Books and Reading

Weekly Babble 7/16/16

I guess if I sit around and wait for some lightning bolt of creativity this blog will never have any content. I’ll start simply with weekly updates of what’s happening on my bookshelf. This post will be kind of full. I’ve read and acquired quite a few things since that last post in May.

Books I’ve finished:
Disclaimer: I actually tend to forget everything I read, which is problematic when you want to review books or have a conversation about a book you just read. It’s more precise to say I react to books. Hopefully you can still get some use out of that.

Why Be Jewish? by Edgar Bronfman

Stand out quote:
“I end where I began, with Einstein’s quote: “The pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, an almost fanatical love of justice, and the desire for personal independence—these are the features of the Jewish tradition which make me thank my stars I belong to it.”

I am a Jew by choice, so I am already convinced. Honestly, I wish I could remember why I decided to read this one, but I’m glad I did.

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

It takes less than an hour to read it. It’s worth it.

Stand outs:

“I often make the mistake of thinking that something that is obvious to me is just as obvious to everyone else.”

This is the story of my life.

“Culture does not make people. People make culture.”

BOOM.

Otomen, Volumes 10-16, orange: The Complete Collection 2, Food Wars, Volume 12

Manga. It’s my dirty little secret and I don’t care who knows it.

Learn German with Stories: Ferien in Frankfurt and Karneval in Köln by André Klein

I’m trying to brush up on my German. It’s slow going. These stories are easy enough that I feel confident, but challenging enough that I feel like I’m really studying.

The Complete Persepolis, Che: A Graphic Biography, Hark! A Vagrant

I’m a sucker for graphic novels, too. Even more so if we are talking about a memoir or biography.

Hark! A Vagrant was more like a collection of comic strips, some of which I understood and found hilarious. Most of them referenced historical events and literature I knew nothing about.

Through the Narrow Gate by Karen Armstrong

Stand out:

“The most difficult thing is to come to terms with yourself. I had never fully realized how much the world outside the convent shields an individual from having to endure any great degree of unpleasant self-knowledge.”

Corazón Salvaje by Caridad Bravo Adams

I watched the telenovela, which really helped me with the comprehension. I found this to be a difficult read (as far as my Spanish reading goes.)

Hard Magic by Larry Correia

My husband recommended this. I’m really particular about any fantasy I read (that’s code for “Harry Potter is about my speed), but i enjoyed this. I just wish I could separate the books from the authors. I feel a little guilty for reading him since I heard about the Sad Puppies (I guess I should be glad he’s not one of the Rabid Puppies. And yes, I do live under a rock.)

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

Why did I wait so long to read this?????

Dreaming In Cuban by Cristina Garcia

This has been languishing on my shelf since I bought it in 1993 (It’s moved with me 3 times!) This is how I roll. I’ll buy a book and wait perhaps decades before I read it. I don’t do libraries nor do I borrow books from friends. Just because a book sounds interesting doesn’t mean I’ll be in the mood to read it any time soon. There’s a difference.

I don’t think I would have appreciated this if my younger self had read it. Though part of me sort of wishes younger me had read it. Then old me could compare my thoughts on it.

I’ve also read a slew of romance novels and a Nancy Drew. I don’t feel the need to link those.

Books I’m Currently Reading (for realz)

I usually have 4+ books going at a time, but I’m really only making progress on 2.

Celia: Mi Vida by Celia Cruz

Telemundo recently aired a Colombian telenovela based on the life of Celia Cruz. I’d heard that they took some liberties so I decided to read the book instead of watching the telenovela. The telenovela is long over, but I’m just now reading this in earnest.

Miscelánea by Ana Álvarez

A romance. Nothing to really write home about. I’ve learned some Spanish. It’s taken me way too long to read this. I’ve read other books that have gone faster.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Offspring and I recently visited the Fitzgerald Museum and it was fascinating. I haven’t read The Great Gatsby since high school so I decided to revisit it. (Please don’t tell anyone I’m reading a dead, white, male author.)

Recent Acquisitions

I’m too lazy for linkage. To make a long list post a longer list post, I’ll just write a list, in no particular order…

Fruits Basket Collector’s Edition (1 and 2) by Natsuki Takaya

What is Islam?: The Importance of Being Islamic by Shahab Ahmed

Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor Lavalle

Ghost Bride by Yansze Choo

The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

The Girls by Emma Cline

El tiempo entre costuras por María Dueñas

I also swiped two books from Offspring’s shelf:  A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini and The Namesake by Jhumpa Lhairi

General Rambling and Links

I started yesterday with this article about sexism and literary prizes. That led to a great article about the experiences of writers of color by Asian poet Jenny Zhang. Needless to say, I’ll spend some of today reading the articles linked there.

Oh, and if I weren’t pissed enough….Innocence is a Privilege and Book Deserts.

I’m digesting a lot. I’m not sure how to react to the things I read. Most of the time I think the best course of action is to be still and to listen, listen, listen.

I guess I’m going to start taking this thing a little more seriously, but I still have this idea that I really have nothing to say. I wish I was  little better at the technical stuff.