Tell me I’m not the only person whose least favourite months are January and February. My BFF hates November, and I kinda get it, but at the same time, November at least has the anticipation-of-Christmas (and Thanksgiving, for the American contingent) going for it. January and February are basically one extra long, extra cold, and extra dreary month. Jabruary, if you will. Jabruary is the worst.
All of this is to say that it takes a lot of extra effort to keep me out of the doldrums during the first 59 days of the year. I do what I can, in terms of self-care, but it’s honestly a struggle. Reading is one of my go-to modes of escape, but I get particularly picky when I’m in a funk. This, by the way, explains why I haven’t bothered with any new shows; I tend to just re-watch old favourites and sulk about their untimely cancellation (cough * Hannibal * cough). Anyway, I did manage to find a couple of books I enjoyed so let’s talk about that.
For fans of The Crown, I recommend Snowdon by Anne De Courcy – a biography of Tony Armstrong-Jones, Princess Margaret’s first (ex? former? what’s the correct terminology here, someone plz halp!) husband. Armstrong-Jones was an interesting character but, although clearly charismatic and dedicated to various charitable causes, was also kind of an asshole to people in his personal life. This does not necessarily make for a bad biographical subject, in my opinion, unless the biographer is a little too in love with said subject; De Courcy mostly skirts that line, and is actually very sympathetic to Princess Margaret, who was also (though not exclusively) kind of an asshole. The marriage of the princess and the commoner yielded a ton of juicy press in its day, and makes for a fun read for gossip-loving, nosy people like me. With that said, I found the book a bit slow-going in parts; good chunks of it read like “lather, rinse, repeat”, particularly the descriptions of the Snowdons’ daily lives. But, as I said above, I was probably being unreasonably picky.
On a lighter, but not unrelated note, I also read The Royal We. The authors are the bloggers behind Go Fug Yourself, a site I used to read religiously before the weird formatting drove me to distraction. The premise of the book is a fictionalized version of Prince William & Princess Kate’s story. You know the broad strokes: spunky commoner meets handsome prince at university, they fall in love, he proposes, plot twist, plot twist, plot twist, the (happy) end. It was pretty good for the genre; I’d put it in the same category as the Crazy, Rich Asians series, though I prefer the latter (especially the first book).
Of course, as I was reading the book, I couldn’t help but think about the newest iteration of this story – Megan Markle and Prince Harry. She is an American divorcee, which would have (and did) cause a scandal not all that long ago. I think I’ve aged out of the “marrying a prince” fantasy, because I can’t help thinking that, in her shoes, I might have just stuck to the acting career. Being a modern day princess seems less like a fairytale and more like a not-all-that-fun job (any job that requires a lot of polite smiling is not much fun in my books). But that’s just me. And I did tell you I was grumpy.
That’s it – tell me what you’ve been reading lately.
Next time, I’ll tell you about some of my current favourite Internet places to visit.