Wednesday, April 3, 2019

March Favorites: Dragons and Dollhouses and What My High School Sex Ed Class Didn't Teach Me

Our February favorites are here.

Syd doesn't want to share her March reading list, but Will and I LOOOOOOOOVE to talk about what we've been reading, so it's just us two blathering on about our books this month.

Somehow our Will managed to read 35 books in 31 days. I don't even know. Once again, she was Jane Yolen's biggest fangirl. Two of Yolen's books count in her favorites:

Our girl loves herself some dragons. Here's another of her March favorites, also dragon-themed:

Will is much more likely to recommend books to me these days than I am to recommend books to her, but I'm especially pleased when I see that she's read and loved something that I, too, have read and loved. I think I was in graduate school when I first started the His Dark Materials series, and I remember it gutting me. Will is only one book in so far, but she reports that it's one of her favorite March books, so I'm sure the rest are coming:

Oh, and she read this pre-Harry Potter boy wizard book! I LOVE this one!

Will says that I should read some reviews before I read this book, however, because it is, in her words, "surprisingly dark":

Here are the rest of Will's favorite books of March:

And here's some of the rest of what she read:

Not all of these were winners, of course; I'm cracking up that Will included her AP Euro textbook in her March reading log, although to be fair, she DID finish it! She also reports that Dress Codes for Small Towns "had no discernible plot, and when I finished it I didn't even know what had happened in it." Will hasn't ever really picked up the trick of dropping a book when she doesn't like it...

And that Dog Magic book Will read basically as a joke, although a few minutes ago I was laughingly reading one of the negative Amazon reviews for it to the girls, the one that criticized the book for teaching witches how to "enslave" animals as their familiars, and when Syd said, "Ooh, I'm going to go try that on Luna," Will immediately shouted, "NO! She's MY dog!"

It's never really boring around here...

I read a lot more in March than I usually do, likely because I was so happy and relaxed and relieved when I finally got done with cookie season! I read these two books that Will recommended to me--

--and oh, my goodness, I LOVED them. LOVED THEM! The kid was spot-on with what she thought I would like. I don't want to tell you too much because I don't want to spoil the books for you, but I'll just tell you that at the beginning of the first book you're going to hate the main character. Ugh, he's horrible! And you're going to hate him for a while, but by the end of the book you are not going to be able to love him more. He remains flawed, but... okay, no. I cannot tell you more. Read it yourself. Seriously. And then come talk to me about it, because I SUPER want to talk to you about it!

I noticed that Will had one of Karen Walker Thompson's books in her March log, and funnily enough, I had another one of hers in mine!

I really enjoyed this one; it was compelling, even as much of its plot revolves around waiting and ennui and futility and such--reading it, it's like you're always anticipating the next terrible thing that you're always building up to. It was so good that I didn't even really mind that the plot just sort of piddles out in the end. It was realistic that way, I guess, as realistic as a sci-fi novel about a localized pandemic can be. I mean, it's not like we had a big, climactic ending to ebola, you know?

I did read Dragon Teeth, although unlike Syd, I didn't super love it. It got me on a Michael Crichton kick, however, and I managed to read THREE of his books in March!

I first read Sphere way back before they made a movie of it, and I think the movie ruined the book for me big-time, because I had completely forgotten how good the book actually is. If you've seen the movie, try to forget it, because the book is actually good! Like, sci-fi thriller good, if you like that sort of thing. I had never read A Case of Need, and it's even better. Like, legitimately good, not just sci-fi thriller good. I really liked the voice in this one, and the matter of fact way that the main character goes about some pretty extraordinary business. It's historically interesting, too, and politically charged, especially these days.

So this book comes from an NPR story that the kids and I listened to while out and about one day. Syd immediately put her headphones on and zoned out, but Will and I were charmed and fascinated by the experts interviewed, and as soon as I got home I put Emily Nagoski's book on hold for me at the library:

You guys, it's SO GOOD! The subtitle is disingenuous, in my opinion, as I don't need to have my sex life transformed, and yet it had me riveted. Think of it more as what your sex ed class should have been like. Y'all, I thought that my sex ed class was great and super informative, and yet apparently there was SO MUCH that I never knew about my own body, just, like, biologically.

Seriously. Am I the only person who didn't already know that the HYMEN IS A LIE?!?

And the psychological stuff that she talks about would have been so helpful to know for, geez, the first half of my sexual history, at least? You can skip the self-help stuff and still get so much from this book. I'm passing it on to Will next.

Here are a couple of other random books that I read in March. I promise there's nothing else overtly sexually charged on the list!

Okay, you know I can't let you get away without telling you about our random YouTube favorites of the month. We don't have antenna or cable TV, or Netflix or Hulu, so when we sit around and watch a screen together, it's a DVD or it's YouTube.

This art restoration guy is my main obsession these days. I am absolutely fascinated at his process and all the little details involved in his work, and at the end, when he does his before/after comparison, I want to stand up and cheer. But I don't, because his other major awesome quality is that the kids think that they like his videos, too, but they nearly always put them to sleep.

Shh, don't tell them!

When it's Syd's turn to choose a video for us to watch, this woman is nearly always her go-to. It's another detailed process tutorial, so I think we have a family theme going on here:

Syd also introduced us to this guy, and we've now watched a ton of his tutorials. He's very silly, but his work is astounding--creative and unusual and very, very professional-looking:

Syd is really our YouTube expert; she knows all the best tutorial videos. She and Matt watch a lot of these digital art tutorials; she's really invested in improving her digital art lately, and even I, who barely know what I'm supposed to be looking at in the best of circumstances, can tell how much more detailed and realistic her work is looking lately:

Okay, this next one is all me and Matt. Did you know that there are a ton of YouTube videos consisting of people building weensy little dollhouses and modifying them and decorating them?


Oh, my gosh, here's another one of Syd's finds. I swear that she does more than just scroll YouTube! This series is often what she and I watch when I ask her if she wants to hang out and watch TV with me:

Let me know if there's something YOU read or watch that we should be reading or watching, too!

No comments: