Kicking Off 2020 Thankfully Reading Weekend

Today officially begins 2020 Thanksgiving Reading Weekend (click on button above for more information), which lasts through Sunday. For this kickoff post, Jenn suggested a few questions so I thought I’d answer the ones I felt relevant to me and add in one of my own (the last question):

  • How will/did you celebrate Thanksgiving? My wife Kim and I are starting today, as I write this post even, by listening to Alice Restaurant’s Massacree by Arlo Guthrie, a Thanksgiving tradition. This morning, she also is cooking me a Mrs. Smith’s pumpkin pie. Longer explanation than probably is necessary: She’s a vegan, the pie has real butter in it, and she got that instead of making one because she has lost her senses of taste and smell when she had covid recently and it hasn’t returned yet so she figured what was the point. And yes, I had/have covid too. Mine is taking a bit longer to leave, but it’s (been) mild. Later, we’ll have a full Thanksgiving dinner with Torfurky, stuffing, mashed cauliflower, sweet potato casserole with maple pecan crumbles, green bean casserole, and rolls. We also plan on watching Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and Pieces of April, two other Thanksgiving traditions.
  • What’s in your TBR pile for the weekend? Basically see my sign-up post, but in short, the first three Ruth Galloway mysteries by Elly Griffiths and three in the Serge Storm series by Tim Dorsey.
  • How much time do you think you’ll have for reading? Not counting today, I’ll have lots of time for reading as I’m off tomorrow too and this weekend. I hope by the end of the weekend, I’ll feel well enough to let the director of the library where I work that I’ll be able to return to work on Monday.
  • What book are you starting out with? Unofficially, I already began last night with The Big Bamboo, the eight in the Serge Storms series, by Tim Dorsey. I’ll probably dip into it a little later this morning and this afternoon, especially as Kim has to sleep this afternoon as she returns to work tonight for the start of her work week, a midnight shift.
  • Are you reading print, ebooks, or audio? Maybe a bit of each? I’m reading all ebooks, but on a whim, earlier in the week, I did check out an audiobook from the Free Library of Philadelphia: A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton as read by Mary Peiffer. So I might get to that.
  • For what are you thankful this Thanksgiving? That despite getting covid earlier this month, that we have our health, which is well enough that our cases of covid are, and were, mild. We know that it is and has not been the same for others. Personally, I also am thankful for family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers who have been supportive of both me and my wife over the last few weeks. I also am thankful that my dad, who received a covid test last week, got word this week that he was negative.

How about you? For what are you thankful this Thanksgiving?

2020 Thankfully Reading Weekend — I’m in!

I only participate in a few book blogging events every year and this (see image/link above) is one of them. This year’s event is from tomorrow through Sunday, Nov. 29, although I will be starting this afternoon. Here’s how Jenn describes the event:

There are no rules to the weekend, we’re simply hoping to devote a good amount of time to reading, and perhaps meeting some of our reading challenges and goals for the year. We thought it’d be fun if we cheered each other on a bit.

As I mentioned in my last post, I might try to read a little from a collection of the first three Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths that I picked up on my Kindle earlier this year. I dipped into it once before but it didn’t grab me, but based on lavish praise from Amanda of the blog The Zen Leaf, I’m giving it another try.

I also borrowed three ebooks from the Free Library of Philadelphia: The Big Bamboo, Hurricane Punch, and Atomic Lobster, the eight, ninth and 10th respectively in the Serge Storms series by Tim Dorsey. And lastly, I have One by One They Disappeared by Moray Dalton (Katherine Mary Deville Dalton), an author to which I was introduced by a friend via the blog The Passing Tramp.

So as you can see, I have choices. As I’m still recovering from mild symptoms of COVID-19 and have been in a little big of “a brain fog,” I’ll be lucky to get through one or two of them, but I like having choices in case one series doesn’t work for me or if I want to try something else.

I’ll let you know how I did in my next post on Sunday. Until then, stay safe, stay well…and may The Force be with you.

Mostly fair to middling

As I mentioned in my last post, my wife and I had (have) COVID-19. I won’t reiterate everything I said there since you already read, or can go read, it. As for how we’re doing now, I’m still not feeling great, but Kim is feeling better and already is back to work (a 911 dispatcher). This morning, I’m just trying to decide what I might read and/or watch today.

With both my reading and TV watching, I feel like I’ve just been going through the motions. This past week I finished Castle Skull by John Dickson Carr, the first book I’ve finished this month. It wasn’t great, it was okay. That’s also how my TV watching mostly has been going: fair to middling. I watched Season 1 of Wayne on Amazon Prime, which I realized about Episode 6 that I wasn’t feeling, but since the season only had 10 episodes, and I couldn’t focus on making a decision on what I wanted to watch, I finished it. I liked the lead characters of Wayne and Del, and their chemistry, but I felt the plot petered out toward the end. I then watched Series 1 of an Icelandic crime drama The Cliff. It only had four episodes and I realized in about the second one, it wasn’t going anywhere but I continued to watch it too. Out of the two, I’d recommend Wayne more, if you don’t mind language and violence.

I started one other series this week, Before We Die, a Swedish crime drama, on PBS Masterpiece and this one is better than fair to middling. I’m only three episodes in into the eight-episode first season, but this one, I actually want to see more of. I’ll probably watch this some this afternoon while my wife is asleep (she works a 12-hour shift starting tonight at 8 p.m.).

Otherwise, I might try to read a little from a collection of the first three Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths that I picked up on my Kindle earlier this year. I dipped into it once before but it didn’t grab me, but based on lavish praise from Amanda of the blog The Zen Leaf I’m giving it another try.

In honor of my and my wife’s 24th wedding anniversary coming up on Monday, Nov. 23, I’ll leave you with this Cat Power version of an Otis Redding classic that I just heard on Sleepy Hollow on XPN:

Mid-November Check-in

Since I haven’t been here or on Instagram except for Stories, I thought I’d give you all a brief update as I did back in mid-July:

  1. My wife and I have Covid-19.
  2. We started experiencing symptoms the weekend of Nov. 7 & 8.
  3. The main symptom for my wife was, and is, the loss of both taste and smell; for me was a severe sore throat.
  4. We had a telemedicine appointment Nov. 9, were given an appointment for tests on Nov. 12, received our results via an app on Nov. 15.
  5. We have been under self-quarantine since Nov. 9 and will continue to be so until at least Nov. 23, or we have been symptom-free for 24 hours.
  6. Our symptoms are mild: mine, a low-level persistent headache and congestion (my nose is no longer running like it was when I went through three boxes of tissues in three days); hers, a lingering occasional cough, congestion, and, as of yesterday, joint pains. Mostly, we’re fatigued.
  7. We’ve got plenty of supplies of food, drink, and other necessary items, thanks to trips to Walmart, with curbside, contact-less pickup.
  8. Speaking for myself, I haven’t been able to read much, hardly have the energy to watch much. Kim’s been binge-watching The Crown (she’s somewhere in Season 3). My main distraction has been the Microsoft Solitaire Collection that as a premium member (ooh la la), I am able to go back and do daily challenges earlier in the year that I didn’t complete. If in nothing but Solitaire, I will finish every month in 2020, and thus the year itself, “perfect”.

I’m not sure when I will return here to update you or promise I’ll respond much to your comments beyond a thank you for your thoughts and prayers for us should you offer them. In the meantime, stay safe and stay well. Mask up, social distance, wash your hands regularly. Get tested if you need to.

Peace and love to you and your families.

Bryan G. Robinson