Saturday, September 21, 2019

Colson Whitehead in Houston, a Small but Wet Tropical Storm, the Cybils Judges, an Acrobat who Installs Modems (Rant), and a Full Mailbox

I'm often horribly disappointed with sequels. The Handmaid's Tale is beloved, and I was very worried about The Testaments. Not to worry. My complete review is here.

I also read last week:

Summer of '69 by Todd Strasser
The Wicked King by Holly Black

I'm back to reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.

 Animal Skins by Mary Holland
The Forest in the Trees by Connie McLennan
Skulls by Blair Thornburgh illustrated by Scott Campbell
Fly by Mark Teague
The Revenge of Magic: The Last Dragon by James Riley
The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell
Oh Rats by Tor Seidler
The Key of Lost Things by Sean Easley
Sulwe by Lupita Nyong'o

Last Monday was the first night of the Inprint Margaret Root Brown Reading Series in Houston. Colson Whitehead was the first author of the season. What a wonderful night it was. I posted about it here.

The Classics Club is doing another spin. To join in, make a numbered list of twenty books you want to read from your Classics Club list. On Monday, the spin number will be announced. My list is here.

It's always difficult to choose judges for the Cybils, and this year was no exception. We had a flood of applicants this year for Fiction Picture Books / Board Books, my category, and the quality of applicants was high.We will announce the  2019 Cybils judges next week.

Tropical Storm Imelda formed quickly on Tuesday in the Gulf of Mexico and pushed ashore, with winds up to forty miles an hour, and dumping about twelve inches of rain on us here south of Houston. Sadly, my brother and my niece and their families all got water in their homes north of Houston. 

Whew. My sister chose the one of her favorite movies for our Movie Club Night last week, a movie I had never seen. She chose Schindler's List. Whew. It was a gut-wrenching movie. I'm still wondering about the cruelty of man toward man and how that can happen. Have you seen this movie? What do you think about it?

I'm up next for Movie Club Night. Do you have any recommendations for me? I think we might need something light after the movie and our discussion after the movie last week.

Rant time.

We have had Comcast Internet and cable in our house since 1985. That's a long time. But we finally decided that enough is enough. 

A couple of years ago, we had trouble with our cable and called and called and finally got someone to come out. The technician came to our house, but he couldn't figure out how to install a new modem. While we talked to him, we learned he was working for Comcast, but he was looking for a job as a circus acrobat! We finally helped him get the modem installed. I wonder if he ever got a gig with the circus or if he is still trying to work on cable equipment.

What really frustrated us wasn't just having acrobats working for our Internet provider, though. Last year, we decided to get rid of our home phone. We called Comcast to let them know we wanted to disconnect and they told us if we got rid of our home phone our bill would go up by forty dollars! What?! 

We disconnected everything last week, and we were asked to return our Comcast equipment. We could find no phone numbers for any of the service centers, and we were not sure what equipment to bring back. We finally brought in anything we could find with Comcast or Xfinity on it, including a box that had never been opened, to the service center. The woman checked in everything we brought in and then told us we needed to return an additional small piece of equipment. We told her we brought in everything we could find. Then she saw the box that hadn't been opened. Inside was the equipment she needed to check in. The circus performer had failed to install it two years ago. We have been paying $6.95 a month for rent on this piece of equipment that had never been out of the box. 

Thank you for letting me vent.

What was your week like?

Did you read some good books? We'd like to hear about them.

What other bookish things did you do? What else is going on in your life?

We'd love to have you to link up here and/or at the Sunday Salon page on Facebook each weekend (Saturday-Sunday-Monday) and let us know what you have been doing. I hope you will visit other blogs and join in the conversations going on there. 

If you have other blogging friends, it would be wonderful if you'd tell others about our salon and encourage them to join us.

Other places where you may like to link up are below. Click on the picture to visit the site.

My linkup for Sunday Salon is below. 


  1. I'm so glad to hear The Testaments is worth reading but I'm sorry to hear Imelda caused damage to your family members' homes.

    I've never seen Schindler's List either and think I'd have to be in the right mood to watch it.

    We've thought of getting rid of Spectrum, too, but haven't cut the cord yet.

    1. I waited a long time to see Schindler’s List, as I was pretty sure it would be a movie that upset me. It did.

  2. So many interesting books on your list. Enjoy! Have a great week!

  3. I'm glad you stayed reasonably dry with Imelda, but sorry for your family and others impacted. I have a friend in Beaumont, so I've been paying attention to this storm. Her home stayed dry although she was trapped on an island for more than a day. Lots of her friends and neighbors had water in their homes.

  4. No difference here with our provider, Bell Canada. My husband spent an hour on the phone with the call centre, in MANILA, to report that our box did not work. The guy put him through the hoops, my husband is a techie, to "troubleshoot" what my husband already told him. At one point, he said, if this was my wife, she wouldn't know where to find the info you are asking (serial #s etc) and also she wouldn't/couldn't lift some of this stuff. Finally clerk said, yes, you need a new box (REALLY????) but I need my supervisor to approve it. Supervisor tries to put my husband through the same hoops, husband not having any of it. Said send me the new box!
    Glad I wasn't home!

  5. As usual, I'm overwhelmed by all you do and read in one week. And I'm especially jealous of the writers' series there in Houston. I did read your post on Colson Whitehead, but just didn't have anything to say beyond "cool". :) As for Comcast, ugh, the worst! We had to deal with them when we lived near Philadelphia. Now it's a smaller company, Blue Ridge, which isn't great, but isn't horrible like Comcast.

  6. You got a lot of reading done last week.
    I have seen Schindlers List, it’s a devastating movie.
    We stream everything we watch through apps, that we do t have to worry about boxes or being locked into subscriptions.

    Have a great reading week

  7. Been keeping you in my thoughts and all the people affected by Imelda. This has been a terrible season of storms.

  8. Hope your Houston family dry out quickly. Here in AZ, we'll be getting some rain off the backs of TSs Lorena and Mario. We *so* need it!

    I went to see Schindler's List when it was first released at the fancy theater in downtown Lincoln, NE. I have never been with a movie audience so utterly quiet.

    1. The family has set to work repairing homes. I think it will be done in a few months and life will get back to normal.

  9. What a fabulous week, Deb - though I'm really sorry your relations got flooded due to Imelda, how horrible.

    Yes... I'm not sure why service providers often are so substandard, although overall I'm happy with Sky - I do hope you get your monthly subscription refunded. No wonder the thing hasn't been working well...

    Yes... I've seen Schindler's List and dreamt of it for weeks afterwards - that poor little girl in the red coat. What about The Best Exotic Hotel Marigold as something a lot lighter, but with some stellar performances and plenty to talk about?

    Have another wonderful week, Deb. I always find your Sunday post an inspiration:)

  10. I haven't seen Schindler's List (or Saving Private Ryan, or Sophie's Choice--are you sensing a theme here?). And I want to say I can't BELIEVE your Comcast story, only of course I can. Sigh.

    I'm so excited to find out what my first Classics Club spin title is!

    1. Tomorrow will be the day for the spin. And the announcement of the Cybils judges!

  11. I did tell the person at Comcast that I felt my money should be refunded. I wonder if I should call and ask about it.

  12. I have The Testaments waiting...and now I am really eager to dive into it.

    Enjoy the upcoming week, and thanks for visiting my blog.

  13. We briefly had cable from 1999-2003. We had to cancel it when I lost my job and finances were extremely tight. Even though we could afford it now, our TV viewing is so different from back then that it wouldn't make sense to have it.

  14. That Comcast story is ridiculous. They for sure don't always have the most competent installers. We have Comcast, it's too expensive but it's the easiest way for my husband to watch the sports he wants to.

    1. Yes, we shall have to get something to replace the sports. Sigh.

  15. Wow that Comcast story!!! What a racket, for real. We just switched to our city internet from AT&T - and thanks, I need to remember to return our equipment tomorrow! Lol. I do wonder if that guy joined the circus or not...

    The books you got in the mail look great!

    I am sorry to hear that your family experienced some flooding - these storms. :(

  16. So much to comment on. I also hate our cable provider and I often try to convince my parents to quit. But, like you, our internet and phone are also through them and we have a "cheaper" bill due to bundling. Monopolies suck.

    Schindler's List is indeed intense, but oh so good. The effect of the girl in the red coat is powerful. Actually, the whole thing is. I think it's a must-watch.

    So glad to hear the Testaments is good. Do you think I need to re-read The Handmaid's Tale first? It's been years.

    1. I didn't reread Handmaid's Tale, but I did read a detailed summary of the book.

  17. I'm sorry to hear that Imelda had an impact on your family. I can't imagine getting that much rain at one time. Knock on wood - our internet has not been causing any problems...and I hope it stays that way. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

    1. Our town actually is in the Guinness Book of World Records for most rainfall in a single day.

  18. i haven't particpated in sunday salon...yet, but just began following you so maybe i'll remember to add the salon to my sunday post. i have a huge issue with cable, but have been using it in one state or another since its conception. i can't be without it. i'm like an addict and i do love cussing and swearing at the tv when it screws up. LOL i don't call them as much any more, but at least we don't have circus clowns helping us. lol
    sherry @ fundinmental

  19. Oh my goodness, what a crazy experience with your acrobat Comcast person. You couldn't make this stuff up, could you? LOL And I'm very much looking forward to The Queen of Nothing. I may need to go ahead and re-read the series in October in preparation! Have a wonderful week of reading!

  20. Busy reading list. I love your new arrivals -- especially the younger offerings. Hmmm - I think that is all of them. :-)
    Sorry your relatives got hit by the water from Imelda. Weather damage is disruptive to live and can be traumatic.
    I don't recall seeing Shindler's List so I would like to watch it.
    So sorry you had that trouble with Comcast. Our SIL is a trainer/installer for a competitor so he takes pretty good care of us. We do pay for the entertainment though.

    The Classic Club spin sounds fun.
    Glad you linked at MM. Happy Reading!

  21. Go Cybils club! My mom is also in Houston, but she was lucky to have her house remain dry.

    For a movie that is the complete opposite of Shindler's List, maybe a romantic comedy? I'm partial to Grosse Pointe Blank, but that's a bit violent.

  22. Hope you had a good week and enjoyed some good books.


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