I liked it? I liked the inclusion of Southeast Asian characters via Sheffield to Sharma, but I will defer to other whether it was done with sufficient nuance – it didn’t seem offensive to me but how would I know if they’d done something awful? I thought the nod to pre wedding activities and the inclusion of patterns (paisleys) were lovely.
I did not love some of the writing for Edwina Sharma, who was inconsistent about practical marriage vs love match. I also do not love the Penelope developments.
Loved the reflections of P&P adaptations, and to Bollywood’s non-kisses.
Loved the clothes, even if they were not necessarily historically accurate. Admired the ladies’ dresses, lusted for the waistcoats.
Also: worth watching for Adjoa Andoh’s Lady Danbury. Her clothes. Her cane. Her curled lip. This line kills me: “After passion cools and fate intervenes, who else is a woman left with but herself?”
I’ve done a summary post of the books I read, places I visited, etc., for the last couple of years. 2020 has very little to recommend for itself looking back. The early months were pretty good, but later not so much.
- Terceira in February (highly recommend)
- Pittsburgh for hockey (first week of March, just pre-lockdown)
- Antietam/western MD for a weekend in July
- Cape Cod for an isolated and quiet trip in September
- Online only – several Frank Turner shows, not much else.
- Can’t remember if I saw anything in the theater early on.
- Signed up briefly for Disney+ in order to see Hamilton and the first season of The Mandalorian.
- A lot of Netflix, including Schitt’s Creek (meh), Derry Girls (like it), and Bridgerton (not sure I’d bother with future seasons/series).
- Currently watching the new season of The Expanse on Amazon. I love Chrisjen Avasarala as a character.
I finished 33 books. The highlights were Megan Whalen Turner’s The Return of the King and Ben Aaronovitch’s False Value. There are two former autobuy authors who finally tipped over the edge for me to not even being library borrows, and a lot of ~meh~ mixed in. I tried a couple of self-published works from writers I’ve found via fandom(s); sometimes the original fic works for me and sometimes not, which is perhaps a function of the canon and backstory in fandom that requires more work to establish in original fiction. I’ve been letting myself read Obama’s memoir in bits and pieces, as a comfort, so I started in 2020 but it will finish as a 2021 read. (It’ll be a highlight, I’m pretty sure.)
Books I’m looking forward to in 2021:
- Anna K. by Jenny Lee, a YA retelling of Anna Karenina. I haven’t read Anna Karenina since high school and my memory of it is such that I’m curious to read a YA adaptation.
- We Own This City by Justin Fenton. Non-fiction account of the Baltimore City Police Gun Trace Task Force, whose members have been federally indicted for a variety of crimes, including racketeering, drug dealing, and illegal searches and seizures.
- The new installment in Kelley Armstrong’s Rockton Yukon series.
- What Abigail Did That Summer, a novella in the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch.
Borrowed the new Nora Roberts novel, Hideaway, from the library. If I was a new NR reader, I probably would have found it engaging and original. But I’m not, having read most of her backlist and most of her romantic suspense. The plot and various elements felt repetitive of earlier books like The Search or Angels Fall or other books. I probably could have let that go – there’s comfort in knowing an author can deliver predictable enjoyment – but one scene early on soured the book for me. The local police (good guy! surfer dude!) violated the constitutional rights of the Bad Guy. Yes, he’s a Bad Guy. But that’s the whole point of constitutional rights: everyone is entitled to them, even when they’ve done bad shit. I get it: he’s not sympathetic, so I shouldn’t mind. No. That’s not okay. I do mind, and reading that casual disregard for rights and implicit approval of abuse by the police makes me side eye NR’s work more than I already do (see my previously expressed – either here or on other social media – about Eve Dallas’s casual disregard for criminal procedure).
Read NR Walker’s Throwing Hearts as well. It was kind of ~meh~. I liked the background romance of the older couple more than that of the narrators, whose conflict/issue felt really forced and unnecessary.
Signed up for Disney+ to get Hamilton; planning on canceling at the end of the month. It was worth the $6.99 for that plus The Mandalorian and some other material. Enjoyed it, particularly the staging, which of course was not evident from the soundtrack. Thought some of the editing choices were odd at times; focusing on single singers sometimes made sense and sometimes cut off the background activity that seemed relevant.
Despite promises at the gardening store that air plants are practically unkillable, I have killed an air plant. Even though I followed the care instructions faithfully. 😦
In theory, sports are returning to North America. Given the spikes due to premature reopening, this seems like a bad idea. One quote from an NHL player essentially said that they feel comfortable with the risks because the science says they’ll be okay since they are young, healthy athletes. Um, what science is he talking about? We have 6 months worth of data on recovery, and nothing about longer term impacts on health. The expectation that they won’t get sick because they are in good shape seems deluded to me. As a fan, I’d love for sports to be back, but as a human I want athletes to be able to live healthy lives today and well into the future, and I’m not sure the bubbles and protocols will be enough.