Thanksgiving Plans 2018

So…

…officially my long Thanksgiving weekend begins Tuesday night after I am done with work and lasts until next Monday. Unofficially, it begins today…

…as this afternoon I am watching the Monster Energy NASCAR Championship with neighbors and tonight Kim and I are starting a “hate watch” of the Twilight movies. Kim usually works Sunday night into Monday morning but is off this week. We got the idea from a friend on Instagram, and we plan to use a mix of Rifftrax and alcohol to enhance the experience.

We plan to continue the “hate watch” across Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Thursday, it will be just the two of us for Thanksgiving dinner as Kim works the midnight shift that night.

Theoretically, that means the rest of the weekend is left for the 2018 edition of Thankfully Reading Weekend (click on the link on image above for more information and/or to sign up). I don’t have a pile of books from which I am choosing unlike readathons I participated in earlier this year. Instead, I have one reread planned.

I read this book in college after a mutual friend of me and my wife introduced me to it. It instantly became an all-time favorite along with A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, which she also introduced to us. Recently I recommended it to a patron and as she was talking about parts of the book, I realized that I had forgotten a lot of it, hence this reread. I am looking forward to reacquainting myself with this old friend.

However, we’ll see if it’s this coming week…as I have other temptations on Net and Amazon Prime, which includes, but is not limited to this:

So those are my plans? What are yours for the upcoming week/weekend/holiday? Is reading included? If so, anything you are looking forward to? Read anything good lately?

Meh

That’s how I’m feeling about books lately.

Nothing is really grabbing me. I check out books from the library, only to return them unread. I scroll through the books I’ve bought on sale on my Kindle and wonder why I even bought them.

So that is where I am at with my (lack of) reading.

Life otherwise is good…when I bury my head in the sand and don’t scroll through whatever horrible news is happening on every given day.

We are in Maryland as I write this for one of my wife’s sister’s baby shower, which was yesterday afternoon. It was a small group of family and friends at a community center, and with minimal games, it went well.

We’re heading home later this morning and maybe when we get there, I’ll find a book that piques my interest…

…or not and I’ll just mindlessly watch something on Netflix like this:

So how was your week? Reading and/or otherwise?

Got that goin’ for me, which is nice…

So….since I last left you, I have only read one book (see image), but I have been sleeping better. As I mentioned last week, I have sleep apnea and now am using a CPAP machine. My numbers have decreased from 87 events per hour to an average of FOUR!

The reading, though, isn’t really going for me. Nothing really is grabbing me and even this one really didn’t. However, I did finish it anyway…so it’s got that going for it, because I think this year I’ve bailed on more books than I have read.

If I were to rate the book, I’d give it 3.5 stars. The half star because the series has promise. The average but good rating is because I recognized the halfway through the book that it was more of a romance than a mystery. I’m not really into romances, but for those who like that kind of thing, it was good…and Molin is a good writer and knows how to end a chapter (and the book itself) on a cliffhanger.

I’m not sure what I will read next, but not from lack of choices on my Kindle or books on hold at the library. As always, I’ll keep you posted. As Red Green says:

“Remember, I’m pulling for you. We’re all in this together.”

Pushing Forward Back October/November 2018

Back at October

In October, Kim and I went to dinner and a movie, I read three and a quarter books, I chilled with cheese, crackers, and wine, and Seamus chilled in a new chair.

The month began as planned with a three-day weekend, ending with Kim and I having our neighbor over for a Drunk History binge-watch/drinkalong. The month continued on track as I participated in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon on Saturday, Oct. 20. I finished three and a quarter books in about eight hours:

  1. She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper
  2. American Street by Ibi Zoboi
  3. Normandy Gold by Megan Abbott, Alison Gaylin and Steve Scott (illustrator)
  4. Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder by Shamini Flint (maybe I’ll finish before the end of the month)

But then after the month had been on track…

…although not quite that bad, as I believe, in the long run as a result, I’ll be back on track, but a different track.

The short(ened) version is this:

  • This past Monday night I did a home sleep study.
  • Tuesday morning I learned I have severe sleep apnea. I was set up for a hospital sleep study Wednesday night.
  • Tuesday afternoon I was called by the sleep lab at the hospital that they wanted me to get a CPAP machine the next day even before my sleep study. The medical supply store in our town only has a person from a neighboring town come to our town’s store once a week for CPAP fittings. That day is Wednesday, and the sleep lab didn’t want me to wait until this coming Wednesday for a machine since my sleep apnea was so severe.
  • Wednesday afternoon I got a machine and a mask.
  • Wednesday night I had the sleep study.
  • Thursday I came home with the machine and started using it that night.

My wife was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation last August and as part of her treatment, she was put on a CPAP machine which has helped her immensely. Since then, she has kept telling me that I have sleep apnea and that I should be on a CPAP. Obviously she was right. I now look forward to getting the help I need. Or perhaps I am being rerouted, as Deb mentioned in the comments (after I posted this initially):

“Actually, you were on the way to a train crash and now, with your new machine, you have been rerouted.”

Speaking of forward…

Forward to November

Unlike the last few months, my month doesn’t begin with a long weekend. However, it does end with a long weekend as I have off extra for Thanksgiving from Wednesday, Nov. 21, to Sunday, Nov. 25. Friday, Nov. 23 also happens to be our 22nd wedding anniversary. While my wife Kim isn’t off that day, she does work midnight shift so later in the day we will be able to go to dinner (of course, it also happens to fall on Black Friday, but we live in a small town so I don’t know how much that will really affect our plans).

Other than that, the focus (obviously) will be getting good, restful sleep. The long-term plan is also to lose weight, which I have gained considerably within the last couple of years. But to do that, I need the energy to be able to exercise. As for my diet, well…that’s a whole other thing, but I’ll also be working on that too. I will say, though, it’s not my wife’s home-cooked food that is the problem. It’s food (and drink) that I get on my own otherwise.

I’ll leave you with the song that has been in my head for the last few months and now it can be in yours too:

So how was your month of October? Read any good books, seen any good movies and/or TV shows, listened to any good music? What was the highlight of your month? What are you looking forward to in November? Share in the comments.

My Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon for October 2018

October2018Readathon

Today, Oct. 20, into tomorrow, Oct. 21, I will be participating in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. I’ll be posting updates periodically and also (mostly) on Instagram. Initially, my potential list was all from books I already own, most via Kindle.

The List

Here is that list:

  1. All Creatures Bight and Beautiful by James Herriot (part of a trilogy I own)
  2. American Street by Ibi Zoboi
  3. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson (both on ebook and audio)
  4. Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine (print)
  5. Crocodile on the Sandbank, the first Amelia Peabody mystery, by Elizabeth Peters
  6. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck (part of a trilogy I own)
  7. John Adams by David McCullough
  8. Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan
  9. She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper
  10. We Were Eight Years In Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates (print)
  11. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me: A Memoir by Sherman Alex

To that, I now have added, from library browsing, these:

  1. The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson
  2. Less by Andrew Sean Greer
  3. The Graveyard Book, Vol. 1. by Neil Gaiman (graphic novel)
  4. Claire DeWitt and The City of the Dead by Sara Gran
  5. Claire DeWitt and The Bohemian Highway by Sara Gran
  6. The Infinite Blacktop by Sara Gran
  7. Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder by Shamini Flint

So 18 choices…

…of which I’ll be lucky to read two or three or four. But hey, it all will be good.

Also good will be…

The Food

My wife Kim picked up several “things” for me for today, including crackers and cheese, pizza (which we ate last night…oops), and soda. Tonight, we’ll have burgers and fries for dinner and this morning, as she is sleeping (she works midnight shift so will be heading to bed as I start), I’ll probably make a run to McDonald’s for breakfast. And later, there’ll be ice cream and wine!

The Plan

The last time I did a readathon, I had grand plans with a schedule. That didn’t work so well, so this time I’m playing it a little more by ear. I’ll read for as long as I can with a goal of 12 hours because I have done that…once. Much of the time, I’m lucky if I get eight. But my motto for today’s readathon is this: It’s all good! So however long I read, however many books I read, even if it’s only one or two…

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Getting to Know You Survey

  1. What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, in northcentral Pennsylvania.
  2. Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? I’m just playing it all by ear, so we’ll see what grabs me.
  3. Which snack are you most looking forward to? Ice cream! Blue Bunny Peanut Butter Party!
  4. Tell us a little something about yourself! I’m married, no children, have two cats, and work in a library as a library assistant. I’ve been there about 10 years.
  5. If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? No schedule. Just going with the flow. As is my theme for this readathon: It’s all good.

Book 1

Book 2

8 hours

About eight hours into this thang, and about four and half hours of reading with two books down as you can see above: She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper and American Street by Ibi Zoboi. I had started Harper’s book before the readathon, but only was about 20 pages in, if that. It was a short novel, but very good and a good way to start the readathon with a gritty crime noir and his debut novel. The Zoboi book reminded me a lot of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas in its subject matter, and that isn’t a bad thing at all since I loved The Hate U Give and read that during one of the July readathons. I also found it interesting that during the July readathons, I read another excellent book on immigrants: Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue, who was a native of Cameroon. Zoboi is a native of Haiti. Both now live in New York City.

So…so far the highlights have been American Street and my wife’s homemade chili:

Mid-Event Survey

  1. What are you reading right now? Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder by Shamini Flint
  2. How many books have you read so far? Three.
  3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-ton? We’ll see if I’m going to make it to the second half first.
  4. Have you had many interruptions? Yes. 😐 How did you deal with those? I took a nap.
  5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? Not a thing. It’s all good.

The Finish

I finished at about midnight. I read three and a quarter books in about eight hours. The three books I finished were:

  1. She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper
  2. American Street by Ibi Zoboi
  3. Normandy Gold by Megan Abbott, Alison Gaylin and Steve Scott (illustrator)

I began a fourth book, Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder by Shamini Flint, but didn’t finish it.

Did you do this weekend’s readathon? If so, what was your favorite read l? What are your highlights otherwise? If not, reading anything good lately?

What I didn’t tell you last week…

…when I said I would be signing up for Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon this coming weekend and reading mostly books that I owned on my Kindle is this:

Those nine books mentioned there aren’t the only ones I own that are still unread on my Kindle.

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Inorite?

Here are the rest:

  1. Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
  2. Bandwidth (An Analog Novel Book 1) by Eliot Peper
  3. Beautiful Exiles by Meg Waite Clayton
  4. Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most by Marcus J. Borg
  5. Discernment: Reading the Signs of Daily Life by Henri J.M. Nouwen
  6. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  7. Dracula (Kindle in Motion) by Bram Stoker
  8. H is for Hawk by Helen McDonald
  9. John Adams by David McCullough
  10. A Killer’s Mind (Zoe Bentley Mystery Book 1) by Mike Omer
  11. The King of Tides (Lancaster & Daniels Book 1) by James Swain
  12. Lady Kopp Makes Trouble by Amy Stewart
  13. The Last Town (The Wayward Pines Trilogy, Book 3) by Blake Crouch
  14. Live It! Achieve Success by Living with Purpose by Jairek Robbins
  15. Lord Foul’s Bane (The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever Book 1) by Stephen R. Donaldson (a reread)
  16. Love in the Ruins: The Adventures of a Bad Catholic at a Time Near the End of the World by Walker Percy (another reread)
  17. A Man With One of Those Faces (The Dublin Trilogy Book 1) by Caimh McConnell
  18. Meet Me in Malmö: The first Inspector Anita Sundström mystery by Torquil MacLeod
  19. Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions by Amy Stewart
  20. Neighborly: A Novel by Ellie Monago
  21. Punishment (Detective Barnes Series Book 1) by Scott J. Holliday
  22. The Quiet Game (Penn Cage Book 1) by Greg Iles
  23. River Bodies (Northampton County Book 1) by Karen Katchur
  24. Sacred Games (A Novel) by Vikram Chandra
  25. The Speed of Sound (Speed of Sound Thrillers Book 1) by Eric Bernt
  26. Spiritual Direction by Henri J.M. Nouwen
  27. Spiritual Formation: Following the Movements of the Spirit by Henri J.M. Nouwen
  28. The Tenth Island: Finding Joy, Beauty, and Unexpected Love in the Azores by Diana Marcum
  29. Turning My Mourning into Dancing: Finding Hope in Hard Times by Henri Nouwen
  30. Wayward (The Wayward Pines Trilogy, Book 2) by Blake Crouch
  31. We Were Mothers: A Novel by Katie Sise
  32. We’re All Damaged by Matthew Norman
  33. Whisper Me This: A Novel by Kerry Anne King
  34. Your Erroneous Zones: Step-by-Step Advice for Escaping the Trap of Negative Thinking and Taking Control of Your Life by Wayne W. Dwyer

So in actuality, I have almost 50, counting the ones that are part of a trilogy that I didn’t list here but mentioned last week.

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I admit it: I’m a sucker for deals and for Amazon First Reads. I also have Prime Reading and got pulled into a four-month free subscription to Kindle Unlimited. That’s how I’ve discovered many of these.

For the record, I’ve given up on the Chernow book and Don Quixote, at least for the foreseeable future (the next decade at least) so don’t try to convince me to finish those. However, have you heard of any of the others? Which ones would you read first?

Do you buy too many books, e- or otherwise? How do you decide what to read among them?

Signed up for Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon October 2018

October2018Readathon

In January and July, I participated in the 24in48 Readathon, then in April, Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, and in July, the 24in48 again and Dewey’s Summer Reverse Readathon. To date, readathons have accounted for 19 of my 30 books read this year. Now on Oct. 20, I will be participating in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon . For the two readathons in July, I chose to read diversely and also focus on crime fiction. This time around, my potential list is all from books I already own, most via Kindle. Here are the candidates from which I will select:

  1. All Creatures Bight and Beautiful by James Herriot (part of a trilogy I own)
  2. American Street by Ibi Zoboi
  3. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson (both on ebook and audio)
  4. Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine (print)
  5. Crocodile on the Sandbank, the first Amelia Peabody mystery, by Elizabeth Peters
  6. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck (part of a trilogy I own)
  7. John Adams by David McCullough
  8. Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan
  9. She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper
  10. We Were Eight Years In Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates (print)
  11. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me: A Memoir by Sherman Alexie

As for this weekend, I took Monday off to give myself another three-day weekend. The plan is for Kim and I to get together with our neighbor Sam(antha) to binge-watch (and drink along with) mine and Kim’s favorite episodes of Drunk History late Monday afternoon and night.

So are you going to be joining in on the upcoming readathon? If so, what are you planning on reading? Even if not, reading anything good or plans to?

Pushing Forward Back September/October 2018

Back at September

Pushing Forward Back September October (1)

The month began, as planned, with a four-day weekend, but not as originally planned was a funeral with my aunt Eleanor passing away at the end of August at the age of 87 after being in declining health for several years. While it was naturally sad, it wasn’t unexpected and it was good to see cousins I hadn’t seen in several years at the funeral on Sunday of Labor Day Weekend. Monday, I finished mowing the lawn before noon and then chilled “day drinking,” concluding with watching Drunk History with Kim, which has become somewhat of a Monday night tradition.

The first week of September ended with my college roommate Joe visiting us for a few days. As for the rest of the month, I worked two Saturdays this month and had one Friday off and a couple of days one week with shorter hours. I had planned to use that one Friday to go to the Corning Museum of Glass, fitting my goal of one day trip a month as outlined in my 25 before 50 post earlier this year. However, that didn’t happen.

I finished two books this past month: The Late Show by Michael Connelly and Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke, both of which were good. Highlights on the TV and movie front were Kim’s Convenience and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, both on Netflix.

The month ends today with Kim and I going over to our neighbors for pizza. Earlier in the day, I’ll be watching NASCAR with my neighbor Mike and another neighbor Fred, and then later Kim and Mike’s wife, Kathy, will join us as we’re getting pizza for dinner. So the month will end with friends just as it began with family.

Forward to October

The first weekend in October is another long weekend for me as I took a vacation day off for Columbus Day, not because I am a fan of Christopher Columbus, but because I had a vacation day to use. In fact, I’m more in agreement with this image that my wife has on a shirt she wears often on Columbus Day:

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On that Monday, Kim and I invited our neighbor over for a Drunk History binge-watch/drinkalong. We attempted to have one last month but her plans changed a few times, but she has off that Monday afternoon and evening. We are caught up with Drunk History on Hulu so I think we’re going to pick out a few of our favorite episodes to binge-watch to introduce our neighbor to the show.

On the reading front, I’ll be participating in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon on Saturday, Oct. 20. I don’t know what I’ll be reading yet, but I will keep you posted. On the TV front, I know I’m looking forward to the third season of Daredevil on Netflix.

So how was your month of September? Read any good books, seen any good movies and/or TV shows, listened to any good music? What was the highlight of your month? What are you looking forward to in October? Share in the comments.

Something to write about…

I was going to write a post earlier this morning, but then I realized I hadn’t done anything anything to write about. So I finished a book I had started reading earlier in the week and mowed the front lawn. Now I have something to write about…

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The book, Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke, was my 30th for the year and my second for this month, with the first one, The Late Show by Michael Connelly. Both were very good, but I think liked Bluebird, Bluebird a little bit better, perhaps because of part of its plot dealing with blues music. The book I learned after going on Goodreads is the first of  a planned trilogy and already has been bought by FX to be created as a drama series.

When it comes to law and order, East Texas plays by its own rules–a fact that Darren Mathews, a black Texas Ranger, knows all too well. Deeply ambivalent about growing up black in the lone star state, he was the first in his family to get as far away from Texas as he could. Until duty called him home.

When his allegiance to his roots puts his job in jeopardy, he travels up Highway 59 to the small town of Lark, where two murders–a black lawyer from Chicago and a local white woman–have stirred up a hornet’s nest of resentment. Darren must solve the crimes–and save himself in the process–before Lark’s long-simmering racial fault lines erupt.

A rural noir suffused with the unique music, color, and nuance of East Texas, Bluebird, Bluebird is an exhilarating, timely novel about the collision of race and justice in America.

That is the description on Goodreads about the book and while I don’t know if it’s quite accurate in its description as the book as “noir” or “exhilarating,” it was well done. Locke, who is a screenwriter by trade, knows how to weave a story. I still like her first novel, The Cutting Season, the best, but enjoyed her other two novels, Black Water Rising and Pleasantville, also as I did this one.

As for the lawn, it seems like I’ve been mowing our lawn in pieces lately. Last week I mowed part of the back section and now today I mowed the front lawn. Probably tomorrow, I’ll mow all of the back section if the ground dries up by then. We got quite a bit of rain Thursday night in our area so the grass is still wet in the backyard. That same night, in part of our county was flash flooding, with people having to be rescued from their houses. My wife, a 911 dispatcher, was called in early Thursday night (usually goes in at midnight) because of the unexpected weather.

Lastly, on weather, while I am glad fall has arrived, it almost has come in too quickly with temperatures dropping too quick. However, that also might be because our summer was extremely humid even up until the last couple of weeks. Today, though, wasn’t as chilly as yesterday here so I guess I can’t complain…too much. Naturally, as you probably know by now, I can, and do, complain about the weather…a lot.

How was your past week? Read anything good? Watched anything good? Listened to anything good? How is the weather where you are as fall begins?

One book at a time, Part II

As I mentioned last week, I returned all the books I had checked out and cancelled all my holds in order to only read one book at a time, either from books from the library or books I already own. The book I selected first was The Late Show by Michael Connelly, which came out last July and I initially planned not to read because Connelly was introducing a new character Renée Ballard and I really wasn’t interested in a new character. However, on Tuesday, I learned that for the next Harry Bosch novel, he would be teaming Bosch up with Ballard so then I decided I “had to” read this one.

As mentioned in the caption above, it was pretty good, even though it wasn’t great. Of course, it is the first in a series so it has time to get there. It’s just not there yet. I still don’t know if I’d read it if she wasn’t teaming up with Bosch for the next one, but it was a good one to start my new/old policy of reading one book at a time.

How about you? Do you read one book at a time? Or do you have multiple books going at once? If you do, I’m just curious how you do it? I’ve never been able to do that, perhaps because I’m fairly single-minded.