Monday, April 01, 2019

Monday Malarkey

Back from a week off and feeling refreshed!

Recent arrivals (top to bottom):

  • Anything But a Duke by Christy Carlyle - from Avon Books for review
  • 21st-Century Yokel by Tom Cox,
  • Sweet Bean Paste by Durian Sekegawa, and
  • The True Believer by Eric Hoffer - all purchased
  • Finding Orion by John David Anderson - from Walden Pond Press for review
  • Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami - purchased
  • The Great Pretenders by Laura Kalpakian - from Berkley for review
  • In Pain by Travis Rieder - from HarperCollins for review
  • Last Day by Domenica Ruta - from Spiegel and Grau for review
  • A Little Chicken by Sauer and Taylor, 
  • Some Days by Orloff and Chen,
  • Just Read! by Degman and Tentler-Krylov,
  • When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree by Deenihan and Rocha, and
  • Holy Squawkamole! by Wood and Gonzalez - all 5 from Sterling Children's Books for review

Not pictured: 

  • Growing Season by Maryann Cocca-Leffler - from Sterling Children's Books for review

Holy Toledo, that's a lot of arrivals! Even for two weeks, it's pretty startling. While one of my purchases, 21st Century Yokel, was pre-ordered eons ago, Sweet Bean Paste is a book I ordered after reading a review on Instagram that piqued my interest, The True Believer is a book I read about in another book, and Strange Weather in Tokyo is one I'd been thinking about buying for a while. The review I read was not overly positive but it just sounds like a book I'd enjoy.

The rest of the arrivals are for review. I'm not sure whether or not I requested Anything But a Duke but I read the first in the series and loved it so I'm definitely happy to have it and will read it (probably very soon). Finding Orion is a YA that I think I got via Shelf Awareness. The Great Pretenders is historical fiction. In Pain is about the opioid epidemic, and Last Day . . . I'm not sure how to describe it. Sounds like it has a Groundhog Day vibe, with a day repeating itself. All those children's books will get Children's Day treatment. I love it when I get a nice pile of picture books.

Books finished since last Malarkey:

  • The Manic Pixie Dream Boy Improvement Project by Lenore Applehans
  • When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree by Deenihan and Rocha
  • A Little Chicken by Sauer and Taylor
  • Just Read! by Degman and Tentler-Krylov
  • Holy Squawkamole! by Wood and Gonzalez
  • Some Days by Orloff and Chen
  • The Binding by Bridget Collins
  • The Growing Season by Maryann Cocca-Leffler
  • What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton
  • The Awakening by Kate Chopin

So . . . not a bad couple of reading weeks. I was literally caught up when I decided to take a week off. Talk about a way to throw yourself behind on the reviews, but it was worth it. The news was stressing me out and I was reading it obsessively via social media and watching the nightly news, plus whatever news is on at the gym when I go there. When I start feeling obsessive, I know it's time for a break. I occasionally flipped through Instagram posts but was otherwise well-behaved and I do feel better. However, I feel refreshed enough that I've pretty much decided to continue avoiding most social media, apart from dropping in to post links to my reviews. We'll see how that goes. I'm stuck watching the news at the gym, though.

Currently reading:

  • My Coney Island Baby by Billy O'Callaghan

I just finished The Awakening (which included some of Kate Chopin's short stories), last night, and started My Coney Island Baby right after. So far, so good.

Posts since last Malarkey:

Several people asked me about the reading bunnies posed in front of my book shelves in the post I put up as a placeholder while I was taking a break. They came from a local garden center and I assume are made from plastic or resin. They're lightweight and were very inexpensive. I'd planned to put them in the little garden strip we thought our contractor was putting into the patio but he opted not to do that (which is fine by us) so the bunnies may end up in another part of the yard. I guess we'll find out. 

In other news:

We've had noisy construction workers at our house, off and on, for 3 weeks now. Some days, they haven't been able to work because of rain or a delay in supplies. But, at this point we're nearing the end. A delay in the arrival of the paving stones meant no workers on Friday, the weekend, and today. The cats and I were relieved because Thursday was by far the noisiest day of construction with digger, blower, and compactor all rattling away. There have been some changes made to the original plan -- some good, some irritating -- but overall we've been impresssed. We've always been "Do It Yourself" people, except when an expert is necessary so this is our first experience with hiring someone to complete a job from start to finish and it's been pretty fun to watch it come together.

TV-wise, we've started watching The Royal on Brit Box. It's a series set in the 1960s about a hospital in Yorkshire. Fans of Foyle's War will recognize the fellow on the cover as the actor who played Foyle's son, Julian Ovenden. He played a young doctor who arrived on a chaotic day in the first episode but the series doesn't focus on him. It's nicely balanced between the various doctors, patients, and a couple of janitorial staff who are always up to something. It's a fun show and Huzzybuns says there are three seasons to watch, so we've still got plenty to look forward to.

We also watched Mrs. Wilson on PBS, last night, a couple Hallmark movies (one good, one that I kept thinking I should probably turn off), and NCIS. That's about the extent of our TV watching. What have you been up to?

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