Reading, Uncategorized

Show us your books: November 2017

November 14, 2017

I’ve now read 37 books in 2017, tracking 6 books behind where I should be. Boo! Hiss! Do pamphlets count? If I had to fish for an excuse it’s this: I’m 15 months into a 16 month project at work and a lot of my spare time is being diverted toward learning the new reporting software. It took me an hour to build a report last night that usually takes me 5 minutes to build in the old software. But you know what? I built the report. And it’s, like, 80% accurate. Old dog, new tricks. Again. Forever.

Onto the books!

For reviews, I use the Goodreads scale, which is:
One star: did not like it
Two stars: it was ok
Three stars: liked it
Four stars: really liked it
Five stars: it was amazing

What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky – Lesley Nneka Arimah

This is a collection of original and really distinctive short stories featuring women and what it means to be a wife, a mother, a daughter, a healer. There is happiness and sadness, violence and love, brutal reality and magical reality. All of them are either set in Nigeria or feature Nigerians living in other countries. Four stars.

Sourdough — Robin Sloan

I enjoyed Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore, so I was very excited for this book — a tale of a young woman and self-discovery featuring a magic sourdough starter, two brothers with a mysterious background, a robotic arm, an underground farmer’s market, some weird biotech, and a group of women named Lois. If it sounds weird and fantastical that’s because it is. But it’s rooted firmly enough in the real world (or as real as the San Francisco tech scene ever could be) to separated it from tales of dragons and swords. This was a warm and kind read with no villains. I really want to learn to bake bread. Five stars!

Goodbye, Vitamin — Rachel Khong

It only took me 2 days’ commute to finish this beautiful and gut-punchy book about a young woman named Ruth. Ruth is about 30 and moves home for a year to help her mother take care of her father who has early-stage Alzheimer’s. Complicating matters is that Ruth’s fiance just broke up with her in a very cruel way. Watching Ruth and her family members heal even as her father declines … I can only describe it as feel-good even though the sadness was palpable. As Ruth promised, this book ends a year into her stay, which makes it a little difficult for people like me who enjoy tidy endings. Five stars!

A Study in Scarlet Women — Sherry Thomas

Why do I continue to think that I enjoy the Sherlock Holmes world? I don’t. I don’t! Not any of the TV shows, not the books, not the Mary Russell books, and not this one. I REALLY wanted to like his version where Sherlock Holmes is actually Charlotte Holmes, a disgraced young spinster. But despite how behind I am on my reading goal, I abandoned it halfway through because it focused too much on Inspector Treadles, a male investigator. No star rating – DNF.

Al Franken, Giant of the Senate — Al Franken

Is it mean to say that I was never really a fan of Al Franken the comedian? Okay then, I’m mean. But I was very interested in his desire to go from the world of entertainment to the comedy that is US Politics. This was a fantastic book — the first quarter or so was about Franken’s life before politics, which yeah yeah, you were super smart and precocious and a nerd before nerds were cool, Harvard, SNL, so edgy, I’ve heard this a million times. And then the book really takes off once he decides to run for the Minnesota Senate seat. The political process is not easy to read and some of the topics covered are throw-the-book frustrating. However, this is the book I needed to read right now. There were several laugh-out-loud moments, but it’s Franken’s passion for doing what (he believes) is right that shines the brightest. Five stars, and I hope Franken serves Minnesota and the rest of us for as long as he wants.

Gulp — Mary Roach

This is a typical Mary Roach book covering the digestive system from chewing to pooping. I laughed, I learned some things, I made a conscious decision not to snack while reading. There are references to human and animal testing, so some might find that upsetting. Four stars.

Currently reading:

Naked Statistics — Charles Wheelan. I am involved in a lot of spreadsheety reporting at my job, but I’ve always hated statistics. I’m slowly (I’m on my last renewal) working through chapter by chapter.

Console Wars – Blake J. Harris. Still. This is the book I pick up when I have nothing else available.

All of my book lists and reviews are on Goodreads.

This a part of the Show us Your Books linkup from Jana Says and Life According to Steph. If you want to read more bloggers gush about the books they’ve read this month, click the button below and have fun!

Life According to Steph

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  • Laura November 14, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    I need to check out Goodbye, Vitamin! Sounds like a good one.

  • Tanya @ A Mindful Migration November 14, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    Al Franken had not yet been elected to the Senate when I moved away from MN, but I am proud to have him represent my home state. And like you, I was never fond of him as a comedian but have much respect for him as a Senator. I also DNFed A Study in Scarlett Women. It grew tedious and boring and I was in a book funk and it wasn’t helping, even though I am a fan of Sherlock Holmes and its various iterations.

  • SMD November 15, 2017 at 8:25 am

    I almost picked Sourdough up at the library last Friday but didn’t. I will next time!

    Also not a fan of Al Franken the comedian but I like him in his new role.

  • ShootingStarsMag November 15, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    I don’t know much about Al Franken, but he was on a late show when his book came out and I immediately wanted to read it. I’m glad you liked it! And aww… I love Sherlock Holmes and everything with that world. LOL It’s not for everyone though.


  • Jana @ Jana Says November 17, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    My husband read the Al Franken book and really liked it and I thought about reading it but now, in light of everything, I don’t know that I can.

    I’ve heard good things about When a Man Falls From the Sky and Goodbye, Vitamin.

  • Confuzzled Bev November 20, 2017 at 8:01 am

    I hadn’t heard of Goodbye, Vitamin yet. It sounds good!

  • Alexandra November 20, 2017 at 10:44 am

    I didn’t love Mr. Penumbra’s, but I know I am in the minority on that one. Glad you enjoyed Sourdough! 🙂 I’ve heard not-so-great things about A Study in Scarlet Women. : / Xo – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

  • Ana November 20, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    I’m exactly with Jana… I had Al Franken on my list to read, now I’m no longer interested.

    Gulp is a very good read!! I really enjoy her humor and her books.

  • Heather November 21, 2017 at 8:21 am

    I also DNF A Study in Scarlet Women and expected to like it MUCH more. Sourdough is on the library shelf for me right now – picking it up tonight! Can’t wait to read that one.