September 2021: In the Rearview

So, looking back at the month that was September 2021…

I read five books (in order of favorite to least, although all were good):

  • Invisible Differences: A Story of Aspergers, Adulting, and Living A Life in Full Color by Julia Dachez (author) and Mademoiselle Caroline (illustrator)
  • Living Nations, Living Words: An Anthology of First Peoples Poetry, collected and with an introduction by Joy Harjo, 23rd U.S. Poet Laureate
  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  • Friday the Rabbi Slept Late by Harry Kemelman
  • Saturday the Rabbi Went Hungry, also by Kemelman.

I think why I liked the graphic novel the best is because I (and my wife) think I’m probably on the spectrum somewhere. While I read one Goodreads review that said the resources offered at the end of the book were superficial, I thought it wasn’t meant to be exhaustive but an introduction. Personally I could relate to a lot of what Marguerite, the main character, experienced in her life. Even this morning, I found myself slightly overwhelmed by a neighbor’s barking dogs.

We watched seven TV shows (in alphabetical order, all are/were excellent):

  • Alice in Paris
  • Archer
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • Reservation Dogs
  • Schmigadoon
  • Ted Lasso
  • What We Do in the Shadows

Hard to pick up a favorite, but I will: Reservation Dogs. Seek it out.

I listened to a little bit of this:

A little bit of that:

And a lot of meditation exercises from meditation apps (not providing the links, because…Google):

  • Headspace
  • Shine
  • Wake Up/Wind Down (with Niall Breslin)

I also listened/watched folklore: the long pond sessions on Disney Plus, that really enhanced the album. I’ll leave you with my favorite song from the album:

While I know September actually has five days left, how was your September? Read, watch, listen to, do anything good in the last month? Please share in the comments.

In the interim…

So…

…while I was away “fishin'”

I read:

  • Living Nations, Living Words: An Anthology of First Peoples Poetry, collected and with an introduction by Joy Harjo, the 23rd and current Poet Laureate of the United States, to which I also listened with the poets reading their own works via The Library of Congress. I highly recommend listening to the poets and also reading the poems with the line breaks they intended as on the LOC website. I had the ebook version and reading the poems in PDFs was especially helpful.
  • Friday the Rabbi Slept Late by Harry Kemelman. I’ve always wanted to read this series, but never have. It’s good enough that I already have checkers out the second in the series.

I watched:

  • the final season of both CSI: Miami and Criminal Minds, with the latter being better if only for giving the viewers a better going-away party with the characters.
  • Idiocracy (with my wife).
  • a streaming video of a 2014 concert by Pearl Jam that  marked the 25th anniversary of their fourth album No Code on August 27. The October 17, 2014 show from Moline, IL saw the band perform the 1996 album from start to finish. That day also marked the 30th anniversary of their album Ten.

My wife and I also have started watching:

  • Only Murders in The Building with Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez, which has been brilliant thus far.
  • Alice in Paris, which, according to The New York Times, is “a show initially aired in two-minute episodes, but those have been repackaged as eight half-hour installments.” The shows are scripted, but feature real restaurants and cafes in Paris.
  • Britbox and Starz, through 99 cents a month specials on Prime Video.

As for what’s in the reading queue, I have several possibilities:

  • Network Effect by Martha Wells
  • Fugitive Telemetry, also by Wells
  • Growing Old: Notes on Aging with Something Like Grace by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
  • The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams
  • How to Find Your Own Way in the Dark by Derek B. Miller
  • The Turnout by Megan Abbott
  • Saturday the Rabbi Went Hungry by Harry Kemelman
  • Angelica’s Smile by Andrea Camilleri
  • The Essential Muriel Rukeyser, with a foreword by Natasha Trethewy.

And last night, I went to Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago…via a livestream. I’ll leave you with a song from Angel Olsen, one of the performers I saw there.

So, how y’all been doing in the past couple of weeks since I have been away? Reading, watching, listening to anything of note? Please share in the comments.

A little bit of this…

…and a little bit of that.

Last weekend, my goal was to keep it short; this weekend, my goal, to dip into a bit of this and that.

As for last weekend’s goal, my intent was to read:

  • short stories, specifically  short stories from The Very Best of the Best: 35 Years of The Year’s Best Science Fiction, edited by Gardner Dozois. A friend recommended collections by Dozois so I’m starting here.
  • graphic novels, specifically Ms. Marvel Vol. 5
  • and have to wait until that is returned before getting to 7.
  • Postcard Poems by Jeanne Griggs.

Sorry, John, but I couldn’t get into the science fiction collection. I think I’m not cut out for esoteric “classic” science fiction (but I loved Isaac Asimov when I was a teen). This weekend, I am trying science fiction again but continuing a series I have read a few in: The Old Man’s War series by John Scalzi. I am planning on at least starting the fifth in the series, Zoe’s Tale, although what I remember from the others, it should be a fairly quick read.

Last weekend, I did finish the other two books, Ms. Marvel Vol. 5 and Postcard Poems, the latter which was very good and the former which was good enough for me to continue on with the rest of the series. I have the next five checked out from the library where I work.

I also have the next in the Inspector Montalbano series by Andrea Camilleri lined up: The Treasure Hunt. However, I own this next one so I’ve had a hard time getting to it because I know it’ll be there whenever I want to get to it.

Reading isn’t the only thing that I have planned. I want to get out for a walk or walks as it’s going to be cooler than it has been. And tomorrow, I plan on being in The Chill Out Tent.

What are you up to this weekend? And the upcoming month?

To readathon and chill out

This weekend, I’m chilling both Saturday and Sunday, first Saturday for much of the day with Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon and then Sunday afternoon in The Chill Out Tent.

If you are unfamiliar with Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, here’s a description from the readathon blog:

For 24 hours, we read books, post to our blogs, Twitters, Instagrams, Litsy, Facebook, Goodreads and MORE about our reading, and visit other readers’ homes online. We also participate in mini-challenges throughout the day. It happens twice a year, in April and in October.

In the graphic above are what I have selected to read and, in two cases, what I probably will start but not finish on Saturday. They are:

  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  • The Potter’s Field, the 13th in the Inspector Montalbano series, by Andrea Camilleri
  • The Perseverance by Raymond’s Antrobus, and
  • The Complete Stories by Flannery O’Connor.

The two that I’ll probably start but not finish are the Dickens and the O’Connor. I am more likely to finish the short mystery (by Camilleri) and the book of poems (by Antrobus).

I’ve been making my way slowly through the Inspector Montalbano series this year, and I borrowed the book of poetry recently with a few other books of poetry from the Free Library of Philadelphia. I own the O’Connor, which I have read through back in college when I had a class on Southern writers that included her and William Faulkner. And the Dickens, I borrowed via Prime Reading, which also includes audio from Simon Vance if I want to listen to it.

I plan to post updates periodically on my Instagram and every six hours here on the blog. So join me in my journey, if you want.

Then on Sunday, I’ll be kicking my feet back again to chill with chill music with the 13th edition of The Chill Out Tent, starting at 12:45 p.m. where I am, and 5:45 p.m. in England.

Here’s the lineup:

For further explanation, visit here.

With both events, I plan to keep to myself for the most part, yes, partially because I am antisocial (to a degree anyway) but also because I need to escape this weekend. Without going into details, it’s been a slightly rough ride the last couple of weeks and, to mix metaphors slightly, I need some smooth sailing time.