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March was another busy month as I adjusted to my new job and did lots of wedding admin. I also prepped and published a weird little game/ poetry pamphlet about being lost in an everchanging city, which you can find more about here.

Here’s what’s gone into my skull this last month:

Books

I managed to read more than one book this month, but they were all by dudes. Oh well, will try to course correct in the next few months.

  • Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake- Mind expanding book about a neglected tree of life. Merlin makes the complex world of fungi clear and engaging, often bringing in his own experience to share his obsession. Along the way, he brings up fascinating questions about symbiosis and what life actually is. Highly recommended.

  • American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin by Terrance Hayes- During the Trump presidency Terrance Hayes wrote a sonnet a day. This book is a good refutation that form is constraining, as the sonnet frees up his poetry. Sometimes sad, often angry, this is a masterful collection I will be returning to often.

  • Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle- It’s annoying when someone skilled in one area is great in another. Better known as the driving force behind The Mountain Goats, this is a melacholy, sad story about someone hiding from the world and the world seeking them out anyway. It’s about the power of fiction and all the possibilities of life. There’s not a lot of plot in the traditional sense but it’s beautifully written and emotionally affecting.

  • The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches by Basho translated by Nobuyuki Yuasa- A mixture of prose and haiku, this speaks to me hundreds of years and thousands of miles away. I love the stillness and the reflection, the measured responses. Anyone can write haiku but these translations show that few can master the form.

  • Did not finish- The Party and other stories- Anton Chekov translated by Ronald Wilkes- Started strong by the minutiae of life without a plot became a slog. I gave up.

Films

  • You’ve Got Mail- Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan swap emails and fall in love. Apart from the dated technology and characters continually surprised by the existence of the internet, I was impressed at how modern this twenty something year old film feels. There’s an anti-capitalist message buried deep inside the love story as well.

TV Shows

  • Vox Machina- An animated adaptation of long running DND podcast Critical Role. I knew very little about the first campaign going in but I shouldn’t have worried- this is funny, crude and action packed, with satisfying arcs for all the characters. It uses action not just to look cool but to develop the characters. We breezed through it quickly and it’s great.

  • Superstore Season 2- American comedies always seem to find their stride in the second season. This is a much funnier season, with a strong ensemble cast and a surprisingly dark sense of humour. It’s forays into worker’s rights are surprisingly radical for a highly produced sitcom.


That’s it for this month. Going to try and slow down in April, so I’m not doing Napowrimo again.

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