You may have noticed that I keep changing the name of this section. It was “pandemic update,” then “update on me,” but now it’s “pandemic gratitude.” Yes, it sounds weird, like I’m somehow grateful for a world-wide virus, but it isn’t like that. COVID-19 acted like a reset button in many ways for me, helping me readjust anxiety that was building pre-‘rona, have confidence to cook all meals but one per week at home, carve out time for myself on Fridays when I watch a horror movie and have popcorn, and join/create new book clubs.
Each day can easily suck like a shop vac if I let it, so I asked my husband to pay attention all day, looking for a positive moment that he wants to share with me at dinner. I do likewise. Maybe I saw a baby bunny. Maybe someone who typically wears their mask under their nose now wears it above. Maybe a coworker said something nice to me. It could be anything, really. My husband’s stories typically involve a a positive experience with a lectern, but he’s not the most social creature. We’ll get there.
Here are some things I was grateful for this week: I realized I’m basically in five book clubs right now — one is library hosted (The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet), one with my mom (and it’s attracting others) (The Girl in the Tower), one with Emily @ Literary Elephant (Mexican Gothic), one with Gil @ Gil Reads (the Earthseed duology), and one with Jackie @ Death by Tsundoku (#ReadingValdemar).
Thanks to Emily’s review of Stephen King’s novella Secret Window, Secret Garden, I watched the 2004 film version, simply entitled Secret Window, for my Friday night horror pick. I didn’t mention this last week, but I watched Psycho, which I didn’t think would scare me because it’s older, but during the second stabbing the attack, music, and scream were timed so well I about soiled myself.
I keep getting curbside groceries with great joy and plan to never shop in a store ever again.
I’m on the last week of my continuing education course about the basics of cataloging and I couldn’t be more relieved.
Lastly, I’m grateful for all for all of the characters in East Pittsburgh Downlow by Dave Newman, who constantly surprise me in unique, beautiful ways. Like the protagonist meeting a guy in a bar who looks like John Grisham, so he calls that guy John Grisham, and next thing you know the protagonist, bartender, and John Grisham are all buddies and doing coke. He answers to John Grisham. It’s very Twilight Zone. Yes, I’m shortening the “What I Read to My Spouse” section because it seems we take ages with the same book.
THIS WEEK’S BLOG POSTS
Although I knew S.M. Reine’s answers to my Meet the Writer questions were amazing, I was still so pleased that you all agreed. Different aspects of her interview stood out to readers, and it sounds like a few of you may be picking up Reine’s different series!
On the flippity-flop, Leah Vernon’s memoir, Unashamed: Musings of a Fat, Black Muslim, was totally depressing and disjointed. It was so weird for a book to be exactly what it purports not to be, so I was confused and also intimidated by all the five-star reviews on Goodreads. It doesn’t matter though; as long as reviewers aren’t slanderous, we must speak our truths.
NEXT WEEK’S BLOG POSTS
Recently, I tried listening to an audiobook, one selected from my TBR of potentially fat positive titles. While I was frustrated with the story, the characters — everything, really — I couldn’t articulate why, so I kept listening. Then, it dawned on me. What came next was me furiously writing a post about intersectionality and how it works in that book, Dangerous Curves Ahead by Sugar Jamison. This latest Time to Ponder Books post will be available on Tuesday.
Earlier this year I read Girlbomb: A Halfway Homeless Memoir by Jance Erlbaum and praised the author’s ability to write about what are typically annoying topics for me in a way that was engaging. Her follow-up memoir, Have You Found Her, is stylistically different, but just as alluring. Review on Thursday.