My Own Personal Sabbath #34

Almost every Sunday since mid-May 2020 with a few exceptions, I have been taking my own personal Sabbath, where I tune out of the news and social media and turn off my ringer and all notifications on my phone. Throughout the day and/or sometimes the next day, I share what I am reading, listening to or watching during my Sabbath.

This past Thursday, I finished August Heat, the tenth in the Inspector Montalbano series, by Andrea Camilleri and today I am starting the eleventh, The Wings of the Sphinx. I started the year with the sixth in the series, The Smell of the Night, and then continued with the seventh, eighth, and ninth, Rounding the Mark, The Patience of the Spider, and The Paper Moon before finishing August Heat.

Seeing a few episodes last year of the Italian TV series based on the books rekindled my interest in the books. Then when the Free Library of Philadelphia (FLP) added most of the book series to its OverDrive collection at the end of last year, right before Christmas, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to dive back in.

I have not been disappointed yet as other books have taken a back seat to the Italian commissario. I have flirted with the idea of reading and continuing other series, but for now I only have eyes for the late Camilleri’s creation. I am completely and utterly captivated by Montalbano for now. I already have the 12th, The Track of Sand, checked out and waiting in the wings. And I have the 13th and 14th, The Potter’s Field and The Age of Doubt on hold. That is how much I love this series…

…but I probably will take a break after that since FLP has only 24 of the 27 books in the series to borrow (so far). That way, I have something to look forward to to later in the year or even next year.

What have you been reading lately that you have loved or are loving?

Chilling in The Chill Out Tent again

My Own Personal Sabbath #33

Almost every Sunday since mid-May 2020 with a few exceptions, I have been taking my own personal Sabbath, where I tune out of the news and social media and turn off my ringer and all notifications on my phone. Throughout the day and/or sometimes the next day, I share what I am reading, listening to or watching during my Sabbath.

Tomorrow, as I have been at the end of many months during 2020, I will be in The Chill Out Tent, which is a series of live streamed events from an imagined chillout space in a virtual festival. Or as the group organizers explain:

Sunsets in Ibiza, sheep watching in Scotland, little fluffy clouds in Arizona…

Turn on…stay in… chill out…

For me, it also fits in with my goal of tuning out of news and social media for the day and can make for good background music for my reading. Tomorrow, I have a few choices to read, but I’ll probably continue with the Inspector Montalbano series by Andrea Camilleri. I am up to No. 10, August Heat, and have No. 11, The Wings of the Sphinx, already on my Kindle ready to go when I’m finished with August Heat.


9:20 AM

I am writing this in a car wash, listening to a BBC Radio 4 podcast In Our Time. It was recommended to me by a fellow blogger and Sunday Saloner, Susan of the blog The Cue Card. This episode is on Marcus Aurelius.

Before I chill out this afternoon in the tent, I had to get out this morning to prepare for this afternoon. After this car wash, I am off to the grocery store for snacks for the party later. Also early this afternoon, I am going to grab a bottle of wine to quaff while chilling.

So until later, when I update you more…

11 AM

3 PM

After church, I went to the wine and spirits shoppe for wine and now I’m in the tent. I’m not reading as planned because the visuals are stunning here in the tent…and also the wine, let’s be honest. In addition to music, there also are videos to accompany the music.

9 PM

Finally reading, with Seamus on my lap. August Heat, the 10th Inspector Montalbano, by Andrea Camilleri. 

What are your plans for the weekend? Do they involve reading? If so, what are you reading? If not, what are you doing otherwise? I’m

Revisiting, Revising, Recommending


Wherein I try to re-explain my previous post on an expiring book on my Kindle.

Last week I lamented my receiving a notification on an app that the ebook I was reading on my Kindle was expiring. Many of you offered advice on how I could keep the ebook, especially turning off my wifi or the airplane mode on. While I appreciate the advice, which was valid, I really wasn’t seeking it. Instead, I meant the post to be a joking rant about notifications pressuring me for this, that, or the other thing – and not just letting me go about my business.

I also didn’t mean to denigrate the Libby app which I enjoy and which also allows patrons to suspend a hold to be delivered later. I use that feature regularly.


Wherein I reconsider what I am doing for Lent.

As I mentioned Wednesday, I started Lent with a day off from work during which my wife and I attended an online Ash Wednesday service at the Washington National Cathedral. I also then mentioned that I was giving up alcohol, which I’m still doing during the 40 days, and reading a couple of books. However, instead, I’ve decided to keep it fairly simple with the following:


Wherein I receive some recommendations for short uplifting podcasts from followers on Instagram that I now pass on to you. Your mileage may vary.

Recently, I asked my followers on Instagram for recommendation for short, uplifting podcasts. I asked for “maybe meditative, poetry, book-related, no politics, no news, please.” Here are the ones they mentioned:

And here are a couple that I discovered:

As for this weekend, yesterday I worked at the library and then a friend and I played board games online last night. Today I’m planning on reading, continuing with the next Inspector Montalbano, August Heat, by Andrea Camilleri.

What are you up to this weekend? Reading, watching, listening to anything good this weekend? Any podcasts you recommend? Please share in the comments.

Lenten Plans 2021

In the Episcopalian tradition, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter. Because I am Episcopalian, that is how long I will be observing Lent. Here is what I plan on doing for Lent, in accordance with invitation from the Book of Common Prayer (p. 265) to observe Lent “by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word”:

  • Starting Lent with a day off from work today.
  • Giving up alcohol, starting today until Holy Saturday night. Over the last year, I’ve probably consumed more wine than I ought, so this isn’t a bad thing – at all. Plus I’ve gained a lot of weight, thanks/no thanks to wine, so again this isn’t a bad thing – at all.
  • Reading The Little Book of Lent: Daily Reflections from the World’s Greatest Spiritual Writers, compiled by Arthur Howells. I searched this morning for just the right devotional to use for this Lent. As I’ve already been practicing daily meditation and journaling, I didn’t want something too involved. Nothing quite hit the right note for me, and I’m not sure if this completely fits what I’m looking for, but the selections are short so I think it will do.
  • Reading Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson, starting today and then at least once each weekend until, and including, Easter weekend. I’ve had this in my Kindle library for at least a year, if not longer, but now I feel it’s time – and not a bad thing, starting here in Black History Month.

If you are a Christian and observe Lent, what are your plans for the season? If you belong to another faith tradition, do you have practices within it to reflect on our faith daily and/or periodically? Anything you read for your particular faith? If you have no faith tradition, how do you relax/meditate/stay calm?

Like last year, I used my post on my Lenten Plans 2019 as a template for this post.