Updates, updates.

TGIF, amirite?!

I feel like everyone has been saying this, but really, where the hell are the weeks going? How is it already the middle of May? 

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The past week has been a blur- I met several book people over the past couple of days, including some Book Rioters! Hey, remember that time I was featured on the Book Riot instagram? Sadly, I was so very uncool around them, even though I’d practiced my speech in my car for 10 minutes. I totally did that fangirl giggle when Amanda asked if she could take that picture of me in all my BR swag glory ( I am not proud of that sound). BUT I MET AMANDA NELSON so whatevs. Poor Rincey got the brunt of my hyperventilation, and she was very gracious and sweet about it. I also got to meet some of my internet bookish friendships, which was glorious. So jealous that I didn’t go to BEA, but it’s fine.

BookCon tomorrow! D and I are video-chatting in a couple of hours to figure out our agenda for tomorrow. I have printed out floor maps and everything, because I can’t stand McCormick Place in general so having my agenda mapped out will hopefully minimize stress. I will be snapchatting (username: jananivaidya), tweeting and instagramming for sure, so you can follow all of my Con adventures on there!

Reading challenge updates:

So, I have a problem. I overcommit. I find it (nearly) impossible to say no to things- work, life, or otherwise. So while I would like to do all of the things, I end up leaving very little room for life getting in the way, so I’m almost always in scramble mode. For example, life, work, and general moodiness and things have led to my reading taking a solid hit, and I’ve not been reading as much as I usually do. Therefore, I don’t really have enough material for separate posts for each of the challenges, so I hope all of the hosts will forgive me for lumping the updates into a single post. Let’s dive right in:

  1. R. K. Narayan Readalong: I have only finished one book, Malgudi Days and it is unlikely that I will start and finish the other one by Sunday. It was a re-read for me, and I enjoyed reading a few stories before bed each night. I’m so glad that Deepika created this opportunity for me to go back to this book. First, because that introduction/tribute by Jhumpa Lahiri is excellent, and second, because RKN was a prolific writer that so few people outside of India know about and will now. Like many contemporary giants such as Tolkien, Prachett, Rowlng, etc. minus the fantasy aspect, he created this entire world that was so relatable to the average reader. Written over the course of 40 years, it captures the essence of pre-independent India, with it’s myriad small-town inhabitants and their day-to-day experiences. I was hit by waves of nostalgia for home when reading this one for sure. His writing style definitely reminds you of Chekov and O-Henry, masters of the short story format. It is amazing how much the man can compress into a story that’s all of 4-6 pages in length. What a versatile storyteller, I’m so glad I loved this just as much as I did when I read it for the first time as a teenager. 
  2. Bout of Books: I definitely have not participated in this event in full reader/social media monster mode, but I have been checking in at least once everyday. I’m learning that I prefer reading challenges that are of a shorter duration- it’s just how I operate. Very short-term-goal oriented. Also, it’s pretty clear how unrealistic my TBR plans are, but I think this time around it just had to do with the timing of the event in my life. I’ve only completed 1 book, one trade, and couple of comic issues. Maybe I’ll finish just one other book by Sunday. I did participate in a couple of the daily challenges, which was cool. Again, crunch-time constant contact with the event definitely works better for me personally, but I’d like to see how I do next time around with less number of distractions/commitments. 
  3. Smash Your Stack: Ha, let’s see, in the first two weeks of this challenge, I have completed all of 6 books/comics/trades. Not my best effort. I’ve got two weeks to redeem myself, and I’m hoping National Readathon Day next Saturday helps me get to my goal

On the health front, I have been eating crappily, partly because of eating out with friends in the past couple of days, and partly because I only got paid yesterday (real food is definitely not budget-friendly with an erratic paycheck). I’ve already worked on my meal plan for next week so getting back on track with it. I haven’t gone running since Saturday, but I did do yoga three days this week, mostly as an opportunity to engage in some mindfulness exercises. 

Currently reading: Riding that book-hopping train with: All Things Cease To Appear by Elizabeth Brundage, The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson (audio), Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (I will finish by the end of the month I swear), and The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (ARC, yes I’m annoyed with myself for not going to BEA to see him or George Saunders). 

Currently listening: Mandolin Srinivas for the past few days.

Currently watching: The Office (U. S.). My third round, I think.

Okay, I’m going to salvage the next hour to read, before I sit down to plan for BookCon. Wish me luck! 

What have you guys been upto?

-J

 

 

Fabulous Friday: Because damn does success taste sweet.

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Each and every Friday, Michelle of That’s What She Read shares what makes that Friday a Fabulous one for her. Today was a particularly awesome day for me,  keep reading to find out why:

Work: The past couple of weeks have consisted of several long, 10-12 hour workdays, all of them beginning pretty early in the morning. They’ve also resulted in some on-going projects getting pushed back, general frustration at the lack of progress, exhaustion, feelings of guilt as a result of putting off said on-going assignments (I like to call this re-prioritization of tasks), and very little inclination to read. All in all, not fun. The day began with a long-awaited but slightly unexpected success that was such an amazing way to end the work week, and which had me a little teary-eyed as I got in my car to drive home. In addition, I attended an in-service training session that was a meaningful lesson in perspective-taking, which can be a lot harder than expected in my field. Basically, I left work feeling like this:

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Health: I’ve been eating like shite, sleeping like shite, and not exercising at all like a shite. Result? My left hip+sciatica+lower back feel like SHITE. I might either go to a yoga class over the weekend, or at the very least, do yoga and mindfulness exercises at home. I’m going to take another stab at the meal-prep thing this weekend, so we’ll see how that goes.  

Reading life: Like I’d mentioned, I’ve basically been too tired to hold a book/kindle these past couple of weeks. However, I’m feeling better now that I’ve officially signed up for #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks, because it truly is already alleviating some of my book-buying anxiety. More importantly, I came back home from this oh-so-fine-day at work to this:

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BOOKCON HAPPENS IN 35 DAYS!!! (No, YOU’RE the one that’s got a calendar countdown). This is my first ever BookCon, which by itself makes this very exciting. Since it is happening at the same time as BEA, it means that bookternet friends will be in town! This means, BOOKS AND BOOZE TIME WITH BOOKISH FRIENDSHIPS!

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Bonus: I HAVE THE WHOLE EFFING WEEKEND TO READ ALL THE BOOKS! My plan is to finish all the books that I started but never quite finished in the last few weeks, which include:

  1. Midnight Taxi Tango by Daniel José Older
  2. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
  3. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
  4. The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud

Hmm, that’s pretty much it. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but that work thing was unbelievably uplifting. It’s definitely the reason I picked up a book after coming home (after sitting in rush-hour traffic for an hour), which in turn is the reason I’m not letting this bum me out:

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I mean, this just means I can hole up at home and read. What more can I ask for, amirite? (Seriously though, FUCK YOU, Chicago. It’s APRIL. Let’s move on to spring.)

So, did anyone else have a Fab Friday? More importantly,  what are you guys reading this weekend? 

-J