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?


53 comments:

  1. My brother in Spokane sent his first grumpy-winter picture of the snow they're having. If he wasn't a ski fiend I'd feel worse for him :)

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    1. Lisa - Skiing makes a big difference in how people feel about winter. My knees just won't cooperate any more :(

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  2. Remember reading the reviews of Radium Girls, looks like an absorbing read. Adding to tbr list.

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    1. Vintage Reading - Not sure why I never made note of Radium Girls when it was first published. It's an excellent read!

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  3. I really am inclined to try Radium Girls before long. Perhaps on audio. And maybe next year. Sounds so good. Well, sorry that the snow has begun already in your 'northern' part of the world. We are supposed to have our first freezing temps overnight tomorrow - and it's a bit early for us - like two weeks. I'm not ready for cold weather! Safe trip back north for the holidays.

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    1. Kay - The audio version of The Radium Girls was well done, but I wanted to read longer and faster than listening allowed. We'll be staying up in NY until after Christmas... what was I thinking? LOL!

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  4. Thx for the tip about reading Radium Girls - it sounds good! We have snow here in Western Canada, a few inches on the ground. The news out of Florida sounds crazy with all the recount & lawsuits. Goodness sakes!

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    1. Susan - The judge overseeing the recount lawsuits said this afternoon that he's found no evidence of fraud and asked both sides to tone down the rhetoric. Here's hoping that actually happens... and that they finish up soon!

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  5. We voted absentee when we lived in France and I worried about our ballots being delivered and being counted. It's discouraging to know your ballot never arrived.

    It looks like you've been reading some great books. I loved Born a Crime - I could listen to Noah all day long.

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    1. Kathy - We've had an ongoing problem with mail delivery... probably due to dual addresses. Wondering if they tried to send my ballot to NY. At least I got to vote!

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  6. Hi JoAnn,
    It's so nice to hear what you've been up to. How I'd love a walk on a beach with sunshine! I can just picture it.
    I share your dislike of auto purchasing, mostly because, on my side, I always play the role of "the heavy." So much to go through to just buy a darn car!
    Your reading sounds fascinating. You've read so many really interesting, really good nonfiction this year. I've enjoyed following your path with all of them so much.

    And so you're coming BACK for the holidays. No good deed goes unpunished as the saying goes. :)
    I've been relishing the wintry weather as always, because I expect this November frigid weather will bring a warm December. I will make the most of the snow and ice while it lasts. Really great snowy hike today and yesterday. Whee!
    Have lots of fun on your husband's birthday!

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    1. Judith - I used to love winter, but that changed within the last ten. Still think it's beautiful, but I don't like driving or walking in it as much anymore. Starting to have second thoughts about the decision to stay up there through Christmas, but it's too late for that... maybe I'll get more reading and blogging done up there! ;-)

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    2. JoAnn,
      Yes, I think it's likely that you'll get more reading done, without those beautiful seaside walks tempting you.
      And so many great books coming out this November to tempt you! Enjoy, start a fire and light a candle to read by.

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    3. Judith - That's the plan ;-)

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  7. So glad to hear you loved The Radium Girls! Definitely my top book of the year so far.

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    1. Angela - Thank you again for the recommendation. It's my favorite nonfiction of the year!

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  8. The A/C is out again?!?! That would be annoying. I'm glad you decided to go to the polls to vote since your ballot never arrived. We vote by mail here in Oregon and I kind of miss stepping into a polling booth. Radium Girls sounds like the perfect book to recommend to my book club for our 2019 list. I may have to copy your review and share it with my group so I can convince them of this. :) Born A Crime was very good on audio. Hope you continue to enjoy it. Happy Birthday to your hubby and safe travels on Friday. We may head back up to Seattle then, too. Either then or right after the Thanksgiving weekend.

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    1. Les - The AC wasn't out, but it couldn't keep up as temps rise throughout the day... turned out to be a semi-blocked line or something. We're back in business now. We're still in the upper 80s during the day. I'm fine with that, but will be happier when we get overnight temps in the 50s, or even 60s! Still enjoying Born a Crime. Not sure why I waited to long to listen.

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  9. Happy birthday to your husband! I'm so glad to hear how much you liked Radium Girls. I'm a little burnt out on nonfiction right now, but still plan on getting to it this year. Loved Born a Crime on audio. He is SO good!

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    1. Susie- When you're ready for nonfiction again, I think you'll like The Radium Girls. Loving the audio of Born a Crime.

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  10. I enjoyed Trevor Noah's book. Very smart young man. As to your mail-in-vote request never showing up. Hmmmm. Very troubling. Voter suppression is indeed a concern. I will look into the book you have mentioned above regarding white fragility. Thank you for posting it.

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    1. Midlife Roadtripper - Starting to think I'm the last person to read Trevor Noah's book, but so far it's been worth the wait. I think my ballot problem is probably related to having dual addresses... hoping the post office is the problem in this case.

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  11. You are so bicoastal. I am going to try the Trevor Noah book in my quest to listen to one book all the way though.

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    1. Patty - I'm not sure how long we'll go back and forth like this. Our house in NY is much too big for us now... we'll see.

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  12. I loved the Trevor Noah audio; a real eye opener as I always just thought of him as a "funny guy". Happy Birthday to the hub.

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    1. Diane - I seem to be the last person to read/listen to Trevor Noah! It's so good.

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  13. Wow that is crazy about your ballot! I wonder what happened to it.

    All of your books look great. I love Trevor Noah. And last year I read A Beautiful Poison by Lydia Kang, and one of the characters is a "radium girl". Ever since I read that I have wanted to read more on the topic. And White Fragility sounds like a really powerful read! I have been working on reading more diversely actually, this year - in our library's summer reading challenge, my son had to read a book with characters that looked different than him, and it made me think about my own reading. :)

    Have a great week!

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    1. Erin - The Radium Girls was the the first I've heard about the women exposed to radium... it was horrifying! It's funny, but I didn't exactly set out to read more about race and diversity, but I'm glad it's happening.

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  14. Born a Crime is really good. My post is here: https://wordsandpeace.com/2018/11/12/its-monday-what-are-you-reading-november-12/

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  15. I hope you enjoy the rest of your good weather before returning to the cold.

    I would be nervous voting in Florida...LOL

    The Radium Girls looks good.

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - The headline in this morning's paper said Florida... making America wait again. I thought that was very clever!

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  16. Adding these important books to my list. Happy birthday to your husband! You've been on my mind with all that is happening in Florida. Hope you have a great week.

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    1. Monica - This has been a tense week in Florida. Thankfully, the judge today found no evidence of fraud in this election and asked both sides to tone down the rhetoric. Now they can just count the votes...

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  17. Ohhhhh I loved listening to Trevor Noah's book so much. The audiobook is a great choice!

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    1. Monika - It's such a good listen! Why has it taken me so long to get to it???

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  18. The Radium Girls does sound good. I have been watching the news about recounts in a few states. It will be nice when everything is finished. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

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    1. Kathy - I cannot wait until this is all over. Happy to report the judge ruled no basis for fraud allegations, so now they can just count!

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  19. I watched a lot of Trevor Noah when visiting my sister in Calif recently. So funny about serious subjects. I've been reading books on photography so not earth shattering. Am enjoying Aussie author Jane Harper at moment. Spring weather is here and it's getting warmer. Heading overseas in about 12 days to Sri Lanka. Will be posting from there I hope. Enjoy Thanksggiving ...and snow!

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    1. Pam - I always enjoy watching Trevor Noah, but don't catch him nearly often enough. His audiobook is so good! I hope you enjoy your travels... will look forward treading about your adventures.

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  20. I hope you have a safe and amazing time for Thanksgiving. I started to listen to Born A Crime but got sidetracked. I have the audio and will try to start it soon. Sue @ Book Date posted about it also today.

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    1. Vicki - I also started Born a Crime a while ago, but got sidetracked. Won't let it happen again... it's very good.I'll check out Sue's post - thanks.

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  21. Last week, was the first one back at work after the school's half-term break. It was very tiring, but good. During the week, I finished reading dark, historical fiction A Gathering of Ghosts by Karen Maitland. I hope your husband has a lovely birthday; good luck with selling the car and I wish you a good journey back up north.

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    1. Jessica - It's always tough after a break, so I'm glad you got through the week. Today's birthday was a lot of fun and I think he enjoyed the activities and dinner celebration. We'll finalize the car sale on Wednesday or Thursday... definitely no fun. Have a good week :)

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  22. Happy birthday to your husband! I’m glad you liked Radium Girls. I already know the story because I watched a TV show about it, but I still want to read the book. I need to read Trevor Noah’s book, too. I love him. I wish I was in Florida right now. It has been snowing for 2 days here. Have a great week!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. AJ- I heard there's a documentary about the Radium Girls.. will need to look for it. We're flying north tomorrow. Hopefully after the storm winds down :(

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  23. I was surprised to find how much I enjoyed Radium Girls, too. I will be looking for that author again.

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    1. Deb - I hope she's working on another book. I'll definitely read it, too!

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  24. This is the first year that I actually tracked my ballot. I'm not sure if that service existed before but it was very satisfying to see it marked as received and counted! I heard about your recount. I worry that the entire system of counting is corrupt. I say that because I received TWO vote by mail ballots in the mail. Only submitted the one but got two.

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    1. Ti - I wonder if they have that service here. Never heard of it before this election. Now that the machine recounts are done here, it's still so close that they're going to do it manually! This could take even longer...

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