2017 Thankfully Reading Weekend — I’m in! 

I’m off today, watching The Punisher, but already I’m thinking about the next time I’m off: Wednesday through Saturday. As most Thanksgiving weekends, my wife is working and I am participating in another Thankfully Reading Weekend, hosted by Jenn of the blog Jenn’s Bookshelves. I initially planned to start a reread of The Lord of the Rings, but I do have another book, Bluebird, Bluebird, by Attica Locke already checked out from the Free Library of Philadelphia and a few others on hold there that might come in so we’ll see. 

I’ll keep you posted here and on Instagram with the hashtag for the event #thankfullyreading. If you want to find out more about the event or want to participate, click on the image above to be taken to Jenn’s post earlier this week. 

The sparse Sunday Salon 

I don’t know why, but for some reason, this year I am reading mostly towards the end of each month. As a result, my posts on The Sunday Salon are sparse on what I am reading at that moment and often are looking ahead to what I might be reading next. Or are heavy on what we’re watching.

On that note, this week I didn’t read a single book, and my wife and I binge-watched two shows: Stranger Things 2 and Broadchurch, Season 3. Both were very good. I especially enjoyed Broadchurch after what I thought was a disappointing second season, and it was good to see it end so well in its final season. Stranger Things 2, meanwhile, only got better in its second season.

I also went and saw the new Thor movie by myself because Kim wasn’t interested, because she thought it looked too silly. It was very silly, but it was a good popcorn movie. 

As for what I am reading next, I am continuing to read the Nero Wolfe mysteries by Rex Stout. I am up to the seventh in the series, Over My Dead Body. Later in the month, I am planning on participating in the Thankfully Reading Weekend for Thanksgiving Weekend. I am thinking of starting a reread of The Lord of the Rings, which I haven’t read in years. As a teen, I read it several times and I think it is long overdue for a reread. I only found out recently that it was available on Amazon Prime Reading so I won’t have to try to hold up the one-volume print edition to read it.

So how about you? Does your reading go up and down during each month? What are you reading, watching, or listening to good lately? 

Pushing Forward Back: October/November 2017

In October, I dressed up for Halloween at the library where I work, we bought a new painting to go on an empty wall, we finished Game of Thrones, and I participated in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon.

October was similar to September in that I had another three-day weekend and Kim and I were watching Game of Thrones. We decided we couldn’t wait until December for Season 7 to come out on DVD, so we bought it on streaming instead. Now we just have to wait until next year or the year after for the final season. The highlight on the reading front was definitely Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon on Saturday, Oct. 21. I read four and three quarters book in just over eight hours:

  1. Wonderstruck: A Novel in Words and Pictures by Brian Selznick
  2. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  3. Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
  4. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

And the one I was still reading at the end of the day was The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I finally finished it earlier this week. Out of the five, my favorite was The Graveyard Book, which was a reread. I loved the writing in The Book Thief, but was less than enamored with the story itself. For me, it went on a bit too long.

Pushing Forward

Unlike the last couple of months where I had a long weekend toward the beginning of the months, this coming month I have a long weekend to end the month. I have off work from the Wednesday before Thanksgiving until that Sunday. As with other Thanksgivings, I plan on participating in Thankfully Reading Weekend. As with last month’s readathon, I have no ideas yet what I will be reading.

As for TV, I’m looking forward to this, on Netflix:

For me

And Kim and I both are looking forward to this, on Amazon Prime (we already watched the first one and loved it):

What were the highlights for you for October? What are you looking forward to in November?

October 2017 Readathon Wrap-up

Yesterday and into this morning, I participated in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. My goal was to read a stack of eight books during 12 of the 24 hours. I finished 4 3/4 books in 8 hours. Here are the books I finished:

  1. Wonderstruck: A Novel in Words and Pictures by Brian Selznick
  2. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  3. Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
  4. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

And the one I’m still reading is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

Out of the four I finished, my favorite was The Graveyard Book, which was a reread. The others were good, but The Book Thief is proving to be very good. I like Zusak’s writing style, even though I don’t know if I love the story or not.

Unexpectedly, I was able to read outside as it was a rare warm fall day. I sat out on a swing at our neighbors, for whom I and another neighbor are helping take care of their dogs while they are away.

As planned, I didn’t have any wine until the end of the day, but once I did, that naturally made me drowsy and I didn’t last much longer after that. This afternoon I plan on finishing The Book Thief, probably while watching NASCAR, and tonight Kim and I plan on watching the second season of Vicious, a comedy which stars Sirs Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi as a gay couple in London. We watched the first season and have enjoyed it so far.

How about you? Did you participate in yesterday’s readathon? If so, what was your favorite book read? If not, what have you been reading lately that we should add to our own TBR (to-be-read) stacks?

October 2017 Readathon Stack

From top to bottom:

  1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  2. Every Breath by Ellie Marney
  3. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  4. Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
  5. Legend by Marie Lu
  6. Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
  7. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
  8. Wonderstruck: A Novel in Words and Pictures by Brian Selznick

    That is the stack of books, which I will attempt to read, or at least as many from it as I can, for this coming Saturday’s Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. I initially had 12 young adult books and then realized they were all written by male authors. So I went back to the drawing table and selected six each by male and female authors. I then decided that probably would be too much for the time I was, and am, planning to read, 12 hours, so I narrowed it to four each by male and female authors.

    Why these eight? Some like The Book Thief I have been wanting to read for a while. Others are parts of series I’ve wanted to try. One, The Graveyard Book, is a reread, that I have tried to read near Halloween over the last few years after a patron at the library where I work says he reread every year near Halloween. Two others I came across while shelf-reading at the library: Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, and Every Breath, which just looked like they might be good so I thought, “Why not?”

    My wife Kim is working a 12-hour shift the night before (until noon Saturday) so I’ll be reading mostly while she isn’t home (note: start time is 8 a.m., your time zone) or when she is asleep when she gets home. I don’t know yet what I’ll be eating and drinking, but I have decided no alcohol…until near the end. Maybe I’ll have some wine, cheese, and crackers to celebrate when I am near the end. I don’t want to fall asleep midway through.

    I’ll be tracking my progress on my Instagram account so feel free to follow along there.

    How about you? Are you participating in this Saturday’s readathon? If so, what are you planning to read? If not, what have you been reading lately that we should add to our own TBR (to-be-read) stacks?

    A three-day weekend

    I took off Monday, Columbus Day, from work as a vacation day, but lest you think I am a fan of Chris, let me share this shirt of my wife’s that is one of my favorites:

    I only have so many vacation days in a year, so I try to take at least one day a month and I just happened to take this one. So how have I spent my time this weekend so far and what is planned for the rest of today and tomorrow?

    Saturday

    Kim and I watched the finale to Season 7 of Game of Thrones, which was, as expected, amazing. I only read the first book and a half of the series, but to be honest, decided to stop because I knew George isn’t attached to characters. I thought, “Why should I be?” However, I’ve learned that the story is nonetheless intriguing…and those visual effects with the dragons stunning.

    Sunday

    I’m probably going over to my neighbor’s “ManCave” (his garage) this afternoon to watch NASCAR. Then Kim and I are planning on watching a trilogy of movies, Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight. They were directed by Richard Linklater and show the relationship of a couple, played by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, over several decades. We’ve seen the first two, which we own, and are watching the third on Netflix streaming.

    Monday

    Since it is supposed to be a rainy day, we have another movie marathon planned, this one with favorite teen movies. We’re starting with The Breakfast Club, then going to watch Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, and Some Kind of Wonderful. We might throw in Not Another Teen Movie, just for fun.

    With all of this you might have noticed that I don’t have any reading time built in. That’s by design as on Saturday, Oct. 21, I’ll be taking part in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. I already have 10 books set aside from which to choose, and which I will share with you all in next week’s Sunday Salon as well as telling you my plan of attack for the day.

    So how are you doing this weekend? Reading, watching, listening to anything good? Let me and my readers know in the comments.

    Pushing Forward Back: September/October 2017

    So as planned, I started September with a four-day Labor Day Weekend as I tacked on Tuesday as a vacation day and caught up on some reading.

    Mid-month, Kim and I went on a wine bus trip to Seneca Lake, one of the Finger Lakes in New York. The trip was part of our library’s Centennial Celebration, included three wine tastings, and a lobster festival at another winery.

    I ended the month with a day off from work this past Thursday where I read my final book of the month, bringing my total to seven books, tying my best month of reading this year with January. The seven books were:

    1. The Rubber Band, the third Nero Wolfe, by Rex Stout.
    2. The Lost Book of The Grail by Charlie Lovett, which was recommended by Tasha of the blog Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Books.
    3. The Red Box, the fourth Nero Wolfe, by Rex Stout.
    4. Gallows View, the first Inspector Banks, by Peter Robinson, after seeing Tina of the blog Novel Meals mention the series on Instagram.
    5. The Western Star, the 13th Walt Longmire, by Craig Johnson.
    6. Too Many Cooks, the fifth Nero Wolfe, by Rex Stout.
    7. Some Buried Caesar, the sixth Nero Wolfe, by Rex Stout.

    The best of the eight was The Lost Book of The Grail. The most meh of the eight sadly was the Longmire. I must admit that I liked the earlier ones better.

    As for TV and movies, Kim and I began the month watching Game of Thrones (now up to Season 6), mid-month watched Wonder Woman, and ended the month with rewatching a lot of Parks and Recreation.

    Spinning on my virtual turntable this past month was a little bit of this:

    And a little bit of that:

    Pushing Forward

    October begins with Kim undergoing a procedure called cardioversion in an attempt to get her heart back in rhythm after learning in August she was, and is (still) in atrial fibrillation. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

    On the reading front, the highlight should be Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon that takes place on Saturday, Oct. 21.

    Other than continuing with Game of Thrones this coming month, we also are looking forward to the return of Stranger Things at the end of the month:

    How was your month of September? Favorite book read, TV show/series watched, album listened to? What were the highlights for you? What are you looking forward to in October?

    Reading (and wine trip) update

    So I didn’t get any reading done last weekend, but Kim and I went on our wine trip, and it was fun:

    My reading is going well otherwise, as I now have read five books so far this month:

    1. The Rubber Band, the third Nero Wolfe, by Rex Stout.
    2. The Lost Book of The Grail by Charlie Lovett, which was recommended by Tasha of the blog Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Books.
    3. The Red Box, the fourth Nero Wolfe, by Rex Stout.
    4. Gallows View, the first Inspector Banks, by Peter Robinson, after seeing Tina of the blog Novel Meals mention the series on Instagram.
    5. The Western Star, the 13th Walt Longmire, by Craig Johnson.

    I am in the middle of the fifth Nero Wolfe, Too Many Cooks, by Rex Stout. I also have the second Inspector Banks, A Dedicated Man, by Peter Robinson on my Kindle, ready to go. So I could get seven books finished this month, which would be equal my best month of reading, January, this year, if I do. Here’s hoping.

    Other than reading books and drinking wine, I also have been continuing to watch Game of Thrones with Kim. We now are in the middle of Season 5. We have taken a couple of breaks here and there. A few nights ago, we watched Wonder Woman, and tonight we re-watched some Parks and Recreation. We’ll get back to GOT tomorrow, I’m sure.

    We also look forward to renting Baby Driver soon, especially based on the opening scene:

    So…how is your reading going this month? Let me know…and/or listening to, watching anything good?

    The Anti-Binge-Watch Shows

    Some shows just don’t lend themselves to binge-watching, but are still worth watching…or might be a good diversion from time to time. I’ve found at least two such shows:

    Wynonna Earp

    Only one season is available on Netflix so far, so I’ve been taking it slow on this one based on a graphic novel. Comparisons have been made to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and it does have some of that camp, although it hasn’t really settled into its own rhythm yet. It has a beat; it is just a bit erratic so far, but worth checking out to see where it goes.

    Dark Matter

    Yet another SyFy show. The first two seasons are available on Netflix, the third is coming this month, and all three seasons are available on Amazon Prime. Over the last five or so years, I haven’t been able to read science fiction, but this science fiction show caught my eye and I’ve been hooked ever since. Likewise, I was hooked by the Battlestar Galactica reboot, although that was on a whole other level. This one has its ups and downs, but if you stick with it, it gets really good. I guess I’m a sucker for ensemble casts too. What can I say?

    What shows for you are anti-binge-watch shows?

    In the rearview: My #labordayweekendreadathon

    Last weekend, I planned to read and share the books I read on Instagram, and that’s exactly what I did:

    #labordayweekendreadathon completed: 3 books down.

    A post shared by Bryan G. Robinson (@stillunfinished) on

    The best of the three was The Lost Book of The Grail by Charlie Lovett, which was recommended by Tasha of the blog Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Books. She wasn’t wrong: “If you love books and libraries, you need to read this novel.”

    Not pictured in the collage above is what slightly sidetracked my readathon: our starting to watch Game of Thrones. A coworker of Kim’s owns the series on DVD and is loaning a series or two at a time. This morning, my wife, who works midnight shift, got seasons 2 and 3, so once she wakes up, there goes the rest of the weekend.

    In the windshield

    Next weekend, Kim and I are going on a wine bus trip to Seneca Lake, one of the Finger Lakes in New York. The trip is part of our library’s Centennial Celebration, includes three wine tastings, and a lobster festival at another winery, with a rhythm and blues band from Rochester performing. I also work Saturday, so unless I read on the bus, I won’t be getting much reading done. However, I do have off Thursday so maybe I’ll get some reading in then.

    So…are you reading anything good lately? Let me know…and/or listening to, watching anything good?