Dispatches from the Distancing – Days 382-388

Happy Easter to all who celebrate! I have to admit that this year was too low-key for us. Last year, the low-key Easter was a novelty. This year, it was a reminder that we are still in this mess. I just have to keep reminding myself that the end is in sight.

Speaking of which, I had my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Thursday. Other than feeling a little light headed Thursday night, there were no real side effects. I even managed to escape the sore arm! I know that the real side effects happen with the second dose, which I’m receiving on the 22nd. I’ve already planned ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for that weekend so that I can rest up from the vaccine.

The kids start hybrid learning this week and their first day in the classroom is on Tuesday. As I’ve said many times, I have conflicting feelings about this. While both kids have done well with distance learning, they also need the social side of things.

Lillie will start back in sports in May. Normally, volleyball is an indoor fall sport, but this year they are doing a short outdoor spring season. Unfortunately, it is at the same time as the short outdoor spring basketball season, so she had to choose between her two sports. She opted for volleyball for two reasons. First, she has a hoop in our backyard and can practice her basketball skills on her own. Secondly, if she has to wear a mask, volleyball just seems easier.

Onto the books! As usual, I’m linking up with Kathryn at Book Date and her It’s Monday…What Are You Reading? blog hop.

Last Week, I finished:

The Art of Theft (Lady Sherlock #4) by Sherry Thomas
(4 stars, Goodreads Review)

I think the one thing people need to know about this book is that it is not a mystery–it’s a heist novel. It’s great fun, but it isn’t a mystery.

Charlotte and her friends are off to steal a piece of art! It’s all very Oceans Eleven. In this regard, it is unlike the previous books in the series, which are more classic mysteries. But this one delivers far more character development than the other books. It is because of this that I feel that it is a crucial book in this series and, in all honesty, a joy to read.

This is a series that needs to be read in order and, for this book, there are two reasons. First of all, you need to know these characters and their histories before this one or else you will be lost. Secondly, this book pretty much spoils the first 3 books.

Instead of saying I recommend this book, I’m going to recommend this series. Yes, you should reads this book–but read it after the first three books so that you can fully experience it.

What I started this week:

If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin (audiobook)

This is a title that I had heard of but had never really been on my radar. So, when it came up in one of my book clubs, I was immediately interested. Unfortunately, the print copy I have has small enough print that my chronic eye issues made it almost impossible to read. Solution! Get the audiobook!

Honestly, I’m glad I did. This one is narrated by the great Bahni Turpin and she really brings the story to life. I’m a little over halfway through (a backlog of podcast episodes has kept me from it for the past couple of days), and it’s still going strong for me.

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez

This is another book club, this time for my “Marginals and Margaritas” book club where we read books by marginalized authors. I’m generally kind of off YA literature at the moment, but this one is really working for me. There is a lot in here about the Mexican American experience, as one would expect. However, there is just as much, if not more, about mental health, which surprised me. I think Sanchez has done an amazing job of depicting a teen aged girls struggle with depression and anxiety. I’m hoping to finish this in the next day or so and will give my thoughts on it next week.

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

This book, more than any other, is responsible for the fact that I only finished one book this week. This book, coming in at over 600 pages, is a chunkster…but I can’t put it down. In some ways, this is exactly what I don’t want to read: more World War II fiction (can we please move onto another era of history? Please?) and another dual-timeline novel, although the two timelines here are only 6 years apart and involve the same characters. So, with all that I shouldn’t like about this book, I am loving it. I’ve only read one other Quinn book in the past (The Huntress, although The Alice Network is sitting on my kindle), but she may become on of my go-to authors.

I’m still reading:

Dancing at the Pity Party by Tyler Feder
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Monument by Natasha Trethewey

8 thoughts on “Dispatches from the Distancing – Days 382-388

  1. Happy Easter!!! And congrats on the vaccine! That’s nice that you had a relatively easy time with the first dose.

    Good luck with back to school in person, I hope all goes well!

    Revisiting Tom Sawyer sounds fun, The Shery Thomas books looks good too.


  2. Yes I loved The Huntress and while I will steer away from the Rose Code for all the reasons you mention, I may find my way to it! One day I will read the Sherry Thomas series. Sooner rather than later.


  3. What an interesting post! Thank you for sharing! I also enjoy reading books during the WWII era. For some reason, they pull me in. I’ve seen “The Art of Theft” on another blog, but am wondering if this series needs to be read in order? Your book club, Marginals and Margarita sounds like so much fun! Thank you for sharing!


  4. Happy Easter, low key or not. I saw the movie If Beale Street Could Talk, and it was very good.

    I like the idea of revisiting Tom Sawyer. It was the first book I checked out of the library when I was a child! I wonder how it would seem to me now?

    Enjoy your week and your books, and here are my WEEKLY UPDATES


  5. Congrats on getting your first shot. I just had my second Moderna and, while poised for side effects, haven’t had any beyond a sore arm. I’m going to have to check out that Kate Quinn story even though I’m a little bit burned out on WWII fiction too. Come see my week here. Happy reading!


  6. How did school go for the kids this week? I hope well. We’ve started letting Mouse return to in studio dance classes part of the time. The studio is taking precautions and she needs the socialization. I am glad your first vaccine dose went well! My husband gets his first Pfizer dose tomorrow. I got the Moderna vaccine so it will be interesting to compare.

    The Rose Code is on my TBR pile to read. As is I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. I hope you are enjoying them!

    Enjoy the rest of your week!


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About Melinda