Sunday Sum Up: October 20, 2019

As much as I love October, I’m happy to be done with last week. It was a weird week. It started out quiet and slow and then was incredibly busy from Thursday through Saturday. By the time I got home from work on Friday, I didn’t have the energy to do anything but flop on the couch and watch The Great British Baking Show.

Fortunately, I had plenty of energy and time on Wednesday to head to a nearby nature reserve and go for a hike. Except for a few bicyclists on a parallel trail, I had the park to myself and perfect weather to enjoy it in.

And here is a picture of Mina to cheer you, me, and everyone else up:

10_16_2019 A7III 2019_004 copy


What I Finished Reading Last Week:

  • Prudence (The Custard Protocol #1) by Gail Carriger, audiobook narrated by Moira Quirk
  • Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Colleen Doran

I quite enjoyed Prudence, though it’s not my favorite of Gail Carriger’s books. In this book, Prudence is given a dirigible which she promptly paints bright colors and heads off to India in search of the best cup of tea possible. She wrangles her friends Primrose and Percival into coming along with her, along with a few others who are less friendly to her cause. She does, of course, find something entirely unexpected along the way and stumbles into a situation that may be beyond her ability to mend.

Snow, Glass, Apples is a gorgeously illustrated graphic novel that is an adult retelling of Snow White. I always expect Neil Gaiman to turn a simple or expected story on its head, and I was not disappointed by this one. And did I mention that Colleen Doran’s Art Nouveau-inspired illustrations are completely amazing? Every single frame begs to be looked at for an hour so you can appreciate all the tiny details. Again, though, this is very much an adult novel.

I had two DNFs- one was because I ended up despising the narrative, and the other was because it kept putting me to sleep, but I may come back to it another time.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert reminded me of the way my friends’ six-year-old daughter tells stories. Rambling, jumping around in time, and with no real sense of a point to it. I expect this from a child, not from a published novel.

Seven Gothic Tales by Isak Dinesen is beautifully written (in my library copy, a previous patron had written things like ‘beautiful!’ and ‘wow!’ in the margins), but because I was trying to read it before bed, its Victorian-style narrative would put me to sleep after a few pages. I will probably try to read it again another time.

What I’m Currently Reading:

I have read Dracula a few times before, and reading it again in October seemed like a good idea. I’m barely into it, thanks to a tiring last half of the week, but I intend to read the rest of it this week.

The Picture of Dorian Gray is another reread. I’ve been trying to read it during my lunch hour at work, but when you end up barely having a lunch hour for three straight days, it’s hard to get very far. My favorite line so far? “They say that when good Americans die they go to Paris.”

After trying a few different audiobooks and being annoyed by the narrator’s voices, I downloaded the audiobook of The Hollow Hills so I’d have something I knew I would love listening to while doing paperwork at the end of the day on Friday. Yes, this is book two of four and I haven’t read book one for a while, but I’ve read the Merlin trilogy (the fourth book is from the point of view of a different character, while the first three are from Merlin’s perspective) several times before, and I wanted the story of the second book, not the story of the first one. I will probably both listen to and read my paperback copy.


What I Plan to Start Reading This Week:

With Frankenstein and Villette, I will finish off my October TBR. Yay! I really hope I enjoy Villette, as Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books ever, and I’ve heard that Villette is even better than Jane Eyre.

I’m not getting Gideon the Ninth because it’s October. I’m getting it because I happened to be one of the first people on the public library’s waiting list, and it arrived on Friday evening. I need to stop by the library to pick it up later today.

What I Plan to Watch This Week:

  • The National Theatre presents A Midsummer Night’s Dream from the Bridge Theatre

This production of the Shakespearean play stars Gwendoline Christie as Titania, and apparently twists some of Shakespeare’s story about. A local indie theater presents a series of the British National Theatre’s plays every year. I’m going to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream this afternoon, and I want to see the presentation of All My Sons in January.

  • The Living and the Dead starring Colin Morgan and Charlotte Spencer

This BBC show had only one season, sadly. It’s an eerie ghost story that features intense and moving performances from its stars, Colin Morgan and Charlotte Spencer. I haven’t watched it since it first aired in 2016, but I got the series on DVD from Barnes and Noble a while ago. I just keep forgetting that I own it, never mind that it sits on the shelf with the rest of my favorite DVDs.





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