Every-Other-Sunday (Evening) Post/Readathon Update

I have a meme on my phone that I should learn to send out here.  It has an adorable puppy on his back, paws up, saying, “Help! I’m running out of weekend!” Well, it is Sunday after 6 p.m., and I have run out of weekend.

My Better Half and I decided to run 12 hours of the 24 hr. Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. I set aside 13 hours, so I could include 1/2 hour each to heat up and eat lunch and supper.  We started promptly at seven, broke for lunch (although we snacked while reading, mostly trail mix and chocolate) around noon, put the dishes on to soak, and I started chicken marsella in the slow cooker.  Amid delicious smells we spent a rainy, warm afternoon reading relaxing either on the bed, propped up by pillows or in comfortable reading/rocking chairs in the living room. Around sixish, we had a pleasant supper and quit reading at eight to give ourselves the Dr.Oz recommended hour’s rest from screen time before turning in. Since I was subbing for our Sunday School teacher on Sunday, I had to put the “finishing touches” on the lesson, and we slept the best we had in a long time, probably because we had had such a stress-free, relaxing day reading.

My progress report:

I finished The Resurrection of Joan Ashby, which gave insights into the inner life and general life of an author in novel form (to be reviewed here soon). I had read approximately 1/3 of it going in, and since it was on my computer Kindle app, I read other things (like Friday’s and Saturday’s Houston Chronicle) to rest my eyes from the computer screen. I read about seven chapters from The Grouchy Grammarian, which I hope to give to a grammar-grouch like myself who teaches English in Lake Jackson, Texas.  I have approximately 24 chapters to finish, but they are mercifully short. I skimmed How to Write Haiku and Other Short Poems, looking for material to use in a lecture on poetry theory Thursday, but I should have been alerted by the Scholastic publisher’s label.  It is aimed at younger readers than college level. The basics are there, however, and I am keeping it as a reference book on the “basics” should I ever get to do my dream of teaching a poetry workshop. I began Jeanette Walls memoir, Half Broke Horses (I had read The Glass Castle) and ended on page 113 before quitting. All in all, I had a productive, most enjoyable day, and felt renewed and refreshed when I awoke around 5:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Today was a busy day, teaching in Sunday School, meeting a student for lunch at Starbuck’s to help with a poorly written do-over paper, attending a meeting of the Alvin Museum Society which featured the head of the Brazoria County Museum Society who brought artifacts and reproductions and discussed what the “usual” doughboys took with them into WWI. Much of the material was new to me, and the speaker was generous enough to let us handle the “souvenirs” of the Great War and ask him questions. Our Alvin Museum is doing a temporary display of items from WWI, and I plan to go see them next weekend.

After doing a set of papers and reading the Sunday edition of The Houston Chronicle, filled with the good news of our beloved Astros, managed by a home-town Alvin boy, Reid Ryan, I prepared supper (leftovers) and am seeing what I’ve missed in the blogging world in the past two days.  It has been a very good weekend! 

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NOT-EVERY OTHER SUNDAY (EVENING) POST, BUT A BOOK CHALLENGE

I have just embarked on my first real book challenge, one set by someone else other than myself.  It started much earlier, and as usual, I am late to the starting gate, which will make it even more challenging.  The target date to have it done by is Dec. 31, 2017, and it is a “Color Coded Challenge.” One can either choose a book whose cover is the color mentioned, or one whose title mentions the prescribed color. Here are the books required: blue/red/yellow/green/brown/black/white/one other color not mentioned, a book that “implies” color (like a rainbow etc.) and in order to even it out to ten books (by Dec.31st, remember), I am adding a book by an author of color. Do you think I can do it by Dec. 31st?  I have just finished since the last Every-Other-Sunday (Evening) Post, Wizard and Glass,by Stephen King, which had a pink cover, so I am counting it as “one other color not mentioned.” Also, I have just begun Barkskins by Annie Proulx which has a brown cover, but that is a very ambitious undertaking because the book has 713 pages. Oh well, Dewey’s Twenty-Four Marathon is coming up this month, so that should help. I plan to look  at my TBR shelf soon and choose my colors or titles according to this challenge.  It ought to be fun! If you want to join me, leave a comment in the section below and join in.

Every Other Sunday (Evening) Post

Yes, yes, I know it’s Saturday evening, not Sunday, but I’m going to have such a full Sunday (and Monday, and Tuesday) that I thought while I had a minute to breathe, I’d do so while posting a catch up on what I’ve been reading.

Finished over the past two weeks:

News of The World    This is the Third Tuesday Book Club’s October selection, which I read by mistake, but enjoyed greatly.  Read the recent review of this fine western/historical fiction novel about Texas on this blog.  I believe this fine novel is the Gulf Coast Read for this year.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, which will be reviewed early next week.

Lilac Girls, a WWII novel of sisterhood which includes the Holocaust from both the Polish and German point of view along with the fall of France and its liberation.  This novel will also be reviewed soon.

Continuing to read:

Wizards and Glass Book IV of Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower Series.”  I believe this is my second favorite in the Dark Tower Series, the first being Wolves of the Calla, Book V. (Yes, I read them out of order.)

Our America: A Latin American History of the United States

Began this week:

Debbie Mcomber’s non-fiction, anecdotal book, One Simple Act: Discovering the Power of Generosity

Rules of Prey by John Sanford, reminiscent of “Criminal Minds” on TV, but with a single investigator, not a team, working on the bizarre case.

I obviously have a great deal of good reading to continue until I write this post again, but my reading time is limited. Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday are chock full with church and a student session in the afternoon, a doctor’s appointment and errands on M and a Sunday School coffee here after class on Tuesday.  Wednesday is my full day at the university ; then Thursday after class I hope to spend some time with friends (mother and teenage daughter) whom I haven’t seen since pre-Harvey.  It seems like everything is measured in terms of before and after Harvey these days.  Hopefully as the streets are cleared of debris and we begin to accept our “new normal,” the nightmares of Harvey will fade, and we will begin looking forward to Halloween, Thanksgiving, the semester’s end, and Christmas.  Sometimes it’s nice to look ahead…

 

EVERY-OTHER SUNDAY (EVENING) POST

A quick listing,catch-up is all I have time for tonight, for I still have six, five page Argument/Research papers to grade before tomorrow’s 8:00 am class.

What I finished: The Address, a superb second novel by Fiona Davis, which I will review tomorrow or the next day.

Daughter of Time, reviewed recently on this site.

Today’s Sunday Edition of The Houston Chronicle, a reward for all the hard work I’ve done this weekend.

What I am continuing to read:

A wonderful book of poetry, Poetic Rituals, by a blogging friend.  I have shared several of these poems with  my students in those “settling-down-and-getting-ready-to-start-class-for-real” times. (These occur frequently with an 8 o’clock class!)

Our America: A Hispanic History of the United States, which I confess I haven’t touched or opened this week.  High hopes for next week.

What I have begun:

The Leavers (see excerpt on Tuesday’s Teaser) by Lisa Ko

I have spent my time grading each evening, into the night, doing some much needed grocery shopping and some fine meal planning and cooking (and freezing in preparation for the end of the semester (6 days to go!) when I KNOW I won’t have time to cook and will just want to “warm up something.” My Better Half bought a lovely cheese and fruit tray home today.  We added potato salad from the deli and pan-grilled chicken hot dogs, complimented by pita chips, and we had a light, healthy lunch.  We are trying to eat our main meal at noon which is easier on senior citizen digestions and nocturnal early bedtimes.  Five thirty or six o’clock comes mighty early in the mornings.

Every-Other-Sunday-(Evening)-Post

It has been a grueling week, almost too much to handle, but The Good Lord and help from My Better Half and my cleaning friend, Carmen, got me through.  I had direct orders from my “grandson” to “do something fun,” so yesterday we went to our default family grill just up the street about a mile and had a light breakfast- -light for Diana’s, which usually offers a Country Boy Breakfast–use your imagination. Then we went to a nearby town to an estate sale. We bought a few useful items (no big purchases) and decided to return Sunday at one to see if the massage chair (which we don’t  really have room for) was still available and like all other items Sunday ,75% off.  We went back today after church, and it had been sold.  I did find some jewelry I couldn’t live without (at 75% off, remember) and a nice, white bookshelf for $7.50, a steal!

This past two weeks I finished reading the following:

The Good American, a coming-to-America-story, which I reviewed recently on this blog.

Jo Jo Meyer’s Paris For One,a novelette accompanied by several short stories which was good pick-up-put-down, escape reading.  This will  be reviewed this coming week.

I continued to read:

Poetic Rituals by Ritu Bhatal, a blogging friend ,who offers welcome relief from the stress and angst of daily life. I am reading her poems about love and its various forms right now and enjoying them immensely.

Daughter of Time (which is Truth), mentioned last time, which I will probably finish tonight or tomorrow.

The second novel of a friend, The Address, written by Fiona Davis, a New York, NY dweller who writes about famous buildings that are not only settings but practically  characters in her stories and mysteries. I should finish it this coming week.

Notes from A Small Dog by Ani , the dog, and told from her and her owner’s points of view.  It is on my Kindle app, and I should finish it soon. Look for a review.

I have begun Our America: A Hispanic History of the United States by Felipe Fernando-Armesto, my sole attempt to read more non-fiction besides the heart-warming book by Ani.

What I watched:

Very little TV

The Shack, which I read in print years ago, and was surprised to find I liked the movie MUCH better (probably because of the actress who played God, the “Father” part of the Trinity.  I also liked the actor who played Jesus, The Son, as well, especially since it was played by an Arabian-ethnic actor. The younger woman who played The Spirit, the third part of The Trinity ,was excellent also, much better than in the book, where the Spirit reminded me of Ariel or Tinkerbell.

Most of the time I was watching or reading was out of defense from all the school-related reading and work I was doing.  Thankfully, books and the movie provided me with an outlet and a release from the stress I was putting on myself. With two days of R&R and two “fun things” plus a little “cooking for therapy,” I feel like I am caught up and ready to face another week and “Go get ’em.”