Archive for the ‘reading’ Category

The People of Sparks – Jeanne DuPrau

19 February, 2018

well… MrG said he wanted to read the next book after City of Ember… and, well, I finished it off in a few days.

Fun read.

Weird thing… the book, from 2004, dealing with the question “what should we do with refugees?” still seems relevant today. I liked how both sides, had pretty valid common sense points of “we need to keep our people safe”.

And remember kids, in agriculture, you have good years, and you have bad years.


Esperanza Rising

17 February, 2018

Ms Squeaky suggested I read Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan, but warned me that there are sad parts.

Yup… start with the wonderful childhood of Esperanza…but then due to tragedies (note, that’s plural), she has to immigrate to America. To work on a farm. During the Great Depression.

Good read.

Is funny, MsS today told me she doesn’t like history. I said, “but Esperanza Rising is full of history!”

Out Of My Mind – Sharon M Draper

13 February, 2018

Out Of My Mind by Sharon M Draper.

MsS and MrG both read and liked this book. I liked it too. The parents were completely true, making parenting mistakes, yelling at kids for the wrong reasons. The kids were realistic. Maybe that’s the sad part of the story of Melody, the main character who can not talk, is how realistic everyone is in their interactions with her.




City of Ember

5 February, 2018

City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau.

An entertaining read. Most fun part though has been talking with MrG aboot it.

I liked the reference to the Irish Potato Famine, tossed in the middle.

Something besides sports for discussion!



29 January, 2018

I quickly read Lindy West’s Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman, and I’m glad I did.

The little tiny things I appreciated, her basketball references… talking about a person grabbing the Defensive Rebound when they change their long-held-opinion, or a quick “I can fix your jump shot”.

Bigger more important things, that she says so much better than I can:

Comics should punch up, not punch down. For example, the CEO shouldn’t make fun of the janitor at the company picnic roast.

And one of the most Jesus like things I’ve read recently, (and naturally from someone who doesn’t believe in God. Srsly my fellow Christians, what’s wrong with us?)

“It’s hard to be cold or cruel when you remember it’s hard to be a person.”

Good work, Ms. West. Thank you.


Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom

2 January, 2018

“By the time I was fifteen years old, I had been in jail nine times.”

That’s a nice opening line for Lynda Blackmon Lowery’s “Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom“.

A quick read, a good read, an important read. The story of a girl on the 1965 Selma Voting Rights march.


Being Mortal

26 December, 2017

We assign Being Mortal – Atul Gawande to the med students. I figured I might as well give it a read. It’s a quick read, it’s an easy read, it’s a difficult topic, but one we as a society should think more about.

At first, really didn’t like looking to my future, where my body breaks down.
But, gave me a few things to think about:

  1. If time becomes short, what is most important to you?
  2. How much are you willing to go through to have a shot at being alive?
  3. What level of being alive is tolerable to you?
  4. What are my biggest fears & concerns?
  5. What goals are most important?
  6. What tradeoffs am I willing to make?
  7. What tradeoffs am I not willing to make?

Things I should think aboot while I’m healthy.

And, a conversation to have with the childrens, so that later in life, they don’t have to worry, “did we give up too soon, or did we prolong the suffering too long”, because they’ll have my thoughts on the matter.

There’s a philosophy in elderly care, to take a step back from “keep the patient alive at all costs” to let them enjoy their last days.

(Although, knowing my luck, I’ll be hit by a bus, because I’m being chased by a tiger.)




Out of Nowhere

2 December, 2017

Out of Nowhere by Maria Padian

I must have liked it, because when I got to the half-way point, I kept reading until I finished it at 2AM.  There were some great descriptions of soccer games.

catching up “Castle” and TWD

7 October, 2017

“Castle” by David Macaulay was one of my favs when I was young, I must have checked it out half a dozen times when I was in early elementary school. And so, I am sharing it with my childrens. I highly recommend. (Read it, it may save your life someday!) 

Side note: I wish that somebody in TheWalkingDead had read Castle when they were young.

I’ve no intention on watch the rest of the season of TheWalkingDead.

I hate baseball bat dude…. “I’m a super powerful bad-ass, and I have a loyal army that I lead…oh, you killed a bunch of my people, I’ll kill one of yours… oh, little Rick Jr just machine gunned my people, OK, I’ll take him under my wing…”  That guy is an idiot.


I see now.

Idiot-Negan is the evil opposite of idiot-Rick.

I can see how someone might flock to a dangerous leader in times of crisis, if he kept them safe. But if he keeps letting his people get killed through stupidity.

Oh for f’s sake… I can just see it now… Trump tweets about TWD, “Finally, Hollywood gets what real leadership is like. Negan is strong leader. Rick isn’t so innocent.”

what I would like… humanity to pull together… and maybe Survivor / Gilligan’sIsland their way to a new tomorrow. What changes in society would there be if you zombiefied when you died. “Good night grandma, don’t forget to lock yourself inside your room.”

I can even see violence breaking out between competing groups… “hey this is our hunting grounds”… But just cannibalism for the sake of “worser” BigBad-of-the-Season. Meh.

AND for freakin’ frackin’… has none of the survivors ever read a book about a castle??? Every season the zombies burst through a flimsy wall. Did Rick look at the lovely wall by Deanna’s husband and say, “yup, this would totally stop the Governor and his tank?”

And in closing, Carol Ms “Hi-class-today-we’re-gonna-learn-about…are-they-gone…alright-kids- these-are-machetes…”  for President 2020. Because she’ll know how to survive in an apocalypse.

  • I’m sure all the gasoline, bleach, toilet paper, batteries, eye-glasses, tampons, condoms, aspirin, toothpaste, blank paper, pencils, guitar strings,… are gone.
  • Libraries are mostly burnt out.
  • How many people get botulism by poor canning?
  • How much non-GMO corn seed is out there in the world?
  • Blackberry vines should be covering most of the streets.
  • What happens if you get pecked by a crow that was chompin’ on zombie.

Wouldn’t you kinda have to be fascist:

  • “Roll call, where’s Bob? Security go check on Bob!”
  • “Nope, fertile women are not allowed to go out on patrol.”
  • “sure he beats his wife…but he’s a doctor, so we try to ignore it.”

Note…this was written in the middle of the season, and then I discovered one of the characters has a tiger. So I watched. Because. TIGERS!

I fear tigers. Two stories, which I pro’lly have told….but, hey, you’ve read this far, amirite

Christmas visiting my brother, in SanDiego. We went to the zoo, great zoo. We were in the valley of the cats, looking around, cool, the sun starting to set, and the tigers started to roar. My instinct was LEAVE NOW. I held MyBetterHalf’s hand, and pulled on her to get her walking a bit quicker. I wanted out of the valley. NOW. There was no rational, “this is a zoo”, there was primal flight signals going off in my brain.

At a different zoo, (Isaquah has a zoo!!), at Christmas. Me & MrC were hanging out by the tiger, in a cage. I was cool. I realized it was a thick cave. I was staring at the tiger, maybe trying to get over my fear. And it noticed my stare. It stared back. It did not blink. Were were close, and I could realize that the tiger was at least seven or eight feet long, and those iron bars were only a few inches thick. I gathered MrC and we wandered off down the path. Just don’t agitate a tiger. OK, lesson learned. And I looked back, note, we had walked away for about a minute. And the tiger was still staring at me. GET OUT NOW, was my emotion.

Between Shades of Gray

28 June, 2017

Ruta Sepetys’s Between Shades of Gray

“When the rest of the world finds out what the Soviets are doing, they will put an end to all of this.”  

A story of a young girl, trying to survive, during WW2, when the Soviets sent her and her family to Siberia. I’m glad I read it. It is a good read, a quick read. I am also glad that I read while the sun was shining, and not during the gloom of winter.

I recommend.