Books I Read in August

Another slow month of reading.  Only three finished books. But I’m also reading a few other volumes that are a thousand or so pages each so my reading has increased from the past few months.  But my GoodReads challenge is going to be dismal this year. Welp, 2020. Ok here we go for the short list. And as always, please use the comments to let everybody know what you’re reading. I get so many good recommendations from everybody.


Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, by Mary Trump. I haven’t read a Trump book since….  Oh I can’t remember now.  I just need a break from thinking about him and I hate him infringing upon my reading time which is sacrosanct. But somebody got me into this book so I put in for it at the library and managed to snag an e-copy. It’s actually surprisingly quite well written. It goes on more about the family than I had known about which was probably the most interesting part since we have heard everything else about him post-presidency. And now I hope never to read another book about him that isn’t titled “Downfall: the Jailing of an American President.”

Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon. This is a murder mystery set in Venice. Leon has a series of these with the same detective. It’s a good beach read and it’s set in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. What’s not to like? I’ll give another one a try at some point.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart Young Adult fiction gets saddled with the worst genre name. It’s almost designed to keep adults far, far away. This is a shame because YA actually has some amazing writing and compelling stories. This one goes immediately to the top of my list of favorite YA novels. (I always get jumbled what’s in the genre so if you are asking me to choose my favorite of all time, I’ll blurt out Code Name Verity and later think of a dozen or so more)

(Links for book titles use Amazon affiliated links which may earn me a commission)

What I Learned Today – Tuesday, September 1

It’s September 1st!!  FALL IS OFFICIALLY HERE!!!!!!! (Oh, you can save your intransigent comments and emails saying, “actually Chris, September 22nd is the first day of Autumn”)  So just stuff a caramel apple in it seasonsplainer.  September 1st is morally fall.And yes, I’m THAT guy.

It’s Primary Day in Massachusetts today. The biggest race on the ballot here is Senate incumbent Ed Markey who is being challenged by Joe Kennedy.  I voted for Markey on a mail in ballot weeks ago.  If you live in MA and sent in a ballot, you can track it using this site. (And yes, I’m signed up for mail-in voting for election day in November and not quite sure how I’m going to get the ballot back to them yet.  Do I trust the mail or search for a drop box.  I’ll worry about that when I actually get my ballot.)

This is the scariest thing I have read all day so far. Because of covid and how Trump supporters are far more likely to go to the polls to vote in person, (covid is only a hoax after all) there is a good chance that it could appear as if Trump has won a landslide victory on election night since mail in votes will take longer to count. And I’m sure that Trump won’t use that as an excuse to declare victory and start crying “SCAM” if Biden takes the lead in the days to come. This is going to be messy.

Trump had an interview with Laura Ingraham that aired last night and went as well as any of his interviews go. He compared cops who murder black people to golfers who miss a putt, claimed that a bunch of thugs in black uniforms were on a plane and up to no good (he doesn’t elaborate on this and just leaves out there), and that Biden is being led by a shadowy syndicate.

Ingraham breaks in multiple times when Trump is taking a wander through untreated late stage syphilitic lane to guide him back to semi-coherent raving. And that may be the most infuriating part.  She knows he’s nuts.  Everybody at Fox News knows he’s nuts. Most of the Republicans in the Senate and House know he’s nuts also and yet they have done nothing to stop him. They could have convicted him and still had Pence but nope.

NBC News looked into Trump’s claim about the thug plane and found that it matches a rumor spread by white nationalists several months ago.

Trump thought that he could settle the investigation with Mueller like settling on bankruptcy for one of his shitty hotel/casinos.

MGM Resorts announced that they were going to be laying off 18,000 employees. American Airlines is furloughing 17,500 employees.

Iowa State University has had 508 students test positive with covid.

Covid-19 cases are spiking in the Midwest states now. It’s almost like this disease is very catchy or something but this isn’t stopping Iowa State from planning to have 25,000 fans for their home opener. What could go wrong?

Well, this doesn’t smell a bit scammy at all.  $20,000 a month to do some podcast and radio work?

Well, this is the best mashup you’ll see all day.  Karens mixed with zombie noises.  Or is it mixed with zombie metal (is that a thing?)

Artist Maira Kalman has an illustrated version of The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas which looks amazing.

A man has built a nut bar for his local squirrels:

The news story is here if the YouTube video wasn’t enough to satisfy your rodent needs.