My Own Social Distancing Readathon

Next weekend, Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22, the hosts of 24in48 Readathon are having a special Social Distancing Edition starting at 12 a.m. EST in the U.S. As they said in their post:

…as more and more countries are implementing social distancing recommendations (if not actual quarantines), we decided it was time to find comfort in books and the community that loves them.

Which brings us to the Social Distancing Readathon. Stay home. Wash your hands. Read books. March 21 & 22. 

It’s that simple. No prizes. No hourly challenges. No requirements. Just a chance to reconnect with this amazing bookish community (online! no hand sanitizer required!), read some good books, and talk about them with other readers.

If sharing your journey online, they ask you use the hashtag #StayHome24in48.

As soon as I saw their announcement two days ago on an Instagram story, I knew I was in. I wasn’t working next Saturday or Sunday so it just happened to work out that I could join. Now, though, in light of news that libraries across our state are closing for two weeks and that I work at a small town library in our state, and that I won’t be working much of that time (going to be on a rotation to check the book drop daily and a staff training day), I’m unofficially extending the readathon for myself starting today until Sunday, March 29. It won’t be 24in48. It will be more like 180in360. Ha.

I have two dozen books on the potential list. The first dozen are in print:

From top to bottom they are:

  1. The Unforeseen by Dorothy Macardle
  2. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
  3. Look to the Lady, the third Albert Campion mystery, by Margery Allingham
  4. Police at the Funeral, the fourth Albert Campion mystery, also by Allingham
  5. Slayground: A Parker Novel by Richard Stark
  6. The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating: A True Story by Elisabeth Tova Bailey
  7. Three Complete Novels: Call for the Dead, A Murder of Quality, and The Spy Who Came In From The Cold by John le Carré
  8. Four Novels: The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, For The Whom Bell Tolls, and The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (I already read The Sun Also Rises last year and now plan to read/reread the other three).

The second dozen are on ebook:

Starting from the top left to the collection to the right are:

  1. Sherlock Holmes, The Complete Novels and Short Stories, Volume 1 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  2. The Sherlock Holmes Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained by DK Publishing and Leslie L. Klinger
  3. A Morbid Tale of Bones, the First Chronicle of Brother Cadfael, by Ellis Peters
  4. Smallbone Deceased: A London Mystery by Michael Gilbert
  5. Mud, Muck, and Dead Things: A Campbell & Carter Mystery by Ann Granger
  6. Coffin Scarcely Used: A Flaxborough Mystery, by Colin Watson
  7. Ruth Galloway Series: The First Three Novels by Ruth Galloway
  8. Inspector Morse: The First Three Novels by Colin Dexter

The first seven ebooks are on my Kindle and the last is on Google Play Books, which I can access on my phone.

I’m already in the middle of reading the Sherlock Holmes short stories and novels, using The Sherlock Holmes Book as a companion volume, as recommended by Emma of the blog Words and Peace. I’ve also read one of the four novels, but I’ve never read any of the rest. My friend John gave me the Allingham and Macardle books. Erin of the blog Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs recommended The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating; Amanda of the blog The Zen Leaf, the Ruth Galloway mysteries. I picked up the three British murder mysteries in the middle of the above photo of the ebooks as Kindle deals. As for the le Carré, I’ve always wanted to read the George Smiley series, but never have. I’m a stickler for reading a series in order (most of the time), though, so had to wait until our library got the first two in print (which we got through a donation recently) and now I’m giving it a try as I’ve already started the first novel.

Now all this said, let’s be honest, I’ll be lucky if I get to much of anything beyond the Sherlock Holmes books, which I’m already reading, Call for the Dead and maybe The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating (a nature book in honor of the first day of Spring later this week). After all, we have streaming options in Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu. However, as with everything, and especially good to remember during these trying times, there is hope.

Pushing Forward Back July/August 2019

July (which I know isn’t over today, but close enough) was mostly work, work, work as I had two back-to-back six day work weeks, and while I said that because I don’t work that long of days, that I’d still have time to read as many books, watch as much TV and movies, and listen to as much music as I wanted, I didn’t really do that. However, I did…

  • Read two books, both during the 24in48 Readathon on July 20 and 21: Bruno, Chief of Police, by Martin Walker and The Essential Haiku: Versions of Bashō , Buson, & Issa, edited by Robert Hass. I probably will finish the second Bruno mystery, The Dark Vineyard, this afternoon.
  • Watched Season 3 of Stranger Things, more of the second half of Season 6 of Drunk History and a lot of different seasons with The Office with my wife; more CSI and CSI Miami by myself. I just finished Season 8 in each of the latter ones. We enjoyed Stranger Things, but as with many – at least of these limited run – shows, I liked the first season the best (the epitome of examples, for me: Daredevil on Netflix).
  • Listened to lots of chill music, including this mix by Philadelphia musician Ulla Straus:

On the personal front, I was approved by our insurance company for three gel shots for my left knee, two of which I had this month and the third and final one, next week. I also started physical therapy again and hope to be able to get into a regular routine (after some initial miscommunication and misunderstanding among our insurance company, our doctors’ offices, and ourselves).

August isn’t as heavy on the work front. The major events include celebrating my mom’s 75th birthday with a Southern Gospel concert in a nearby town and my wife and I going on a day trip to Seneca Lake in upstate New York for wine and whiskey. In addition, I would like to…

  • Read more Bruno mysteries. I also have On the Come Up by Angie Thomas, checked out from our library.
  • Watch Season 2 of Derry Girls (Netflix) with my wife. We loved the first season and are looking forward to this one.
  • Listen to the new albums by Sleater-Kinney and Bon Iver, The Center Won’t Hold and i, i, respectively. I also am intrigued to hear the debut album from 20-year-old Clairo (Clairo Cottrill), Immunity, out this coming Friday, Aug. 2. I’ll leave you with the first single she released from that album:

How was your month of July? 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 August? Share in the comments.

Addendum: I also wrote a post this past month in where I was being honest here again, but I lied. I said I wouldn’t be using bullet point lists anymore here on the blog, but as you can see from today’s post, that’s not true. The main thing, though, is I’m still keeping it short here.