When I wrote my Sunday Lowdown last week, it was late on Saturday night. The next day, we did end up doing a movie theater parking lot picnic, which means we’ve been doing it several weeks. The grass gets taller and taller, but last week we saw something that me smile, literally, for days: whoever mowed the grass at the factory across the driveway came over and zipped a little loop under our tree where we picnic. If you’re saying, “Awwwww!” that is the correct response. Although, it also means someone has been watching us eating, reading, and dancing, and hoo-boy that feels weird. I’m hoping it was just a weekly glance, like, “Oh, those weird parking lot people are back. I’mma mow their picnic spot — no sweat.”
I realized something this week: everyone experiencing the same thing across the globe, e.g. a pandemic, is really boring. All the news is the same, when I talk to loved ones we say the same things. It’s not that I find my friends and family boring — not at all, lovelies! — it’s just I never realized that sameness is a sort of purgatory. We need to have some wild kite flying, or a socially distant pride parade, an outdoor sculpture exhibit, bumper boats. . . SOMETHING to talk about!
This week’s all-by-myself Friday date movie was Devil’s Pass, which I feel is a sleeper sci-fi/horror flick that more people need to see. It doesn’t have great ratings, but I find it fun and thrilling and clever, all without having to spend 90 minutes clenching my whatever because I’m afraid something is going to jump out of the woods/water/closet and with a chainsaw/sharp teeth/butcher’s knife to kill the protagonist’s friends whilst scaring the poo out of me.
THIS WEEK’S BLOG POSTS
We finished Flannery O’Connor’s collection! Some of us, myself included, were limping across the finish line, but no one said we had to sprint eagerly. I mean, I take “Why run if you’re not being chased?” very seriously. While I’m glad I finished the bulk of O’Connor’s total works, I’m also relieved it’s done because her stories were starting to feel homogeneous. THANK YOU everyone who tried this experiment with me. I’ve never led a short story read-along before and hope you found it a good experience.
The Oathbound by Mercedes Lackey was a great start to the Vows & Honor trilogy that Jackie @ Death by Tsundoku and I are reading. We officially eighteen months into #ReadingValdemar, and I’m not over it yet. To be honest, I’m relieved we’re away from the timeline with Falconsbane as the villain; those trilogies dragged, but this year is shaping up to be a more enjoyable Valdemar experience. FINALLY — something has to go a tiny bit right in 2020.
My favorite post this week was The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio because you all challenged me with some great questions. Cornejo Villavicencio’s book was frustrating because it didn’t follow any genre that helped me trust the work or know what it wanted to do, but it’s clear that the author is angry and passionate, and also processing a lot, about the immigrant experience. If you haven’t read my review yet, but sure when you do to read the comments other folks left.
NEXT WEEK’S BLOG POSTS
As I’ve mention a couple of times, I’m taking your recommendations more to heart as a way to connect with you during the pandemic. Maybe because we can talk about the book without mentioning the c-word? On Tuesday I’m sharing my review of a humorous memoir, recommended by Bill @ The Australian Legend, called The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald. A newlywed couple embark on chicken ranching in middle of nowhere Washington State in the 1920s with the very best of odd neighbors and farm problems.
On Thursday I’ll be sharing my thoughts on The Turner House by Angela Flournoy, a book a I rejected earlier in the year when I couldn’t keep up with the characters in audio format. My book club completed the novel and talked to the author the last day we met up in May.
BOOK I’M READING ALOUD TO MY SPOUSE:
We’re getting into the last quarter of Glory Road by Robert Heinlein, and I have to say, we’re both wondering what else can happen now that the quest is complete, loads of omitted information has been revealed, and we’ve learned that the best method of government in the galaxy is laissez faire, e.g. if your planet has infanticide, they’re your babies, and you do you (this is a paraphrase, not a hyperbolic joke).
Though I offered to read it to the spouse and he politely declined, I decided to go ahead with Influenza: The Hundred-Year Hunt to Cure the Deadliest Disease in History by Jeremy Brown. I find that more information, which comes from a source in the distance, to be comforting (i.e. not news reports about the c-word now, but history and science from 1918). A couple of facts that stand out so far is how many flu deaths in 1918-1919 were from aspirin overdoses. Near the Arctic Circle, Native American tribes were nearly decimated, burying their dead in the frozen permafrost. A side benefit is scientists were able to identify the genetic code if the 1918 virus from these bodies. Brown published his book in 2018, yet the warnings about a future novel c-word are everywhere.
BOOKS ADDED TO THE TBR PILE:
Several of these are for the next few months of book club or are by Jennifer Ackerman because I enjoyed her most recent book very much (and the review is forthcoming). A few others were nabbed from my Goodreads feed. Also, if you giggled at my excessive use of “the c-word,” I’m glad because I did it on purpose.