Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Mini-reviews: November & December (part I) 2017

So let's try again for these mini-reviews. Those reviews that I already wrote and then were lost, probably to end up with all the missing hair ties and socks the dryer eats.

I was saying that I am impressed with how quickly I am getting through these mini-reviews. It helps that right now I'm on maternity and it's not that I suddenly have TONS of time because maternity is like a vacation (it is NOT) but the munchkin does do a lot of sleeping which gives me some down time. Sure, writing these posts happens in bursts but I'm getting more done than when I was pregnant and had more time but lacked the mental energy (dammit work, for zapping that). We'll see what happens with posting once work starts up again but hopefully I'll be able to catch up with the mini-reviews before then.

It turns out in November 2017 I only have one book I read that I haven't already reviewed*, but there are a bunch in December, so here are the reviews for November plus half of December.

November 2017
Gabi, A Girl In Pieces by Isabel Quintero
Excellent coming-of-age book about Mexican-American high schooler Gabi dealing with a number of things: parental and cultural expectations, dating, a gay friend dealing with discrimination, another friend who is pregnant, a drug-addicted father, a pregnant mother, a brother getting into all kinds of trouble, and self-image, as Gabi spends a lot of time emotional eating. There's a lot going on, with some heavy topics, but it feels natural, not overwhelming.
Gif Rating: 

December 2017, part I
Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change by Ellen Pao
Memoir of Ellen Pao's life and especially her gender discrimination case against the venture capital firm she used to work for as well as her time as interim CEO at reddit, working to get rid of some of the seedier parts of the site. She talks about her upbringing, her accomplishments (degrees in Engineering, Law and Business from Princeton and Harvard) before getting to her time at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. She talks about how intense the work is and what she has to do, as a woman to be taken seriously, while being passed up for promotions and being shut out of opportunities that were set up for men only. I enjoyed the content and believe Pao but the writing isn't great. It's not terrible but it can be repetitive and there are times where Pao really hammers in her degrees and accomplishments. Important topic but not my favorite writing.
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Neurocomic by Hana Ros and Matteo Farinella
Graphic novel about the inner workings of the brain, told as something of an Alice in Wonderland type story. It gets into the science of dopamine and neurotransmitters and some of the history of how we know the things we know. Or they know. I dunno how much of the science I've retained but that may be more on me than the book and the way the information is presented. Fun story and hey, maybe you'll learn something. And if not, hey, there's a giant squid at one point, so that's fun.
Gif Rating: 

*Full list of November 2017 books read:
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore
Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero
Why Have Kids?: A New Mom Explores the Truth About Parenting and Happiness by Jessica Valenti

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Mini reviews were written and now they're gone and I am not happy right now

Guess what. I wrote an entire post of mini reviews. Book covers. Links. Gifs. The whole works. And then Blogger decided to get rid of all of it (after confirming 2 saves) and now I'm annoyed because I only have so much time to write this stuff so this is just a post to tell you I HAD a mini review post done and it is not gone and I am feeling all sorts of annoyed

Rewriting it will have to happen at some other point since the little one stirs

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Mini reviews: September and October 2017

Another mini-review post! Look at me, with that follow through.

I was looking through my spreadsheets for what I read but never reviewed in September of last year. Turns out, there's only one book. Everything else in September was an ARC or else a reread and something I had already posted a review for. October was the same. So once again, I decided to combine those months into a single post. I may get through this fast than I anticipated. 

September 2017
The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson
I mean, it's Bill Bryson, so of course I loved it. Yeah, he's cranky and curmudgeony but that is part of the charm as he travels around England. Or rather straight through, as he picks the longest straight line through the land he can manage. Because why not? Something of a sequel to Notes from a Small Island and just as entertaining. Basically if you like Bryson and/or Britain, something to try. 
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October 2017
The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
I'd had this book somewhat on my radar and then saw it in a small bookstore with a note that described it as "The Bluths in NYC". How can that go wrong? Well, it can if the book is nothing like that. I would like to find the employee that wrote that description and ask them to defend this position. Yes, it's rich people in NYC and Arrested Development involves rich people in California but that is not enough to compare the two. ANYWAY, I went into this book with the wrong expectations which I'm sure colored my experience but overall I thought the book was fine. A family fighting over a nest egg they're supposed to inherit and each of the grown children have preemptively spent their portion of what they believe they will be receiving. I thought the book would be funnier than it is and couldn't get the disappointment that it wasn't out of my head. But don't go into it looking for that and overall it's not a bad story. It's fine.
Gif rating:

If you're curious, here's the full list of what I read in September and October of last year.
The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson

The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

August reading wrap up

August reading has been better than July reading. Not like that was hard. Getting into something of a routine with the Pipsqueak* so managed to get some more reading done. I mean, not much more. But some.

And I managed to read to him a bit. One of the "How to raise the small thing you brought home from the hospital with you" books says it's good to read to them, even if at this age they don't understand what you're saying, so go ahead and read to them whatever your reading. It suggests New Yorker articles you've been meaning to catch up on or Moby Dick. Which is why I read to him a book about autopsies. Not quite as classy as the book was going for, but he seemed interested so whatever.
Addams Approve
Spoiler for stats to come, but it's all re-reads. And not only that but all nonfiction. Apparently that is the mood I have been in. Fiction requires more imagination. I've also stuck to ebooks since it's easier to read on my phone (something I had never done before this month) since I can hold the phone in one hand and deal with whatever needs dealt with with the other hand. There are physical books I'd like to pick up so maybe next month I'll figure that out but for now the phone was easiest.

Reading stats!

Number of books read
Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies and the Making of a Medical Examiner by Judy Melineck
Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell

Number of pages


POC authors

Female authors

US authors


Book formats
ebooks: 100%

Where'd I get the book
Kindle/Audible: 100%

Decades published
2000s: 50%
2010s: 50%

Resolution books

I'm not sure what it says about me that I picked two nonfiction books dealing with death. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some back episodes of My Favorite Murder to catch up on.

*He has about 100 nicknames including Munchkin, Angel Face, Goblin, Sir Poopington. Sometimes we call him by his name. He is going to be a very confused child.