Monday, August 24, 2020

Monday Malarkey

Recent arrivals:

  • Our Long Love's Day by Elizabeth Guider
  • Finna by Nate Marshall

Both of these are purchases. Elizabeth Guider is in my F2F book group and one of the ladies asked me to buy a copy and read it because she wants to hear my opinion. I've meant to try one of Elizabeth's books for a while, so I figured now is as good a time as any. Finna by Nate Marshall is the poetry book that I meant to buy in the first place. The other Finna, which I accidentally ordered, has already been reviewed and is sci-fi. I've linked to the review in my posts list, below.

Books finished since last Malarkey:

  • Castle in the Clouds by Kerstin Gier
  • The Time of Green Magic by Hilary McKay
  • The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
  • Minnie's Room by Mollie Panter-Downes
  • The Readers' Room by Antoine Laurain

I've been reading a lot of very light, very thin books. Two middle grade, one YA. Again, I'm just going with what calls to me. I've been very happy with my reading, lately. I didn't read as much, these past two weeks, but that's OK. At least two nights I didn't feel like reading at all and I've found it's best to just go with it if I don't feel like reading, rather than forcing myself to read. 

Currently reading:

  • Agnes at the End of the World by Kelly McWilliams
  • Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig

Agnes at the End of the World is another pandemic novel. I think I may have mentioned that when it arrived. What can I say? I enjoy them. I like how very different they all seem to be from each other. This particular fictional pandemic has nothing in common with our current one, as far as the disease goes. But, it's always interesting seeing what different authors imagined would be done to curtail a virus gone wild and what they anticipated going wrong, worldwide (like power outages, food shortages, etc.)

I tried to read When Democracies Die by S. Levitsky and D. Ziblatt but I didn't get very far because — even though it was written in 2017 and little had been done to threaten our democracy, yet — it anticipated what's happening. Basically, it just tells you how democracies have died in the past, although the authors do refer to what the current president said during his candidacy and what he did early in his administration to show how they paralleled dying democracies of the past. At the point I quit, what's happening in the United States was so much worse than anything I'd yet read (who could have anticipated the damage to the postal service?) that it was depressing the hell out of me. I'll try again, soon. Maybe I'll be better able to tolerate it in a week.

Instead of just giving up because the book was so upsetting, I kept glancing at it and thinking, "Later." Finally, though, I realized I wasn't going back to it, at least for now, and started Notes on a Nervous Planet, which is about Matt Haig's challenges with anxiety and depression and what he has learned.

Posts since last Malarkey:

In other news:

It took about 2 weeks for me to choose my next painting project (here's the free Kate Morgan tutorial I'm currently watching) but it requires a lot of supplies I've never used, like acrylic ink. I often will just stick with what I have on hand but I'm in the mood to try something completely new so I ordered the necessary art supplies. Of course, with the mail situation the way it is, they're taking their sweet time getting here. So, I went to Kate Morgan's website and looked at some of her other work, then I decided to do a collage using what I've got on-hand. I'm still working on that. I did a first attempt and asked my Facebook friends (maybe you all know this because everyone who visits is a FB friend?) whether I should stop where I was at or continue to work on it. The response started out, "Leave it as is" and then eventually became about 50-50 leave it vs. add the other details. So, I left my first attempt as is and started on a second collage using the same printout photo and almost identical background colors. It will probably take a few more days but art is my passion, at the moment, and I'm having so much fun. It's nice to finally be back in the swing of things after several weeks of, "Uh, what do I do with myself, now?"

We've had a busy weekend, since early predictions showed both of the Gulf Coast hurricanes headed our way. It keeps changing by the hour, but the current prediction places us on the wet side of both. My gut feeling is that Tropical Storm Laura (as of late Sunday night, she has been downgraded) is the one we need to worry about. I guess we'll see. We're 100 miles inland but Hurricane Katrina did some major damage to our area in spite of that so I don't take hurricanes for granted. We've restocked our hurricane food, gassed up the cars, bought D batteries for the flashlight that needs them, and I did some deep cleaning in case the power goes off. I've found it's awful to stare at the dirt on the floor and think, "If only I could vacuum." Been there. Best to get the homestead as clean as possible in advance of potential power outage. And, if we just get rain . . . wow, my house looks terrific. I'll enjoy that, for sure.

TV-wise, I recently watched The Delivery Man. I think there are only 8 episodes. I enjoyed it but Darren Boyd seems to play everything the same way, as the slightly awkward and mildly sarcastic fellow who tries a little too hard and stumbles his way through life, never quite managing to get the girl. Still, I wouldn't have watched it if I didn't find it entertaining. The laughs were cheesy ones, but still fun.

Husband chose a second series that we're still watching (but no bingeing allowed, ever — he can only stand 2 episodes in a row of anything), Party Tricks. The male lead, Rodger Corser, has become a favorite Australian actor (I've watched him in The Heart Guy, aka Doctor Doctor, and Glitch). It's about a journalist who decides to run for premier of Victoria and you get to see a lot of nice scenes of Melbourne. If you've been to Melbourne, as we have, that's particularly fun but I also do like the storyline that the two characters running for premier have a history and the current premier, a female, is thrown off her game by his candidacy against her.

And, I'm still rewatching Downton Abbey when the mood strikes. I have now been through the sinking of the Titanic, the loss of a maid who decided to become a secretary, WWI, Matthew's injury and recovery, Sybil running off with Tom, the Spanish Flu, Lavinia's tragedy, the whole will-they-won't-they between Matthew and Mary, the preparations to sell Downton, and now Edith has been jilted at the altar. So, I'm on Season 3. I was surprised to find that Edith's jilting was the one thing that made me cry. I always hated the way they kept stringing her along as the potential spinster, although I like what is about to happen to her. Then, I'll hate what happens after that. I remember, now, why Downton Abbey was so addictive.

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