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.
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.
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!