Sunday Sum-Up

Winter Destinations for Christmas!

There are some days when getting up is the last thing you want to do. For me, that day was yesterday when, facing a busy day at work and wintry weather, my cat curled up beside me in bed and started purring as loudly as he possibly could. Readers, it took every bit of willpower I had to get myself out of bed and ready for work.

It’s been a baking sort of week, cold and snowy on Thursday and Friday. I baked my first loaf of oat bread, but it didn’t rise as much as it should have. I’m not sure if it was due to a misreading of the directions or if I kneaded the dough incorrectly. It tasted just fine, though Paul Hollywood would have said it was underbaked had I been a contestant on the Great British Baking Show. Oh well. It was the first loaf I’d ever made. I’ll do it better next time. The next bit of baking was a cake, and that only because I’d made a chocolate stout cake for my bookclub’s get-together the week before, and the frosting recipe I used made twice as much frosting as I needed. Hence the second cake, which I didn’t need for anything except to get rid of too much frosting. What will I bake today? I don’t know. Perhaps more of the oat bread.

I haven’t done much reading in the past week, though not for lack of trying. I’ve been reading The Bellingham Bloodbath by Gregory Harris before bed, but it’s not very good and it puts me to sleep. I think I will end up DNFing it and returning it to the library. The book I did finish was O Pioneers! by Willa Cather. I’d read it for three different classes in high school and university where I had to examine themes and symbolism, so I decided to re-read it to see if my opinion would change. It has changed, but I’m rather conflicted about it. I’ll write more on the subject later this week. I’m still thinking about it.

I’m also reading Bill Bryson’s The Mother Tongue: English and How it Got That Way, which is a look at the history of the English language told only as Bill Bryson can do it. I’m still working through Faithful Place by Tana French. I’m on disk eleven of thirteen, so I’m almost done and when I get in the car, all I want to do is drive around and listen to it until I’m done. It’s fantastic.

I don’t know what I’ll listen to next, once I’ve finished Faithful Place. I’ll probably just head back to the library and wander the audiobook aisles until I find something interesting. My favorite library branch has a good selection, so it shouldn’t take long. Readingwise, I already have a few options lined up:

  • The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanet Khan
  • Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata
  • Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson

I’d intended to watch Netflix’s show The Haunting of Hill House this week, but after an episode and a half, I wasn’t hooked. It felt more like a family drama with some supernatural things in the background, and I didn’t care about any of the characters. Perhaps if I watched more I would start to like some of them, but as much of the point of the haunted house story is to frighten the viewer, and I was not at all frightened, it’s hard to continue watching a family drama when I don’t like the family.

I found a different show to fall for, though. I have a membership for Nebraska Public Radio, and so I have access to PBS’s streaming service. I don’t remember how I found it, but I came across the documentary series, Shakespeare Uncovered, which is a series about the various Shakespearean plays, their plots and characters, the actors who have played the various roles, and the history of Shakespeare’s life and times and how they affected the writing of the plays. It’s fantastic, and the interviews with actors and scholars are so enlightening. I only have a few episodes left, so I will probably finish it later today. Once I’m done with that, I’ll give some of the new Netflix shows I’ve added to my queue a chance. Or I’ll just watch the new seasons of The Great British Baking Show or The Chef’s Table.

I’ve added a new post for my The Lord of the Rings Reread project. I wish my work schedule hadn’t been so crazy this week, as this section covers the bulk of the fellowship’s time in Lothlorien. As that’s one of my favorite parts of the book, I felt like I didn’t have enough time to really devote to these wonderful chapters. C’est la vie.

Over the Chasm and Through the Woods

So it’s not the most exciting of weekly updates. I’ve been on my feet and constantly on the go for the past three days, so I didn’t have time or energy to do much else. This week should be a little calmer before things start to really get busy for Thanksgiving, and then Christmas beyond that!

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