2021 Thankfully Reading Weekend – I’m in! #thankfullyreading

As I preface before I say this every time I announce I’m joining in, I only participate in a few book blogging events every year and this (see image/link above) is one of them. This year’s event is from Wednesday, Nov. 24 through Sunday, Nov. 28. Here’s how Jenn describes the event:

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. We thought it’d be fun if we cheered each other on a bit…Join in for the weekend or for only a single day. No rules, no pressure!

I happen to have off work for those five days, and my wife, who works night shift, is asleep during the day, so it happens to work out perfectly for me to join in. Or I should say it would seem. Realistically, with the distraction of catching up on some binge-watching, I’ll be happy if I can finish one book.

I have choices. Among them are the following:

  • Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner’s Reckoning with The Myth of the Lost Cause by Ty Seidule, Professor Emeritus of History at West Point 
  • Tombstone: The Earp Brothers, Doc Holiday, And the Vendetta Raid from Hell by Tom Clavin  
  • The Flying Tigers: The Untold Story of the American Pilots Who Waged the Secret War Against Japan by Sam Kleiner
  • Thursday the Rabbi Walked Out by Harry Kemelman.

I mentioned the first three in my post “My Own Personal Nonfiction November”, and I have been making my way slowly through the Rabbi Small series by Kemelman this year. This one is the seventh in a series of 12. I plan on reading the sixth, Wednesday the Rabbi Got Wet, the sixth in the series today and tomorrow.

While that takes care of my reading plans for next week, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our other plans for the next couple of weeks. On Nov. 23, my wife and I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. I don’t have the day off, but I will be leaving work early and Kim and I will celebrate that night with a special dinner. She hasn’t decided what she is making yet.

Leading up to our anniversary, she and I are both off together from Thursday to Sunday this coming week. We’re starting “Our 25th Anniversary Extravaganza”, as I’ve labeled it, on Wednesday night by watching The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King with commentary provided by Rifftrax. Then on Thursday night, we’re watching In the Heights; Friday, King Richard; Saturday, the last two episodes of Season 1 of Ted Lasso. We have been very slowly making our way through the series, because it’s too good to…forgive the timely pun…gobble up.

So, those are my couple of weeks in a nutshell. How about you? For those of you in the U.S. who celebrate Thanksgiving, any special plans? For all of you, feel free to share in the comments what you’ve been reading, watching, listening to, or doing lately.

Kicking Off 2020 Thankfully Reading Weekend

Today officially begins 2020 Thanksgiving Reading Weekend (click on button above for more information), which lasts through Sunday. For this kickoff post, Jenn suggested a few questions so I thought I’d answer the ones I felt relevant to me and add in one of my own (the last question):

  • How will/did you celebrate Thanksgiving? My wife Kim and I are starting today, as I write this post even, by listening to Alice Restaurant’s Massacree by Arlo Guthrie, a Thanksgiving tradition. This morning, she also is cooking me a Mrs. Smith’s pumpkin pie. Longer explanation than probably is necessary: She’s a vegan, the pie has real butter in it, and she got that instead of making one because she has lost her senses of taste and smell when she had covid recently and it hasn’t returned yet so she figured what was the point. And yes, I had/have covid too. Mine is taking a bit longer to leave, but it’s (been) mild. Later, we’ll have a full Thanksgiving dinner with Torfurky, stuffing, mashed cauliflower, sweet potato casserole with maple pecan crumbles, green bean casserole, and rolls. We also plan on watching Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and Pieces of April, two other Thanksgiving traditions.
  • What’s in your TBR pile for the weekend? Basically see my sign-up post, but in short, the first three Ruth Galloway mysteries by Elly Griffiths and three in the Serge Storm series by Tim Dorsey.
  • How much time do you think you’ll have for reading? Not counting today, I’ll have lots of time for reading as I’m off tomorrow too and this weekend. I hope by the end of the weekend, I’ll feel well enough to let the director of the library where I work that I’ll be able to return to work on Monday.
  • What book are you starting out with? Unofficially, I already began last night with The Big Bamboo, the eight in the Serge Storms series, by Tim Dorsey. I’ll probably dip into it a little later this morning and this afternoon, especially as Kim has to sleep this afternoon as she returns to work tonight for the start of her work week, a midnight shift.
  • Are you reading print, ebooks, or audio? Maybe a bit of each? I’m reading all ebooks, but on a whim, earlier in the week, I did check out an audiobook from the Free Library of Philadelphia: A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton as read by Mary Peiffer. So I might get to that.
  • For what are you thankful this Thanksgiving? That despite getting covid earlier this month, that we have our health, which is well enough that our cases of covid are, and were, mild. We know that it is and has not been the same for others. Personally, I also am thankful for family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers who have been supportive of both me and my wife over the last few weeks. I also am thankful that my dad, who received a covid test last week, got word this week that he was negative.

How about you? For what are you thankful this Thanksgiving?

Wrapping up 2019 #ThankfullyReading Weekend

So the best laid plans…

In my initial post announcing that I was in for this year’s Thankfully Reading Weekend, hosted again by Jenn of Jenn’s Bookshelves, I had grand plans to read three books over the five days (Nov. 27 to today):

  • The Lord God Made Them All, the fourth book in the All Creatures Great and Small series, by James Herriot.
  • Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (a reread)
  • Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: A Sortabiography by Eric Idle.

I got home early from work Wednesday night as the library closed early at 5 p.m. but didn’t get any reading in that day. Thursday, I only got a little reading in in the morning. Then my wife and I celebrated Thanksgiving with all the fixings. We watched our traditional Thanksgiving movies Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and Pieces of April, AND Home for the Holidays, one of my wife’s favorite Thanksgiving movies.

Friday, I was off from work, but instead of reading Good Omens as I had planned, I started in on another book: The Happiness Curve: Why Life Gets Better After 50 by Jonathan Rauch. Then unfortunately, after getting about halfway through, a lot of it skimming, I decided to DNF it.

Saturday, I worked only from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., but as we were getting ready for a book sale that was scheduled to start today, I was beat by the end of the day. When I got home, I had no energy to read and actually ended up taking a short nap before getting up later to watch a few episodes of Cold Case which I recently rediscovered on The Roku Channel. So much for reading.

And on this the last day, it is almost 2 p.m. and even though I have been up since 8 a.m., six hours later, I have not read any of The Lord God Made Them All, which I wanted to continue today and maybe even finish. But it doesn’t look like, even though I might read some of it, that I’m going to finish it. I don’t have any excuse not to read either as we’re in the middle of a freezing rain, sleet, ice, and snowstorm that is expected to go into tomorrow. I even put up this photo on Instagram earlier:

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A good day to be inside #thankfullyreading

A post shared by Bryan | Book Blogger 📚 (@stillunfinished) on

False advertising.

Then I told Deb at Readerbuzz that I would participate in her Thankfully Reading Weekend Tic-Tac-Toe Game she created especially for Jenn’s event even though I wouldn’t enter the contest. Deb has been gracious enough to send me one book earlier in the year and now she is sending me another so I figured I already have two books from her, it’s not fair to try for yet one more. Now I am entering, but only because I don’t have tic-tac-toe in any direction and now have no chance of getting as I might not even read anymore.

I’m not going to eat a healthy snack, read more than 1 book, read for a total of 8 hours, read before breakfast (since this is the last day), post a bok review, read a recipe, wear something bookish, take a break and do some stretches, read outside (see about weather earlier), recommend a book to someone, read 200 pages (since I am past that point in the book and have less than that left), and/or write down a quote from a book. So I’m out.

And with that, I’m also out of this year’s Thankfully Reading Weekend. 🙂

It was fun, though, as I connected, and reconnected, with some fellow bloggers, including Heather at Froodian Slip, who also works at a library here in Pennsylvania and is working toward getting a librarian degree. It was good to get reacquainted with her.

2019 #ThankfullyReading Weekend: Day 3 Report

After not getting any reading in Wednesday for the extended Thankfully Reading Weekend, and getting a little reading in toward the end of the day yesterday with The Lord God Made Them All by James Herriot, earlier today I started in on another book: The Happiness Curve: Why Life Gets Better After 50 by Jonathan Rauch. Unfortunately, after getting about halfway through, a lot of it skimming, I decided to DNF it.

However, I did get this photo out of it:

If I added up all the half-finished DNFs this year, I’d probably add another dozen books to my reading numbers. Why did I did DNF this one? In short, from the start, I felt I couldn’t relate to the author. However, I skimmed ahead in hope that it would get better and for a bit it did, but I also didn’t like the repetition of statistical analysis about how happy people get after 50 in various countries. Okay, I get it, there’s a lot of statistical analysis out there, from upper class white people, that shows that almost everyone – with no mention of race, period, and a small mention of socioeconomic status (people in Peru) – gets happy again after 50.

I realize now that I should have just stuck with my plan to start a reread of Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. So now as my day is ending, I think I’ll return to England, with Alf Wight (aka Herriot). At this rate, since I work part of the day tomorrow, I might not get to Good Omens or Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: A Sortabiography by Eric Idle as I initially had planned this weekend. But that’s okay. I’ll gladly take whatever reading I can get out of the weekend and be thankful for it.