The Big Game’s On…and I’m off

This weekend, as I mentioned earlier in the week, both my wife and I have the weekend off together and we have TV and movie plans. What I didn’t mention was my reading plans, so now I’ll mention them, which all will be done under the umbrella of…

Yes, the Super Bowl is Sunday as is the readathon, but as per usual, I won’t be playing strictly by the rules. I plan on pregaming with some reading Saturday as well. The focus will be on two books:

  • The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
  • Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of the Heart by Brene Brown.

I started The Thursday Murder Club earlier this month, but I just haven’t gotten back to reading it. And I thought Atlas of the Heart fit well with the theme of Valentine’s Day, which is Monday.

Do you have any reading plans for this weekend? If so, what are you reading? If not, what else do you have planned? Please share in the comments.

Update #1, 11 am: I didn’t read as much as I wanted to read yesterday as I traveled to New York State. We’re in northcentral Pennsylvania about 40 miles from the New York border, and sometimes I just like to get out of Pennsylvania. Yesterday was such a day. So, today I’m starting with The Thursday Murder Club and then might dip into Atlas of the Heart later.

Update #2, 7:30 pm: I did finish The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. I started Atlas of the Heart, but I decided it was too much to dig into for today. And then Kim and I watched a few YouTube compilations of the best of Super Bowl commercials from the last five years. Now we are watching the Super Bowl anyway as we decided to watch more commercials and the halftime show.

The Big Game’s On Read-a-thon For Me


Tomorrow, I’ll be participating in The Big Game’s On Read-a-thon, sponsored by Jenn from Jenn’s Bookshelves. The “rules,” such as they are, are simple:

  • No rules, no guidelines, just read
  • No start/end times, just read at your leisure.

Jenn also has mini-challenges, but they aren’t mandatory. If interested in participating, visit Jenn’s blog (link above).

My plan is to start at 11:30 a.m. when the pregame coverage (officially) starts on TV and to read as much as I can right through the Big Game. What will I be reading? I think I’ll start where I left off for My January 24in48 Readathon: All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot. Others that I might read include Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans; Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most by Marcus J. Borg; Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith by Henri J.M. Nouwen with Michael J. Christensen and Rebecca Laird; and Calypso by David Sedaris. Borgen and Nouwen both were theologians. Convictions was written in 2014 before Borg died in 2015; Spiritual Direction, compiled from lectures and other writings from Nouwen by Christensen and Laird, who were students of Nouwen.

As for food, my wife is making grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner. Throughout the day, I’ll probably have “nibblies” in keeping with the theme of The Big Game. No wine, but I’ll be fine. I do have something for a nightcap later.

I’ll be updating here and on Instagram with the read-a-thon hashtag: #biggamereadathon.

The Game

It is now 4 p.m. as I write this first update. I started my readathon at noon, a little behind my own schedule, but I’ve been having fun and already have dipped into three books. I finished one, All Things Bright and Beautiful, which I already was three-quarters of the way through. I then started another, the Spiritual Direction book by Henri J.M. Nouwen, and after about getting halfway through, I switched it up for some Sedaris, which I am enjoying immensely.

When I put a link to this post in The Sunday Salon Facebook group, another blogger commented about how she prefers blogs to other forms of social media because of the conversation. Interestingly, since then, I have more comments on Instagram about the books I’m reading and more discussion there than I do here (so far). I found that true with last week’s readathon too, with people commenting and discussing with me books more there than here.

Here are some photos so far, a gallery to which I will add throughout the day:

The Finish

So for this year, all the books I have finished have been five stars in my estimation:

  1. The Library Book by Susan Orlean
  2. The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Susan Orlean
  3. Shale Play: Poems and Photographs from the Fracking Fields by Julia Kasdorf and Steven Rubin
  4. Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
  5. All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot
  6. Calypso by David Sedaris

How are you spending this Super Bowl Sunday? Big party with neighbors or just family at home, watching the game? Or going out to a movie? Or reading like me?

Pushing Forward Back January/February 2019

January started well. I chose My First Book of the Year. I set 10 Goals As I Approach, and After I Turn, 50. I selected My One Word for 2019. The first Saturday of the month, I took my father out to lunch for his 75th birthday. The first Sunday of the month, I wrote The First Sunday Salon of the Year. By the end of the second week, I read My First Two Books of 2019. Then after a long absence, winter returned — with a vengeance. First, we got a foot of snow and then “dangerously low” wind chills for the fourth and fifth weeks of the month (when this post is published, we are expected to be in the worst of it).

The last weekend of the month, though, was a good one too as I participated in 24in48 and read 2 and 3/4 books over 11 hours. And all four books that I read this month were excellent. They were The Library Book by Susan Orlean, The 7 1/2 Lives of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton, Shale Play: Poems and Photographs from the Fracking Fields by Julia Kasdorf and Steven Rubin, and Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah.

My wife and I continued to revel in Canadian TV as we watched more Corner Gas (on Amazon Prime) and more Letterkenny (on Hulu). We really didn’t watch a lot of movies, with probably the highlight of the month being a rewatch of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. As for music, I haven’t found a lot of new music, with only one highlight, the new album by Deerhunter, Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?

February begins tomorrow with more of the same: cold, cold, cold. But then the weekend shoots up to 30 degrees (Fahrenheit) and by Sunday, the high is expected to be 42. I looked at the forecast for the month ahead and the highs are in the 30s and even 40s at times, which I’ll gladly endure, but Spring cannot come soon enough at this point.

On the reading front, I start right out of the gate this Sunday with The Big Game’s On Read-a-thon. My wife works two 12 hour shifts on the weekend (Saturday into Sunday and Sunday into Monday) so since she’s sleeping during the day on Sunday, it’s the perfect time for me to read. I did get invited to a Super Bowl party at a neighbor’s, but since I hate the Patriots and I can be honest that I really don’t care for football, I declined. I don’t know yet what I’ll be reading, but I’m going to try to keep the streak of all five-star books alive. I’ll keep you posted here and mostly for the read-a-thon on Sunday on Instagram.

TV and movies? I took a vacation day for Valentine’s Day and Kim and I already have planned the night before as a “drink-a-thon” with a Rifftrax movie or two and maybe a new Mystery Science Theater 3000 and some random TV (probably more Letterkenny) and some other random TV thrown in. Why we’re doing it that way is because she has to work Thursday night into Friday morning, as usual.

As for the rest of the month, who knows? I’ll let you know what I’m doing when it get here.

So how was your month of January? 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 February? Share in the comments.

Update, Wednesday night, Jan. 30, 9:12 p.m.: Just received a text about half an hour ago from the director of the library where I work that we’re closed today because of the dangerously low wind chills.