My Own Personal Sabbath #17

Every Sunday since mid-May 2020, I have been taking my own personal Sabbath, where I turn off my phone and its notifications. What follows is what I read, watched, listened to, or did this past Sunday.

Yesterday reading-wise I never really latched onto anything. I abandoned three books and then even when I finally found a book to end the day with, I’m not sure if I’ll finish it or not. First, the books I abandoned were:

  • The Expendable Man by Dorothy B. Hughes
  • Devotions: Selected Poems by Mary Oliver
  • From Doon with Death by Ruth Rendell.

The book I ended the day with was Misterioso by Arne Dahl, the first in the Swedish crime writer’s Intercrime series.

It also wasn’t that any of the books were “bad,” but that they just didn’t work for me, at least at this time:

  • The book by Hughes was written in 1963 and recently republished as part of the New York Review of Books Classics series. I saw where it was going and decided that it wasn’t something I wanted to read right now.
  • Last year, I borrowed Mary Oliver’s collection of her own poetry over 50 years from the Free Library of Philadelphia, then purchased it this year when I knew I’d want to take more time with it. Since buying it, I have been slowly making my way through it, usually reading some each Sunday. The book is arranged from her later books to her earlier books and I’m about halfway through. I think I like her later works better as I believe in the beginning, she comes across as too didactic. I’ll probably return to the book at some time, but for now, I’m putting it aside.
  • I thought I might like to try Rendell’s Chief Inspector Rexford mystery series, but I have a few noir classics that I have on hold and rather would get to first. So for now, this series is being put on the back burner.

I had better luck later in the day with choosing a couple of movies from Starz to which I have a discounted subscription until Friday: Field of Dreams and The Man from Snowy River, the former which is one of my all-time favorite movies. I then thought about watching Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, but then saw an American Experience episode about the notorious pair of outlaws that was short and watched that instead since it already was 10:30 p.m. The episode was fascinating (among the things that I learned were that Butch Cassidy was not his real name and The Sundance Kid was born in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania) and I highly recommend it if you have Prime Video, which is where I watched it.

Next Sunday I’ll be in the middle of a three-day weekend, but my wife is working all weekend so no special plans. I’m not sure what I’ll be reading or watching or listening to doing yet, but you’ll hear about in the next installment of…My Own Personal Sabbath.

6 thoughts on “My Own Personal Sabbath #17

  1. I often abandon books, and I do them even more often now. I find I have to read poetry very slowly, and that’s not my usual reading pace. I think I’ve been reading the Mary Oliver book now for several months, usually no more than a poem or two a day.

    It sounds like a good Sunday.

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  2. I’m not a Kevin Costner fan, but I do love Field of Dreams. It is such an American movie. After the news about Chadwick Boseman, I really want to watch the two Avenger movies as well as Black Panther again. Call it my own way to mourn the loss of an amazing man.

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  3. I find that I abandon books and TV/movies much more easily during the pandemic than I used to. And, I’ve learned not to feel guilty about it. Enjoy your week.

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  4. Fun fact. When my friends and I were in high school, there was this local diner we used to hang out in. Every Sunday morning Kevin Costner would take a back booth and have breakfast and most mornings my friends and I would try to sit as close to him as possible to stare at the back of his head. So yes, Field of Dreams is a fave in this house too.

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