Last Sunday concluded the road trip my nieces and nephew took with Biscuit to see the spouse and me. We took them to a beach on Lake Michigan, which was freezing but did not stop the children from wading in the water. A giant splash pad made an even bigger impression, followed by street vendor hot dogs and ice cream. The kids passed out the moment Biscuit left, which is good because the drive home is around three hours. I’ve heard tell that the kids are still talking about their road trip.
After my manager realized I enjoy horror movies so much, she recommended Shudder to me, which I’d never heard of. If you buy a year-long subscription, you get a pretty sweet deal on this horror streaming site. I started my free trial on Friday and watched You Better Watch Out, a 2016 addition to the babysitter/horror/holiday genre. I was . . . completely surprised. I had no idea where the movie was going, and I was deeply unsettled for most of it. Perhaps Sugar & Scream will check it out and leave a review?
This week the spouse and I finished up our first American Sign Language (ASL) course and enrolled in part two. We’re looking for more learning opportunities for soon after we finish the second section, perhaps in a classroom or something else online. I’m enjoying learning about the Deaf community and their language so much — everything clicks into place for me, a hard of hearing person — so I likely seem a bit obsessive about it.
I spent much of yesterday catching up on book reviews. I had a number of titles I’d finished a while ago that were just sitting there. I realized that although the details are harder to remember as time goes by, that fact can keep a review from getting bogged down in all the themes and minor plots that feel essential for discussion in a review when I start plotting out what I want to say shortly after finishing a title. Do you ever find yourself trying to decide what to leave out and struggling?
THIS WEEK’S BLOG POSTS
As many people commented positively on my review of A Loss for Words by Lou Ann Walker, who is a Child of Deaf Adults (CODA), I do hope that some of you will pick it up and read it. It’s got the humor of Betty MacDonald’s The Egg & I and the deep inward look of Janice Erlbaum’s Girlbomb. You don’t have to be interested in Deaf culture or part of the community to enjoy Walker’s book.
I’m not sure that I “sold” Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe by Heather Webber correctly. Yes, it’s “women’s fiction,” and yes it get a little too sweet in a couple places. But I also enjoy a story that’s told well that doesn’t require me to have a discussion group to get something out of it. I wouldn’t call Webber’s novel a “beach read,” either. Webber’s novel was a The Story Graph recommendation and had that warm quality that you’ll get from a book like Chocolat by Joanne Harris. Maybe it’s a good pick for you?
NEXT WEEK’S BLOG POSTS
I’m back with another Australian classic, this time Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence, a nonfiction work by Doris Pilkington Garimara, an Indigenous woman who listened to and then wrote her relatives’ story of escaping a settlement for mixed-race children who were abducted from their families. Three girls, of which Pilkington Garimara’s mother was one, spent months walking home. Review Tuesday.
After reaching out to Rebecca Frost, PhD. about serial killers in America and emailing back and forth quite a bit, I asked if she wanted to be featured on Grab the Lapels. Frost not only studies serial killers, but Stephen King’s works, too. I know several of you have or are reading King’s books. Interview Thursday.
BOOKS ADDED TO THE TBR PILE
Owned Books on TBR at Beginning of Year: 242
Owned Books on TBR Today: 224