Weekly Update 39

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Photo by Gerd Altmann on Pexels.com

Off the blog

Hello everyone! Happy voting week to those of you who are in America and got yourselves out there. I got out and did my civic duty, as well as taking my parents to get their votes in.

This week was busy as I had to deal with hypomania symptoms, a kid with a gut bug, finding a Girl Scout troop for D and a Cub Scout troop for M, and a trip to the ER on Friday night. That last one was mostly an accident. I had a headache starting around 4pm, took Tylenol and went to bed at 8pm (it was my second-in-life migraine by that point – the first being when I was around 14), woke up at 12 pm with it feeling even worse. This time, I thought of preeclampsia and took my blood pressure with the old monitor my dad had given me. It said 170 / 92 (or in that area) 3 times. I figured I should have Aaron drive me to CVS to check a different monitor, but decided to call the nurse line and ask if that was really necessary – surely I wouldn’t explode overnight? They, of course, told me to get to the hospital right away. 6 hours later, I was released with a clean bill of health for baby, a nascent headache, and doped up beyond straight walking. My blood pressure monitor at home was off by 50 points. No preeclampsia. Woopee! I went straight to bed when I got home, and woke up two hours later with a nascent headache but wide awake. I imagine I just over-stretched myself on Friday trying to rush around and get everything done.

Which doesn’t bode well for next week – on which I have two to four engagements a day. Don’t expect me to finish any books!

Today, I will be going to Book of Mormon with Aaron (provided he ever wakes up, poor thing) and then he and I will hang out with a good friend watching Doctor Who.

On the blog

After participating in Nonfiction November, I wrote only one book review – on The Re-Origin of Species.

Reading this coming week

Currently Reading

Completed last week

Completed

Finished the first Harry Dresden book for my Dresden Group Read. And listened to Einstein’s Cosmos, by Michio Kaku.

Acquired

Acquired

No Country for Old Men and I Am Number Four were Audible Daily Deals. All that Remains is an ARC from Edelweiss. Influenza I accidentally requested from both Edelweiss and NetGalley, and got approved on the same day. lol Overstory, Vaccine Race, and American Eden are all award nominees that I plan on reading soon.

The Re-Origin of Species, by Torill Kornfeldt

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Summary: With a hefty dose of skepticism, Torill Kornfeldt interviewed several scientists who are trying various methods to clone or genetically reinvent extinct animals – mostly for the sake of recovering their ecological purpose (for instance, mammoths knock down trees and stomp down permafrost, passenger pigeons devastate forests with the same (but less threatening) ecological benefits of forest fires, etc.) Kornfeldt briefly describes the science behind each project, but does not go into a lot of detail, so the book is good for someone who has very little science background.

My thoughts: I’m a little torn about bringing back extinct species. My instinct is against introducing potential “invasive species” which might not act exactly the same as the original animals did. There is, also, the worry that creating new animals will somehow create new viruses that can move to humans – though that may be worrying too much. Overall, I think the book was well-written and interesting, though it could have been more engaging at times. I liked Kornfeldt’s mixture of awe and skepticism, which managed to present both sides of the story well. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in endangered species, as it really does provide some interesting food for thought.

My thanks to Edelweiss and Scribe US for an ARC of this book. Their contribution did not impact my review.

3 and half snowflakes

2018 Nonfiction November: Book Pairings

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Nonfiction November is an annual celebration of Nonfiction. This year it is hosted by Julie (JulzReads), Sarah (Sarah’s Book Shelves), Katie (Doing Dewey), Rennie (What’s Nonfiction), and Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness). The first prompt is today, and is hosted by Kim.

This week’s prompt is to choose a fiction book that we think goes along well with a nonfiction book. It is hosted by Sarah’s Book Shelves. I have trouble with this prompt because (although it’s incredibly fun) my fiction books don’t often mesh well with nonfiction books. But in this case, I decided to pick fiction books that I’ve simply heard are fantastic to pair with nonfiction books I’ve read this year. (With one exception, where I read both of them.)

American Psychosis and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

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I really should read One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s nest given my interest in the failures of the mental health system – it’s a classic. And I loved the movie. It is about a narcissistic man who decides to plead insanity in order to get a reduced incarceration time – and what happens to him in the insane asylum. American Psychosis, if I remember correctly, even makes a vague reference to the book. It is about the failures of the American Mental Health system throughout its history.

Beyond These Walls and The Hate U Give

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This one is the exception: I have read both of these books, though Beyond These Walls will not be released until January. It is about the failures of the American Justice system through history and (partly) about the incongruity between the ratio of minorities in America and the ratio of punishments (and brutalizations) they receive from the justice system. The Hate U Give, if you haven’t heard of it already, is a book everyone should read. It is about a teen who sees her friend shot by a police officer and must testify against the officer.

Killers of the Flower Moon and Mean Spirit

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Killers of the Flower Moon is a True Crime book about the Osage murders of the 1920’s. Mean Spirit is a fictionalized accounts of the same murders, and it was nominated (though did not win) the Pulitzer Prize back in the ’90s. (Does that make it a classic?)

Weekly Update 38

Off the blog

This has been a fun two weeks. I got lots of books read, and got lots of fun stuff done. 🙂 Last weekend, we went to the pumpkin patch / corn festival and had lots of fun in the corn pit:

corn pit

A couple days later, we carved our pumpkins. Mine had a few rotten parts, so I carved them out and pretended that I planned my pumpkin that way from the beginning. The kids were so confused!

Pumpkins

On Wednesday, Aaron and the kids went trick-or-treating. D was Hermione and M was Batman. Unfortunately, I was feeling really tired that night and didn’t end up getting pictures for you.

We also had parent-teacher-conferences. M is doing very well in school – the teacher is thrilled with him. D is also doing much better than last year, though we still need to get the anxiety under control. I think part of the improvement was that she clicks better with this year’s teacher (who is calmer) than she did with last year’s teacher. Sometimes that happens – it doesn’t mean last year’s teacher was bad, just that sometimes students and teachers don’t click.

I’m down to 6 weeks more of my pregnancy, and will start weekly doctor appointments now. *le sigh* But at least I’m in the last stretch! Today, in fact, is our day-long birthing class. I was skeptical that taking a birthing class would be a good use of time, but decided that my anxiety disorder has been acting up quite a bit with this pregnancy, and I’ll probably be calmer if I feel like I’ve considered everything that needs to be considered.

On the blog

I reviewed: Them, by Ben Sasse; The Cresswell Plot, by Elizabeth Wass; and The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas.

In November, I have decided to participate in Nonfiction November, Margaret Atwood Reading Month, and SciFi Month.

I have decided to host a Dresden Files Group Read and a 2019 Year of Shakespeare (though I am considering combining with The Classics Club and hosting 3 months of a 37-month Shakespeare event).

Reading this coming week

Currently Reading

Here are the books that I plan on making progress on during the next week. I know I read a lot of books at once. But that’s the way I roll. 🙂

Completed

Completed

Over the past two weeks, I have completed 7 books – leaving me on track to get to my goal of 75 books this year.

Acquired

Acquired

I pulled off quite the book haul over the past two weeks. The Lies We Told is my BOTM book for October. Scriptures of the World’s Religions and A Survey of Hinduism will be enjoyed slowly as part of my personal education experience. Washington Black is my Litsy Markup Postal Book Club choice for November. I received The Quiet You Carry and A Bright Future as NetGalley ARCS. (Eventually they’ll stop giving me ARCS as my percentage of books reviewed is 54%. I’m currently working on reading down my list while only requesting one book per release-month. I’m out to May in Nonfiction and March in Fiction.)

Margaret Atwood Reading Month: First Margaret Atwood

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So Margaret Atwood Month has started. It’s hosted by Naomi at Consumed by Ink and Marcie at BuriedInPrint. The first week’s prompt is to talk about the first Atwood book we’ve read. I am ashamed to say that I’ve only read one Atwood book: The Handmaid’s Tale, and that not until a couple of months ago (review here). This was an amazing book, and I wish I hadn’t taken so long to read it. I first heard about Margaret Atwood when I was a teenager, and I was asking someone about The Robber Bride, which I found them reading at work. She couldn’t quite describe to me what “genre” Atwood wrote – which now is funny to me. I apparently thought all books had genres. But I bought the book the next day, and still haven’t read it. lol.

I thought this event was a good opportunity to read a little more Atwood – though I will only be able to fit in one book, as I have a lot going on this month. It’ll be Oryx and Crake. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone else’s reviews!