Books I Read in June

I know, I know.  I’m late.  As you can see by the amount of posting I have been doing lately, I haven’t been online as much. Still social distancing although I did have to venture out for an inspection sticker for my car and Mrs. C had a training session where she had to fly. So now we’re back huddled in for a bit, getting more angry by the day at these fools who can’t put a mask over their face.  But let’s get to this round of books.

The Life of Greece by Will Durant Volume 2 of Will Durant’s mindblowing A Story of Civilization. I’ve had this volume in my library for several years and just wasn’t ready to tackle it.  It probably is a bit outdated (it was written in the 30s) but Durant’s prose is engaging and addictive. I bought several other volumes from Amazon before I even finished reading this.  “No great nation is ever conquered until it has destroyed itself.” – Will Durant

Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield This is definitely inspired by Durant’s book when I wasn’t ready to leave Greece and looked for historical fiction and came up with this.  A retelling of Sparta’s Battle of Thermopylae which is wonderfully told through the eyes of a slave of the Spartans who is captured. If you loved 300 and wanted a more in depth look, this is for you.

Caesar and Christ by Will Durant Volume 3 of Durant’s book (I told you I was blowing through them.) This picks up in the early days of Rome and takes you to when the empire begins to crumble. And yes, I have started reading Volume 4 which is even more immense and deals with the Middle Ages.

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix The Key Lime recommended this in last month’s book post and it’s a fun quick read. I’m making a mental note here to see what else Grady Hendrix has written but I have a feeling I’m going to forget if I don’t write it down.  So many books, so little time.  Even with lockdown.

Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes So lockdown has me missing travel. I watched this movie a few weeks ago and it seemed like perfect escapism for the current climate.  The book doesn’t have too much in common with the movie and unless you are really into renovating an old house in Tuscany, you probably will do what I did; speed reading mode activated.

If It Bleeds by Stephen King Just finished this last night so technically it should be on next month’s list.  Well, reading Stephen King is always comforting. Even if you don’t like the plot, he has a way with characters. This has 4 short stories (or three short stories and one novella). I loved the first one about an old man, and iphone, and a grave, and kind of got into the one about the rat.  The other two just didn’t grab me.  So a perfect short story collection in my eyes.

What have you been reading?

FL Education Commissioner requires all Florida school districts to reopen campuses in August

So, they are actively trying to kill people now.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran has issued an executive order requiring all of Florida’s public K-12 schools to reopen in August.

As part of the executive order issued Monday, school districts and charter school governing boards must open brick and mortar schools at least five days per week for all students in August.

“Upon reopening in August, all school boards and charter school governing boards must open brick and mortar schools at least five days per week for all students, subject to advice and orders of the Florida Department of Health, local departments of health, Executive Order 20-149 and subsequent executive orders,” the order reads.

School districts must also provide “the full array of services that are required by law so that families who wish to educate their children in a brick and mortar school have the opportunity to do so.”

That includes in-person instruction, specialized instruction, and services for students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), English-language learners as well as live synchronous or asynchronous instruction.

Life Comes At You Pretty Fast

Coronavirus: Florida reports 10,109 new cases of COVID-19, breaking record again

This is going well:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida reported 10,109 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, breaking the state’s one-day record yet again as leaders work to prevent further spread over the July 4 holiday weekend.

The previous record for a single day was 9,585 cases reported Saturday. Just two weeks ago, the state’s single-day record was 3,207 cases.

The state is now up to 169,106 confirmed cases and 3,617 resident deaths associated with COVID-19, according to the latest data released by the health department.

There were 67 new coronavirus-related deaths reported Thursday morning across the state, including 18 in Miami-Dade County, nine in Broward, 11 in Palm Beach County and one in Monroe.

Dr. Fauci: Coronavirus Was ‘Allowed’ to Perpetuate in the U.S. Because ‘Only About 50 Percent of the Country Locked Down’

Fauci is being pretty generous here. Even a lot of the country that did lockdown, people were doing a half-assed job of social distancing.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said the United States is facing a resurgence of the coronavirus because the country didn’t take lockdowns far enough during the first wave of the pandemic.

In remarks to BBC Radio’s “Today” on Thursday, Fauci compared the U.S. and Europe’s attempts to halt the spread of Covid-19. He noted that the U.S. has seen a number of “disturbing spikes” recently, which he connected to efforts throughout the country to start reopening.

Gov. Ducey orders Arizona bars, gyms and theaters closed again; large gatherings restricted

Good job morons. This was so easily predictable. The numbers on Monday are usually lagging a bit so I’ll be curious to see the numbers from FL and TX today.

On April 29, as his statewide stay-at-home order approached its expiration date, Gov. Doug Ducey touted the state’s “hard-fought gains” during the pandemic and promised a careful, gradual reopening.

“It would be irresponsible for me to make decisions to reopen with a chance that I would have to come back because we didn’t have the proper guidance or data and ask people to do this again,” the Republican leader said.

On Monday, he found himself asking just that — at least for bars, gyms, theaters, water parks and inner-tubing. Facing mounting pressure to respond to the ballooning COVID-19 numbers that followed his revised, accelerated reopening plan, he issued an executive order giving those entities until 8 p.m. to shut down.

Trump Called Merkel “Stupid” and “In the Pocket of the Russians” on the Phone

I swear, Trump projects more than an IMAX cinema:

German officials were so alarmed by President Donald Trump’s “very aggressive” conversations with Chancellor Angela Merkel that they kept their calls secret, sources told CNN.

In calls with the German chancellor, Trump bullied and disparaged Merkel in a “near-sadistic” fashion, according to the CNN report by Carl Bernstein, the longtime journalist known for his reporting on the Watergate scandal for The Washington Post.

“Some of the things he said to Angela Merkel are just unbelievable: He called her ‘stupid,’ and accused her of being in the pocket of the Russians,” unnamed sources told CNN, adding: “He’s toughest [in the phone calls] with those he looks at as weaklings and weakest with the ones he ought to be tough with.”

A group of officials assigned to monitor Merkel’s calls with Trump also shrank, leaving “just a small circle of people who are involved and the reason, the main reason, is that they are indeed problematic,” a German official told CNN.