Books I Read in March

Ok, my reading for the year has been abysmal. But, in my defense, this has been one abysmal year so far. So, I read this one:

The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson. So, it got off to a rocky start. It’s a new release and somehow I received the ebook version from my library right away. Score. I read about 60% of it (page numbers have no meaning with ebooks, do they?) very quickly. I was really into it. So much that I decided to return a different book I was not into on my Kindle. And, you know how sometimes the Kindle can take a while to change icons….. So I returned the wrong book. Which pissed me off to no end because since it was a new book, I would have to go back to the end of a very long line to get it (like 114 people long line). I could have just bought it but I was over the halfway point and irritated that I did something so stupid. Luckily, my library has networks with smaller libraries so I found one with less demand.

Oh, the book? It’s a fine book. I’m always in for a Battle of Britain/Churchill story. I found the parts about his relatives to be less interesting and my eyes went into skim mode for those.

Let’s see if I can actually concentrate a bit more in April to fill out these posts with more than a title or two.

What have you been reading?

How to Spend 42 Days Stuck in Your Room

From Lithub:

A Journey Around My Room was written in 1790 by a young French officer named Xavier de Maistre, who had found himself in some trouble over a duel (illegal) and was sentenced to house arrest. (I read it in a translation by Andrew Brown). In the centuries before ankle-monitoring bracelets and the like, the authorities relied on the honor of young noblemen to fulfill their sentences after they had misbehaved. De Maistre, then 27, was a man of honor and did, indeed, stay inside his Turin room for the full 42 days the court had ordered. With nothing else to do, he wrote a guidebook to his room, visiting over the course of those weeks various bits of furniture, paintings, his bookshelf, letters he’d kept, and his own memory of a charming and slightly rakish life—albeit one studded with war and loss as well.

De Maistre makes a case for traveling around his room as the truest kind of travel—and also the most democratic type of travel that has or will ever exist:

The pleasure you find in traveling around your room is safe from the restless jealousy of men; it is independent of the fickleness of fortune. After all, is there any person so unhappy, so abandoned, that he doesn’t have a little den into which he can withdraw and hide away from everyone? Nothing more elaborate is needed for the journey.

There is No Bottom

I woke up from a nap earlier and heard people saying that Trump was crowing about his BIG RATINGS for his press conferences. And, sure enough… Yep. He’s proud that the pandemic, where thousands of people have died so far, and hundreds of thousands of more are estimated to die in the US alone, is getting his daily lie-filled pressers, big ratings. Holy shit.