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Show us your books: November 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

Currently

Rabbit rabbit! I can’t believe it’s October already. I’m sure the pumpkin spice cabal is pleased. I’ve been wearing sweats all weekend, because I’m …

Freezing!: It starts dropping into the 50s and it’s like my body gives up.

Sniffling: Because I appear to have caught the ick that’s going around work. It was just a matter of time. I work from home tomorrow so I can eat soup and wrap myself in 17 blankets.

Coughing: up dog hair because I did this today:

I filled a small wastebasket with his hair.


We have always brought Ollie to the groomer but I have a decent trimmer now and I want to see if I can get Murphy used to the home treatment. I’m trimming him to 3/4″ on his body and 1/8″ on his head and halfway down the ears. There are tufts of hair on him that I missed and he won’t let me touch his feet yet. Other than that, I’m impressed with my handiwork.

Losing: at Words with Friends. Still.

I downloaded Boggle with Friends because I’m apparently a glutton for punishment. Which also, if your Boggle profile picture is this…

…you’re not very inviting as a Match of the Day. I’d probably be unable to resist typing #takeaknee in the chat window before the match started just to see the Donald Duck like reaction I’d get.

Fact: I also say Merry Christmas, support our troops, say God Bless America, eat apple pie, am humble and kind, etc. The difference with me is that if you don’t, I’m OK with that.

Planning: my agenda for the PA Conference for Women on Tuesday. Michelle Obama will be there. No big.

Reading: I’m starting Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic as soon as I’m done this blog post. I can’t quit her or the woo self-help genre. After that is Lincoln at the Bardo which, with a mere click, magically transferred from Overdrive to my new Kindle in less than a minute. No Adobe, no cables, no sideloading.

October 7, 2003 – morning

A momentous morning…I threw out my very-worn Minnie Mouse makeup case and replaced it with a chic black one with a pink lowercase “k” on it. What a very grown-up thing to do!

Another grown-up thing: I’m considering registering a political party affiliation…but I’m concerned that as soon as I do so, I will be inundated with requests for money.

Set my hair in hot rollers today, since I woke up at 3:00ish. By the time the world troops in, my hair will be straight again.

Speaking of…3:00 am seems to be a good time to get out of bed. I can shower up, take time getting ready, and even get an hour of Asheron’s Call in before having to go to work!

Yesterday, an email was sent to everyone in the building regarding a project. Without risking getting myself into trouble, if the text of the email had the word “black” in it where the word “white” was, the lawsuits would be flying. I saw the mail over 90 minutes ago and am still in shock. I’m afraid to complain about it, though. Isn’t that horrid?

Just like I’m afraid to take any more sick days this year. I get 10. I’ve used 5 (4 for my illnesses, 1 for the non-blogable worries of last month). If you use almost all of your sick days in one year, it is held against you in the form of a lower raise. This is open policy. So despite our paper’s health reporter writing: Flu and other cold viruses are easily transmittable, but that common-sense knowledge is often ignored by people who believe they must show up for work when sick, we don’t practice what we preach.

Mood: Was pleasant until I got to work today — now I’m irritable
Work docket: Did hand section, checked static. Going to continue work on the millionaire section, since I was informed I don’t have all of the logos for the sponsors. I knew that — I requested the logos on 9/22 — but wasn’t given them until yesterday. Because I wasn’t given the logos, I had to hunt them out online. I think I’m doing the weekly numbers today as well. Joy.
Lunch: Smart Ones Turkey Breast with some sort of side
Afternoon: Walk the Hopeslayer, head to YMCA
Evening: Coffee ‘n’ Coping with Mom’n’John at Starbucks.

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