Monday, December 28, 2020

Monday Malarkey

Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays!

Recent arrivals (left to right, all purchased but one):

  • Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
  • The Grand Tour by Adam O'Fallon Price
  • The Last Castle by Denise Kiernan
  • Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn
  • Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World by Fareed Zakaria
  • Georgana's Secret by Arlem Hawks - from Shadow Mountain for book tour with Laurel Ann of Austenprose
  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  • Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot
  • Natives by Akala

I haven't gone quite as wild on the last-minute book purchasing as I expected before my year of not buying begins but it's still a pretty significant stack. I have a few coming from Book Depository and a couple pre-ordered and then that should be it for the next year. 3 out of 5 friends and relatives surveyed think I can't make it a year without buying any books. They're probably right but I am determined to read what's on my shelves and really kind of excited about it. I'll write more about my non-buying and reading goals either just before or after New Year's. 

Some of these have been on my wish list for a while (Caste has been calling to me all year), others were bought more spontaneously (Sharks in the Time of Saviors — President Obama was my influence). In truth, I could have just stopped buying when I made the decision to read off my shelves for a year because it's not like I don't own enough books. But, I figured if I bought a few that have been calling to me, I'd be more likely to succeed. We'll find out, I guess. 

Georgana's Secret is the one tour book I received. While I don't plan to stop accepting children's books if they're offered and I may do an occasional book tour, I'm otherwise planning not to bring books into my home because the entire point is to lighten the load. I was able to get quite a few older titles that I'll never reread off the living room shelves and shift things around a bit so that some favorite authors' titles are together instead of scattered across various shelves, this weekend, so that felt like a good way to start. I'm really looking forward to Georgana's Secret. I've loved every book I've read from Shadow Mountain, so far, and I desire a little dose of romance, now and then. 

Books finished since last Malarkey:

  • How to Walk Away by Katherine Center
  • Christmas Truce by Aaron Shepard and Wendy Edelson
  • 400 Minutes of Danger by Jack Heath 
  • The 2020 Short Story Advent Calendar, ed. by Michael Hingston

Currently reading:

  • How to Get Away with Myrtle (Myrtle Hardcastle Mysteries #2) by Elizabeth C. Bunce
  • Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World by Fareed Zakaria

Myrtle is a fun character and I'm enjoying the book when I get a chance to read but reading time is scarce when the spouse is on vacation. I almost said "when the spouse is home" but he's been home since forever, now (um . . . 9 months?). I just started Ten Lessons because it kept calling to me and who am I to deny a book that is aching to be read? It's great, so far. 

Posts since last Malarkey:

Because I read so many children's books and gathered them all into one post, I got caught up on book reviews, again. But, since then I've finished my Short Story Advent Calendar and I hope to finish Myrtle tonight or tomorrow, then I'll be back in business. 

In other news:

We had another very quiet holiday but I decided that our grab-and-go Thanksgiving meal was just meh, so this time we went for a nice dinner and I've decided I'm never going to skip the formal Thanksgiving meal, again, with or without guests. 

We've watched more TV and movies than normal: 

  • It's a Wonderful Life
  • Wonder Woman 1984
  • Cross Country Christmas
  • The Mandalorian
  • While You Were Sleeping
  • The first episode of Stargirl

It's not a proper Christmas if I don't watch It's a Wonderful Life. And, I decided that While You Were Sleeping (an old family favorite) would be a good movie to add to the annual viewing tradition. It's not exactly a Christmas movie but it takes place mostly between Christmas and New Year's so it has the advantage of not being absolutely necessary to watch it by Christmas. We can just fit it into the season, somewhere. 

We finished the second season of The Mandalorian and loved the ending. Not sure where they can take it from that ending point, but it was a good one. I think we partly watched Stargirl because we both like Luke Wilson but it was pretty fun and we laughed a lot. Cross Country Christmas is the only Hallmark movie I specifically remember watching but I think we may have watched another or pieces of a couple, although none were particularly memorable. There was one with a prince whose wardrobe was very poorly fitted and I may have yelled, "Worst prince, ever!" at the TV.  I tend to yell at the TV during Hallmark movies. It's a thing. 

I have not seen the first Wonder Woman movie, so I had nothing to compare the new one with. Apparently, that's a good thing. Most of my friends hated Wonder Woman 1984, but I only found the ending a bit insane and too drawn out. Otherwise, I was fine with it. I was expecting not to like it at all and it kept my attention, so that was enough for me. I do want to see the original, though, since everyone says it's better. Oh, and we starting watching Chuck from the beginning, again. It's a series we watched and loved when it was new, so bit of a throwback going on. Still love it. 

It's a little early to say this but I hope 2021 is a fabulous year and a big improvement for all of us. I fear we are about to go through some very hard times, but I'm encouraged by the words of hope coming from our future president. 

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  1. Aw- While You Were Sleeping is an old favorite of mine. I keep suggesting to my husband that we watch it together but so far he hasn't been interested. And he's never seen A Wonderful Life! I'm more intent on convincing him to sit through that one.

    1. My husband watched parts of both movies with me but he's not so great at sitting still through movies unless he chooses them. Nothing new, there, although he does love While You Were Sleeping. Maybe tie your husband to a chair, haha. I know how that goes, though. Sometimes, they just don't want to watch our favorites with us.

  2. I was not impressed with Wonder Woman 1984, but stuck with it. Rod and I both thought it was pretty hokey.

    1. It was definitely hokey. But, to be honest, that's why I didn't even want to watch it. I guess I needed the diversion. I enjoyed it, apart from the lengthy ending and now I definitely want to see the first one. D. agrees with you guys; he was not impressed. He said the first one's good, though.


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