Not a lot to report here for May since we were on vacation for nearly half the month. We went to Arizona and California, and I’ve been working on some forthcoming posts about that.
I will have a lot of photos in my vacation posts. I did already post about the photos I took with my Olympus XA. I also posted in May about the roll of Lomochrome Purple I had taken with my Minolta XE.
I continued the Skillshare tutorial that I started back in March: Doodling for Relaxation: An Introduction for Beginners. Overall, I enjoyed the tutorial, although I like the more abstract and geometric doodling than the sections on plants and houses.
In part thanks to a few long flights, May was a good reading month. I finished 4 books: The Candy House by Jennifer Egan, The New Woman Behind the Camera by multiple authors, Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel, and Joan is Okay by Weike Wang.
As a big fan of A Visit from the Goon Squad, I had high hopes for The Candy House and wasn’t disappointed. It is structured similarly to Goon Squad with a series of loosely connected stories. It does not follow Goon Squad chronologically but, like its predecessor, jumps around in time. It focuses on stories about some of the minor characters from Goon Squad with a few appearances of more major figures. I would say it’s not quite as good as the first book. Although I’ve seen some reviews say you can read The Candy House without having read A Visit from the Goon Squad, but I would imagine it would not be as nearly as satisfying not knowing the original book.
I had a similar reaction to Sea of Tranquility as I had with Mandel’s last book, The Glass Hotel. I enjoyed both and felt each had a lot of interesting ideas but felt the characters were a little thin. One of the many strengths of Station Eleven is the strong characterization.
I was interested in reading Joan Is Okay because I really liked a couple of Wang’s stories in The New Yorker: Omakase and The Trip. I read Joan Is Okay right after finishing Sea of Tranquility, and it soothed my need for well-developed characters. Joan, an Asian-American ICU nurse, is a complex and fascinating character. The plot, such as it is, revolves around the death of Joan’s father and a prolonged visit by her mother. I hadn’t read much about it before reading it and hadn’t realized that the latter part of the novel occurs during the early days of the COVID pandemic giving the book added intrigue and gravitas.
Finally, I read The New Woman Behind the Camera which is the exhibition catalog for an exhibit that was at the National Gallery of Art and The Met. I was quite interested in seeing this exhibit but didn’t seek out the opportunity to head to either Washington DC or New York City to do so. Having read the fascinating book, I wish I had been able to see it, but between a busy fall and the pandemic, the likelihood of taken a train to either museum was slim.
Books Read in 2022
So far in 2022, I’ve read 16 books:
- The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
- Book, They Might Be Giants, Paul Sahre, Brian Karlsson
- All About Me!: My Remarkable Life in Show Business, Mel Brooks (Kindle book)
- The Photographer’s Eye, John Szarkowski
- Harlem Shuffle, Colson Whitehead (Kindle book)
- Our Country Friends, Gary Shteyngart
- My Name Is Asher Lev, Chaim Potok
- Crossroads, Jonathan Franzen
- South of Somewhere, Robert V. Camuto
- The Promise, Damon Galgut (Kindle book)
- A Visit from the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan
- After New Formalism, Annie Finch, ed. (Library book)
- The Candy House, Jennifer Egan
- The New Woman Behind the Camera, various authors
- Sea of Tranquility, Emily St. John Mandel
- Joan is Okay, Weike Wang (Kindle book)
This Creative Midlife Posts in 2022
- December 2021 Update
- Canon AE-1 with Ilford Delta 3200
- Canon Rebel 2000 with Kodak Color Plus
- Christmas Light Box Photos
- January 2022 Update
- Minolta Autopak 450Ex with Lomography Lobster
- New Nikon Z fc!
- Schuylkill River Trail Outing with my Nikon Z fc
- E.M. Cioran on Aging
- February 2022 Update
- Long Birthday Weekend 2022
- Year Two of Pandemic Life
- First Film Photos of 2022
- March 2022 Update
- 2022 Camera Inventory
- Minolta Hi-Matic 11 with Ilford Delta 100
- Canon Rebel 2000 with Lomography Color 800
- Planning a Vacation
- April 2022 Update
- Minolta XE with Lomochrome Purple
- Olympus XA in Carmel California
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