Pushing Forward Back September/October 2019

September started well as I had four days off for the Labor Day Weekend. To start the weekend, I read Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography, Born to Run, which continues my year of reading mostly great books. On the fourth day, Tuesday, my wife and I went on a day trip to Three Brothers Wineries & Estates, which includes three wineries and a brewery, and it was a beautiful day for it.

After tagging Three Brothers on Instagram before my birthday in June, they gave me two free tasting passports for five flights of wine, beer, and cider at each of the wineries and the brewery. The only thing we paid for was the gas to get there, our lunch at their restaurant on site and some wine that we got (but of course).

The following week, I had a follow up for my left knee after getting three gel injections at the end of July and start of August. As a result, I am having arthroscopic surgery on October 22 on my knee to check, and repair, if needed, my meniscus which was diagnosed earlier this summer as “degenerative” from osteoarthritis. This surgery is in addition to another medical procedure, a colonoscopy since I just turned 50 in June, that I am having on October 14 and a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test I am having on October 15.

The third week brought a visit from Joe, a college roommate, mid-week during which we binge-watched the first season of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, available on Hulu. I had started watched it earlier in the week but when Joe told me he had seen part of it, but never got to see all of it, I stopped watching so we could watch together. However, once we started it, he realized it was another version, just called Dirk Gently, that he had seen, not this particular one. We enjoyed it, though I had never read the book, but it was, and is, very weird. I usually don’t “go” for that kind of weird science fiction “thing,” but I went with it and surprisingly liked it.

The fourth week, my wife and I celebrated Bruce Springsteen’s 70th birthday on Monday by watching his New York City concert from 2001. Then on Friday, I had the day off from work before working my Saturday for the month. On Friday, I listened to Sturgill Simpson’s new album Sound and Fury, which is very unlike his previous two albums, A Sailor’s Guide to Earth and Metamodern Sounds in Country Music. Sound and Fury definitely is that, full of the sound and fury of rock and roll, whereas the first two were country and, dare I say it, pop music.

Tomorrow, I plan on rounding out the month by going to a birthday party for my soon-to-be 5-year-old niece Grace. Her birthday is in the middle of the week so the party is tomorrow.

Also Read

  • The Curse of the Pharaohs, the second Amelia Peabody mystery, by Elizabeth Peters, which was good, but not as good as Born To Run.

Also Watched

  • Friday Night Dinner (3 seasons), with my wife – hilarious
  • Rocketman (movie), with my wife – very good
  • Booksmart (movie), with my wife – surprisingly good (a Superbad but with girls and funnier)

Also Listened To

  • Norman F***ing Rockwell by Lana Del Rey, out at the beginning of the month.

October is…well, I already told you about my surgery…event-filled. And while the main event, the surgery, isn’t necessarily fun, I believe it is necessary and hopefully will help alleviate the pain in my knee. The other event in the month to which I’m more looking forward to is Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, which is Saturday, Oct. 26. It also happens to occur during my two week convalescence after the surgery.

Topping the list are two books apropos for a weekend so close to Halloween:

  • The Unforeseen by Dorothy McCardle
  • The Night of the Hunter by Davis Grubb.

The first is a recommendation from a friend, who also recommended to me I read McCardle’s The Uninvited, her first novel, which I did and enjoyed. Now I’m going to give her second novel a go. The second is the basis for one of my wife’s favorite movies of the same name, starring Robert Mitchum…which I probably will find somewhere online and watch with my wife during my downtime.

Besides reading, and medical appointments and procedures, that covers most of my October, I think.

Also To Read

  • Less by Andrew Sean Greer, which I started earlier in the month.
  • The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland, which I picked up while “shelf-reading” at the library.

To Watch

  • Mindhunter, Season 2, on Netflix now
  • Good Omens, Season 1, on Amazon Prime now
  • Schitt’s Creek, Season 5, on Netflix Oct. 10
  • Letterkenny, Season 7, on Hulu Oct. 14

To Listen To

  • All Mirrors by Angel Olsen, due out Oct. 4
  • Ode To Joy by Wilco, also due out Oct. 4
  • Magdalene by FKA Twigs, due out Oct. 25

I also would be remiss if I didn’t mention one other book I plan on reading this coming month: A Story To Tell by my sister, Lisa Howeler. She self-published it and as of September 19, her birthday, it is available for purchase on Amazon. Oh, happy belated birthday, Lisa, if I didn’t mention it. 😉

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 most looking forward to in October? Share in the comments.

Formatting issues with books

I planned to read The Mummy Case, the third in the Amelia Peabody mystery, by Elizabeth Peters this week. However, I got hung up on formatting issues with the ebook copy I got from the library and was unable to continue.

In my case with this particular ebook, it was a space between paragraphs that I couldn’t get past. I felt like I was reading a screenplay, which oh, yeah, is another format I don’t like, well, in a novel, for example, Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Or mixed-media formats like The Illuminae Files series by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I wanted to buy into the hope for those critically-acclaimed books, but I just couldn’t get over the hump of how they were formatted.

Even in print books, I have issues with formatting, with another example being italics. I especially loathe italicized flashbacks, although I did read one book recently that was pretty good despite the use of italicized flashbacks. That was The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware. However, most of the time I find it lazy writing.

This leads me to the question this week for you all: Do you ever stop reading a book because of how it is formatted? Share in the comments.

Signed up for the October 2019 Readathon

I’ve signed up for the October 26, 2019 Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. At first, I wasn’t sure that I’d have the Saturday off from work, but on Thursday, I found out that I’ll be having arthroscopic surgery on my left knee for a degenerative meniscus only a few days before the event on October 22. So now I’m definitely in, and I already have begun thinking about what books I might read as I start my convalescence.

Topping the list are two books apropos for a weekend so close to Halloween:

  • The Unforeseen by Dorothy McCardle
  • The Night of the Hunter by Davis Grubb.

The first is a recommendation from a friend, who also recommended to me I read McCardle’s The Uninvited, her first novel, which I did and enjoyed. Now I’m going to give her second novel a go. The second is the basis for one of my wife’s favorite movies of the same name, starting Robert Mitchum, and one of my favorite scenes in two movies:

A third very strong possibility is a Halloween tradition reread: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, which a patron at the library where I work got me started doing a few years ago. I might mix it up like I did one year and read the graphic novel adaptation by writer P. Craig Russell; illustrators David Lefuente, Scott Hampton, Kevin Nowlan, Tony Harris, Jill Thompson, Stephen B. Scott, and Galen Showman; and colorist Lovern Kindzierski.

Beyond that, I might throw in a dash of poetry, but as always, we’ll see.


As for what I’m doing this weekend, I’m…

Reading

  • The Mummy Case, the third in the Amelia Peabody mystery series, by Elizabeth Peters after reading The Curse of the Pharaohs, the second in the series, earlier this week.

Watching

  • Friday Night Dinner, a British comedy, now available on Hulu, with my wife.

Listening To

Are you going to participate in the October readathon? If so, what are you planning on reading? Either way, what are you up to this weekend? Whatchya reading, watching, listening to, doing this weekend?