Monday, July 27, 2020

Monday Malarkey

Recent arrivals (all purchased, top to bottom):

  • In Persuasion Nation by George Saunders
  • Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier
  • My One Square Inch of Alaska by Sharon Short
  • Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
  • Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
  • Seventeen by Hideo Yokoyama
  • Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken
  • Golden State by Ben H. Winters
  • The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman
  • Trumpocracy by David Frum

A lot of these have been on my wish list for some time, so I went a little hog wild on a day I was feeling down in the dumps. Apparently, this is a common thing for book lovers. Someone in one of my book groups on Facebook asked people to admit how many books they have coming in the mail *right at this moment* and one woman said, "I have 48 in my cart at Book Outlet."

Books finished since last Malarkey:

  • Bubble Kisses by Vanessa Williams and Tara Nicole Whitaker
  • Stranger Planet by Nathan W. Pyle
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • The End of October by Lawrence Wright
  • Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
  • I Am I Am I Am by Maggie O'Farrell
  • The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
  • Stop! Bot! by James Yang
  • Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan
  • The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  • The Plains by Gerald Murnane
  • They Called Us Enemy by Takei, Elsinger, Scott, and Becker
  • Too Much and Never Enough by Mary L. Trump
  • Dominicana by Angie Cruz

I guess it's been a while since I did a Monday Malarkey post. I'm planning to do them every other week, so there will not be a Monday Malarkey next week but I'll post one two weeks from today. In case you're wondering, part of the reason I managed to read so many books in the past few weeks was my participation in the "Laid-back reading challenge" via Instagram. I enjoyed being in a small group reading for a week together and chatting. It inspired me.

Currently reading:

  • Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev
  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum

I'm still not even past the introduction of the Tatum book so I imagine it will be one of those books I put in my "currently reading" category a couple of times and then potentially drop, even though I'm still reading it because saying I'm still reading it makes me cringe. But, I'm sure I'll eventually finish it. It's just going to take some time.

Posts since last Malarkey:

I decided I like doing a sort of "round-up" post of what I've read and posted, now and then, so while I considered getting rid of Monday Malarkey, I've wholly rejected the notion, now. It will continue, just spaced out a bit more.

In other news:

This week, Huz and I were watching a medical professional on the news. He said that even after the human trials for COVID-19 vaccines are finished, a vaccine will have to be mass produced and then somehow distributed to the public and because all of that takes time, he couldn't imagine that it would be less than a year before we can go back to normal. Huz turned to me and said, "Another year with you? Ugh," and I laughed because I know when he's joking. Seriously, kids, this is the best thing about a long marriage. Get yourself a partner who can insult you and make you laugh because you know he's kidding.

Anyway . . . a year. What an awful thought. We are introverts and we're doing okay but we still occasionally get a little stir crazy. Yesterday, we drove the 30 miles back to Vicksburg to go through a drive-through Mexican place, really just to get out of the house. The girl in the drive-through window wasn't wearing a mask (against local mandate). I don't know if I'll go there, again.

The worst news of the week is that I have finally reached the stage of knowing someone personally who died from COVID-19. I knew that time would come. First, it was knowing people who knew people who had the virus, then knowing someone personally, then knowing a bunch of people who had it personally, and now . . . my favorite childhood Sunday School teacher, the mother of one of my best friends has passed away.

Please wear a mask and socially distance.

Here's a behind the scenes photo of Fiona with my books because . . . of course she had to check them out:

The purple is a tumbling mat I use for yoga because a yoga mat is too thin for me, now.

I'm on my last week of that painting class, Postwar Abstract Expressionism. It has been the most amazing learning experience. I've taken some so-so classes through Coursera but Postwar Abstract Expressionism was first rate. The only problem I had with it was the inability to ask questions of the instructor. There was no common board where that kind of interaction could take place. But, I learned a lot and have had so much fun with the painting lessons. While I'm working on the final lesson, I'm already scouting around to see what kind of class I can find to participate in, next.

Have you found anything wonderful to help fill your time with new learning experiences during the pandemic?

©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.


  1. I am getting into doing puzzles again... and wanting to buy more for my collection, even though I have plenty haven't worked in years and years so they're still enjoyable. I hope you read Challenger Deep soon, liked that one a lot and will watch to see what you say of it. So sorry to hear you have lost someone you know. I fear that will be the case for all of us before this is done. I still only know of friends-of-friends, but I dread that it will be much closer to home eventually.

    1. I've seen a lot of pictures of puzzles on Instagram! That seems to be right up there with baking bread. Glad you have plenty you can play with. I heard there was actually a jigsaw puzzle shortage, for a time. Hopefully, that's over.

      I'm looking forward to Challenger Deep! Glad to know you enjoyed it.

      Thanks. It's mostly been friends of friends I've known who have COVID (and one extended family member who had a mild case) so I was surprised when I read that my friend's mom had been in the ICU for some time. I know they were trying to keep her safe, early on. She was a lovely, kind woman.

  2. Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier is an excellent book that I rated 9 of 10 when i read it in 2010. If you read my blog post (no spoilers), you'll find links to other times I blogged about this book, too.

    My friend Donna bought Mary Trump's book, so I'll read hers when she finishes it. We share our books, since she and I live at the same retirement center and have been talking about books since 1996 together.

    One of these days, I do plan to read Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?. It's been on my radar for ages now, like maybe 20+ years? LOL.

    1. Remarkable Creatures has been on my wish list since it was released. So excited to finally have a copy. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

      Mary Trump's book is pretty good. You'll have to tell me what you think of it when you get a chance to read it.

      I know you already got on the waiting list for Why Are All the Black Kids, etc. It's the kind of book that makes you angry at the injustice . . . and I'm still only on the intro. I need to work on that. Anyway, so far it's very good.

  3. Remarkable Creatures was a great read! It added more places to my literary tour in England, if I ever get there.

    1. I've wanted to read Remarkable Creatures seemingly forever. I love Tracy Chevalier's writing, in general, but this one particularly appeals to me for the subject matter. I'll have to see what you mean about the places you added to your travel wish list!

  4. Remarkable Creatures is a good read! I am so sorry to hear about your person who passed from COVID.

    We are back in lockdown and it looks like we are going to go into even stricter lockdown later this week. And yet, I am not reading all that much.

    1. I'm excited about Remarkable Creatures. I like the author but this particular story is one that really sounds up my alley. Glad to hear you enjoyed it! Thanks. She was a terrific lady.

      We ought to be in lockdown but we're not. We've been averaging a little over 1200 cases per day in MS. During lockdown, it was around 240 per day (which is still a lot for such a low-population state). We do at least have a mask mandate now, in our county.

      Pandemic brain got me, early on. I decided to see if giving up ARCs would help and it has, so I'm happily reading off my shelves and my reading pace has improved. Hope your lockdown does the trick. COVID is just out of control in the US. It's ridiculous.


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