Sunday Sum-Up: January 12, 2020

I had so much drive to go and do things this week. Then I woke up sick on Thursday and it killed all my energy. It was a minor respiratory infection, so nothing to worry about, but I’ve been coughing since Thursday and it’s thrashed my throat. My voice is so scratchy it sounds like I gargled with sand.

I’m looking forward to feeling better.

I still accomplished my photos for the week, so I’m on track for my Photo 366 project.

The week’s theme was apparently ‘leaves’. It wasn’t on purpose, it’s just that the days are short, and leaves make for quick, attractive subjects when you’re at work and/or sick.

Obligatory Mina Photos:

I felt awful and brainless on Friday night and forgot to bring my reusable grocery bag when I stopped at the grocery store. The grocery sacker gave me a plastic bag for my handful of items, and when I got home I spaced out and left it on the table. Mina jumped up, found it, and thought it was a fantastic toy. She managed to get it stuck on her tail. She panicked, thinking the dread Sack Monster was chasing her and sprinted from one end of the apartment to the other two and a half times before I managed to grab the sack and free her. The Sack Monster went into the trash, and Mina hid in the bedroom until she was sure the coast was clear.

What I Finished Reading Last Week:

Zen in the Art of Archery is a curious little book I rediscovered on my shelves. Since it was so short, I thought I might as well read it and see what it was all about. Basically, Herrigel was a German man living in Japan, and he wanted to study zen archery. Many things stood in his way, not least of all the fact that no previous European had been accepted by the zen mentor Herrigel wanted to study under. But he managed to be accepted and spent the next four years trying to master the zen concepts underlying this method of archery. It’s an interesting account of one man’s study of a particular kind of Eastern philosophy, but I did not find it to be particularly deep or life-changing.

The Borgia Confessions is one of my upcoming NetGalley ARCs. I’d read Palombo’s previous novel, The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel last year and enjoyed it quite a lot, but The Borgia Confessions was a middle of the road kind of read. Palombo captures the feeling of late fifteenth-century Rome and her history is accurate, but it’s a little more surface-level than I was hoping for. Palombo dashes from 1492 through 1498, and I wish she had focused a little more on a particular year or three instead. I will have a more in-depth review closer to the publication date.

Witchmark is a lovely book with excellent world-building, beautifully-developed characters, and plenty of social commentaries gently woven through it. It’s an easy and compelling book to read, and it doesn’t bash you over the head with its messages. I dashed through the end of this as quickly as my ailing head would allow on Thursday night, and I am looking forward to the next book in series, Stormsong, which comes out in February. I plan to write a more in-depth review soon.


What I’m Currently Reading:

A Gentleman in Moscow continues to be a lovely book. The narrative wanders around, but I am confident in Towles’s ability to take all these threads and weave them together into a full, lovely story.

Hammer Head is a fantastic memoir about a journalist who falls out of love with her newspaper job, quits it, and almost on a whim applies for a job as a carpenter’s apprentice in spite of having zero experience in carpentry. She manages to get the job, and this book is the story of how she grew to love carpentry. I wanted to read a chunk of it Friday night, but my incessant coughing gave me a headache, which made my light sensitivity go nuts. I only finished a few more pages before even the low-level lighting in my living room was painful, and I had to turn out all the lights and go to bed. I do plan to finish it in the next couple of days now that I’m feeling better.

I had thought I had Black Powder War on hold through the Libby app, but when I was checking my holds to see how much longer I would have to wait for them, I noticed that Black Powder War wasn’t there. I searched for it, intending to put it on hold and discovered that it was available. Naturally, I checked it out right away and listened to the first part during an extended (and frustrating) shopping trip to Target. I would have listened to more of it, but again, getting sick put a damper on any kind of reading during the last half of the week. I want to finish it this week because the audiobook is relatively short (only about ten hours), and the premise so far sounds fantastic.

What I Plan to Start Reading This Week:



What I’ve Been Watching:

Mindhunter (Season 2)
Starring: Jonathan Groff, Holt MacCallany, Anna Torv

I had already watched the first half of season two of Mindhunter a month or two ago, but for some reason, I hadn’t gotten around to watching the rest of it until this week. No idea why. It’s a fascinating show, and you’d never think that inter-departmental red tape would be such a roadblock to an FBI investigation. I felt for Holden when he kept running into ridiculous, “you have to talk to this department and this department and this department to this simple thing, and it’s going to take days and days to do it” shenanigans while he was trying to track down a child-murderer. It was insane. And compelling television. The main problem I had was how they kind of downgraded Dr. Carr’s character to her love life by the end. Perhaps they will fix that in the third season, whenever that comes out.


Starring: Claes Bang, Dolly Wells

This was… wow. Shall we say it was a bit of a mess? It seemed intriguing at first with where they were taking the story, but the longer it went the more ridiculous things got, and the third episode was completely bonkers then it ended abruptly. Moffat and Gatiss tried to inject some new blood (ha) into the old story, but they just made a mess of it. I’m beginning to think this creative team hit its prime in the first couple of seasons of Sherlock, and maybe they should take a few steps back, take a look at what they’re doing, and rethink their plotlines.





6 thoughts on “Sunday Sum-Up: January 12, 2020

  1. First…feel better!! Second…gorgeous photos! Third…Moscow….looking forward to you review because I loved that book so much I bought a copy for my mom 4th..Mindhunters blew me away….

  2. I’m feeling a little better today. I will probably do some napping later on…

    I’m liking Gentleman in Moscow a lot so far. I like Rules of Civility more, but I have more than half of Gentleman to go, so that could change.

  3. I love reading your Sunday Sum-Ups for many reasons. I like keeping up to date with your reading (wow. I’m just blown away at how much you read!) and I love getting to know you more as a person. And Mina photos! ❤
    My husband has a respiratory infection right now too. It's so awful to listen to! I hope this resolves itself quickly. No one wants to deal with these. Yuck.
    I just picked up His Majesty’s Dragon on audiobook. It sounds like this will be a fun series! Do you like the audiobook narrator?

  4. Thanks! It’s so easy to talk about Mina. She does so ridiculously cute things all week long!

    I am coughing less today, but my voice is still pretty scratchy. I hope your husband gets better soon!

    Simon Vance narrates the books, and I have liked him so far. He’s an excellent narrator overall. I love his performance for Hilary Mantel’s Bring up the Bodies.

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