My own weekend readathon

In the midst of the busyness, the chaos, sometimes it is just good to step back, step down and relax, read. That is what I am planning to do most of this weekend, my own weekend readathon.

I need it as this past week has been full of medical appointments and this coming week promises more of the same, for both me and my wife. In short, we’re both OK or will be in the not too distant future, thanks to a change in diet, physical therapy, and medication, with the latter being not as much as the others. And on Thursday, we’re getting away for the day to a winery up on Seneca Lake in New York, where my wife already has said the rule of the day is no medical talk…which I’m more than fine with.

So here are the potentials:

  • The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware, which I started last night and probably will continue this afternoon. I have checked this out several times in print and on ebook, but haven’t gotten to yet. Maybe this time I will.
  • Black Diamond, the third in the Bruno, Chief of Police series, by Martin Walker: I renewed this one after not getting to it the first go-around. Now I’m going to try again.
  • How Did It Begin?: The Origins of Our Curious Customs and Superstitions by Dr. R & L. Brason: One of my coworkers lent me a copy of this, thinking I might be interested.
  • Mrs. Byrne’s Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure, and Preposterous Words by Joesfa A. Heifetz Byrne: I mentioned this one last week and it’s more one I’ll dip into from time to time, probably like the one listed right before this.
  • Unsettling America: An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry, edited by Maria Mazziotti Gillan and Jennifer Gillan, which I also had in another readathon list recently. It will be another that I most likely will just dip into periodically throughout the weekend.

At the end of each day, I’ll try to keep you updated here on the blog. We’ll see how that goes too.

6 p.m., Saturday night

I finished The Death of Mrs. Westaway. Here is what I wrote on Goodreads:

I kept getting this one out of the library and then not reading, mainly just because I didn’t get to it. I think I also probably blanched at the use of italicized flashbacks, but I was pleasantly surprised that they didn’t reveal everything, unlike in other books I’ve read.

Of course, I forgot until I started typing in the quote block here on WordPress.com that it also would appear in italics, but it seems apropos, does it not? While on Goodreads, I looked back and noted that I read The Woman in Cabin 10 and In A Dark, Dark Wood, both in 2016, and that I also liked them. I have not read The Lying Game yet or her latest The Turn of the Key.

4 p.m., Sunday afternoon

I haven’t done as much reading as I wanted to today, but I am still doing a little. This morning and earlier this afternoon, I dipped into How Did It Begin? which I am about halfway through. I probably won’t finish it today as it is more a book to dip into than to read in one sitting or in one day. Here are my thoughts on Goodreads:

Not to be read in one sitting. As for other reviewers’ comments that the book is outdated and doesn’t cite sources, author was in his 80s when he wrote book and did research for Enclyopedia Brittanica. My main critique is with the subtitle of “curious customs” and his overuse of exclamation marks. Some customs he describes really aren’t that curious and does he really need to use that many exclamation points?!!

I now am reading Black Diamond, but only am about 50 pages in. So far, though, so good.

10:30 p.m., Sunday night

I didn’t read tonight. Instead, I watched two episodes of Midsomer Murders, but I’ve decided to continue my readathon tomorrow morning since the rest of my week is pretty full.

Reading anything good lately? How about this weekend? Have you ever read any Ruth Ware? What did you think, if you have?

Another post on a little bit of everything

Last month, someone made this declaration here on this blog:

I’m doing away with the bullet point list posts. I will focus on one topic: reading, for example, with my Sunday Salon posts, and if I do other posts on TV, movies, music, or my personal life, they will just be on that topic.

Er, yeah, me

And then I ended the month with a bullet point list post as I usually do: Pushing Forward Back July/August 2019. And now, I’m reverting again to a bullet point list post, because…well, I’ve had a long week and I’m too tired to write a single-minded post. So here goes:

What I’m reading

On Friday, a day off from work, I finished a reread of Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck that I started during Dewey’s 24 Hour Reverse Readathon last weekend. As I wrote on Goodreads after finishing the book, “On a reread, maybe close to 30 years later, I still love this book, but in the time we are in now, it is sad too. As a nation, we have, and haven’t, changed that much.” Next up, well, at least in pieces, is the book at right:

I picked it up from the donation bin for our library bookstore and sale.

Incredible as it may seem, every entry in this book, even the most ludicrous, has been accepted a s a formal or legitimate English word by at least one major dictionary. Mrs. Byrne’s Dictionary brings into view thousands of little-know curiosities that lie buried in specialized dictionaries and unabridged works too bulky for browsing. Although Mrs. Byrne’s dictionary has enough comedy in it to reward casual browsers, it is intended to serve as a supplement to a desk dictionary. A word not listed in either place is not worth having at your fingertips, unless, of course, you are an institution, a library, or a governmental body at the federal, state or municipal level.

from the introduction by Mr. Byrne

This afternoon I probably will continue with the Chief Bruno series by Martin Walker, with the third one, Black Diamond, especially since it is due back in only a couple of days.

What we’re watching

On a whim, I thought I’d try The Orville even though I’m not always a fan of Seth McFarlane’s other endeavors. However, I was so pleasantly surprised that I now have convinced my wife to watch with me. I also convinced her to watch Shazam, which she didn’t want to watch because she said she’s “done” with comic book movies. I really wanted to like the movie, but like my wife, I might be “done” with comic book movies too…yes, even Marvel (GASP!). This one, though, was DC and was horrible, at least from as far as we could get in it. It was a rollercoaster from dark to light and unlike Marvel, DC movies don’t seem to know how to balance the dark and the light. They go from one extreme to the other so awkwardly that it’s offputting, to say the least.

What I’m listening to

In that Pushing Forward Back July/August 2019 post, I mentioned that I was looking forward to the new Bon Iver album i, i, which was to be released on Aug. 30. However, it “dropped” early on Friday and it’s been on my virtual turntable almost non-stop. I love it.

On a personal note

  • I had my third gel shot for my left knee, which has a degenerative meniscus, and continued with physical therapy this past week. I think I’m improving, but some days it is hard to tell since I am in a bit of pain from the exercises. It might be just muscle pain, but I am to check back with the orthopedic physician assistant in six weeks, or a month if the knee isn’t improving significantly. I’m holding out hope.
  • As mentioned above, I had the day off Friday and in addition to finishing Travels with Charley, I also was able to pick up four pairs of shorts and three shirts for under $25 at thrift stores in a nearby town.
  • Yesterday, after work, my wife and I got together with my parents, my sister, brother-in-law, nephew and niece, for a picnic in a park before they were going to a gospel concert last night, also at a park. We didn’t go because my wife had to work last night (8 p.m. to 8 a.m. this morning), but it still was good to see family, especially with my mother just celebrating her 75th birthday last Saturday.

So how has the beginning of August been for you? Any good books, movies, TV shows, music? Share below in the comments.

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.