Archive for the ‘reading’ Category

Wolf Hollow

8 July, 2018

…and when MyBetterHalf and the childrens were away for the Fourth of July, I read “Wolf Hollow” By Lauren E. Wolk.

It was a quick, good read.

I’m hoping one of my childrens will read it, and we can chat.


Lafayette in the Somewhat United States

1 July, 2018

I appreciate Sarah Vowell, who likes “to use whatever’s lying around to paint pictures of the past”.

She tosses in things like “Considering Independence Hall was also where the founders calculated that a slave equals three-fifths of a person…making an adolescent who barely spoke English a major general at the age I got hired to run the cash register…was not the worst decision ever made there.”

“Years before the first shots were fired, women…were quietly sticking it to their colonial overlords with their needles and pins.”  (Describing the American home-spun movement.)

She mentions the American publishers fetish for war history, but she sees American history as a history of argument.

Note to self for further investigation:

  • Christopher Densmore: “The Quaker Origin of the first Women’s Rights Convention”
  • E. Wayne Carp: “To Starve the Army at Pleasure”

The Checklist Manifesto

27 May, 2018

Atul Gawande writes about the checklist. Nope, not sexy. But good stories. WHO recently did a study, (Dr Gawande was part of this study), and results were using a checklist in surgery is good. Airplane pilots use check lists.

It was alright, but, if you’re gonna read one book by Dr. Gawande, please read “Being Mortal“.  I feel the information in the book could have been condensed, say, into an NPR interview.

(Note: I do have a couple check lists at work. And, I’m trying to have childrens use checklist for “what to do when I get home from school.” Both of these have varying measures of success.)


2017 Best American Mystery Stories

1 April, 2018

MyBetterHalf got me 2017 Best American Mystery Stories, John Sandford ed., for Christmas.

I enjoyed reading it. (I was thinking “Mystery” are “who-done-it”…but more accurately stories about crime, from either cop, crook, or victim perspective.)

Most were good. A few were very good.

One of them, and I’m glad I was reading it yesterday, while a sun was coming up – not at night, scared me. It was aboot a dad, with a baby in the back seat of a car, and well, it’s a book about crime so that was the first clue to be scared, but William R Soldan did a great job of writing, I was afraid for the baby.

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.