It was a busy week around here, but fortunately, the weather was gorgeous for most of it. My parents made a quick and somewhat unscheduled trip into town, so I had brunch with them on Wednesday morning and we did some shopping. One of our stops was PetSmart, where I bought a new toy for Mina to cuddle with. They didn’t have any cuddle-able cat toys so I went to the dog toy section and bought her a new toy. So far, she loves it.
Mina is finally putting on some weight and is now kitten-skinny instead of malnourished-skinny. She is running around like crazy and pouncing on every cat toy that I have. I think her health problems are behind her now.
What I Finished Reading Last Week:
- Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
- Rough Magic: Riding the World’s Loneliest Horse Race by Lara Prior-Palmer
Lonesome Dove was an incredible, heartbreaking, funny, profound, pitiless, and unsentimental book. Its 1986 Pulitzer was well deserved, and I think more people should read it, in spite of its length. The fact that it is a Western probably means that some will look down upon it because it’s genre fiction, but it provides a sense of the realities of the Old West and how quickly things were changing in the late 1880s. Like any realistic historical fiction, its characters are casually racist and misogynistic, but to deny Lonesome Dove on these grounds is to deny the problems we are still trying to deal with.
Rough Magic was a beautiful book about Prior-Palmer’s spur of the moment decision to enter the Mongolian Derby, a 1,000-kilometer horse race that follows the postal routes of Genghis Khan’s postal riders. It is a dangerous and lonely race across the Mongolian steppes and carried out on the backs of half-wild horses. Prior-Palmer was the first woman and youngest rider to win this race, and though she states this in the prologue, the ending is no less suspenseful for the knowledge. Prior-Palmer details her own life, her lifelong relationship with horses, her aunt, who herself was a famous equestrian, as well as beautiful descriptions of Mongolia, its people, and her relationships with the horses who carried her on her long road.
What I’m Currently Reading:
- The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time #1) by Robert Jordan (275/750)
- Dune by Frank Herbert (353/883)
- Lethal White (Cormoran Strike #4) by Robert Galbraith, audiobook narrated by Robert Glenister (47%)
I read The Eye of the World at the beginning of my sophomore year of college. I sped through it in about three days and I thought it was fantastic, and devoured the next few books in record time, too. But as the series progressed, my reading time slowed and slowed. Now that I’m older, I’m giving The Wheel of Time Another shot. I’m a lot different from the way I was eighteen years ago. So far, my experience has been the same. The Eye of the World is a quick read with a lot of influences from Tolkien. We’ll see if the rest of the series goes the same way on the re-read. This is a buddy read with Jackie from Death by Tsundoku.
My reread of Dune was put on hold so I could finish Lonesome Dove. I plan to pick it back up again so I can keep up with Steve Donoghue’s upcoming videos about the second book in the series, Dune Messiah.
I’ve gotten deeper into Lethal White, and the mystery has gotten even deeper as it moves from blackmail to murder. I have no idea whodunnit, and I am perfectly happy with that fact at this point in the book. Matthew just screwed up in a big way, though, and I’m waiting for Robin to pick up on the clue (she hasn’t yet, only because she’s focused on something else right now, but I think that soon enough, she’ll figure it out).
What I Plan to Start Reading This Week:
- The Long Call (Two Rivers #1) by Ann Cleeves
- Daughter of the Forest (Sevenwaters #1) by Juliet Marillier
What I’ve Been Watching:
Queer Eye: More Than a Makeover Tan France, Jonathan Van Ness, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, Antoni Porowski (Netflix) Is there anyone who hasn’t watched this? Sure, the sentimentality is sometimes manufactured and like any makeover show (What Not to Wear, Tidying up with Marie Kondo), I wonder if the people involved make the changes last after the cameras have been turned off. But the show is so engaging, and it’s so fun to see the people regain their confidence by the end of the episode.