February Microreviews

January Microreviews

February books


Play it As it Lays by Joan Didion (1970): This is the second work by Didion I’ve read and I understand why everyone whose opinion I trust has been recommending her to me for so long. This novel is smart and bleak and some part of me is glad it was a quick read because I couldn’t put it down.

How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti (2010): At some points, I was annoyed by this book and it’s author. She’s petty, pretentious, probably watches Girls religiously. And yet in some ways I could relate, and it made me feel for her with all her insecurities and all her triumphs.

Between Dog and Wolf by Elske Rahill (2013): After seeing Rahill read at the Dublin Book Festival in the fall, I was intrigued by her novel. And it didn’t disappoint—although I admit I was turned off by the number of graphic sex scenes, the story overall is dark and compelling.

One More Thing by BJ Novak (2014): A funny but also bittersweet collection of short fiction. I wrote a full review HERE.

February films


Fruitvale Station (2013): A harrowing film about the last day of a real-life young man killed by the police in California on New Year’s Day 2009. Michael B. Jordan is excellent as always as the protagonist—although I’m not going to lie, Chad Michael Murray’s appearance as one of the police officers pulled me out of the story somewhat.

Dallas Buyers Club (2014): This biographical film about a AIDS patient in Texas who goes up against the FDA when he starts a business selling unapproved medicines is has received both controversy and acclaim. I thought Matthew McConaughey’s performance was surprisingly excellent but overall I didn’t find the film to be that fantastic.

The Book Thief (2013): I was very disappointed in this film. It wasn’t bad; some of the cinematography was beautiful and the acting was good, particularly from the children playing Liesel and Rudy. However, I found the film lacked a lot of the emotional that made the book such a moving and powerful story.

February music


Haim, Days are Gone (2013): I’ve listened to “The Wire” and “Falling” so many times that I can’t believe I hadn’t heard Haim’s whole debut album before now. It’s like Fleetwood Mac meets Rilo Kiley meets R&B, a good combination.

February television


House of Cards, season one (2013): With my thesis proposal (see below) due last Friday, last Sunday was obviously a good day to finally start watching House of Cards. I watched the entire first season in less than a week, and while I still haven’t filled the “intense television” hole left by Breaking Bad, this comes close.

101 Things in 1001 Days progress

Take a belly dancing class: After six weeks I’m still very much a beginner, especially given that I haven’t taken a dance class in two years (more like ten if you don’t count the Sevillanos course I took when I studied in Spain), but it’s a lot of fun! Here’s a totally embarrassing photo of me in a costume last week:


Run 1001 miles: I feel slightly short of my monthly goal in February, but I’ve still clocked up over 40 miles between 19 January and 28 February. I’m hoping that March will bring nicer weather than February and I’ll be able to get out more without being hailed on.

Write MA thesis: Obviously I’m quite a ways from completing this goal, but I am making progress, more or less. Our proposals for our theses were due last week, so I should be assigned an advisor soon enough, and I’m very excited about my topic and about the project as a whole.


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