Hi, again

Hi, remember me? (every time I say, "remember me" I think of Furiosa in Mad Max ripping off that shit bags oxygen mask). 

Cool. So it has been a while. Mostly because I lost my debit card and my subscription to Squarespace was stalled and I was too lazy to do anything about it until today for some reason. 

I finished my first year of library school (holla!!!!), just two more to go. 

And the irony; library school has kept me from reading for pleasure. So alas, here are the measly five little books I have read in 2017. If I counted the plethora of articles and textbooks I read I could add much more to this (LOOK AT ME TRYING TO JUSTIFY MY FAILURES). 

The Color Purple by Alice Walker -- I know, I waited till I was 26 to read this book. I read it for my banned books class. Of course this book was banned, it is the most subversive shit I have read in a while. It undermines white supremacy, white theology, white maleness, and basically all whiteness. So yes, it was an incredible read. 

The Giver by Lois Lowry -- Also read for my banned books class. It was boring. The end. 

Field Notes on Democracy by Arundhati Roy -- After reading The God of Small Things last year, I wanted to delve more into Roy's work. This was my first non fiction read of hers and damn, it was rough to read. It was beautifully written, but if you want to hear about some messed up shit happening in India, give this book a read. If you know me, you know I don't shy away from harsh truths and realities (and neither should you!). It is important to know about the injustices happening in our world, even if it makes you uncomfortable.

We are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby -- Samantha Irby is the goddess of essay writing and she is a queen. This book was much anticipated after reading her first collections of essays, Meaty. A perfect book to read after finishing Roy's book. 

On Trails by Robert Moor -- I wanted to read this book last year, but remember I did that thing where I didn't read any books by white men? But NEW YEAR NEW RULES (I actually don't have any "rules" for reading this year, just to fit it in at some point between working full time, going to grad school, being a human in the world and eating and sleeping thing...). This book was incredible; an anthropological and ecological history of trails and there impact on our world. Anyone who hikes or who desires to know more indigenous history, natural history, and philosophy should give this books a read. 

Yep. So that's it. 5 measly little books. I think at this point last year I had already read 30 books. It's fine. Whatever. I'm hoping to read more, write more, and get back into this little box of a blog. 

Change

Hi friends. I started graduate school about a month ago. This means things are going to change around these parts. Sadly, I don't think I will have time for this space as much as I'd like and I believe my reading habits will be changing for the next 3 years. Fortunately, I am in a Genres class this quarters where I get to read 8 novels, so I am still confident in reaching my 52 books goal, along with reading no white men! 

For my genres class I am expected to read a book from these specific genres: mystery, suspense, horror, urban fiction, romance, historical fiction, science fiction, and fantasy. I don't read books from genres like this very often, so it will be a good stretch.

I hope to update soon!

Friday Links

Matisse - The Cut-Outs: The Parakeet and the Mermaid, 1952

Matisse - The Cut-Outs: The Parakeet and the Mermaid, 1952

Happy Friday! Here are some links from the interwebs that I have collected over the past few weeks. 

Podcasts:

On Being: "The Sum of All Human Knowledge" - Krista Tippet and Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia. I found this interesting and a little frustrating towards the end when the two discuss facts and emotion. Wales disregards emotions stating that "emotion can certainly cloud your ability to correctly identify what's going on in the world." I highly disagree and think that this comes from a very privileged perspective. Oppressed groups are sometimes fighting for their lives and basic human rights when presenting factual truths to an opposing, usually power-wielding, party. Their emotion and pain is part of their truth. Too often have I seen the oppressed disregarded because of their anger, passion, and "emotions."  Thoughts anyone? 

Ted Radio Hour: "The Act of Listening" 

News that probably (hopefully) won't ruin the mood at a party:

Thanks To The Internet, You Can Now Visit Every MoMA Exhibition That Ever Happened

Print is not dead!

Carla Hayden has been officially sworn in as the first woman and African-American librarian of Congress. Also, she is the first actual "librarian" of congress, holding a Masters in Library Science. All the other white men before her were not actually librarians.

News that will ruin the mood at a party:

When a journalist is issued an arrest warrant

Does this mean curvy women can't wear form fitting clothing without losing their jobs

The free market doesn't care if you live or die:

"You can argue all you want that the Founding Fathers wanted us to be free to tan ourselves to melanoma-town, but I would argue that the “freedom” to make uninformed choices in an environment where unregulated industry has a bottomless well of money with which to persuade public opinion is no kind of freedom at all."

Hey pro-lifers, maternal deaths in Texas nearly doubled after the state slashed its family planning budget. 

"In schools, mental health should be everybody's job. Too often, it ends up being no one's."

Ijeoma Oluo laying down the truth: 

"If you support Trump, you are a White Supremacist. Full stop. Not just the passive amount of White Supremacy that we all end up participating in, in an inherently White Supremacist system—you are an active, hateful, dangerous White Supremacist... You can be in the PTA and you can pay your taxes and you can volunteer at your local homeless shelter and at the same time you can be actively upholding the oppression of others. It has been done before and it is being done now."

 

 

August Reads

August, you were lovely. I was out of town a lot and maybe did a bit too much; my body shut down last week and I got a pretty bad cold. In Seattle we kind of go crazy during the summer. There is definitely some weather related FOMO and anxiety; the sun is out so we HAVE TO go outside, we HAVE TO go backpacking and camping and kayaking and swimming and have outdoor picnics and see outdoor movies and BE OUTSIDE ALL THE TIME, or in my case be out of town every weekend. August is the height of this manic behavior because we all know this is the LAST MONTH OF SUMMER. That being said, I am ready for September and for rain and for reasons to stay under blankets and wear my giant grandma sweaters, which is, by the way, what I am wearing while I sit here and type this. Okay, ya, so on to the books. 

But first! I have decided to be more disciplined in recording the annotations I make in books, whether they be direct quotes or connections or observations. Now my tumblr page will hold my annotations instead of me attempting to list them here or instead of me forgetting all about them. I started to feel as though my posts were  becoming far too quote heavy, mostly because I'm lazy and don't want to explain shit myself. But no more of that! So, yes, quoteables are now on the tumblr. Check em' out. 

Book 32/52: An Unspoken Hunger: stories from the field by Terry Tempest Williams

I picked up this little gem of nature writing at one of my favorites bookstores in Seattle, Ophelia's. It is the perfect used book store with cats and rabbits and a spiral staircase and a cool loft. It is also next to a great record store and bakery, so basically the block you want to be stranded on during a zombie apocalypse. Terry Tempest Williams is a must-read author for those interested in nature writing and environmentalism. This was my first book by her and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Quotes here

If this book interests you, you might also like Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

Book 33/52: Unabrow: misadventures of a late bloomer by Una LaMarche

When I first saw this book I thought I had been spelling unibrow wrong my entire life and then I realized this is a whole "play on words" thing with the authors name. I picked up this books because 1.) I, too, was a unibrow child, and 2.) I was in desperate need for some comic relief. I read some heavy books in July and I needed a break. Unabrow is a comedy style memoir by Una LaMarche, who writes a blog called the "Sassy Curmudgeon." I found this book hilarious and could relate to a lot of her quirks, like solving conflicts through song and dance, but my only criticism is that the author could be a little too self-deprecating. Yet, (ironic) self-deprecation is a huge part of female comedy, so I don't know. Funny books by women are so important and cathartic for me. Female comedians reclaim shit that was taken from them in the best way. So, ya, I suggest you read this if you like Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Tina Fey, Kristin Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman, aka THE CANON OF FUNNY WOMEN. Quotes here

Book 34/52: H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

H is for Hawk was incredible. Helen Macdonald is a brilliant and prolific writer. In this memoir, the author decides to train a goshawk, one of nature's most viscous predators, after the death of her beloved father. Through training her wild goshawk, named Mabel, the author uncovers the layers of her grief and the core of her own humanity. Read this book. It has been on too many important top ten lists to count and even Obama put it on his summer reading list. The hype is real. And because I can't help myself, here is just one quote:

"The archaeology of grief is not ordered. It is more like earth under a spade, turning up things you had forgotten. Surprising things comes to light: not simply memories, but states of mind, emotions, older ways of seeing the world." More quotes here

If this books interests you, you might also like The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

Book 35/52: Shrill: notes from a loud woman by Lindy West

This book was probably one of the most important books I have read this year. Lindy West, who is a Seattle resident, is a powerhouse journalist, fighting against internet trolls, misogynists, rape culture, and body shamers. As a fat woman, she chronicles what it was like growing up as a "big" girl. West does an exceptional job at describing how our fat shaming/thin obsessed culture permeates the lives of women. As a woman who has never had the female body that supposedly, according to our society, holds the potential for happiness and fulfillment; I found myself yelling war cries in solidarity with this text. This book is a game changer for how we view the bodies of women. It left me thinking, if loving one's body fully, just as it is, is a radical act, then what kind of world are we living in? If loving one's self is radical then hating one's self is the norm. We should start asking why we live in a world where self hate is the status quo and unapologetic women who love their bodies are the revolution.

AND one quote because it is just too important (more quotes here).

 "Society’s monomaniacal fixation on female thinness isn’t a distant abstraction, something to be pulled apart by academics in women’s studies classrooms or leveraged for traffic in shallow “body-positive” listicles (“Check Out These 11 Fat Chicks Who You Somehow Still Kind of Want to Bang – No 7 Is Almost Like a Regular Woman!”). It is a constant, pervasive taint that warps every woman’s life. And, by extension, it is in the amniotic fluid of every major cultural shift. Women matter. Women are half of us. When you raise women to believe that we are insignificant, that we are broken, that we are sick, that the only cure is starvation and restraint and smallness; when you pit women against one another, keep us shackled by shame and hunger, obsessing over our flaws, rather than our power and potential; when you leverage all of that to sap our money and our time – that moves the rudder of the world. It steers humanity toward conservatism and walls and the narrow interests of men, and it keeps us adrift in waters where women’s safety and humanity are secondary to men’s pleasure and convenience."

If this books interests you, you should check out the episode Tell Me I'm Fat on This American Life. 

So that was August! I'm currently reading The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy and I'm pretty sure I will be haunted by this book forever. 

"Whoa we're (more than) half way there!"

Whoa whoa whoa! Somehow I am still on track (actually, ahead of schedule) to read 52 books this year. I know, I'm just as surprised as you are. I have never been one for keeping goals. I cannot tell you how many half marathons I have "trained" for and never ran or how many weekly schedules I have meticulously planned and only got half way through Tuesday and said "to hell with this exercising and meal planning life style, I'm getting Thai food and binge watching reruns of Broad City." That being said, I have learned making specific goals does not work for me; goals actually make me more anxious, which then leads to quitting at the first sign of failure. I need to keep things loosey goosey or else I turn into a creature unbeknownst to myself (a moody little bitch who takes her failures out on those around her... *cough* my husband; bless his heart.) So ya, whoa! I am actually keeping with up with a goal! Possibly because it's about books, which is a sedentary activity where I can simultaneously hide from the world in my down comforter. 

With that being said I'd like to make a (more than) halfway post, reflecting on what I have read so far this year and what I would like to read for the rest of the year. 

I have read 34 books this year (check them out here) and not a single one has been written by a white man. Take that patriarchy! I made a spreadsheet at the beginning of 2016 of books I'd like to read and I have strayed away a bit, which is cool because this whole plan is loosey goosey, remember? 

Since I I have 20(ish) weeks left in 2016, I'd like to let you all know what I am interested in reading for the rest of 2016. 

Fiction:

Non-fiction:

I specifically a stoked to read Shrill by Lindy West, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, and The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. And White Teeth... and The God of Small Things... and basically all of these books.