Thursday, June 11, 2020

April & May Consumption Diary

It was a lockdown of two parts, with the first being a long, maddening struggle on almost every front (balancing parenting and work at home) and the second being only a few short weeks when the schools opened again and things got a little easier, if still affected by the shellshock of sucking at everything. 

There were good bits of course -- the time me and the kids spent together, them getting so good on their bikes, the dance parties in the garage -- but I probably won't be able to write any fiction or serious non-fiction for another two or three months. Even reading was, and still is, a struggle.

And if one more person asks me if I got a lot of writing done during the lockdown I will fucking scream.




Image with no descriptionunnamed.jpg37901507Weather - Jenny Offill - 9781783784769 - Allen & Unwin - AustraliaA Short History of Nearly Everything - Wikipedia

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout
(short stories, audiobook)

Very good. Does aging so well. The stories without Olive do a pretty good job of holding their own.

The Problem with Everything by Meghan Daum (non-fiction, audiobook)

As everything started going wrong (or the wrongness got wilder), it was refreshing to read Daum's book that isn't contrarian for the sake of it. 

Bad Behaviour by Mary Gaitskill (short stories, audiobook)

It's so naughty, so nineties, so good.

The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin (novel, audiobook)

I struggled to get into the Great-City-as-a-sentient-thing thing. As someone who has lived most of his life in small cities or towns pretending to be cities or medium cities that punch above or below their weight, and fantasizes about log cabins and rearing highland cattle, I guess I don't want those existences to be placed on a lower rung of importance.

Middlemarch by George Elliot (novel, audiobook)

I may have learnt the lesson not to stop reading Middlemarch (I had to return it to the library in March). Listened to another two chapters but lockdown malaise made it real hard.

Weather by Jenny Offill (novel, audiobook)

Loved it. Leaves all the guff of novels on the cutting room floor (explaining who folks are and how they fit together) and just gives us the fluff of daily life.

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson (non-fiction, audiobook)

You mean, a short history of what white men have done? Fucking hell. I'd love to read something with a similarly broad premise, that covers the great scientists of the Arab world & Asia, the agricultural and social innovations of the Nile Valley and China, and all the stuff I'm too ignorant about to even list here. There must be a book (or books) like this, right? Recommendations please. 


Paddington 2
Train to Busan
Star Wars Episode VIII
Star Wars Episode IX
The Avengers: Infinity War
Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics (so terrible)
Curb Your Enthusiasm - Season 10 (perfect lockdown TV)
After Life - Season 2 (we cried)
The Affair Season 1
Sex Education - Season 1&2
The Last Dance - Season 1
Eraser* (candidate for the best line in a bad movie: Arnie pulls his emergency parachute just in time but slams into a car in a junkyard. He lifts his head and sees two young kids looking at him. "Where am I?" he asks (he needs to get to Manhattan to rescue Jessica Williams from the Central Park Zoo) and the little girl says, "Earth. Welcome." *Chef kiss*)