Unraveled Wednesday, 2/3/21.

Joining Kat and friends for Unraveled Wednesday.

Knitting.

As you can see, I have been making blue hats for the blue hat project. After I finish the one on top of my knitting bag I will stop with the blue hats. As I have been knitting these four hats I have been pondering what to do next; I think I have settled on picking up my Boxy sweater. Not sure if I want continue to experiment with overdyeing; instead I will charge ahead and deal any problematic color issues when the sweater is done. Maybe it will all work out, or maybe not, but I really want to finish — and wear! — this project.

Reading.

The Patient by Jasper DeWitt. A strange book, told by a psychiatrist who attempts to “cure” an extremely strange patient in the mental institution where he (psychiatrist) is hired. The middle-aged patient has been institutionalized since the age of six, and everyone who dealt with him has been driven mad or committed suicide. With all the confidence of a twenty-something doctor the new psychiatrist is sure he can succeed. 3★

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Hi Five by Joe Ide. I only got about 20 pages into this book. The prose was so straightforward it felt like a jackhammer. 1★

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The End of October by Lawrence Wright. This medical thriller is an excellent and scary read. The protagonist is an epidemiologist/microbiologist who is trying to stop a pandemic. (Sound familiar?) The author is a staff writer for The New Yorker, and the book is painstakingly researched. Highly recommend. 5★

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Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by Johann Hari. This book was a gift from Elder Son. Clearly, he has more faith in my reading habits than I do. He gives me informative non -fiction, I read murder, thriller, and suspense novels. I started this book a year ago and got distracted. Finished it last week. It is a really good book, one that details exactly why the US war on drugs has been a failure and what we might do to change that. The short version: legalize drugs, offer addicts free drugs, a safe place to do them plus compassion rather than prison. This approach has worked in Portugal and Switzerland and in a (very) few places in the US and Canada; very few because only a very few have tried it. Highly recommend. 5★

The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline. Historical fiction that begins in 1840 London but quickly moves on to Tasmania. The plot involves the practice of exiling convicted criminals to the nether regions and tells the story of several women who had this done to them. Meticulously researched and historically authentic. Recommend. 4★

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Blacktop Waste Land by S.A Cosby. The story of a former getaway driver who has gone straight, but because of circumstances beyond his control has to re-enter The Life in order to not lose his business. Gritty story made grittier by the fact that the protagonist is Black. If you or anyone else is into cars, you will especially enjoy this book. Recommend. 4★

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Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words by Andrew Morton. After watching the latest season of The Crown I wanted to know how much of it was fact and how much was movie-making fiction. After reading this I decided that enough of it was fact. 3★

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Home Before Dark by Riley Sager. A haunted house thriller, told in alternating chapters by the adult child who lived there when she was about six and excerpts from the book her father wrote about the house. Decent escapism. 3★

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The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel. Although Goodreads and the jacket blurb liken this book to The Alice Network, that comparison is based solely on the wartime/contemporary setting. The writing style here is nowhere near as penetrating as that of Alice. The book is decent reading, but the author’s prose style disappoints. 2★

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Watching.

Paranoid on Netflix. Although the series seems to be roundly dissed in reviews, I am finding it absorbing. Call it my low-brow taste and affinity for murder mysteries, but this 8-episode series is filling in the blanks when Smokey wants to go to bed after an episode or two of The X Files. (If any of you have recommendations along those line, sign out in the comments. TIA 4★

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The X Files on Hulu. Eternally. Because there are nearly a dozen seasons and we are only on season 3.

Hulu has by far the worst user interface of the three streaming services we use. It take at least a minute to load the video, and it is not unusual for the movie/episode to drop its connection mid-watching. Sometimes we have to completely reboot the TV.

Netflix is much more friendly, with Amazon Prime in second place. I frequently want to back up whatever I am watching to see a part I missed, and Netflix lets me see the actual video I am backing through, thus making it easy to stop where I want to. Prime and Hulu, don’t really do that. On the down side, Netflix often has to “update”, which can mean a 1 – 30 minute wait. We also have Apple TV, but we haven’t used it; however, there are ads for some of their offerings that seem worth watching, post-X Files.

Of course, all my complaints may actually be the fault of our 10-year old *smart* TV. It may not be as *smart* as more recent models.

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9 Responses to Unraveled Wednesday, 2/3/21.

  1. Kathleen Walsh says:

    I hear you about staying at home. It is way past being stale! On a hopeful note, both Pfizer and another vaccine maker have said that adjusting their present vaccines for the new variants is not difficult and they are going to work on doing that. Now that PPE is not in dire supply for medical staff, Dr. Fauci and our Canadian health authorities are recommending could wear N95 masks. 🎭 There is one place in our city that sells them but only in batches of 200 for a cost of $600. Phil agrees that wo are going to get some if they are still available.We may not get the vaccine until summer time so we must stay healthy until then. Our province got the new 115 Kent variant in one nursing home in the town of Barry, Ontario.. Last week 96 staff were off sick infected, 196 residents of 200 residents had the virus, and 40 of them had already died. So it is brutal when it starts going. If you read about what happened in Manaous, Brazil, their new variant overwhelmed their hospital in 24 hours. 76% of the city’s population is positive and people are suffocating in droves. It is truly horrendous, heartbreaking, and that variant is like an our of control wildfire. So let us continue to be grateful for being able to stay home and stay safe. Blessings on you and all your readers!

  2. marijo1951 says:

    I know you enjoyed ‘Unforgotten’ which I think is one of the best recent British cop shows. We’ve been told that season 4 will be shown over here very soon, though I haven’t yet seen an official start date. Much of it has been filmed during COVID restrictions, so it’s going to be interesting to see how they coped. Will COVID be acknowledged or will they pretend it all took place before 2020?

    Talking about COVID, I had my first vaccination yesterday (Oxford Astra Zeneca) – no bad reaction so far apart from the expected slightly sore arm. My niece, who’s a doctor, had 24 hours of quite nasty COVID-type symptoms after hers, but she’s fine now.

  3. Kat says:

    If you can navigate Prime, The Wipers Times is a really brilliant little movie. (Based on a true story from WWI) I think you and Smokey would enjoy it!

  4. Tracey says:

    I highly recommend The Cobra, by Frederick Forsyth, if you want a novel about the war on drugs. It is well written and feels very true, and really brought home how hard it would be to get us out of this mess.

  5. Ellen D. says:

    I watched “Radium Girls” on Netflix and it made me angry. Big greedy businessmen taking advantage of poor women. Not a happy film but interesting. I have enjoyed “All Creatures Great and Small” on PBS along with “Father Brown”, “Death in Paradise”, “Doc Martin”… oh, and their series on Africa (Thursday nights).
    Thanks for the reviews!

  6. gayle says:

    I loved The Forgotten, too. I’ve enjoyed Endeavor on Prime, also Scott & Bailey.
    And Cadfael, from back in the 90’s!
    For just a bit of fun, try The Goes Wrong Show – it’s a small ‘theatre troupe’ carrying on with their performances despite technical malfunctions. I’ve laughed myself to tears watching that one!

  7. I think finishing the sweater first and worrying about possibly dying it later makes sense. I don’t blame you for wanting to get it finished!

    I know there are fun fiction shows on Apple TV+, but I have been enjoying watching the documentaries on there. “Visible: Out on Television” was enjoyable, and I enjoyed some episodes of “The Oprah Conversation” as well.

  8. How are you thinking things are going with Jeopardy? I like Ken Jennings as the host. He’s unassuming. I am happy we get the axs channel with our Dish tv network. Some very good musician interviews and lovely music from old groups we love

  9. Pingback: Unraveled Wednesday, 2/10/21. | kmkat & her kneedles

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