Sunday Bookends: To Kill A Mockingbird, awful disaster movies, royals, and slow spring days

Welcome to Sunday Bookends where I ramble about what I’m reading, watching, listening to, writing, or doing.

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Happy Mother’s Day for those who are mothers, had a mother they cared about, or who are spending a mother’s day remembering their lovely mothers.

What We’re Reading

The Boy and I have been reading To Kill A Mockingbird. He’s halfway through and I finished it this weekend. To make sure he finishes it by the time we finish school in three weeks, I purchased an audible membership so he could listen to it as well as read it. It’s narrated by Sissy Spacek.

Anyone who says To Kill A Mockingbird is a racist book has obviously never read it. Using the “n” word does not make a book racist. I’m guessing too many people got to the first “n” word, but it down and never got to the parts where it is clear Atticus and many others in Maycomb, Alabama are not racist. Using the word and many other references to black people made the book painfully real, painfully raw. Without it, it wouldn’t have been clear how the people of this county in Alabama looked at black people as less than human, which is why they were so willing to put a black man on trial for a crime he didn’t commit.

Have you ever read To Kill A Mockingbird? If so, what did you think? Let me know in the comments. If you haven’t, I highly encourage you to do so. It is considered a classic for a reason. Reading it again as an adult had an even bigger impact on me than it did when I read it in 7th grade (on my own, I might add.) I cried as a teenager over the injustice of it all, but I practically bawled as an adult.

I may write a book review on this next week, if I can stop crying.

Besides reading that this weekend, I also started The Sowing Season by Katie Powner

and I’m still reading Kindness Goes Unpunished by Craig Johnson (A Longmire Mystery). I’m not reading the Longmire book slowly because it is bad. Quite the opposite. It is very, very good.

I wanted to finish To Kill A Mockingbird first, because it is a very good book and I needed to for my son’s English, and I’ve been writing Harvesting Hope (new name for The Farmers’ Sons) so Walt Longmire has been pushed aside a little.

I’m also reading Rooms by James Rubart this week because at the end of the week I am going to be “attending” a author workshop with him as the main speaker. It is all on Zoom. I’m sure I’ll update my blog readers about that next week.

I hope to get to The Number of Love by Roseanna White this week as well, but I had to move Rooms up so I would at least now wat James is talking about during his keynote speech.

What We’re Watching

This week we tried something different by watching Prince Charles Inside the Duchy of Cornwall on Acorn TV (through Amazon).  If you don’t know what a Duchy is, (because I didn’t either), it is an area of land run by a Duke or Duchess. On that land are towns, small businesses, and various small farms.

The description of the show from the AcornTV website:

Prince Charles provides exclusive access to the royal lands that have belonged to successive Prince of Wales for 700 years I this moving, candid, and humorous observational documentary. Established in 1337, the Duchy of Cornwall is today a vast, varied estate of rolling farmland, visionary housing development, and even parts of inner-city London that embody the prince’s sustainable philosophy.

The two-part documentary gave my husband and I a completely different look at Prince Charles, also known as the Duke of Cornwall. I don’t know about some of you, but when I was growing up Charles was often painted as the bad guy while Princess Diana was considered sweet, demure, and innocent. Charles cheated on Diana with his first love Camilla (now his wife), but listening to him talk during this documentary I couldn’t imagine him as evil or emotionally abusive. It gave me a more complex view of him and the entire situation, actually.

Charles’ estate in Cornwall helps pay for the royal family’s expenses, as well as various charities.

In addition to learning more about Charles and his work, we also got the impression from the show that the royals do have to work for their money. I think most Americans believe royals are born with a silver spoon in their mouth and never have to work for the lavish lifestyles they have. It’s clear from this special, and others I’ve seen, they do work and are under extreme pressure at times.

Last night we were looking for a film to watch as a family. When my husband came to the preview of The Towering Inferno and I saw that Paul Newman (my favorite actor. Swoon! ) and Steve McQueen (more swooning!) were in it together, I said, “Yes! This is the film for us!”  

My son said, “Mom. Eww. And how old are these guys now?”

“They’re dead,” I responded.

“Oh mom. That’s disturbing.”

My husband was like, “Watch all the people who are in this. You’ll be surprised by one.”

And then there was his name: O.J. Simpson and after him, Robert Wagner.

“Wow,” I said. “It’s a movie with all the wife killers.”

If you’ve never seen the movie, you haven’t missed much. I wouldn’t rush to watch it unless you need to have a good laugh and cringe more times than people at a Justin Beiber concert.

At one point The Boy said, “why do all the blond women at this party have the same hairdo? They look like a bunch of Lego women.”

A man stumbles out of an elevator on fire, into a party scene, at one point and I quipped, “Wow. This party is lit.”

A building 135 stories high with bad wiring and no safety protocols? What could go wrong? This is NOT a movie to watch if you, or anyone you know, were near the World Trade Center in 2001, however. There are a couple of very triggering scenes that brought memories of that day even to my mind. We almost turned it off, but there were too many illogical and giggling-inducing bad acting moments to make the movie too upsetting.

Apparently, there are a series of these disaster films, so I told my family I think we should watch all of them over the next few Saturday nights. We need a good laugh and to question again how these high-quality actors ended up in such horrible films.

I have also been re-watching the first three episodes of The Chosen with my son (for his Bible lessons) and my mom and then Dallas Jenkins announced that episode four is debuting Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET. I’m very excited for episode 4 because I believe it’s about the man at the pool who Jesus heals and tells to pick up his mat and go be well.

What I’m Writing

Last week I wrote about taking more breaks from news (and I did really well this week, by the way. I hardly looked at news at all and it was so nice.). I also challenged all of you to do the same if you don’t already.

On Tuesday I shared photos from April.

I shared a book review for Avoiding Marriage by Karin Beery and In Sheep’s Clothing by Pegg Thomas for the rest of the week.

On Friday, I shared another chapter from The Farmers’ Sons which I have now renamed Harvesting Hope and announced that the book version of it will be out this summer (most likely the end of July).


What I’m Listening To

I am listening to the live album by Needtobreathe and a new album by Elevation Worship. Here are a couple of samples of those. They are both available whereever music is streaming.

What’s Been Occurring

We have not been doing anything very exciting lately. We’re such boring people that going to a doctor’s appointment is the highlight of our week. I’m not even 70 yet. A couple of weeks ago we traveled 45 minutes to pick up my son’s new glasses and made it a family trip. This past week we traveled 30 minutes for an eye doctor appointment for me and for the first time in 30 years, my prescription wasn’t increased. I also avoided bifocals, but just barely, and after I got back to the house and tried to type on my computer, I thought about how I might should have asked for the bifocals after all.

Last week my kids enjoyed playing outside at my parents, rolling in the grass after I told them I didn’t want them in the grass because I was worried about deer ticks. Oh well, at least they had fun and when we did a tick search that night we didn’t find any, thankfully. It’s weird to have to worry about ticks now because when I was a kid, we were never told not to roll in the grass because of ticks. We were never told not to roll in the grass period, unless we were wearing a nice Sunday dress.

So, that’s my week in review. How about yours? What have you been reading, watching, listening to, or doing? Let me know in the comments or link to a blog post where you shared your week.

5 Comments on “Sunday Bookends: To Kill A Mockingbird, awful disaster movies, royals, and slow spring days

  1. Calling To Kill a Mockingbird racist just doesn’t even make sense — but then again, what DOES make sense these days?? Towering Inferno, yeah, not a great movie and there were many of those disaster type films made back then. I just can’t stand the fact that we have to worry about ticks when we’re outside enjoying the yard and sunshine, but like you, we know too many folks who have suffered with Lyme. I’ve been swamped with trying to clear out stuff from our house and having a garage sale. Not much fun around here.

    Like

  2. Hey lady!! I hope you had a nice Mother’s Day! 🙂

    I do not understand that book being called racist. It is anti-racist, if you ask me. Atticus Finch is one of my favorite characters ever.

    Thanks for the info on what a duchy is! I only know the term from the song “Pass the dutchie on the left hand side” or whatever that song is, and I don’t think it is the same type of duchy. LOL.

    I hate worrying about ticks. On mother’s day actually a few years ago we went hiking and I came home and had like five on me. Now I am serious about applying tick spray before heading out spring-fall. Which is another reason I think I like winter hiking. Lol. If we are in the yard and stuff we just do tick checks like you did. My hair is the problem though, as always. I usually try to braid it up or wear a bandanna.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had a good Mother’s Day. I hope you did as well.

      The term “racist” is thrown out too easily these days. It dilutes what really is racist.

      I don’t know if that is the same “duchie” or does that song mean a Dutch person? Hmmm…. Inquiring minds want to know now.

      Yeah, the tick thing can be very disheartening. It probably wouldn’t worry me as much if a close friend hadn’t died from the effects of it a few years ago and his sister wasn’t in a nursing home living as a vegetable, pretty much because of it as well. the doctors can’t figure out any other reason for her condition. She’s been there for so many years, it is heartbreaking. My dad also battled it a couple of years ago and it really drained him.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It really does!

        Ok, so I looked it up. Totally different. I guess it is a term for a pot used in cooking. Although I guess people thought it was term for weed too. Different pot.

        That is awful! I am so sorry to hear that – about everyone. It is very serious, and it is so crazy to think it is caused by such a very small insect.

        Liked by 1 person

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