Still here…

Lately the weekends have been like this…

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But today I’m just gonna be like this…

night cheese

I’m going to read my book now.

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Lazy Sunday Thoughts Like Naps

Oh Hi! It is I, the book blogger who should be book blogging. That doesn’t seem to be happening lately.

I did write one post this week for Monday, but you won’t find it here. I’ll be over on Project Gutenberg Project blogging about Flora Sandes. I just found out about her and now I’m obsessed with her. You should really check out that post. Here’s a photo of the woman in question.

flora sandes

Ain’t she something? So please go to Project Gutenberg Project on Monday.

Presently, I am reading On the Mountains by Elizabeth Von Arnim. I’m loving the voice of the narrator, but whenever I start reading I fall asleep. It’s not that I’m bored, although it is a slow paced story, but I’m so tired at night that I can’t help it. I do like the book. It’s a ladies travelling book. Those are my catnip.

I’ve also received an ARC of an audio version of The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro, but iTunes hates the files I get for these review books and they’re all out of order now. #bookbloggerproblems Once I get that sorted out, I will listen to it. I’m looking forward to it.

I’m still picking away at Moby-Dick. Did you know that Moby-Dick is supposed to be hyphenated? I did not. I learn something new everyday.

What else? I have a birthday coming up. Yay-boo. No big celebration for me, since I’ll be working that day. Maybe I can have a nap.

I hope you all are doing fine. I’m sorry I’m not around much but life gets in the way. The great thing about hobbies is that they are always there to pick up again later. This blog might suffer from lost followers and low stats from time to time because of that, but I’ll always be back. Keeping it simple will get me through those times.

Have a great Sunday, all!

The Sundial by Shirley Jackson: Review

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The Halloran family, and its various hangers-on, gather at the big house after the funeral of Lionel Halloran. Mrs Halloran probably killed her son Lionel by pushing him down the stairs, thus inheriting the big house herself. The family waits to see what their fate is after this power shift.

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Aunt Fanny, everyone calls Mrs Halloran’s sister-in-law Aunt Fanny, is wandering in the shrubbery when she has a vision of her dead father. He warns her, “From the sky and from the ground and from the sea there is danger; tell them in the house. There will be black fire and red water and the earth turning and screaming; this will come.” He tells her that only the house is safe from danger.

Surprisingly, everyone believes her, or decides to err on the side of caution at least. Mrs Halloran declares herself the organizer of preparations for the end of the world, including the repopulation of earth. The inhabitants of the house find themselves props in Mrs Halloran’s vision of the future. What will the future be with Mrs Halloran at the helm?

I loved The Sundial by Shirley Jackson. It’s darkly funny. The family dynamics are interesting. Everyone suspects Mrs Halloran of murdering her son, but no one outright accuses her of the crime, though they do hint at it. Mrs Halloran doesn’t care what they think and says, “We could very well do without Lionel.” He mismanaged the property and she plans on doing a better job. Her husband is suffering from an age related illness, but she keeps on “a young man to catalogue the library” named Essex who she’s doing on the side. Aunt Fanny, or Frances, resents this usurper, but can’t do anything about it, since she holds the purse strings.

After Aunt Fanny has her vision, Mrs Halloran changes her plan to boot everyone out and instead keeps them all close to her. She will need someone to serve her in this new future, as well as young people to repopulate the Earth. She cleverly manipulates them all into doing what she wants. She makes Lucille Bluth look like an amateur.

lucille eyeroll

The Sundial has some of the strongest female characters I’ve read in a long time. The only three male characters have little to do with the plot, it all turns on this house of women. Besides Mrs Halloran and Aunt Fanny, there is young Fancy, granddaughter and heir to the house, Fancy’s mother, and Mrs Ogilvie, the nanny. Mrs Halloran invites her old friend Mrs Willow and her two daughters, Julia and Arabella. Later, a seventeen year old Gloria appears out of nowhere.

The book then turns into a fancy episode of Doomsday Preppers, as the family prepares for the end. The characters in The Sundial are the worst human beings. I wondered if maybe the human race should end altogether if this is what is left to begin again. Even though there is no one to root for, I still loved this story and wanted to see how it was all going to end. It was a strange ending but perfect for this novel.

The Sundial is such a different novel from Shirley Jackson’s other works. It defies classification. Is it speculative fiction? Fantasy? Comedy? It’s all three and more. If you think you know Shirley Jackson, you need to read this. Her genius shines here like no other.

Recommended? Well, duh!

Pinterest Interests: Lemon Chicken Stew

lemon chicken stew

I’ve made this Lemon Chicken Stew from Food Crush a couple of times now. It is so good! The zip of lemon really makes this stew special. I always go back for seconds, and even then I have leftovers for the whole family the next day. I love lemon! If you put lemon in it, I’m going to want to eat it.


I mentioned Andi and her Estella Sparkles feature on her blog. I love it. I’ve been looking for tutorials on Pinterest and found this one from It’s Judy Time. I love this natural eyeshadow palette from NYX. This is a fun tutorial that ends up making you NOT look like you got into your Mom’s makeup in the 1980s. (Not me!)

Media Madness Monday: Pod People

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I'm a media junkie, not just books, but TV, movies, music, podcasts, and internet nonsense. Every Monday I discuss something that's caught my interest this past week.

 

Podcasting

I’ve been listening to an abundance of podcasts this week. I’ve found some interesting ones.

Literary Disco. Literary Disco includes Julia Pistell, Tod Goldberg, and Rider Strong (yes, from Boy Meets World). I listened to their episode on Shirley Jackson. The trio discussed The Lottery and the newly discovered short story The Man in the Woods. They give their opinions and it is great!

Book Fight! Mike Ingram and Tom Mcallister give “tough love for literature.” I listened to Fall of Failure: Stefan Zweig and Failed Comebacks. They reviewed Chess Story and tied Stefan and the story to some spectacular failed comebacks.

book fight

Up Yours, Downstairs! Married couple Kelly Anneken and Tom Schneider recap episodes of Downton Abbey (and other Edwardian series and movies) scene by scene. The episodes are long, longer than the shows they recap! But they’re fun and informative. They take time to explain some of the head scratching parts of the show: historic events, persons, etc.

 

On the Web

For some reason this weekend, my husband and I were watching Public Access TV and came across WhatRUat? I looked at him and said, “What the hell is this?” It was oddly compelling. Two guys hang out in a Newfoundland shed and talk about.. stuff. Just random stuff. For example, they had a guest who was really into his Grandpa’s safety razor. (Now I wait to buy one for my guy.) They have a Youtube channel if you want to check them out.

Here they discuss Lawn Darts: The Most Dangerous Game.

That’s all for today! What have you been listening to/ watching?

Lazy Sunday Thoughts: Twitter Quitter?

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Hello, everybody! It’s February. I never thought I’d say this but, I hope the weather will be better than January’s. We get some snow, followed by rain, then it freezes. Basically, I’m living in a skating rink. Our city has forgotten that people use sidewalks for walking, so a trip to the gym might end with an actual trip. I did get to do some snowshoeing before the rain came once again. That was fun. Anyway, enough about the weather.

I made a deliberate decision not to visit Twitter for a few days earlier this week. Twitter has been getting on my nerves lately, either it’s full of self-promotion or stresses me out. It used to be a pleasant distraction, but now it puts up my blood pressure. I’m not sure if Twitter changed, or I changed, but something changed. The thing is there are still people on Twitter who I rarely see anywhere else on the internet these days. People I like seeing and chatting up.

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Also, I went on Twitter for a few minutes today and saw a photo of a llama photobombing tourists in Machu Picchu. That was delightful. It made Twitter worth it for about 10 seconds.

Twitter Users: How do you feel about Twitter now? Do you limit your use? How do you manage your account? Is it your preferred social media outlet or is there something else you like better?

On to what I’ve been reading this week. I started The Sundial by Shirley Jackson. What a whacked out story. All the characters are hilarious in their awfulness. I’m loving it.

Make-up wearers! Have you seen Andi’s Makeup posts? I’m enjoying them. When I have the time, I’ve been looking up makeup tutorials and it’s mostly her fault. I’m never going to master the cat eye though. It’s never going to happen.

That’s all I have to talk about today. Enjoy your Super Bowling! I hope your team scores all the points!