I decided this most recent spin might be a good way to force me to read something off this list. I left all the Shakespeare on the list because I own all Shakespeare (and plays are quicker than novels). I think I could get some of the others on Serial reader and maybe from family members’ personal libraries. Most of the rest I’ve been meaning to get to more recently (usually to round off reading the author). War and Peace I’ve been meaning to restart. Doubt I’d finish if this got picked but it would perhaps propel me into reading it.
- A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
- For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
- Henry VI, Part 1
- Henry VI, Part 2
- Henry VI, Part 3
- Henry VIII
- King John
- Mill on the Floss by George Elliot
- Richard III
- The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
- The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
- The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens
- The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens
- Torrents of Spring by Ernest Hemingway
- War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
I swear I feel like each of these get funnier and funnier. And then, I go back, and watch them again, and they are just all genius.
Celebrities During Safe at Home. Basically, BURRNNNN!!!! “That was like 8 burns in one sentence.” “An octoburn.”
“God Keep the Grizzlies Away.” I’ve been listening to Trey Kennedy’s podcast, and he was talking about how many things having a higher probability of fatalities than flying, such as Grizzlies, but yet people give prayer requests for flying, and you know, not meeting with Grizzly bears.
16 Personalities Washing Their Hands. Not Frank James this time, hope he does one though.
Yeah, so with all the misinformation going around, I thought should stop using quarantine as if it was actually a synonym for sheltering in place, it’s not, its far more serious, even than that.
Anyway, more lightheartedness to brighten your days.
Obviously there is reading, watching movies, podcasts, Audible, Audible Escape, I assume many people know Jennifer Ehle has been narrating Pride and Prejudice on her Instagram (I still need to check that out, but I might just want to read it myself), puzzles, sewing, learning a craft, etc. I also want to try building some models and miniatures. One of my sisters mentioned learning to be ambidextrous. Two sisters want to use several of my dad’s old dress shirts to refashion in to skirts (one has done this with my mom’s help before, it was super cute).
Lauren Johnson has lovely simple as well as more complex sewing and crafting tutorials on her channel, including this one which includes a darling scrunchie tutorial.
On the subject of coloring, Amanda Kastner has free Jane Austen greeting cards to color (you could color and send these to nursing homes or hospitals or something too).
Digitally Reconstructed Castle Ruins. Stop and watch them be digitally rebuilt, absolutely fascinating to history nerds.
A Trip Through 1911 New York. I didn’t realize that video was that old, this is unbelievably fascinating!
Jenny at Sense and Sensibility Patterns has shared lovely walks on her stories, and set up virtual parties, including watching and chatting about vintage movies with other period fashion experts, I want to see if I can somehow join (not sure how it works yet) for Charade.
ND Wilson is offering the first draft of his next (last?) book of Ashtown Burials in serial form as a newspaper if enough people signup. I’ll be signing up asap.
He also produced a nature film or something called The Riot and the Dance which is available on vidangel, which is currently free for a bit (this is one of those services that can block objectionable content for sensitive viewers).
You could always find a way to use snail mail such as subscribing to this happy mail. I don’t remember where I first found this, but what a lovely concept.
Our library has an ancestry.com account that they used to require patrons to come in to use, now we can use it online (for a limited time, but I’m guessing it will be extended as long as this goes on).
See if some of your local arts and theatre programs are offering online concerts and such, I discovered at least one of ours is, I should see if there are any for ballet as well.
Auditory only media wasn’t my thing usually. Except of course for Adventures in Odyssey, but then again, that was following my younger sisters’ lead. I still have a hard time thinking audiobooks are “reading” you simply cannot process them the same. But jobs have forced me to learn to appreciate audiobooks and the like.
Because I’m very erratic/moody in my interests, I’ve bounced around between music, podcasts, Audible, sometimes in overall weekly or monthly themes of one of them, sometimes within one day.
I’ve tons in my Audible library now since I’ve bought/earned extra credits and coupons plus done the years membership AND discovered you can return purchases if you don’t like the book. Edited: I’ve discovered returning books once done is considered gaming the system, so I’m not going to do that again, unless I truly disliked the book/quality or something like that.
My first introduction to audiobooks and radio dramas was when I was on audiobooks.com a couple years ago (in order to endure an agonizingly boring temp assignment), I listened to the BBC Jane Austen radio drama, which I adore (and which included Benedict Cumberbatch and I believe Blake Ritson). I’d not heard or understood of radio dramas.
Then I picked up the James Herriot books read by Christopher Timothy, and oh, my what jewels, especially the first two. I’m on, the fifth now I think. I still was wanted to “count as read” the books, so I tried to read the paperback of the second, um no, Christopher Timothy truly brings them alive, I was too spoiled to do anything but listen. Our library only had the first two on audio, so it was then I went to Audible for a trial, and I don’t know that I’ve cancelled although I paused for a while. The audiobooks in the publication order (in U.S. regular book order anyway) are:
All Creatures Great and Small
All Things Bright and Beautiful
All Things Wise and Wonderful
The Lord God Made Them All
Every Living Thing
Once firmly ensconced in the Audible world, I got back on the track of BBC radiodramas. Thus far I’ve listened to Jeeves and Wooster, and I was giggling and gasping with laughter out loud at work multiple times. Highly recommend. Then I listened to The Importance of Being Ernest (I swear between, watching the movie innumerable times, reading it twice, and watching the webseries In Ernest, but mostly watching the movie, I should have this memorized) and An Ideal Husband.
In my library but not listened to yet are multiple more radio dramas: Lord Peter Wimsey, The Barchester Chronicles, My Family and Other Animals, Two sets of Dickens, and the Brontes works. There are many more than this. I think perhaps, I do prefer radio dramas, or bringing to life reading combined with that style of writing that is the James Herriot experience. I do have some regular audiobooks on my list other than Herriot, but Narnia I was trying to read along with because I wanted the experience of the books, and so I got impatient and quit listening. And also, I do think I prefer doing work or something while listening, that is the only way to at least possibly focus.
In addition to the BBC radio dramas and regular audiobooks, Audible also has tons of The Great Courses, which is an AMAZING resource (I would also love to try their streaming service which has audio and video), so I’ve listened to John McWhorter’s The Story of Human Language. This one does require more especial focus, and I’ve had to “rewind” and relisten to catch things I’ve missed, but OH, if you love language and the tantalizing bits of learning the Wired youtube channel has given, you will LOVE this course. I feel like maybe listen once, then listen again with notes? But then I do love making everything complicated. I’ve still not finished this yet because I’ve got even less focus even before all this happened, and I never was great in the first place.
My most recent listen (and one I’m “checking out” as if from the library) is Rhett and Link’s Book of Mythicality. I’m not a super fan of much of their gross youtube eating tests or whatever. Ok, I rather HATE that sort of thing, but their personalities and backgrounds are so funny and unique plus being Southern, and I really paid more attention to them after they started visiting and talking about their childhoods in North Carolina, they were hysterically crazy boys, and their descriptions of the stuff they did are hilarious. I think funny in the way they are is hard to find. Like it’s just part of them, everything they do, it’s not trying too hard or anything, they are genuinely crazy people who are funny and weird and confident about it, without you know being the “I’m SoO difFerEnt and WeIrD.”
I’ve been listening to some of their podcasts, “Earbiscuits” and have laughed out loud. Some of the book is rather strange to listen to, like it’s better to read, and some of it is boring, at least to me. But they narrate it themselves and still have such funny parts (for some reason, I think I found the section on their hair the funniest thus far, they did try crazy stuff, but it’s the way they describe everything that is just hysterical, like they can’t even do mundane stuff in a mundane way) and often include people that are part of their story, like telling their romances with their wives, who give their versions, in their own voices. Also, its so light, that I do have to have much brain power to listen to, but it’s obviously not a gem I will keep.
I’d go insane at work if I didn’t have something to listen to while I’m at work. For awhile music was enough, then James Herriot books which I still haven’t finished. I then started listening to the College Info Geek podcast.
I’ve been listening through Spotify because the Google podcast app wouldn’t show on the lock screen, I had to unlock phone to do anything every time, and that really isn’t good for work.
- I follow and have tried many podcasts, I have a huge playlist to try, but I’m SO picky. And moody.
- I need to find the tone/audio/voices smooth/calm more chatty in vocal tone (my favorites seem to be mostly mid-west and softened southern accents).
- It needs to be pithy, not rambling unless the rambling (like Rhett and Link and the guys on College Info Geek) is also witty and/or informative.
- I don’t like feelsy and/or veering into pseudoscience podcasts
- I can’t STAND subtle dissing (which I realize I have a problem with doing myself) when the person then turns around and reinvents the wheel. Or anything else of the humble-brag or self-righteous variety.
- I’d rather the subject matter be positive too. I’ve got some history podcasts in my library but they all seem so depressing. I also tend to veer towards informative podcasts. I know there are different genres, like story or “news” (NOPE) or whatever. I could do story if it was sort of radio dramas or something.
I’d really like to listen to podcasts I really like, but thus far that is only the guys from College Info Geek. I wish Ramit Sethi had a podcast of his own. I’ve listened to one he was a guest on. I’d really love if MuchelleB did a podcast as well.
The College Info Geek. This isn’t only applicable to college, and since the guys are my age they’ve been moving away from that. I’ve listened to almost every episode from the last few years and am sad it’s ending and hoping their new podcast starts soon and is as helpful. I really like the guys and what they have to say. I follow Thomas Frank on YouTube which is why I started the podcast. I’ve exhausted this podcast, and I’ve made a list of episodes to go back and listen in my free time when I can take notes.
A Strong Sense of Place. This is a new podcast I first heard about on What Should I Read Next. It features books around countries or geographical things (like the sea). Oh, I want to read so many of these. This podcast is SO good and the title is so apt. I need to check out the blog because I think they often have a matching post with extra resources such as recipes to go with the area!
The Beautiful Mess Podcast. It features some self-improvement, some art and design, and general lifestyle. It’s also new, and I think I’ve listened to most of the episodes. This is another problem, I exhaust my favorites so fast!
What Should I Read Next . . . selectively, some are good, most are boring to me.
One Great Book. Overall I preferred this to the above (both by Anne Bogel), and of course, I’ve exhausted it, and this one is currently on hiatus or possibly done.
Earbiscuits. Also selectively. These guys are so interesting and funny.
The Perfectionism Project. I want to like this more, it has really good information, but I have a harder time focusing and having patience. It needs to be scripted/edited down.
If I find any new I like I’ll do another post, I’m open to suggestions (PLEASE), I find it hard to find good podcasts.
Call 211 and look at the website. I learned about 211 at work, it’s an organization that connects people in need (whether of food, money to pay bills, or to find a school for your special child, and newly, covid-19 help). I’m sure more people are in need of this than ever. It’s national but works with state and local agencies to connect you with services you may not have been aware of.
I’m in an open office with people who talk and get too much info/misinfo. This is crazymaking. I’ve noticed a couple of internet people doing crazymaking stuff to so I’ve unfollowed them.
I don’t want to focus on the virus here, but I want to state some principles I think should be followed/am trying to be followed/I expect from anyone I have interaction with. And then back to positive programming.
Your sources for Covid-19 (say it correctly, coronavirus is a group of viruses) are the CDC and the WHO. Dr. Mike is one doctor, and he points people to these sources, he is helpful for understanding, but the CDC and the WHO are THE resources. They have the states, recommendations, FAQ’s, question forms, etc. If you see questionable studies or actions people are doing (such as fabric masks and claims about packages), email CDC, the more people who ask, the more likely that will be added to their FAQ’s.
Any rando who thinks they have special insight from God, themselves as gods, their anecdotal experience, their favorite news sources, a random doctor, a single study, etc. is NOT an authority on anything but stirring up ignorance, fear, conspiracy, and panic. Half-truths, truths mixed in with falsehood are the most confusing and concerning. And we don’t need more sermons, monologues, etc. mind your own p’s and q’s!!!
Your sources for state-wide rules, updates, etc. is your governor and state and local (some locales have extra rules) government. Your governor may be doing press releases, and your state government may have a website. I suggest that if you are curious about other states, you start from these sources for them.
Your source for country-wide (such as border closures, travel bans, etc.) rules is the federal government.
Very carefully fact check any news story you may see against these sources (maybe bookmark them, keeping tabs open would only encourage obsessive checking). I’d suggest only searching for specific items, not following the news. Please realize that stand-alone studies and trials aren’t definitive.
Set times/days to check/update yourself. Obsessive checking will not only drive you crazy, it doesn’t help anyone else.
Block or unfollow as best as possible anyone who doesn’t follow these very basic principles. If you are at work with these people (like me), try and see if you can find noise-cancelling headphones if that doesn’t interfere with your job. Walk away if you can. Follow the rules even if they are possibly based on misinformation, better safe than sorry. Try to make following said rules easier (like being more organized, making signs, and reminders). Perhaps if the talk is so bad, see if you can move your desk or ask your boss to say something or speak to people yourself. Keep your eyes open for better opportunities.
Play games, watch movies, etc. with family, Facetime/Google duo your grandparents and others you can’t visit.
Try to find/curate and encouraging online community. I’ve been really happy with all the positive things going around (with a few exceptions) among the Instagrammers I’ve follow, they’ve shared things to do, made group online activities, etc. That and enjoying time with family has reset me from work.
I’ve already been very isolated, seeing just my family and coworkers, mostly shopping online, and this was supposed to be the year of change for that. Well, that is obviously not working out well. In addition, while I had started my plans out strong, I never actually finished the plans or implemented much and was in quite a slump. So, I decided that I’m going to act as if the sheltering in place is as unfamiliar for me as for everyone as a means of resetting myself (since I’ve been in quite a slump).
- Read the books I’ve borrowed from family and perhaps more in our family collection.
- Read those that I like of the 23 library books that I have, I’m SO glad I tend to get tons of library books. I’ve heard some libraries have curbside pickup option, and I’ve asked the city system I use, but the way things are I doubt we’ll get that, it seems risky. So:
- I’m SO glad I have tons of rereads in my own collection, and I may read more that I have “due” this year.
- Actually work through the self-development/personal help books that I’ve bought as work books.
Handicrafts and Room Revamp
- Make curtains, paint/stain/refinish some furniture, and finish setting up my room.
- Sew an apron (I recently rehauled all my stuff and came up with some fabric I realized I could use to make an really adorable apron) and headband (we’ve been watching Hometown on HGTV and love Erin’s headbands and style).
- Start really stashbusting my yarn. I’ve been take clips of all my shawl patterns and organizing these by shawl type in Evernote, so I don’t have to open up every single pdf to see what the pattern is. SO helpful.
- Work on my darling embroidery project, I’ve held onto those old magazines for years (they have to be 70’s or maybe 80’s, Ill have to check).
- Finish/edit/reframe all my 2020 plans and actually start working on habits.
- Try and keep and improve on my routine and not fall further into a slump.
- My blog domain is set to renew, and I’ve been meaning for years to put additional work into my blog, so I think now is a great time for that.
- I have like 80+ drafts, yikes! So I want to cull these, finish, and schedule those that I want to publish.
- I’ve got several new glorious 1000 piece Disney puzzles to work on as seen on my Instagram.
- Participate in the positive Instagram environment I’ve found (basically lots of my favorite bloggers who are sharing happy things).
- Job search, I currently have a job, but I’m mentally under-utilized plus it’s got very archaic skills. I was wanting to go ahead and search, for potential new opportunities and weekend jobs, but I hadn’t tried very hard when this happened. Now, I’m trying to prepare for if I need to find a job.
Catherine at Based on the Book tagged me with the Liebster Award. I always love any sort of tag, it means someone else did part of the brainwork for a blog post, lol. And continuing with my laziness, I’m not going to think of questions or tag people, but if you want to answer her questions, she included anyone who wanted in her tag.
1. Which book have you re-read the most and why?
I wish I’d kept better track of my rereads. I know I’ve read Pride and Prejudice at least 3 times I think. And HP too. But I’ve also read North and South three times, at least. And that is definitely more of an accomplishment I think. I want to read that one again, it is just so rich and ripe for analysis (I’ve written pages of my impressions of it). Plus its alway interesting to compare books with period drama adaptations (the reward of watching North and South was the catalyst of my first reading and rewatching inspired at least one if not both rereads).
2. Which Hogwarts house would you put yourself in?
Ravenclaw all the way. I’d be wishing for Ravenclaw like Harry wished against Slytherin. But I’d also have to wish against Slytherin as well. I’m not sneaky, but I’m not . . . well nice, good, whatever. I consider it a great accomplishment if I ever attain a neutral, bare minimum level of civility that would probably only be considered so in another unfriendly country.
3. What is your favourite fictional friendship?
I’m sure I have more but Sarah Jane and Mabel from Grandma’s Attic popped into mind, since their friendship was the main focus of those stories. Childhood best friends who get into scrapes together from tiny children to adults is always a fun plot.
4. If you could bring back one TV show/series what would it be?
Well, I think most shows need to end well before they do. And I don’t mean just are long US shows, Sherlock crashed and burned after two seasons, imho. So I’d prefer to go back in time and redo That 70’s Show, putting Jackie and Hyde together sooner. Cutting out lazy shock plotlines. Keeping Eric and Donna as good characters and sucking all the creepyness out of Fez and working in the truly good bits from the older seasons (there were some good burns). And fitting everything in 4 or 5 seasons.
5. Which historical figure would you like to read a book about?
I’m FAR more interested in time periods than individual people. Probably someone who had a mysterious end, I’d want to know what actually happened?
6. Who was the last fictional character you fell in love with?
I was in a little in love with the leading men in my some of my favorite Mary Stewart and M.M. Kaye books, but I think Max from This Rough Magic was my favorite.
7. What’s your go-to karaoke song?
Can’t sing and have never done karaoke.
8. Which Disney princess/character was your childhood favourite?
I watched Lion King, Pocahontes, Jungle Book, and Cinderella, were I think major features in my childhood. I know we owned Beauty and the Beast, at least I think we did. But for some reason, I don’t remember that one being watched as much. Maybe it was. But I think the first three made a bigger impression, which is funny, since I was already afraid of my own shadow as a child, perhaps that was the fascination.
9. Listening to any good podcasts lately?
Yes, sort of, I’m picky and moody. I have a podcast post in the works.
10. Have you read any Charles Dickens and do you have any recommendations? (I feel like it’s time I read one.)
I’ve read most of them. They do feel like a lot of work because they were serials and you definitely feel it. They are also very glum in setting, tone, etc. And well, it’s hard to like/relate to a lot of the heroines (usually the love interests of the heroes), namby-pamby or goody-goody Victorian as portrayed by a Victorian man.
I also feel like everyone is very opinionated about their individual favorites, I mean it’s highly individual. You could always start with the more famous. Tale of Two Cities is a fav for many (I haven’t read it in years) and it’s short. But I personally think Nicholas Nickleby is a more fun one plus it has at least two recent adaptations one of which features a baby Hiddleston as a minor character. I think that Little Dorrit is also a good one with a wonderful adaptation, and less stereotyped, more full whole person characters including the heroine.
I feel like I’m due a reread. I’m more of a Trollope person myself since starting the Barchester chronicles. I wonder why he’s not as famous? He is definitely more, refined I guess? More dry sarcasm, more realism in the gentry and nobility in the country rather than lowerclasses in London Less caricature and more foible based.
11. Any fun websites you like to waste time on?
Besides Youtube (probably could make a favorite youtubes page and post) which is a weak substitute for good old-fashioned blogs and my few favorite blogs (I need to update my list), and Instagram which is an excellent substitute for facebook, Pinterest, and ah, the WHO and CDC for obvious reasons . . . I resorted to my history which gave me shopping sites (from crafts and historical fashion to shoes and Amazon), banking and cc sites, and following my random interests/trains of thoughts on Google, apparently nothing very interesting. Oh, wait, Spotify (for podcasts mostly at the moment) and Audible (I should do a post on that soon too), have saved my sanity at work for most of my time there although I can’t focus on much at the moment).
I should (I get to, I was listening to a podcast that said to reframe in grateful terms, I get to work, I get to learn, etc., especially apropos now) use:
Seterra (that excellent geography site I keep forgetting about even though I have it bookmarked)
Bluprint (formerly Craftsy, I have tons of purchased classes)
Creativebug (I have few purchased glasses)
Duolingo (I’m currently making Duo very sad)
CodeAcademy (no time like the present to learn to new tech skills).
Any suggestions? I know lots of services/sites/apps are offering free trials during this social distancing/quarantine period (and oh, it WILL be much longer, my sister keeps saying, “when I graduate” and “when I go back to school” her senior year is ruined). I’d like to make a list of those too.
If you aren’t currently attempting to drive yourself insane trying to discern what is real from the limited actual stats and find possible grains of truth amid too early/misreading/ignoring of statistics and blaming/frothing political divisiveness and blame by the media and everyone who never cared about disease/hygiene/epidemiology/pandemics, listening to irrational coworkers quoting the above mentioned groups, wondering if
I’myou are crazy, feeling how pathetic it is that you already apparently lived under Sheltering in Place, etc. . . . . you may enjoy some humor, from my favorite hilarious youtubers of course. Of course you might just need it after trying to figure out that “sentence” above. Anyway.
Enneagram Types Under Sheltering in Place. Which are you? I’m (in this video) something of 1 and 5, if it was cholera, yeah I’d be my more usual 6 (or 6-5-7 blend, like most personality tests, I’m not sure). I’m more 6 regarding people at the moment.
Sheltering in Place16 Personality Types Under Quarantine. Which are you? In this case I’m INTJ and INTP.
Thinking about this after Katie’s comment on this post. But I’m due for rereads, so I may have to revisit this post. I know my top two. Also, movie portrayals matter, I watched many of the movies before reading and have watched the films many times sense. I think with many of the characters, the book leaves some openness in interpreting the characters (not all of them), actually, to me the some of the most famous (Darcy, Knightley, and Brandon) are that way. Because they are older/more reserved maybe?
- Captain Wentworth. Decisive, military, passionate, I do have to wonder though, how well this would work in reality. I mean does a Marianne-type character work with admittedly something of the male-equivalent in intensity.
Henry Tilney funny, kind, honorable. This I know would work for me in reality.
Now for the others. I do think I’d pick Mr. Knightley next (or would I?), but I’d prefer John Knightley from the 2008 Emma. That smart-aleck and family loyal character is absolutely my style. I’m not sure what I think of Knightly, I’m not sure he’s as clearly defined, all the movie versions are sort of accurate in a way, but also not. He can seem a bit too, puppy-dog, like trailing after Emma which I don’t like. So maybe I would pick Bingley next although. Bingley and Edward Ferrars I kind of group together. I have difficulty respecting them, and I’m afraid I’d steam role right over them, but I’d pick them over the melancholy Brandon, or the boring (!) Darcy.
Bingley, precious and sweet but too easily led. But he doesn’t do anything wrong, and he does come back without prompting, I think, although with some hints maybe, or encouragement after seeing Lizzie. My understanding was Darcy said something to him after he came back, but like I said I’m due for a reread.
Edward Ferrars. Grow a spine dude. It’s not honorable to love another and stay engaged, sorry, that isn’t actual faithfulness. However, he is funny.
Edmund Bertram. Ah, Edmund, I loved you so much until I despised you so much. And yet, I still think I’d want him before Colonel Brandon. I mean if Edmund hadn’t fallen for Mary, or at least for that long and so hard. Early Edmund would be closer to the top.
Darcy. I belong to the Darcy is overrated club.
Colonel Brandon. I’m afraid the unfairly ancient and/or slimy casting of Colonel Brandon has forever tainted him to me. If Matthew McFadyen had played him (ala Arthur Clennam) as I think would have been ideal. I think he needed to be brought to life in such a way as too make him appealing. He’s too melancholy a person for me ideally.