It’s a steamy start to the summer. (And yes, while the calendar may not consider it to be summer until June 21, Memorial Day weekend is the start of summer in my book.) Yesterday my car’s thermometer said it was 95 degrees outside. I’m really not kidding when I say two weeks ago it was so chilly that I wore turtlenecks to work for three days.
I’m on our enclosed deck, enjoying being outside for as long as I can stand it. It’s humid enough to have the box fan going, which helps for now. We don’t have any grandiose plans this weekend. The usual appointments and errands. The Girl needs some summer clothes and that’s on the agenda for tomorrow.
99 Days of Summer Blogging!
Tomorrow starts my attempt to blog for 99 consecutive days. I’m thrilled that a few of you are joining me in this little project. (You can too. Participating is intentionally very low key. No real requirements. No linkys. If you like, feel free to use the button above for any #99DaysSummerBlogging posts.) The accountability factor makes this more daunting (can I really keep up this pace? what if I run out of things to write about? what happens on the days I have a migraine?) but also exciting. I’m looking forward to getting back in the swing of writing every day and clearing out some of those half-baked posts in Drafts.
Big Book Reading Challenge
Another summer project that I’m taking on is the Big Book Summer Reading Challenge hosted by my friend Sue of Book by Book. I usually participate in this because it only involves reading one book that’s at least 400 pages between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Definitely doable. If you’re looking for inspiration, here’s a partial list of what I’ve read for this challenge in previous years (links go to my reviews):
America’s Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines by Gail Collins (572 pages)
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (415 pages)
With My Body by Nikki Gemmell (462 pages)
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver (436 pages)
And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic by Randy Shilts (630 pages)
The Years by Virginia Woolf (435 pages)
Currently Reading …
With 372 pages, my current read — LaRose by Louise Erdrich — is just shy of qualifying for the Big Book Summer Reading Challenge. It’s a fascinating novel about family and culture.
Currently Listening To …
Still listening to Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbott.
I’ve been listening to a lot of music lately. Part of the reason is because I work in an semi-open office environment, which can be challenging when one needs to concentrate. I usually just hit Shuffle on my entire music collection and And every day, I hear at least one song that seems to describe the day — or our current situation, or something, or someone I’m thinking about, or a memory — absolutely perfectly.
These are the songs that resonated most this week:
A few weeks ago, I purchased The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson because it seems like a book I’m going to want to own. Although I haven’t started it yet, Hilton Als’ feature on Maggie Nelson in the April 18 issue of The New Yorker (“Immediate Family”) makes me want to read this very soon.
YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) has a great list of mental health resources for teens. In addition to books (fiction and nonfiction), blogs, and websites, there are apps that link to immediate crisis intervention and online discussion groups.
Once in a Lifetime is a new blog to me, thanks to Keith’s and my connection through Pittsburgh Bloggers. Keith’s post “A Month of Mental Health, An Eternity of Suicide” makes some great observations about the hypocrisy of the media’s relentless messages of perfection and its embrace of Mental Health Awareness Month.
I’m a big fan of the Netflix series “House of Cards.” In this article from The New York Times, Robin Wright may have more in common with Claire Underwood than we previously thought. #FUCU2016
Some thoughts on … well, the power of our thoughts.
What are you thinking about on this Memorial Day weekend?