Fabulous Friday: Hygge and wine!

Fabulous-Friday-680x680Each and every Friday, Michelle of the blog That’s What She Read shares what makes that Friday a Fabulous Friday for her and has a Mister Linky where you can share your own post of what makes your own Friday fabulous. Click on the image at right to be taken to Michelle’s blog and this week’s post.

So what makes this a Fabulous Friday for me?

Hygge: I’m off from work today as is usual when I work my one Saturday a month (something to do with the way pay weeks fall, I don’t know really, but that’s what I’m told). Today, I’ll be reading The Cozy Life: Rediscover the Joy of the Simple Things Through the Danish Concept of Hygge by Pia Hedberg, which I won as a prize from Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon (via 24 in 48 Readathon). I first heard of hygge from Chris of the blog Chrisbookarama and decided with winter already here in northcentral Pennsylvania, it would be a perfect time to explore this concept. According to Edberg, hygge pronounced “Hoo-gah” is “the Danish concept of coziness…the art of creating warmth, cofort, and wellbeing through connection, treasuring the moment, and surrounding yourself with things you love.” Beyond that, I don’t know and is why I’m reading the book.

By RochesterNY (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Wine: On Sunday, Kim and I are concluding our whirlwind tour of celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary that started with a wine bus tour in October and now ends with another one here in December. The first one was to Keuka Lake, one of the Finger Lakes in New York, and this one is to Seneca Lake, another of the Finger Lakes. This particular tour is titled “Christmas Wining and Castle Dining,” and in addition to a visit to fine wineries, we also will be having a late brunch at Belhurst Castle (scroll down about three-quarters of a page to see what’s on the menu).

Kim and I are especially looking forward to Silver Springs Winery, the first stop on the tour:

As an award-winning winery & wine maker, the owner invites you to taste his passion that burns deep like a fire across the expansive universe of your palate…

And no, I’m not kidding. That’s really what it says on the description of the tour.

What makes this a Fabulous Friday for you?

That’s A Wrap For November 2016!

All the Books!

All four of them:

  1. Robert B. Parker’s Lullaby, the 40th Spenser novel, by Ace Atkins
  2. In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
  3. The Wrong Side of Goodbye, the 21st Harry Bosch, by Michael Connelly
  4. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

The last two were for Thankfully Reading Weekend during Thanksgiving Week.

All were good, if not mind-blowing.

Total for the year: 45

  •  January: 3
  • February: 2
  • March: 4
  • April: 2
  • May: 1
  • June: 3
  • July: 6
  • August: 6
  • September: 6
  • October: 8
  • November: 4

I’ve also started Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman and probably will be reading that throughout the month. Today, I’ll be reading…

#deweysreadathon prize arrived today. Thanks, @rachelmanwill, and @chrisbookarama for idea on subject of book. @deweysreadathon

A photo posted by Bryan G. Robinson (@stillunfinished) on

All the Life!

The month started with an impromptu visit to my nephew Jonathan’s birthday party. It wasn’t scheduled because it was billed as “a Nerf gun battle” party, which is not really something I wanted to be in the middle of. However, I changed my mind so I could see my nephew, sister and brother-in-law and two-year-old niece and I also went to visit my parents and an aunt who live nearby where the party was.

The month ended with my wife and I celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary on Nov. 23 and the days leading up to it. We had our own drinkalong, hence the photo of the tequila up top (if reading this in a reader, you might not see, so click through to the post to see the feature image), and went to Cracker Barrel. We still have a wine tour that we’re doing on Sunday, Dec. 11, the second of two wine tours that we did this year in celebration of our anniversary too. The first was in October.

Best music of the month:

  • Lambchop FLOTUS
  • Common Black America Again
  • Jim James Eternally Even
  • A Tribe Called Quest We got it from Here…Thank You 4 Your service
  • Dawn Richard Redemption

…and what I’m listening to right now (well, except the full album):

So how was your month of November? Any good books? Good movies? Good TV? Good music?

Thankfully Reading Weekend begins NOW!

thankfullyreadingStarting today and through Sunday, I’m joining other book bloggers and book lovers online for Thankfully Reading Weekend, hosted by Jenn of Jenn’s Bookshelves (click on the button on right to be taken to the sign-up post). The quickest explanation is from Jenn herself: “There are no rules to the weekend, we’re simply hoping to devote a good amount of time to reading, and perhaps meeting some of our reading challenges and goals for the year. We thought it’d be fun if we cheered each other on a bit.” I’ll be on Instagram and Litsy with the hashtag #thankfullyreading. Others will be on Twitter with the same hashtag.

2016-11-23-07-35-02

  1. Look to the Lady, the third Albert Campion mystery, by Margery Allingham
  2. Police at the Funeral, the fourth Campion, by Allingham
  3. Traitor’s Purse, the 11th Campion, by Allingham
  4. Pearls Before Swine, the 12th Campion, by Allingham
  5. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
  6. The Wrong Side of Goodbye, the 21st Harry Bosch, by Michael Connelly
  7. Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age by Maggie Jackson
  8. Robert B. Parker’s Wonderland, the 41st Spenser, by Ace Atkins
  9. …Cheap Shot, the 42nd Spenser, by Atkins
  10. …Kickback, the 43rd Spenser, by Atkins
  11. …Slow Burn, the 44th Spenser, by Atkins

Also on the list:

  • Crocodile on the Sandbank, the first Amelia Peabody mystery, by Elizabeth Peters

I have off from work today, tomorrow, and Friday. I work Saturday, but am off again on Sunday, as per usual, since our library is closed on Sundays. I plan on reading as much as I can, but that’s if I don’t get…distracted, like the title of Jackson’s book. And no, I don’t plan on reading all 12 books. I’ll be happy if I get to two or three, to be honest.

The Campion mysteries and the Peters, I selected because of a friend of mine, John. When we lived in suburban Philadelphia years ago, he was our neighbor and he and I still keep in contact, mainly through phone calls at least once a month during which we share what we’ve been reading. We also send books back and forth to each other. He sent me the Campion books at least a year ago if not longer and the Peters book, he recently recommended to me.

Leaves of GrassMelissa Middleman Firman recently mentioned reading poetry to soothe her post-election anxiety and I thought that was a good idea, so I’m returning to an old favorite. I initially did get it in ebook format, but then I remembered why I hate ebooks for poetry: the line breaks just aren’t right, especially when I increase the font size.

The latest Harry Bosch I’ve been waiting for since the beginning of the month when it came out, but I was second in line at the library. Yesterday, it came in so I had to change the original photo I had of the pile, and add the print copy of Leaves of Grass.

The Distracted book was a withdrawal from our library and the Spenser series, I’m just getting back into after reading some other books by Atkins and enjoying them.

So are you doing any reading during the upcoming holiday? If so, what do you have planned? If not, what are your plans otherwise?

I would be (majorly) remiss if I didn’t add and include that I am not going to be reading the entire time that I am off. Today, my wife Kim and I celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary and tomorrow, even though she is working the midnight shift to start the day, we are having a neighbor over for Thanksgiving dinner.

Thankfully Reading again – hopefully

thankfullyreading Tradition! Tradition! Tradition!

For me, for the last several years, one of the traditions I have is to take part in Thankfully Reading Weekend, hosted by Jenn of Jenn’s Bookshelves (click on the button on right to be taken to the sign-up post). The quickest explanation is from Jenn herself: “There are no rules to the weekend, we’re simply hoping to devote a good amount of time to reading, and perhaps meeting some of our reading challenges and goals for the year. We thought it’d be fun if we cheered each other on a bit.” Follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #thankfullyreading. You can go the whole weekend or only one day. The basic “rule” is “No rules, no pressure!”

The event starts Nov. 22 and lasts until Nov. 27, which I think is new this year. In the past, I believe it’s only been Thanksgiving Day through the weekend, because I usually ended up “cheating” a bit as is my wont to do with most book blogger events and started earlier because I often take off an extra day before Thanksgiving. This year is no different in that. I’m taking off Wednesday and so plan to start Tuesday night, Nov. 22. The only day I would “have to” miss is Saturday, because I work that day at the library, which is closed Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday.

Now as to why I put “hopefully” in the title, over the last couple of weeks, I haven’t felt much like reading. The last book I read was a week ago. I’m not going to lie: I have post-election anxiety and I’m having a hard time focusing on much of anything. Even TV, my wife and I are watching shorter shows: reruns of Futurama over the last couple of weeks and now Raising Hope. I was going to try a nonfiction book, Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance, to help understand the election and then decided I didn’t really have the mental wherewithal to read it, so returned it to the library unread. I did read two fiction books, both murder mysteries, but the next one I have lined up is set in Sweden and like so much Scandinavian crime fiction is bleak. I don’t think I can “do” bleak right now.

I did pick up The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin from the library, but then returned that, because…well..hell, happiness isn’t where I’m at either. I should hasten to add that happiness isn’t where I’m at with my reading.

In life, I am celebrating 20 years of being married this week (Wednesday) with my wife. We both had Friday off and she also had yesterday and has today off (she usually works weekends). We started our weekend with our own drinkalong Thursday night, with margaritas and tacos, except unlike a traditional drinkalong where there are rules set up ahead of time for one movie, we watched several movies on Netflix. Our rule: a shot for every movie we “tapped out of.” Altogether, we watched eight movies, making it all the way through one. Out of the rest, the longest was 30 minutes, but that’s probably because we were tired (and drunk) so didn’t have the energy to turn it off. Our total on drinks: two margaritas on the rocks in mason jars each but made pretty strong.

Friday, we went to Cracker Barrel for lunch on a gift card we’ve had for a few years but haven’t used. We both had fish fry: she, haddock; I, catfish. Both were very good. We were going to go see Doctor Strange, but then decided we just wanted to go home. We did get a new lamp from Target, which I think rounded out our excitement for the day. Then last night, we participated in a drinkalong of Hedwig and the Angry Inch with a group of friends online. Today? Kim has rehearsal later for a production of A Christmas Carol she is in for our town’s annual Christmas celebration, Dickens of a Christmas. She has off tomorrow and Tuesday, but I go back to work and work those days. I’m off Wednesday through Friday, as mentioned above, but we’ll be together in the evening (Kim works midnight shift) for our anniversary and for Thanksgiving, when we’re having a neighbor over to join us for dinner. So life’s all good…

photogrid_1479500747940

Now if only my reading could be good too. We’ll see what I can find before Tuesday night. Of course, I’ll keep you apprised here and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (probably, although I’ve been pretty much avoiding both except for this past weekend’s celebration). Out of the three, you’re most likely to see me on Instagram and also here. So until then…