What We Read: Monthly Recap

What We Read: April/May 2020

Well, hi!

We’re still over here reading. It’s just been a helluva spring, as I know it has for everyone…everyone on the planet, really.

My work picks up the pace in the spring and this year our efforts were especially dependent on those assigned to digital projects. Who knew a writer could be so gainfully employed? 😉

So I had my hands and brain full. Too full for blogging.

I found relief in the yard, planning my garden, starting a gardening log…

…and sourcing plants and rocks for a rockery, which I’m determined to have, but to create at no cost.

Rockery area “before”:

And during:

It took around 2 hours to get this far, hacking away at the tree roots and fighting the 90-degree heat before it claimed me.

Much progress was made in other areas.

Bed on south side of house “before,” clogged with myrtle (bah!), hostas past their prime, and baby maple trees (no bueno):

The same areas after…

Hydrangeas and baby pink muhly grass presided over by Ernesto the Gnome:

I feel like that side of the house can breathe again.

In my other life as a collagist, I am once again part of #the100dayproject, completing collages and sharing them on Instagram.

These creative endeavors have contributed much sanity as the world has erupted around us with disease (bad) and protests (much needed). We have been quarantined and working from home like the rest of the world. And, like others who understand the evils of the legacy of slavery, we have gone out to support the Black Lives Matter movement in our community.

A protest and march that met up at our courthouse:

In the meantime, and this is what you came for, Ben and I are reading.

On to the books!

Past Recaps Here:
January
February
March

What Shannon read in April/May:

Shannon’s Notes:

I haven’t reviewed a single one of these, but I intend to review some in individual posts.

Notably:

  • It was the spring of Edith Wharton and looks like it will be the summer of Edith Wharton as well.
  • I re-read The Secret Garden as I am wont to do in spring.
  • I continue listening to audiobook thrillers as a means of escape…blessed escape…

What Ben read in April/May:

Ben’s Notes:

Wrath of Empire by Brian McClellan

After the first book (Sins of Empire) I was interested in the series but not 100% sure if I was going to commit to it. But Wrath of Empire won me over, leaving all the preliminaries behind and cranking up the pace of action and intrigue from “brisk” to “rocket.” Six hundred and thirty nine pages with hardly a dull moment. I’m excited for book three.

The Man in the High Castle by Phillip K. Dick

Slow at first compared to the show, but picked up a bit as it went along. Ending is a bit enigmatic, calling the nature of reality into question. There are many references to the I Ching, and if I were more familiar with it I bet there would be some additional insights to be gleaned.

Side Glances Volume 1 by Peter Egan

Nostalgic look back at one of the great automotive monthly columns. Starts before I started reading it, and runs up a few years past when I first began.

Side Glances Volume 3 by Peter Egan

What happened to Volume 2? I’ll have to ask Chase (who lent them) next time I talk to him. This volume picks up toward the end of my tenure as a Road and Track subscriber, though I continued reading his column (courtesy of free Tire Rack promotional copies of R&T) until he stopped writing it in 2013. Egan remains an occasional contributor as an “editor at large” and is generally considered to be one of America’s all-time great automotive journalists.

Magic Kingdom for Sale by Terry Brooks

A throwback reread of a fun, fairly light fantasy novel from one of the big names in the genre. I was amused to note that I happened to pick it back up at the same age as the protagonist, 39. It was fun to revisit, I may re-read the rest of the series if the spirit moves me.

Trouble is What I Do by Walter Mosely

This one was a little short but packed a punch. Mosley seldom disappoints. And in the middle of a fairly self-contained story he dropped a major twist into the life of Leonid McGill, the main character in his 21st century noir series.


If you’ve read this far, thank you! And thanks for stopping by. I aim to be a more regular blogger (famous last words) and if we’ve connected in the past, please comment or like and let me know you’re here–I’d love to reconnect. If you’re new to this blog, welcome!

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