WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday: November 13, 2019

This week has been too long already so I’m doubly thrilled that it is Wednesday. Not only are we half way through the week but it is also time for my favorite meme of them all, WWW Wednesday! If you want to join it – please do! Just answer the following questions:

What did you just Finish Reading?

What are you Currently Reading?

What will you Read Next?

Thanks (as always) goes to Sam @ Taking on a World of Words for taking the time to host the meme that keeps me as organized as possible.


What Did I Just Finish Reading?

I am having a wonderful time focusing on my giant stack of nonfiction books for NonFiction November!

I finished Snacks: A Canadian Food History.  It was excellent and a true test of my healthy eating plan. Thankfully, most of the snacks highlighted are only available to ship from Canada at an exorbitant rate but the next time I am there I plan on buying all the Old Dutch chips, Cheezies, and locally made chocolates. Yum. My review should be up either today or tomorrow.

The Time Chunking Method by Damon Zahariades was a fast read (less than an hour) and has some good tips and tricks for getting things done. None of the information was new to me as it relies on the Pomodoro technique that I’ve been using for years. But if you are looking to increase productivity, this is a great primer on one way to get stuff done.

I also finished Glorious Freedom: Older Women Leading Extraordinary Lives by Lisa Congdon. I love this book and the premise is so freeing: there is never a time when it is too late to start a working on your dream. You can read my full review here.

I also read Beard Necessities by Penny Reid and Geektastic by Mary Frame. Both are authors that I adore and both books were wonderful! If you are in the market for a new contemporary romance author – I highly recommend both of these.


What am I Currently Reading?

I offer my formal apology to The Heart Forger by Ron Chupeco. I was reading this book in October and I got so excited about my nonfiction stuff I put it aside. But, if I have time to read new romance books, I have time to finish this story! I hope to complete it this week.

As expected, I’m still working through Hand Reading. This is the longest and most details palmistry book I own and I just want to finish it by the end of 2019.

I am reading and listening to Black Countthe story of the real Count of Monte Cristo. The audiobook is really helping me keep the pace with this historically rich adventure and I am almost 30% into it.

Finally, this morning I started Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This is one of my 2019 Resolutions and, gulp, the year is really starting to close in on me.

Sadly, the library demanded Haben back before I could finish it. I put my name back on the list through because I really want to know her story.


What Will I Read Next?

I have a stack of nonfiction left to choose from and these are on top. I’m especially drawn to Have You Eaten Grandma? because I could use all the punctuation help in the world and look at the cute Grandma!


Tell me, please!

What’s on your WWW?


 

nonfiction

NonFiction November: Week 3

It is already time for Week Three of NonFiction November! This week we are the experts and it is hosted by Katie @ Doing Dewey. Participation is easy. Just name three books on a subject you are / want to become an expert on or name a subject you are interested in and books that fit into that area. I’ve done a little of both for this prompt.

At the beginning of the year I really wanted to become an expert on Sherlock Holmes / Arthur Conan Doyle. I started by reading Conan Doyle for the Win and it was such an excellent book that I thought: if Sherlock is so interesting, Conan Doyle must be fascinating. What’s wrong with me!? This is like loving a character and believing that the actor who plays them must have all the same fun characteristics. After trying to read three or four different biographies I gave up. Arthur Conan Doyle bored me to tears.

But, I still wanted to focus on something this year and so I turned to an interest of mine from years ago: Palmistry.


palmistry3I bought Palmistry by Lori Reid in the bargain section of Barnes and Noble years ago. Like 15-20 years ago. It is one of those introductory books that has wonderful pictures and makes learning the basic ins and outs of a subject effortless. It wasn’t long before I was reading all of my friend’s palms at parties. To date, this is the only book that I know I have read cover to cover on the subject.

 

 

palmistry2

 

The Complete Illustrated Guide to Palmistry by Peter West was the second book I picked up on the subject. I think I was getting worried that using my $10 bargain book to read palms wasn’t enough information to give people free palm readings (type A much?). This book was very similar to my first book but with more famous people’s hands included. I have probably read this whole book but in the section by section way I find myself doing things sometimes when I’m giving a subject my total focus.

 

 

I received these two books as presents this year and I have yet to crack into them. I have been too enthralled with this book:

artsciencehand

The Art and Science of Hand Reading is huge but this textbook is the one I am determined to finish before the end of 2019. Also, I feel like if I can make it through this book I can zip through the much smaller and more picture-rich texts quickly.

As I work through this book I am obnoxious in my head, especially on public transportation, at looking at people’s hands and trying to figure them out. Since winter has started, my ability to stare at hands has been lost to mittens and gloves but I’ll keep reading and practicing on my friends until the flowers, and the palms, come back to me in the spring!


Tell me, please!

What subject do you want to be an expert in?


 

all ages · nonfiction

A Glorious Freedom: Older Women Leading Extraordinary Lives by Lisa Congdon

I was far from cool my whole life. Doing anything different bothered people from the age of 10 to about 23 when suddenly, being different was fascinating and all the odd and unusual things I had been doing my whole childhood made me interesting instead of weird. Whether weird or interesting, doing stuff made me happy so I just kept going.

Because of that mindset, and my Mother’s sage advice that happiness is a choice, I have spent every year learning something new and exploring every odd whim I had the time and money to support. This blog is just one of the many irons I keep hot in the fire. If it ends up being the ship I sail away on in my retirement… yahoo! If not, I have other things to occupy my mind and feed my soul.

agloriousfreedomA Glorious Freedom: Older Women Leading Extraordinary Lives by Lisa Congdon is for anyone out there who thinks they are on some kind of happiness timeline. If you are stressing that if you don’t achieve your dreams by 25, 35, or 50 then you have failed, well, this book may convince you that you can breathe. Success comes to all who work for it, but not always at the same time. And, sometimes, the success that brings you the greatest joy is not the one you’ve been working on all this time.

Author Lisa Congdon did not begin to paint or draw until she was 31. She didn’t write regularly until 42 and her first book wasn’t published until 44. When A Glorious Freedom was published she was 49. She didn’t quit on life or relegate herself to the sidelines because of her age. And this book is a collection of other women who passed the imaginary limitations of forty and embraced their future. Through profiles, interviews, and essays of “older” women we can see that professional and / or personal success can be achieved after the forty.

I was unhappy with the disparity in the number of white women who are highlighted. Realistically, I understand that opportunities for minorities has always trailed behind the doors open to white women but these the book also focuses almost exclusively on artistic success. Writers, artists, and painters dominate the pages.  When the focus turns to other pursuits, like mathematics, nature and advancements in civil rights, those women are also people of color. There is an Iranian writer and an African-American artist but the reality is that either this author focused more on white women or there is just more opportunities for white women to find success in their dreams.

Beyond coming to their extraordinariness after age forty, the women all had one other things in common: longevity. Numerous women featured in the book lived into 100 or well into their 90s with many of them continuing to participate in their passion projects until their deaths. Perhaps the secret to longevity is to fill your life with a purpose.


Tell me, please!

If money was no problem and failure wasn’t possible, what would you do?


 

Romantic · Science Fiction · SeriousSeriesLove · YA

The Illuminae Files

The chance of this not being my favorite series of the year is so slim it’s not worth mentioning. But, since I already brought it up… This is the best series I’ve read this year.

These books are winners, each and every one of them. I am obsessed with these books. I formally apologize to each and every person that recommended them to me for delaying in reading them. I’m sorry. Let me take you out for coffee so we can gush. Wait, first, perhaps I should calm down.

Ugh. I’m being obnoxious. (Clears throat). Let’s start over. The Illuminae Files…..? shrug. They were good. (So freaking good)

IlluminaeFiles

I am going to do everything in my power to avoid spoilers but this is so difficult to do in a series review. I’ve included the book jacket descriptions but even then, there are spoilers. I’ll let you know before you get there.

Note: the books look huge but don’t be put off by their size. They are not a straight forward narratives but rather, a collection of documents. I initially passed on reading the books because I thought they would take too long. That was silly of me. These stories are so ingenious and artfully crafted that the pages almost flip themselves.

Also, while books take place in space and in the future they each have a timeless feel. The romance in each book feels genuine and the balanced inclusion of action, mystery, and straight up terror keeps the story from any feeling of familiarity. Not to say they are as scary as say, Misery, but being locked on a spaceship with a virus, or being stuck on a space station with bugs are high, high, up on my own personal nightmare list. The romances are sweet and fairly clean but the language is not. Hilariously, the words are redacted, but that just made my brain work a teeny bit harder to come up with the most appropriate expletive.

Illuminae


This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes. (Goodreads)

This is the book that introduced me to the format and wonder that is The Illumnae Files. I have said it before but it is important to note that I read and listened to the full cast audiobook and it brought the book to a whole other level for me. If you have the chance, I highly recommend doing both. Please don’t make me pick between the audiobook and the physical copy – I doubt I could manage to choose.

Kady, the strong female lead of our dreams, is an talented computer hacker while still in high school. Her brusque manner belies the depth of her caring. In fact, this book introduces a cast of characters for the ages. My own personal obsession is Analyst ID 7213-0089-DN. Hello Mr. Hilarious observations!

Gemina


Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope. (Goodreads)

I didn’t think I could enjoy anyone as much as I did Kady but Hanna Donnelly is a woman after my own heart. Furthermore, she keeps a physical diary in which she draws her thoughts (Marie Lu Illustrates!) adding just one more layer to the experience of reading these books.

I was, admittedly, throw by the shift away from Kady’s perspective. It started to dawn on me that there was some connection between the stories when I saw my beloved Analyst’s reports start coming through. In the end, if this has been a standalone, I would have been thrilled but the way the two books connect turned me into that person on the bus that tells random strangers how fantastic their book is. That lady didn’t need to get off the bus to get away from me… Sorry lady! I hope that was your actual stop!

The book jacket for the third book contains series spoilers! If you want to avoid this: stop reading this post now!

Obsidio


Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion?

Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha’s past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict.

With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken. (Goodreads)

I ignored every obligation in my life to read this book. I couldn’t even wait for the audiobook to read it to me – I cleared my calendar, holed up in my house, and read it page by delicious page.

People are not exaggerating when they talk about this series. It has something for everyone and delivers book after book. This series gets all the stars from me and will get a hug every time I see them out and about!


Tell me, please!

Have you read The Illuminae Files? Can we please talk about them??!!


 

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday: November 7, 2019

I don’t know what it is about the start of November but I feel totally invigorated! Perhaps it is just the magic of “the first” or because NaNoWriMo has me sitting in front of my computer more frequently but I have been reading and posting. I mean, I haven’t been reviewing quite on schedule like I should but, no one is perfect right?

There is nothing like posting a WWW when you feel good about yourself though is there? It feels so good to thank Sam at Taking on a World of Words for hosting the meme that, this week, adds to my momentum instead of just resetting it. To participate, just answer three questions:

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Feel free to link to your blog below so I can see how your week has been or just comment with what you have been reading. Please note: I just cannot bring myself to answer the questions unless they are in chronological order.


What Did I Just Finish Reading?

In November I participate in Nonfiction November. I love the wonderful group of people who take turns hosting this event and I always find so many NonFiction books for my shelves.

This week I have already enjoyed the delightful ethical journey James M. Russell takes us on in The Forking Trolley. If you enjoy watching The Good Place you might also enjoy this fun look at all the ethical theories presented on the popular television show. You don’t need to have seen the show to enjoy the book but there are spoilers included and, honestly, it all just makes so much more sense when you understand the show. My full review is here.

I also read and reviewed The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin. I cannot stop thinking about this book and I desperately want to sit and talk through the whole thing with someone. Has anyone else read it? Thoughts?? My full review is here.


What am I Currently Reading?

This is one more book than I like to have going at one time but I lost any measure of self control and downloaded Beard Necessities onto my kindle early this morning. The darn time change had me awake too early! It won’t be on my list for long though because I have been waiting to hear the story of Billy and Scarlet forever.

I am three chapters in Snacks, A Canadian Food History and I desperately wish I had pre-ordered all of the snacks covered in the book before I started reading. This will be yet another excuse for me to visit Canada (I’m still embarrassingly obsessed with everything Canada).

I am nearly half way through The Heart Forger by Ron Chupeco. This is the second book in the series and it is excellent. It was supposed to be one of my last books for Frighteningly Good Reads but I didn’t finish it by the end of October. Now, admittedly, I am struggling to finish the book because I am far more fascinated by my NonFiction Stack.

I have finally, after putting Black Count on my list last year, getting around the reading the story of the true Count of Monte Cristo. I managed to get a copy of the audiobook and I am loving it. This is one of the gems I discovered during 2018’s NonFiction November!

As was expected, I am still working through The Art and Science of Hand Reading.


What Will I Read Next?

I cannot wait to start reading A Glorious Freedom by Lisa Congdon. It is a collection of stories of women who started a new business or hit their personal / professional stride after 50.

Haben the true story of Haben Girma is going to be wanted back by the library soon. I really need to start reading it before I run out of time.


Tell me, please!

What’s on your WWW list?


 

nonfiction

NonFiction November: Week 2

It’s Week Two of NonFiction November. This week the prompt is to pair up a nonfiction book with a fiction title a la, “if you like this, you might enjoy that.” This week is hosted by Sarah @ Sarah’s Book Shelves and is always one of my favorite weeks to peek around. Some of the participants come up with amazing posts!

My fiction and nonfiction pairings are also connected to films. So, this post is more a “if you enjoyed the movie, you might like the book and whoa, there’s also this nonfiction book!”


The Princess Bride and As You Wish

The Princess Bride is one of my favorite books as well as one of my favorite movies. This book is, hands down, the best example of how to make a wonderful movie from a fabulous book. I believe this feat is only made possible by author William Goldman’s participation in the screenplay. If you love the movie, you will love the book.

But, my infatuation with the book (and movie) made me nervous to read As You Wish, Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes. I actually purchased the book as soon as it was available but couldn’t bring myself to read it for months. My fear was a tangible thing. What if he gave into the general public’s need for tawdry details? What if he hated everyone from the film? Oh my gosh, what if Wesley was a jerk?

I shouldn’t have been worried for a moment. As You Wish is a love letter to the amazing cast, crew, and experience of filming The Princess Bride. If anything, this book will make you want to immediately re-read the book and watch the movie. Cary Elwes defines what it means to be a gentleman.


The Princess, The Soundrel, and The Farm Boy and The Princess Diarist

I had the joy of reading both of these books as audiobooks and if you can, I highly recommend the experience. This fictional re-telling of the original movie, Star WarsA New Hope, is masterfully re-imagining. It is a much more character-driven story as opposed to the action-based energy of the movie. This full cast recording is complete with sound effects and music and will transport you back to that feeling of watching Episode III for the first time.

Similarly, reading Carrie Fisher’s diaries and memories left me missing my Princess more than ever. If you don’t know, Fisher was an unbelievably talented writer and this shines through in her journal entries. Her daughter, Billie Lorde, reads excerpts from journals written during the filming of the original films. Listening to these passages will leave you with no doubt as to why Carrie spent so many years as one of Hollywood’s go-to script doctors. The Princess Diarist does contain some salacious gossip but nothing the fans didn’t already know. What it does give you is a look at how a young woman in Hollywood embraced (eventually) the iconic role that defined her forever.


Pretty in Pink and So That Happened

Pretty in Pink is the book from the screenplay written by John Hughes and I recommend it because it has the original ending before they made the massive change seen in the popular 80’s movie. I’m Ducky forever (and ever and ever) so I prefer the original ending and the book was just plain fun.

As a Ducky fan, I knew I wanted to read Jon Cryer’s memoir, So That Happened. This book measures somewhere between Carrie Fisher and Cary Elwes in terms of gossip. In his memoir Jon is upfront and honest about himself and his journey through life and, while he delivers information about other people, it never takes the reader down any tawdry paths. Except when those paths were walked by Jon! The book is absolutely stuffed with other famous people and hilarious moments. The audiobook is read by the author and is thoroughly enjoyable. It is one of the longest audiobooks I listened to last year and it left me wanting more.


And there you have it! My movie to fiction to nonfiction adventures have lead me to some interesting books and memoirs. It is clear that I have an obsession with reading any book that has been made into film (and vice versa) and an addiction to audible memoirs.


Tell me, please!

What is your favorite fiction / nonfiction pairing?


 

nonfiction · Uncategorized

The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin is the New York Times Bestselling Author of The Happiness Project. She is well regarded in the self-help circles for inspiring people to become happier and healthier through a change in mind-set and by forming positive habits. She has excellent ideas about time management and it is clear that she is hard working and well intentioned. All of these, she says, are because she has the tendency she calls, “Upholder.”

thefourtendanciesIn her book, The Four Tendencies, Rubin divides all people into four different personalities. If you want to find out your own tendency you can take this simple (really simple) quiz here.

The four tenancies are: upholder, obliger, questioner, and rebel.

 

 

4+Tendencies+suggestions-01
https://trig.com/tangents/2017/12/21/using-the-four-tendencies-to-maximize-customer-research

I took the quiz and found that I, myself, am an Upholder. This makes perfect sense to me. I love making and keeping resolutions. I regularly order and use thousands of note cards. I cannot stand being late or breaking rules and I am physically uncomfortable when others do so.

The first section of the book is dedicated to explaining the Upholder personality, how to deal with an Upholder, and how Upholders can help themselves work within the parameters of their own tendency. While reading this section I found myself laughing in recognition and reading whole sections aloud to friends. I just kept thinking, “this is totally how I think!” I was enchanted.

Then I read the next section on Questioners. And I saw myself in that section as well. I can’t buy anything that costs more than $50 without doing hours of research. I always want to know “why” to every piece of evidence. When doctors give me advice I ask follow up questions to the exhaustion of the provider.

I see large chunks of my personality as well in the Obliger tendency. I didn’t really learn how to say “no” to people until much later in life. That’s not to say I would do things that went against my morals or goals but I was always happy to take on someone else’s jobs if it made life easier. I love to plan vacations but I am just as happy to go along with a change in plans if it makes someone else happy.

Even the Rebel speaks to whole years of my life and I resist certain Rebel tendencies to this day. My brother once told me that I couldn’t take a military marksmanship class in college and I signed up for it that day. I then went on to practice assembling and disassembling the M-16 they gave me until I could do it faster than anyone in the class. Later, I found myself rappelling off a building on campus with the same group. I did all of this because he told me I couldn’t.

One of the predicating arguments of Rubin’s Four Tendencies is that everyone is born with a certain tendency and they cannot change that tendency. Her theory is you belong to one tendency for your whole life and you cannot change. I vehemently disagree.

Of course, the author would argue that my disbelief at the simplicity of her four tendencies is because I’m actually a Questioner. This circular argument only benefits her theory. If you read the book and cast it aside, you must be a Rebel. If you only read it because a friend recommended it, you’re an Obliger. She has built into her four tendencies a way for her to negate any argument or example you may have that would defy the system she has set up. And, since she made these terms up completely without any data, background in psychology or sociology, or research, she knows them best and there is no arguing with her assessments.

I have to emphasize that point. This is her theory. There is no data, only anecdotal evidence to all of this. She doesn’t take into account any mental health issues that may underly an individual’s rigidity or reactive nature. She also doesn’t take into consideration the formulation of any of these habits. Could an Upholder quickly become an Obliger if placed in a domestic violence situation? Could a Rebel become a Questioner if their child was diagnosed with a chronic illness? Perhaps this simple approach is a good place to begin looking at why you make certain choices but it cannot be the sum total of why someone behaves the way that they do.

This may sound like a negative review but, even though there is a lot I disagree with about this book there are several reasons I recommend it here. First, taking stock of why we do things is essential if we ever want to change and grow as a person. That’s why they call them “self-help” books. And, if this book helps you to improve yourself then it is a winner for me. This book is easy to access, the quiz is short and, honestly, if accepting one of these labels for your tendency helps you then, wonderful!

More importantly, this book was absolutely fantastic at driving home the point that everyone thinks differently and all the variations of tendencies are positive. For health care providers, teachers, parents, and businesses, understanding the different tendencies is a good way to begin open communication toward change and growth. If this book does one thing well it explains that not everyone’s automatic reaction to a stimulus is the same. And, it teaches you how to recognize other people’s tendencies so that you can meet them where they are comfortable.

If this book helps you understand yourself better or improve just one relationship in your life then it was worth the time it took to read it. But, if you read it and disagree as I did, it also provides a fascinating look into how your friends formulate their arguments. Either way, books like this open doors to communication and that is always welcome.


Tell me, please!

Did you take this quiz? Do you agree with the assessment?


 

 

nonfiction

The Forking Trolley, An Ethical Journey to The Good Place by James M. Russell

I have been enjoying the popular television show, The Good Place, for several seasons now. When I saw the book The Forking Trolley, an Ethical Journey to the Good Place by James M. Russel, I had to pick it up. If a book made into a movie is good, how good would a book based on a television show be? I had to know!

If you are familiar with The Good Place, then you know that the main characters, Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, and Jason have died and arrived as The Good Place. Or have they? Eleanor asks Chidi, an ethics professor, to help her become a better person and eventually, all the characters are turning to Chidi to learn how ethics can make them a person worthy of “The Good Place.” If you are unfamiliar, just know that it is full of amazing quotes, rife with ethical dilemmas, and you cannot curse in the good place. Hence, “Forking” trolley.

Author James M. Russel has a philosophy degree from the University of Cambridge, a post-graduate qualification in critical theory, and has taught at the Open University in the UK. I had not run across his writing before but two things are clear from me after finishing The Forking Trolley. First, he absolutely suffered through at least one ethics class. Second, I cannot wait to read more of his books. Weird, wonderful, funny and interesting thoughts are present on every page of this book.

I took an ethics class in college and hated it. For a person who enjoys arguing as much as I do, you would think that I would relish the debates present in all ethics classes. But, as is made clear in The Forking Trolley, ethical dilemmas seem specifically crafted to have no right answer or even a clear pathway to completion. These arguments can go around and around forever. This meant that on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday all semester I just left ethics class enraged. Or, as Russel puts it,

“The study of moral philosophy can be frustrating as there are lots of difficult questions and no easy answers.”

theforkingtrolleyBut as I read through this short book about ethics, Russel proved to do the impossible for me. He made ethics and philosophers accessible and (finally) understandable. Within the first chapter is a baffling chart of the major different ethical mindsets which Russel entitles “Meta Ethics.” Additionally, through the book, terms like cognitive realism and welfare utilitarianism are thrown about as though we were making a grocery list. There is even a glossary!

But through the glorious connection to the television show and to the familiar plot points, Russel helped me actually understand the terms, ideas, and philosophers behind all the thick terminology and ideology. Through this unique association, Russel managed to finally help me understand the basic premises of ethical thought and reasoning. I feel confident now saying I mostly subscribe to Jonathan Dancy’s moral particularism (the idea that there are no hard and fast rules, but that all decisions need to be taken in context.)

More importantly, this book helped me understand that the only people who really enjoyed ethics class were probably sociapaths studying “normal” people and how they think and individuals who just really love to go into a situation and stir people up. But real ethics are about guiding me from “mostly good” to better because, really, the only person who belongs in “the good place” is Doug Forcett. Wait, even Doug doesn’t belong! And around we go again on the ethical merry-go-round.


Tell me, please!

Who is your favorite ethical philosopher? Or, favorite Good Place character?


 

nonfiction

NonFiction November 2019: My TBR

2018’s NonFiction November vastly altered the way I think about nonfiction. I have always loved learning. Always. But, prior to last year, nonfiction wasn’t something I thought of as an escape from reality. Now, nonfiction falls squarely in the “get to” pile of reading rather than the “should.”

Just take a look at the fabulous collection of nonfiction books that are waiting to be read this month! All of these are from my huge physical TBR shelf with the exception of Haben.

These books form my November reading list along with the remaining Harry Potter books I want to read or re-read for one of my 2019 challenges. Here are the books I have remaining for that challenge.

All in all, it promises to be a very interesting month!


Tell me, please!

Do you enjoy nonfiction? If so, what kind of nonfiction is your favorite?


 

nonfiction · not a review

NonFiction November: Week 1

It has begun! NonFiction November is finally here. I am so excited!


Week 1: (Oct. 28 to Nov. 1) – Your Year in Nonfiction (Julie @ Julz Reads): Take a look back at your year of nonfiction and reflect on the following questions – What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year? Do you have a particular topic you’ve been attracted to more this year? What nonfiction book have you recommended the most? What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?


What was My Favorite Nonfiction Read of the Year?

These are all the NonFiction books I read (so far) in 2019. I thought there would be more but I think I kept some back specifically to read this month. My absolutely favorite was Atomic Habits. Whew. That book completely changed the way I think about myself and the habits that build who I am.


Do I Have Any Specific Topics That Attracted Me This Year?

There were two guiding things that drew me to nonfiction this year: self-improvement and holes in my knowledge. Each of these books was selected for one of these two reasons.

It is fairly clear which ones are for self-improvement. I am on an ever-changing quest to be the best version of myself. Some of these were better than others and I am certainly sick of the titles which are basically you + curse word.

I picked up Conan Doyle because I have always been curious about the creator of the world’s most famous detective. I want desperately to love Sherlock Holmes but I will admit, the stories bore me to tears. This was an amazing account of the real man though and I really enjoyed the book.

I’m from Springfield but I really didn’t know much about the Simpsons. Springfield Confidential made me finally feel that I could answer questions (questions people constantly ask me) about the show and its connection to my hometown.

Finally, Yes, Please I picked up because Amy Poehler is one of the few famous female comediens that I just haven’t completely embraced. I adore Tiny Fey but for some reason I all but ignored Amy. This book completely altered by perception of her and her comedy and has provided me with my new favorite quote to be used in the countless times I am given advice, “Good for her, not for me.”

Similarly, I don’t understand the Isreal / Palestinian conflict. A friend recommended the book Against Our Better Judgement to grasp the Palestinian perspective. It was interesting but written like a term paper.


What Nonfiction Book Have I Recommended the Most?

My most recommended nonfiction will probably always be The Poisoner’s Handbook by Deborah Blum. But, if I limited myself to this year’s reads I could not stop recommending Atomic Habits. This book really changed the way I look at myself and my habits. Factfulness by Jans Rosling is another that I consistently recommend people read. These two books together made me feel like I was capable of great things while simultaneously trusting that the world wasn’t as awful as it seemed. The pure power of books.


What am I Hoping to get out of Participating in Nonfiction November?

I have two main goals for this year. First, I want to see all the glorious books people are reading. Second, I want to prioritize reading nonfiction. I’m keeping it simple!


Tell me, please!

What is Your Favorite NonFiction Book?