December rewind

Oh God December is over. And I was just not good, at all. I feel like when December rolls around I just stop everything and chill out. I don’t know why, I just didn’t do anything productive. But now January is here so I guess it’s time for overambitious goals and no idea of what failure means. Anyway, I did read some stuff in December, so let’s go. 

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
I read Lolita and oh my God it’s so gross. It’s obviously amazing, it’s an enduring classic, but oh my. It’s about a man named Humbert Humbert who is 37, who falls in love with a young girl (12) named Dolores Haze, Lolita. He marries Lolita’s mother and when she dies Humbert Humbert takes Lolita with him on the road and starts a sexual relationship with her. Lolita was sort of overlooked and badly treated by her mother and she is a bit damaged, and she basically uses her new relationship with Humbert to get something she wants. I’d like to make it clear, I don’t think it’s her fault in any way, I don’t think she seduced him. He’s a pedophile and he serially rapes her, but Lolita tries her best to get what she can from this so it’s less awful, I guess, for her. I felt awful for her, I felt disgusted about him, there are times where you want to sympathize, but I just couldn’t, he’s a horrible person.

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
I felt like I wasn’t reading as much as I should so I read something I knew would be fast. So I read Attachments. It’s sweet. It’s not great literature, clearly, but it’s good for what it is. It’s about a man named Lincoln who works for a newspaper at the tail-end of 1999. The company has just gotten the Internet and Lincoln’s job is to monitor people’s emails if they send something that they shouldn’t, off color jokes, or personal stuff. And the email conversations between Beth and Jennifer end up in his filter and he reads them and can’t get himself to report them, and then he starts falling for Beth and has no idea how to talk to her without it being incredibly weird and awkward and awful. And it’s sweet and lovely and I loved it for that.

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
I really liked this book. I liked the historical stuff. I like Amsterdam. I liked the fact that the situation Nella was in made her stronger and tougher and it didn’t break her. She just said: I’ll fucking fix it (that’s not verbatim) and did it. The Miniaturist is about Nella Oortman who is 18, from a Dutch village, Assendelft, and she has just arrived in Amsterdam because she’s been married off to Johannes Brandt, a merchant. It’s set in the 1600s in Amsterdam, which is the Golden age of the Netherlands. And she is very unhappy in her marriage, her husband is not what she expected. He gives her a miniature version of their house and she hires a miniaturist to furnish it, and a lot of weird stuff happens. And her life starts sort of crumbling down. I really liked it. I thought it was interesting. I didn’t really like Nella, or the other characters, but I did enjoy Nella’s growth and her hardiness. I also liked the servants. I don’t know if Otto was handled brilliantly, he’s a black man who Johannes bought, and now employs, as a servant, who is paid. I think he’s lucky for his time, but the way Johannes, and also Marin, treats him isn’t great. But I think it’s true to the time, so it’s probably fine, I guess. I don’t know, I liked the book.

Grace’s Guide by Grace Helbig
So Grace Helbig of the YouTubes wrote a book. It’s a sort of tongue-in-cheek self-help book for millennial. It’s fine. I mean it’s not fantastic, but it’s okay. It’s very like Grace is on her channel, and it is very sweet. It’s interesting in the sense that there is no guide for people her age, born in the mid-to-late eighties, who grow up on the Internet and who don’t really know their own place in the world, and her style is very charming. She comes across as very earnest and sweet. There are a lot of colors and pictures, and I think it works well for what it was intended for, it just wasn’t revolutionary. I don’t know why, but I think I was sort of hoping for more, and I didn’t get it. I think Grace is an amazing, I think she works really hard and I think she cares a lot about the people who follows her and I love her for that. I also really liked this, it just didn’t blow my mind.

So this is what I read in December, not impressive, but hey, January is here. If you want to see more wrap-ups for the year I did some posts on my favorites of 2014, and a more stats-filled wrap-up of all of 2014. So check those out, and 2015 here I come.