Sunday Salon/Currently: The Big Game’s On, January Recap

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What a week. Without going into too many details, this week kicked my ass.  I’m glad it’s over. I’m utterly exhausted. I was ready for bed by 6:20 p.m. on Friday night.

To be honest, it has been a tough start to the year.  Whether it’s The Husband’s job situation (we’re in Month #7 of unemployed hell), having to spend $4,000 on a furnace, or any number of other issues that I’m not at liberty to write about here, all I can say is this: If the month of January and the beginning of February are any indications of how the rest of 2016 is going to go, then this relationship is not going to work out.

Super Bowl Plans
Today’s the Super Bowl, and as per usual, we don’t have any grandiose plans nor any dogs in this fight. I’m very glad the Cheaters Patriots didn’t make it, and for once I’m looking forward to the halftime act. (I like Coldplay.) Before that, though, I’m planning to get my hair cut (we are getting professional headshots done tomorrow for a work project) and I still need to go to the grocery store. Hopefully all the crazies have already been there. I’m not making anything fancy. The Boy has requested french onion dip, which is easy enough.

The Big Game’s On Read-a-thon


I’m participating in The Big Game’s On Read-a-thon, which Jennsbookshelves has brought back this year. Hence, I’m considering this as my kickoff post.  Not sure what I’ll be reading. I had intended to start Poor Your Soul by Mira Ptacin, but I don’t think I’m in the right frame of mind for that one.

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying UpThis week, I finally got around to finishing The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I started this back in the fall and abandoned it early on — probably when she was advocating thanking our clothes for doing such a good job during the day. Decided to pick it up again because too many of my friends reported good success with KonMari. I’m intrigued by the concept of decluttering by category — and I’m going to give it a try — but this business of worrying about my socks’ feelings and unpacking my handbag every damn day isn’t going to work.  Also, I’ll give my books a once-over, as I tend to do every so often when I feel the need to reduce the number of volumes on my shelves, but I’m not going to do a mass purge of them.

January Reading
I read three books in January:

The Heart Goes LastBoys in the TreesMy Name is Lucy Barton

It’s always somewhat unsettling to me when I don’t enjoy a book by a favorite author.  Such was the case with The Heart Goes Last (which I reviewed earlier this week) and My Name is Lucy Barton. I know that it’s unrealistic to love everything one person writes, but I was especially surprised that I didn’t like Elizabeth Strout’s new novel more than I did. From the other reviews I’ve read, I’m very much in the minority with this opinion. It felt like there was too much packed into what is a short novel. I don’t know; I need to think about this one a little more. It could be that I wasn’t in the right frame of mind for this particular book.

On the other hand, I am a huge Carly Simon fan and I was very much looking forward to her memoir, The Boys in the Trees. It did not disappoint. I loved this.  The majority of this felt more autobiographical than memoir; however, that seemed to change a bit in the last … oh, I don’t know, third of the book. So much I didn’t know about her life. Many of her songs take on a whole different meaning now.

All three books that I read in January are ones I own, which wasn’t planned, but it means #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks is off to a good start for me. I really want and need to make a serious dent in my book piles this year. I’m not sure if I read three of my own books during all of 2015.

Things I Liked This Week

I’d never heard of Margaret Chase Smith before reading Ellen Fitzpatrick’s New Yorker article, “The Unfavored Daughter:  When Margaret Chase Smith Ran in the New Hampshire Primary.”

When I shared this article (“Everything Doesn’t Happen for a Reason“) on Facebook, most people grasped onto the sentiments of what not to say when someone is going through a tough time.  What resonated with me, though, was this: “Because we aren’t going to be able to avoid people going through something, we have to practice getting more comfortable with other people’s discomfort–something that does not come easily. Vulnerability researcher Brené Brown notices that we so strongly need people to “rise strong” that we “reflexively look away” when we witness someone’s “still-incomplete healing.”  

This idea of getting more comfortable with other people’s discomfort makes a lot of sense to me, in light of some of the situations we’ve been — and are currently — going through. As the saying goes, you really do find out who your friends are at such times.

What about you … are you watching the Super Bowl?  Participating in The Big Game’s On Read-a-thon?  Hope your weekend has been a good one and that you have a great week. (I’m hoping for a much better one than last week!) 

Thanks for sharing this post!

7 thoughts on “Sunday Salon/Currently: The Big Game’s On, January Recap

  1. Sue at Book By Book

    I’ve really been wanting to read Tidying Up after all the hoopla around it…but really? Thanking my clothes and being concerned about my socks’ feelings? Really? Huh.

    Sorry two of your three books didn’t meet your expectations – that’s always disappointing, especially when you’ve been looking forward to a book.

    Yes, that article about getting comfortable with others’ discomfort really struck a chord with me. It’s something I write often about myself. I used to think it was just my own family who coped so poorly with my illness and prefer to ignore it, but I have learned it is a much bigger, societal problem. Our society values “pick yourself up and push through it” and when that isn’t possible, others get very uncomfortable with the (probably unconscious) thought that if it happened to you, it could happen to them. So, they just smile and pretend everything is OK…which is SO frustrating for the ones who could use a little support. Ok, see what you did? Don’t get me started on this topic! ha ha

    Hope this week is gentler to you 🙂


    Book By Book

    1. Melissa Post author

      I’m very much in the minority of people who didn’t like this … so there’s a good chance you will. 🙂

  2. Laurie C

    hahahahaha I actually STOPPED putting my socks away by turning the tops inside out to hold the pair together because of that book and started rolling them instead! She did make me laugh when I thought of talking to my things as much as she seemed to!
    I haven’t written my review of My Name is Lucy Barton yet, but need to do it soon. I got to the end and thought that was it? I have loved Elizabeth Strout’s books, so I thought it might just be me.

    1. Melissa Post author

      I had a similar reaction, Laurie. I wanted more. And I love Elizabeth Strout, so this was an unusual reaction for me.

  3. Suzanne Yester

    It sounds like a really tough start to the year! I hope things will get better!…
    As far as reading goes, you are the first person I’ve seen that did not like My Name is Lucy Barton, which makes me lean towards the library on this one even more. How many times have we bought a book “everyone” likes, only to be disappointed ourselves! Which is why I’ve vowed to use the library more this year! And I like the meme, ReadMyOwnDamnBooks because I sure as heck have enough of them!

    Have a great week!

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