It’s time for our second edition of What’s Making Me Happy This Week! Let’s get to it.
1) The European Space Agency has landed a spacecraft called Philae on the surface of a Central-Park-sized comet FOUR BILLION MILES AWAY, and it’s sending back some truly fantastic photos. Sentences like, “The lander was secured the comet’s surface by ice screws and the craft had fired its tethering harpoons” are all over the news. This is REAL, you guys. We are living in the future. (Unfortunately, it’s likely Philae will run out of battery power and stop functioning tomorrow, as it landed in a spot too shady to use its solar panels. BUT STILL.)
2) Texts From Jane Eyre, by Mallory Ortberg. In my opinion, Mallory Ortberg is the funniest person on the internet, and she has written a collection of text conversations between fictional characters and their friends/loved ones. I devoured this book the moment it landed on my doorstep (with Wikipedia open beside me, because I’m not actually well read enough to get all the jokes without help.) I can’t think of another place one could find humor about the Wakefield twins, Medea, and Miss Havisham all at once. I found the texts from John Keats, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allen Poe, and Scarlett O’Hara particularly excellent.
3) This week, my book club hosted Fiona Wood, author of Wildlife, who is visiting from Melbourne! I absolutely loved her book, which is written from the perspective of two girls doing a semester-in-the-wilderness program. Every single plot point is achingly realistic, and the characters were so lovable and flawed. I particularly appreciated the very frank conversations her teenaged characters had about sex, something I rarely see in American YA literature. Fiona was a delight, and we had a fabulous time talking books with her. We also learned that she hates the wilderness and would never have attended such a program herself.
4) Lake Michigan is full of zombies. No, really. Weather conditions in Chicago on Halloween night were so windy and treacherous that Navy Pier’s floating haunted house sank, spilling fifty-odd lovingly-crafted zombies into the water. Divers are attempting to pull them all out, but some were likely swept away and will turn up in some unsuspecting fisherman’s net next summer. I can’t WAIT.
5) Discovering comics as an adult. I’ve never really read them before, and I kind of feel like I’ve missed out, but at the same time, I love having this entire new world to explore. This week, I’ve read Ms. Marvel (an especially important one if you’re looking for great diverse girl characters,) Rocket Girl, and the first few issues of Hawkeye. Great art, great storytelling. What’s not to love?
6) Daniel Radcliffe. Last week, he was a guest on NPR’s “Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me,” during which he was unexpectedly hilarious, witty, and adorable. He used the word “lovely” about fifteen times during his conversation with Peter Segal. The interview prompted me to finally watch the video of him rapping “Alphabet Aerobics” by Blackalicious on Jimmy Fallon, which he does flawlessly and in an American accent. I like him so much more now than I ever did during the Harry Potter era.
7) I had a dream in which Rainbow Rowell wrote me a letter stating that I was both “the young Sherlock and Watson of our generation” and “a dedicated starfish.” I don’t know what is going on in my brain while I’m sleeping, but I like it.
Happy Friday! What’s making you happy this week? Tell me on Twitter at @alison_cherry!