After a rough start I finally made decent progress with Stuart Jeffries’s Grand Hotel Abyss: The Lives of the Frankfurt School. However, since my library loan expired and there’s several people ahead of me wanting to read it I’ll be putting the book on pause for a while. Siobhan Fallon’s debut novel The Confusion of Languages was a surprisingly good read. Inspired by Claire’s recent Library Loot posting I started Helen Rappaport’s 2017 Caught in the Revolution: Petrograd, Russia, 1917 – A World on the Edge. With two thirds of the way into it I can easily say Caught in the Revolution will make my year-end list of Favorite Nonfiction. Lastly, I’m going to take a chance on Kitty Veldis’s 2018 historical novel Not Our Kind. The year is 1947 and the place is New York City. A chance meeting between a young Jewish woman and a WASPy Park Avenue matron sets in motion a process that will profoundly change both their lives. With this book I have a feeling I will either love it or hate it.
Listening. Last week I talked about three podcasts I’d been listening to and this time around I’m going to spotlight three more. The good people at Canada’s CBC produce some top-notch stuff. The recent episode, “The Rise and Fall and Rise of Richard Wright” on the podcast Ideas is must listening for anyone interested in modern American literature. Also from the CBC, I can’t get enough of the series Recall: How to Start a Revolution. When someone says the word terrorism, we automatically think of Islamic fundamentalism or hard-right white nationalism. But in the 60s and 70s Canada was plagued by an almost endless series of bombings and kidnappings as part of the FLQ’s struggle to carve out an independent Quebec nation. Lastly, former conservative talk show host turned Never Trumper Charlie Sykes’s podcast The Bulwark never ceases to amaze me. His recent interview with Peter Wehner “Christianity’s Generational Catastrophe” on the current state of American evangelical Christianity is a MUST listen.
Watching. Last week I mentioned I live on a farm nestled in small valley in the middle of nowhere. Therefore, I get zero TV reception. But fortunately, I’m able to stream online services like Netflix and Tubi. In addition I’m also able to supplement my viewing fare with DVDs borrowed from my area’s public libraries. Recently through my library I was able to sign up with the free, commercial-less streaming streaming service Kanopy. With a deep catalog at my disposal last night I watched the 1990 political thriller Hidden Agenda. Set mostly in Belfast, after an American human rights lawyer is assassinated the quest to find his killers points to a larger, more dangerous conspiracy involving elite elements of British society. Last week I watched the first episode of Mr. Robot and after watching two additional episodes I remain 100 per cent hooked. I’m also watching the incredibly funny and twisted Canadian sitcom Letterkenny. Set in rural Canada, the characters are quirky as hell and the hilarious dialog is lightening fast.
Everything else. Yesterday, I once again spent a little time relaxing in one of my favorite area taphouse drinking beer and reading. But earlier in the day I slapped together my reading list for the 20 Books of Summer hosted by Cathy on her blog 746 Books. We’ll see if I even come close to reading all these books. Oh, in case you’re wondering the noisy birds under the eaves of cabin have finally quieted down.