Weekly Update for March 14, 2021

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Weekly Update at Introverted Reader

Welcome to my weekly update for March 14, 2021!

Did my fellow US-based readers remember to set your clocks forward an hour? Ugh. It takes me weeks to adjust to this time change!

In other news, my husband’s work contract near San Diego finished up (He’s a traveling healthcare worker). We were being really choosy about locations (I am not interested in experiencing the end of a “real” winter in my RV) and the job market got difficult, but we’ve finally landed in Sarasota, Florida! The beach here is beautiful and only about a 15-minute drive away. That part is heavenly. But holy cow, Florida. Masks! Nowhere to be seen! Well, I take that back. People are wearing them in the grocery store but that’s about it as far as I can tell. So we’re double-masking and continuing to get take-out and avoiding people as much as we can. I knew I was going to have culture shock after spending the entire pandemic in cautious California and Oregon, but jumping straight to mask-free Florida has made me anxious.

Turtle Beach
Turtle Beach on Siesta Key


A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi–4.5 Stars

Ten Books I Gave Away


Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas Book Cover

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Currently Reading:

Vulgar Favors: The Assassination of Gianni Versace by Maureen Orth, read by Dan Woren

The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South by Michael W. Twitty

Up Next:

I’m struggling a little with The Cooking Gene so I’m trying to focus exclusively on it in print for a while. I still need to choose a book set in Eastern Europe for this month’s Book Voyage Challenge.

What did your week look like?

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz hosts The Sunday Salon and Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer hosts Sunday Post. Kathryn at Book Date hosts It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe in beautiful Asheville, NC. I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you if you purchase merchandise through links on my site. 

Other Posts You May Enjoy:


  1. Too bad you left Arizona – we don’t do Daylights Savings. Such rebels 🙂 Although, we are pretty good about masks, I have to say. Florida’s over it, I guess. I know mask mandates are starting to disappear, but I’m still feeling cautious. Sounds like you’re the same.

    Enjoy the beach!


    1. Arizona was our first choice for this work assignment but the state doesn’t particularly like my husband’s work certification so we’re finding it hard to land a job for him there. We tried last winter too. 🙁 I forgot that you guys don’t do Daylight Savings Time though. I just wish we would choose a time and stick with it!

      I feel like I should still be cautious at least until I’m vaccinated, (who knows when that will actually happen), and probably even for longer. I think that’s what’s leading to mask mandates disappearing. Politicians must be thinking, “Oh, I’m safe now that I’m vaccinated, let’s open everything back up!”

  2. I’m just getting to my blog visiting now! The time change usually throws me off, too. I can see how Florida would be a shock. We are hoping to take a trip in April, to Texas of all places, but we will be at one hotel for the whole three days, not doing much sight-seeing. I like foodie memoirs, but not culinary history, really, so I might struggle with The Cooking Gene, too.

    1. One hotel in Texas for 3 days should be fairly safe. I hope your visit goes well! One of my friends has to fly to Dallas several weeks in a row for work soon and she is not excited about it.

      If you don’t like culinary history, The Cooking Gene probably won’t appeal to you. It felt more like history and genealogy than anything to do with food. You could give it a try and set it aside after 50 pages or so if you don’t care for it though. It finishes up with much the same tone that it begins with.

  3. The first week of the time change is rough having to get up when it is still dark, but after that I love it. I love getting home while it is still light out and being able to do things in the evening. Here in June it gets dark, with DST, a little after 8. Without DST we’d have almost no time when it was light enough to do much after dinner.

  4. Stay safe! Florida is beautiful, but… yeah. I have friends who live there, and some of them have mentioned before how the lack of masks & caution make them super nervous. Stay safe. And happy reading! The Cooking Gene is on my TBR and I’m really curious about it.

  5. The time change doesn’t usually bother me. Being retired means I’m on my own time anyway. However, this morning I had to set an alarm so that I could take my brother to his eye appointment. It reminded me how much I hate alarm clocks. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

    1. I’m with you on alarm clocks. I’m an inveterate snoozer but since I haven’t been working while we travel with my husband’s job, I actually get up fairly early on my own–as long as I’m not stubbornly ignoring an alarm clock. I think it’s my innate contrariness.

    1. I like to read books set in whatever state we’re in. This is our second time in Florida so I’ve already read several books set here. But I found a list of the best true crime books set in every state and Vulgar Favors was the pick for Florida. It has strong ties to California, which we left in January, so it’s a perfect choice.

        1. I haven’t but I did see that one of the houses burned down recently. Such a shame. https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/key-biscayne/article248420305.html

          It reminds me of a place in Naples, FL, near my in-laws. The house(s?) in Cape Romano are collapsing pretty quickly. We can see a difference between one visit and the next. https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/cape-romano-dome-house

          Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll check out your review.

  6. Well Florida will be warm I guess but sorry to hear a lack of masks when really needed. Yes you need to take care, as do many others in Florida I am sure. But not everyone. Take care and enjoy your reading.

  7. I’ve heard Florida is pretty much wide open lol. It must be a culture shock! Still Sarasota is beautiful (my grandparents used tohave a place there in the winters) and I miss it. that beach…

    The time change always takes me forever to adjust to a swell…

    1. Florida does vary by county and city, but Sarasota County just voted to end their mask mandate in February because some decree from the governor made it completely unenforceable. Ugh. I don’t know why they couldn’t leave it in place and just quietly not fine anyone. They said they hadn’t ever fined anyone for failing to wear a mask anyway. I’m guessing officials wanted it off the books before the spring breakers arrived. But Sarasota is gorgeous!

  8. I’m envious of that sunny beach (ours is cold and rainy right now), but I wouldn’t like to be in a mask-free area! I just read about the spring breakers in Miami Beach and feel badly for the locals who might get sick from all the stupidity. Unbelievable.

    It’s only 4pm and I’m ready for bed. I hate this time change, but I do like the longer days. Maybe I should put on my rain gear and go for a walk. That would probably wake me up a little bit!

    1. We thought the Oregon coast was cold and windy every time we visited last summer! We’re so used to southern beaches. Does it ever really warm up?

      We’ve definitely noticed an uptick in traffic this week. We attribute it to spring breakers.

  9. As soon as you said you are in Florida, I thought, “oh no! They’ve opened up way too early!” Glad to hear you are still being cautious. What a wonderful way to spend some time traveling around the country. I’ve had friends who were traveling nurses and they loved the challenge and change of locations.

  10. Our clocks don’t go forward for another two weeks, I’m looking forward to lighter nights.

    Yes I’d imagine Florida is a shock to the system! We love Orlando and have been lucky enough to visit many times but I found it crazy to hear that so many people aren’t wearing masks. Stay safe!

    Have a lovely week!

    1. My friends are huge fans of Disney. They’ve visited a time or two since the pandemic started (It’s about a 10-hour drive, so not too bad). They said that Disney is doing a great job with making sure everyone is keeping their masks on. I’ve heard that parts of Florida are okay and other parts aren’t. It’s just our luck to go to a city that voted to eliminate their mask mandate a week or two before we arrived.

  11. We don’t have day light savings here in SA. But we have a different fun exercise called load shedding. Always fun in Africa!

    Have a good week and happy reading!

    Elza Reads

    1. I had to Google load shedding too. That doesn’t sound fun at all. If it makes you feel better, it sounds similar to rolling blackouts. I’ve never had to deal with those but I think they’re fairly common in California during fire season as the electric company turns off power to windy areas to try to keep downed power lines from starting fires. I think they happen elsewhere in the country for other reasons too. It sounds like more of a regular thing for you guys though. Yuck.

  12. I’ve heard the same thing about masks from people in Florida. Lucky you being so close to the beach though. Our high is 43 today and my son just went outside to enjoy it before it falls into the 30s later this afternoon, lol.

    1. I don’t miss that weather at all. My family is in the mountains of NC and they seem to love torturing themselves by asking me what the weather is wherever I am. By the time we leave Florida in early June, they’ll probably be laughing at me in the unbearable heat though!

  13. My daughter has a friend who is a traveling nurse and she loves it.

    I don’t understand why Florida doesn’t have a mask mandate, it is so aggravating. I think every state should have one, maybe life would go back to normal more quickly. Thankfully where I live there is a county mandate and most businesses have a sign on their door saying that you must have a mask on to enter. But of course, I have seen a few people who don’t think that applies to them. Hopefully management asks them to put on a mask or leave.

    The beach photo is beautiful! I love Sarasota, I rescued my dog from the Humane Society there.

    I hope you have a great week!

    1. I agree about statewide mask mandates. If I understand correctly (and I truly might not), Sarasota had a mask mandate but the city council voted at the end of February to lift it. Their reasoning was that an order from the governor prohibits enforcing the mandate, so what’s the point? But from what I read, they never actually fined anyone anyway, so what’s the difference? At least a mandate lets everyone know that the pandemic is still going on and we still need to be careful. Such silliness. But it is truly a beautiful place!

  14. Yes, it’s the spring-forward part of the time changes that always hits me in the gut. Why do we do this?!

    I can imagine what a shock it must be to be in Florida after being in protected states. My sister’s brother-in-law is from the east coast and he couldn’t believe what he saw here in Texas. Anxious? Yes, I’ve had a year of it. When I got the opportunity to get my vaccine, I jumped at the chance.

    I think I will look for A Very Large Expanse of Sea. I’m between books, and I’m not sure where I’m going next.

    Enjoy the beaches, but be careful during the upcoming spring breaks.

    1. It feels like the first spring breakers started arriving this week. I drop my husband off at work and head straight to the beach for a walk. I’m there before daybreak. By the time I leave, I’m already dodging other groups of walkers. Social distancing doesn’t seem to be a thing here either.

      A Very Large Expanse of Sea was so good! I hope you enjoy it if you pick it up.

  15. Why did you have to remind me about the time change?! I would skip it, but my boss would probably not approve when I show up late for work. LOL At least my phone and computer change automatically. I can only imagine the culture shock of pandemic life going from California to Florida. Being so close the beach is nice though. 🙂

    I hope you have a great week and enjoy your reading!

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