Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

Well this book was less of a tome than my previous two, so I was able to finish it more quickly than my last read. It was also a bit breezier in content and tone. Don’t get me wrong: my snooty ex-academic cred is still maintained insofar as the book was tagged as a “must read of the week” by good old NPR.

This is yet another one of my impulse discount e-book purchases, but this one from long enough ago that I actually have it as a iBook rather than a Kindle file.(1) It’s a cinematic novel about cinema and Hollywood, but its opening—and most thematically important—setting of a fictional Cinque Terre village in Italy allows me to check off the latter criterion for this challenge category.

Continue reading “Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter”

Flights of Whimsy

Sometimes, my old habits towards isolationism—nurtured over many school years of feeling generally misfit and outcast—give me the sense of moving through my life with as much of an observational, anthropological perspective as a fully engaged one.(1)

I am particularly aware of this tendency as regards the different cultures and traditions of different lived communities. During my childhood, we bounced from the west coast to New England, to South America, the U.S. midwest and then New Jersey. Then, after college, I shifted between urban life—the heart of Philly—and our current suburban Massachusetts home.

With all those different places and lived environments, I now and again find myself surprised when I finally see some phenomenon I’ve heard about with my own eyes.

Such as this fortnight’s plastic flamingos.

Continue reading “Flights of Whimsy”

Reindeer Rampant

So I guess I’m a bit of a rebel, posting here on GOT night. But it’s early in the evening, and it’ s a quick post, so that makes it easier for JALC and GOT to co-exist in the same evening.

No new books, and one new movie that I won’t talk about yet.(1) But I did finish a stitching project.

Continue reading “Reindeer Rampant”

Am I Blue?

I know why I didn’t post on Tuesday night: I had a fairly long Zoom call with some friends, and then I had some crucial prep-work to do for a Wednesday morning meeting.

I’m less sure about why I didn’t post last night. I stopped watching TV at 7 PM, I came into my “Goddess room,” I sat down at my computer, opened up WordPress, and then. . . . nothing much happened.

It’s not like it was the first night where I didn’t have an easy topic: no fresh books or movies, no yoga class, no introspective insights. But I’ve had other nights without an obvious topic, and I’ve still shown up to the page and written something. Heck, that’s what the whole “From the Hat” category is about!

When all is said and done, I just couldn’t summon up the energy, the will, last night to write anything.

Continue reading “Am I Blue?”

Close-up on the book cover of The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

So although it’s a day later than initially planned, I did finish the big tome I’ve been working through for the last month. And, of course, this post is a day later still.(1)

Considering how far off-schedule I am for these reading challenges, it almost seems futile to list what categories different books cover. Almost.

I’m not gonna beat myself up for how far off the mark I end up being come December 31, and I’m not gonna try crazy book bingo stuff to check off more categories. Despite that new “lazy gal’s” approach to reading challenges, I still want to be able to go back at the end of the year and see which categories I covered and which I didn’t.

So, in that spirit:

  • Around the Year #14: Title, cover, or subtitle related to an astronomical term.
  • PopSugar #33: With a zodiac sign or astrology term in the title.

I’m also amused to note that this is the second Booker prize-winner I’ve read in a row. Aren’t I so very cultured?

Continue reading “The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton”

Beyonce performing as part of her Formation Tour in 2016.

Flawless and Womanist

My plans for today were relatively unambitious.

  • Follow through on my intention to dump out and purge another dresser drawer while the dog was at daycare (check).
  • Get a very small, chipping-away-at-it, start on cleaning up the clutter room in the basement (check check).
  • Finally finish the tome I’ve been working on since late March (record scratch).

Two out of three ain’t bad. You see, what I didn’t plan on today was watching Beyonce’s Homecoming.

Continue reading “Flawless and Womanist”

Sacred Song

On today’s commute, my “Alphabet Stew” playlist served up some Michael Bublé(1), including the It’s Time album, which was what first brought him onto my radar.

As the tracks spooled out, one song played that I had simultaneously completely forgotten about while also having it indelibly etched in my memory.

How are both of those things possible? Come : join me below the jump and let me explain.

Continue reading “Sacred Song”