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17 Aug, 2017

Ocean Adventures – Junk Raft and The Soul of an Octopus

/ posted in: Reading Ocean Adventures – Junk Raft and The Soul of an Octopus The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery
Published by Atria Books on May 12th 2015
Genres: Nonfiction
Pages: 261
Format: Audiobook, Hardcover
Source: Library, Playster
Goodreads
Setting: Massachusetts

Octopuses have varied personalities and intelligence they show in myriad ways: endless trickery to escape enclosures and get food; jetting water playfully to bounce objects like balls; and evading caretakers by using a scoop net as a trampoline and running around the floor on eight arms. But with a beak like a parrot, venom like a snake, and a tongue covered with teeth, how can such a being know anything? And what sort of thoughts could it think?
The intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees was only recently accepted by scientists, who now are establishing the intelligence of the octopus, watching them solve problems and deciphering the meaning of their color-changing camouflage techniques. Montgomery chronicles this growing appreciation of the octopus, but also tells a love story. By turns funny, entertaining, touching, and profound, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about consciousness and the meeting of two very different minds.


I love octopuses.  I think they are fascinating.  I’ve never had the chance to meet one though like this author did.  She got to know three octopuses over the course of a few years.  It was amazing to hear about the ways their physiology lets them interact with the world. They can taste with their skin, camouflage even though they are color blind, and work through complex puzzles.

She also lets you get to know the people working behind the scenes in the aquarium who love these animals.

This book is wonderful for anyone who is interested in finding out more about these animals.  I am looking forward to reading more from this author.


Ocean Adventures – Junk Raft and The Soul of an Octopus Junk Raft: An Ocean Voyage and a Rising Tide of Activism to Fight Plastic Pollution by Marcus Eriksen
Published by Beacon Press on July 4th 2017
Pages: 216
Goodreads
Setting: Pacific Ocean

Length: 8:05

News media brought the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch"--the famous swirling gyre of plastic pollution in the ocean--into the public consciousness. But when Marcus Eriksen cofounded the 5 Gyres Institute with his wife, Anna Cummins, and set out to study the world's oceans with hundreds of volunteers, they discovered a "plastic smog" of microscopic debris that permeates our oceans globally, defying simple clean-up efforts. What's more, these microplastics and their toxic chemistry have seeped into the food chain, threatening marine life and humans alike.
Far from being a gloomy treatise on an environmental catastrophe, though, Junk Raft tells the exciting story of Eriksen and his team's fight to solve the problem of plastic pollution. A scientist, activist, and inveterate adventurer, Eriksen is drawn to the sea by a desire to right an environmental injustice. Against long odds and common sense, he and his co-navigator, Joel Paschal, construct a "junk raft" made of plastic trash and set themselves adrift from Los Angeles to Hawaii, with no motor or support vessel, confronting perilous cyclones, food shortages, and a fast decaying raft.


Plastic pollution in the ocean is a huge problem but it doesn’t manifest in exactly the ways that it has been portrayed in the press.  Most of the ocean is polluted with microparticles of plastic that make any clean up operation almost impossible.  The author’s goal is to require companies to take on more of the burden for reusing or recycling plastics they produce.  Now they are freed from responsibility by requiring consumers to recycle if they don’t want the plastic going into a landfill.

This book used the framework of the several month journey on Junk to tell the story of the Earth’s plastic pollution problem.  It is full of ideas for making the problem better but there needs to be buy in from a lot of people to make it happen.

The stories in the book are scary.  So much damage is being done through human carelessness.  Getting the word out about what needs to be done is important.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Books Set in North America
15 Aug, 2017

Graphic Novel Mini Reviews

/ posted in: Book ReviewReading Format: Graphic
Source: Library

I decided to read several new to me graphic novels as part of Women in Translation Month.  I was impressed with how many my library had.  Here are the first few series I started.

The Rabbi's CatThe Rabbi’s Cat by Joann Sfar

“In Algeria in the 1930s, a cat belonging to a widowed rabbi and his beautiful daughter, Zlabya, eats the family parrot and gains the ability to speak. To his master’s consternation, the cat immediately begins to tell lies (the first being that he didn’t eat the parrot). The rabbi vows to educate him in the ways of the Torah, while the cat insists on studying the kabbalah and having a Bar Mitzvah. They consult the rabbi’s rabbi, who maintains that a cat can’t be Jewish — but the cat, as always, knows better.”  Translated from French

First of all, the author is not a woman. Whoops. I still loved this story. The cat is full of contempt for any Jewish law that doesn’t make any sense.

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The art is cute. I enjoyed the North African setting. I will be continuing this series.


Bride of the Water God, Volume 1Bride of the Water God, Volume 1 by Mi-Kyung Yun

“When Soah’s impoverished, desperate village decides to sacrifice her to the Water God Habaek to end a long drought, they believe that drowning one beautiful girl will save their entire community and bring much-needed rain. Not only is Soah surprised to be rescued by the Water God — instead of killed — she never imagined she’d be a welcomed guest in Habaek’s magical kingdom, where an exciting new life awaits her! Most surprising, however, is the Water God himself… and how very different he is from the monster Soah imagined.” Translated from Korean

I don’t know about an exciting life. I found this one pretty boring. It is a great concept and it seemed like it was going to be good but then nothing happened by the end of the volume. Maybe it gets better if you read more but I’m not interested.

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The art is good but it isn’t enough.


Fruits Basket, Vol. 1Fruits Basket, Vol. 1 by Natsuki Takaya

“Tohru Honda was an orphan with no place to go until the mysterious Sohma family offered her a place to call home. Now her ordinary high school life is turned upside down as she’s introduced to the Sohma’s world of magical curses and family secrets.”  Translated from Japanese

A girl moves in with a family who are all possessed by the spirits of the Chinese Zodiac. That sounds good. Again, I couldn’t get into this one. I had a hard time telling the male characters apart or even how many of them there were. Bad sign.

FruitsBasket

The art was fine but I’m starting to think that manga just isn’t for me.


A Bride's Story, Vol. 1 (A Bride's Story, #1)A Bride’s Story, Vol. 1 by Kaoru Mori

“Acclaimed creator Kaoru Mori (Emma, Shirley) brings the nineteenth-century Silk Road to lavish life, chronicling the story of Amir Halgal, a young woman from a nomadic tribe betrothed to a twelve-year-old boy eight years her junior. Coping with cultural differences, blossoming feelings for her new husband, and expectations from both her adoptive and birth families, Amir strives to find her role as she settles into a new life and a new home in a society quick to define that role for her.”  Translated from Japanese

I gasped when I opened this one. The art was extraordinary and very detailed.

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It is set in 1800s Turkmenistan. I loved the characters who all had distinct personalities. Amir isn’t just meekly trying to fit into her new family and the family isn’t trying to make her conform. I’m glad this moved away from that trope.

I am definitely continuing with this series.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Backlist Books
  • Books Set in Africa
  • Books Set in Asia
14 Aug, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

/ posted in: Reading

 I have 16 items checkout out of the library.  Help!  The problem is that I’ve been saving a lot of them for the Reading Quest readathon which finally started on the 13th.

Finished This Week

What Am I Reading?

These both work for Women in Translation Month and will fit on my Reading Quest board. 

 

What Am I Listening To?

Inspired by her grandmother s tales of cooking on the family farm, Thielen moves with her artist husband to the rustic, off-the-grid cabin he built in the woods. There, standing at the stove three times a day, she finds the seed of a growing food obsession that leads to the sensory madhouse of New York s top haute cuisine brigades. When she goes home, she comes face to face with her past, and a curious truth: that beneath every foie gras sauce lies a rural foundation of potatoes and onions, and that taste memory is the most important ingredient of all.


 

 

 

 

 

 


13 Aug, 2017

#TheReadingQuest

/ posted in: Reading

This is my recording page for The Reading Quest hosted by Read At Midnight.

Here’s the gameboard.

reading-quest-board1

I’m starting out as a mage.

mage

Books finished

One Word Title  Stained  +20  +20
Book with Magic  Valley of the Wolves  +10  +24
Mythology  Bride of the Water God  +20EX  +9HP
Different World  An Heir of Thorns and Steel  +20  +35
First in Series  Aya of Yop City
+20 +5

Side Quests

2 authors      
Multiplayer      
Grind      
Time Warp  My Soul to Take  +10 XP  +35 HP
Open World      
Respawn      
Expansion      
Mini-Game      
Animal Companion  The Rabbi’s Cat  +5 EX  +7 Hp

If I finish the Mage path, I’ll move on to the Bard.

bard

TV/Movie Adaptation      
Retelling      
Typography      
Translated      
Banned      

Tweets

10 Aug, 2017

Unbroken Line of the Moon – Women in Translation Month

/ posted in: Book ReviewReading Unbroken Line of the Moon – Women in Translation Month The Unbroken Line of the Moon by Johanne Hildebrandt, Tara F. Chace
Series: Sagan om Valhalla #4
on October 1, 2016
Genres: Fiction, Historical
Pages: 464
Format: eBook
Source: Owned
Goodreads
Setting: Sweden

In this grand saga of love, war, and magic set in the tenth century, young Sigrid is destined to be the mother of the king of the Nordic lands that would become Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and England.
A devout believer in the old Nordic gods, Sigrid is visited regularly in her dreams by the goddess Freya, who whispers to her of the future. Though Sigrid is beautiful, rich, arrogant, and matchlessly clever, her uncanny ability to foresee the future and manipulate the present guides her through dangerous politics as a bloody war between Vikings and Christians rages on.
Sigrid’s father wants her to marry Erik, a local king, to secure the peace between the Goths and the Swedes. Thinking she is doing Freya’s will, she accepts the marriage offer, only to find that her destiny lies not with Erik but with Sweyn, a warrior who dreams of dethroning Harald Bluetooth, the legendary ruler of Denmark. Will Sigrid sacrifice her will for the greatest Viking kingdom of all time, or will she follow her heart at the risk of losing everything?


I got this book for free through the Kindle First program for Amazon Prime members.  That’s a great way to try out some translated books since usually at least one of the selections are translated.

This book 4 of a series published in Sweden but it is the first book available in English.  The next book the series is going to be translated later in 2017.  I’m not sure what the first few books cover but I didn’t feel like I was missing anything by starting the story at this point.

This book is set during the time of the Vikings and everyone knows that they were awful.  That aspect of Viking life is not sugar coated here.  There is a lot of violence.  There are graphic descriptions of multiple gang rapes.

Despite that, I did enjoy this story.  I haven’t read much set during this time in Scandinavia when there was conflict between traditional Nordic beliefs and Christianity.    True believers on both sides are coming across people who will switch religions for personal or political gain.

If you like Game of Thrones style fantasy or historical fiction you will probably enjoy this book.

 

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Books Set in Europe
09 Aug, 2017

WIP Wednesday

/ posted in: Quilting

Look! I’m sewing. I mean, sure, I list quilting as one of my major hobbies but I hadn’t been doing much of it.

Recently I started working on two projects out of the gazillion I have in pieces in my sewing room.

De La Prominade by Quilt Fusion

I saw this pattern on Instagram when they were testing it. I had to have it even though it was completely impractical. It is a bed sized quilt when done, which I don’t need. I can make it a bit smaller by leaving off the outer borders. If I hang it, it would need to go horizontal and I don’t think I have a big enough spot. I still don’t care. I love it.

This is the center block. You trace the pattern pieces onto paper backed fusible web. Then you cut out all the pieces and build it.

 

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This block sits above the carousel block. This is designed to be quilt as you go. That’s nice because you don’t need to maneuver a big quilt through the machine. After I made the block I spray basted it to batting. Then I free motion quilt around all the pieces. Once the whole thing is together and quilted you add the backing fabric and quilt around the blocks to hold it all together.

 

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This is the block below the carousel.

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I also started on a snail quilt that I’ve had the pattern for for a while. The husband, who thinks he’s funny said, “That sounds like a slow project.” It turns out to be pretty quick though. I made all the bodies in one sitting. Then I’ve been making a few shells at a time. The finished lap sized quilt has 60 snails.

 

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08 Aug, 2017

I Survived The Husband’s Man Flu Without Needing Bail Money

/ posted in: Family

The husband is a hypochondriac. 

Even worse, the husband is a hypochondriac who actually does have a lot of strange and serious medical conditions.  Even though humans are the one species that I’m not legally allowed to treat, I spend a lot of time on his health care.

Sunday

Neither of us are feeling great.  I have a headache that won’t go away and it feels like a good idea to just lay in bed for the day.  Around lunch time he comes into the bedroom, wakes me up, and asks if I want something from Subway.  I say that that seems like a good idea.  He says, “Good.  Can you go get it?”

I roll over and look at him.  “You have clothes on.  I’m not dressed.  You want me to get up, get dressed, and go get Subway?”  Anyone who has been married as long as he has should know the danger sign of a woman repeating your request like that.  You, sir, are being given a chance to repent.  He did not. 

“Yes.  I’m so weak.  I would get in an accident.”

I ignored him and went back to sleep.  A little while later he was back waking me up again.  “I’m hungry…..” like we don’t have a house full of food.

I obviously wasn’t going to get any peace.  I got up, slowly got dressed, and asked what he wanted.  He objected when I wanted him to write it down.  He said it was simple enough to remember.  I did not start yelling.  I am proud.

I came back with his sandwich.  He asked me why I didn’t get one for myself.  I told him that I was fueled solely by rage.  I don’t think he understood me. I went back to bed. 

Monday

He takes the day off work.  I have to go in at 11 AM.  He asks if before I go I can go get him Gatorade and ginger ale.  Let’s discuss ginger ale.  Ginger is wonderful for nausea.  Ginger ale would be a great drink for the flu if, you know, it contained any ginger.  Ginger ale is mostly carbonated water, hi fructose corn syrup, and flavoring.  I’ve pointed this out repeatedly to him.  He doesn’t care.  Because I actually am a big believer in the power of ginger, we have ginger tea bags which would give you a big dose of good-for-you stuff.  He doesn’t want that.  I go try to find ginger ale.  Of course it isn’t at the first store I go to so I’m driving all around creation looking for the useless stuff. 

(During this I am remembering about the time I broke my pelvis when home alone.  Then I hopped on one leg for an hour to reach my car.  I drove to the hospital.  Was released without crutches and told to go buy some the next day.  My now ex-husband was on a business trip and had his phone turned off.  When I reached him 18 hours later and told him what had happened and that I needed him to go get me crutches so could he please drive straight home that day instead of going to his office as planned, he got mad.  Several years later he was still mad about it and kept bringing it up during our separation as proof that I WAS TOO NEEDY!  Please, that fool had obviously never met Too Needy.)

Anyway, I got all the stuff and brought it home and then went to work.  I get a text later that he thinks he needs to go to Urgent Care.  I have feelings about this.  Mostly I feel – “You have the flu.  Sleep it off.” I am completely unable to say this because of what happened last year.  Same situation.  He goes to the ER for the flu that I just slept off.  He gets a Cat Scan.  I rail about the wastefulness of human medicine.  He gets diagnosed with the flu and by the way, you have a tumor.  Cue every time I say that he is absolutely fine in the past year, he counters with, “That’s what you said before and it turned out I had cancer.”  He goes to Urgent Care and gets diagnosed with the flu and told to go home and sleep it off.  I point out that he doesn’t have any new cancer so that’s an improvement.  He says sadly, “They didn’t give me any scans.” 

I decide to sleep in the guest room away from his germs. 

11:00 PM

He wakes me up with his shivering.  How can a person’s shivering wake you up if you are two rooms away?  He has never applied the phrase Suffering in Silence to himself.  He sounded like a cold person who was also having an attack of the vapors.

I take his temperature.  It is 100.5.  I don’t tell him this because despite all evidence to the contrary he believes that his normal body temperature is 95 degrees.  I just say he has a fever.  I give him some meds to bring the fever down.  I tell him to take a shower.  I go to get him something to drink and notice that he has not opened any of the gatorade that was so important that morning.  I tuck him back in.  In an inspired piece of theater I move the infrared space heater into the room and turn it on.  As soon as he isn’t looking, I turn it off. 

11:15 PM

He starts yelling that the room is so hot.  I get up and go back to him.  I explain that he has a fever.  The room isn’t hot.  He springs up from laying down and says to me,

“Heather, look!  I literally can’t even move!”

That’s when I broke.  I started yelling.  “Now you are just telling outright lies!  Lay down.”  Add in some swearing to get exactly what I said.  He spent many years in the Army.  Yelling and swearing are sometimes the key to him. 

The fever was up a bit.  I figured that he didn’t remember already taking a shower a few minutes ago so I asked if he would like to take a cool bath.  He thought that was a fine idea.  As I was running the water, I actually had the thought that I should text my mother and see if she would start putting together some bail money in case I drowned that man. 

He got in the tub.  He started complaining about medical professionals who obviously sent him home to die.  I went full on drill sergeant.  “You are fine!  Stop it.  I will tell you when you are not fine.  Until then, I don’t want to hear it.”  Add in expletives. He calmed down.  Then he hopped out of the tub in a more sprightly manner than he would normally ever be able to do while telling me, “I am SO weak!”

He went back to sleep.

12:00 PM

Fever is down.  He’s sleeping.  I go to bed.

Tuesday

He’s freaking fine just like I said.  While writing this though he’s made me take his temperature and is trying to justify his actions last night.  Now he’s on the phone with his insurance agent (for a totally unrelated reason) and is reliving his life or death struggle and talking about how wonderfully I cared for him. 

Oh, that fool just said, “She works at 11.  I’m going to miss her even though she’s been slightly ornery. Only someone who loves you gets that ornery.”  I’m going to work before I need bail money again.

 

08 Aug, 2017

Reader’s Workout

/ posted in: Fitness

fitness

 

I haven’t done a Reader’s Workout post in forever.  I’m pretty happy with my fitness routine right now though so I thought I’d update.

I signed up for Strong by Bret.  This is a monthly service that gives you 3 – 4 weightlifting workouts for a month.  You do the same workout each week but increase the weight each time.  If you want more there are optional additional workouts based on your goals:

  • You can pick additional full workout if you want to work out your whole body more days (rest days are recommended though)
  • You can add on a supplemental glute workout to your workout days or your off days
  • If powerlifting is your goal there are additional strength-building workouts

I’ve just been doing the main workouts.  I keep meaning to do the supplemental glute workouts on off days but I forget.

I love, love, love this program.  It is exactly what I’ve been looking for.  It is all weight lifting.  No explicit cardio but I’m dripping sweat when I’m done.

I’m just starting my third month now.  I haven’t lost any weight but I have made strength gains.  There is a big emphasis on pull ups.  I use the machine in the gym that lets you offset your body weight on pull ups.  When I started I was only lifting 45 lbs for a few reps.  Now I’m doing 55 lbs for sets of 5.  It is still super wimpy but it is better.  I can see changes in my shoulder muscles.

The other nice thing about this is that it is planned with women in mind.  Most weightlifting plans have women as an afterthought.


The husband and I did the Biking Spree at our local MetroParks.  We had to ride 5 of the designated trails.  It is designed to get people out and exploring all the Parks.  These were all simple paved trails. It turned into a saga.  I bought a pretty pink bike.  Long painful story short – it was horrible. 

This was a bike that should have been bought by someone who rides only on level roads in Florida on the way to the library to get a basket full of books.  Despite having enough gears and only riding on fairly level ground, it was the hardest bike to ride I’ve ever met.  It would just stop if faced with a hill.  Not a mountain.  A long, slow incline was tough.  I’d be in first gear and pedaling for all I was worth and all of a sudden I wouldn’t be able to move the pedals anymore.  I took it back to the store and am having them try to sell it.  If I wasn’t anti-littering I would have left it on the side of a trail.  At least I wouldn’t have had to push it while walking back to the car.

I realized that when I got rid of that bike that I only had one ride left to finish the program.  I took the husband’s bike out and did the longest ride I had done so far in program.  It was no problem at all.  That proved to me that it was the bike and not me that was making the rest of the rides so freaking miserable.


I’ve never been able to do arm balances in yoga.  Teachers are always like, “It isn’t about strength.  It is just balance.” while I crash on the floor.  

I signed up for access to a video series teaching handstands and arm balances. There is a series of daily short practices to build skill.  I failed video number 3. I need to work on my skill in that one before moving on.  I know I have the strength to hold handstands against a wall once I get into them.  Getting upside down is hard for me.  This video series also works on fear of falling and fear of getting upside down.  We’ll see how I am able to progress.

07 Aug, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

/ posted in: Reading

 Finished This Week

The last three are for Women in Translation month.

 

What Am I Reading?

I have all the books out of the library.  Seriously, there is nothing left in the library. 

I have stacks of graphic novels for Women in Translation month.  I have other books that have shown up because it was finally my turn.  I have the translated books on my reader I was already planning on reading.

What do I have real or virtual bookmarks in right now?

 

What Am I Listening To?

 

 

 

 

 


 

 36267859641_2c88068a1f_o

The books I’ve read could fit in all kinds of places. The red dots are The Cost of Sugar and the blue are The Unbroken Line of the Moon and the grey dots are Bride’s Story.  I’ll have to see what else fits into to see if I’m ever able to make a bingo.

04 Aug, 2017

The Cost of Sugar – Women in Translation Month

/ posted in: Book ReviewReading The Cost of Sugar – Women in Translation Month The Cost of Sugar by Cynthia McLeod
Published by HopeRoad on January 7th 2011
Genres: Fiction, Historical
Pages: 296
Format: eBook
Source: Owned
Goodreads
Setting: Surinam

The Cost of Sugar is an intriguing history of those rabid times in Dutch Surinam between 1765-1779 when sugar was king.Told through the eyes of two Jewish step sisters, Eliza and Sarith, descendants of the settlers of 'New Jerusalem of the River' know today as Jodensvanne. The Cost of Sugar is a frank expose of the tragic toll on the lives of colonists and slaves alike.


This is the second novel that I have read by Cynthia McLeod.  She is a hard author for me to review.  On one hand I love the stories that she tells.  She gives you a look into life in colonial Suriname, on the northeast coast of South America.  She tells stories that I haven’t heard from any other author.  The previous book I read of hers, The Free Negress Elisabeth, is a story that has stayed in my mind because it is the type of women’s history that is so often overlooked.  I want to put her books in everyone’s hands and tell them they have to hear about this.

On the other hand though, the writing in the books just isn’t very good.  Clunky is the word that keeps coming to mind.  I’m reading an English translation from the Dutch but I don’t think that is the whole issue.  She is so careful to have so much documented historical fact in the books that she info-dumps continuously.  That doesn’t usually bother me in a story but these passages aren’t blended into the fictional story that she is telling well.  She even has footnotes.  I’m not sure what the footnotes were about because many of them weren’t translated.  The untranslated ones appeared to be quotes.

I’ve had this book for a long time before reading it.  I tried to start it a few times but the writing style made me stop after a few pages.  I decided to knuckle down and read it for Women in Translation Month.  Once I decided to power through, I read it in less than a day.  The story carries you through.

One early wave of settlers to Suriname were Portuguese Jews who migrated from Brazil.  They set up large plantations and did well for themselves.  Subsequent waves of settlers from Holland though were anti-Semitic and over time the Jewish families found themselves not at the top of society anymore.  This is the story of two half-sisters, one had two Jewish parents and one had only a Jewish father so was not considered Jewish herself. The story shows how their lives diverge as Suriname begins to deal with the effects of people living too far in debt for them to maintain. 

White people in Suriname did nothing for themselves.  There were so many more enslaved people than white people that whites gave all responsibilities for running their lives to the slaves.  With nothing to do, they entertained themselves with lavish parties that lasted for weeks.  Gossip was rampant.  There wasn’t a single rich white person that I didn’t want to slap at some point in this book.

The Cost of Sugar refers to all the lives wasted in the plantation system – the enslaved people, the white landowners, the Dutch soldiers brought into protect the plantations, the escaped and free blacks living in the jungle.  It was a system that hurt everyone.

It now occurred to Elza that her family was in fact a model for all Suriname society. Wasn’t everyone and everything totally dependent on the slaves? Just as she felt so completely lost without Maisa, so the colony would be totally lost without its slaves. They did everything and knew everything, and the whites knew nothing and were incapable of anything. The whites needed the negroes, but the negroes didn’t need a single white person”

 

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Backlist Books
  • Books Set in Latin America
  • POC authors
03 Aug, 2017

Women in Translation Month TBR

/ posted in: Book DiscussionReading

August is #WITMonth (Women In Translation).  When I heard about it, I looked on my Kindle app and my bookshelves to see what books I already had to read.  To my surprise, I found a bunch.

Swedish

The Unbroken Line of the Moon (Sagan om Valhalla #4; Valhalla #1)The Unbroken Line of the Moon by Johanne Hildebrandt

“In this grand saga of love, war, and magic set in the tenth century, young Sigrid is destined to be the mother of the king of the Nordic lands that would become Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and England.”

 

 


Spanish

Palm Trees in the SnowPalm Trees in the Snow by Luz Gabás

“When Clarence comes upon a series of letters from her family’s past, she starts to piece together the story of her father’s travels with his brother, and she becomes curious about her origins. Sifting through the clues and assembling the narrative, Clarence embarks on a journey to the exotic African isle of Fernando Poo, where the 2 brothers, Jacobo and Kilian, landed after fleeing their conventional, safe lives in the Spanish Pyrenees.”

Pierced by the SunPierced by the Sun by Laura Esquivel

“When Lupita witnesses the murder of a local politician whom she greatly admires, the ghosts of her past resurface as she tries to cope with the present. She quickly falls back into her old self-destructive habits and becomes a target of Mexico’s corrupt political machine. As the powers that be kick into high gear to ensure the truth remains hidden, Lupita finds solace in the purity of indigenous traditions. While she learns how to live simply, like her ancestors, she comes to understand herself and rediscovers light within a dark life. And if there is hope for Lupita’s redemption, perhaps there is hope for Mexico.”


Dutch

The cost of sugarThe cost of sugar by Cynthia Mc Leod

A history of 18th Century slavery in Suriname (1765-1779) … “a frank expose of life in the Dutch slave colony when sugar ruled as kind – and the tragic toll it took on the lives of colonists and slaves alike.”

 

 


Turkish

Last Train to IstanbulLast Train to Istanbul by Ayşe Kulin

“As the daughter of one of Turkey’s last Ottoman pashas, Selva could win the heart of any man in Ankara. Yet the spirited young beauty only has eyes for Rafael Alfandari, the handsome Jewish son of an esteemed court physician. In defiance of their families, they marry, fleeing to Paris to build a new life.

But when the Nazis invade France, the exiled lovers will learn that nothing—not war, not politics, not even religion—can break the bonds of family. For after they learn that Selva is but one of their fellow citizens trapped in France, a handful of brave Turkish diplomats hatch a plan to spirit the Alfandaris and hundreds of innocents, many of whom are Jewish, to safety.”


German

The Secret HealerThe Secret Healer by Ellin Carsta

“In the fourteenth century, opportunities for women are limited to the home. But spirited young Madlen finds her calling as assistant to the city’s trusted midwife, Clara. Working alongside Clara, Madlen develops a surprisingly soothing technique and quickly becomes a talented healer.

After Clara’s tragic death, Madlen alone rushes to assist the birth of a local nobleman’s child. But rather than the joy of birth, Madlen walks into an accusation of murder and witchcraft because of her extraordinary gifts.”


Polish

Family History of Fear: A MemoirFamily History of Fear: A Memoir by Agata Tuszyńska

 

“The author was nineteen years old and living in Warsaw when her mother told her the truth—that she was Jewish—and began to tell her stories of the family’s secret past in Poland. Tuszyńska, who grew up in a country beset by anti-Semitism, rarely hearing the word “Jew” (only from her Polish Catholic father, and then, always in derision), was unhinged, ashamed, and humiliated. The author writes of how she skillfully erased the truth within herself, refusing to admit the existence of her other half.”


And then I figured graphic novels would be a good, fast way to read some more since I know I won’t get all the books I have listed read.  I might have gone a bit overboard with my library requests but I was impressed by how many they had. I’m sure they have a lot more but this is a start.

French

Aya: Life in Yop City (Aya #1-3)Aya: Life in Yop City by Marguerite Abouet

 

“Ivory Coast, 1978. It’s a golden time, and the nation, too—an oasis of affluence and stability in West Africa—seems fueled by something wondrous. Aya is loosely based upon Marguerite Abouet’s youth in Yop City. It is the story of the studious and clear-sighted nineteen-year-old Aya, her easygoing friends Adjoua and Bintou, and their meddling relatives and neighbors. It’s a wryly funny, breezy account of the simple pleasures and private troubles of everyday life in Yop City.”

Blue Is the Warmest ColorBlue Is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh

“Clementine is a junior in high school who seems average enough: she has friends, family, and the romantic attention of the boys in her school. When her openly gay best friend takes her out on the town, she wanders into a lesbian bar where she encounters Emma: a punkish, confident girl with blue hair. Their attraction is instant and electric, and Clementine find herself in a relationship that will test her friends, parents, and her own ideas about herself and her identity.”

 


Korean

Bride of the Water God, Volume 1Bride of the Water God, Volume 1 by Mi-Kyung Yun

“When Soah’s impoverished, desperate village decides to sacrifice her to the Water God Habaek to end a long drought, they believe that drowning one beautiful girl will save their entire community and bring much-needed rain. Not only is Soah surprised to be rescued by the Water God — instead of killed — she never imagined she’d be a welcomed guest in Habaek’s magical kingdom, where an exciting new life awaits her!”


Japanese

Fruits Basket, Vol. 1Fruits Basket, Vol. 1 by Natsuki Takaya

“Tohru Honda was an orphan with no place to go until the mysterious Sohma family offered her a place to call home. Now her ordinary high school life is turned upside down as she’s introduced to the Sohma’s world of magical curses and family secrets.”

 

A Bride's Story, Vol. 1 (A Bride's Story, #1)A Bride’s Story, Vol. 1 by Kaoru Mori

“Acclaimed creator Kaoru Mori (Emma, Shirley) brings the nineteenth-century Silk Road to lavish life, chronicling the story of Amir Halgal, a young woman from a nomadic tribe betrothed to a twelve-year-old boy eight years her junior. Coping with cultural differences, blossoming feelings for her new husband, and expectations from both her adoptive and birth families, Amir strives to find her role as she settles into a new life and a new home in a society quick to define that role for her.”


Now we all know that I can’t follow a TBR to save my life, so stay tuned to see which of these I manage to read!

02 Aug, 2017

The Dress in the Window

/ posted in: Book ReviewReading The Dress in the Window The Dress in the Window by Sofia Grant
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks on July 25th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Historical
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: Book Tour, From author/publisher
Goodreads
Setting: Pennsylvania

World War II has ended and American women are shedding their old clothes for the gorgeous new styles. Voluminous layers of taffeta and tulle, wasp waists, and beautiful color—all so welcome after years of sensible styles and strict rationing.
Jeanne Brink and her sister Peggy both had to weather every tragedy the war had to offer—Peggy now a widowed mother, Jeanne without the fiancé she’d counted on, both living with Peggy’s mother-in-law in a grim mill town. But despite their grey pasts they long for a bright future—Jeanne by creating stunning dresses for her clients with the help of her sister Peggy’s brilliant sketches.
Together, they combine forces to create amazing fashions and a more prosperous life than they’d ever dreamed of before the war. But sisterly love can sometimes turn into sibling jealousy. Always playing second fiddle to her sister, Peggy yearns to make her own mark. But as they soon discover, the future is never without its surprises, ones that have the potential to make—or break—their dreams.


None of the women in this story expected to live a life without their men.  Now, after World War II, they are trying to adapt to what their lives have become. 

Jeanne is a talented seamstress but making knock off dresses for rich women in her small town isn’t enough to make ends meet.  Peggy is a good designer but with a small daughter she needs to find a way to make money.  Thelma is Peggy’s mother in law.  She owns the house they live in and is barely keeping them afloat.

Thelma was my favorite character in this book.  She is portrayed as the matriarch but she is only in her mid-40s.  She has a lot of secrets including lovers who will still do her some favors as the need arises.  She is smart but always underestimated due to her gender and socioeconomic condition.  She comes up with a plan to help them all based on secrets, blackmail, and her talents. 

This is a good look at life for women who were forced to grow up quickly because of war.  Peggy has a child that she probably wouldn’t have had so young if not for the war making things feel urgent.  Jeanne is concerned about being a spinster forever because of the lack of men. 

Overall, this is a grim book.  Times were tough and the women had to be even tougher to get through it. 

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Books Set in North America
31 Jul, 2017

July 2017 Wrap Up

/ posted in: Reading

I had another month off of work but starting in August I’ll be earning my keep again.  So, this is the last month of big reading numbers.

I read 23 books and novellas this month.

I had a bit of a binge on M.C.A. Hogarth’s novels and short stories.

 

I read some nonfiction.

 

Fiction

 

The books were:

  • Set in Syria, Malaya, England, Japan, India, and the U.S. (Minnesota, South Dakota, New York, Pennsylvania, California, Wisconsin)
  • 3 audiobooks – all nonfiction

The authors were:

  • 11 unique female authors and 6 male authors
  • M.C.A Hogarth 5 times and Seanan McGuire 3 times
  • 1 Indian man, 1 Latina woman (over and over again), 1 Japanese woman, 1 Belgian-Japanese woman, 1 Malaysian woman, 7 white women, and 5 white men.

Women In Translation Month – an August event

I’m going to try to read some of my books in translation for this event. I have a TBR post coming up later in the week. I found this bingo card for the event. So far my book choices are all over the place with no bingo in sight.

IMG_0746


Another fun event is this one based on a videogame.  You choose your character and follow the book prompts on their path.  I’m going to start as a mage and if I finish that I’m going to try the bard path. There are a lot of rules about how to earn points.  The squares in the middle are side quests open to everyone.

reading-quest-board1

mage

bard

You almost have to do it because the graphics by CW of Read, Think, Ponder are so cute!

It doesn’t start until the middle of August and runs for a month.  I’m not sure about my TBR yet.  A lot of the books I have planned to read for #WITmonth would work here but I’m not sure what I’ll have already read by the time this starts. 

I’ll post a TBR and point recording page on August 13, when this starts.


 

Reading All Around the World challenge from Howling Frog Books

  • Read a nonfiction book about the country – or
  • Read fiction written by a native of the country or someone living for a long time in the country.

I didn’t add any countries this month.  🙁 With the books I’m planning on reading soon, I should be able to add a few more.

 

 

28 Jul, 2017

Good Friday on the Rez

/ posted in: Book ReviewReading Good Friday on the Rez Good Friday on the Rez: A Pine Ridge Odyssey by David Hugh Bunnell
Published by St. Martin's Press on April 25th 2017
Genres: Nonfiction, Personal Memoirs
Pages: 288
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Goodreads
Setting: South Dakota

Good Friday on the Rez introduces readers to places and people that author, writer, and entrepreneur David Bunnell encounters during his one day, 280-mile road trip from his boyhood Nebraska hometown to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to visit his longtime friend, Vernell White Thunder, a full-blooded Oglala Lakota, descendant of a long line of prominent chiefs and medicine men.
This captivating narrative is part memoir and part history. Bunnell shares treasured memories of his time living on and teaching at the reservation. Sometimes raw and sometimes uplifting, Bunnell looks back to expose the difficult life and experiences faced by the descendants of Crazy Horse, Red Cloud, and Sitting Bull while also illuminating their courageous resiliency.


The first thing that needs to be made clear is that this is not written by a Native American author.  I didn’t realize that until I started reading the book.

The author is a white man who has lived on or near the Pine Ridge Lakota reservation off and on through his life.  He is going to visit a man who he met when the author was teaching school on the reservation.  Vernell White Thunder was one of his students in the 1970s.

The road trip is used as a narrative device to comment on events from history and current events that affect life on the reservation.  As the author passes towns where events occurred, he discusses them.  This is a good introduction to the history of United States military treatment of the Native people.  He also touches on:

  • systemic and institutional racism faced by the tribe
  • poverty
  • the effects of alcoholism
  • the importance of Wounded Knee (both the massacre in the 1800s and the uprising in the 1970s)

As he gets closer to the reservation, he gives more information about Vernell.  He is looking for Perrier and Dinty Moore beef stew to take to Vernell.  He tells some jokes that Vernell tells that are very self-deprecating.  I have seen reviews that tear this book apart because of this.  In every case, the reviewer stopped reading the book at this point because they felt that the author was negatively portraying a native man.  I thought that was interesting.  I think it is more of a statement of the inherent expectations of the reviewer than the author.  They seem to assume that Vernell is going to be a poor man living on the reservation who needs beef stew as charity and that this author is exploiting him. 

When you meet Vernell, you find out that he is:

  • an entrepreneur
  • a mentor to local teens
  • the owner of a resort that gets guests from all over the world
  • a successful rancher raising buffalo and horses
  • a large landowner on several reservations
  • the son of a respected chief who was was taking over more of his father’s duties as his father’s health declined

Vernell White Thunder is so cool that he’s almost a rock star.

The author discusses the changes that he has seen in younger Native generations.  He hopes that today’s young people are the Seventh Generation since the military suppression of the tribes that were foretold as the generation who will live up the tribes again.  He is hopeful because of the resurgence of tribal language speakers and young people proud of their history.

The author died before publication of the book so it was bittersweet to read about the wonderful things that he wanted to live to see this generation accomplish.  Although it discusses a lot of dark history, at the end this is a hopeful book.  It is a testament to the people of Pine Ridge and one enduring friendship that started there.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Books Set in North America
27 Jul, 2017

The Gilded Years

/ posted in: Book ReviewReading The Gilded Years The Gilded Years by Karin Tanabe
Published by Simon and Schuster on July 1, 2016
Genres: Fiction, Historical
Pages: 379
Format: eBook
Source: Playster
Goodreads
Setting: New York

Since childhood, Anita Hemmings has longed to attend the country’s most exclusive school for women, Vassar College. Now, a bright, beautiful senior in the class of 1897, she is hiding a secret that would have banned her from admission: Anita is the only African-American student ever to attend Vassar. With her olive complexion and dark hair, this daughter of a janitor and descendant of slaves has successfully passed as white, but now finds herself rooming with Louise “Lottie” Taylor, the scion of one of New York’s most prominent families.
Though Anita has kept herself at a distance from her classmates, Lottie’s sphere of influence is inescapable, her energy irresistible, and the two become fast friends. Pulled into her elite world, Anita learns what it’s like to be treated as a wealthy, educated white woman—the person everyone believes her to be—and even finds herself in a heady romance with a moneyed Harvard student. It’s only when Lottie becomes infatuated with Anita’s brother, Frederick, whose skin is almost as light as his sister’s, that the situation becomes particularly perilous. And as Anita’s college graduation looms, those closest to her will be the ones to dangerously threaten her secret.


I loved this story of a woman trying to get an education at Vassar before they accepted African-American students.  Her life is compared and contrasted to the life of her brother who was enrolled as a Negro student at newly desegregated MIT.  Where he is able to live relatively freely because the racists just ignored and/or avoided him, her attempts to keep from drawing attention to herself were thwarted by a roommate who is determined to be best friends.  Lottie drags Anita into a high class social life and introduces her to people who she knows wouldn’t talk to her if they knew she was black.

The book addresses the pain of having to cut family members out of your life if you are passing.

The author did a good job of incorporating the views of many different types of people – black people who saw this as a practical way to get an education, black people who wanted her to be a vocal proponent for civil rights, white people both for and against desegregation, and white people who were against bigotry until events touched their lives.

What I found most remarkable about this story is that it is based on real events.  I wasn’t surprised by a woman passing as white to attend a segregated college but I was surprised about some of the details that seemed a bit over the top that turned out to be based in reality.  I can’t discuss it all because of spoilers but make sure to read the historical note at the end.

A good companion to this book would be:

 A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in AmericaA Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in America by Allyson Hobbs

“Between the eighteenth and mid-twentieth centuries, countless African Americans passed as white, leaving behind families and friends, roots and community. It was, as Allyson Hobbs writes, a chosen exile, a separation from one racial identity and the leap into another. This revelatory history of passing explores the possibilities and challenges that racial indeterminacy presented to men and women living in a country obsessed with racial distinctions. It also tells a tale of loss.”

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Backlist Books
  • Books Set in North America
  • POC authors
25 Jul, 2017

The Dreamhealers Series by MCA Hogarth

/ posted in: Book ReviewReading The Dreamhealers Series by MCA Hogarth Mindtouch by M.C.A. Hogarth
Series: Dreamhealers #1
Published by Studio MCAH on June 15, 2013
Genres: Fiction, Science Fiction
Pages: 426
Format: eBook
Source: Owned, Playster
Goodreads

Seersana University is worlds-renowned for its xenopsychology program, producing the Alliance's finest therapists, psychiatric nurses and alien researchers. When Jahir, one of the rare and reclusive Eldritch espers, arrives on campus, he's unprepared for the challenges of a vast and multicultural society... but fortunately, second-year student Vasiht'h is willing to take him under his wing. Will the two win past their troubles and doubts and see the potential for a once-in-a-lifetime partnership?


M.C.A. Hogarth’s Pelted Universe is a place where humans genetically engineered human/animal hybrids.  These “pelted people” eventually fled from the humans on Earth out into space.  They set up a peaceful multicultural society across planets as life on Earth regressed.  Once humans started exploring space again, they found the species that they created had developed a rich society.

That is the premise for several series that she has written in this universe.  I read the series that starts with Earthrise last year so I was familiar with the world.  That series has a lot more action than this one.  I’m glad I started there to get a sense of the universe.  This series is very different.  It is a very quiet and sweet story two members of empathic species that form a deep bond.

The Eldrich are a mysterious humanoid species.  They have chosen to self-isolate on their planet.  They can read a person’s mind if they touch them so accidental touch is avoided at all cost.  They are also very long lived.  Their society is one of court intrigue and careful deception.  Few leave the planet and those that do are forbidden to talk about the society.

Jahir is an Eldrich who is studying for a xenopsychology degree.  He finds an unexpected roommate in Vasiht’h, a small centaur-like Galeash.  The Galeash speak mostly mind to mind.  They are aromantic and asexual-spectrum.  Vasiht’h takes Jahir under his wing to show him around the university.  They start to develop a bond that Vasiht’h has only heard about in stories – a mindline.  It is a very deep platonic bond between two soul mate empaths.  What will this mean for their lives?  Should they let this form if Jahir is going to live for centuries after Vasiht’h dies?

This book reads like a sweet romance novel without the romance.  Not much actually happens.  They make friends, go to school, volunteer, bake cookies, and eat ice cream.  I loved it though.  I’ve never read a book that celebrates aromantic relationships.  They are deciding if they are going to be life partners.


The Dreamhealers Series by MCA Hogarth Mindline by M.C.A. Hogarth
Series: Dreamhealers #2
Published by Studio MCAH on December 14, 2013
Pages: 316
Goodreads

At the advice of Vasiht'h, his first and truest friend, Jahir Seni Galare has accepted one of the most coveted residencies in xenotherapy, even though doing so has severed him from all the relationships he's fostered since leaving his cloistered homeworld. But not all the simulations at school have prepared him for the reality of being an esper in a hospital large enough to serve the winter capital of the entire Alliance, and it's not long before he's questioning the wisdom of having left the university for the tumult of one of the largest port cities in the known worlds.

When Vasiht'h follows Jahir to Selnor, he's not sure whether his plan is to help his friend survive his residency, or to drag him back to Seersana University and into a less strenuous program. But a storm is coming to Heliocentrus, one they're uniquely positioned to address, and their nascent mental link is about to receive its first test in the crucible that will either forge their lifelong partnership—or kill them both.

This is the most action packed of the books.  They have started to get an idea of what they can do to help mental health while working with dreaming patients.  Now there is a series of comatose patients who present to the emergency department where Jahir is working.  No medical intervention is helping and they all die.  He is determined to help them but touching them when they are dying is draining the life from Jahir.

This book does a good job of addressing the need for self-care in healing professions. He is sick and working with these patients is harming him but what is his responsibility?


The Dreamhealers Series by MCA Hogarth Dreamhearth by M.C.A. Hogarth
Series: Dreamhealers #3
Published by Studio MCAH on July 7, 2017
Goodreads

Jahir and Vasiht’h have earned their licenses as xenotherapists at last, and they have their hearts set on starting their practice in one of the Alliance’s most exciting and cosmopolitan destinations: a sector starbase. But dream therapy is a revolutionary treatment modality, and as esper practictioners they will have to work hard to win the trust of their community. Not only that, but they have a deadline: if they can’t prove themselves an asset to the starbase within six months, they’ll have to leave!

I hadn’t noticed until I wrote this review that this book was just published.  I guess I picked the right time to binge read the series!

One cute touch in this book is a novel that Vasiht’h‘s sisters give him to read.  It is supposedly a romance story between an Eldrich woman and a Pelted man.  They make fun of it through the novel for being poorly written.  The story was actually one of the first stories the author wrote as a teenager when she was imaging this universe.  It was never published because of the all the huge problems that the characters make fun of.  It was a funny touch.

More ice cream in this book and now there are scones in different flavors every day! 

This is still a quiet series where not a lot happens but it is fun to just learn about these characters and the people who they help. 

About M.C.A. Hogarth

Daughter of two Cuban political exiles, M.C.A. Hogarth was born a foreigner in the American melting pot and has had a fascination for the gaps in cultures and the bridges that span them ever since. She has been many things—-web database architect, product manager, technical writer and massage therapist—-but is currently a full-time parent, artist, writer and anthropologist to aliens, both human and otherwise.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Backlist Books
  • LBGTQ authors/characters
  • POC authors
24 Jul, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

/ posted in: Reading

 Finished This Week

I binged a series.

I also played along with the 24in48 Readathon so I finished a few short stories and an audiobook and some other books.

What Am I Reading?

After I finished all the reading this weekend for the readathon, I’m not sure what I have planned next.  I didn’t follow my readathon TBR at all so maybe I’ll go back and catch up on some of those books.

What Am I Listening To?

This has something to do with physics and finding out why magic quit working in the 1800 and time travel but I’m not far into it yet.

 

What Else Have I Been Doing?

 We are participating in a Bike Spree at our local metroparks.  We need to ride 5 different designated trails.  These aren’t hard mountain biking trails.  They are either paved or crushed limestone.  So far we did two.  The longest was only 6.1 miles.  That’s enough for me.  I have to stop and take pictures and I keep one earbud in my ear so I can listen to a book and not get bored while biking.
 

 

 
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22 Jul, 2017

24 in 48 Readathon

/ posted in: Bookish LifeReading

This is my update page for the 24 in 48 hours Readathon.  I’ll be posting through the day with the time I’ve been reading, what I’ve been reading, and any challenges I enter.

Hour Time Read Elapsed Time Notes
0 – 12:00 AM  8:18  8:18  Frogs and Kisses
1  9:03  17:21  Frogs and Kisses 
2      
3      
4      
5  25  42  Audiobook
6  1:00:00  1:42:00  Audiobook
7  1:00:00  2:42:00  Audiobook
8  1:00:00  3:42:00  Audiobook
9      
10    4:30  
11    5:28:13  2nd audiobook
12 – noon Sat.      
13      
14      
15    6:30:43  Good friday. .
16      
17      
18      
19      
20      
21    11:13:48:48  
22      
23      
24 – midnight      
25      
26      
27      
28      
29      
30      
31 – 7 AM      
32      
33      
34      
35      
36 – noon      
37      
38    18 hours  
39      
40      
41      
42      
43      
44 – 8 PM    21:00:00  
45      
46      
47      
48    Done at 11:35 PM!
 
Totals      

IMG_0744

Screenshot_20170723-115242.png

I had two timers over the course of the weekend so you need to add them together to see that I made it! Barely. It was 11:35 PM when I finished.

21 Jul, 2017

Planning for 24 in 48

/ posted in: Reading

I decided to join in on the 24in48 Readathon.  I’ve never done a time based readathon before.  I always figured that they weren’t all that different from my normal life.  But, I actually heard about this before it started so I decided to give it a go.

The idea is that you try to read for 24 out of the 48 hours starting 12:00 AM July 22.  You record your times and there are challenges to participate in during the weekend.  I don’t think that I’ll make it to 24 hours because I have a husband and I like to sleep.  I can see myself trying to explain this to the husband.  “You see, I’ll be ignoring you all weekend because I have to read an arbitrary amount more than I actually usually read for no reason other than I want to.”  So, I’ll see what I get done.  I’m also not planning on staying up nights because I am a sleep-lover!

It seems like people are making up a lot of TBR lists.  We all know that I can’t stick to a TBR to save my life.  My first instinct is to run to the library to stock up like I don’t have stacks of books here that need read.  My TBR is my house and my iPad.

Some of the books that I might get to:

If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?: My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating by Alan Alda – My current audiobook

Junk Raft: An Ocean Voyage and a Rising Tide of Activism to Fight Plastic Pollution by Marcus Eriksen – possibly my next audiobook

Family by M.C.A. Hogarth – a novella from a series that I’ve binged over the past two days

From there I’m willing to let it be a surprise.

It seems like the other thing people are doing to prepare is buying snacks.  I never realized it until I had to answer a question about my favorite things to eat/drink while reading but I don’t tend to snack or drink while reading.  That isn’t a conscious choice.  It just turns out that way. Maybe I’ll buy some popcorn though because it is a special occasion. 

I also need to make sure the iPad, my phone (audiobooks), and the bluetooth headphones are all plugged in before I go to bed tonight.

Is anyone playing along?  Have I missed anything? 

 

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