Week in Reading, and in Life: Monday, December 5th

Hey, so, remember when I used to be a blogger? Yeah, me too, kind of. Let's see if we can get back to that version of me.

Between the election, work, end-of-year review deadlines, and a bunch of travel, I've been taking a much-needed step back from the internet. For the most part, it's been quite excellent. I'm starting to ease back into things, starting with this little corner of the internet. We shall see.

Am Reading

I now consume most of my news in print form (The Frederick News Post and The Washington Post), where I don't worry about accidentally reading the comments, and find myself drawn into stories I would otherwise have glossed over in online headlines. It's been a shift for this millennial, and proved a (mostly) welcome one.

Despite my best intentions, the book stack remains daunting and untackled. Since my last post, I've finished The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (you guys! This book is excellent!) and At Mama's Knee (a fascinating subject matter unfortunately bogged down in messy writing that made it hard to grasp at times). I devoured The Roanoke Girls, a totally fucked up yet compelling story about the most dysfunctional of dysfunctional families (fair warning: lots of sex, some of it incestuous). I'm jostling through Fatal, the forthcoming thriller from John Lescroat, which is ok-ish so far, though a little cluttered.

In the name of research, I started (and finished) Enrique's Journey, a heartbreaking account of one young boy's journey from Central America to be reunited with his mother in the United States. Next up, I'm planning to start Hope in the Dark, by Rebecca Solnit, and/or Freedom is a Constant Struggle, by Angela Davis.

And slowly, slowly, I'm inching my way through The Count of Monte Cristo. At this rate, I won't finish before the end of the year, but I'm ok with that.

What are you finding most comforting and/or compelling this month?

Am Listening

I was halfway through Sarah Maclean's second book in the Rule of Scoundrels series when my library copy expired without my realizing it. I'll likely go back to it, but in the meantime, I've turned my attention to The Fate of the Tearling, the third book in Erika Johansen's powerful, complicated fantasy trilogy. This third book boasts yet a third narrator for the short series, who is quite good once you get past the changed voice and tone. So far, the book is just as complicated and potentially too epic for its size as the previous two, but I'm hopeful, with half a book left, that it successfully ties itself back together again.

It's also December, which means non-stop Christmas music, and this song, on repeat. (Yes, that's my sister-in-law, and no, I don't just recommend it because she's family, I recommend it because it's hilarious and she's incredibly talented.)

Am Watching

On the days when my brain can't quite tackle reading, I've turned to television. I'm four seasons into my re-watch of the original Gilmore Girls episodes, which is proving the comfort food I didn't know I needed (thanks for being so omniscient, Netflix). About a year after everyone else in the world, I'm finally watching Stranger Things, which is good, but just jumpy enough that I can't watch it right before bed.

And then Westworld. IS EVERYONE WATCHING WESTWORLD? We need to talk about Westworld. This. Show. I suspect I'll rewatch the first season in the coming weeks (it's like re-reading a book after you know the ending; you know there are things you missed along the way the first time), so if you're watching as well, let's chat.

Am Planning

Janani and I are getting things pulled together for the Social Justice Book Club, which will relaunch in January. The club is officially moving into Slack as its home base, with hopes that we will be able to foster more ongoing discussion without attracting trolls. Stay tuned for a basic Slack tutorial (for those new to the platform; it's super easy to use!); sign-ups for January's group read of Hope in the Dark; and an announcement of the March & May books for next year.

Looking ahead a few weeks, as 2016 wraps up (so long, good riddance, don't let the door hit you on the way out) and 2017 looms, I'm hoping to put a few planning systems in place to more strongly manage my time and workload(s). If anyone has any incredible tools they just can't live without, please send my way. I'm open to any medium, though I'm currently finding Omnifocus is my best bet for work-related tasks, and paper is my best option for household, personal, and writing work.

Am Running

This time of year marks a lull in the racing calendar, which I'm actually ok with. Right now, I'm planning on a tough, hilly 10-miler in January, a trail half in February, and a trail race of a longer distance, TBD, in late April. My goal for 2017 is to focus on low-key, more local races; the logistics nightmare of the Baltimore half turned me off of large and complicated events, fun as they can be. Hold me to this, oh ye friends of the interwebs.

Am Hoping

To get back to reading some of ya'll's writings, here, there, and everywhere. If you don't mind, won't you share the best thing you've written, read, or otherwise come across in the interwebs these last few weeks? Doom and gloom accepted but not encouraged.

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