Of Crocodiles, Crawdads, and (trying to be) Being Completely Fine

I told you last week that I would let you know what I decided to read last Sunday afternoon and so here I am telling you: I read Crocodile on the Sandbank, the first Amelia Peabody mystery, by Elizabeth Peters. It wasn’t what I expected and while it started slow, by the end of the book, it picked up and earned a five-star rating from me. That makes a perfect 7-for-7 for me so far for the books I’ve read this year. To see what most of them are, visit my Goodreads 2019 shelf. The only one not included there, because I’m reading it as part of a compilation, is All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot.

So now what will I be reading this afternoon? I’m still not ready to jump back into nonfiction, especially political nonfiction, so I will be escaping again into fiction. I have two choices this afternoon: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. I didn’t plan it this way, but both were selections for Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club, which started last year. I didn’t realize it at the time, but when I read The Library Book by Susan Orlean for my First Book of the Year, it also was the book club’s selection for January.

I probably will read Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine first since I have that one checked out on ebook from our local library district. Someone donated a print copy of Where The Crawdads Sing at our library for our book sale, but unfortunately the copy isn’t in great shape (a few torn pages in the front, but still readable). I grabbed it since I had it on hold in ebook at the Free Library of Philadelphia and I didn’t want to have to wait several weeks to get it. Now I can read it whenever I want.

As for life otherwise, work at the library has been busy, especially with a change that is coming in the Spring, but which I can’t discuss yet completely since it hasn’t been announced publicly. All I will say is that as a result of this change, work has been slightly stressful and I’ve been trying to remember my One Word for 2019: Breathe. This album has been helping me through:

For more about the album, see Pitchfork’s review of it.

So how about you? What did you read this past week? What are you planning to read this coming week?

The First Sunday Salon of the Year

Reading: Nothing yet, but I have selected what will be my first book of the year.

Watching: The highlight of this past week was a rewatch of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, so much of which I had forgotten.

Listening. Nothing new. I’m still listening to my top 25 albums of 2018

Blogging: A lot:

Celebrating: My dad’s 75th birthday (yesterday). We went to lunch at a place near where he lives. He had cheesesteak macaroni and cheese and I had a maple bacon cheeseburger with sweet potato fries and cinnamon honey. The food was amazing; the company was good too. 😉

How was your first week of 2019? Read, watch, listen to anything good?

Pushing Forward Back December 2018/January 2019

A look back at 2018 and a lot of Christmas.

I wasn’t going to do this post this month because of all the other posts I’m doing this time of year (best books, TV/movies, music of 2018 posts, plus two scheduled posts for tomorrow. But after reading Amanda’s December review post, I decided why not? So here goes:

Back at December

December came in like a lion and did go out like a lamb, as I predicted. It began with my working at the library during the annual Christmas event in our town, Dickens of a Christmas, where we had a book sale over two days. Not a lot of patrons came in, but a lot of out-of-towners, which wasn’t fun (apologies to the tourists). The next few weeks were uneventful as I thought too, with a staff Christmas luncheon the Friday before the second weekend. The highlight of the following week was a follow-up doctor appointment about my sleep apnea and my using a CPAP machine, with all my numbers still looking great: down from 87 events per hour to an average of 2 events per hour.

The month ended, again as planned, with a long series of days where I was on vacation and included my wife Kim and I visiting my parents (and sister, brother-in-law, nephew, and niece) on Christmas Day. Tonight, we’ll be going to the neighbors for a New Year’s Eve party, but will be back around 10 since they usually go to bed around that time. We’ll stay up to ring the new year in and then tomorrow I’ll be posting my first book of the year and my goals for 2019, the year I turn 50.

Since I already did my wrap for books, TV/movies, and music for the year, I’m going to keep it short on what I read, watched and listened to this past month. I don’t really have a choice with what I read since I read NOTHING this month. We discovered a couple of new shows: on Netflix, on our own, Derry Girls, which was really good, but sadly only one season; on Amazon Prime, thanks to my brother-in-law and sister, Corner Gas, which we have to watch together now. I gave a second chance to an album I dismissed earlier in the year, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino by Arctic Monkeys after seeing it on a lot of year-end best-of lists and now love it. Jeff Tweedy also came out with an new album, WARM, which we only have started listening to, but already love too.

Forward to January 2019

January begins…well, tomorrow, with a day off with my wife. No concrete plans, other than day drinking and binge-watching. Then this Saturday, weather permitting, I’m taking my father, who lives about an hour and half away out to lunch for his 75th birthday.

The month ends with the 24in48 Readathon and I have several books from which to choose already. On the TV series/movie front, we’re looking forward to watching more Corner Gas and as for music, I’m not anticipating any new releases. We’ll see what comes along…as we will with the rest of the month and the year.

We knew we’d love this right from the start.

So how was your month of December? 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 looking forward to in January? Share in the comments.