Saturday, February 27, 2021

The Sun is Out, the Weather is Warming Up...Are Things Starting to Get Better?

 



Power is back on. Water is back on. The sun has come out. The temperatures have soared into the 70s. 

Life is good again.





I finished only one fiction book, a brand-new middle-grade story, Amber & Clay, by Newbery-winning author Laura Amy Schlitz. The structure of this brilliant novel wowed me, with chapters set off with artifacts from ancient Greece, and text written in turn-counterturn, elegiac couplets, and hendecasyllables. It's not just structure that wowed me either; this story has great characters and a fascinating plot.

I read two recently published nonfiction books by authors I admire, The System by Robert B. Reich, and The Tyranny of Merit by Michael J. Sandel. I hope to do a blog post about these books in the near future which I have tentatively titled What Happened to My America? Part Two. 

I wrapped up two Classics Club books, The Narrative of Sojourner Truth, and The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson. 

My friend Rae of Powerful Women Readers brought over her copy of Q's Legacy, the last book in the trilogy of books about 84, Charing Cross Road.






All Things Wise and Wonderful by James Herriot (Book 3 in the Series)

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri (Chapter-a-Day Read-Along)

Yes, and...Daily Meditations by Richard Rohr (Daily Meditation Reading)

The Makioka Sisters by Junichiko Tanizaki (Japanese Literature Challenge)

Voices from the Past: Great Quotations for Every Day of the Year

A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter (1001 Children's Books)








I posted Books That Make Me Laugh Out Loud this week, which led me to NPR's 2019 list of Funny Books. We could use a few laughs right now, I think. If you have other suggestions, I'd love to see you include them on my Goodreads' Best Mood-Boosting Books list or share them in the comments.



I was delighted to get my first copy of a new magazine, Oh Reader, in the mail. Have you seen this one? What do you think?




Inprint Houston featured a visit with Lily King (Writers and Lovers) and Chang-rae Lee (My Year Abroad) interviewed by former Houston Chronicle books editor Maggie Galehouse last week. Look at the wonderful bookshelves of all three folks.



My Black History Month calendar for 2021, filled with wonderful picture books. 







Good Thing #1
It took me three episodes, but I am growing to like the characters in the new version of All Creatures Great and Small.



Good Thing #2
We watched Darkest Hour, a 2017 movie with Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill. Loved it.


Good Thing #3
We've now dared to visit in person with my dad and his wife plus my sister and brother-in-law. All of them have received both vaccinations, and we have received our first. We are starting to think about a visit to Chicago and a rock dig to Montana in late summer.




I'm happy you found your way to the Sunday Salon. Sunday Salon is a place for us to link up and to share what we have been doing during the week. It's a great way to visit other blogs and join in the conversations going on there. 

Some of the things we often talk about at the Sunday Salon:

  • What was your week like?
  • Read any good books? Tell us about them.
  • What other bookish things did you do? 
  • What else is going on in your life?

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


My linkup for Sunday Salon is below.


78 comments:

  1. I'm happy for you that things are finally getting better regarding weather. I'm also glad you love the new version of All creatures and you definitely made me want to look at the old one ! Enjoy your reads and have a great week-end :)

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    1. The photography and the sets of the new series are brilliant. But the old series is completely faithful to the books. The acting is very good in both old and new.

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  2. We took a walk in the park two days in a row. It was sunny and very nice to be out again.

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  3. We were one of the few amongst our friends who got the vaccine and I am so relieved. Here vaccines are limited so I was grateful for this.
    You are reading Dante - that is courageous! I'd love to hear your views after you've finished.

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    1. I chose to not worry about the identity of all the Italians named in The Divine Comedy. I am trying to focus on the most important parts of the book.

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  4. I'm so glad the weather and life in general are good again where you are.

    That middle grade book sounds fantastic, although a bit complex for my liking.

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  5. So hoping you are right about spring beginning now -- but here in Michigan, despite some sunny days, we can't count on it. Meanwhile I shared a post about the desert, which is a place I hope we can revisit as travel becomes safer!

    be well... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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  6. Why, yes. I do believe things are starting to get better. Thank goodness for the vaccines! I know they're slow to get out to everyone, but what a relief to know that there's a light at the end of this long, dark tunnel.

    BTW, I love your new header background. So colorful and swirly. :)

    I've read a few of Helene Hanff's books, but not Q's Legacy. 84, Charing Cross Road is one of the few books that I've read more than just a couple of times.

    I was inspired by your recent post about humorous books, so check out my new blog post today. I came up with a dozen titles.

    It's been a couple of years, but we enjoyed Darkest Hour, too. Gary Oldman was outstanding in his role as Churchill.

    Oh, I am so glad you were able to visit your dad and his wife!! We still haven't received our first vaccinations, but my mom has had her first. Shipments were delayed to our area of Oregon due to the recent winter storms. I hope we get ours in the next few weeks.

    Here's to better days!

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    1. I had read the other two Helene Hanff books, but it's the first time I've read Q's Legacy.

      I think I really needed to see Darkest Hour, with a flawed person as leader who acts in the best interests of all.

      I will head over to your blog and take a look at your choices for humorous books.

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  7. It looks like you had a great week Deb. I am happy that you are all getting your vaccines and are able to see one another. I will continue to wait for mine, hopefully before summer. I too received a book from wonderful Rae, but mine had to travel a bit further.

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    1. Rae always finds a way to share books, no matter how far away you are.

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  8. I for sure want to take a look at Amber and Clay -- so I put a hold on it at my library just now. I really should read A Girl of the Limberlost again; I couldn't engage with the characters very well the first time. Then I read Stratton-Porter's Keeper of the Bees and became intrigued with her as an author and woman. I've read nothing since then, though; maybe I need to read a biography.

    A dig in Montana sounds exotic!

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    1. I am eager to hear what others think of Amber and Clay. I was worried that it would be too cerebral at the expense of characterization, but that didn't seem to be true.

      I'd like to know more about Stratton-Porter.

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  9. Glad the weather has gotten better for you Deb. We have at least a foot of snow but not rain now for two days so melting some. I'm so impressed with your BHM accomplishments. I read a lot of books outside of my normal genres and it felt good too....lesson learned:) Hope March is a good one for you. Posting my Feb list tomorrow.

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    1. Every time I've left a time of reading a single genre I've felt that reading has become a richer experience for me.

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  10. I'm so happy to hear that the weather is better. I'm hoping everything returns to normal again.I'm also happy to hear you were able to visit with your family. I hope you have a great week!

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    1. It is so wonderful to feel that we can get together with family again.

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  11. The weather here is slightly getting better and hopefully things are getting better otherwise around the country. The vaccines are helping, so there is hope.

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    1. I feel like, with the vaccines, that I finally have hope for getting back to seeing people and going to church.

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  12. The weather is better and I'm able to work in my garden again. Sad though it is at the moment, that makes everything better.

    I read The Makioka Sisters in 2016 and liked it quite a lot. I'll be interested to see your thoughts on it. I just finished reading My Year Abroad and have to admit I was a bit disappointed. I haven't done my review yet - still thinking about it.

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    1. I think a copy of My Year Abroad is coming in the mail from Inprint. I'm waiting to read it until then.

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  13. I am so happy for you that you have gotten to visit with family (and that you have electricity and water!), it must feel so good to see them.

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  14. I am glad things were better for you this week! I have a friend in Texas whose water is still off. Hopefully they can sort out the problem soon. I will have to check out Amber & Clay. It sounds amazing. The Girl of the Limberlost is one of my childhood favorites. I should reread it again.

    I am glad you both got your first vaccines. We're thinking of having my mom visit over spring break. She'll have had both her vaccine doses by then (I've had mine). We haven't seen her in over a year.

    I hope you have a great week!

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    1. I really miss seeing my son and his wife in Chicago. But who knows when young people will get their shots?

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  15. I enjoyed watching All Creatures Great and Small. It looks like you had a good reading month. I'm glad temperatures are warming up. I hope they stay and we don't have a freak ice storm.

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    1. I looked at the forecast all the way to May and I don't see any more cold weather.

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  16. I’m delighted that you can safely participate in family visits and plan trips again! Hopefully the worst of the winter weather is behind you and you have a lovely spring.
    I’ll have to check out Oh Reader.

    Wishing you a great reading week

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  17. Didn't know there was a third book to 84, Charing Cross. will tag it at the library later today.
    So lucky that you are getting your shots. We are not really planning any trips at the moment, will see how things go.

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  18. Hi Debbie! So grateful to hear that you guys are okay and that the temperatures are rising again. Must have been a horrible couple of days.

    Darkest Hour was BRILLIANT. I loved that movie!

    Take care of yourself this week and I promise to have a Wondrous Words Wednesday post up on Wednesday.

    Elza Reads

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    1. I loved seeing the character of Winston Churchill. He is my new favorite fellow.

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  19. I am so glad you have power and water again! We had two planned outages this week so that construction could be done next door, and I was having a hard time with it. LOL.

    I am not a fan of power outages!

    Enjoy your week and your books. I also liked Darkest Hour when I watched it.

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  20. So glad the weather, power, and water situations are all back to normal... what a relief that must be!

    I loved The Makioka Sisters when I read it several years ago. Hope it's a good reading experience for you, too. I keep meaning to read Q's Legacy. The first two books in the series were so good, especially 84, Charing Cross road.

    Thanks for mentioning Darkest Hour... maybe we can watch it this week!

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    1. I keep getting distracted away from The Makioka Sisters. I need to get back at it.

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  21. I'll have to keep imprint in mind for future interviews. I love lilly king's work.

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    1. Inprint is usually in person in Houston. This year is the 40th anniversary.

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  22. I need to read some funnt books :) Have a great week!

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  23. I'm so pleased that you are now able to start considering visiting family. We are still in lockdown here in the UK, and there is a very gradual, step by step approach under way, which I completely support given how badly we've been affected, in comparison to other European countries... I loved your list of funny books - we all need more laughter in our lives right now. And I'm delighted that you have water and power back! Let's hope the worst of the winter is now behind us... Have a lovely week, Deb:)

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  24. I haven't heard of the Oh Reader magazine. How did you like it? Glad you have started to get vaccinated!

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    1. It's something that will be especially good for readers in their 30s and 20s, I think.

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  25. So glad your power and water are back on and that the weather has warmed up for you. We went from snow to now rain and thunderstorms. I just know the Satellite dish will wonk out when I settle in to watch my Sunday night shows. LOL (American Idol, The Walking Dead, Golden Globes, and Allen v Farrow)

    Can't believe I have STILL not read 84 Charing Cross Road.

    I have NOT seen Oh Reader. Please tell us about it!

    After three episodes of the new All Creatures I had to bail. I liked the actors and characters very much but was bored by the plots. I have never seen the original All creatures.

    Glad you got to visit with some dear family in person! That's great!

    Have a good week!

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  26. Yes! So happy that you have received your first vaccines, and also are tentatively making plans! `So glad that you got to visit your family in person! :)

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  27. LOVED The Darkest Hour. Very powerful. I had a somewhat different reaction to All Creatures, was in it from the start except for Tristan (whom, you will find, will grow on you and by the seventh episode... well, no spoilers!). But following it so closely after all the original episodes might be a bit too close -- there are already such vivid images of Robert Hardy, Christopher Timothy and Peter Davidson.

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  28. I have a copy of Q's Legacy but have yet to read it. I adore 84 but wasn't as in love with with the 2nd book. That's wonderful about visiting with family. We've done some but very carefully. My daughter just got her 2nd vaccination and my husband is starting the process because thankfully they both qualify as essential workers. I've been told I qualify as an "unpaid healthcare worker" but haven't heard for sure. Have a great week!

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  29. The Narrative of Sojourner Truth is on my list to read soon. I just finished the first season of All Creatures Great and Small and am not so patiently waiting for the second season.

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  30. I'm glad the power is back on and things are warming up.

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  31. I'm glad to hear your power is back on. I never realize how much I depend on it until it suddenly shuts off.
    Happy to know you got your first vaccine! The progress here is very slow, so my family will have to be more patient.
    I love The Darkest Hour! I know want to watch it again!
    Are you enjoying The Makioka Sisters? It's one I really want to read as well.
    Have a wonderful week!

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  32. Your picture books calendar looks so beautiful; Amber and Clay sounds delightful; and your three good things are actually wonderful!!

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    1. Maybe next year I will also do a picture book calendar for Women's History Month in March.

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  33. So, how are you liking The Makioka Sisters? I'm afraid to launch into it

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  34. I am admiring your Black History Month Calendar. So creative. My Sunday Salon post this week

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    1. Reading a picture book a day is like popping in a mint. Refreshing.

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  35. I'm glad things are getting better in Texas. I'm sure lots of people are still dealing with burst pipes though. You are reading an interesting variety of books too. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

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  36. I'm still trying to get into All Things Great And Small. I think my issue is that my daughter says she wants to watch it, so I try to wait to watch it for her, but then she's never "in the mood." Sigh...

    Have a great week!

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  37. Looking forward to spring in Massachusetts! Winter seems to have lasted forever but also to have zoomed by. These are strange times, indeed!

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    1. I hope that not everything has been killed by the deep freeze here.

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  38. Oh Texas sure got it bad, I even heard some people have been stung with horrendous power bills. I hope that gets dealt too. Great that you can finally feel you can visit some key family. Long may it continue.

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    1. I don't want to think about some of the people in our Texas government right now.

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  39. I'm glad Texas is back in business. Now if only that Texas Senator could be dismissed. Wish I had listened to the Lily King interview. The Darkest Hour is a great movie, love Gary Oldman in that.

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    1. Back in business is right. That, and a distraction from mismanagement of our power grid?

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  40. Weather plays such a large role in our happiness, doesn't it? I've been loving the twinkly light coming through the tree leaves. We still have leaves even with all the wind we had. We never quite had fall in the traditional sense.

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  41. I'm so excited to start planning for post-vaccination. It will be a few more weeks or months on my end but what's that compared to a year of the pandemic already. My parents are getting their shots tomorrow and will likely come to visit us (from India) shortly after their second dose. This is a long-overdue visit (a year delayed!) so I cannot be more excited! Tell us about your vacation plans once you have them.

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    1. I am so happy for you, Athira. It will be a wonderful reunion.

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  42. Tell me more about Oh Reader, or better yet, save me your old copies then I'll give them back to you (for your LFL, maybe?)

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  43. Am reading Writers and Lovers now.
    My mother's favorite book was Porter's Girl of the Limberlost, which she read as a teenager when it was first published in the 40s.
    I also loved Darkest Hour.
    This was a totally exhausting, but productive and wonderful week!

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I love to hear what you think.