Rumpole, CMOG, and what-not

Instead of doing the “All The Books! All The Life!” post at the end of each month as I have been doing, today I’m going to start doing that post once a week, with a featured image using the “All the…” each time. In another life, I was a weekly newspaper editor and enjoyed writing a weekly column so now I’m returning to that…sort of, only without the part of returning to newspapers, the headaches which I really don’t miss. So here we go…

All The Books!

This week, I started reading John Mortimer’s Forever Rumpole: The Best of the Rumpole Stories. I had seen the TV show years ago and read a few of the later books, but not a lot of Mortimer’s famous curmudgeon. So far, I’m enjoying being reintroduced to the Old Bailey barrister again and look forward to reading more later today.

Also from our library, I picked up a few other books, as seen in the featured image (click through to the blog post, if on a reader since you might miss the image). In particular, I am looking at starting two series: the Quinn Colson series by Ace Atkins, and the James Hicks series by Terrence McCauley. I’ve had my eye on the Atkins books for a while, but have been waiting to read the beginning of the series. I hadn’t heard of the other series, a spy series, until recently, but it seemed like it might be worth trying.

I picked up the first two in the Quinn Colson series:

  1. The Ranger
  2. The Lost Ones

and the first two in the James Hicks series:

  1. Sympathy for the Devil
  2. A Murder of Crows.

I’ll let you know how I fare with them, or if they’re my cups of tea. I’m not sure yet, but both series look like they could be winners. Fingers crossed.

All The Life!

I didn’t have much of a life this past week until Friday when my neighbor Mike and I visited the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, N.Y. near where we live. We met my sister and her two children there, and it was a good day. In addition to the photos in the featured image (see above on the blog), I did share more on my Instagram feed.

Later this morning, my wife and I are going to a film festival in our town. It’s the first one our town has had and I probably wouldn’t be going except that an actor from one of the shorts that has been nominated happened to stop in at the library with a friend yesterday while I was at work. I looked up the short that he was in (correction: wrote and starred in) and noticed that one of our favorite actresses, Melissa Leo, whom we know from our all-time favorite TV show, Homicide: Life on the Street as Det. Sgt. Kay Howard, is in it. You might know her from 2010’s The Fighter, for which she won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2011. She also was phenomenal in Frozen River, for which she received her first Oscar nomination.

Initially in a previous draft, I left with the trailer for that movie. However, after going to see the movie this morning, I think I’ll leave you with the trailer for the actor/writer Gabriel Furman’s movie, Mother’s Day instead:

How has your week been in reading and life? Any good music or movies to recommend? Let me and my readers know in the comments.

This, that, and the other

Since we’ve been having a heat (and humidity) wave here in northcentral Pennsylvania, my brain is a bit scattered. So I bring you a little bit of…

This, that, and the other

  • 91848At the beginning of June, I wrote a post titled “7 Things I want to do in my 47th summer,” based on Debi’s 53 things she wants to do in her 53rd summer, with one of those things being to read at least eight books by Labor Day to bring my grand total for the year to 20. I’m glad to say that as of yesterday, after finishing Aaron Elkins’ first Gideon Oliver mystery, Fellowship of Fear, which was okay, that I’m up to 24. I still have one more book to re-read that was on that list: A Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl.
  • As for the rest of the list, I’ve re-read The Hobbit, went on a luncheon cruise on Seneca Lake, one of the Finger Lakes in New York, with  Kim for our neighbors’ 25th wedding anniversary, saw one movie in a theater (Star Trek Beyond), but haven’t gone hiking or biking with Kim yet.
  • This past week, we discovered a new show, Lovesick, which also is known by the unfortunate title of Scrotal Recall, because it actually is a very sweet TV show, in the end. You wouldn’t think that by its description: a man discovers he has chlamydia and has to tell his past lovers that he had it. However, it surprised both of us and naturally it ended with a cliffhanger so we only can hope there is a Season 2.
  • The plan for today, besides napping (as always), is to start watching The Get Down, which only has six episodes to start:
  • The next big show on Netflix that I personally can’t wait to see is Luke Cage. I love Daredevil and have enjoyed Jessica Jones, although not as much as the first season of Daredevil.
  • This past week, I tried to start reading two science fiction novels, but just couldn’t do it. I think I have to resign myself to the fact that science fiction just isn’t for me anymore. Once upon a time, it was, but not now.
  • 11909372Instead, I have a couple of mysteries to read next, including a collection of Rumpole stories by John Mortimer. I don’t usually do well with short stories, but I’m willing to give it a try, especially since my brain has been so scattered. That might happen this afternoon.

So what have you been up to lately? Reading, watching, listening to anything good?

I’ll leave you with what I’ve been listening to lately:

Off to a pretty good start for August

I’m off to a pretty good start for the month of August with my reading as I finished two books this past week:

  1. 29102969Kill Switch, the eighth Joe Ledger novel, by Jonathan Maberry.
  2. Purgatory, the 10th Jack Taylor novel, by Ken Bruen.

Both were just what I needed: escape in Maberry’s case and just good, creative writing in Bruen’s case. I hadn’t read both series in a while and I was glad to return to them. Next up will be Green Hell, the 11th Jack Taylor, from Bruen with his 12th Jack Taylor, The Emerald Lie, coming out at the end of the month. What made me return to Bruen’s work was a mention of his newest book by Candace of the blog Beth Fish Reads on Twitter. Thanks, Candace, for reminding me to return to one of my favorite authors.

1044863I had borrowed Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl on ebook from the Free Library of Philadelphia a couple of weeks ago, planning to re-read the book as part of my goal of 7 Things I Want To Do in My 47th Summer. However, my wife picked up Frankl’s ebook via a Kindle Deal of the Day last week for free so I returned the ebook from FLP. I’m not sure yet when I’ll reread it, but I’m thinking maybe next Friday when I have off from work before I work my one Saturday a month.

As for what I’m listening to this week, I’m giving this new artist a try:

What have you been reading this week? Listening to? Watching? Here, nothing new on the watching front. I’ve decided not to watch Suicide Squad based on the reviews from Rotten Tomatoes. I think I’ll just be skipping all the DC Comics movies. Go Marvel!

All The Books! All The Life! July 2016

Sunday Salon 7-31-16

All The Books!

The books I’ve read within the last month:

  1. Ms. Marvel, Vol. 3: Crushed by G. Willow Wilson, Mark Waid, Takeshi Miyazawa, Elmo  Bondoc, and Humberto Romas
  2. Ms. Marvel, Vol. 4: End of Days by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona
  3. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (a reread)
  4. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
  5. Charcoal Joe by Walter Mosley
  6. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (a reread)

The best of the lot? When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. Melissa Firman recommended the book to me and she was right on the money that I would like it. Read her review to see why you should read it too.

I wanted to read a total of 20 books for the year by Labor Day as part of 7 Things I Want To Do In My 47th Summer, and with these six, I’m already at 21. I also wanted to reread Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl as part of those seven things, a book I plan on starting today.

I read the last two books, thanks to the 24in48 Readathon in which I participated with others online last weekend. I didn’t make my goal of 12 hours, but at 10.5 hours and two books, I still consider it an accomplishment.

All The Life!

The highlights of the life I’ve lived in the last month (including tonight):

  1. Fourth of July picnics with family and neighbors: On the Sunday of the Fourth July weekend, Kim and I went to my parents where they, along with my sister and brother-in-law, their two children, and aunt, had a picnic. Then on Monday, we traveled across the street to two picnics with neighbors, one in the early afternoon and one in the later afternoon.
  2. Backyard Movie Night: Our neighbor Mike and his wife, Kathy, had a movie night in their backyard with a screen set up on the side of their garage. The movie? Jaws. It was very cool, with the only thing we learned is that in the future we probably should start the movie a bit later, when it’s darker, so that we’re not squinting at the screen to see the movie.
  3. Stranger Things: We watched the Netflix show in only a few days and it was great.
  4. Concerts: Last night we went to see The Isaacs, a bluegrass gospel group, at a local park with my parents and tonight we’re going to another concert, this one, a brass ensemble at a local state park renowned for its dark skies.
  5. Star Trek Beyond: Also part of the seven things I wanted to do this summer, i.e. seeing one movie in a theater. Done, and it was a good one. I didn’t think it was good as the first reboot from J.J. Abrams and Co., but it was better than the second one.

So how was your month of July bookwise and life-wise? What were the highlights?

I’ll leave you with this version of Mike and the Mechanics’ “The Living Years” from The Isaacs:

#24in48 Update: 1 & 1/2 in 6 & 1/2

Yesterday and today, I’m participating in the 24in48 Readathon. Yesterday, I finished Charcoal Joe, the 14th Easy Rawlins mystery, by Walter Mosley and then I began a re-read of Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. I plan on finishing that here later this morning, and after that, we’ll see. So far, I’ve read 6 1/2 hours and while I won’t get 24 hours in 48, if I’m lucky, I might get to 12 hours, and even if I don’t, I’m happy with what I’ve gotten read.

I’ll be honest that I’m not remembering Invisible Man. I think that for some reason, I had it mixed up with Native Son by Richard Wright. That doesn’t mean that I’m not liking it; it’s just not the book I remember.

So far here are my favorite sections…

…first from Charcoal Joe:


…and then from Invisible Man:


To be honest, I love the entire prologue, but it’s a bit long to quote in its entirety here.

As you can see in the featured image above (if you’re in a feed reader, you might have to go to the blog to see), I probably could have read more if my wife and I hadn’t started watching Stranger Things on Netflix on Friday night and then we had to finish it last night. If you have Netflix, I encourage you to see it, especially if you are a fan of Stephen King and of the 1980s. It was amazing, and now we can’t wait for Season 2.

Here’s the first eight minutes shared by Netflix on YouTube, if you’re not sure:

Are you participating in the readathon this weekend? If so, how have you done? If not, what are you reading anyway? Either way, anything good worth mentioning? If you’ve seen Stranger Things, what did you think?