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Mailbox Monday

January 23, 2017

mailbox-monday-january-23

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.   I found these books in my mailbox last week:

Monday

Thursday

What did you find in your mailbox?

The Week in Review: 1.20.2017

January 20, 2017

the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

lonerLONER by Teddy Wayne is the story of David Federman, a highly intelligent, socially awkward freshman at Harvard who becomes obsessed with a classmate named Veronica.  It’s a book that I found fascinating but it also made me feel very uncomfortable at times.  The perspective is unique in that David is telling his story to Veronica, giving it a creepy tone at times.  I’m not sure I liked the ending of the book – it jarred me and left me feeling unsettled – but I’m still thinking about it.  I can’t say that I loved LONER but I did like it quite a bit.  (Review copy provided by Simon & Schuster.)

mischlingIn MISCHLING by Affinty Konar, twins Pearl and Stasha are sent to Auschwitz and selected to be part of Mengele’s “Zoo,” a barracks for prisoners chosen for some of the doctors horrible experiments.  When Pearl disappears, Stasha grieves but never gives up hope that her sister is still alive and hunts for her once the war is over.  I expected to love this book but didn’t feel the depth of emotion I hoped to.  I’m not sure if it’s because I experienced it on audio, but I found my mind wandering and thought the book was good but not great.  There is a very nice, emotional interview with author at the end of the audio. (I won this from Bookin’ with Bingo.)

flying-lessonsFLYING LESSONS & OTHER STORIES, edited by Ellen Oh is a fabulous collection of short stories for young people.  These stories are written by diverse authors about diverse characters ranging from a young wheelchair bound basketball playing boy to a young Asian slave girl who runs away rather than marry her owner’s son.  I loved every single story in this collection but still had a few favorites.  I adored  Main Street by Jacqueline Woodson –  it’s the story of Celeste and her mom who are the only two people of color in their small Maine town.  Seventy-Six Dollars and Forty-Nine Cents by Kwame Alexander is the memoir (written in verse) of Monk, a young boy who hits his head and gains the ability to read other people’s thoughts.  There’s a paragraph about each of the wonderful authors in the back of the book.  I highly recommend this collection to everyone aged 8 and up! (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

 

Currently reading:

On the Screen

I went to see Manchester by the Sea this week.  It’s the story of Lee Chandler, a troubled man who is given custody of his teenage nephew when his brother dies.  Viewers are filled in on Lee’s background through a series of flashbacks and learn of his sad past.   The acting in this movie was top notch so I was engrossed the whole time but the ending left me wanting more and I left the theater with a heavy heart.  Be warned, this movie is very sad.

Off the blog

  • I’m obsessed with my MICHELE watches and watch bands and often choose my outfit of the day based on the watch band I want to wear.
  • We went from really cold weather to unseasonably warm weather and enjoyed highs in the 60s and 70s this week.  Tuesday night’s low tied a record high-low (did you get that?) and Wednesday’s high of 77 set a new record.
  • When I was taking clothes out of the washing machine on Wednesday, a big chunk of paint chipped off the interior and it was rusted underneath so we had to go out and buy a new washer.  Buying appliances is confusing and stressful!
  • Even though I didn’t have much time to work on my puzzle, I did make a little progress:

puzzle-jan-19

  • I walked three miles every day and averaged about 15,000 Fitbit steps a day.

Wondrous Words Wednesday

January 18, 2017

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative!   If you want to play along, grab the button, write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky!

Today’s words are from LONER by Teddy Wayne.

1. caesure – “Then, with robotic caesurae and emotionless inflection: ‘I — am — worse.'”

Caesurae means any break, pause, or interruption.

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2. reify – “‘Its very blankness, the colossal void it imposes on the text, reifies a central tension of post-Manifest Destiny American literature,’ he proclaimed with closed eyes and an upturned head, as though channeling his wisdom from above.”

Reify means to make something abstract more concrete or real.

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3. frottage – “This was no sophomoric party in a freshman dorm, with its frenzied frottage of ephebes like so many molecules in a chemical reaction, its deafening Top 40 songs, its disembodied arms holding out red Solo cups by the keg like baby sparrows squalling for worms.”

In this case, frottage means the practice of touching or rubbing against the clothed body of another person in a crowd as a means of obtaining sexual gratification.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Mailbox Monday

January 16, 2017

mailbox-monday-january-16

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.   The cold weather has passed and it’s been beautiful here but we have lots of rain in our forecast this week.  The week flew by and I don’t feel like I accomplished all that much.  I found these goodies in my mailbox:

Tuesday

Friday

 

What did you find in your mailbox last week?

The Week in Review: 1.13.2017

January 13, 2017

the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

between-the-world-and-meBETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME by Ta-Nehisi Coates was a book club selection for me.  It’s written by a black man as a letter to his son about what it’s like to grow up/be black in America.  I struggled through much of the book, finding it rambling and difficult to follow.  I did appreciate the message, though, and have thought much about Coates message.  In the end, I’m glad I read the book but can’t say that I loved it.  I’m anxious to see what other members of my book club thought. (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

kid-athletesKID ATHLETES: TRUE TALES OF CHILDHOOD FROM SPORTS LEGENDS by David Stabler is a terrific book for middle grade readers.  It includes childhood stories of a nice variety of professional athletes including sumo wrestler Jesse Kuhaulua, gymnast Gabby Douglas, and football player Peyton Manning. Young readers/athletes will enjoy discovering these sports giants were ordinary kids with struggles much like their own.  Doogie Horner’s great illustrations are a nice touch to this inspiring book.  You’ll want to pick KID ATHLETES up for the young athletes in your life.  (Review copy provided by Quirk Books.)

the-undoing-projectI listened to THE UNDOING PROJECT: A FRIENDSHIP THAT CHANGED OUR MINDS by Michael Lewis over the holidays and, to be honest, it didn’t really work for me.  I wanted to love the book but had trouble staying focused on and making sense of the story of the friendship between and work of two Israeli psychologist.  Dennis Boutsikaris’s narration was fine but it wasn’t enough to save the book for me.  I’d suggest skipping this one unless you have a great interest in the work of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky.

Currently reading:

On the Screen

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  • I was thrilled to see our somewhat local team, Clemson, win the NCAA National Championship in football.  ACC, baby!
  • My movie going friend and I decided to take our husbands to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them this week since we’re all fans of the Harry Potter franchise. (This movie is about the wizarding world before Harry Potter.)  I think we all enjoyed this movie but none of us loved it.  I thought the story was good and the special effects were great but there were way too many action scenes and the movie was too long.  For me, the movie wasn’t anything special but it was entertaining.

Off the blog

  • They predicted 5 to 8 inches of snow in our area and people spent Thursday and Friday preparing since we live in an area without snowplows.  As usual, they got everyone worked up for nothing.  This is what we woke up to Saturday morning:

 

snow-jan-7

  • I walked 3 miles every day, even when it was 16 degrees Sunday and Monday mornings.
  • I play trivia with a few friends fairly often on Wednesdays and we came in first place this week.
  • I love games and puzzles and started a new jigsaw puzzle yesterday afternoon:

jigsaw-puzzle

  • My book club met last night to discuss BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME.  Several members found the book inaccessible so they didn’t finish it.  Most who did read the whole book agreed with me and said they found it thought provoking and were glad they read it, but they didn’t love it.  Several mentioned that it made them uncomfortable.

How was your week?

 

 

 

Wondrous Words Wednesday

January 11, 2017

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative!   If you want to play along, grab the button, write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky!

I came across several new words in BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

1. agitprop – “My professor, Linda Heywood, was slight and bespectacled, spoke with a high Trinidadian lilt that she employed like a hammer against young men like me who confused agitprop with hard study.”

Agitprop is a noun that means political propaganda, especially in art or literature.

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2. dap – “But I know that I had love for this boy, Prince Jones, which is to say that I would smile whenever I saw him, for I felt warmth when I was around him and was slightly sad when the time came to trade dap and for one of us to go.”

According to Urban Dictionary, dap means to knock fists together as a greeting or form or respect.  I’ve seen people do this plenty of times but had no idea that’s what it’s called.

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2. carceral – “The abuses that have followed from these policies — the sprawling carceral state, the random detention of black people, the torture of suspects — are the product of democratic will.”

I should have been able to figure this word out.  Carceral means of, relating to, or suggesting a jail or prison.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Mailbox Monday

January 9, 2017

here-we-are

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.   There was only one book in my mailbox but I’m okay with that – it’s always fun to decrease the stacks even the tiniest bit.  It’s cold in our part of the world and I’m looking forward to the warm weather later this week.  I found this book in my mailbox:

Tuesday

What did you find in your mailbox last week?