December 21st – wow, we’re almost there. I know I’m not the only one to feel that Christmas snuck up on me, because everyone else I’ve talked to recently has said the same thing. I feel perpetually behind the eight ball this year. I just got my Christmas cards out on Friday (so if you’re expecting one from me, you should be seeing it appear in your mailboxes soon) – a far cry from last year’s lifetime record of December 8th. I’m still not done with my Christmas shopping, and I haven’t wrapped a thing. And that’s with my decision to give myself a break and not drag out all of the decorations or force myself to bake cookies – even with taking it easy, so to speak, I’m still way behind. I think that for me, it was a combination of a few factors: Thanksgiving being late (it was late, wasn’t it?) and being in Colorado until December 1st (usually we’d get our decorations up and Christmas photos taken, and cards ordered, on the weekend after Thanksgiving), being swamped at work, and having two kids to shop and wrap for instead of just one. All that’s to say, I’m crazed. And I really hope that things slow down over the course of this week, because I would like to, you know, savor and soak in sweet Nugget’s first Christmas. If I can sit down long enough.
This past weekend was the rare weekend in which I did almost no reading. Instead I did running (the Caroler 5K in East Aurora), Christmas shopping (checked off about half of my list, which is better than nothing), hosting (Zan and Paul came over for our annual Buffalo Bills elimination game viewing) and more elf-ing (making a special gift for one of the grandparents, who reads here and therefore shall remain nameless). I read a little bit of The Givenness of Things, Marilynne Robinson’s most recent book of essays, on the way to my 5K, but that’s actually all the reading I did.
Despite the lack of bookishness this weekend, it was a decently productive reading week overall. I finished Sisters In Law, the new biography of Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg and their careers leading up to, and then on, the Supreme Court. Definitely wouldn’t be a subject that interests everyone, but as a female lawyer it was my speed for sure. It got me thinking about equality feminism as opposed to difference feminism, and where I feel the movement has fallen short (or maybe, just, still needs a bit of work). Then I blew through the first volume of the new Black Widow in one sitting (didn’t entirely understand it, but that seems to be par for the course, because comics). And then turned my attention to Robinson and have been making my way very slowly through her essays, reading a few a day (other than this weekend) for several days now. They’re gorgeously written and absolutely brilliant, and they require time and attention and close reading, which are a bit beyond my capabilities most days lately. But I’m loving the experience of digging in and thinking hard about the intersections of history, theology and current events. (Not that I’m not intellectually challenged in my day job – but it’s nice to give serious thought to something other than law sometimes. And it probably makes me a better lawyer, come to think of it.)
On the agenda for this week, I’ve got the rest of The Givenness of Things, and then I think I’m going to read some fiction – The Hundred Year House, by Rebecca Makkai, which looks great and which has been languishing on my TBR for long enough now. And with Christmas looming on Friday, and all of the work and then fun that entails, I’m not going to commit to any more reading beyond that.
What are you reading this week, my friends?