My reading has fallen off a steep cliff thanks to Netflix. Yup, I have finally crawled out from under my rock and joined the 21st century. I have been resisting Netflix for years because “I don’t have time to commit to TV shows anymore” but, hello, it’s Netflix. I get it now, people, I get it. I have been binge-watching a bunch of murder mystery series, including Poirot, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (love the series even more than the books and am obsessed with it but MY GOD KISS HER ALREADY, JACK ROBINSON!!!) and Broadchurch. Highly recommend the latter, by the way. David Tennant is my second-favourite Doctor, and Olivia Colman is fantastic. The season 1 finale delivered a real gut punch.
Anyway, reading. Haven’t done much of it, though I have continued to add to my reading list thanks to thrifting. Hopefully I will have more to report next time. I did manage to breeze through The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which I loved. If you couldn’t tell from these recaps, I don’t read a lot of non-genre/literary fiction so this was a nice change of pace. I struggle with literary fiction because I have weird, picky tastes. I don’t like reading things that are too depressing, or too sappy, or too fluffy. I prefer action or humour or mystery, though nothing too violent or graphic. I tend not to take risks with fiction novels because I’m afraid I could end up with something like, say, Atonement on my hands. I hated that book with a passion. It is a beautifully written book, but the story made me so angry. It damn broke my heart. Like, ugly-cry broke my heart. Feelings, ugh. No thanks.
Anywaaaaay, GLaPPS (I’m not typing that out again, sorry) is none of things I hate, and many of the things I love. Epistolary novels have been my jam ever since I read Les Liaisons Dangereuses. This one was well executed and heart-warming in a bittersweet, non-sappy way. The various characters’ voices came through very clearly in their letters, and they were all believably lovable. There was a bit of mystery, a bit of will-they-won’t-they romantic suspense, and was somehow joyfully lighthearted despite the fact that the pivotal part of the story deals with the Nazi occupation of Guernsey. The authors have a deft touch that stopped it from becoming an entirely different, much darker book.
If you guys have (literary) fiction recc’s for me — keeping in mind my weird tastes — please share them in the comments. Also, thoughts: I’m debating tracking down a copy of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels … should I?
Moving on, a few cool articles. First up, for the personal finance voyeur in us all (what, just me?) this Refinery29 money diary from a 27-year old single woman making $230K is worth a (longish) read. The reactions from the commentariat (some critical, some supportive) are interesting as well because they reveal a lot about how different people view money (and others’ financial choices). Bottom line: on the internet, people will judge the hell out of whatever you do, no holds barred — probably because money is still such a taboo subject in real life. For what it’s worth, my main reaction in reading the diary was surprise that the author wasn’t working much longer hours, based on her location and industry (NYC, finance). I may have read too many biglaw horror stories from my American counterparts.
Speaking of taboos, check out this article about why women are “not allowed” to age. As I inch ever closer to my 40s, while moving up in my career, I struggle with this more and more. As a professional woman, you want to look wise and experienced — but can you look old? There is SO MUCH tied up in this question, I don’t even know where to begin. It probably deserves its own post, but I have had no epiphanies, and have no real answers, and so the most I can do is ask you all to commiserate with me that It. Is. Freaking. Hard. To. Figure. All. This. Out.
Lastly, this article about feelings which are untranslatable in the English language was fascinating. As a non-native English speaker, I have often pondered how our experience is shaped by the words available to us in whatever language we speak. Needless to say, I loved learning about the feelings which other cultures have decided are important enough to be named. Sehnsucht, saudade, and natsukashii describe, like, 75% of my Sunday mood. (Sunday is the worst day for feeling blue for no reason, amirite?) I was surprised to see that no one has come up with a name for the “mean reds” … although I guess Capote probably nailed it with those two words.