About My October TBR List
Well, with November 2021 not that far away, it’s time to check how I am doing with my To Be Read list for October. Unfortunately, Dear Reader, I haven’t made much of a dent on that TBR list. Of all the books I’ve started reading this fall – starting last month and heading into late October – I have only finished two: A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump’s Testing of America and I Alone Can Do It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year, both by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker. That’s it.
Every other book I placed on my reading rotation in late summer or early fall is still “in progress.” Some, like The Napoleonic Wars: A Global History, I have not even glanced at in weeks. I’ve done better with And The Last Trump Shall Sound: A Future History of America, an anthology of three novellas by Harry Turtledove, James Morrow, and Cat Rambo; I’m two-thirds of the way through it. I just need to read Rambo’s novella – Because it is Bitter – and I can say “Mission Accomplished” as far as that book goes.
The only book I’ve read with any enthusiasm that is not related to former President Trump is The Odyssey of Star Wars: An Epic Poem by Jack Mitchell. I have not passed the halfway mark, but I read enough to review it. I suppose if I didn’t have so much heavy stuff on my mind I would have finished The Odyssey of Star Wars by now; it’s not an unfamiliar tale, just the first two-thirds of the Star Wars Skywalker Saga retold as if Homer – of Ancient Greece, not The Simpsons – had written it in the style of The Iliad or The Odyssey.
The last time I had such a hard time reading – and watching movies, too! – was a decade ago, when my mother was sick, and I was her primary caregiver. Then, as now, I was always tired, stressed out, and inconsolably sad. I often fell asleep reading or watching TV, and the next day I would not remember much of what I had read or seen. That’s why even though I owned the Royal Imperial Box Set of William Shakespeare’s Star Wars Trilogy in 2014, I didn’t read it until I moved here from Miami half a decade ago.
I am not anyone’s caregiver now, but as of late I feel almost exactly the way I did before and shortly after my mother’s death. I’m tired – more mentally than physically – and I’m not exactly in the best of moods. My daily routine is a bland sequence of sameness – there’s nothing much to look forward to, at least for me, and I have not gone anywhere for recreation or relaxation since my 57th birthday in March of 2020. Every day is exactly like the day that came before, with only the changes of weather to set the days of the week apart.
I will, of course, try to break out of this emotional tailspin, but it’s not easy. In my youth, I had times in which I’d get sad and unmotivated, but I still lived in Miami and had a mom that loved me and friends to hang out with. I had a network of people I could lean on, even though I tried hard to not be a burden to them. And because I was home and had way more self-agency than I do now, I almost nearly always got over the blues and enjoyed simple pleasures of reading a book or watching a movie.
Now it’s an entirely different ballgame.
Ugh. No wonder I dreamed about being back in my old house the other night.
I’m still going to try finishing one of the books on my TBR pile. And I’ll have to make that pile just a tad smaller. I’m no longer 20 years old, after all, so I can’t try to do what I could when I was in college – it’s ridiculous to even try!