Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Summer Reading Challenge 2020 @ Messy Middle

I will get as many as I can for this one.

It will start on June 1 and run through August 18, 2020. To enter, read seven books from 25 categories.

What is different?

  • Pandemic, anyone? For some you’ve already been reading extra, for others, the past few months have dinged your ability to concentrate and read.
  • You may have less access to libraries.
  • So, you might need this challenge more than ever to get your reading mojo back. BUT you might have less access to libraries and may need to borrow books from friends and family.
  • In recognition of the graduations and weddings that were planned and the medical personnel impacted, students, teachers, and parents doing school different, and those in isolation who had a very different than expected first half of the year we have four “COVID-19 Special Categories.”

What is the same?

  • Many categories will be similar because reading is reading. But you will notice a few new gems
  • Counting a book of more than 700 pages as two books.
  • Choosing a penalty book within the first week of the year. A penalty book or category you declare I will read or be penalized. The last two summers I have selected a penalty book and it worked! I read books I’d been meaning to read for ages and I am all the richer for reading them. This year Abigail Adams by Woody Holton is my penalty book. Can I tell you how many years I’ve meant to read this book?! This is the summer!
  • Like last year, if you do not read your “penalty” book, you will subtract two books from your total.

What’s in it for you?

  • All who comment on August 18-21st with the names of the books they read will be entered to win one of ten $10 Amazon gift cards.

Drumroll . . . here are the categories!

In recognition of the graduations, weddings, medical personnel, and those in isolation who had a very different than expected first half of the year we have four COVID-19 Special Categories:
  1. A book with either something old, something new, something borrowed, or something blue
  2. A book with a nurse, doctor, or other medical personnel
  3. A book with a teacher, student, or classroom
  4. A book about a pandemic or outbreak
In Recognition of the Joy of reading:
  1. A Biography
  2. A book I already own
  3. A book a friend recommended
  4. A Young Adult book (YA)
  5. A book with a great cover
  6. A book of poetry
  7. A memoir or autobiography
  8. A graphic Novel
  9. A book for professional development (loosely defined)
  10. A book longer than 700 pages (counts as two books)
  11. A book with a verb in the title
  12. A play
  13. A book about a country or culture you have never visited
  14. A book about history
  15. A book that won an award
  16. A classic
  17. A novel 
  18. An audiobook
  19. A book with an animal
  20. A book less than 100 pages
  21. A book You want to discuss with others
My Penalty Book: 

Signs as Disney Princesses

Today on Sandra's Blog:



I am a Capricorn and the fact the Belle reads a lot seems spot on. I don't really have a favorite princess among these. 

My local stage company was going to be putting on "Beauty and the Beast Jr." for its spring kids show this year. I was considering seeing it. I was also planning to see the local high school production of "Grease" that was supposed to be in March. "Beauty and the Beast" was going to be in April and May. Don't yet know the fate of that one. 

I have seen most of these movies only once and have not seen the live-action ones. I don't yet know if I'll ever bother. I got to see "Frozen 2" free at my library in March before the shutdown. 



Sunday, May 17, 2020

Mental Health Month




One thing I've been missing because of the lockdown is being at the Mental Health Center. I've worked a peer mentor since 2016 and always enjoy being around the others who come. I'm missing it even more this month since May is Mental Health Month. We usually have some event for the center during this time. 

Usually I go into the office and see my psychiatrist on screen, known as telepsychiatry, with a nurse or case manager assisting. But for my most recent appointment, a nurse called me at home and I spoke to the telepsych doctor over the phone. My next appointment is in June, and of course no one knows what things will be like then. 

I'm not scared to admit that I've had more panic attacks and have felt a little more depressed during the lockdown. Admitting such things is part of reducing the stigma of mental health. I also fear I will have agoraphobia as a result of the now-two-month shutdown. Getting to the store when needed is even more of a chore now. I've been eager to get out in the world, but am now apprehensive of such. I won't even get started on my state and county's gradual reopening. But I am looking forward to everything getting better.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Just Can't Wait Too Long for Some Books

Some things I just can't wait long for, and that includes some books. Since no one yet knows when the library will reopen, and some titles have a six-month wait on Overdrive, it can seem like it will be forever before I can get to some titles. So I gave in and ordered some books from Amazon the other day.

I had heard about this book and was eager to read it. According to my library's website, it was checked before the lockdown began. I had to see if they already have it before I can get it from Zip Books, and when I saw that they have it, I looked on Overdrive and put it on hold. But I got tired of waiting so it was one of the titles recently ordered on Amazon. 



I have read a lot by this author. In the months before the lockdown began, I had seen this one at the library and knew I was going to read it, though wasn't aiming to do so until summer. And it too had a six-month wait on Overdrive (I often get the feeling the wait will be longer than that). So I decided to get this one as well.



And here's one I've been waiting to read forever, according to my Goodreads account. It was only available as an audiobook on Overdrive and I can only take some much audiobook listening each month (and this is one that's more than 10 hours long). Since it's an older title, I was able to get it cheap on Amazon.

But I am trying not to be too greedy so I will still get some titles via Zip Books. I have three out now and another on order. This one wasn't on Overdrive and I wasn't too eager to read it, but still wanted to.



And the are some other titles I want to read, and will probably get via Zip Books. Again, I have three books out from Zip, and am wondering how many I will accumulate before the library reopens. And of course no one knows when that will be. 

I do still have some titles on hold and two (covers below) are now on a wait of "about two weeks." As such, I'll gladly wait for them to become available, just to avoid accumulating too many books at home. As long as I've got some already at home, it will be worth the wait.






Sunday, May 3, 2020

Chapter Break Bingo – May 2020

Here is the card for May.

May Bookish Bingo

My Books:
  1. The Vintage Teacup Club--Vanessa Greene (6 squares): Physical Book, Shelf Love, Not in a Series, Mother, More Than One POV, Contemporary Fiction
  2. Life, the Universe and Everything--Douglas Adams (6 squares): Set in Outer Space, Sci Fi/Sci Fi Fantasy, In a Series, Set in the Future, Made Into a Movie or TV Show, Thriller/Suspense
  3. Convenience Store Woman--Sayaka Murata (3 squares): E-Book, Library Book, Independent Publisher
  4. March: Book One--John Lewis (4 squares): Orange on the Cover, More Than One Person on the Cover, Squad/Team, Overcoming Adversity
  5. Identical--Ellen Hopkins (1 square): Audiobook
  6. The Jetsetters--Amanda Eyre Ward (4 squares): Free Book, Book Club Read, New Release, Free Space
  7. Windhaven--George R.R. Martin and Lisa Tuttle (1 square): More Than One Author

25 squares completed on May 17

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Loner During Lockown

I'll admit I miss getting out lately, even though I am more of an introvert. The center where I work is one such place I miss as it's a way for me to get out and fell comfortable around others who attend and also work as peer mentors. We've all been acquainted for some time now and I miss being near them all three days a week. And I miss going to the library, as I've already said.



I've often thought of myself as a loner, which I can still say I am, though I've gotten more used to being around others. There are still times I tend to do things alone if the need calls for it. Last fall, one of my fellow mentors gladly accompanied me to a play in our hometown, but was unable to do so again this recently (the only play our stage company has been able to hold this year took place in February before the lockdown began). But since I wanted to see this play, I was happy to do it alone. But if others can come, I'll be glad. 

What is really weird is how little I'd been going to places such as movies and bars before the lockdown began. Now I can't go at all. I was getting somewhat used to not doing such a thing before was I unable to do so at all. It sort of worked out for me, though I still miss doing it every so often, even if it will be done alone.

The most I can do to get out of the house lately is just to take a drive around town. I got a new car last December and am trying to get some mileage on it, though there have been days I have not driven. Not much to see in our empty town. 

I've been wondering how extroverts have been handling the lockdown. Some whom I know, I can just see them hating having to stay away from others and disliking using Zoom to talk. But they have to do it under the current circumstances. No doubt extroverts are suffering the most from being shut in. But the same can be true of some introverts.

Even I as an introvert haven't bothered trying Zoom. I attempted to download it, but flaked. And I'm not sure about trying again. My writers lab has been having Zoom meetings and I have been unable to participate. The lab will soon be on break for the summer, and as with everything else in the world, no one is sure when we will back in the regular world. The lab will start again in September, but right now we have no clue if it will be in person again anytime soon. I am going to try to write something to email to the other group members to read and critique if time allows. I'm glad to still have this option.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Hot Weather

Many of you have probably seen memes like this recently:







The last two months have seemed longer than usual. It's been six weeks since I last worked, yet it has seemed like an eternity. Lately, the way I tend to remember what day it is is by what is on TV each night and when our neighborhood gets our garbage picked up (on Fridays, meaning we have to place ours out the night before). 

As though all this weren't confusing enough, another thing has been happening lately in my neck of the woods--Hot weather. Not unusual for late April in California as it has happened in the past, but it's just adding to the time confusion. Some are asking colloquially, "What month or day is it?" and now they can ask "What season is it?"

Anyone else having hot weather in their area?