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BrockaBooks, RelationshipsLeave a Comment

Hello strangers. Looping back around the track. I have certainly perfected my radio silence. Winter seems to demand contraction and internalizing. Plus, I’ve been in a deliberate watch and wait mode. The upside: I’m way more patient than I used to be. On the bookshelf of things, last month I finished the best biography of Queen Victoria (mentioned in the last post.) I read the most exquisite of novels with a prose and lusciousness I have never encountered. I can’t recommend Mark Helprin’s Paris in the Present Tense enough. A seventy five year old, Holocaust surviving, Algerian war vet is a cellist, music professor. It’s a gripping story of his involvement in a possible murder and insurance scam. You’re almost holding … Read More

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Half & Half

BrockaBooks, History, WorkLeave a Comment

It’s certainly been a minute since I’ve written here. While I could whittle off a list of excuses, the main theme of my past month was rebellion. For instance, after almost solely planning a party for my company, I decided at the last minute to not attend. And it felt so free walking right past it and out the door. I genuinely didn’t give a damn; which is where I’m at mentally with my job actually. I’ve been stirring up my own bowl of interests to see what rises to the surface, top priority, next job posting or creative pursuit; both pursued simultaneously most likely. I think I finally folded up the ambition to pursue new music making. My heart … Read More

BrockaHalf & Half

Lethal White

BrockaBooks, PodcastsLeave a Comment

November was a fabulous month of reading. I easily breezed through two lengthier tombs by two of my favorite well-established authors and was not let down. I interjected these weightier books for a short soliloquy on routine written by an up and coming Japanese author. We’ll start with that one: Convenience Store Woman is a very odd duck story. It skims the surface over a number of character quirks in Keiko, a 36 year old woman living in Tokyo. These have served to isolate her from her family or build any normal relationships; she comes off as borderline autistic. The monotony and routine and easily followed behavioral manual at the convenience store job harness her to the real world, and … Read More

BrockaLethal White

Study Mode

BrockaBooks, History, PodcastsLeave a Comment

There’s been a new drive ignited in me recently. I can blame this entirely on my longstanding interest into the Crusades. As I’ve mentioned, I have become fully invested in the History of the Crusades* podcast. It not only follows a linear timeline but interjects occasionally with episodes coinciding, such as the individual rulers, kings and queens, Egyptians, Mongols, Latin Christendom, The Knights Templar, etc… Through the search bar option in my podcast app, I’ve been able to track down other podcasts with overlapping themes (e.g. The History of Byzantium) or just download a specific episode (e.g. A Knight’s Tale via The History of England podcast) It is a prolific rabbit hole either way. I mention this because it’s exciting; … Read More

BrockaStudy Mode

Spys on Spys

BrockaBooks, History, PodcastsLeave a Comment

Lo and behold I actually documented my reads for one year straight! I genuinely can’t believe it. But using the month as the title of each post is no way to trigger my memory. Going forward I will use the title(s) of the books I read or shows I streamed…some variation of sorts. Two non-fiction books, one Asian family fiction, and two engaging television shows streamed: I was drawn to Pachinko because the author wrote one of my all-time favorite books, Free Food for Millionaires. I still remember it fondly even though it’s been eleven years since I read it. It has a forever place on my bookshelf. Pachinko is a story of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty. From bustling street markets … Read More

BrockaSpys on Spys