Monday News 4/30/18

I’d like to say that it’s finally spring; well, it’s definitely warmer. Actually, it’s often too warm for this time of the year, more like summer than spring, but, hey, that means ice cream, and ice cream can’t be bad. On top of that, with the warmer weather, I’m not catching a cold (or worse) every other week, so that’s an improvement, too.

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There wasn’t much work lately, so I had more time to read. This month, I’ve read 5 books out of the 7 I’d mentioned in the previous post, plus 6 I bought at some point before those 7. If you’re looking for a recommendation, How to Be Both by Ali Smith is wonderful. It’s an experimental novel about a sixteen-year-old girl George who’s dealing with the death of her mother, taking care of her younger brother, and visiting a psychologist who is a nice woman, but not really able to help. Her father is drinking heavily and isn’t able to help much, either; he’s not violent or anything like that, he’s mourning the death of his beloved wife, too, and doesn’t know how to deal with the situation any more than George does. George becomes obsessed with a painting made by Francesco del Cossa, a Renaissance artist (her mother fell in love with his work, and took her kids to Italy to see a fresco painted by him), and starts looking for all the information she can find about him (there isn’t much, really). The other half of the book is from the point of view of the ghost of the said artist, who suddenly finds himself “attached” to a boy who keeps looking at his painting (and later realizes that the boy isn’t really a boy); while following the “boy” wherever “he” goes, he remembers his past (it’s fascinating!), and we get to learn a lot more both about the artist, and about the “boy”.

Sorry about telling the story like this, but I’m trying not to reveal too much, and there would definitely be a lot to reveal. Wonderful characters (some readers found George annoying, but to me, she was a young girl who lost her mother), the moment when the father finally encounters a problem he knows how to solve is precious, George’s best friend is also great, the artist is fascinating… The writing is also lovely, quickly going between the past and the present while following the thoughts of a teenager, and a lot more fragmented and poetic while following the artist’s thoughts.

Read it. I hope you’ll love it.

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Just another pretty spring picture

I’ve finally managed to watch the entire first season of The Handmaid’s Tale. While not perfect, it’s well done, just watch out for some sickening scenes (really, really sickening, especially if you don’t otherwise watch anything with torture/mutilation) if you’re sensitive. It follows the novel closely (well, mostly), and expands on some parts; to me, it was scarier than the novel, due to the expanded parts, and because I got to actually see some stuff that was only mentioned in the book. Ugly stuff. Stuff that might happen. Stuff that has already happened to women at some point in our own history.

Here’s the trailer for the first season:

Disturbing stuff. Definitely not for everyone. But well worth watching.

After the scary stuff, here’s another kitty. Happy Monday!

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The kitty isn’t interested
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Monday News

No more whining about bronchitis, I feel better! I’m still coughing a bit, which is pretty normal after bronchitis, and that’s about it.

I was working a lot lately, but fortunately, not during the worst part of bronchitis, so it was only tiresome at times.

The weather has improved, I’m feeling better, and that means, among other things, books! I bought some new ones: some you can see on the top of the post, and some are below.

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Some of the books are not in English; I’ll skip those.

As for the rest, on the picture directly above you can see the Serbian edition of Margaret Atwood’s Hag-Seed. I’ve read it recently, and I loved it: Shakespeare, The Tempest, theater, in part a story of vengeance, but in greater part, a story of finally letting go. Plus a bunch of prison inmates playing in The Tempest. Plus…a lot of things, really. If you love Shakespeare, or theater in general, or Margaret Atwood, go and read this one.

The first book on the upper picture is Go the Fuck to Sleep by Adam Mansbach. It’s a picture book, but, as you can see from the title, it’s not for children; it’s for their tired parents instead. It looks cute, it’s fun (yes, there’s swearing), and if you have ever had trouble convincing your little angel to go to sleep already, you might enjoy this one.

As for the rest of the books, I have yet to read them. They are: The Little Red Chairs by Edna O’Brien, How to Be Both by Ali Smith, A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers, A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews, and Ripley Bogle by Robert McLiam Wilson. I don’t know much about any of them, but they were on sale (7 books for about $8), and I wanted to read The Little Red Chairs for a while (the Irish author got inspired by the Balkan wars), so I got them. Plus, I like random reads.

Have you read anything from this list? Do you have recommendations?

Nice People Are Nice

Random acts of kindness.

The kindness of strangers.

It’s wonderful, it lifts us up, and I’m pretty certain that it happens far more often than we mention it.

So, I’m mentioning it here.

Last night, on a forum, I mentioned that it looks like I’ve got bronchitis, and that I might be a bit grumpy because of that.

I didn’t expect anything. A few people to tell me to get well soon and send me good wishes, because, even though we don’t actually know each other, we’ve been talking to each other for a while, and it’s a nice thing to say.

And I did get those. I also got more.

One guy went to YouTube to look for something cute to cheer me up, and came back with this.

Another forum member, a woman, sent me the cute kitty picture you see above.

Like I said, we don’t really know each other. We talk to each other on the forum, mostly about work, and sometimes we share interesting stuff. We all protect our privacy, both because of the rules, and because we choose to. Obviously, there was nothing to gain from this. Just nice people being nice.

And their kindness should be mentioned, so I’m doing it.