What I’m Reading (and More): February edition

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.


What I’m Reading (and More): January edition

Ah, January.  I always find this month to be dreary.  (Anything coming after a glorious Christmas break is bound to be dreary).

My reading, as you might expect, has been somewhat sporadic and diverse, as I’m trying to escape the doldrums.  I don’t have full reviews yet, just a scattering of thoughts…


Fear No Evil, by Natan Sharansky
Finally reading this after hearing about it two years ago from Stephen.  I’m almost halfway and getting strong Kafkaesque vibes from the tedious, illogical interrogations by the KGB.  Also, the author is a fellow computer science major and Sherlock Holmes fan, which is personally inspiring.

Philosophy 101: From Plato and Socrates to Ethics and Metaphysics, an Essential Primer on the History of Thought, by Paul Kleinman
I am trying to rectify my ignorance in philosophy with this crash-course style book.  The author’s approach is sometimes questionable – he bizarrely mentioned Kierkegaard and Nietzsche in the same breath, and I’m not sure what order he’s following, but it’s definitely not chronological.  In spite of its faults, this book is still better than me attempting to, say, follow the rabbit trails of Wikipedia on my own.  I’m halfway through and have learned quite a bit.

The Gospel of Luke
Been steadily reading through Luke with my morning coffee and lectio divina.  It’s sad to admit, but I never had much of a thirst for Bible reading before and always felt bad about it.  Now, with lectio divina, I read it daily, because it’s very calming and sets me up for the entire day, even if I don’t feel great (I’m not a morning person).  This method of Bible reading & prayer has honestly changed my life, and I’m so happy to have reached this turning point. 

The Professor, by Charlotte Brontë
The Professor was Charlotte’s first novel and one I’ve struggled in the past to get into.  (This time, I shall finish it.)  I haven’t read a Victorian novel in a long time, so it’s refreshing to get back into my old comfort zone.


Speaking of Victorian novels, last night I watched Victoria, Season 3 Episode 1.

I have a real love/loathe opinion of this series… mostly loathe.

I watched about half of Season 1, coming into it with the highest hopes and getting truly disappointed.  I don’t even remember if I saw Season 2.

The good: stunning cinematography and costumes, stellar cast
The bad: historical liberties, lackluster characterization, overly simplistic dialogue, and some aspects/characters which are way too similar to Downton Abbey

Sadly, S3E1 was no improvement over the previous episodes I saw.  I might watch more of S3 for the sheer eye candy (I LOOOVEEE Victorian costumes), but the script makes me cringe with second-hand embarrassment.


It’s early days, but I haven’t yet found any new favorite songs this year.

Till then, I’m still obsessed with “Rich Boy” (2018) by Sara Kays.  If you haven’t heard of her before…well, neither had I, till late last year.  I tend to stumble across obscure artists, because I enjoy indie folk music, especially songs that tell a story.  This one’s a classic tale, with sad Americana vibes.