Sunday, November 11, 2018

Sanibel Sunday: November 11, 2018

Hello from sunny Florida! November is off to a busier-than-anticipated start and, as a result, I took an unintended blogging break. Our daughter visited for a few days last weekend. We made arrangements with a painting contractor to get work done while we're back up north for the holidays. I also started shopping for living room furniture - no decisions yet. We hosted a neighborhood gathering... the air conditioning needed repairing (again!) ... and the election... and all the news...

I signed up to vote by mail, but grew increasingly nervous as my mailbox remained empty. On the last day of early voting, I decided to just go to the polls. By that time, even if my ballot arrived I doubted it would be delivered to election headquarters in time. There were at least  100 people ahead of me in line at the polls... a sharp contrast to early voting in the 2016 presidential election when there was no line at all! I was questioned about my vote-by-mail request, but allowed to vote since my ballot had not been submitted. (The ballot never did show up.)

Now, as you know, the recounts begin...

Recent reading//

by Robin DiAngelo, narrated by Amy Landon

I've been exploring race in nonfiction lately and this is my latest book on that topic. The goodreads summary explains it much better than I can:
Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, anti-racist educator Robin DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what can be done to engage more constructively.
I'll just say this is an important and thought-provoking read which I highly recommended.

I finished this book last night and can't recommend it highly enough. It has everything I love in nonfiction - science and medicine, a legal battle, human drama, and good writing, too.

In the 1920s and 30s young women worked in factories where they painted watches, clocks, and military dials with a new luminous substance made from radium. Part of the process involved placing the brushes in their mouths to create a finer point. As time passed, they began to suffer crippling, painful illnesses, which baffled physicians for years before eventually being identified as radium poisoning. As their employers falsely denied prior knowledge of the danger involved and refused to take responsibility, the "radium girls" began a fight for justice. Their victory was instrumental in the establishment of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA.

This book, unexpectedly, turned out to be quite a page-turner.  Toward the end it even brought tears to my eyes. I borrowed the audio version narrated by Angela Brazil from the library, but ended up reading most of the book in print. Read or listen, but don't miss it!

Current listening//

by Trevor Noah, narrated by the author
I started listening to this one on my walk this morning. It's received rave reviews from many of my blogging friends and I can already understand why.

Up next//

I plan to start a print book later this evening. It will be more nonfiction...likely one already on my kindle.

The week ahead//

Tomorrow is my husband's birthday, so we have a special day planned. Later in the week we'll finalize arrangements to sell a car... never an enjoyable task. On Friday we fly back to upstate NY for the holidays. I just checked the weather forecast... snow nearly every day this week. Sigh.

I'm hoping to write this week's Nonfiction November post before we leave. Fingers crossed.

How was your week? What are you reading?

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Nonfiction November Week #1: My Year in Nonfiction

Nonfiction November is here! This annual event, an entire month of bookish topics devoted entirely to nonfiction, is always a favorite. Our hosts this year are:

Katie at Doing Dewey
Sarah at Sarah’s Book Shelves
Julz at JulzReads
Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness
Rennie at What’s Nonfiction


So far, 2018 has not been a stellar reading year. Instead, it's been a year of adjustment (to a retired lifestyle) and distractions (mostly political). While my overall numbers are down, the proportion of nonfiction has held steady at 35%.

How I consume nonfiction//
I read nonfiction, of course, but I also love listening. Having both the audiobook and a print copy is ideal. That way, I never miss out on photographs, maps, charts, etc. With a read/listen combination, I usually listen on my morning walk, while doing chores or while driving. Then I'll read outside in the late afternoon or at home in the evening.

What I'm reading about this year//

I've read on a wide variety of subjects, most notably...





Notably missing this year are medicine/health, food, and The Supreme Court... though I guess just following all the news related to the Court is enough right now.


by Nina Willner, narrated by Cassandra Campbell

Runners up

by Kory Stamper, narrated by the author

by Debby Irving, narrated by the author

My goal for Nonfiction November is simple. I want to hear about all the great nonfiction titles you have been reading this year...and then read several of them before Nonfiction November 2019. My best recommendations always come from book bloggers!

For links to other "My Year in Nonfiction" posts, visit Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness.


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