Monday, November 08, 2021

Monday Malarkey

Recent arrivals (above, left to right):

  • Every Word Unsaid by Kimberly Duffy - from Bethany House for tour
  • Duke Actually by Jenny Holiday - from Avon for review
  • Red is My Heart by Antoine Laurain + Le Sonneur - from Meryl Zegarek Public Relations, Inc. (unsolicited and much appreciated)
  • Jane and the Year Without A Summer by Stephanie Barron - from SOHO Crime for tour

I may have squealed a bit when Red is My Heart showed up because I've read two Antoine Laurain books and loved them both. OK, yes, I did squeal just a little. Jane and the Year Without a Summer came with swag!!! I almost never get swag. Actually, I almost never get books, anymore (by comparison with a few years ago; my choice, I'm not complaining) so opening a box with more than just a book was especially fun. 

Swag shot (click on image to enlarge):

Contents - Jane and the Year Without a Summer book and tote bag, Jane Austen cookie cutter, tea and tea strainer with a cute little Jane Austen charm on the chain, and Jane Austen 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle. Cool, or what?

And, there's more (below):

My 2021 Short Story Advent Calendar arrived! Also, Projections (which I totally forgot I ordered) is a boxed set of sci-fi stories that I'll probably save for the New Year to keep that short story fun going a little longer. Last year, breaking open the seal on my daily short story was the highlight of Christmas season. It was just so much fun! Also, I have to put in a word for Hingston & Olsen Publishing. I had a question and the prompt and courteous response was a joy. 

Books finished since last Malarkey:

  • Throwback #2: The Chaos Loop by Peter Lerangis
  • Unaccustomed Earth (short stories) by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Throwback #3: Out of Time by Peter Lerangis
  • How to Astronaut by Terry Virts
  • The London House by Katherine Reay

Currently reading:

  • Every Word Unsaid by Kimberly Duffy
  • Spy Ski School (Spy School #4) by Stuart Gibbs


Posts since last Malarkey:

In other news:

OK, this is surprising. I've been watching movies. Maybe not on the level most people do, but there were a few days that I felt like movie-watching so there you go.

The first movie was a family event. I've never seen the Dune movie that everyone says was such a flop (in the 70s?) and I haven't yet read the book, but I've wanted to read it for as long as I can remember and it's probably going to be one of the books I challenge myself to read in 2022. So, naturally I wanted to see the new movie. Husband tolerated it but spent a lot of time playing on his phone. 

My thoughts: I loved the beauty and expansiveness of the film but I kept thinking of the line from Stripes: "Lighten up, Francis." Some of those characters could have used a little sense of humor. But, maybe the book is equally serious. I also felt like there were clearly some subtleties of characterization that were missing and since then, I've read a lot of Dune readers' thoughts about how much of the story is told internally and why that must be so hard to portray on screen. That's one reason I feel like I really want to read the book even more than before. I want to understand the things that felt skimmed across and read the details that were clearly missing. And, then I'll watch the movie, again (if I can -- hope it continues to stream for a while). 

Hubby was away on business, last week. So, I took advantage of his absence to watch San Andreas. Disaster movies are not his thing. He would never watch this with me. It was good therapy. For one thing, it was so over-the-top that it was a bit laughable. For another, the young romance was sweet. I didn't care so much about the storyline about The Rock and his ex, although I did get a bit of satisfaction from watching Ioan Gruffudd's character get smushed by a cargo container. If you've been following the news about his upcoming divorce and the new, younger woman in his life (such a cliché), you know why. 

Most of the rest of the movies I watched were not complete. I just tuned in to The Hallmark Channel and watched whatever happened to be playing, which is always relaxing. I will always probably shout at the TV when a Hallmark movie is on. "Dead parents!" and "Ooooh, someone's got to decorate for the gala/festival! Surprise!" Also, there's always, "Snowball fight!" and "Kiss her! Just kiss her and then the credits can roll!" It's a little Rocky Horror, the way I get revved up watching The Hallmark Channel. But, at the same time, I feel soothed by sappy romance.

I did manage to watch one Hallmark movie in its entirety, Next Stop, Christmas. Lea Thompson and Christopher Lloyd in a time travel movie! Oh, go ahead and try to stop me. There was no way I was missing that one. I even thwarted the spouse's efforts to watch his alma mater (football, yuck, not my thing), although those games go on forever and it was still on when the movie ended. I loved this cute time travel story and found it very satisfying the way the main character changed her current life by going back in time. Also, I'm all for anything with an old-fashioned train in it. 

©2021 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 love the book Dune, but that's partly because I read it when I was 16, when everything feels so serious and mysterious. I reread it by listening to it with my kids when they were 16 and 17, and we loved that experience. The new movie isn't bad. The old one is, as we used to say, a hoot!

    1. Oh, good, glad you loved the book and the audio reread! I don't think I even knew about Dune as a teenager. Hard to remember. But, I've heard about how bad the older movie is for a long, long time. I did like the new one. I wish I could see it on the big screen but I'm not ready to go to a theater.


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