2019 #ThankfullyReading Weekend: Day 2 Report

After not getting any reading in yesterday for this extended weekend’s Thankfully Reading Weekend, today I did get a little in toward the end of the day. I continued reading The Lord God Made Them All, the fourth book in the All Creatures Great and Small series (at least in the order here in the U.S.), which I started a couple of months ago but haven’t finished yet. I slowly am making my way through the series (the first couple a reread, the rest new to me) that I started last year.

Most of the day, though, was spent with my my wife celebrating Thanksgiving here at home since she is going back to work tonight (midnight shift into Friday morning) after being off from work since last week. We had turkey and all the fixings. Well, I did anyway. Since she is a vegan, she didn’t have turkey but a “Tofurkey” ham, but all our fixings were the same: sweet potato and green bean casseroles, and pumpkin pie.

As planned, we watched our traditional Thanksgiving movies Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and Pieces of April. We also watched Home for the Holidays, one of my wife’s favorite Thanksgiving movies.

After she went to sleep for a few hours, I finally was able to settle down and read:

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A little kneading before #thankfullyreading

A post shared by Bryan G. Robinson (@stillunfinished) on

Tomorrow, I still plan to start a reread of Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. However, I might not get to reading Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: A Sortabiography by Eric Idle as I initially had planned this weekend. For now, I just plan to go back and forth between The Lord God Made Them All and Good Omens. We’ll see how that goes.

Stay tuned. I’ll be back to report on my progress tomorrow night, Saturday and Sunday nights too.

2019 #thankfullyreading Weekend: I’m in!

To sign up, even if only for a day, click on the button above to go to Jenn’s blog to do so.

Jenn at Jenn’s Bookshelves is hosting Thankfully Reading Weekend again, this year from Wednesday, Nov. 27 through Sunday, Dec. 1, and I’m joining in. As Jenn says, “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.” I plan on starting at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, after work, and continuing through Sunday night.

The only time I know for sure that I won’t be reading — well, of course, other than sleeping — is Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. when I’m working at the library. I also probably won’t be reading during times when my wife and I are watching something on streaming together as she is off both Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. Other than those times, I plan to devote a good chunk of the long weekend to reading.

So what will I be reading? I’m not exactly sure, but I have possibilities, including the following three very strong probabilities:

  • The Lord God Made Them All, the fourth book in the All Creatures Great and Small series, by James Herriot, as I continue making my way through the series (the first couple a reread, the rest new to me) that I started last year.
  • Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, since we just watched the series on Amazon and I felt it was/is time for a reread.
  • Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: A Sortabiography by Eric Idle, which I bought via a Kindle deal last year but haven’t read yet.

I only just noticed that all of my choices are British. While not by design, it will be nice to get out of the U.S. for a while over the holidays, given our current political climate. I mean, the United Kingdom isn’t having any issues right now politically, are they? 😉

So how about you? Are you reading over the holidays? If so, what are you planning to read? IF NOT, — because I’m not judging if you spend time with family and friends and/or busy at work — AND PLEASE SEE THIS PART OF THE POSSIBLE QUESTIONS :), what are you reading otherwise that is good? Or what do you have on the radar that you are looking forward to reading? Because I really want to know and I and my readers might get some good ideas for you and vice versa.


In case you missed it, I have been joining in with other book bloggers for an event called Nonfiction November. The first week, Oct. 28 to Nov. 1, I looked back at my year in nonfiction. The second week, Nov. 4 to Nov. 8, I paired a nonfiction book with a fiction book. This week, Nov. 11 to 15, I shared a list of nonfiction books on a topic that I’d like to read.

Nonfiction November: A Look Back at My Year in Nonfiction

This coming month, starting early today, I’m participating in Nonfiction November (for more information on the event and hosts, click on the image at right). Week 1: (Oct. 28 to Nov. 1) – Your Year in Nonfiction : Take a look back at your year of nonfiction and reflect on the following questions – What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year? Do you have a particular topic you’ve been attracted to more this year? What nonfiction book have you recommended the most? What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?

I will be honest that I wasn’t sure I was going to participate in this, but earlier this month, I did see former host Kim of the blog Sophisticated Dorkiness mention the event on her Instagram feed and it got me thinking about it. Then a few other bloggers I follow mentioned it too, and now I’m feeling the blogger pressure. PLUS more importantly, I want to participate because this year I’ve read more nonfiction than in other years. I’m also hoping to read at least one nonfiction book a week in November, although I’ll be happy if I read only a few.

Altogether this year, out of the 28 books I’ve read total, 11 of them are nonfiction or 39 percent. Here are the 11, in order of when I read them:

  1. The Library Book by Susan Orlean
  2. Shale Play: Poems and Photographs from the Fracking Fields by Julia Kasdorf and Steven Rubin
  3. Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
  4. All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot
  5. Calypso by David Sedaris
  6. Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith by Barbara Taylor Brown
  7. All Things Wise and Wonderful by James Herriot
  8. Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport
  9. Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay
  10. Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck
  11. Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

The Library Book was my first read of the year and was a great way to begin the year. I’ve been reading the Herriot series over the last couple of years and have the next two, The Lord God Made Them All and Every Living Thing, to read in the next couple of months, maybe into next year. Travels with Charley was a reread. Almost all were excellent, with four in particular standing out among the rest: The Library Book, Born a Crime, Hunger, and Born to Run. The best, by a slight margin, was Born to Run, perhaps because I had been gifted the book as part of a book blogger gift exchange a couple of years ago and never gotten to read it.

As you can tell, I don’t have one single topic to which I’m attracted. However, among my “to-be-reads” are more than a dozen books on race in America. I have collected them, mostly from Kindle deals, over the last year, year and a half. I have yet to get to them, because I’ll be honest (again) that I’m having a hard time reading political nonfiction right now with our current political climate. Unfortunately, like many Americans, it makes me frustrated to the point of disengagement. I know I will get to these books, but I think it’s going to be slowly, rather than all at once, in one large binge-read.

I’m also reading one nonfiction book right now: Everybody Behaves Badly: The True Story Behind Hemingway’s Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises by Lesley M.M. Blume. I started it during this past Saturday’s Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon during which I also re-read The Sun Also Rises. I’m not sure what else I’ll be reading for nonfiction during November with my next several planned books being fiction, but that always could change, depending on my mood.

Whether or not you’re participating or not in Nonfiction November, I’ll leave you with the same questions as this first week of the event: What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year? Do you have a particular topic you’ve been attracted to more this year? What nonfiction book have you recommended the most?

The illusion of planned reading

Clockwise from bottom left are snapshots from each day of the weekend Saturday until this morning, with Memorial Day in the middle. 1.) Saturday: Plans to read The Lord God Made Them All. 2.) Sunday: Reading Sunday Salon posts. 3.) Monday (center):Memorial Day parade in our town. 4.) Tuesday: Wine, cheese and crackers 5.) Wednesday: Halfway through A Man Lay Dead.

This also could be subtitled “Looking Back At My 2019 Memorial Day Weekend.” This post was partially inspired by Sarah Sammis’s post “The illusion of organized reading” on her blog Puss Reboots.

Two weeks ago, I wrote this here on the blog: “I think now that I’m going to continue reading Herriot’s series that ends with The Lord God Made Them All and Every Living Thing, starting this coming long Memorial Day Weekend…” I even intended to follow through with that as I put the photo above in my Instagram Stories. However, that didn’t happen. In fact, I hardly read at all and when I did, I picked up a series that my friend John recommended: the Inspector Alleyn series by Ngaio Marsh.

Specifically, he recommended one he had just read: Night at the Vulcan, which he said was especially good. I went to Overdrive (via the Libby app) on the Free Library of Philadelphia website and found it, which John had told me was later in the series. While I checked it out, I also checked out the first one in the series too: A Man Lay Dead. I usually am a stickler for reading series in order, one might even say obsessive. But this time around, I’m only going to read this first one and then skip to No. 16 in the series with Night at the Vulcan (GASP!) even though FLP has the first 18 in the series.

I am about halfway through the first one and am enjoying it so far. I will get back to the Herriot series, but it probably won’t be until next month, maybe even after my birthday weekend (again GASP!). All this to show you that sometimes what I present here and what I actually do are different. But it still turned out okay, even if it wasn’t what I had planned.

How was your Memorial Day Weekend? Any reading? Family time? Burgers, hot dogs, the like?