Showing Posts From: Bookish Life

11 Jun, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

/ posted in: Bookish LifeReading

 

Finished This Week

 

 

 

What Am I Reading?

“As a child, Coriel Halsing spent many glorious summers at Castle Auburn with her half-sister-and fell in love with a handsome prince who could never be hers. But now that she is a young woman, she begins to see the dark side of this magical place…”

I love a later series by this author so I want to try this one even though it is very different.

“It’s not easy being an undercover restaurant critic—especially when you’re only twelve years old!

After successfully completing her first restaurant review for the New York Standard newspaper, Gladys Gatsby is looking forward to a quiet summer of cooking and eating. But her plans quickly go awry when her friend Charissa Bentley delivers Gladys’s birthday gift: a free summer at Camp Bentley.

As Gladys feared, camp life is not easy; she struggles to pass her swim test, can’t keep the other campers happy while planning lunches, and cannot seem to get away from the annoying new “celebrity” camper. The worst part is she’s not able to find a moment to sneak away for her latest reviewing assignment: finding the best hot dog in New York City. But when Gladys learns that her hot dog assignment might actually be a dirty trick made up by a jealous fellow critic, she fears her reviewing career could be over forever.

When the Imagine Network commissioned a documentary on mermaids, to be filmed from the cruise ship Atargatis, they expected what they had always received before: an assortment of eyewitness reports that proved nothing, some footage that proved even less, and the kind of ratings that only came from peddling imaginary creatures to the masses.

They didn’t expect actual mermaids. They certainly didn’t expect those mermaids to have teeth.

This is the story of the Atargatis, lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy. Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the bathypelagic zone in the Mariana Trench…and the depths are very good at keeping secrets.”

Indelbed is a lonely kid living in a crumbling mansion in the super dense, super chaotic third world capital of Bangladesh. When he learns that his dead mother was a djinn — more commonly known as a genie — and that his drunken loutish father is a sitting emissary to the djinns (e.g. a magician), his whole world is turned inside out. Suddenly, and for reasons that totally escape him, his father is found in a supernatural coma, and Indelbed is kidnapped by the djinn and delivered to a subterranean prison. Back in the city, his cousin Rais and his family struggle to make sense of it all, as an impending catastrophe threatens to destroy everything they know. Needless to say, everything is resting on Indelbed’s next move — and he’s got a new partner to help him: the world’s most evil djinn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

28 May, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

/ posted in: Bookish LifeReading

 

Finished This Week

 

 

I also read a short story included with Tricks for Free called:

The Recitation of the Most Holy and Harrowing Pilgrimage of Mindy and Also Mork

 

What Am I Reading?

I’m halfway through this one.  I have a wild guess as to what happened.

 

Marianne is stuck in a loveless, unhappy marriage. After forty-one years, she has reached her limit, and one evening in Paris she decides to take action. Following a dramatic moment on the banks of the Seine, Marianne leaves her life behind and sets out for the coast of Brittany, also known as the end of the world.

Here she meets a cast of colorful and unforgettable locals who surprise her with their warm welcome, and the natural ease they all seem to have, taking pleasure in life s small moments. And, as the parts of herself she had long forgotten return to her in this new world, Marianne learns it s never too late to begin the search for what life should have been all along. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

21 May, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

/ posted in: Bookish LifeReading

 

Finished This Week


 

 

What Am I Reading?

“For centuries the Koh-i-Noor diamond has set man against man and king against king. Now part of the British Crown Jewels, the priceless gem is a prize that many have killed to possess. So when the Crown Jewels go on display in Mumbai, security is everyone’s principal concern. And yet, on the very day Inspector Chopra visits the exhibition, the diamond is stolen from under his nose. The heist was daring and seemingly impossible. The hunt is on for the culprits. But it soon becomes clear that only one man – and his elephant – can possibly crack this case…

More baby elephant mysteries!  How could I resist?

“Some people would call Lowryland the amusement park. It’s one of the largest in Florida, the keystone of the Lowry entertainment empire…but for Annie, it’s a place to hide. She’s just trying to keep her head down long enough to come up with a plan that will get her home without getting anyone killed. No small order when she’s rooming with gorgons and sylphs, trying to placate frustrated ghosts, and rushing to get to work on time.

Then the accidents begin. The discovery of a dead man brings Annie to the attention of the secret cabal of magic users running Lowryland from behind the scenes. They want the fire that sleeps in her fingers. They want her on their side. They want to help her—although their help, like everything else, comes with a price.”

 

 

 

 

 

14 May, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

/ posted in: Bookish LifeReading

 

Finished This Week

After being on an absolute tear last week and finishing six books, I only finished one this week.

 

What Am I Reading?

I’m still working through After the Wedding.  It has some mistaken identity themes which isn’t a trope I like.  I think that’s what’s slowing me down since I normally inhale Courtney Milan’s books in a day.

I picked up this book from the library to add to my AsianLitBingo reading.

“On the day he retires, Inspector Ashwin Chopra inherits two unexpected mysteries.

The first is the case of a drowned boy, whose suspicious death no one seems to want solved. And the second is a baby elephant. As his search for clues takes him across the teeming city of Mumbai, from its grand high rises to its sprawling slums and deep into its murky underworld, Chopra begins to suspect that there may be a great deal more to both his last case and his new ward than he thought. And he soon learns that when the going gets tough, a determined elephant may be exactly what an honest man needs…”

A baby elephant helps solve mysteries!  I’m not a mystery fan but that was before baby elephants were helping.


Ramadan Readathon starts this week and lasts for a month.  All the details are here.  I don’t have a full TBR for this but I’ll finish up A World of Three Zeros once I find where I put it.  I was quite enjoying it.  I put it down.  It disappeared into the abyss. 

 

Some other possibilities are:

Three Daughters of EveThree Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak

“Peri, a married, wealthy, beautiful Turkish woman, is on her way to a dinner party at a seaside mansion in Istanbul when a beggar snatches her handbag. As she wrestles to get it back, a photograph falls to the ground — an old polaroid of three young women and their university professor. A relic from a past — and a love — Peri had tried desperately to forget.

Three Daughters of Eve is set over an evening in contemporary Istanbul, as Peri arrives at the party and navigates the tensions that simmer in this crossroads country between East and West, religious and secular, rich and poor. Over the course of the dinner, and amidst an opulence that is surely ill-begotten, terrorist attacks occur across the city. Competing in Peri’s mind however are the memories invoked by her almost-lost polaroid, of the time years earlier when she was sent abroad for the first time, to attend Oxford University. As a young woman there, she had become friends with the charming, adventurous Shirin, a fully assimilated Iranian girl, and Mona, a devout Egyptian-American. Their arguments about Islam and feminism find focus in the charismatic but controversial Professor Azur, who teaches divinity, but in unorthodox ways. As the terrorist attacks come ever closer, Peri is moved to recall the scandal that tore them all apart.”

Djinn CityDjinn City by Saad Hossain

“Indelbed is a lonely kid living in a crumbling mansion in the super dense, super chaotic third world capital of Bangladesh. When he learns that his dead mother was a djinn — more commonly known as a genie — and that his drunken loutish father is a sitting emissary to the djinns (e.g. a magician), his whole world is turned inside out. Suddenly, and for reasons that totally escape him, his father is found in a supernatural coma, and Indelbed is kidnapped by the djinn and delivered to a subterranean prison. Back in the city, his cousin Rais and his family struggle to make sense of it all, as an impending catastrophe threatens to destroy everything they know. Needless to say, everything is resting on Indelbed’s next move — and he’s got a new partner to help him: the world’s most evil djinn.”

07 May, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

/ posted in: Bookish LifeReading

 

Finished This Week

I posted about finding out that I was accidentally doing AsianLitBingo.  I decided to go along with the theme.  These all have Asian authors or main characters or both.

 

What Am I Reading?

 

I’m about halfway through Dread Nation. It doesn’t fit the theme but it is a library book that needs to go back soon.

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies.”

 

“Adrian Hunter has concealed his identity and posed as a servant to assist his powerful uncle. He’s on the verge of obtaining the information he needs when circumstances spiral out of his control. He’s caught alone with a woman he scarcely knows. When they’re discovered in this compromising circumstance, he’s forced to marry her at gunpoint. Luckily, his uncle should be able to obtain an annulment. All Adrian has to do is complete his mission…and not consummate the marriage, no matter how enticing the bride may be.

Lady Camilla Worth has never expected much out of life—not since her father was convicted of treason and she was passed from family to family. A marriage, no matter how unfortunate the circumstances under which it was contracted, should mean stability. It’s unfortunate that her groom doesn’t agree. But Camilla has made the best of worse circumstances. She is determined to make her marriage work. All she has to do is seduce her reluctant husband.

23 Apr, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

/ posted in: Bookish LifeReading

 

Finished This Week

 

 

What Am I Reading?

 

All leaders are constrained by geography. Their choices are limited by mountains, rivers, seas and concrete. Yes, to follow world events you need to understand people, ideas and movements – but if you don’t know geography, you’ll never have the full picture.

16 Apr, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

/ posted in: Bookish LifeReading

 

Finished Recently

I am just not feeling my reading lately.  I need something that is going to suck me into its world. 

 

What Am I Reading?

Space Opera

“IN SPACE EVERYONE CAN HEAR YOU SING

A century ago, the Sentience Wars tore the galaxy apart and nearly ended the entire concept of intelligent space-faring life. In the aftermath, a curious tradition was invented-something to cheer up everyone who was left and bring the shattered worlds together in the spirit of peace, unity, and understanding.

Once every cycle, the civilizations gather for the Metagalactic Grand Prix – part gladiatorial contest, part beauty pageant, part concert extravaganza, and part continuation of the wars of the past. Instead of competing in orbital combat, the powerful species that survived face off in a competition of song, dance, or whatever can be physically performed in an intergalactic talent show. The stakes are high for this new game, and everyone is forced to compete.

This year, though, humankind has discovered the enormous universe. And while they expected to discover a grand drama of diplomacy, gunships, wormholes, and stoic councils of aliens, they have instead found glitter, lipstick and electric guitars. Mankind will not get to fight for its destiny – they must sing.

A one-hit-wonder band of human musicians, dancers and roadies from London – Decibel Jones and the Absolute Zeroes – have been chosen to represent Earth on the greatest stage in the galaxy. And the fate of their species lies in their ability to rock.”

One Hundred and Four Horses

‘A letter is handed to you. In broken English, it tells you that you must now vacate your farm; that this is no longer your home, for it now belongs to the crowd on your doorstep. Then the drums begin to beat.’

As the land invasions gather pace, the Retzlaffs begin an epic journey across Zimbabwe, facing eviction after eviction, trying to save the group of animals with whom they feel a deep and enduring bond – the horses.

When their neighbours flee to New Zealand, the Retzlaffs promise to look after their horses, and making similar promises to other farmers along their journey, not knowing whether they will be able to feed or save them, they amass an astonishing herd of over 300 animals. But the final journey to freedom will be arduous, and they can take only 104 horses.”

 

02 Apr, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

/ posted in: Bookish LifeReading

 

Finished This Week

 

DNF

Yeah, I did that.  Everyone loves this book!  Why did I quit?

It was well written.  It was imaginative.  But I got halfway through and realized that I just didn’t care to find out what was going to happen.  That’s an issue with a lot of YA fantasy I read.  I end up not caring at all about the resolution. 

For this book at least, I feel confident saying that wasn’t the book, it was me. 

What Am I Reading?

I have so many books out from the library right now.  I’m ignoring most of them.  I’m drawn mostly towards comfort reads right now and what I have from the library is most definitely not that.

I want to read all these books.  When it is reading time I look at them, shrug, and download another romance book. 

What Am I Listening To? 

Nothing.

Seriously, no audiobook.  I downloaded a few but nothing is sticking right now.  What is sticking is the West Wing Weekly podcast.  Sometimes I feel bad listening to podcasts in the car because I feel like it is wasting audiobook time.  But, I’m shoving that to the side and comfort listening to this and rewatching The West Wing.

It is fun to watch even a pretend President say smart things.

26 Mar, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

/ posted in: Bookish LifeReading

 

Finished This Week

 

 

What Am I Reading?

I’ve started both of these but I keep getting distracted.


What Am I Listening To? 


 

I’m almost done with this.  It is very different from other books in the series.  It doesn’t seem to have much of a plot but is much more character driven.

19 Mar, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

/ posted in: Bookish LifeReading

 

Finished This Week

I wrote this last week. 

“I read a Tessa Dare book which everyone always recommends and now I’m going to have to read everything she’s ever written.”

Now look at what happened.

I absolutely hate romance novel covers like these.  That’s the nice thing about e-books.  You never have to see the covers while you’re reading. 

I was reading in bed one night.  The husband asked what I was reading and I said it was a romance novel.  A few nights later he asked the same question and I gave the same answer.  He asked if it was the same one.  I had to think for a bit and then decided that there had been two or three since the last time he asked.  I can’t help it that romance novels get read quickly. 

What Am I Reading?

I picked these up from the library this weekend.  They are both hefty books.  They should keep me busy for a while.


What Am I Listening To? 


I’ve only got a little bit of this left.  I may even finish it before this posts.  What am I supposed to do with my life then?  This series gives me the worst book hangovers.  I looked up the narrator to see what else she has read but this series is it.  I don’t know what to listen to next.

WAIT!!!!

While I was whining to myself about this I found this on Audible.

This is another of my major book hangover series.  It just came out.  Why didn’t anyone tell me?  I’ll be finishing Lake Silence before this posts then and moving on with my life.  My angst will be under control until this one is done.

13 Mar, 2018

Seeing Neil Gaiman

/ posted in: Bookish LifeReading

Last Friday the husband and I went to see Neil Gaiman talk in Cleveland.  This is a fine measure of how much I’ve corrupted the husband.  He used to be an ordinary fellow.  Ever so slowly I’ve been moving him over to the sci-fi/fantasy side of life.  He is actually the one that heard that Neil Gaiman was going to be in town and wanted to go.  He only really knew of him from the TV version of American Gods, although he had seen other movies and TV shows he had written for without knowing it was him. 

We were only able to get seats in the balcony since we found out late.  When we got there we found that the seats were very compact.  My butt just fit into mine and my knees were touching the seat in front of me.  I’m only 5’6.  You have to be friendly with your neighbor.  The husband doesn’t really do well in situations like this because he has big shoulders that take up more than his share of space.  His PTSD doesn’t do well crowded in like that either so I always make sure to buy an aisle seat for him. 

We started to notice that there were seats around us that weren’t occupied.  The husband started talking to our sardine section.  “When the lights go down, we should all just spread out to the empty chairs.”  Then he got up and disappeared.  I finally saw him surrounded by a group of female volunteer ushers.  He was regaling them with some story. 

Then it happened.  I always this day would come.

An usher broke away from the group, came over to me, and asked, “Ma’am?  Are you with that gentleman?

I sighed and said, “It depends on what he’s doing over there.”  That confused her.

Turns out he was getting official permission for us to scatter.  Two ushers (one was the head person) escorted us to seats farther up in the balcony.  They really wanted to make sure we were ok.  I didn’t see the big deal.  We were going to “worse” seats than the ones we paid for.  He told me later that he might have played up the PTSD/wounded warrior angle for official permission.  No one else in the sardine section moved but we got to spread out and sit a bit sideways to be able to stretch out our legs.


Neil Gaiman was great, of course.  He had a stack of questions from the audience that he answered by telling stories.  He interspersed a few readings. 

The most exciting news for me is that he is working on a second London Below book.  My favorite of his books is still Neverwhere.  I am here for whatever he wants to write in that world. 

He told stories about working with Terry Pratchett and the filming of the Good Omens series, including David Tennant being bit by a dog who didn’t know about acting and decided to defend the kids that were being threatened. 

He talked about meeting his now-wife around 2008.  The husband later said that it was good thing that he had found me first because Neil Gaiman was single at the same time I was in that year and I fit his definition of people he liked.  That’s people who liked books and were a little weird.  I was thinking, “Wait a minute.  I was not aware that Neil Gaiman was an option at the time I was making life partner decisions” but I didn’t tell him that.

I loved the fact that he was talking against book snobbery.  He wanted people to sample and get to know authors from all genres – horror, romance, kidlit, etc.

Then he read a full story from Norse Mythology.  The husband started snoring but swears he heard the whole thing.  He says that it was just that Neil’s voice was so “melodic and soothing.”  He couldn’t have done that in sardineland.

So if you ever have a chance to hear Neil Gaiman on tour, we highly recommend it.  Just remember if you spread out and get comfy that you might be lulled into a happy sleep.

 

12 Mar, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

/ posted in: Bookish LifeReading

 

Finished This Week

 

I have a new rule.  I’m only reading historical romances that have been recommended on Twitter.  This week I tried two that I picked out on my own.  I think they were from Book Bub.  I had to rapidly DNF both.  There are SO MANY historical romance books and authors that it feels like just randomly reaching into a hat and trying to draw out a good one.

I’m doing a thread on Twitter of all the books I DNF this year and why.  Here the explanations for each.

 

So then I started picking books from romance recommendation threads.

Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress is from that thread.  I did love Khan just like she said I would.

Check out these lists if you are looking for well done romances.  Also look at WOCinRomance too.

What Am I Reading?

 I read a Tessa Dare book which everyone always recommends and now I’m going to have to read everything she’s ever written.

What Am I Listening To? 


I’m so excited about this one.  I loved her series about The Others.  This is set in the same world but in a different place.  It is assumed that you have a working knowledge of world.  It doesn’t have a prologue explaining things as clearly as each of The Others books do. 

I loved Meg and Simon’s story so much (Grumpy Ponies!) that I worried a bit about leaving that behind but I fell right into this story.  I’m loving it so far.

26 Feb, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

/ posted in: Bookish LifeReading

 

Finished This Week

 

 Yes to American Panda and No to The Belles

What Am I Reading?

I am leaving this week for my annual silent retreat.  Some people head to monasteries. I go to vet conferences in Las Vegas.  For a week I listen to lectures for 8 hours a day and speak to no one but waiters.  It is lovely.  I haven’t done as much prep as normal yet. 

Things to do:

  • Search out the latest and greatest vegan offerings in Vegas – Done and some reservations made including a restaurant where you eat in the dark and have no idea what you are eating
  • Download harp albums from the library onto my phone to lull me to sleep during my flight
  • Pick out what lectures I’m going to.  This is started.  I’m down to about 2-4 per hour that I’d like to hear.  It is hard this year to narrow them down.  Only vets have thoughts like, “Chronic diarrhea lecture with free food?  That sounds good.  But that’s the same time as Handling Nasty Infected Wounds- now with extra pictures!  Such a hard choice….
  • Pick out what books I’m taking.  I know, this should be priority one.  I get so much reading done in these weeks.  I keep thinking that I have so many books on my iPad and through that have access to my library and Amazon, so why plan?  This way lies madness, I know.  I’m know I’m running out of time to read A Wrinkle in Time before the movie comes out.  I have a vague recollection of DNFing this book as a kid.  I thought it was boring.  I want to revisit that before the movie.

 

What Am I Listening To? 

 

Since his arrival at The Daily Show in 1999, Jon Stewart has become one of the major players in comedy as well as one of the most significant liberal voices in the media. In Angry Optimist, biographer Lisa Rogak charts his unlikely rise to stardom. She follows him from his early days growing up in New Jersey, through his years as a struggling standup comic in New York, and on to the short-lived but acclaimed The Jon Stewart Show. And she charts his humbling string of near-misses—passed over as a replacement for shows hosted by Conan O’Brien, Tom Snyder, and even the fictional Larry Sanders—before landing on a half-hour comedy show that at the time was still finding its footing amidst roiling internal drama.

I was thrashing around looking for an audiobook.  I DNFed one and wandered away from another but I’ll probably go back to it.  I have a highly anticipated one hitting Audible in about a week so I’m killing time with this one.  Not a great recommendation I know, but it is entertaining enough. 

19 Feb, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

/ posted in: Bookish LifeReading

 

Finished This Week

 

 

What Am I Reading?

 

 

The first three were all library holds that came in.  The last one is a follow up to a book I tried to read out loud on a road trip because I knew the step daughter would enjoy the story.  She had always hated being read to even as a little kid but I figured she was trapped in the car.  She got really mad and then put her headphones on to block me out. The husband loved the story though. The day this book came he appeared with it at bedtime and demanded one chapter read to him before bed.  Yes, this is the same husband who gets snarky every so often about people reading anything other than nonfiction who wants a middle grade book read out loud to him.  Don’t try to apply any logic to this situation.

Him after the first chapter – “That’s it?  But there was no Millie.  Where are my friends????”

Me – “This was introducing you to new friends.  New friends are nice.”

Him, fake pouting and holding the book to his chest – “I like my old friends.  I missed my old friends.  (Deep breath)  Ok, new friends are nice.  New friends are nice.”

People ask if I regret choosing to not have children.  I have no idea what they are talking about.

What Am I Listening To? 

 

In 1972, when she was seven, Firoozeh Dumas and her family moved from Iran to Southern California, arriving with no firsthand knowledge of this country beyond her father’s glowing memories of his graduate school years here. More family soon followed, and the clan has been here ever since. Funny in Farsi chronicles the American journey of Dumas’s wonderfully engaging family: her engineer father, a sweetly quixotic dreamer who first sought riches on Bowling for Dollars and in Las Vegas, and later lost his job during the Iranian revolution; her elegant mother, who never fully mastered English (nor cared to); her uncle, who combated the effects of American fast food with an army of miraculous American weight-loss gadgets; and Firoozeh herself, who as a girl changed her name to Julie, and who encountered a second wave of culture shock when she met and married a Frenchman, becoming part of a one-couple melting pot.

 

 

 

12 Feb, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

/ posted in: Bookish LifeReading

 

Finished This Week

 

 

What Am I Reading?

Bethan is the apprentice to a green healer named Drina in a clan of Welsh Romanies. Her life is happy and ordered and modest, as required by Roma custom, except for one thing: Silas, the son of the chieftain, has been secretly harassing her.

One night, Silas and his friends brutally assault Bethan and a half-Roma friend, Martyn. As empty and hopeless as she feels from the attack, she asks Drina to bring Martyn back from death’s door. “There is always a price for this kind of magic,” Drina warns. The way to save him is gruesome. Bethan must collect grisly pieces to fuel the spell: an ear, some hair, an eye, a nose, and fingers.

She gives the boys who assaulted her a chance to come forward and apologize. And when they don’t, she knows exactly where to collect her ingredients to save Martyn.”

 


What Am I Listening To? 

 

Food writer Jonathan Kauffman journeys back more than half a century—to the 1960s and 1970s—to tell the story of how a coterie of unusual men and women embraced an alternative lifestyle that would ultimately change how modern Americans eat. Impeccably researched, Hippie Food chronicles how the longhairs, revolutionaries, and back-to-the-landers rejected the square establishment of President Richard Nixon’s America and turned to a more idealistic and wholesome communal way of life and food.

From the mystical rock-and-roll cult known as the Source Family and its legendary vegetarian restaurant in Hollywood to the Diggers’ brown bread in the Summer of Love to the rise of the co-op and the origins of the organic food craze, Kauffman reveals how today’s quotidian whole-foods staples—including sprouts, tofu, yogurt, brown rice, and whole-grain bread—were introduced and eventually became part of our diets. From coast to coast, through Oregon, Texas, Tennessee, Minnesota, Michigan, Massachusetts, and Vermont, Kauffman tracks hippie food’s journey from niche oddity to a cuisine that hit every corner of this country.”

You know I am loving this one.

 

05 Feb, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

/ posted in: Bookish LifeReading

 

Finished This Week

 

 

What Am I Reading?

 

 


What Am I Listening To? 

 

 

On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Over the course of minutes, they would kill twelve students and a teacher and wound twenty-four others before taking their own lives.
For the last sixteen years, Sue Klebold, Dylan’s mother, has lived with the indescribable grief and shame of that day. How could her child, the promising young man she had loved and raised, be responsible for such horror? And how, as his mother, had she not known something was wrong? Were there subtle signs she had missed? What, if anything, could she have done differently?

I’m not sure if I’m going to make it all the way through this book.  It isn’t really giving me the information that I was looking for.  I may fast forward a bit and see if the focus of the book changes.  I’m not particularly interested in what happened before the shooting.  I’m looking for specifically what happened to the family afterwards. 

29 Jan, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

/ posted in: Bookish LifeReading

 

Finished This Week

 

Spoilers for The Little Bookshop on the Seine – I wanted to like this book but I realized that I had missed the point.  I thought we were firmly in the “woman realizes she has horrific boyfriend who undermines her confidence so she gets rid of him” plot until the very end of the book when they suddenly reaffirm their love for each other for reasons that absolutely baffle me.

What Am I Reading?

 

 

DNF This Week

I’m a big fan of debt free living.  I especially like memoirs from people who have achieved this creatively.  But this guy….  He basically was a middle class white dude who coasted on that until his junior year of college.  Then he decided that he liked learning and wanted to keep going to school and learning things.  He doesn’t want to be tied down to any job that he could get with a liberal arts degree.  He wants to be free.  So he goes to Alaska and works a low pay job that provides room and board.  He throws all his money at the debt from his student loans.  That’s all fine.

The problem is that he is callous to anyone who isn’t him.  He talks about one guy in Alaska who he knows is beating his Native girlfriend every night.  He mentions it casually like it was the color of his hair.  There is no attempt to help her.  Eventually the guy gets fired when he beats her bad enough to make her bleed from her ears.  The author recounts this in a section that talks about why people were moving on.  There is no compassion for her. 

He talks about people pouring water on sleeping sled dogs at night in the Arctic as an example of people being weird.  His friend from back home sends emails about having to work in “the ghetto” with a “stereotypical black man”. 

Yeah, DNF.   I did have an absolutely lovely time reading the 1 star reviews on Goodreads of this book.  They are hysterical.  Click on the picture to go there.

What Am I Listening To? 

In celebration of the one-year anniversary of Women’s March, this gorgeously designed full-color book offers an unprecedented, front-row seat to one of the most galvanizing movements in American history, with exclusive interviews with Women’s March organizers, never-before-seen photographs, and essays by feminist activists.

22 Jan, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

/ posted in: Bookish LifeReading

 

Finished This Week

 

 

What Am I Reading?

Grace Owens danced her feet bloody to become the finest en pointe prodigy of her generation, but the only accolade she longed for—her father’s approval—never came. Finally, broken and defeated, she cut ties and fled to London to live life on her own terms.

Now, after four years as an actress in London’s smaller theatres, a last-minute production change lands her right where she never wanted to be again. Front and center in the ballet—and back in toe shoes.

From his perch on the catwalks, machinist and stagecraft illusionist Isaac Caird can’t take his eyes off Grace. A woman who wears men’s clothing, but not as a disguise. An exquisite beauty who doesn’t keep a lover. A skilled dancer who clearly hates every pirouette.

The perfect lines of her delicate body inspire him to create a new illusion—with her as the centerpiece—that will guarantee sold-out shows. Maybe even attract a royal’s patronage. But first he has to get her to look at him. And convince her the danger is minimal—especially within the circle of his arms.

Featuring a gender-fluid ballet dancer, an amateur chemist who only occasionally starts fires, and an old rivalry that could tear them apart.”

What Am I Listening To?

In this memoir, Ken Ilgunas lays bare the existential terror of graduating from the University of Buffalo with $32,000 of student debt. Ilgunas set himself an ambitious mission: get out of debt as quickly as possible. Inspired by the frugality and philosophy of Henry David Thoreau, Ilgunas undertook a 3-year transcontinental journey, working in Alaska as a tour guide, garbage picker, and night cook to pay off his student loans before hitchhiking home to New York.

Debt-free, Ilgunas then enrolled in a master’s program at Duke University, determined not to borrow against his future again. He used the last of his savings to buy himself a used Econoline van and outfitted it as his new dorm. The van, stationed in a campus parking lot, would be more than an adventure—it would be his very own Walden on Wheels.

 

 

15 Jan, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

/ posted in: Bookish LifeReading

 

Finished This Week

 

 

I’m not going to waste a review day on Fire and Fury because everybody knows what is in it by now so here’s a mini review.  For me, there weren’t any real revelations in here.  I’ve always been of the opinion that he is too stupid for public office.  I’ve never been able to take the leap of faith that makes some people think that he is some kind of master manipulator who just wants you to think that he’s stupid.  This book confirms what I previously thought. 

It was sort of helpful to read this to help get a sense of the timeline.  There have been so many bad actors in this story already that you find yourself getting them confused.  Reading this book helped set me straight a few times when I found I was confusing who was who. 

I was disappointed that there wasn’t any coverage of the effects of protests.  There was no mention of the Women’s March.  No mention of response to the airport protests and apparently the repeal of the healthcare bill failed purely because of Paul Ryan and not millions of phone calls made to Senators.  So much was made in the book about him just wanting everyone to like him that I would have loved to see something about the effects of the protests on him.

 

What Am I Reading?

Sundown Towns – In a provocative, sweeping analysis of American residential patterns, Loewen uncovers the thousands of “sundown towns”—almost exclusively white towns where it was an unspoken rule that blacks could not live there—that cropped up throughout the twentieth century, most of them located outside of the South. These towns used everything from legal formalities to violence to create homogenous Caucasian communities—and their existence has gone unexamined until now. For the first time, Loewen takes a long, hard look at the history, sociology, and continued existence of these towns, contributing an essential new chapter to the study of American race relations.

Son of a Trickster – Everyone knows a guy like Jared: the burnout kid in high school who sells weed cookies and has a scary mom who’s often wasted and wielding some kind of weapon. Jared does smoke and drink too much, and he does make the best cookies in town, and his mom is a mess, but he’s also a kid who has an immense capacity for compassion and an impulse to watch over people more than twice his age, and he can’t rely on anyone for consistent love and support, except for his flatulent pit bull, Baby Killer (he calls her Baby)–and now she’s dead.

Jared can’t count on his mom to stay sober and stick around to take care of him. He can’t rely on his dad to pay the bills and support his new wife and step-daughter. Jared is only sixteen but feels like he is the one who must stabilize his family’s life, even look out for his elderly neighbours. But he struggles to keep everything afloat…and sometimes he blacks out. And he puzzles over why his maternal grandmother has never liked him, why she says he’s the son of a trickster, that he isn’t human. Mind you, ravens speak to him–even when he’s not stoned.”

What Am I Listening To?

 

Yeah, still.  I had a weird week.  My office (my less than a year old, beautiful office) flooded because of a water pipe break on an upper floor.  We were off work for most of the week because of drying out and the repairs.  So, I didn’t drive to work and that’s when I get most of my audiobook time.  That’s why this one is taking a while.

I also listen to audiobooks when I sew but I found some other entertainment.  I listened to a radio play version of Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys done by the BBC.   It was wonderfully done and you can listen to it for a while longer.  I’ve also started listening to The Wicked Wallflowers podcast featuring interviews with romance authors.  

08 Jan, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

/ posted in: Bookish LifeReading

 

Finished This Week

 

 

What Am I Reading?

 

What Am I Listening To?

 

“On ship-tracking websites, the waters are black with dots. Each dot is a ship; each ship is laden with boxes; each box is laden with goods. In postindustrial economies, we no longer produce but buy. We buy, so we must ship. Without shipping there would be no clothes, food, paper, or fuel. Without all those dots, the world would not work.

Freight shipping has been no less revolutionary than the printing press or the Internet, yet it is all but invisible. Away from public scrutiny, shipping revels in suspect practices, dubious operators, and a shady system of “flags of convenience.” Infesting our waters, poisoning our air, and a prime culprit of acoustic pollution, shipping is environmentally indefensible. And then there are the pirates.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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