January - October Reading Update

October 2023 Update

posted in: Drawing, Personal Essay | 0

October was a busy month which explains why my September Update didn’t get posted until the 2nd to last day of the month.

I was really busy at work, and Holly and I also took time off for our annual Staycation. I plan to write a separate post about our highlights from that.

That’s not to say I didn’t have any time for other things.

As I mentioned in my belated September Update, I started watching all of Hal Hartley’s films on The Criterion Channel. With the exception of needing to make sure I watched No Such Thing before the end of September when it was no longer going to be available, I watched the films in chronological order.

October started with 1997’s Henry Fool which is not only one of my favorite Hal Hartley movies, but also one of my all time favorite movies.

I wanted to make sure I finished watching all of his movies before our Staycation started on October 20 because a big part of our time off was devoted to the 32nd Annual Philadelphia Film Festival. I wanted to wrap up my movie watching before all my movie watching.

I was successful in getting through all of Hartley’s movies. As I mentioned before, I had seen all of his feature films before but not all of his shorts so it was a great experience being able to see his entire body of work.

Related to that, Hartley started a Kickstarter campaign for his next movie, Where to Land, which I contributed to. He had run a campaign for this film in 2019 which I had also contributed to. Unfortunately, the COVID pandemic ended filming before it could even begin. I could have gotten reimbursed, but, instead, I opted to get a boxed set of 2 of his movies (The Book of Life and The Girl from Monday) as well as a copy of the screenplay for Where to Land.

He met his Kickstarter goal. I really liked the screenplay so I’m thrilled that this is finally getting made.

When I wasn’t watching Hal Hartley movies, I was watching the Philadelphia Phillies in the playoffs. They easily beat the Florida Marlins in the Wildcard round and beat the Atlanta Braves, who had the best record in baseball, 3 games to 1. Alas, they then lost to the upstart Arizona Diamondbacks and failed to get to the World Series for the 2nd straight year.

Although, they eventually got knocked out of the playoffs, I was happy that they got as far as they did.


Drawing

I’m still slowly working my way through Samantha Dion Baker’s Draw Your World. It’s been a nice combination of inspiration and suggestions for things to draw.


Photography

I took a lot of photos in October and had the film ones developed, but I haven’t gotten around to posting them here yet. I am far behind where I planned to be with my posts.

I took my Flexaret VII out for a walk along the Schuylkill River Trail. Holly and I took a walk to the East Passyunk part of the city, and I brought along my Nikon Z fc to take some autumn and Halloween photos. I shot my 2nd roll of Lomochrome ‘92, this time in my Canon Rebel 2000. And I also carried my Olympus XA with me during our Staycation and finished a roll of Lomography Color 800.

I hope to get to posting about those soon. Or, at least, soon-ish.


Reading

I ended up finishing only 1 book in October: Alicia Kennedy’s No Meat Required. Neither Holly nor I are vegans, but we have incorporated some vegan meals into our lives for health reasons. I found Kennedy’s book to be a clear history of vegan eating without it being overly aggressive in its arguments for a vegan lifestyle.

In a rare occurrence, I actually did not finish a book. I usually try to finish whatever I start, but I couldn’t make it through Namwali Serpell’s The Furrows. After an intriguing opening, I quickly found the 1st half dull and repetitive. A young girl witnesses her younger brother’s death and then has several dreams in which he dies in other ways. The 2nd half of the book is told from a different character’s point of view, and I didn’t find anything compelling about that character nor his story. I put it aside thinking I might go back to it, but after a couple of weeks, I can safely say I will not.

Knowing that Netflix would be releasing a miniseries based on Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See in November, I decided to re-read it. I had read it shortly after it first came out and recalled loving it, but I didn’t remember much about it. I got about halfway through it before the month ended.

I started reading the Selected Stories of Anton Chekov in September and have read a few stories here and there between other books. In October, I read 2 more stories: The Fidget and In Exile.

Books Read in 2023

So far, I’ve read 29 books in 2023:


This Creative Midlife Posts in 2023

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