I have taken advantage of the current heat wave to get in the pool the past two days. It has been glorious to do my regular workout before being restricted to not having a workout.
Yeah, I’m working on that.
Anyway, the pool was great! I also learned a lot. For one, I learned that the wireless headphones I got do not like when I get in the pool. They kept crapping out during my workout on Saturday, which is beyond frustrating because I use the music to keep time for my workout. Without the music, I wouldn’t know when to start or stop various parts of my workout and–more importantly–I would get bored and cut my workout short. So, the headphones not working is actually a super not great thing and not just because music is fun. The good news is that my headphones worked better on Sunday, and I honestly do not know what changed. I changed the placement of my phone, but I had done that on Saturday with no luck so, sigh. The headphones are a fickle beast. I’ll have to investigate better headphones for when the weather actually breaks because I cannot live this way.
You know, I was beating myself because I hadn’t posted yet this week, and I realized it’s because I have been struggling with how to (and whether or not I wanted to) address current events. All I’ll say is this: Living in this country is exhausting.
My reading deprivation is officially over, so I watched some TV and read some books. More specifically, I finally finished Living Single (Hulu), which is super fun because the characters really do feel like they’re my friends. I was trying to decide on my next throwback comfort watch and remembered that when I was watching The Bernie Mac Show, I started X-Men: The Animated Series (Disney+), so I think I need to go ahead and get back to that. Not to mention, seeing the good guys win over and over again might just be what I need to feed my soul right now.
A note on the wrap-up: I’m going to try something new with my book reviews this week since WordPress has stepped up its game with these blocks. I’ll see if I have the patience for it in the coming weeks.
If you’re unfamiliar, a reading deprivation occurs in week four of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. During a reading deprivation, you give up reading for a week. I started mine on January 1 so that means I’m currently on day four. Just like last time, I have basically given up all media that uses words, including social media. I also gave up Bejeweled (except–TMI alert–when I’m in the bathroom) because I definitely use it as a form of distraction and admit that about myself. Unlike last time, I am a little less crazed–probably because I knew what to expect this time and also, maybe, because I have grown as a person in the last four and a half years.
As a result of the no words thing, I am VERY into the Pop Goes Classical playlist/station on Spotify. It is getting me through. Current faves include “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Queenz of Piano and “Lose Yourself” by David Garrett.
The holidays were nice and low-key. Jólabókaflóð (Yule Book Flood) was a success this year. I received The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (reviewed below) and milk and honey by Rupi Kaur (started but, obviously, on hold until the end of the week). I gave The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas to my daughter’s friend who said she wanted to read more classics, and I gave my daughter The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo because she said she wanted to read more about minimalism. We exchanged books, drank hot cocoa, and read together for about an hour or so. It was a delight. Christmas was also a lot of fun with us hanging out, opening presents, watching movies, and eating some food.
I did make a post last week, and I did read some books and watch some movies that I didn’t post about here before the end of the new year.
(Also, I cannot believe I did not post this last year! I may have to do last year’s anyway. I started it but never finished, which ruined my streak. AND ALSO I DON’T KNOW HOW I FELT ABOUT BOOKS. What a tragedy.)
I’m trying something new this year, which is not repeating answers. So even if a book fit more than one category, I put it in the one I felt it best fit.
Number Of Books You Read: 48 Number of Audiobooks: 6 Number of Rereads: 4 Number Unfinished/Abandoned: 6 (2 of these were audiobooks)
Well, this was just awesome. I loved the narrative voice, the seamless transitions from past to present, and the characterization. That Stella is something else, but I think Bennett deftly shows how though her world seems larger, it’s actually just as small–if not smaller–than Desiree’s. I also appreciated the skewering of moderate racist White people.
All the characters here are sympathetic, and this just further proves my point that fiction can be a better entry point into anti-racist teaching than nonfiction. Also, as always, all Black lives matter and the reminder that “unimportant men were killed to make the point that they were unimportant–that they were not even men” (179) was as true in the 1960s as it is now.
I am writing this at 10:55 p.m. WILL I MAKE THE DEADLINE? I hope so. (The answer, btw, is yes. Hitting post on this at 11:15.)
I won’t be participating in Month of Faves this week because I never post my fave books before December 31 as I may read one of my favorite books of the year between now and then. So, here’s a recap of all my Month of Faves posts from the past week instead:
⭐ DEC 18 – Favorite Things [Holiday Edition] (Treats, Traditions, Books, Movies, Songs, Decorations, Activities, etc)
Today, I’m going to focus on traditions since I don’t really have anything new to report about the other stuff, and my traditions also include activities ✅ and decorations ✅. I haven’t watched any of the new Christmas movies and my old ones haven’t changed. I have no new treats to report. I haven’t heard any new Christmas songs except for that Sia one, and I do like it but I’ve only heard it twice and only because I watched the video.
Jólabókaflóð, the Yule Book Flood
Hello, my new favorite tradition is (of course) Jólabókaflóð, the Yule Book Flood wherein you exchange books on Christmas Eve and read while eating snacks. Last year was my first year participating when I was at my friend’s house, and it was a fun whirlwind of a doozy. This year will be much more lowkey since there are only three of us. The plan is for each person to buy the other two people books and then read while drinking hot cocoa and eating cookies/snacks. We initially pulled names out of a hat, but both girls were like, “Why can’t we just buy books for everybody?” and so that’s what we’re going to do.