Monday, March 23, 2020

Monday Malarkey

Recent arrivals (top to bottom):

  • Devil Darling Spy by Matt Killeen - purchased
  • The Lost Puzzler by Eyal Kless - from HarperCollins for review
  • Regretting You by Colleen Hoover,  
  • Lakeshire Park by Megan Walker, and 
  • Writers and Lovers by Lily King - all purchased
  • Unflappable by Suzie Gilbert - sent by author
  • The Big Finish by Brooke Fossey - from Berkley Books for review
  • The Dutch House by Ann Patchett - purchased

Most of these were purchases, as you can see. I briefly threw aside my book-buying ban to buy a few books from an indie bookstore to do my small part to help them survive the pandemic (The Dutch House and Writers and Lovers; I also pre-ordered The Paris Hours by Alex George from the store).

Devil Darling Spy was a "quick, must buy this book I'm dying to read before I reinstate the ban" thing. Orphan Monster Spy (first in the series) was a favorite in 2018 so the follow up is one of my recent most-wished-for books. Lakeshire Park is a book I was going to receive from the publisher but when COVID-19 hit the Shadow Mountain press office and they had to isolate, I opted to go ahead and buy my own copy rather than read an e-galley because I really do hate e-books that much. I hope everyone at Shadow Mountain is doing well.

Unflappable is one of those rare books I accepted from an author. I still remember Flyaway (a book about working in wildlife rehab) well so I was thrilled when author Suzie Gilbert asked if I'd like to read her first novel. Regretting You was an impulse purchase that I threw in the cart when I saw that it was on sale. I have a lot of Instagram friends who are crazy about Colleen Hoover's writing and I've been eager to give her a try. After I bought the book, I discovered that I have an e-book by Hoover, but as often as I read e-books I'm glad I bought a paperback of a different title.

And, now I'm back on the book-buying ban so the "recent arrivals" category may eventually sputter away. The only book offers I've gotten recently have been e-galleys, which makes sense during a time of pandemic. It may just be time for me to focus on what's on the shelves.

Books finished since last Malarkey: 

  • And They Called It Camelot by Stephanie Marie Thornton
  • Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel

Just two finished, although I tried to participate in the Stay at Home 24 in 48 Challenge. It ended up being more of a Stay at Home 3 in 24 but that was enough for me. I managed to sneak off for a few hours to read Darling Rose Gold and that meant I was able to finish a book on Saturday. No effort went into readathoning at all on Sunday.

Currently reading:

  • Nature's Best Hope by Douglas W. Tallamy

I want to focus on Nature's Best Hope for a bit because it's just been sitting on the bedside table for a couple of weeks so I didn't start a new fiction title last night. I do hope to add a fiction title tonight, though, and I'm leaning toward Flamebringer by Elle Katharine White, the third in the Heartstone series.

Last week's posts:

In other news:

Not much TV watching apart from the news, again, but we did watch most of Earth Girls Are Easy, just for a silliness break. Eventually, I realized neither of us were paying attention to it and we turned it off, then later we checked PBS and Little Women was on. I watched 2 hours of Little Women but was dismayed to find that they were airing 3 episodes in a row. That was too much for me so I skipped the 3rd episode and went to soak in the tub. I'm not a big Jimmy Fallon fan but I've been enjoying streaming the home version of his late show and wow, his house is amazing. I want a house with a slide in it.

I've also been watching every funny musical anything rewritten with coronavirus lyrics and I enjoyed part of Keith Urban's concert from a warehouse with Nicole Kidman dancing around him. But, I seem to have almost no patience with TV or movies, at the moment. My attention span is totally shot.

I'm currently watching videos and reading lessons in a Coursera course (free online) about COVID-19 that's being taught by the Imperial College of London because I prefer hearing from actual scientists over politicians. I've totally given up watching the briefings from the White House because the president still is unwilling to let the experts do all the talking and much of what he says turns out to be inaccurate. Even knowing how bad he is at telling the truth, I was finding that I would believe something he said and then find corrections online. It's just not worth it to watch the daily stream of disinformation and the insults. It's also very frustrating when he cuts off reporters and starts a rambling attempt at distraction before they've finished their questions. However, I think Andrew Cuomo's daily briefings are worth listening to as he focuses on facts and action.

Since a lot of people are reading pandemic novels, I would like to recommend one that's relatively new and which I recently reviewed, A Beginning at the End by Mike Chen (link leads to my review). I'm considering rereading it to see it from a different perspective. It's set in a post-pandemic world with flashbacks to the pandemic and a new wave of the disease coming on. I'm finding Chen's imagination was accurate in some ways that I didn't expect it to be. For example, most everyone has a case of post-pandemic trauma, much like PTSD but specifically related to the horror of living through a pandemic. This is really not something I would have imagined but I know many of my friends are stressed, sleepless, having difficulty concentrating and anxiety attacks. Some are having nightmares. I had a strange dream about being really excited to find a giant loaf of wheat bread in the grocery store (about 2 times the size of a normal loaf) while in that same dream I was also terrified to find that too many people were in the store and they weren't keeping a safe distance, a couple nights ago. It's a dream that came straight from the reality that we only had 4 slices of bread left.

On the plus side, I've noticed that cooking together has become a common family activity amongst my friends and that those who have flour on hand are baking their own bread. We have a nice fresh loaf in our kitchen. I've found a place to get eggs and some fresh veggies without going to the grocery store (no new source for milk or butter but we're looking) via a weekly produce box at a local farm. We've planted lettuce, strawberries, herbs, and tomatoes. The squirrels usually eat everything edible that we plant but it's worth a try. And, the pandemic seems to be helping me finally stop drinking soda pop because I only have a handful of sodas left, which I'm rationing. There is much good coming of this horror.

Wishing everyone safety and health and praying for those who are working hard in healthcare, grocery stores, and other places where people are exposed to the public.

©2020 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

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