Whatcha Reading? October 2017 Edition

Oct. 21st, 2017 07:00 am
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Posted by Amanda

old book on the bench in autumn parkIt’s Whatcha Reading time, where we discuss all the highs and lows of our month’s reading. We all hope you’ve had some good book noises this month, but we know sometimes that doesn’t happen. Feel free to rage and gripe as much as you want. However, we can’t be held responsible if your TBR pile doubles in size from the book recommendations you’ll most likely get.

Sarah: I am reading a nonfiction and a romance, because my brain is tired and stressed. The nonfiction is Deep Work by Cal Newport (insert all jokes here) (insert jokes about inserting jokes here) (fin). On one hand, the reframing of what is deeply focused work and what is shallow, distracting work is interesting and very helpful to my own feelings of productivity and accomplishment, especially when paired with a recent podcast interview with Basecamp CEO Jason Fried.

Deep Work
A | BN | K | iB
I’m constantly questioning what I do, and why I do it, and whether I can do less, do things more efficiently, or not do them at all. So the idea of focusing intently on my creative projects and goals is something I’m very curious about. But the book itself, while it contains several helpful concepts, grates on me with the sexism and the ignoring of other work that women typically do (e.g. emotional labor and caretaking). Most of the examples are men, with two exceptions, one of them negative, and most of these examples portray work as a singular monolith or field of study. So I take frequent breaks between chapters so I don’t get too angry to keep reading and cheat myself out of valuable ideas.

Carrie: I am reading Chasing Power, a YA by Sarah Beth Durst ( A | BN | K | G | iB ), and also What She Ate, a nonfiction about six historical women and their relationship to food. The former is entertaining but uneven and the latter is excellent.

Sarah: I’m also currently reading The Offer by Sara Portman ( A | BN | K | G | iB ), which is coming out on 10/24. The heroine is a penniless vicar’s daughter who opens the story in the strange position of deeply envying her best friend, now a duchess, who is in the midst of horrible morning sickness. The hero is also in debt, and not in a position to offer for anyone unless that person comes with several wagonloads of money, so OF COURSE they are going to be drawn to each other. I just started it, and am very curious, so ahoy, more reading time for me.

What She Ate
A | BN | K | iB
Elyse: I just started The Bloodprint by Ausma Zehanat Khan. It’s an epic fantasy about a group of women with magical abilities working to overthrow a patriarchal, repressive society. Their magic is tied to the ability to read and use words of power, so it’s pretty solidly my catnip

Sarah: I read the first chapter of that book and so wanted to continue, but it was giving me the “your brain is going to wake you up with nightmares” feeling with some of the violence. But the women in that first chapter are SO INCREDIBLE.

Elyse: One of the things that I found really fascinating and relevant is that the authoritarian regime bans reading as a means of controlling its populace

Sarah: YES. This is a perfect example of a book that I wanted to read but knew would give my brain middle-of-the-night freakouts.

Amanda: Can I just say that I love these little conversations we have about books? What we like, what we don’t like, what aspects work of us as readers. It gives me the warm and fuzzies.

The Bloodprint
A | BN | K | iB
Sarah: I know, me too.

In the past year I have learned so much about how to work with my brain and my brain chemistry. it’s life-changing on a very basic level.

But knowing when something violent is going to exacerbate my anxiety to the point of losing sleep is a big help, much as I want to read this book.

 

Redheadedgirl: So…I maaaaaaaaay be at “one book bought per day of trip” so that’s a lot?

Elyse: Nah.

Amanda: I just finished an exhausting week in South Florida, cleaning out my late grandparents home where they lived for over 40 years. On the cool side, I found my great grandmother’s bible from 1917. On the bad side, who knew just looking at belongings could sap so much energy. Because of this, I’m waffling between two different types of reads – dark and gritty to channel some of my negative feelings. And reading an autobuy author for some comfort.

Roomies
A | BN | K | iB
For the former, I have An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard from my library ( A | BN | K | G | iB ). It has a magical NYC and a heroine who wants to destroy the current magical system.

For the latter, I have Roomies by Christina Lauren. They write such great modern romances that make me laugh and cry. It’s like a hug in book form and something that I totally need right now.

What have you been reading this month? Something spooky? A comfort read? Let us know in the comments!


By request, since we can’t link to every book you mention in the comments, here are bookstore links that help support the site with your purchases. If you use them, thank you so much, and if you’d prefer not to, no worries. Thanks for being a part of SBTB and hopefully, you’ve found some great books to read!

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one post!

Oct. 20th, 2017 11:31 pm
dogfight: (FUCKING WELP)
[personal profile] dogfight posting in [community profile] fandom_icons
dc comics [148] ➝ rebirth green arrow (oliver queen)


here at [community profile] probono

I want to write about tomorrow...

Oct. 20th, 2017 09:52 pm
wanderlustlover: (School: Atrocities - enriana)
[personal profile] wanderlustlover
...and every compacted and impacted frustration I have with tomorrow, and all the frustrations that have led up to me wishing time would drag its feet and not bring me swiftly on the heels of my dreams to morning. All the words that have never been said, and never been needed, that have just swirled and swirling growing ever bigger behind my breast bone.

But. I am really tired. With compounds the frustration. As does needing enough sleep to get up early and do all of Miss Scarlett's costume and make perfectly, to then be basically on point, working for most of 12 hours tomorrow.

It'll keep. It's been keeping all of these months already.





And, minor plus, once it's kept still one day more, it will finally (finally) be done.





P.S. That great moment seconds later when you realize you'd forgotten you were supposed to pack in the morning an overnight bag, and a second costume, for your first Halloween Party of the season, plus the morning-after outfit which needs to by cosplay related for GGB Brunch, which is immediately followed by Rostelcom Party in your own house, that you'll only be driving between each to the next without coming home again.

Augh. More reason I need to go to sleep to get up so early and do all the things at dawn.
wanderlustlover: (Poetry (Dance): Whitman - bookelfe)
[personal profile] wanderlustlover
[ Day I | Day II | Day III | Day IV | Day V ]

Day III - 20 Facts About Me

1. This year -- for the first time since I was 12 and received a horrible bowl cut that made me threaten to shave my head if anyone ever came near it again -- I got my hair cut. I'd done regular trims, but this was my first serious, and along with it I acquired a hair girl named Angela, whom I see about every 2-3 months.

2. I have two piercings on each of the lower lobes of my ears, the lower left of which is ripped longer than normal from a childhood bike accident. I entertain an exorbitent amount of jewelry and a lot of dangling earrings. In the times when I'm keeping my dresser neater, I use them all the time.

3. I have three tattoos. One on the outside of my right bicep: the symbol "愛" in Japanese Katakana, spoken as "Aishiteiru," or "Ai", meaning "to love," picked to match my name (Amanda/Of Love/Beloved). Two on the insides of my ankles: the right a treble clef with a heart in the middle and the left a quill pen amid writing.

4. My life used to be overflowing with religious/spiritual activity, and it’s gotten very stagnant, with nothing filling some egregious gaps that formed due to extenuatingly bad circumstances. I am in a year-long dedication to Throat Chakra (in eight years dedicated to the chakra’s, one per year). I keep the holidays, and have holiday altars, but I thirst for more lately.

5. At any given time I’m in the middle of 4-5 books (and always set myself the challenge of reading 100 books a year). I have a 40 minute drive to and from work usually running an audio book. I have the books I’m currently teaching in my AP III & IV English classes. I have a long, slow bed-table book. I have constantly filling advance readers from Netgalley & Library Thing, and newly backed publications from Kickstarter.

6. My vocabulary is deeply extensive already, to the point I throw around big words without any concerns already (and I do not audit for any audience of personage unless they are under ten), so understand the gravity of these words to come: I feel I'm re-learning vocabulary I have not used in nearly a decade in teaching AP. (Aside: I love it so much.)

7. I have lost a little sister, a parent, a grand parent, and a lover. Within these have fallen a natural passing, a ravaging disease, a willful self-suicide past rehabiliation, and manslaughter. I have lost two half decade plus best friends. I'm pragmatic prepared and realistic about my own survival in the face of the worst of grief and loss.

8. I believe in unconditional love and I have a terminal case of hope. Not optimism, but hope. I am a highly optimistic realist, but I am absolutely incapable of not hoping. Believing their is always a silver lining, a meaning to be found, lessons to be learned, a future path being warmed and prepared.

9. I love technology and I use a lot of it. Daily, I wear a Fitbit One, an Apple Watch 2, and an 6s IPhone. In my purse, I carry a Kindle PaperWhite. At home, I have a Mac Laptop, iPad 2, an AppleTv 2, Firestick, Instant Pot, and Vitamix. At work, Dell Computer, Apple Ipad, Elmo, Projector, and Laptop Cart. (I already have plans for my upgrades for iPhone X, Kindle Oasis, and AppleTv 4.) On all of these I have favorite amazing tech programs, as well, which I occasionally do favorite tech rec's.

10. I love lists and keep them everywhere, especially on notepads on my computer, on post-its notes of endless rainbow colors and shapes at my desk, and in the reminder app & notepad app of my iPhone. Without them I would forget so many things, including plans and promises, it's not even quantifiable.

11. I can't draw to save my life. Or even be granted a million dollars. It's hilarious. And sad. I am the person who can mess up stick figures. But I've mostly come to terms with it now. I once drew the picture replica of my hand, with a ring, in high school, but it was on the back of a state test booklet and I wasn't even allowed to keep it.

12. I love snow with the kind of unwavering love the moves mountains and meet money. I want to live somewhere it is negative 15 in the winter, and around 113 in the summer. So much that I experience seasonal crankiness/depressions in places where this isn't happening (such as when it's too warm to even be winter in Texas, or when it was too mild to truly ever be warm enough in the summer in Korea). I know it's not a very realistic to fill want, but it doesn't change it happening, or me loving those seasons as such.

13. I will off the top of my head when asked identify as Bisexual and Polyamorous, but it's actually a lot closer to say I'm Demi-Sexual/Pan-Sexual/Pan-Romantic than actually Bisexual. It's, also, a lot more unlikely I'll ever point out that I don't date, and won't re-date if there isn't a spark. I'm just unable to figure out dating if I'm not interested, and 90% of the time I'm not interested.

14. The flip side of the 10% though is that every single relationship in my life has been two years or longer (with only a one-girl friend caveat being below that). All of the people I've end up with pinged the interest scale so hard and so seriously that I ended up with them for a very long time. And I'm really actually okay with this system. I'd rather be with the serious-to-me people, than go through many who weren't.

15. It's not impossible for me to cry, but it is still really hard and extremely, snow in lower Texas, rare for it to happen anywhere near other people. I'm past the point where it's been years since I've cried finally, but it's still a rather low yearly number, because there are few things feel as useless, pointless, and personally messy as crying to me still. I can, when it happens, let it happen, but it still won't happen for very long. A few minutes. My logic remains strongly entrenched in the crying not actually accomplishing anything to solve the actual problem.

16. I have weak nails. I love to grow them, and tap them on things, but they will always bend, tear and break long before I have any chance to grow them extraordinarily long. I really love them painted, like really really love it, but I get really annoyed at how fast normal & gel peels off, as well as anything that ruins my actual nail by requiring someone to shave it down first.

17. My favorite forms of exercise are heavy weight lifting and swimming. I've been weight lifting for over two years now, originally with a trainer, now alone, and totally on pace with a 5x5 app. I've been swimming in a serious fashion since somewhere in the middle of this past spring, wherein I acquired all professional gear and started follow professional swims through Swim Pro, too.

18. I love music with the fire of a million suns. I think in lyrics a lot of times. I have several playlists dedicated to characters in the 300-600+ songs per playlist range (and anywhere between 1-7 playlists for any given character, with that many songs on them). I do the same with my own personal playlists and listening. I play music in my classroom all the time and my kids love that I cover the widest of unending varieties.

19. My current (and mostly long standing) vices of choice are everything/anything tea, dark chocolate (especially the Godiva Drinking Dark Chocolate at Christmas), Victoria Secret (...well, everything really; bras, underwear, sports wear, bath stuff, perfume, sleep wear), Bath & Body Works (shower gels for myself and sale lotions for my kids in the classroom), and most of all right now, any and all adorable Katsuki Yuri merchandise from Yuri!!! On Ice.

20. I have a life long thing for red-headed telepaths, apparently.

I fell in love with Ember (the not-yet-then Blood of Eleven Chiefs) at the age of about five. I fell in love with Jean Grey (of the cartoon tv shows and then the comics, later) at the tender age of nine. I fell in love with Lyta Alexander, somewhere right at the end of my teensish period, beginning of my live journal, around 17/18. I fell in love with Edward Cullen (after infecting myself with the whole 4-book series in less than 36 hours the weekend the fourth book came out, which was the week right after I finished writing my Master thesis) at 26.

Subject Index )
wanderlustlover: (Scene Maker - misty_creates)
[personal profile] wanderlustlover
Lay beside me, under wicked sky
Through black of day, dark of night, we share this paralyze
The door cracks open but there's no sun shining through
Black heart scarring darker still, but there's no sun shining through
No, there's no sun shining through

Hostages no more

Oct. 20th, 2017 11:16 pm
[syndicated profile] bbcnewsworld_feed
What’s next for the North American couple and their children rescued from five years of captivity?

What golden age?

Oct. 20th, 2017 11:15 pm
[syndicated profile] bbcnewsworld_feed
People's hopes for a quiet retirement with family are ruined by inflation and the fear of violence.

Driven out

Oct. 20th, 2017 11:08 pm
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Maps and graphics telling the story of the fight against so-called Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria.

Talking trash (cans)

Oct. 20th, 2017 11:32 pm
[syndicated profile] slacktivist_feed

Posted by Fred Clark

We need to talk about lids, people. Lids for trash cans, lids for totes, bins, and containers of all kinds. These things all come with lids. The lids are important. The lids are paid for. Take your lids.
[syndicated profile] bbcnewsworld_feed
The World Health Organisation head praises Zimbabwe's public health policy, in a controversial move.

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