January felt like it was a million years long which is probably why my reading 15 books last month does not surprise me. I had time! Also introducing a new category in this roundup: games. Which is basically just an excuse for me to talk about this card game I’m obsessed with :)
What I ate:
Fishwife smoked salmon and tarragon mustard
I’ve found the golden sandwich combo and it’s this. I’ve always loved tinned fish and have always wanted to try Fishwife, so when I found the smoked tinned salmon at Wellspent, I purchased immediately. My favorite way to eat it is mixed with mayo, salt, pepper, and a bit of lemon, on top of a piece of baguette smeared with fancy mustard (I like this tarragon mustard but fun dijon is great too) and then eaten open-faced with cucumbers.
YES I am talking about this damn chai again! This month I got a container of my own, and have been brewing a small batch every week and keeping it in the fridge for my midday chai pick me up. It’s available online so all of you who don’t live in Oregon near a Tea Chai Té now have absolutely no excuse to not order and drink it!
I picked up this $14 granola as a birthday present to myself and have since repurchased because it’s just that good. I think what I love about it is that each individual piece of granola is so crunchy and crispy, AND there are cacao nibs in it which is an ingredient I oddly gravitate toward.
What I read:
A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book, the first I’ve read of Woolf’s. I loved the premise of this book: female authors, in order to succeed, need to be paid and given a room to themselves to complete their work in. I loved the beginning and ending of this book, but got lost in the middle. I’d read Woolf again, leave suggestions in the comments if you have any! 7
Weather by Jenny Offill
I liked this book, and it’s definitely gotten a lot of buzz over the last few years, but it wasn’t that remarkable to me. The perk is that it’s a short and engaging read; I read it in one night. If you’re interested in climate change related fiction and complicated female characters, you might like this more than I did. 6.5
In the Distance by Hernan Diaz
I absolutely loved this book. It’s about a Swedish boy who takes a boat to New York with his brother, until he realizes that he’s actually lost, in San Francisco during the gold rush, and his brother is gone. The book follows his journey over many years trying to cross the US on foot to find his brother and getting into lots of trouble along the way. Points knocked because it is a quite violent and slightly graphic book, and there’s some iffy portrayals of Indigenous people, but I absolutely loved the author’s clear but descriptive writing style and the unique storyline. 8.75
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
This is the year I’m going to get into plays, poetry, and graphic novels (three genres that I am intrigued by but picky about!). Although I detested The Crucible, I decided to give Arthur Miller’s other famous play a try and ended up loving it. It’s about a struggling father, capitalism, mental health, the American Dream, so on and so forth. Leave play recommendations in the comments, I really love Tennessee Williams and that’s about it! 8
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
It’s a classic, what can I say? I’m a huge fan of the newest version of this movie and I think that watching it dozens of times before reading the book actually helped me slog through the 700+ pages. 8
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
I don’t quite know what to say about this book. I liked it, I didn’t like it, I want to read the rest in the series, but I’m in no rush. I don’t necessarily feel neutral about it, but I don’t feel positively or negatively either. I’m somewhere in the weird middle. 7.75
Notes on Camp by Susan Sontag
I tried so hard to read Against Interpretation and Other Essays but it was so challenging given that I haven’t read any of the books or studied any of the philosophers she referenced in the other essays. I did really enjoy Notes on Camp, especially having seen the Met fashion exhibit and being a burgeoning potential John Waters fan. I love camp and I’m all for it! 7
Blue Horses by Mary Oliver
My first ever Mary Oliver! I enjoyed this collection of her poetry because what I hate about poetry is flowery language, and Mary Oliver is very straightforward in her writing which I appreciated. 7.5
Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh
This book came highly recommended from a newsletter I sub to and although I did appreciate the elements of satire and did overall think this book was clever, it was a bit difficult to read. 6.5
Indelicacy by Amina Cain
When I read the description of this book (art museum cleaning lady marries rich and devotes her life to writing and trying to make friends), I thought I would absolutely love it. While I did bask in how descriptive and visual this book is, I did feel it fell short a bit. 7
Bunny by Mona Awad
This book was so genuinely weird and I’m still kind of unsure what it was even about. It’s the story of a creative writing MFA student at a prestigious school who is indoctrinated into a cult-like group of friends who perform very strange activities in order to be able to write better? That’s the best way I can describe it, but this book has so many bizarre elements that just did not sit well. 6
The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose
I recently rewatched The Artist is Present which inspired me to pick up this book which is a fictionalized retelling of Marina Abramović’s famous performance from the perspectives of the observers of this show. I really liked this book because I love Marina Abramović, and recommend it if you are similarly interested. 8
What I watched:
The Lost Daughter
I see Olivia Colman, I click! Yeah, this movie was great. Weird, but good.
This show is the perfect short-term replacement for my feel-good usuals like Ted Lasso and Schitt’s Creek. Written by and starring the incredible Quinta Brunson, it’s about an earnest group of Philly teachers trying to make their school a better place and encountering lots of odd challenges along the way. Also, Chessy from the Parent Trap is in it!
What I played? New category idk:
Me and my friends are addicted to this card game called Dutch Blitz and have been playing it as often as we can this month. It’s like a mix between Uno and solitaire and can get quite rowdy if you’re with the right group.
hmmmm, maybe I need to find another group to play Dutch Blitz with??