My Own Personal Sabbath #26

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 or the next day, I share what I am reading, listening to or watching during my Sabbath day.

I am starting the day with quiet music as I often do on Sundays, many times with Sleepy Hollow on WXPN from Philadelphia. Today’s selection, though, is inspired by music I heard on this morning’s show. It was gentle acoustic guitar music, a little on the ambient side, and then in a review on Pitchfork this morning, I rediscovered the artist Nathan Salsburg, who just released two albums of instrumental acoustic music, Landwerk and Landwerk No. 2, made up of eight pieces.

Later today, I plan on dipping into the Inspector Montalbano series by Andrea Camilleri, with the fifth in the series, Excursion to Tindari. Last week I learned the Free Library of Philadelphia (FLP) added the series to its ebook collection and it was, and is, like Christmas for me, since the series is on my bucket list of series I want to read. I’ll leave you with one of Salsburg’s pieces from his latest album:


It’s a little after 2 p.m. now and after a short nap, I’m reading again. I started late this morning with Excursion to Tindari as planned. This afternoon, after about 50 pages in, I realized that while I had not read this one, I had watched it. For a short time, we had MHz Choice, which had the show Inspector Montalbano on it. I saw the episode based on the book, so I knew where the story was going.

So…now I’m on the sixth one in the series, The Smell of the Night. I’ll report back later on how it’s going.


It is a little after 4 p.m. and I am halfway through The Smell of the Night. Neither have I seen this episode of Montalbano nor do I think I have seen any others after the Excursion to Tindari so I should be good, which also this book is thus far, from here on out.


Last report of the day here at 8:30 p.m.: I finished my first book of the year, The Smell of the Night, by Andrea Camilleri. It was good, as I expected that it would be, and I have the next one, Rounding the Mark, already checked out from FLP. I’m ending the day with the end of Season 12 of Criminal Minds, to which I recently returned. I had been watching a few years ago on Netflix but then stopped when they were didn’t have any seasons past 12. This weekend, I learned Hulu now has later seasons and so I’m finishing 12 on Netflix, then going to 13 on Hulu.

How did you spend your Sunday? Read, watch, listen to anything good?

My Top 10 Albums of 2020

Starting this weekend, and for the next three weekends, I’m reviewing my year in books, TV shows and music. This weekend/today I’m posting my top 10 albums from this year; next weekend, my top 5 TV shows from this year; and the last weekend of the year, my favorite books read this year. My last blog post of the year will be Dec. 31 and will be my one word of the year.

Initially I had a list of 25 albums, but then I decided that would be too much so I narrowed it down to 10. A few albums aren’t listed either because I just discovered them, for example, Punisher by Phoebe Bridgers and græ by Moses Sumney or because even though they were released this year, they were made in the 1960s and 1970s: Palo Alto by Thelonious Monk from a live concert at Pal Alto High School in 1968 and Homegrown by Neil Young from sessions in 1974 and 1975.

From left to right, top to bottom, my top 10 albums of 2020 are (with album titles and artists in captions where titles/artists are not visible) :

And here is one song from each album on a Spotify playlist I created:

What did you listen to new this year that was among your favorite albums? What did you listen to, period, this year musically? Share in the comments.

My Own Personal Sabbath #24

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.

I am starting today by reading and commenting on blogs and listening to Sleepy Hollow on XPN, a public radio station out of Philadelphia. Right now they’re just finishing up is “My Favorite Things” by John Coltrane, which I like when it starts, but then he gets a little “reedy” for me which is not one of my favorite things. Later, I plan on dipping into the second Ruth Galloway mystery, The Janus Stone, by Elly Griffith.

I’ll check in later to let you know how things are going. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with the Coltrane song, which you might enjoy, even though I don’t toward the end of the song:

I don’t think I realized Coltrane was playing a soprano saxophone here (I Googled). No wonder it’s too “reedy” for me. Ugh.

It is now about 2 p.m. and I’ve been reading The Janus Stone. I almost abandoned it after I learned Ruth is pregnant by the detective from the first book and also italicized asides in the first person from the killer, which Griffiths did in the first one too. I don’t know why, but I’ve never liked italics. Flashbacks are even worse, I usually want to flash out. Ha. However, I am continuing on because the story is still interesting (enough). In the background I’ve been listening to a musician new to me, Theo Parrish, whose music I’m really enjoying. Here’s a song from his latest album Wuddaji:


I got about halfway through The Janus Stone earlier today and then decided that I couldn’t read any more. Mostly, it was for the reasons I mentioned above. I then took a nap. When I got up, I had dinner with Kim before she left for work and I’m now watching binge-watching CSI, Season 11, to end the night.

In The Chill Out Tent to end the weekend

This is where I am/was as I end/ended this weekend. I thought it was a good place to leave off for both my Thankfully Reading Weekend and what probably will be my last weekend before I head back to work after being off for a few weeks with covid.

Unofficially, I began the Thankfully Reading Weekend Wednesday night reading The Big Bamboo, the eighth in the Serge Storms series, by Tim Dorsey. On Friday, I finished it. On Saturday, I dipped into an audiobook version of A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton, but found both the narrator and the story borrrrring. The rest of the day, I got stuck in a marathon of CSI, which I slowly am making my way though (I’m on Season 10). Today, I began the day reading The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths in an ebook collection of the first three books in the Ruth Galloway series. I’ll be dipping in and out while I listen/watch The Chillout Tent.

How was/is your weekend? Reading, watching, listening to anything worth sharing? Share away in the comments.