Mumblety-peg

The_Persistence_of_Memory.jpgThe subject has come up in several venues and I found it a useful exercise to consider all the things one might engage in to pass the time while living in isolation from the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic.

First, I have a literary bucket list gathering many of those big fat, possibly difficult books I know I should read but never seem to have the time or the inclination. Do you have a bucket list too? Maybe now is a good time to start one. There’s a good chance that, despite all his best efforts, Der Drump (Dishonest John) will not kill us all off and we might truly make a dent in that scary ol’ bucket list.

So what to do while avoiding social contact?

Read a big fat important book you might never have enough time for in the future. Consider these titles:

  • The Anatomy of Melancholy — Robert Burton
  • Bleak House — Charles Dickens
  • Nicolas Nickelby — Charles Dickens
  • Middlemarch — George Eliot
  • images-1The Good Soldier Svejk — Jaroslav Hasek
  • Ulysses — James Joyce
  • Finnegans Wake — James Joyce
  • Seven Pillars of Wisdom — T. E. Lawrence
  • Harlot’s Ghost — Norman Mailer
  • The Executioner’s Song — Norman Mailer
  • The Magic Mountain — Thomas Mann
  • Joseph and His Brothers — Thomas Mann
  • Women and Men — Joseph McElroy
  • A Man Without Qualities — Robert Musil
  • A Glastonbury Romance — John Cowper Powys
  • Gargantua and Pantagruel — Francois Rabelais
  • Pamela — Samuel Richardson
  • Clarissa Harlowe -or- The History of a Young Lady — Samuel Richardson
  • A Suitable Boy — Vikram Seth
  • The Tale of Genji.

Gorge on a fun mystery series (or suspense or spy or even speculative fiction). Try these:

  • Dune series by Frank Herbert
  • Hercule Poirot series by Agatha Christie
  • Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake
  • download.jpgThe V. I. Warshawski series by Sara Paretsky
  • A la recherche du temps perdu by Marcel Proust
  • The Foundation series by Issac Asimov
  • Spenser series by Robert B. Parker
  • The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
  • The Walt Longmire series by Craig Johnson
  • The Yoknapatawpha County saga by William Faulkner
  • Commedia by Dante Alighieri
  • The Maigret series by Georges Simenon
  • The Tarzan series by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • A Dance To the Music of Time by Anthony Powell
  • The Harry Bosch series by Michael Connelly

Catch up on the great films available on the internet (Criterion, Netflix, Amazon, wherever). Here’s a few:

  • Dr. Strangelove, or, How I Stopped Worrying and Learned To Love the Bomb
  • Mustang
  • cityThe Grifters
  • The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
  • The Apu Trilogy
  • The Decline of Western Civilization
  • Under the Volcano
  • Fitzcarraldo
  • The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
  • The Woman in the Dunes

  • War and Peace
  • Berlin Alexanderplatz
  • America America
  • Blue Is the Warmest Color
  • City of Lost Children
  • Momento
  • Cannibal Women In the Avocado Jungle of Death

Or maybe an orgy of cable television with series like:

  • The Sopranos
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • images30 Rock
  • Dawson’s Creek
  • The L Word
  • Arrested Development
  • Are You Being Served?
  • Breaking Bad
  • Glow
  • Bosch
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  • Unbelievable
  • Prime Suspect
  • PeeWee’s Playhouse

I could keep going with operas, podcasts, ant farms, cloud formations, role-playing games, dress-up, ukulele strumming, cooking, the proverbial organizing of the sock drawer, toilet paper diaries, and rodent identification. Then there’s always Mumblety-peg.

 

 

2 responses

  1. I am reading Lonesome Dove and my wife is reading Executioner’s Song for our extended Spring Break reading.

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    • I read Lonesome Dove when it came out (Imus recommended it) but now since it’s part of a continuing series I think I’ve fallen behind. Executioner’s Song is on my read-soon list (just got a digital version since the physical book was a doorstop). Now that we all have Time it’s good to see you’re reading those Big Fat Books.

      Like

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