I read 15 books in February. This insanity is brought to you by snow days where I had no idea what to do with myself. My TBR shelf thanks you, snow days.
One was nonfiction, one was a reread, and one was a novella. My favorite reads for the month were N.K. Jemisin’s Inheritance novella, “The Awakened Kingdom,” and Code Name Verity.
I only read two male authors this month: a collection of nonfiction essays by Isaac Asimov, and a novel by John Scalizi. Three of the authors I read were (to my knowledge) women of color. Four books prominently featured QUILTBAG characters.
I submitted five short stories in February. Still waiting on a response from one January sub. I didn’t do as good a job keeping track of what I actually finished this month…but then, I didn’t really finish much. Mostly I’ve been puttering on some new and old short story projects.
The new novel…thing unexpectedly became 15000 words. I had planned to do a lot more research before sitting down to write this novel, but since it seems to be going well I’m going to try and bang out a short draft and then fill in the blanks, so to speak, later. Novel of Doom remains stagnant. I know why, I’ve just been unwilling to deal with it thus far.
There was a lot of great TV this month, as some things started and some things ended. I’m glad to report that I’m still totally besotted with Vikings, though I am in mourning for Ragnar’s hair. I’m also completely on the edge of my seat when watching The Americans. I may or may not have cried during the finale for Agent Carter (ok, so I did cry. Big time. For Howard fucking Stark, goddamn it.) And I was incredibly impressed with the big reveals on How to Get Away With Murder…and not sure how I’m ever going to stand waiting six months for more. (Although I really hate them for what they did to Oliver. I hate them so much.)
The big surprise for me this month, however, has been Better Call Saul. I didn’t particularly have any expectations for it. I loved the whole run of Breaking Bad, but I didn’t really think I needed more of that world. I actually thought Saul was going to be kind of campy and unnecessary.
Wrong. It is genius. Pure genius. It is incredibly dark, very black comedy. It is of course beautifully shot. (One thing I did really miss from Breaking Bad was the cook montages…apparently these are being replaced with lawyering montages, which sounds kind of silly, but the one they’ve done so far was great.) My thesis so far is that Jimmy (Saul) is meant to be an oppositional figure to Walter White. He’s facing some similar issues (not exact parallels, but similar), to what Walt did in the beginning, but whereas Walt is a villain from the beginning of the show (none of that good man corrupted bunk–Walt is awful from the start, just more petty about it when he is powerless), Jimmy seems to have this earnest goodness behind his actions that I didn’t expect, and totally love. Of course, we all know where it gets him, but I think I’ll like seeing him on the ride.
Also: Mike! Mike Ehrmantraut is back scowling on my TV! How is that any kind of bad thing?
I have not listened to much new music this month. Mostly, because I’ve been working on the new novel thing I’ve been listening to the soundtrack I have for that, which is a sort of odd but fitting mix of sixties folk, eighties pop, and more modern, female-led stuff like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Lorde, Haim, and Lana del Rey. I did listen to the new Belle & Sebastian, which I liked (especially The Party Line), but not much else new.