been absorbing The Lost Writings of Franz Kafka. This little book is an enchanting diversion from social media. It also made me realize I’d been in a reading rut. Not for lack of reading, or even good reading material, but for lack of joy.

It is funny that a writer such as Kafka could bring me joy. (The sketch about the bread loaf that refused to be cut was downright hilarious.) Yet in these forgotten excerpts, there is a gentleness and humor that pulls you in, without neglecting the darker shadows of life that he, like us, knew only too well. Kafka shows a human, even tender, side in scraps of writing such as “I can swim as well as the others…“, “I loved a girl who loved me back…“, and “I am fighting; no one knows it…” Then the irony—that he wanted all of this burned!

I am grateful, selfishly perhaps, there is still more Kafka to be read.

This will be my family’s smallest Thanksgiving yet, I think—just us. It’s technically illegal to meet with multiple families here, but we wouldn’t anyway because of my grandparents’ health. It will feel a little strange, compared to past years, but I’m glad we can still celebrate even in a small way. I’ll be contributing for the first time (baking cookies!), and Friday we’re putting up the big Christmas tree. So it should be a good time in spite of everything.

I have quite a stack of books to read and am hoping to make a dent in it this weekend. If all goes well, expect a slew of reviews!

I hope you all have lovely Thanksgiving if you celebrate, and a great day regardless. I’m so grateful for all of you!

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October Catch-Up

It’s October already, one of my favorite months! And yet I feel its arrival with a mild dread….

To get the elephant out of the room: my blogging has been really sporadic this year, which I feel bad about. A combination of amping up my YouTube channel + shutdown + quarter-life crisis really threw me off track. I’ve also been working on my writing again (more about that soon!!), which is going to take a lot of time as well.

Recent Reads

The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham – Often compared to The Great Gatsby, this novel is about a young man’s spiritual journey in the midst of mass consumerism and interpersonal drama, post-WWI. This was a great book. Very painful—gut-wrenching—but very great. The writing was not quite as tight as Gatsby, but I liked the quasi-realism of the narration, where Maugham inserted himself as the narrator and related the events in a very down-to-earth way. I plan to write one or two follow-up posts about The Razor’s Edge soon.

Kristin Lavransdatter, Book I: The Wreath by Sigrid Undset – Another coming-of-age story, this one is about a young girl growing up in 14th-century Norway. I was underwhelmed by this novel and its characters, but it was pretty well-written historical fiction nonetheless. I will post a YouTube review this evening.

Current Reads

The Idiot (re-read) by Dostoyevsky – I have barely made any progress here, focusing more on Kristin and other books.

The Complete Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino – A collection of short stories; just started this one, too.

Maybe: Middlemarch by George Eliot – A few readers on YouTube/Instagram are reading Middlemarch this month, and I’d love to join in if I can find time…

My goal for the rest of the year is to just read more and focus on books I already own. Maybe I’ll even finish that Nikola Tesla biography. 😳

Along with that, I will post more book reviews and other blog topics!

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