Sunday Sum Up- August 11, 2019

Busy week this week. Having a kitten means I’ve been doing a lot more sweeping, vacuuming, and taking out the trash. I love the little mite, but she spreads litter around like a mad thing!

On the bright side of having two cats, it’s completely adorable at night, when I look up from working on something to see the two of them sprawled out on the floor, sound asleep.

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Aside from cleaning up after a rambunctious kitten, I’ve spent a good deal of time cleaning and paring down in my apartment. I have a small space, so keeping the clutter to a minimum is imperative. I’ve pulled some books that I don’t want anymore, and I took a box of stuff to the charity shop. There weren’t huge changes, but now my little studio looks so much cleaner and more open.

I also got outside for a little while on Friday night. It’s been horrendously humid (87% humidity? Really, Nebraska?), and so going outside is like stepping into a sauna. It’s so uncomfortable and makes me long for September when the air dries out a little. But I got a few photos, so there’s that.

What I Finished Reading This Weekend:

I wanted an audiobook to listen to while doing paperwork at work and I was in the mood for a British mystery. Because I’d just finished Cleeves’s forthcoming novel, The Long Call, I decided to download another one of her novels. Thin Air is the sixth in the Shetland Islands mystery series, which stars Jimmy Perez. He and his fellow police officers investigate the death of an English woman visiting the Shetlands on holiday. The islands’ history plays a role, but what role that is is one of the mysteries that Perez must unravel.

Daughter of the Forest is a retelling of an Eastern European folk tale where a witch curses six brothers. The only way the curse can be lifted is if their sister, Sorcha, remains completely silent– and does not tell her story in any way– while making six shirts from a stinging plant. This is a beautifully-written story that speaks to the familial love and devotion, as well as the nature of women’s work and the inability of women to tell their stories, even when their lives are at risk.

What I’m Currently Reading:

I’m approaching the end of Lethal White. Robin is showing her personal strength now, though thanks to life events she is completely exhausted and though Strike is trying to lay out his theory for her, she’s not picking it up. I’m on her side. I don’t understand what’s linking all the different elements. They seem so disparate. I guess I will find out soon.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January is my current ARC. So far it’s an enchanting read, though I’ve come to a strange point which I’m hoping will add to January’s story, rather than being a thing where the author has a lot of world-building stuff that she loves and can’t bear to cut it. We’ll see. I’m not very far into the book right now.

Dune Messiah is the second book in the Dune Chronicles. It’s very different from the first book, Dune, and that was a deliberate choice on Herbert’s part. Instead of the epic tone of Dune, we get a more grounded story where the characters are– in many cases– straight up bitter about the events of the intervening twelve years. Paul Atreides won the war, but he’s finding that maintaining an empire is not easy, especially when he is seen as a god-like figure by the Fremen army that fights in his name. I’m not very far into this one, either.

What I Plan to Start Reading This Week:

I’m suddenly on a Star Trek kick thanks to fiding The 7th Rule podcast, which features Cirroc Lofton and Aron Eisenberg (Jake Sisko and Nog from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) talking about Star Trek, specifically their experiences working on Deep Space Nine and their thoughts on the second season of Discovery. I’m only a few episodes in and I’m enjoying it.

I also stumbled across the Deep Space Nine Rewatch from Tor.com, written by Keith R.A. DeCandido. I enjoyed DeCandido’s recaps and reviews of Star Trek: Discovery last spring, and it’s been fun seeing his views on a bunch of the Deep Space Nine episodes. Mostly, I’ve been reading the reviews of my favorite episodes like, ‘Improbable Cause’, ‘The Die is Cast’, and ‘In the Pale Moonlight’.

What I’ve Been Watching:

Queen of the Desert starring Nicole Kidman, James Franco, Robert Pattinson, Damian Lewis, Jay Abdo; Directed by Werner Herzog. This beautifully shot film is a biopic about Gertrude Bell, an Englishwoman who left England for the deserts of the middle-east. There, she traveled wherever she wanted to, mapped the region, and successfully met with groups that others considered to be violent and barbaric. While it’s hard to see Nicole Kidman as the young ingenue of the beginning of the film, as the character ages she fits into the role seamlessly. Bell’s respect for the people she met is evident in Kidman’s portrayal of her, as is the sexism she dealt with from her own countrymen. This is currently available on Netflix.

Shetland, Season 4. Starring Douglas Henshall, Allison O’Donnell, Steven Robinson. Based upon the murder mystery series by Ann Cleeves, Shetland is set on the remote Shetland Islands off the northern coast of Scotland. I finished up the fourth season this week, and it was fantastic. It went to unexpected places like Bergen, Norway (I tend to forget that the Shetlands are closer to Norway than they are to London), and I did not predict the ending at all. There is a contrast between Jimmy Perez’s approach to law enforcement as a small-town cop whose territory covers a wide array of islands and the detective who comes from the city of Edinburgh. The acting in this show is stellar, and accurately portrays the relationships and lifestyles of people in small towns.

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