Monday, January 11, 2021

Monday Malarkey

Recent arrivals:

  • The Gap by Benjamin Gilmour
  • V for Victory by Lissa Evans 
  • The Antiquarian Sticker Book
  • Gobbolino the Witch's Cat by Ursula Moray Williams
  • They Came Like Swallows by William Maxwell
  • The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa
  • Reader's Digest War Stories 

All of the above were purchases made before the end of the year. My last-minute panic buys are on their way and then a few individual titles that I pre-ordered will trickle in and . . . well, that should be it for a good 6 months, since I can't go to library sales and haven't even been able to talk myself into buying the first Native American-authored book I intended to buy for this year's challenge. I'm just too happy with the idea of reading off my shelves. It's on my wish list, though. 

Books finished since last Malarkey:

  • How to Get Away with Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce
  • Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World by Fareed Zakaria
  • Heart Berries by Teresa Marie Mailhot
  • Dragon Mountain by Katie and Kevin Tsang
  • CivilWarLand in Bad Decline by George Saunders

Not a bad start to the year, but not a great one either. I've read 4 books, so far. I dropped my annual Goodreads goal to 75. Usually, I set it at 100 knowing that's a number I can hit easily. This year, I'm hoping to throw off the yoke of obligatory reads and read from my shelves almost exclusively (again, I can't bear to say no to children's books if they're offered). Hopefully, that will mean I finally, finally will get around to reading Gone With the Wind. I'd start it today if I didn't have one last tour book to finish and two ARCs. 

Currently reading:

  • Georgana's Secret by Arlem Hawks
  • A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain by Robert Olen Butler

Georgana's Secret is the tour book I mentioned above. A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain is my second volume of short stories, the first being CivilWarLand in Bad Decline. I think I've managed to read a short story per day, although CivilWarLand was "short stories and a novella" so one of them was technically a novella but whatever. I'm just enjoying my daily reading of a shorter work, so it counts. Until I set this goal, I don't think I realized how many unread anthologies and collections of short stories I had sitting around. I will probably have no problem at all finding 365 short stories to read. 

Posts since last Malarkey:

In other news:

Well, this last week was something, wasn't it? I'm still distressed by the horror, perhaps even moreso than I was on the day of the American Insurrection since more violent images have been released in recent days (including a Capitol police officer being dragged down steps and beaten by Trump supporters with, among other things, a flag pole containing an American flag). 

Unsurprisingly, we watched a lot of news. Husband was working from home during the Insurrection and I updated him or he'd sit for 5 minutes watching the coverage with me, between meetings and calls. We were glued to the TV on the evening of the 6th. 

Otherwise, I only recall watching the premier of the new All Creatures Great and Small. I'm sure we watched a smattering of other things but I don't remember any of them. It's all been blanked out by one awful day. I don't know how you convince people who have been told for 5 years that they can't believe anything or anyone but one person that they're wrong, it was a free and fair election and nobody's out to get them. It's deeply ingrained, at this point. I have a friend from way back who has been sucked into the QAnon black hole and utterly, completely believes every one of the crazy, made-up conspiracies. I finally gave up and unfriended her after she had nothing negative to say about the attempted coup and continued spouting conspiracies. It was painful. We've been friends for a very, very long time. But, people died because of the kind of lies she's helping perpetuate and I can't be a party to that. 

Can you tell I'm still riled up? It's been hard to sleep. What a rough year it's been for sleeping. I mean, the entire last year, not just 2021. I wasn't expecting 2021 to be a miraculous change from 2020, since we still have a long time till the majority are inoculated but . . . whoa. I certainly was not expecting January 6. Here's hoping for some major action to prevent similar violence in the future. 

And, to end on a lighter note, here's a photo of what happened, last night. Snow!!!!

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  1. SNOW! The convincing any of these conspiracists aint gonna happen. SO frightening. Fear is a horrible thing and not swept away easily.

    1. Yes, SNOW! So exciting! We still have tiny little patches of snow in the shade but it's 99% melted. I loved it while it lasted. Husband was even a little giddy. It's been at least 2 years, maybe 3 since we had any snow.

      Well, yeah, it's actually kind of a professional job, deprogramming people, isn't it? I recall the Obama administration had an entire team set up to basically monitor and interrupt the recruitment of people to dangerous groups, foreign and domestic. The current administration said White Supremacism isn't a problem and dismantled the group, choosing to call anti-fascists terrorists and focus on them, in spite of the fact that they're only loosely connected. At least, that's how I recall it. And, yes, it's both fear and anger. They truly believe they've been wronged and that the other side is evil. It can take years to convince a person they've been deceived. At least we know the new president will take this seriously instead of egging it on.

  2. I want to hear about Gobbolino the Witch's Cat! The news is very distressing. I have to limit how much I watch of it; my husband watches and reads a lot and filters it for me . . . I didn't know there was a new version of All Creatures Great and Small! What platform did you watch it on? I love the original books, but never could get into the tv show that existed when I was in high school.

    1. I may have to read Gobbolino, soon. I was tempted, last night, but I have that one final tour book to read so I restrained myself.

      I spent pretty much all day reading articles about the Insurrection, yesterday. There was a lot of updated info and it was all bad. Lots of photos and videos of the violence and inside stories describing what it was like, for example, in the inner office where Pelosi's staff huddled under a table while the crowd was banging on the door and yelling, "Where's Nancy?" Scary stuff. I don't blame you for wanting to hear only a filtered version. It's very upsetting.

      Yes, there's a new version of All Creatures Great and Small! We watched it on regular old PBS on TV. It's on Sundays at 9pm Eastern/8 Central and just started, this week. You might be able to stream it on the PBS site online. I recognized almost all of the main actors from somewhere or other.

      It's been so long since I read the Herriot books that I feel like I'm going to have to give them another go, sometime. Husband and I were and are big fans of the early version. I think we were in college or maybe newlyweds when it was being broadcast (although I might be wrong -- it might have been reruns we were watching). Feeling old. The guy who played James in the first production is apparently 80 years old, now.


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