Question of the Day

What’s the last gift you bought for yourself.

For my birthday this year, I bought this for myself:

A 1930s Remington Portable typewriter. I have been using it for the past 3 months and I absolutely love it. I’ve been using it mostly for personal correspondences, thank you notes, etc. and people really seem to love getting a typewritten letter. There’s more of a personal spin on a typewritten letter than one that’s been printed from your computer. Especially if you have awful penmanship like me. I was worried when I bought it that I would use it for a week and get bored but so far that’s not the case. I’ll get back to you in a year.

Question of the Day

What are your favorite reads of the year so far?

I’ve talked about how I love using Goodreads plenty of times. As book tracking software it does the job but where it really shines is being able to see what friends are reading. I’ve found so many good recommendations that way. Here are some of the books I’ve read this year that have been fantastic.

I’m currently reading The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. which is Neal Stephenson’s latest tome. I can’t fully recommend it yet since I’m only a third of a way through and sometimes his novels have a way of unraveling but I’m loving it so far.

The Stranger in the Woods. Totally engrossing story about a guy who walks off into the woods one day and lives there for a few decades. He isn’t exactly a sympathetic character considering that he manages to live in the woods by burglarizing the neighborhood community but the story is still compelling.

American Kingpin. About the founder of The Silk Road aka for drugs. I had heard of The Silk Road a few years ago but couldn’t understand why anybody would actually get illegal substances through the mail. That’s about as much thought I had put into it which probably helped when reading this book since I had no idea how it ended. Probably the 2nd best book I have read this year. I should probably mention my favorite.

My Favorite Thing is Monsters. Holy crap. I’m not a huge fan of graphic novels, or comics, or whatever you choose to call them. I heard about this from an NPR story and the library happened to have it in. The story of how the author wrote it is a story in itself, and this is her debut graphic novel. A girl transfixed by monster movies, who sees herself as a monster detective trying to unravel a murder of a survivor of the holocaust in 1960s Chicago. There’s a lot going on in that book and the graphics are breathtaking.

Question of the Day

We haven’t done one of these in a long time.

Are you traveling anywhere soon? Mrs. C and I usually book things at the last moment and we just got back from NYC two weeks ago so at the moment there’s no travel plans, at least not until July. But I would love to live vicariously through your plans.

Question of the Night

Read anything good lately?

I still have been using GoodReads to keep track of the books I’ve been reading. I think the best feature of it which I seem to use the most is keeping track of books I want to read. I’m making a conscientious effort to get that list down this year (I think it’s almost below 60 at the moment)before adding anything more to it. Some of the books have been on that list for a few years now. I’ve read 18 books so far, most of which aren’t worth mentioning, but I’ll list the few that have blown me away so far.

Crawlspace by Herbert Lieberman. I went into this book thinking it would just be a cheap horror novel (I’m not even sure how it ended up on my To Read list) and it ended up being fantastic and completely not what I expected. It’s definitely bizarre and may not be to everybody’s liking but I found it very original and kept me guessing.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X. A book I have always had on my To Read list but one I just haven’t gotten around to reading. Definitely a must read and Alex Haley does an amazing job creating a narrative from his interviews with Malcolm X. I ended up not agreeing with a lot of Malcolm X’s beliefs, but could certainly see how he arrived to them given the time period.

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys. A fictionalized telling of a German maritime disaster at the end of World War 2 told through the vantage point of four separate characters. Extraordinary writing, fascinating characters and it ends much too quickly.

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger. This one is a bit of a cheat since I haven’t finished it yet. I’m about 60% done. Having said that, even if the rest of the novel is just the word “cockspackle” written over and over again for 140 pages, I’ll still put it in the list of best books I have read so far this year. It’s a book I started reading and didn’t think I would be in the mood for. How many more books about 1960s nostalgia can be written? But this one has characters that you want to spend some time with. Wonderful writing, a plot that keeps you guessing, and characters with depth. Yes please.

Question of the Day

Sick and avoiding as many news outlets as I can because any Trump news at the moment just makes me want to bash my head against a wall and that’s probably not the best cold remedy.

So instead I’m binge-watching Friends on Netflix. I remember seeing the first few seasons back when they came out and haven’t watched an episode since. Having 90s flashbacks watching them now, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But my question is, am I the only one who thinks Ross is just an awful human being?

So he pines after Rachel since high-school, they finally start dating and he becomes controlling and his jealousy leads her to needing some space at which point he immediately sleeps with someone else, refuses to take responsibility and ends up marrying some other woman but at the alter he says he takes thee Rachel to be his wife.

Actually, the right answer to this question is, yes, I’ve taken too much Nyquil.