A Couple of Week of Books, Movies and TV 1/25/19

I was out of town last week so I didn’t do any of my normal posts. Being out of town also means my reading and viewing habits were different than normal. There won’t be a lot to report even though this covers two weeks.

TV – My son really wanted to be back at the hotel in time to watch The Passage last week I was good with that since I read the books and really liked them. It worked out that we made it in time to watch. It also turns out that I was really tired and fell asleep before the show was over. I liked what I saw before I fell asleep. I think, though, that this entire season might only be the present day story and none of the better, future, storylines. We are happy that Victoria is once again airing on PBS. My daughter is a fan of British history and I’m a fan of having Jenna Coleman on my TV.

Movies –  We took two movies on our trip, but never had the time to watch them. That was a good thing since we discovered we did not have a DVD player in the room. It’s been a while since I’ve watched a movie.

Books – I read Wrecked by Joe Ide while on vacation. My family tried to shame me for only finishing one book while on the trip. They are right that my reading has slowed down lately. Maybe I’m getting dumber as I get older. Wrecked is the latest in the IQ series. I liked it and I really like the series. It’s refreshing to have main characters in a mystery series who are not cops are professional detectives. I finished The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay yesterday. It started out strong. A couple and their kid are on vacation in a remote cabin when a group of strangers appears and tells them the world is going to end unless the choose a member of the family to sacrifice. About 2/3 of the way in it fell apart and was a struggle to finish.

On Deck  – I still have no movies from the library. Maybe that will change soon. I’m about to start a nonfiction book called What We Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia. We will see if it holds my attention. I’m not a big nonfiction reader. I plan to watch at least one episode of the new season of True Detective. My expectations are low for that one.

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I Don’t Have Time to Read(and other things)

This popped up in my Timehop from 5 years ago. I still agree with past me. I’ve been reading less lately, but it is because I’m letting other things fill that time. I still have time to read. I just choose to do other things.

The World's Common Tater

Several times throughout the year a conversation will turn to the number of books I read(around 100 a year) and the other person will respond with a form of “I don’t have time to read.” Or a conversation will be about a television show and someone will say “I don’t have time to watch TV.” or the more popular “I don’t own a TV.” Most of the time, the implication is that I am obviously wasting time while they are spending all of their time on less trivial pursuits.  There is currently a conversation online about how they don’t understand why so much attention is being paid to a “stupid, violent game” like football. Someone actually said “Imagine how much better the world would be if we spent this much time talking about poverty, etc.” I’ve even had it happen with my Starbucks visits. Someone felt the need to point…

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My Week in Books, TV, and Movies 1/11/18

I came really close to skipping this post this week as I don’t have much to report, but I decided if I’m going to do a regular feature it should actually be regular. That being said, I’m traveling again next week so there might not be any posts at all after Sunday. Maybe I will actually blog my trip and post each night with my pictures and such. I’m sure everyone is excited about that. It will be like those fabled boring travel slideshows in blog form. Yay! OK, my week:

Movies – I mentioned four movies in my post last week as on deck. I’ve watched none of them. I did watch Super Troopers 2 Wednesday morning before work. If you liked the first one you will like this one. If you didn’t like the first one I’m not sure why you would be watching the second one. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it is a fun hour and a half. I liked the additions to the cast in this one. Rob Lowe is good as the mayor of the town. The three mounties are funny. It was a good way to be lazy on a morning off.

TV –  I’m not sure I watched anything new this week. We are at the end of the winter hiatus for most shows. This week and next is when shows return and new shows premiere. I did just remember I did watch one new show this week – Schooled. I have never watched The Goldbergs and had no reason to watch the spinoff until I heard that two of my favorite music people, Jaret Reddick and Kelly Ogden, wrote and performed the theme song. I recorded the show to hear the song and then decided to watch the full episode. I enjoyed it. I probably would like it more if I knew the character from The Goldbergs. I’m not sure I will record it and watch it regularly, but if it was on and I was home I might watch it.

Books – I finished Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly. I always enjoy his books and this one was no exception. This time he combined his longtime character Harry Bosch with a  newer character, Renee Ballard,  he introduced recently. It appears going forward the books will be a combination of the two. It makes sense. Bosch is older and retired and it is harder to realistically give him access to what he needs to solve the crimes. Ballard gives him police access and she is a good character. I like it.

On deck – We are traveling again next week so movies and TV viewing will likely go down and reading will go up. I am trying to finish Target by James Patterson before we leave so I have fresh books for the trip. The books I have set aside to take with me are Wrecked by Joe Ide, What You are Getting Wring about Appalachia by Elizabeth Catte and The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay. The good news is that if I read too fast and finish them before the end of the trip or if one or more of them suck, I can easily download something else from the library. I don’t read ebooks a lot, but that they are good for travel and for emergencies when you run out of print books.

Some Quick Tater Takes

I don’t have one topic that’s worth a full post today, so here are a couple of quick thoughts:

I’m reading the new Alex Cross novel by James Patterson. I have stopped reading all of the Pattersons except the Alex Cross books. I still read them even though so much of it is ridiculous. All of his kids are superstar athletes or geniuses. His 90-year-old grandmother has lived through things that would kill people half her age and has also won the lottery. Cross is good at everything. Yet, I still read them. This time, though, I ran into something even more annoying than the above – part of the book took place at a Georgetown basketball game and he said they were in first place in the ACC. Georgetown is not, and has never been, in the ACC. How hard would it be to find out the conference to get it right? Is it some weird way to make this a fictional world? Was it just sloppy writing? Whatever it was, it was annoying and it’s made me change my thoughts of moving forward with the story. I probably will. I started the book because I thought it would be a quick read I could finish before I leave for Florida on Monday.

 

Speaking of leaving for Florida – We are scheduled to drive to Florida Monday morning. Our son is supposed to drive home Sunday to be here to leave with us early Monday morning. There is now the possibility of snow Saturday night and all day Sunday. Right now, it looks like it won’t affect the drive on Monday. They will have all night to clear roads and we will be on the interstate the entire way. I am worried about my son’s ability to get to our house on Sunday night. I think it will all work out if the heaviest snow stays south. Any shift north could really complicate our plans. I tend to find something to worry about when traveling. Now I have an impending snowstorm to add to my worries. This is two years in a row our first bog snow has come on the eve of my travel day. I don’t like it.

And now I have to go to work.  I really need to find a way to become wealthy while I’m away next week.

My Recent Weeks in Books, TV and Movies 1/4/19

My time away over the holidays did not have much TV and movies, but I did manage to read three books. The hope is that my reading will continue at a nice pace and my screen time doesn’t increase too much. Here’s what I watched and read.

Movies – I have not watched a new movie in a while. I’m pretty sure the only two movies I’ve watched in the last month are Elf and Miracle on 34th Street. It’s possible I had another old movie on in the background while reading at my mother-in-law’s house, but if so, I couldn’t tell you what it was. I did enjoy my regular Christmas movies.

Television – While I was away, the only time I watched TV was to watch sports or for background noise while I was reading. I have watched two new shows since I’ve been back this week. My daughter found the show Derry Girls on Netflix and liked it so much she insisted we watch it with her. I was leery, but I ended up really liking it. It’s funny and with six 30 minute episodes, it’s easy to finish quickly. I would recommend it. We also watched The Masked Singer. It is a really weird show where famous people wear elaborate costumes to hide their identity, sing in front of judges and are unmasked when they are eliminated. It isn’t something I should like, but it is oddly compelling and I think I will keep watching. The “judges” are terrible but I like Nick Cannon as the host and I like the mystery aspect and guessing who is behind the mask.

Books – I read three books over the break. Iron Flower by Laurie Forrest is the sequel to The Black Witch. I loved The Black Witch. Iron Flower was OK but really felt like 500 pages of set up for a third book. I hate that. Elevation by Stephen King was a Christmas gift I knew nothing about it and was surprised when I saw how small it was. It is a weird little story of a man who is losing weight(but not mass) and his life in Castle Rock. I liked it even though it was not what I expected from King. I also got The Outsider by King for Christmas. It is the normal big, 500 page King book. There is a murder of a kid and a respected baseball coach is arrested. There is plenty of witness and DNA evidence that he did it, but also witnesses and evidence that prove he was in a different city when the murder occurred. Midway through the book, a character from the Mr. Mercedes series shows up and becomes part of the story. I really enjoyed this one.

On Deck – I’m reading Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly. I think Connelly is one of the best mystery authors around these days. I love his books. I got four movies all at once from the library: Mission Impossible: Fallout, Equalizer 2, Smallfoot, and The House With a Clock in the Wall. I think we will end up only watching the first two. I’m really happy about the return of Brooklyn 99 this week and will be trying the new comedy Fam as well. We will probably also watch America’s Got Talent: Champions. I like a lot of the acts who are returning and I think Terry Crews will be very good as the host.

 

My Year in Reading 2018

Hello and Happy New Year! I’m back from Christmas hiatus and just watched my Kentucky Wildcats beat Penn State in the Citrus Bowl. I will celebrate by writing up my year in books. It was a struggle to get to my 100 books again, but I made it. I need to spend less time looking at my phone in 2019 and more time reading. On to the books! All of the stats are from Goodreads(as pictured below). My top books are the ones I gave five stars and then the four-star books I felt were the best of the rest. I will not include re-reads.

Top ten books read in no particular order

  • Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • For Every One by Jason Reynolds
  • There There by Tommy Orange
  • She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper
  • An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Jordan
  • One of Us by Craig DiLouie
  • Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory
  • The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
  • Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
  • Kill the Farm Boy by Delilah Dawson

Honorable Mention

  • Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant
  • Noir by Christopher Moore
  • The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline
  • Roughneck by Jeff Lemire
  • Rabbit & Robot by Andrew Smith

Book I would most recommend

There There by Tommy Orange, but listen to the audio. It has a great voice cast. She Rides Shotgun is a very close second, possibly a tie.

Worst Books I Finished

  • America 51: A Probe into the Realities That Are Hiding Inside the Greatest Country in the World by Corey Taylor – His rants are usually fun. These were not.

Book I Dustbunnied

Space Opera by Catherynne Valente. I know some people liked this one. I felt like she was trying to be Douglass Adams and failing spectacularly.

Number of books read: 101

Number of pages read according to Goodreads: 31860. I did the math and that averages to 87.2  pages a day. Once again, I think I can do better.

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My Week in Books, TV, and Movies 12/14/18

This has been a little more productive than other weeks in viewing and reading. I’m still too close to missing my 100 books goal. I need to read a lot on my Christmas vacation. Is it OK to ignore my family and read more?

Books – I finished Holy Ghost by John Sandford, the latest in the Virgil Flowers series. This is the 11th book in the Flowers series and there are even more Lucas Davenport books, but the quality has stayed very high. I really like the main characters and Sandford did a good job with the side characters in this one. I also like that it really is a mystery. It wasn’t until late in the book that the killer was revealed. I like a good thriller, but it’s fun to read a good mystery now and then.

TV – Nothing new on TV this week, so I will talk about how much I’ve liked this season of Survivor. I was leery of the David vs Goliath theme. Sometimes these themed versions don’t go well. This time they have a strong cast and some very entertaining tribal councils. I have no idea who is going to make it to the end and I would be OK with most of who is left in the game. I can see several of this cast being on the short list for any seasons with returning players.

Movies – We watched two movies this week. The first was Hotel Artemis, which was not exactly what I was expecting going in and was a little boring.  I stopped paying close attention early and I’m pretty sure I slept through a good portion of it. We also finally watched Crazy Rich Asians. I’ve been a fan of Constance Wu for a while now, so it’s no surprise that I loved her in this. It’s just as good as everyone said it was. Even my wife, the “I only like movies with explosions” person, like it.

On Deck – I’m reading On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden, a hefty graphic novel that is taking me longer than expected. TV is wrapping up until after the holidays, but I have shows saved up to watch with my daughter. The Survivor finale is Wednesday, so she has to get caught up on that so we can watch. For movies, we have The Meg and Dog Days, two movies I don’t care about but my wife might like.