Monday, May 6, 2019

April Favorites: Orpheus, Alice, and Temeraire

Don't even bother trying to smash any records with your reading goals, y'all, because Will has already read 118 books this year.

Thirty of them in April!

She's sad, silly girl, because this isn't as many books as she read in March; we've been outside more, and she's been studying a LOT more for her AP European History exam in two days.

Will finished the His Dark Materials series last month, and now counts the entire series as among her favorite books from the year:

She read Moby Dick, and amused me to no end by how much she genuinely loved it. I would NEVER tell her that I think a book is boring before she's had a chance to read it for herself, and so I do think that as she read me tidbits of the book, laughing over inaccurate information about whales and despairing over the captain getting crazier and crazier, she really did so in ignorance that much of the literate world considers the book to be a mournful slog through overbearingly obtuse prose.

Another of Will's favorites is another old friend, and she and I both adore the His Majesty's Dragons series. Will is the one who first got me into the series--of COURSE!--but this book is new to both of us, as the library didn't have it until I asked them to buy it. And they did!

It's not on my list for this month because Will took it from me and read it instead. I actually looked for it this morning so I could start it but couldn't find it anywhere so I started The Andromeda Strain instead. It's around somewhere, probably under the couch or on the stack of books on the kitchen table or, ooh! Maybe in the backpack that I took to last Friday's Girl Scout meeting!

Here are Will's other favorites from the month:

And here's the rest of what Will read in April!

I didn't read much in April, and what I did read I didn't like much of. This little graphic novel that I zoomed through on a Saturday afternoon was actually my favorite of the bunch:

It has all my favorite things: camping, badge-earning, and bookish loners who don't know how to socialize.

I also read a disappointing novel about the workers of the Manhattan Project's Secret City; a parenting book that has mostly succeeded in pissing the kids off because now most afternoons I kick them out for an hour of "unstructured, active outdoor time;" the Alice in Wonderland books; and a biography of Lewis Carroll that tried sooooo hard to convince me that he wasn't a pedophile.

I'm still pretty sure he was a pedophile.

Just like books, YouTube is a great place to delve into our random obsessions. In the car a few weeks ago, I heard an NPR interview with the composer of Hadestown; I barely managed to make it to the gym and then back home before I was on YouTube looking for clips. It's a post-Apocalyptic/Depression-era retelling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice--are you surprised that I'm obsessed?

Here's Persephone:

Ooh, and here's Persephone with Hermes and then Hades, and a little bit of Eurydice at the end:

Here's an older recording of the soundtrack, which I'm also obsessed with. The new recording of the Broadway version is going to be out next month--mark your calendars!

Syd really likes to watch ballet videos, so we watch a lot of those when we hang out together in the evenings:

And then often the suggestions after those videos lead us down some very strange rabbit holes. Did you know about Japanese precision walking?!?

And then this apparently iconic cheerleading competition performance that shows that cheerleaders are REALLY good with rhythm--

--which led us to wonder what cheerleading competitions used to be like. A lot tamer, it turns out, but that's surely too high to stack people:

Will discovered these Architectural Digest videos, and now that's what WE watch when we hang out together:

Rich people homes are ridiculous.

Did YOU read or watch anything ridiculous in April?

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