Friday, 6 March 2015

February Bookshelf

Shack-Wacky Puppy.
It's kind of hard to believe that it's March already, though quite honestly, that goodness.  February was balls out awful.  So far, the year of the Goat has been fairly harrowing, so I'm hoping I got my bad luck out of the way early.

I am also over the snow.  Like, really over it.  I thought I was over it last year, but I have several feet of compacted snow and ice over my gorgeous garden, and a couple of shack-wacky wiener dogs that are pushing the limits of my sanity.  As a friend recently pointed out, with both dogs and children, 1+1=5.

I did get a bit of reading in this month though, so that's the up side of being a virtual shut-in.

The Circle, by Dave Eggers:
18302455I wanted to like The Circle.  People have been talking about and talking up The Circle.  But I did not.  We've heard it all before: corporation starts out making life easier, has great intentions, then the wrong people get involved and bingbangboom, corporation has infiltrated our whole life and we're doomed, the end.  Great.  In this case, perhaps we're reading a satire (it is Dave Eggars after all) and not an actual warning or seeming prophecy (1984).  But the characters are wooden and derivative, the ideas less fresh, and the wilful naivety of the 'protagonist' disheartening. But the Luddite alternative was equally ridiculous.  And if that's the point, and you have a genius like Margaret Atwood adding to the genre with Oryx and Crake, and authors like Gary Shteyngart trying something new in Super Sad True Love Story, what's the end game?  We've been here, done that, and nothing has been added but a layer of money to Eggers's bank account.

Yes Please, by Amy Poehler:
20910157Everyone loves Amy (yes you do).  And I like Tina too, don't get me wrong, but Amy and I, we'd be dangerous, slaying bottles of wine and the egos of over inflated suits at fancy restaurants.  This book wasn't laugh out loud funny.  Tina's was funnier, so, for that matter, was Mindy's.  It is a pretty solid self reflection, and a love letter to her craft and the many people that supported her along the way.  Though she is amazingly gifted, what I liked about this was the acknowledgement that yes, hard work and talent are important, but so is support and so is living a relatively charmed life.  We'd all like to think that hard work and talent will get you anywhere...and for some lucky people, it is enough.  But the acknowledgement that privilege has something to do with it, well, that it a level of self awareness and maturity that we don't often see in celebrity.  Now that Parks and Rec has ended, I'm excited to see what's next.

When the Saints, by Sarah Mian:
22812831This was our bookclub selection for this month.  A true pleasure to read.  If you've lived in a small town, you are aware of this story and you've seen this family. The characters are vivid, the language is poetic and the writing is embedded with both levity and grace. Tabby is a beautifully executed character that I loved immediately. I can't recommend this one enough.

Mollie Makes, Volume 50
For such a milestone magazine (let's be honest, 50 is pretty impressive in this day and age), I was a little underwhelmed by this month's edition.  Perhaps I am in a crafting rut.  Perhaps they are.  Still, it was pretty to look at, and the articles we interesting (especially about creative couples!), but I closed the pages uninspired to create any of the offerings.  A first.

Simply Crochet, Volume 28
The March edition of this magazine also had less pop for me then usual.  Regardless, I have bookmarked a couple of patterns to try - one is a lovely daffodil, which would make a cheerful brooch in this transitory time, and the other is this month's granny square - Granny Phylis.  I do aim to finish my quilt by the end of April, so, I should probably get on it!

Happy almost, almost spring.
I found this ridiculous creature in Yellowknife last April. 
We could have one here too, but it would be an iceman.  Stupid winter.

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