2014 was a whirlwind, but a year in which I developed my strongest coping mechanisms yet for managing anxiety. I'm proud of myself for working hard to do that -- even if it meant declining happy hours with friends or taking naps and accidentally oversleeping for soccer games.
The projection for 2015 so far is pretty awesome: new season ticket seats for Sounders FC games, hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and a college friend's wedding in Kenya.
Having said that, there are some unfinished reviews from 2014 that entertained me and helped me pass the time....
One mystery series I found that was cheesy and slightly objectionable in its portrayal of colonial Africa was Suzanne Arruda's Jade del Cameron series.
I'm not sure if "orientalism" can describe 21st-century depictions of 1920s Kenya, Tanzania, and Morocco... but it should. The detective protagonist is a supercool gun-slinging American chick who is welcomed into the British expat colony; but though the Great War and technological developments are at the heart of the white settlers' lives, the tribal Africans in the story are steeped in mysticism and "exotic" otherworldly shrouds. Even if Arruda took pains to make the main characters less racist than they probably would have been in real life, there was still an underlying sense of privilege and superiority that made me uncomfortable as a modern reader. Of course, I still read the whole series. (They were good murder mysteries!)
I do hope Bowen releases another Molly book this year. I like her Royal Spyness series better, and am GIDDILY EXCITED to have discovered that while I was bogged down with Election 2014 work, she released a new one which I have now reserved at the library and would totally be worth whatever overdue fines I'm likely to have to pay on it.
Unless I try very hard not to accrue library fines in 2015. Which is not realistic at all.