Happiness Practice - July 27, 2018

[This is a post written to catch up blog posts with historical posts before I set up the blog! I'll also be adding tags so it's easier to find old subjects.]

It's time for what's making us happy this week!
I've finally started watching Season Two of the Good Place and I'm enjoying it so, so much. It's just so smart and funny and wonderful, and it makes me laugh out loud often. I wish the seasons were longer, and that there were already more episodes! So far I'm enjoying season two just as much as I did season one, so if any of it sounds up your alley, you should check it out!
Another thing make me happy this week is the second book in Sarah J. Maas' Court of Thorns & Roses series, A Court of Mist and Fury. I feel a little weird pushing this series at all, because the first book in the series is not only categorically not very good, but also has some stuff that I found really quite icky. The first book basically suffers a lot for being a YA Paranormal-ish Fantasy novel and has a lot of the clichés and tropes you'd expect for that, plus the aforementioned ick. The second book still has some of the cliché, but in general is so much better and more compelling that I really, really enjoyed it. I also feel a little embarrassed for liking it so much - there's a part of me that wants to decry it on some level, to write it off as "bad YA" and call it a guilty pleasure but I am forcing myself to sit with that, to try and figure out why I feel so weird about publicly calling it really fun, or why I think it's "bad". Is it really much worse than all the other non-YA non-feminine skewed reading I do? Honestly, no. It's probably on a par (or actually even a little better than) with books like The Martian or World War Z. I didn't feel embarrassed of my enjoyment of those books, so why do I feel that way here? I mean, I know why. I am afraid to be judged and dismissed as a reader of silly girl books, when really there's no such thing, and I'm allowed to like what I like, and I have internalized a LOT of the shame around liking girl things. I never feel like I have to qualify my enjoyment of "boy" books - and there isn't really such a thing as a "boy" book because we're so used to reading "men" as the default and "not-men" as the other! Those stories are not only usually worse, they often treat women horribly if they're actually characters at all! There's no reason for me to feel bad or embarrassed that I liked this book, and I decided when I stayed up too late to finish it one night that it was clearly something I was enjoying a lot, so I should tell people about it. Even now, I am tempted to hand-wave this away and say "oops, this turned into an essay on romance novels and feminism" to dismiss the frustration and embarrassment I feel for addressing this and saying it out loud, and nope, I don't get to. I'm gonna put this out there even though it makes me feel uncomfortable. I really enjoyed A Court of Mist and Fury, and that doesn't make me stupid, or small, or unsophisticated. It just makes me the kind of person who'll read all kinds of things, and that's a person I like being.
Well, that's all out there now. How about you? What's making you happy this week?


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