I am all out of practice blogging. It’s like any other muscle: if you don’t use it, you lose it. On the bright side, I’m getting back into the blogging mood and I have lots of new things to share, so it’s a forward march from here. The biggest news is that I have now gone through the major life change to which I alluded in my last reading summary: as may be fairly obvious by now to anybody paying attention to the backgrounds in my Instagram posts, I moved!!! (Translation: It finally dawned on me that I could live wherever I wanted because my work went 100% remote last year, so I took full advantage.) I am now settled in a sunny little one-bedroom in Baltimore – more or less, if one disregards the stacks of boxes – and have been living here for the last two months.

These books have been on the shelf for all of a month and they’ve already been reorganized once, with a second reorganization on the horizon. Gods help me.

Home is where the dinosaur is. ❤️

Also, Heather sent me this candle as a housewarming gift. I died.

And now for a hot second of me being completely shallow: I could say that this built-in bookcase wasn’t the main selling point of the apartment, but I’d be lying. It fits my whole manga collection with room to spare, and it’ll probably be able to accommodate my full Redwall collection as well. I am very pleased.

And I have no idea how this happened because I know I haven’t lent Adunni to anybody, but I am FURIOUS. Seriously considering hiring bounty hunters to find the bastard who somehow broke into my house without my noticing and opened all my book boxes and ripped Adunni’s jacket YOU DO NOT DISRESPECT ADUNNI LIKE THAT HEADS WILL FUCKING ROLL

Mysteriously ripped book covers aside, it’s been a busy couple of months – I moved, got my COVID vaccines, had a handful of family dos, went on an unpleasant misadventure with my second bookcase, started an unhealthy relationship with Home Goods, and signed up for the local library, all while still working full-time – but things are starting to settle down a bit and I’m not feeling burned out or uninspired, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to get back to blogging and also finish unpacking sometime within the next six years because I’m ambitious like that.

And now, having moved, I don’t want to move anywhere for at least five years. The last time I moved was in 2016, and I’d completely forgotten how awful it was.

May Reading Stats

Books Finished:

  1. Circe – Madeline Miller
  2. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
  3. The Ghost Bride – Yangsze Choo
  4. Spy x Family 5 – Tatsuya Endo

Total Pages Read: 1,439

Friends. April was a disgrace. I mean, sure, I was moving for most of April (started on the 17th and haven’t really stopped), which meant setting up utilities and internet and buying furniture and stocking the pantry, which meant in turn that my books stayed in their boxes until my second bookcase arrived in the middle of May. That was a whole other debacle, but suffice it to say that it took me about three weeks to stop using my book boxes as chairs and finally put the books where they belong. In the meantime the only reading I did in April was on the first, when I read 111 pages of A Storm of Swords and then put the book down and didn’t pick it up again until June. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: ASOIAF’s collective page count does not spark joy.

May went much better, because the appearance of the new bookcase – combined with the arrival of my couch, which I received more or less in time for the Handmaid’s Tale season 4 premiere, and the fact that my books are now easily accessible and I can no longer pretend that it’s too much trouble to dig them out of their boxes – relit my reading fire. I’ve been a little too kind to myself and have strayed quite far from my official TBR, but now that I’ve gotten back into the habit of reading I am herding myself back on track.

The highlight of May was definitely my reread of Circe, which is a work of art. I have to admit that I do love The Song of Achilles a shade more on account of its being more organized and less episodic, but this is 100% a matter of personal taste rather than a failing on Circe‘s part. The Song of Achilles covers the lifetime of one human; Circe covers at least a hundred generations. It is looser and more unfocused than The Song of Achilles, but its format is completely appropriate to its protagonist, so it works. I’m glad I reread it, because I’d forgotten how much I love Circe herself. It takes her a little while to find her footing in a world dominated by gods more powerful than herself, but she’s stubborn and scrappy and I really respect that. Hers is a story that everyone should read.

Currently Reading

The Water Dancer
Ta-Nehisi Coates
Current rating: 4 stars. It’s a little slow, but it’s intriguing. Hiram just got himself out of the ordinary man’s hands and into Corinne’s, which doesn’t seem ideal. Maybe it’s just me being cynical, but she seems just a little too eager to give up her privilege. There’s something vaguely cultlike about her manner, and I really don’t trust her because she seems like she’s plotting something. Also there’s the extremely disturbing fact that she orchestrated the torture inflicted on Hiram by the ordinary man to force him to develop his powers. She’s fucking creepy and I don’t like her.

All Who Go Do Not Return
Shulem Deen
Current rating: N/A. I’m only on page 36.

Miscellaneous Reading News

Behold my first Baltimore library haul! (Not including The Bell Jar, which I went back for a few days after this haul).

My usual practice when I move to a new neighborhood is to sign up for the local library, with the result that I have library cards for Montgomery County, Towson, Howard County, Frederick, and Takoma Park. In this case I didn’t even think of looking up the library because the Montgomery County libraries were all closed, so I naturally assumed that the Baltimore libraries would be closed as well. Clearly I was wrong. My local library doesn’t have a huge selection, but it’s super cute and it has enough books to keep me occupied for a while, so for the moment I’m satisfied. I’m also low-key hoping it’ll take book donations to fill up its shelves, but that’s an issue for another day.

Random Thoughts

I went to I don’t know how many Asian markets hunting for this chili oil because I saw it on YouTube and apparently am easily influenced and after all that trouble all I can say is I’d better fucking like it

And a few new photos of the Empress of Everything, because I haven’t shared this imperious little face since February.