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Chicago, more renovation, and Squid Game | Weekly Snapshot

I think I can say that Fall is finally here. Or at least the crisp Fall air is finally here. The colors not so much. We still haven't gotten around to any Fall activities, and at this point, I'm not sure when or if we'll do them.  Renovation updates We are almost at the halfway point into our ground floor renovation. The flooring is almost done, cabinets are ready to be setup, appliances are here. It's exciting to be on the other side of the renovation when things are getting finished. There's still easily 2.5 weeks worth of work left in the kitchen, and another 2-2.5 weeks for the master bathroom, so mid-November is likely when we are done with the renovation. Assuming no delays.  Flooring coming along All of us are pretty exhausted at this point. Walking up and down the stairs to pick items from the makeshift pantry and then cook on the main floor gets old very fast. I have been able to work from home without issues and I'm grateful for that. I've set up m

Looking ahead to May | Notes from my Reading

April... so many things happened and it all whizzed by! Much of what didn't happen is now May's problem along with a ton of new things planned for May.

May reading plans

This month, I have more than my usual number of ARCs to read. I've been slowly reentering the galley world and doing much better at either picking the right books or actually finishing them. The first one is Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir, which I have already started. Ryland Grace wakes up from a deep sleep, not remembering who he is, where he is, or why he is where he is - which is pretty far away and leads to several freak-outs. Eventually, he remembers that he is somehow supposed to save humanity but he just doesn't know all the little details. So far I am loving it as much as I did The Martian

Another book coming out this month is The Plot by Jen Hanff Korelitz. A teacher and former novelist hears about his student's idea for an upcoming book but the student dies before the story could be told. The teacher instead publishes the work and takes all the credit. But then one day, comes an anonymous email - "you are a thief". Boy - that just sounds too good to put away, so I'm hoping to pick it up soon.

I picked up ... with Mrs Tugendhat to the Undiscovered Country by Jim Ring simply due to its quirky title and a premise that always calls to me - a plane goes missing for three months and then comes back. Something about missing planes just intrigues me - it started with Lost all those years ago and re-ignited by Manifest. Even those real life missing planes has me hooked - how can that happen despite being so technologically advanced. I mean, we can fly a plane right? Shouldn't it be easy peasy to track one too? 

Closer to the end of the month but with a June release date, I'll be picking up The Portrait of a Mirror by  A. Natasha Joukovsky. This features two confident couples who know what they want and how to keep up appearances, but then they cross paths and get their lives intricately tangled. I have a suspicion on how their lives are getting tangled and can't tell you I will like it but I love that cover and generally like to read about narcissistic peoples' fall from grace. 

Other than these new releases, I have Rogue Protocol waiting for me at the library. After loving the first two Murderbot books, I have high expectations for the third. Plus, I would also love to read an Elizabeth Acevedo title - I've been eyeing many of her books lately and keep meaning to read them.

April snapshot

At the beginning of April, the husband and I got our second shot of the Pfizer vaccine and started our 2-week countdown to escape from the year-long stay-home situation - well, escape at least in theory if not much in practice. The latter half of April got extremely busy with the house painting. We moved our sleeping quarters and offices around many times during the two weeks that painting was in progress. One fun perk out of this is that I can probably ace a Sherwin Williams blue and gray color palette quiz. 

On the reading front, I started April on a high - I mentioned that I would like to try and read one book a day. This went well during the first half of the month and then life got extremely busy because we started planning for the painting. At that point, most evenings I needed a break from using my brain so I was either not reading anything or mostly reading books that didn't ramble. So I didn't get to any of my planned books (but two) last month.

Overall, I read 16 books (approx. 1.6k pages) - mix of comics, picture books, and full-length novels. Had a lot of favorites this month - Gold Diggers, Binti, They Called Us Enemy, Something Unbelievable, and Gender Queer came out at top. 

What are your plans for May?