Welcome to the second week in February and with the graphic above I’m giving you a not-too-subtle hint about my reading. Apparently, it’s Groundhog Day because I’m exactly where I was in January—still flailing with my reading. I’m reading plenty, but ‘work’ reading—upcoming releases, the books I read to discuss here and help other readers find—is almost non-existent. I could easily explain why this is so, but if you’ve been to the blog before you already know that it feels to me like we’re falling down a long dark rabbit hole. Even trying to ignore what’s happening is not possible and every day it becomes more absurd. Dangerously, childishly, foolishly absurd.
What I’m left with is a limited amount of mental space for thinking. Writing reviews requires reading and thinking about what you’re reading. I have to be able to convey my thoughts with something more than “It’s good, read it” and right now it’s like pulling teeth. I need no-brain-easy-on-the-eyes entertainment and that means I’m watching a lot of escapist television because it requires no thinking, just absorbing. With that in mind, today I’m doing a little rule bending.
Versailles: Oh, the grandeur and glamour of it all. At the age of 28, Louis XIV, the Sun King, decides to make Versailles his home. This is a very unpopular decision with the French nobles because it has not yet become the palace we know today. Versailles is the most expensive TV series ever produced in France and it shows. The costumes and scenery are mesmerizing. Add to that a story line that blends fact with fiction (as all good historical fiction does) and you’ve got the kind of television known as “binge-worthy”.
The Crown: On the opposite end of the spectrum from Versailles is this series about Queen Elizabeth II—the current queen of England. Again, there are numerous scenes in far off places, but instead of decadence there is restraint. Restraint and doing one’s duty as only the British can do it. This is a marvelous look into Elizabeth’s life before she became queen and during the first year of her reign. I’m really hoping it’s an ongoing series because it is poignant and eye-opening to watch. Namely, a life of luxury, when lived under a microscope, isn’t always that luxurious. Having said that, Princess Margaret’s clothes are fabulous.
p.s. (Sunday afternoon) Now that I’ve whined about upcoming releases and how nothing is really moving me, I have to retract it all because of the book I just started. Thank you, George Saunders for your newest novel, Lincoln in the Bardo. An unusual title for an unusual novel that overflows with creativity, wit and sadness. I can already tell this one will be easy to review! Whew.