Book Review: Pachinko

Book Review #22: Pachinko (Min Jin Lee)

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I had really high hopes for this book given that I had read rave reviews everywhere and had to wait for it to become available at the library for several months. In the end, it was a satisfying read but I also felt let down. I found the writing and plot sometimes to be overly simplistic and not prone to giving enough depth to characters. I know part of that was out of necessity because the book had to cover an absurd amount of time, but I would have rather read an even longer novel that filled in some more details for me. I will say it was the first book I read from start to finish in quite some time.

Monthly Review: June

Here is my monthly review for June. If you want to read May’s, check it out here.

1. What went well this month?

Honestly, I can’t think of much. It was a hard month that felt off the rails.

2. What didn’t go so well this month?

  • Routine. For a variety of life reasons, it just felt like every structure in my life fell apart. Rhino and I were out of town for consecutive weekends, I had a week-long business trip where I could never leave the hotel, my workout friend and I had ZERO weekends we could both make, and my office was closed for a problem in the building so I was working from home everyday. And, there was an insane heatwave (reaching into the 100s every day) so even my usual long walks were difficult. I came out of the month just feeling so ungrounded and so unhappy.
  • Meditation. Because of strange timing, I had two weekend meditation retreats this weekend. And I haven’t meditated since. I feel totally burned out on the experience and like I never want to meditate again.

3. What did I work on last month and how did it go?

  • Mindfulness. Terribly. I never want to meditate again, though I have been fine with more general mindfulness.
  • Summer fun. I had a hard time enjoying myself just because everything was so busy and I couldn’t find any structure in the enjoyment. Without any disciplined time (working out, walking, eating well, productive work, etc.) it was hard to enjoy downtime.
  • Being accepting of where I am. This is fine. I have been self-compassion but I don’t know that self-compassion is what I need as much as structure and discipline.

4. What am I working toward?

  • Better structure and routine. I just really need this. I want to create a daily schedule for myself everyday that creates space for working out, the meals I will eat, my work hours, etc. I especially want this for working out because skipping the gym for me is a spiral that leads to doom. This is it. The sole goal for July.