6 Things I’m Reading, Watching, Doing This Week

What has my attention this week?

6 Things I'm Reading, Watching, Doing This Week

Book: The End of Our Exploring by Matthew Lee Johnson

I stumbled upon this book thanks to its first chapter being included in a free Kindle copy of G.K. Chesteron’s phenomenal philosophical gem Orthodoxy. It immediately captured my attention by addressing some of my favorite subjects: that of personal exploration, the art of intelligent questioning, and the ability to hold open-mindedness side by side with faith and conviction. I’m slowly working through it in my morning devotions and savoring each page. It’s definitely a great companion for Chesterton.


Movie: The Magnificent Seven directed by John Sturges

This is the movie of my childhood. I saw it for the first time when I was about twelve, and watched it literally every week for a longer span than my parents probably enjoy remembering. It sparked my imagination so vividly that I can still look back at it as a major influence in everything I write. The Elmer Bernstein score shivers me every time I hear it. And, oh, yeah, Steve McQueen.


Music: Leave This Town by Daughtry

I loved, loved, loved Daughtry’s first album from way back. This follow-up hasn’t sunk quite so deeply into my life, but it’s still good stuff. The only song that doesn’t do it for me–mostly ’cause it triggers my always very touchy sap meter–is the tragic love ballad “Open Up Your Eyes.”


Food: Beanitos

Who doesn’t love Tostidos? But I hardly ever eat them because they’re bad, bad, bad for me (GMO corn for starters). But Beanitos–made from bean flour–are a (somewhat) healthier option that gives you the same cheese flavor. They’re not Tostidos, and the beaniness definitely makes for a heavier chip. But they’re a fun snack for a change.


Gadgets: Gear Ties

I’ve been driving myself crazy trying to find durable, functional, and correctly sized cord ties for all my video and audio gear. I tried a velcro version from Staples last month and near ripped my fingernails off every time I used them. But these are great. The bright colors make them easy to find, and they’re even kinda cute!


Cute Animal I Want This Week

Carol Giffen

Photo Credit: Giffen


Let’s chat! What are you reading this week? Tell me in the comments!


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  1. I am reading Port Starbird and On Basilisk Station. Two totally different books from completely different genres but not very good in their own way.

  2. 6 Things That Should Have Your Attention… wow, can’t keep up with you, Katie

    1 I have an enduring interest in the law, especially how ordinary people can rise up against cruelty and tyranny and win. So I have been enjoying Geoffrey Robertson’s The Tyrannicide Brief, which tells the story of the bravest lawyer in history, John Cooke, who risked his life to make tyranny a crime and sent Charles 1 to the scaffold.

    2 I don’t have a childhood favourite in movies, my TV viewing was limited to Dr Who. I positively loved watching the Dr tripping through time and space in his Tardis, disguised as blue British Police Box from the 1960s, meeting all kinds of weird and wonderful people, and battling it out with evil entities like the Daleks and the Cybermen. And basically saving the world from destruction.

    3 If there were a favourite movie from my ‘childhood’, it would have to be 2001: A Space Odyssey. This movie is epic and mindboggling, as some intrepid astronauts are sent to Jupiter to learn what a black monolith, find on the moon, is all about. On the way, the journey is interrupted by a malfunctioning supercomputer, call HAL, who becomes psychotic unable to reconcile the anomalies in his programming. HAL steals the show with his quirkiness and insights into human behaviour before everything goes sideways for him. ‘Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do…’

    4 I listen to a range of musical genres, ranging from ambient piano to dark wave industrial Goth. So a favourite, at the moment, would have to be Subheim’s deep, dark, ambient, downtempo work and occasional haunting lyrics.

    5 Snack of choice is Fantastic Delites crisps. Non-potato crisps. Three flavours I’m enjoying are Cheddar Cheese, Sour Cream & Chives, and Sweet Chilli & Sour Cream. Made from rice, oven baked, and gluten free! Yum.

    6 If there were an animal I’d want, this week, not saying I want one, not being one for keeping pets, it might just have to be an owl. A snow owl. They are so beautiful and graceful. And great inspiration for fantasy fiction, urban fantasy, and paranormal crime stories!

    Note: I couldn’t include images, which was disappointing.

  3. Catherine H. says:

    Aww, I love fawns! You just want to wrap your arms around them and cuddle…but they probably wouldn’t like that. 🙁

  4. 1. Finally decided on the genre I will stick with for my novels. (Speculative fic) 2. Honest Chips (potato chips cooked in coconut oil) 2a. Plantain/apple fritters – homemade. 3. Poldark DVD’s. 4. James Lee Burke’s, PEGASUS DESCENDING novel. 5. My dog shredding a paper towel all over the house. 6. Thunderstorms.

    That book looks very interesting. I’ll have to check it out, thanks!

  5. Lorna G. Poston says:

    Do you have an Aldi near you? I found a bag of corn tortilla chips there that said the corn was organic and not GMO. They didn’t have the same flavor as Tostitos, but they were still pretty good.

  6. Dr. Kenneth R. Cooper says:


    I’m currently reading some of Hawthorne’s Twice-Told Tales and some amazing essays in Mystery and Manners by Flannery O’Connor. I, too, love The Magnificent Seven, as well as the first sequel, The Return of the Magnificent Seven. Altho I also like Steve McQueen, I think Yul Brynner outshone him in these two movies. But Steve was gret ij Bullett and The Great Escape, among others.

  7. creativegenius880 says:

    I’m reading Garden Spells, by the amazing, Southern writer, Sarah Addison Allen. If anyone wants the perfect treat, then this this book is absolutely GUARANTEED not only to entertain, but enlighten the reader. I can promise that. It’s a dreamy confection, one part Southern sweetness, one part reality, and all about love. Listed in the final pages of the story, for every reader’s delight are the wide variety of “magical” herbs that make the confections so yummy… and enchanting!
    As a matter of fact, if given the opportunity to use only one word (rather difficult, I’m afraid. Writers tend to… well… write.) for Garden Spells, it would be a pure and simple one: enchanting.

    So, you must take at least a small slice of time, and dedicate it to reading Garden Spells, by Sarah Addison Allen. : )

  8. creativegenius880 says:

    Thanks for the latest details. It’s been encouraging, inspiring, and enlightening to get these glimpses of your world, as well as your work! REALLY! And I think that you’d be hard-pressed to find someone in the writing world (even pantsers!) who’d disagree.
    Here’s hoping we continue to be rewarded with your insight, intelligence, and honesty!! : )

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      Thanks for the book suggestion! Sound great. And I’m so glad you’re enjoying these fun little posts.

  9. 😀 Yep.
    A smile’s all I got. Have a great weekend.

  10. I am reading Love finds you in Maiden North Carolina by Tameal Hancock Murray the book is very good but the cover is another one that leaves me shaking my head and wondering if anyone read the book. The heroine should be blonde but she absolutely should NOT have short hair. that point was very prevalent throughout the story.

  11. I love reading about the little things that authors love, and what’s inspiring them to keep going from week to week. “The End of Our Exploring” sounds fantastic, but definitely one of those books that I would have to digest very slowly (and read Chesterton’s book first, as well). Still, I will definitely look into that one. =) Thanks for the inspiration, Katie! And below is my 6 for the week, since others have shared theirs (and I’ve definitely enjoyed reading them!).

    Reading “The Naming” by Alison Croggon. Read it in high school, so it’s technically a re-read, but some books…you just love ’em. It’s a fantasy quartet and pretty unique compared to many other fantasies I’ve read. Definitely an inspiration for me.

    Watching Doctor Who, Series 1, and not sure if I’m too freaked out to continue or too nervous to stop.

    Listening to Anuna (apparently Ireland’s national choir). If you’re into poetic, lyrical choral pieces with unique arrangements of traditional Irish pieces, I highly recommend. Their ballads are especially inspiring/relaxing. Plus, their director/arranger is an amazing tenor soloist- a really good piece that I love this week featuring his talents is called “The Flower of Maherally.”

    Food- Annie’s Cheddar Squares. Just like Cheez-Its, but made with organic ingredients and (wonder of wonders!) real cheese. Mmmm…

    Gadgets- My new, daintier travel coffee mug. It’s made specifically for those single-serve Keurig brewers, and although I have the stone-age equivalent (a little 5-cup drip brewer), it’s perfect for portion control. Pouring large cups of coffee, in my case, normally results in a really, REALLY hyper me, and a lot of wasted coffee. I just brew half-caff maybe up to the 2-mark on my pot, pour it in, add my milk and cream, and BAM! A six- or seven-ounce, perfectly-sized serving that stays hot on my desk with the handy spill-proof lid and double-walled insulation.

    Cute animal- This will forever and always be a kitten. Forever and always. Occasionally I may want a duckling, or perhaps a baby rabbit or a turtle. But this week we’ll just say a kitten. :3

  12. Katie, good list!

    Here’s my top six:

    1) Book: “On Guard.” The one I recommended for you. I decided to re-read it. There’s never a bad reason to re-read it anytime!

    2) Movie: Well I have never seen “Magnificent Seven” so I watched it! Pretty good! As far as Westerns are concerned, have you seen “Open Range” with Kevin Costner? Such a great Western, in my opinion! Check it out.

    3) Music: I only have one Daughtry song! But I like them based on the one song. The song is, “Crawling Back to You.” I don’t believe it’s on the album you have, but if you want to check out the song here it is:

    4) Food: I’m studying to be the Grand-high monk of this age, so… no food 😉

    5) Gadget: Vizio Soundbar for my TV! Makes the T-Rex roar sound A M A Z I N G on “Jurassic Park”

    6) Cute Animal: Squirrelz!

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      This is an excellent list. 🙂 Awesome that you’ve discovered Magnificent Seven. And I totally agree about Open Range; it’s probably my favorite modern western.

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