It’s snowing heartily again, on top of the 2-4 inches from earlier this week that didn’t fully melt.  So I came home early and am looking forward to a weekend “snowed in” – which means reading!


The Gospel of John
I’ve been rereading the Gospels in this order: Mark, Matthew, Luke, and now John.  Though I don’t know it’s right to have a “favorite” Gospel, what I will say is I particularly connect with John’s because of his incredible writing style and some of the details he includes, like the story of Nicodemus.

I’m reading a few other books as well, but I’m holding back a little, partly in anticipation of an upcoming Moby-Dick readalong.  (Not exactly sure when it’s starting, but I don’t want to be in the middle of two chunksters at once.)

That said…  I recently found these cute little books at the thrift store and had to take them home. I’ll probably read one or two this weekend.

By “little,” I mean pocket-sized.  They’re really excerpts of longer works, part of a Penguin series called Great Journeys.  I’m not usually a fan of excerpts (give me unabridged!) but the cover art drew me in. Plus I’m not necessarily planning to read the full version of all of these (except Shackleton, which I already have).


Stan & Ollie (2018)

My family and I went to see Stan & Ollie a couple of weeks ago, at a small theater which specializes in indie and foreign films.  We’re big fans of the original Laurel & Hardy, and we all enjoyed this biopic, even if it was very sad.  I didn’t feel there was enough in the movie for me to give a full review, but you can read more about it (and the real-life figures) here.

Downton Abbey
My family is on a Downton Abbey rewatch, and, in spite of my best efforts to resist, I’ve joined them for an episode or two… or three… or four…

I’ve always had extremely mixed feelings about this series.  (When one’s favorite character is the cynical, sometime villain, Thomas Barrow, one is bound to have mixed feelings.) I can’t deny the plot and characters are very entertaining – and who doesn’t enjoy a jaunt through the 1920s?


Still on an indie folk kick.  I always enjoy this one, “Birds” by East Love, and I can relate very strongly to it at the moment.

22 thoughts on “What I’m Reading (and More): February edition

  1. shackleton was an extraordinary fellow… amazing how his leadership saved all his crew members… the Bird was good also… i've got her one about touring the near east which i have yet to read; the one she wrote about Japan was great also, but a bit alarming…


  2. I used to watch Laurel and Hardy as a kid (on VHS, in the 90s I hasten to add) and the actors in that movie seem INCREDIBLY spot on, based on the trailer. Thanks for sharing \”The Birds\”! I'm enjoying the sound. Lately I've been listening to a..folk-punk band I love called \”The Wild\”. I don't think they're still active, but their sound is…playful and earnest at the same time. In case you're curious…:\”Together Underground\”


  3. I just noticed your favorite character on Downton is Thomas. He was so frustrating. Personally, my favorite is Tom…the working-class revolutionary turned respectable family man, grappling with his ideals and his responsibilities, really sticks out for me.


  4. Ever since reading South, I've had a (not-so) minor obsession with Shackleton and started collecting books about him. Isabella Bird is a more recent discovery, and she sounds pretty amazing!


  5. Oh, I love Tom, too (Miss Bunting aside, hehe).Thomas is incredibly frustrating and complicated…I guess that's part of why I find him such a compelling character. Also, I have a soft spot for loners, and Thomas is one of the few characters Fellowes allowed to end up single AND happy(er).


  6. Hi Marian. I am reading through Luke right now. I like how he will call attention and name people not named in the other gospels. John is so good too, though.I have all the old Laurel and Hardy, although I havenot watched them in many years. I did not know someone made a movie about them. I will have to check them out.I know what you mean about irresistible books. The entire Shackleford is really worth reading. I have recently picked up Moby Dick after many years. I am determined to finish this time.


  7. …I just realized there two different characters with the same first name on that show. I wonder why they did that? (And how did I watch the entire show without noticing? I guess because one was Tom and one was Barrow…)


  8. This will technically be my 3rd time starting Moby-Dick, as the first time I only made it halfway. 🙂 However, the second time I read it differently – as a way to wind down in the evening – and I loved it. The short chapters help with that! Looking forward to your thoughts on it…


  9. Ha, ha! I drowned in all the listing of different species of whales the first time. I finally powered through that section.Am I wrong that the dumb whale doesn't even enter the story until halfway through the book?


  10. There is, but he's not terribly flattering. He feels alienated from everyone else (for an important reason) and often exacerbates that alienation by conniving against others, all the while floundering in loneliness. He can be quite foul at times, but he's so obviously miserable it's hard to maintain any animosity towards him.


  11. I should have a review up sometime this week! Are you thinking of going ahead and starting Moby-Dick? I was considering getting an early start since I'm such a slow reader.


  12. I've started and am planning to read one chapter each evening. I will be on chapter 2 tonight. I think Ruth has started it too. I supposed I could take the read-along over but I don't want to step on Brona's toes. And I don't like doing read-alongs without some prep. I tried contacting Brona through the Classics Club events section with a comment but there has been no reply.


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