Readathon Prepping

By now, no doubt, if you’ve been reading this blog, you know that I’ll be having arthroscopic surgery on my left knee for a degenerative meniscus on

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2019!

At least, that’s how I see it in my mind…

…along with this date:

SATURDAY, OCT. 26, 2019!

On that date is the latest edition of Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, and as I mentioned before, I already have begun thinking, and rethinking, about what books I might read as I start my convalescence.

Now I’m thinking not only of what I’ll be reading that day, but what I’ll be reading for those two weeks that I have off after my surgery, my own mini-readathon (and binge-watch, let’s be honest).

As I mentioned before, I already have three set for the readathon day itself, apropos for it being so close to Halloween:

  • The Unforeseen by Dorothy McCardle
  • The Night of the Hunter by Davis Grubb.
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (an annual Halloween reread tradition).

The only definite for the two-week readathon is my sister’s self-published book, A Story To Tell, now available on Amazon.

There aren’t any good stories left to tell. They’ve all been told. So this is just a story that maybe you’ve heard before – the story of a girl who loved a boy, who thought the boy loved her.
The story of a girl who thought life needed to be constantly exciting and full of adventure for it to be real. The story of a girl who learned that what she thought she needed to be happy wasn’t what she needed after all.

The rest of the list is indeterminate, but includes these possibilities:

  • a pair of books from series I’ve wanted to start or have tried previously to start without much success: A Morbid Taste for Bones (The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael Book 1) by Ellis Peters and Death at La Fenice: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery by Donna Leon.
  • a trio of collections of poetry: Dream Work by Mary Oliver, This Day: Collected & New Sabbath Poems by Wendell Berry, and Now and Then: The Poet’s Choice Columns, 1997-2000 by Robert Hass.
  • a pair of political books, which is doubtful I’ll get to because…sigh…politics, but I’ll put here anyway: Becoming by Michelle Obama and We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
  • a pair of library bookstore finds: The Brothers K by David James Duncan, which I thought I read years ago but skimming, I’m not so sure, and Bookmarked: Reading My Way from Hollywood to Brooklyn by Wendy W. Fairey.
  • a trio of devotional books: The Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Early Christian Monks, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life by Richard Rohr and a companion journal to that book.
  • The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger, which I won as a door prize from the last 24in48 Readathon.
  • Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.

In all, that will make 18 books, with a realistic goal of reading maybe six or a third of them. As always, I’ll keep you posted.

Pushing Forward Back Last Week/This Week

Reading

  • Finished last week: Andrew Sean Greer, which grew on me as I read.
  • Starting this weekend: The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland.

Watching

  • Friday night: Wife and I watched Fighting with My Family, which was surprisingly good.
  • This weekend: I’m watching Spider-Man: Far from Home (my wife is “over” the comic book movies).

Listening To

  • Two new albums: All Mirrors by Angel Olsen and Ode to Joy by Wilco.

What are you planning to read this month, even if you’re not doing the readathon? What have you been reading, watching or listening to this past week that’s good?

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.

Bruce, Elton, Four Tet & 3 Brothers

This past week, this is what I have…

Read

I received this in a book blogger gift exchange a few years ago, because my wife is a HUGE Bruce Springsteen fan. Then it went on a shelf on our bookcase and finally to a shelf on my computer desk, where finally I picked it up a couple of weeks ago after writing about how I need to read books that have been sitting on my shelves for too long. I read it over a week and a half, and I’m glad I finally read it as it probably will be up among the top books I’ve read this year, if not the top book at year’s end.

Watched


We rented this Friday night, and while we didn’t know it was a musical (think Moulin Rouge), we still loved it (we also loved Moulin Rouge). Worth it for Taron Egerton’s performance alone.

& Listened To


My wife and I also went to Three Brothers Wineries & Estates on Seneca Lake in upstate New York on Tuesday as they gave me two tasting passports for me and my wife to each of their three wineries and their brewery for my 50th birthday back in June. I can’t figure out how or if I can embed “Instagram Stories” to the blog, so I’ll just leave you with this link where you can see the highlights of our day trip: https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/18098165917054923/.

So what did you read, watch or listen to this past week? Any other highlights from this past week?