Or not reading, as it turns out. I was reading Blake Crouch's Abandon, but at 35% of the way in, I've decided to, well, abandon it. It's not bad, it's just that I'm still not connecting with the story or the characters. I don't particularly like old west stories, either. It's become a chore to read, and life is too short. That said, do give his Wayward Pines books a go.
So I spent about two months working through the Esperanto course on Duolingo, and I fell in love with the language. I've got some books en route now from Esperanto USA,* and I'm very happily reading a (non-official, because there is, alas, no official) Esperanto translation of the first book of Harry Potter, Hari Potter kaj la Ŝtono de la Saĝuloj. I'm almost finished with the first chapter. You can download the translation here. (Clicking that link will automatically download it to your computer.) I am, of course, a beginner (komencanto), but I think Esperanto is a wonderful language, and one that children should be taught as a second language, both to promote international communication and because it would serve well as a "gateway" language, making subsequent languages easier to learn. If nothing else, it would give them a leg up on SAT preparation because of its largely Latinate vocabulary. If you have any interest at all in learning it, do take a look at the course on Duolingo, which makes learning languages fun. You'll find Esperanto easier to learn than other, natural languages because it was designed to be simpler, with absolutely regular grammar. And it's fascinating because of the way that words are built in the language, through the agglutination of roots and affixes. For example, while reading Harry Potter in Esperanto I was very excited to see the word liphararo, which turns out to be a collection (the suffix -ar-) of lip (lip-) hair (har-), i.e., a moustache. You can suss out what a lot of words mean just by knowing the affixes.
My friend Clare sent me a copy of Real Chester, her hot-off-the-presses travelogue about the city of Chester in England. It's a fascinating place, its Roman walls enclosing a space in which historical strata are piled on top of one another, where the modern abuts the ancient and medieval in a living city. The amount of history you can trip over in Chester is astounding. This is a place where you can see Roman ruins in the closet of a clothing store if you know to ask about them at the counter.
The book isn't available on Amazon.com, yet, but you can pick up a copy from Amazon.co.uk.
Central Intelligence: Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart are old high school acquaintances who team up for a spy caper. A cute movie, chiefly because it's hard not to like The Rock. Stick around for the closing credits.
Goliath, season 1: Billy Bob Thornton is a one-time big-deal lawyer who winds up taking on a case against a Goliath of a corporation, which also happens to be represented by his former firm. Give it at least two episodes if you're thinking of passing on it. The second episode ends with a bang.
Disconnect: Jason Bateman stars in this movie that tells three loosely connected stories, all of them involving the internet. One's about cyber crime, another about cyber sex, but the most poignant has to do with cyber bullying. The victim is Bateman's screen son, a high school music nerd who falls for some mean-spirited catfishing. An excellent movie, primarily because of the bullying storyline.
Identity Thief: Jason Bateman's identity is stolen by pretty much the worst person in the world, or so Melissa McCarthy initially appears. It's a cute movie.
The Change-Up: Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds star in this Freaky Friday remake. It's cute-ish, and I like both stars, but it's too vulgar to be really good. Some of it had me wincing rather than laughing. The Jamie Lee Curtis/Lindsay Lohan Freaky Friday, on the other hand, holds up very well, is genuinely funny, and doesn't wallow in crudity.