Friday, July 1, 2022


I didn't get out of bed until 8 a.m. this morning, which is unheard of for me! I think I might have a little sinus infection going on. The last two evenings I've been having very painful headaches right behind my eyes, and I am not a headache person. It just feels inflamed and kind of warm. I don't have a fever so I'm taking a wait-and-see approach.

It didn't slow me down yesterday, though, as I managed to complete the three tasks I set out for myself -- cut back "the monster," the neighbor's rose that overhangs our patio; mow the lawn; and finish "A Gentleman in Moscow."

I didn't take as much off the monster as needs to be taken off, but it's a start. I'm trying to be careful because in theory there could still be nesting birds, though I haven't seen any ongoing nesting activity and it seems baby birds are pretty much fledged by now. At least the plants on the patio can now get more light.

As for "A Gentleman in Moscow," I just did not like this book. I found it sort of inherently dull; reading its 460-plus pages was like trudging through the deep snows of Mother Russia. (I'm guessing here, having never been to Mother Russia.) I especially disliked the last few lines, and I can't say why without spoilers, but they seemed wildly implausible. I know some of you enjoyed it so I'm accepting that I may be in the minority here.

(Top photo: Olga with some colorful graffiti, last weekend.)


River said...

I'd say you are pretty safe to just keep cutting back a bit at a time in case there are still nests. I'll probably never read that book. Try some antihistamine for the sinus?

Andrew said...

I am surprised you persisted you finished off A Gentleman in Moscow. Life is too short to read books that don't interest you.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I hate that feeling of dutifully wading through books that don't really grab me. That gentleman in Moscow can now go and live with his babushka in The Urals. No one will miss him.

Boud said...

Hope you feel better soon. Wildly implausible about sums up G in M. I didn't think it was worth finishing. Wordy for wordy's sake. But as you say, some people loved it.

Michael said...

Sorry you are not feeling so well. I used to get sinus infections at least once a year. I haven't had them in a while though. They are no fun at all.

gz said...

That is a very good graffiti wall!

Hope the sinus trouble clears soon. I get that and it's not nice atall!!
Massaging your face might help and if it is those by your nose, gently massaging your hard palate..just with a toothbrush does the job..

Ms. Moon said...

You are such a persistent man, finishing a project to the end once you have begun it. I'm with everyone else here- life is too short to read books we don't enjoy. The worst are the ones that aren't completely terrible and so we feel we might as well finish them. I have heard it argued by some that since an author worked so hard on a book, we somehow owe it to them to finish it. Bah! People work so hard on a lot of things that we personally do not need to get involved with.
(I'm not in the best of moods this morning, obviously.)
Nice picture of Olga!

Ellen D. said...

Oh well, sorry you didn't enjoy it. What will you read next?
Hope you feel better!
P.S. I had to do a puzzle in order to post my comment!?

NewRobin13 said...

I hope you are feeling better, Steve, and that headache is gone.
Love that photo of Olga and the shadows. Beautiful.

The Bug said...

I wonder if I liked the book so much because of the narrator (I listened to the audio version). That DEFINITELY affects my enjoyment of a book.

Hope you feel better soon! I hate sinus headaches & usually treat them with extra caffeine which is not always the best thing to do, sleeping-wise. Ha!

Linda Sue said...

generally I read a book back to front for a few chapters, to see if I want to get involved or if the writing is compelling- You experience sent me here:

The comments are worthy- and now I don't feel it is a book to stumble through. If a book does not grab me, I read the final chapters, and speed read through the rest of it, then off it goes to the free library.

ellen abbott said...

Well, I've never read it so I can't say which camp I'm in but I did just plow through to the end of a book I did not like, didn't like that main character, and didn't like it's obvious rip off of another series of books. Even though the librarian here says it's just fine to put down a book you aren't enjoying I still read them to the end. I guess I keep thinking that it will eventually redeem itself. And I desperately need to wield the trimmer around all the flower beds.

Bob said...

Nothing like reading a book you dislike, and hoping it will get better or at least end well, and then it doesn't!

Edna B said...

Olga is looking good. I hope your headaches go away soon. Hugs, Edna B.

Sharon said...

So sorry you didn't like that book. And, reading some of the comments above, you weren't alone. I loved it and found it anything but dull. However, I can totally understand that different point of view. Years ago I was encouraged to read "The Goldfinch" which was all the rage at that time. I made it half way through the book and finally stopped. It just seemed to be going in a totally unbelievable direction and I wasn't interested in going with it. It's funny how different people react to different stories.
I hope you sinus problem goes away quickly.

Kelly said...

I'm sorry you didn't enjoy the book, but to each their own. We can't all like the same ones...

I never take anything (meaning antibiotics) for a sinus infection. My doctor told me that most will resolve without one (unless it moves down into your lungs). Antibiotics are overused. (stepping off my soapbox before I get wound up)

I love that photo with Olga!

jenny_o said...

Ah, Olga: I love those perky ears and curious expression!

I don't give up on many books but sometimes I just can't keep going. Mostly I just never start something without reading the jacket and a sample of the inside; that way I get the gist of the story and a taste of the writing style. Writing style is super-important to me. If it's not to my taste, it grates on me the whole way through. You are so determined. My late husband was the same. I don't think he ever started a book he didn't finish, no matter how tough a slog it was.

Allison said...

That's nice graffiti. I have no patience with bad books. Fifty or one hundred pages in, it if goes stupid, then it's on to the last chapter to see how it ends. Sometimes the end is enough to convince me to start over.

Debby said...

The 'lover' back drop for Olga is just right. Like everyone else, I'm amazed at your ability to push on reading a book that doesn't engage. I just put them aside...there's another book waiting to be read!

Margaret said...

Sinus infections are extremely painful. I've had one in my life and it would NOT go away without antibiotics. (which were magic) It seems like if you love "The Lincoln Highway" as I did, you won't like "A Gentleman in Moscow." So I won't bother with it. :)

Steve Reed said...

River: Coincidentally, my doctor recently gave me a nasal spray for sinus congestion that seems to help.

Andrew: I rarely quit a book, even if I don't like it. I just plow ahead and hope it will get better.

YP: SPOILER ALERT -- believe it or not, you've basically described the end of the book!

Boud: Yes! Wordy for wordy's sake is a good way to put it.

Michael: I get them now and again, too. I've always had problematic sinuses.

GZ: I have an overwhelming urge to press a hot-water bottle to my face.

Ms Moon: Well, that's how this one was. It was good enough that I could see how some people enjoyed it, and I wanted to forge ahead. I guess I maintain hope that it will get better.

Ellen D: Next is "Hidden Valley Road," a nonfiction book about a family afflicted with schizophrenia. It's supposed to be fascinating. Sorry about the puzzle -- I don't have any control over that and I don't know why Google does it sometimes and not others!

Robin: Glad you like the photo. :)

Bug: Is caffeine good for a sinus headache?! I wouldn't think so!

Linda Sue: Interesting to read those takes on the ending. And so many people liked it! I didn't think the ending was ambiguous at all. I just thought it was implausible.

Ellen: I am the same way. And sometimes books DO turn around and get better.

Bob: Especially when it's so freakin' LONG!

Edna: She's saying, "Oh, geez, ANOTHER picture?!"

Sharon: It's interesting -- when I discuss my problems with this book, a lot of people bring up "The Goldfinch." And I LOVED that book. The thing that kept me going there was a terrible sense of dread about the ultimate fate of the painting. I just didn't have a similarly compelling feeling for the characters or their ultimate fate in AGIM.

Kelly: Well, I'm not taking anything for this one, so I'm with you! Yes, as I understand it, they usually resolve on their own.

Jenny-O: I agree about writing style. I actually thought the writing in this one was good; I just didn't really connect very deeply with the characters.

Allison: I can't bring myself to jump to the end!

Debby: I just feel like I can't pass judgment until I've read the whole thing.

Margaret: Oh, have you heard that -- that if you like one you won't like the other? That's interesting...

Moving with Mitchell said...

I hope you’re already feeling much better.

I don’t think I‘ll bother with that gentleman in Moscow.