Unraveled Wednesday, 10/28/20.

Joining Kat and friends on Unraveled Wednesday.

Knitting.

Not yet. I have not knit a stitch in two weeks.

Reading.

I finished Just Mercy — what a good book! Brian Stevenson is an excellent storyteller. 5★

Next was Christine Falls by Benjamin Black, which turned out to be author John Banville’s pseudonym when he writes a mystery. Banville is a literary writer, and this mystery novel is several hundred per cent more literary than the typical mystery/suspense novel. It took me by surprise, not being quite what I expected. Call me shallow, but I prefer my escapist reading to be more formulaic and less literary. YMMV. 3★ (my rating), 4.5★ (as literature)

Oddly enough, the next book I picked up, Borderlands by Brian McGilloway, which, like Christine Falls, was also set in Ireland. If Christine Falls was full of lush description and inner dialogues, Borderlands was straight to the point with no hidden agendas — much more my style. But I cannot recommend it. I had trouble keeping the characters straight — and I had no recognition of the the bad guy at the end. Where did he come from? I thought, and even though I flipped through the first third of the book I never did figure out who he was. 2★

Next on my pile of library books was Thief River Falls* by Brian Freeman, a Minnesota mystery author. I have thoroughly enjoyed his Jonathan Strider series so I was looking forward to this one. The best laid hopes expectations, however… This was a stand-alone book and was wholly implausible. A female author, originally from the titular town in northwest Minnesota, discovers a child in her yard. Said child has no recollection of how he got there, where he came from, or even his name. The sheriff’s deputies are after him, apparently at the behest of the local district attorney, a sworn enemy of the protagonist. The ending did not explain the rest of the book’s mystery to me. 2★

* The book was all the more disappointing because I had to pursue it through a series of computer glitches. I first requested it at lease six months ago, maybe longer, and although the online catalog has shown it to be available for months, and although I requested my librarian twice to get it for me, it wasn’t until the second time that the book actually arrived at my library. No one’s fault, I think; just a glitch in the system.

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Masks!

An earworm for you.

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I’m ridin’ with Biden!

I have been phone-banking last weekend and this one. It is rare to actually talk to a person; mostly calls go to voice mail. Last weekend I spoke with about a dozen live voters (out of 111 calls); they were roughly half trumpsters and half Biden supporters. One of the former told me he was voting Republican because he was not a fan of genocide (!) Smokey said the guy was probably a QAnon type.

This weekend, however, things were different. Out of about 70 calls I spoke with 16 live people, almost all of whom had already voted and every one of whom was delighted to pride and satisfaction in their voices made me smile.

On a related note, our candidate for Congress, Tricia Zunker, was interviewed by Vogue magazine in an article on the number of Native women running for Congress. Her opponent, known as Toxic Tom when he was in the state legislature, won the special election last May, but may be in trouble come November 3. Read the interview here. Go, Tricia!

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Hanging links.

Good advice courtesy of my SIL:

“But in order to make sure that flu shot is effective, sleep specialist Matthew Walker, the bestselling author of “Why We Sleep,” told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour practicing “good sleep hygiene” is key. Insufficient sleep in the week before getting a flu shot can lead to the production of less than 50% of the normal antibody response — a reaction that would render the flu shot largely ineffective, Walker told Amanpour.  

Posted in LInks knitting | 5 Comments

Furry Friday.

Wilbur, the soccer-playing pig.

A hedgehog highway.

A polar bear mama and her cubs.

It snowed here last Friday. On the left, below: chickadee butt. On the right: red-bellied woodpecker profile.

And it snowed again on Tuesday. Behold, the mighty pileated woodpecker!

Smokey said that when the pileated guy landed at the right-hand end of the railing, it seemed like it was standing there with its metaphorical hands on its metaphorical hips, saying, “WTF is all this white sh!t in my way?” Then it leaned over and used its beak to sweep away a couple inches of snow, marched forward, rinse and repeat until it got to the suet feeder.

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Feeling a little ranty.

Posted in Rants, various | 2 Comments

Unraveled Wednesday, 10/21/20.

Joining Kat and friends on Unraveled Wednesday.

Knitting.

One of these weeks I will take a photo of the nearly finished BDJ currently on the needles. This is not the week.

Reading.

My nightly reading binge continues! I am enjoying it hugely (bigly?), but I have managed to sneak in a little knitting, too.

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda entertained me for a couple nights. It tells the story of two young women who go missing from a small town ten years apart. But the author tells the story in reverse chronological order, and I kept getting confused. 2-1/2★

I finished Elly Griffiths’ Ruth Galloway series with Dark Angel, The Stone Circle, and The Lantern Men and enjoyed them all. Now I must wait until she writes another one. She has a couple other shorter series that I may check out. In the meantime, I think I will start on Ann Cleeves’ Vera Stanhope series. (Are we sensing a theme here? Middle-aged female protagists perhaps?) All of the Galloway series are at least. 4★

I read a bit more in So You Want to Talk About Race. I find I can only read a chapter or two before I am ready for some fiction. Still an excellent book, however. 5★

I prefer to learn about people, settings, history, and conflicts from fiction, so Such a Fun Age by Kylie Reid was right up my street. It is the story of an educated, upper-middle-class, determinedly liberal woman, her Black babysitter, and their relationship. It was sometimes uncomfortable reading because I automatically identified with said EUMCDL woman, and she was definitely not a someone the reader should aspire to be. It was an excellent way to parse the relationship between a White woman and her Black employee. 5★

Somewhere in the past week I also started The Threat: How the FBI Protects American in the Age of Terrorism and Trump by Andrew McCabe, the former FBI deputy director who was fired by trump just hours prior to McCabe’s retirement. Very interesting, and a book I will dip back into between other books. It is on my iPad so no need to hurry through to return it to the library. 4★

I am currently about halfway through Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. It is nonfiction account of the author’s work in the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit law office he founded in in Montgomery, Alabama and dedicated to defending the poor, the incarcerated, and the wrongly condemned. The book is excellent and readable — Stevenson is a gifted storyteller — and highlights how our justice system routinely ignores the rights of some citizens. 5★

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Fiber Monday!

Posted in LInks knitting | 4 Comments

Ranty Sunday.

Posted in Rants, various | 3 Comments

Links to anchor yourself with.

The six-month wall in every ordeal.

He’s got my vote.

Anyone else used to watch Leverage?

New ad from The Lincoln Project.

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