It’s almost Independence Day here in the US and when night falls, the firecrackers start going off all across the city. It doesn’t bother me as much this year as the pyromaniacs who used to live across the street have moved away, but my cat and my friends’ pets are definitely not fans of the holiday. It will be completely nuts on the third and the fourth, and the city has issued an air quality warning in advance. We’re rather fond of our neighborhood fireworks displays, and the city has a large show, too. It makes for a very loud, very colorful, and very smoky Independence Day.
I didn’t get much reading done this week, as I had a super busy week filled with fun and going out. On Sunday, two of my book club friends and I went out to see Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor presented by the Flatwater Shakespeare company. It was the perfect night for an outdoor play with temperatures in the 70s, clear skies, and plenty of shade thanks to the big old trees in the park. There was even free ice cream, created just for this production by a local ice cream shop! Monday night was the second to last night of my pottery class, and I finally figured out how to pull the walls of my cylinders, as well as sorting out a problem with my centering skills. I also found out that we can buy studio time and materials if we want to continue working on the pottery wheels. Woohoo!
When class was over, the lot of us went over to Chinese restaurant for dinner. It’s authentic enough that the daily specials and half the menu were written in Chinese. While I couldn’t read half of what was going on, the food was fantastic! I hadn’t been to that particular restaurant before, but I will be going back in the future.
For their tenth wedding anniversary, two of my friends decided that they didn’t want to buy things for each other. Instead, a bunch of us went to a local escape room. Five of the seven of us had never done one before, but we managed to get out in 29 minutes, 26 seconds- the fourth best time out of the 1,481 teams that have attempted that room. Go us! It’s a bit of an expensive bit of fun, but it’s definitely something we want to do again.
Thankfully, I didn’t have anything planned for Thursday night, as I wasn’t feeling well due to a headache and aching feet. I made a quick trip to the library and called it a night.
As for books, I finished up Anthony Bourdain’s Medium Raw- A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook. I have immensely enjoyed his food and travel shows, No Reservations and Parts Unknown. They’ve taught me more about food and cooking than any Food Network show ever has, and have inspired me to try new foods and new cuisines. And helpfully so, as Lincoln is home to many people from many, many different countries, making it easy to find restaurants serving food from all over the world. His shows have also opened my eyes to the daily lives of people in countries I’ve never really thought about before.
Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass was the only book I started and finished this week. I wasn’t thrilled with it, and will have a more detailed review later on.
My current reads are Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was by the Icelandic author Sjón. It is the story of a gay teenage boy in Reykjavik in 1918. As the fallout from World War I and the deadly Spanish Influenza reach Iceland’s shores, a volcano erupts and darkens the skies with ash. Through all of this the boy, Máni, seeks out both films and men who will pay him for sex until the real world finally intrudes upon the dreamy world Máni has built for himself. I’ve read two of Sjón’s novellas- The Blue Fox and The Whispering Muse. Both are shimmering tales that bring more than a hint of magic into the world. Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was is just as beautifully written (I’m about a third of the way through), but it is far darker and far more realistic than the others.
The other book I’ll be working on this week is Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic, a novel about two sisters, Gillian and Sally, who are the heiresses of a magical heritage though neither of them wants that heritage for themselves. They go their separate ways as they try to escape their fate, but the magic in their blood will not be denied. I’m about a third of the way through this book as well, and it’s already fantastic. Whenever I sit down to read it, I lose myself in the story within a few sentences. With an extra day off thanks to the holiday this week, I think I’ll be finishing this one in short order.