Tuesday, September 6, 2022

August Reading Wrap Up+

I've not been good about updating here in general, which isn't really surprising given the last, oh about 4 years. But at least I'm still doing these monthly updates. It's nice for myself (if no one else though if you're still reading Hi! Hello! I appreciate you) to write down the reminders of how I've been doing, what I thought about what I've been reading. I mean, I'm keeping my spreadsheets updated anyway.

It's crazy that summer is over. I mean it's still hot out though I'm now at the point where low '80s feels almost cozy. There's so much back to school stuff and we're not quite there though with the (not-so-little) one yet but it's soon. Speaking of, I haven't shared a pic of him in a while so look at this cutie who is a bundle of energy and very outgoing which can be exhausting but I'm happy for him. Hopefully it will continue to be this easy for him to make friends 
But hey, why not get to those book stats?

Total Books Read
Mimi Lee Gets a Clue by Jennifer J. Chow
North of Normal: A Memoir of My Wilderness Childhood, My Unusual Family, And How I Survived Both by Cea Sunrise Person
To Have and To Hold: Motherhood, Marriage and the Modern Dilemma by Molly Millwood, PhD
Mother of Invention: How Good Ideas Get Ignored in an Economy Built for Men by Katrine Marcal

Mimi Lee Gets a Clue by Jennifer J. Chow
I feel like I'm having some trouble figuring out the cozy mystery genre. I like a mystery. And I'm not always in the mood for something serious and dramatic. Sometimes I want something light. But a lot of the cozy mysteries I read have left me a bit flat and I don't know if it's the genre itself and the issues I'm running into are the tropes in the genre and if I don't like it, I need to move on, or if it's the books themselves. My biggest issue, here and in others, is that when it comes to solving a mystery, the protagonist is not just clueless but sometimes I wonder if they've interacted with humans before. ANYWAY, here there is a dead dog breeder and the main character Mimi is suspect number one who needs to find the real killed to prove her innocence. Also she has a talking cat Marshmallow that only she can hear. It was fine, it was light, it had its moments but overall fell short for me.
Rating: 2.75 stars
North of Normal: A Memoir of My Wilderness Childhood, My Unusual Family, and How I Survived Both by Cea Sunrise Person
I can't remember how I stumbled on this, I think it was one of the "currently available" audiobooks in the library app and it seemed intriguing. I was thinking maybe something like Educated by Tara Westover, though it's nice that this didn't involve any fundie religion. Instead, Person's family were '60s counter-culturists who decided to leave CA for the Canadian wilderness, to get closer to nature. Her early life was spent living off the grid in the woods, where her favorite meal was bear her grandfather hunted. But really, much of the story is the relationship between Cea and her mother, who was a teenager when she had her and while may have meant well, had her own issues raising a young child while trying to satisfy her wants. There are crazy moments, some very upsetting ones, some very frustrating ones and ultimately it's good she got out. 
Rating: 3.5 stars
To Have and To Hold: Motherhood, Marriage and the Modern Dilemma by Molly Millwood, PhD
Psychologist Molly Millwood looks at the ways motherhood affects and disrupts a woman's sense of self, how it changes her relationship with her partner and how it can feel easy to completely lose your identity when there's a baby involved. The book does center on cis, hetero relationships (something she addresses early on) with a fair amount on how motherhood seems to require so many drastic changes for the women and far fewer from the men, even those that are fully committed and involved co-parents. There's a lot of discussion of shame and guilt women feel, some I could relate to, others less so. She lost me a bit on the section on giving birth sans any sort of pain medication since it seemed to take on the tone of "everyone makes the choice that's best for themselves (but this way is prob the best way)" which I wasn't keen on, but perhaps I was reading into it. Overall an interesting read, even if some of the situations she shared from her life or patients' (names, details changed/combined to keep identities private) felt like AITA posts where I wanted to yell "Girl, RUN". 
Rating: 3.25 stars
Mother of Invention: How Good Ideas Get Ignored in an Economy Built for Men by Katrine Marcal
Despite humanity knowing about the wheel for sometime, they weren't widely put on suitcases until the 1970s. Not that people didn't consider this idea, but it wasn't something people believed could be sold because it would emasculate the men, who were supposed to be able to carry the family's luggage. And so opens Mother of Invention, which is in the vein of books like Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez or Doing Harm by Maya Dusenbery, about how society fails women when research and ideas are only focused on men. Except unfortunately this felt like it fell flat of those other books because it was a bit all over the place. Some sections, such as the wheeled suitcase, were fairly straightforward. But other sections seemed to be lacking a clear message (there's a long section about witches and wizards while, interesting, I struggled to follow how it fit into the rest of the book). The second half is less about individual instances but more women's place (or sadly lack of) in the economy, so the theoretical ideas are missed, though of course we don't necessarily know what we're missing. Not yet, anyway. It also spends a fair amount on climate change and job automation while interesting, seemed like they were sections lifted from a separate book. Lots of good information that I think could have been structured a bit better.
Rating: 3.5 stars

Total pages read


Female authors
second month in a row and third month this year 

BIPOC author

US author

Book format
audiobook - 100%

Where'd I get the book
library - 100%


Decade published
2010s: 50%
2020s: 50%

Resolution reads
making up (a bit) for last month