Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Audiobook Challenge 2021 - May/June Audiobook


 
My next Listening Book 2021 Challenge Audiobook for May/June is

DRACULA by Bram Stoker


With this audiobook/audioplay by a full cast I can check off the Listen to a Dramatization or Full Cast Audiobook on the challenge list.  


The reason I selected DRACULA by Stoker is that I plan to also listen to some of the Rosenbach Museum's  Sundays with Dracula videos on YouTube  (https://youtu.be/wNLLluLLKpc).  I say "some" because I doubt I'll get through all the videos in May and June,

I read DRACULA by Bram Stoker when I was in my late teens. 

I've watched many TV and movie versions of Dracula and vampires, even before reading Stoker's work.  It will be fun to listen to the full cast audiobook and see how I feel about the book now decades later.




Frank Langella as Dracula


888888888888888888888888888888888888888

ARMITAGE AUDIOBOOKS UPDATE:

For May and June I'm also planning to listen to two new audiobooks narrated by Richard Armitage.

Listening now to Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christie (Audible US).

Later in May,  Mania by L.J. Ross  (Dr. Alexander Gregory, book 4).  (Publishing expected May 16, 2021).

Mania by L.J. Ross, narrated by Richard Armitage, not available until August 2021.


Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Stages of Retirement - Update on "To Do" List and My Retirement Type?

 



In a previous Retirement post I wrote about a long retired friend who uses a daily "To Do" list to organize her days.  (See link below):

https://whiterosewritings.blogspot.com/2021/01/stages-of-retirement-organizing-my-days.html

I wanted to update that post. After looking at various office supply sites and Amazon for notebooks and planners I finally found the one posted above.  I like that I can keep track of dates, times, goals and a "To Do" list, as well as a notes section that I use all the time.  But if I don't finish something I just move it to another day or time, except for things that have a definite deadline.  And some days I just relax and listen or read my books and catch up with podcasts on my list (I'm still behind on those) or listen to music and sit on my balcony in the afternoon to enjoy the breeze.  

But my friend is right, it does give you a "structure" in retirement that helps in some strange way.  

****

What is my Retirement Type?

I regularly visit  the website Sixty and Me (see link below).   They have interesting articles on navigating retirement. 

https://sixtyandme.com/retirement-types/


Types of Retirees

Through her research, Nancy K Schlossberg, Ph.D., describes six types of retirees:

The Adventurer – Embracing a new job or activity that you have never done.

The Continuer – Doing something related to what you have done before.

The Easy glider – Emergent with no plan.

The Searcher – Figure out what is next.

The Retreater – Taking some down time.

The Involved spectator –Being involved in a specific field outside of being employed.

****

Right now going through several months of "pandemic retirement"  I am a combination of "The Adventurer",  "The Easy Glider" and "The Searcher".  But of course,  "Life is what happens when you're making other plans." and you never know what is around the corner.  


The "Adventurer":

I've taken up several new Zoom group/club activities, most involving my love of books, film, and art history.  I hope all these Zoom opportunities continue, but I know once we go back to more "normal" not all of them will.  I didn't have the time, and really the energy, to get involved as much before when I was working.  I've also become acquainted virtually with people that share my interests.  (Thanks in large measure to a long time friend.)  I really enjoy all these activities. 

I've also become a new "YT watcher" of Bald Eagles (Big Bear Valley) and of course our dear DC Baby Panda thanks to YouTube and the National Zoo Panda Cam.   

The National Zoo Panda Cam is not new to me, I've watched all our DC Giant Panda's (Tai Shan, Bao Bao, Bei Bei) from birth to their farewell and departure to China.  I will be so sad when Mei Xiang and Tian Tian and dear Xiao Qi Ji depart for China as well in a few years. 

I do wonder, thinking about our transition to post-pandemic life how much will have changed from our "normal" pre-pandemic life.  I really don't know if I will trust traveling again.  I think I will still use a mask on the subway, train, or plane in the future.  Will I ever feel comfortable in a crowded place again?  Right now I have my doubts.  I'm glad in retirement it will be my choice. 













Saturday, April 17, 2021

Happy Birthday Sean Bean - April 17, 2021

 



HAPPY BIRTHDAY SEAN BEAN

Looking Good at 62


Longevity in their career is not easy to achieve for an actor.  Bravo to Sean for having some of the best roles of his career in this stage of his life.  And to have the respect of his fellow actors and the respect of his fans for his achievements in his craft.


Feliz Cumple 


Snowpiercer - Sean Bean -2021





Friday, April 2, 2021

Audiobook Challenge 2021 - April Audiobook

 



My Audiobook for April is 

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Narrated by Trevor Noah

I'm following the
2021 Listening Book Challenge

And this checks off

Listen to an Audiobook Narrated by the Author

___________

I have to confess that last year's audiobook challenge was easier to follow since we had a specific type of book for a specific month.  

Must be something in me that makes an open ended annual audiobook challenge more difficult to fulfill.  I have to make more of an effort to listen to one book a month rather than procrastinate.

Why this book?  I don't watch the Daily Show but I like watching Trevor Noah on YouTube.  He's a very interesting and very good interviewer.  And funny too. I've had this audiobook in my Audible library for a while and am looking forward to finding out more about Trevor.  




Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Richard Armitage Winner of Audie Award 2021 for The Chekhov Collection of Short Stories by Anton Chekhov - You Know Why This is Special To Me!

 


 


If you don't know why this win is special for me you can click below for my previous post on this audiobook.


https://whiterosewritings.blogspot.com/2020/05/the-answer-to-my-question-chekhov.html



Congratulations Richard Armitage on a great selection of Chekhov short stories and on a marvelous narration.  

 

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Stages of Retirement: Dealing with Reality and Researching Some Housing Options

 


As I slowly work on decluttering, with some breaks, I also need to think and plan about housing options and short term - long term options in retirement as an "elder orphan".  

My two options in my thoughts right now are move to another apartment a bit farther away from the city for lower rent (still staying in the same general area) or move to a senior apartment (if I qualify) in my area.  Keeping in mind a possible future move to a life care or continuing care community. 

To help my decision-making I've taken part and watched several senior Zoom seminars that cover these options in part.  (You can check AARP for some of these or your city or county website).  Lots of information to ponder.  I'm happy I've pursued these information seminars; I've learned a lot about the resources out there and about some preparations I need to make.  At times though I feel a bit overwhelmed by all these decisions I have to face. 

But still, even with all these helpful options, I have more concerns.  Also I can't really discuss with anyone.  I have a couple of close friends my age that I've tried to start the conversation with, but they are facing their own dilemmas.  Slightly younger friends don't really want to discuss it at all, they are not there yet, or are facing this with their parents soon and don't want an additional burden.  My limited-distant family is no help at all in a discussion. They're happy with whatever I decide as long as they don't have to deal with taking care of me at all!

Don't get me wrong,  I'm lucky to have several trusted friends I can count on when I need help. I'm very grateful to have them.  But I feel people are reluctant to go beyond the superficial discussion in fear of giving bad advice. They also have their own burdens to deal with. 

Looking for just a new apartment is something I've done before and am starting to do again now.  Of course you can't visit any property other than virtually yet, and I'm not going to make a move until I can see the place in person.  But looking at senior housing/apartments is an entirely new adventure.

Also, am I ready for some of the restrictions of senior housing?  For someone who can be awake at 1:00am watching a TV show, am I ready for a 10:00pm TV noise curfew?  

My problem is, inside my mind I'm still 25 but my body is more like 125.





So, what is the next step for me?

1.  Keep looking at rental apartments online and then make a list of  5 buildings to look at in person when that becomes possible.  

2.  Continue research of senior apartments in my area.  Look at options that I can afford and also amenities that I prefer.  Able to live independently but have some some assistance options and social options.  Make a list of those I want to visit in person.  

3.   Of course, health situations can change rapidly.  Research life-care communities in my area and beyond.  Moving to a more affordable area may be the only option.  

Because of  COVID my goal is a decision and action when things improve in terms of visits to these places. It's looking like 2022.

***************************

I thought I would revisit the Stages of Retirement list.

Researcher Robert Atchley Stages of Retirement:

Stage 1: Planning. ...


Stage 2: Excitement. ...


Stage 3: Honeymoon. ...


Stage 4: Disenchantment. ...


Stage 5: Reorientation & Stability. ...


How am I doing?   

Somehow I skipped the Excitement stage.  But maybe I'm in the Honeymoon stage. 

 Though it may not appear so from this post. But I am enjoying wonderful discoveries in "Zoom World".  Enjoy filling part of my days and nights every week exploring my own interests, even in only a virtual world for now.  





Sunday, February 14, 2021

Happy Valentine's Day 2021 Richard Armitage and Sean Bean

 RETRO VALENTINE







Happy Valentine's Day 2021 to my two 
favorite actors

Richard Armitage and Sean Bean


They both continue to challenge me and surprise me with their work and their project choices.  I admire both of them for being their own person and following their own instincts in their careers, and not following someone's idea of what a "star" should be or should do.

In a career where some actors flash a big success for a brief time and are never seen again, both men have accomplished long and steady careers in a very fickle business.  There is much to admire in that and I do admire it very much.

Have a wonderful Valentine's Day with those you love, Richard and Sean.  💗





Saturday, February 13, 2021

Favorite Narrator: My Top 20 Richard Armitage Audiobooks (2006-2020)







 I was looking through my Audible library this week checking my two new Richard Armitage narrated books.  I'm just starting the new David Hewson book, happy that author and narrator (Hewson/Armitage) are collaborating again.  The new C.J. Tudor book I plan to start in March, part of my 2021 Audiobook Challenge.  But I couldn't help but notice all the Armitage Audiobooks in my Audible library, and also a few that I've read/listened to that are not there. I also have several CD's of Armitage narrated audiobooks, dating back to 2006.  

My audio library list review prompted me to start my personal top  RA audiobooks list: 


My Top 20 Audiobooks Narrated by Richard Armitage

(2006-2020)

                         

1.    Lords of the North by  Bernard Cornwell

2.    David Copperfield  by Charles Dickens

3.     Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel by A. J. Hartley and David Hewson 

4.     The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde  by Robert Louis Stevenson

5.     Venetia by Georgette Heyer

6.     *His & Hers: A Novel  by Alice Feeney

7.     *The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter 

8.     *A Nearly Normal Family by M.T. Edvardsson

9.      The Jackman &Evans book series by Joy Ellis (Read books in order)

10.     The Other People by C.J. Tudor

11.     *The Other Queen: A Novel  by Philippa Gregory

12.      The Chekhov Collection of Short Stories by Anton Chekhov

13.     Robin Hood: The Siege  by Simon Guerrier  (Big Finish)

14.     The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

15.     The Convenient Marriage by Georgette Heyer

16.    The Man from St. Petersburg by Ken Follett

17.     The Hiding Place (The Taking of Annie Thorne) by C.J. Tudor

18.      Bedlam by L.J. Ross

19.      The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner

20.      Romeo and Juliet: A Novel by David Hewson 


* Narrated by Richard Armitage and additional narrator(s)



I believe Richard Armitage has over 50 audiobooks (audio plays, and podcasts included) as of this moment.  And a new project announced today.  But I thought 20 was a good number to start out with.

I love Richard's voice and performance in all his audiobooks and learned from them all. I've discovered new genres I hadn't explored before. I just mean these are my top 20 favorites for various reasons at this particular moment in time. 

Richard has more audiobooks just published in 2021 and I have just started listening to the new David Hewson book he narrated (see my post on my Audiobook 2021 Challenge).  And there are also some audiobooks I haven't listened to because they are not available in the US, or not yet, and some that have just become available.  I do sometimes buy the CD's for these, but sometimes I wait to see if Audible will eventually have them.  What I'm trying to say is, this list of my top 20 favorites is ever changing with new Armitage Audiobooks.  

I also have not included the children's books and the Love Poems and Meditations because to me they belong in a separate categories.  Also the audio plays with Big Finish and podcasts (Wolverine) belong in a separate category.  

I'm looking forward to starting Gallifrey - Time War 4 (Big Finish) soon, downloaded and ready for listening.








 

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Flashback: Sean Bean - Snowpiercer and Windprints

Sean Bean in Windprints (1989)
 


AND



from TentacleTenshi on Tumblr



Sean Bean in Snowpiercer (2021)

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Audiobook Challenge 2021 - February and March Audiobooks

 Listening Books Challenge for February and March

Turbo Challenge

Listen to Two Audiobooks from the same Narrator in Different Genres


Narrator:  Richard Armitage




The Books


    FEBRUARY:



The Garden of Angels

by

David Hewson

Historical Fiction


MARCH:



The Burning Girls

by

C.J. Tudor

Mystery/Horror

(Narrators Richard Armitage and Gemma Whelan)




It was because of my Book Guru,  Richard Armitage, that I discovered authors David Hewson and C. J. Tudor.  They are now two of my favorite contemporary authors.  

They are also two of my favorite people on Twitter.  Wonderful interacting with their fans and lovely people.  (And Richard too, of course.)









Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Audiobook Challenge 2021 - January Audiobook

 


My Audiobook for January is Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, narrated by Scott Brick

My Audiobook Challenge for 2021 is again from Listening Books in the UK.  The challenge this year is a bit different. There is no monthly challenge, but rather 10 CHALLENGES and 5 TURBO CHALLENGES that we have a year to complete, in any order.  Also one book can count for both a challenge and a turbo challenge if it happens to qualify.

So the challenge I'm checking off for January with Erik Larson's book is:


LISTEN TO A NONFICTION AUDIOBOOK THAT ISN'T A MEMOIR


I just started listening to the book and enjoying that the pace is very much like a great mystery thriller, though in this case non-fiction.  And though it takes place in Chicago, I was happy to find there is an architectural connection to my Metro area.

I really should visit downtown Chicago one day post-pandemic. I've been to suburban Chicago three times in my life for work meetings, all three at hotels near O'Hare Airport. But I can't really say I've seen Chicago.

*******

To find out more about the Listening Books Audiobook Challenge 2021 go to the link below:


https://www.listening-books.org.uk/library/audiobook-listening-challenge-2021






I'm also reading/listening to this book for a True Crime Book Club I just joined thanks to the encouragement of my friend Fanny. One positive thing about this pandemic time is that we can experience events beyond our own geographic area thanks to many of them having moved to virtual offerings (mostly via Zoom).  



Some of my Audible Stats for 2020





Friday, January 1, 2021

Stages of Retirement - Organizing My Days - New Task

 

 

I was talking to a friend who has been retired for a while now about some "time structure issues"  I have encountered so far.  She said she had the same experience and the way she manages this is by creating a "To Do" list, a schedule for the day, every morning.  And she completes the list each day even if she has to finish that last task in the evening.   

After our conversation I thought a list, daily or weekly, might be a good thing for me to start in the new year.

I should explain that the "time structure issue" doesn't mean not enjoying the flexibility of time to do what you want, when you want, in retirement.  What I mean is finding, especially now in COVID Lockdown, a feeling of being a bit adrift some weeks. 





Of course right now there's the additional issue that even going to a coffee shop or library or community center to see other humans for distraction/interaction is not a possibility.  

Now the problem with me taking the daily "To Do" list route is that I'm a Type B/D personality.  Having a "To Do" list and a schedule that ruled my life Monday through Friday was something I was happy to leave behind now in retirement.  I enjoyed my freedom from schedules on the weekends, but now that every day is a "weekend" I'm missing a little structure.

So that's were I am today, pondering what sort of list I should start.

I have to build some flexibility in my structure, and structure in my flexibility.

I don't want a list that restricts me from being spontaneous, to walk in a nearby park because I see it's a warm day in winter, even if my list says today I'm organizing my closets. Maybe a weekly "To Do" is more my style than daily.  

I do have some big life and financial "To Do's" I need to resolve early in the new year that are overdue.  Those tasks are easy to put at the top of my lists this month, but what then for the rest of winter?  

I'm aware that having free time is a luxury.  I'm grateful for my retirement.  But I'm also aging, with the worries of staying active mentally and physically for as long as I can.

I'll report back in a future post on how it's going.  





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