Reading wrap-up for January 2021

It’s the end of January and things are starting to look up all around. We have a new president, which couldn’t come soon enough given the unfortunate events that this country started the year with. The COVID-19 vaccine is being distributed and the numbers of cases have started to go down nationwide. In fact, places are starting to lift restrictions.

The NY Governor just announced yesterday that weddings at 50 percent, or under 150 guests, will be allowed starting in March, albeit with some restrictions. Which means all systems are a go for my wedding celebration in May. I say celebration because we got married in a small civil ceremony in 2020, but now we can have the big shabang. YAY! I couldn’t be happier because my husband and I have seriously talked about canceling all-together and just put the money toward a house, which we hope to buy by the end of the year.

I am still on track with my life. I staying organized, and I have gotten back on track with eating right. In fact, I have lost some weight and I feel great. Work is still busy but I just take it one day at a time as much as possible. I am also keeping better track of my hours so I can balance out the work/life balance and even started to take days off when I need them.

As for my reading, I am happy to say that has started out well. I slowed down at the end of the month, only because the book I was reading was soo slow. Suffice it to say I didn’t finish it but I will explain in a bit. For now, here is what I did read

Modern Library’s Book Club January pick was “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” which I loved. I fell in love with all the characters in this book, except for Nurse Ratched of course. The fact that it’s based in a mental institution made this book a page turner because you never knew what was going to happen next, especially with the main character, McMurphy, causing all sorts of trouble, as he tries to best Ratched. Yet at the same time, Kensey does a great job highlighting the truths around mental institutions. I go more into this in my review.

This was for the Society of Avid Readers Across the Hudson (SARAH) Book Club and a reread for me. I actually really liked it, especially because of how it highlighted how life on a reservation affects the Native Americans that live there. It’s based on true events and focuses on a Native American teenager who leaves the reservation to attend a “white” school. There were mixed reactions in book club about this book. You can read all my thoughts in my review.

I forgot to put this one on the reading list but “Such A Fun Age” is going to be the discussion book February for the Metaphorically Speaking Book Club and for the SARAH book club (two book clubs reading the same book at once is a first). This book made me so angry. It goes into the topic of racism and white privilege and at one point I just wanted to scream at every character in this book to just the hell up. The assumptions and the accusations that follow were infuriating to say the least. Over all the book was really good but I seriously can’t wait to talk about this one. This should make for an interesting book club review.

If there is one author I would like to talk to, it’s Cormac McCarthy. He has a way of describing the sordid nature of humans that leaves you disgusted, yet going back for more. In ‘Child of God’ he talks about Lester Ballard, who roams the woods of Tennessee after released from jail on a false rape accusation. McCarthy’s writing is crisp in its detail so that you can hear the crunch of the leaves as you are walking or the trickle of water from a nearby creek. You can smell wood burning or the rancid smell of the dying. This was the February pick for the Modern Library Book Club and I can’t wait to hear what everyone thought.

“American Crisis” was my nonfiction personal pick for the month and it was a quick read. Cuomo basically gives a journal perspective of the COVID-19 crisis in NY starting on March 1, 2020, the first day that NY has a confirmed case. Each chapter marks another pivotal day in the crisis, what happened and how he has to handle it. Having watched every single press conference Cuomo had from March to June, many of the things he discusses are familiar but it’s interesting to read what was going on behind the scenes from dealing with friends and family getting exposed, to his discussions with President Trump. Cuomo gets a lot of criticism for writing a book about a pandemic that isn’t really over yet, but the purpose of this book is to highlight the challenges NY faced at the start of the virus, during the first way. I should have a review of this soon.

This is the book that I didn’t finish and I am not sure that I will. I was excited to read another book by Charlotte Bronte and “Shirley” was the book chosen for the latest Classic Club spin. What I didn’t count on was the book being so slow. By the time you are introduced to Shirley, you are almost halfway through the book and I was already over it. I explain more in my review.

In addition to reading, I watched a lot of movies and shows this month but my two favorites include:

  • Mulan (2020)
    • I absolutely loved this live action version. While the original animated version will always be close to my heart, I felt they did a great job on telling the story in this version without all the singing and the talking animals. It’s one of my favorites of the live action remakes.
  • Bridgerton
    • I seriously wasn’t planning on getting on this hype train but then I got curious. One episode and I sucked in, completing the season in two days. If you love period romance stories, you will love this show. I love that they tell this through the allusive Lady Whistledown (narrated by Julie Andrews) All I can say is I WANT MORE!!!

What did you read/watched this month? Have you read/watched anything on this list? What did you think?


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