Sunday, November 20, 2016

Weekly Update: November 20, 2016


Hello and happy Sunday! It's Thanksgiving week and winter has arrived with a vengeance. It's snowing now and we're expecting 12" or more by tomorrow. I need to make a grocery store run, so will head out soon before it gets much worse. Hopefully the storm will not impact our family and friends visiting for the holiday.

On to the books...
I'm embracing Nonfiction November this year. In the past, I've posted a review or two and read at least one nonfiction title, but this year it has been all nonfiction, all the time... and I'm loving it!

Finished reading//


Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D.Vance
An interesting and eye-opening memoir (especially in light of the recent election), but not quite as strong from the big picture/social commentary standpoint. I'll post a review soon.



I finished this dual biography yesterday... two extraordinary women with very different legal styles, philosophies, and paths to the highest court. If you're at all interested in the Supreme Court, this is a must read. I'll review this one soon, too.


Current reading//


My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor
An impulse choice. As I turned the final pages of Sisters in Law, I clicked over to my library's website and borrowed both ebook and audiobook. The opening chapters are instantly engaging.


On the blog//

Book Brief: Ten Days in a Mad-House  by Nellie Bly
Nonfiction November Week 3: Book Pairing
My Current Read: Sisters in Law  by Linda Hirshman
Nonfiction November Week 2: What Should I Read Next?

The week ahead//

There will be cooking... lots of cooking. We're up to 21 for Thanksgiving dinner, but the number could go higher. We will make multiple trips to the train station (wish the girls could leave the city at the same time). We'll cut down our Christmas tree on Friday while everyone is home, and the annual extended family Christmas party (complete with Yankee Swap) with my cousins is on Saturday. It's going to be a family-filled week!

The rest of the year will be a blur of holiday activities, a trip to Florida, birthday and anniversary celebrations, shopping, cooking, etc. I'm hoping to maintain a regular blogging and reading schedule, but we'll see...

How was your week? What are you reading?


This post will link to It's Monday, What Are You Reading? hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.

51 comments:

  1. I'm currently reading Between The World And Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

    Looks like you're going to be busy busy busy! Don't you love the holidays and all the family time you get? I know I do. I'll be celebrating Thanksgiving, which also happens to be my birthday, with my children and grandchildren. All of them except one son is vegan, and the food is always yummy.

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    1. Vicki - Between the World and Me is such an excellent book... it really makes you think. I love being surrounded by family for Thanksgiving. We're down to just one vegetarian this year, which will make things a little easier. Happy Birthday and Happy Thanksgiving to you!

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  2. So glad you've been all nonfiction this month! I've done the same. And I def thought Hillbilly Elegy was like 75% memoir/25% social analysis. But I liked that mix. It was this fascinating dysfunctional childhood story with a little learning thrown in on top. I think if you went in expecting a ton of hard-hitting social analysis, you'd probably be disappointed.

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    1. Sarah - I think I was expecting more social analysis, but still thought it was a first-class memoir. Nonfiction November has been epic this year!

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  3. A friend just recommended Hillbilly Elegy to me...but I'll wait to hear what you think, I think. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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    1. Audrey - Hillbilly Elegy is a wonderful memoir... along the lines of The Glass Castle. I was expecting more social commentary, but if you approach it as a memoir, you won't be disappointed.

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  4. Your Thanksgiving and family filled week sound wonderful to me! Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Thanks, Kathy. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

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  5. My wife read My Beloved World. She loved it. I am curious to read what you think when you are finished.

    It sounds like you will have your hands full with the weather. I am still hoping for a mild winter down here on Long Island. Hope springs eternal :)

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    1. Brian Joseph - My Beloved World is excellent, I can see why your wife loved it and can't wait to pick it up again tonight. It has been snowing nonstop since Sunday afternoon... we're up to 22" now and it's still coming down :(

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  6. Wow! Even we up here in hinterland don't get 12" of snow in mid November. Well, not this year anyway. Have a marvellous Thanksgiving Week, JoAnn! And, thanks for the reminder about Non-Fiction November. Maybe too late for me to start looking for Milford's bio of Zelda. But I'll look for it just the same. ;)

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    1. Arti - This amount of snow, especially in a single event, is rare for us, too... 22" and counting now! I'm looking forward to the Zelda bio, whenever I get to it...

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  7. I've been really embracing Nonfiction November too. I have discovered a ton of fabulous reads and have read more nonfiction this month than any other time before. I just finished reviewing When Breath Becomes Air and it was beyond amazing. I have Hillbilly Elegy on my wishlist and very much look forward to your thoughts on it.
    Whew! You are going to have a house full! I wish you a successful gathering.

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    1. Toady - I think I've added so much nonfiction to my wish list this month that it would take me until next November to read it all! Hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving, too:)

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  8. I hadn't purposely decided to do Nonfiction November, but it seems that I've already read and reviewed four nonfiction books this month. I'm loving it.

    Hillbilly Elegy was a book that seemed to link to my own experiences as a social worker in California's Central Valley (surprise, surprise!), so it added to the picture I've already formulated from my experiences and from coursework in university.

    But...it didn't really make me feel any better about the election, even though I enjoyed the book for its "family history" aspects.

    I can definitely understand how people who are feeling betrayed by the system could be duped by someone with big promises. Enough said.

    As for Thanksgiving, I feel a little guilty, since I've been a guest for the last several years. At my daughter's, at her in-laws...they don't seem to mind, since I bring a few things. But I haven't hosted since the years when I lived in the foothill house.

    Enjoy your holiday, and thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. I just realized how potentially offensive are my comments about people being "duped." I'm sure there were people who voted the way they did...for other reasons.

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    2. I understand what you meant... No one should take offense for a personal opinion.

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    3. No need to apologize for "our opinions". Trust me, I understand how you feel. Hope to read Hillbilly Elegy soon.

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    4. Laurel-Rain Snow - It seems like you have embraced Nonfiction November, too! I know what you mean about Hillbilly Elegy, especially with your experience as a social worker. No need to apologize for potential offense taken... everything is so politically charged right now. I think we're going to have to make Thanksgiving dinner a no-politics zone this year.

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  9. Wonderful week and weeks ahead for you and family! Too bad about so much snow, but it would make the holidays special...if you didn't have to drive in it 😢
    I look forward to your thoughts on your nonfiction, a genre I do read probably one a month, though I don't always review them. Sometimes my books are in a narrow niche and I don't bother sharing. My son enjoyed My Beloved World and we have it here in paperback so maybe I'll pick it up.

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    1. Rita - I think we're assured of a White Thanksgiving at this point ;-) I am loving My Beloved World and already feel confident in recommending it!

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  10. Stay warm. Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your holiday festivities!

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    1. Thanks, Pat. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

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  11. Wow, that's a lot of snow, but I guess it's that time of year. We've had cold temps (lows in the 20s), but not thankfully no snow. I say this every year, but I'm really not ready for it!

    We're heading to Texas to spend Thanksgiving with my daughter and her boyfriend. It's a long drive, but we have some things to take down to them (cleaning out the basement!!) and we really dislike flying during the holiday season, so...

    You are going to be super busy this week and in the coming weeks. I applaud you in advance if you keep up with your blogging. I barely have time to read these days. Work is exhausting and I fall asleep after 15 minutes of reading. I'm still listening to Just Mercy and finally finished Gemini (by Carol Cassella), so I'm now on to Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake (which I'm thoroughly enjoying!).

    Have a fun Thanksgiving!

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    1. That should be "but thankfully no snow."

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    2. Les - Wishing you safe travels and a wonderful Thanksgiving in Texas! I'd do anything to avoid flying this week, too. Gemini has been on my wish list for years (a medical mystery, right?) and Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake is an all-time favorite. Enjoy the time with your daughter and her boyfriend.

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  12. JoAnn,
    It sounds like you will be blissfully busy. For someone who loves to cook, preparing a meal for 21 people can be a dazzling challenge. I wish you the very best of Thanksgivings.

    For the second year, I'm roasting a free-range turkey from a nearby farm. I have lots of plans for this year's bird, to make him or her a little less tough, shall I say?, and moister. That's my challenge.

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    1. Judith - Feeding 21 people in one sitting does pose some challenges, but thankfully I have a double oven... could not do it otherwise. I'll be brining the turkey again this year, a practice I started a couple of years ago with good results. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  13. Oh my- 12"? Yikes, hope you don't get all that. We got a dusting yesterday and it's cold, but we're not getting anything like that. the big storm mostly passed us by luckily. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving this week. Sounds like you'll have a full house. :)

    Hillbilly Elegy does look timely given all the post mortems on the election.

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    1. Greg - We're actually up to 22" now, and it's still snowing! Hopefully it will not impact holiday travel... Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

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  14. Hard to believe 12" of snow - pic is sure deceiving. Several of your NF picks are on my list. Have a wonderful thanksgiving.

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    1. Diane - The picture above seems like a dream now... we're up to 22" and it's still snowing... 3" an hour they say! Yikes. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family :)

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  15. Okay. I'm shutting up about our tiny bit of snow. :) You are nailing Nonfiction November!

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    1. BethF - Yeah, I don't think they were expecting quite this much snow... it's crazy!

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  16. Twenty-one for Thanksgiving! That's wild. I'm not hosting this year and am actually very happy about that. I just get to go to my sister's and enjoy! Hope it's a great day.

    I admire your commitment to reading books on all the Supreme Court women and will be interested to hear your takes on them. I liked Hillbilly Elegy a lot and have thought about it over and over since the election.

    12" of snow...brrrrr.

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    1. Susie - Twenty-one and holding, lol, but that's down from the 25 I was expecting a few days ago. It's going to be hard to get many reviews written this week, though I will try. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  17. It's also turned cold here in the UK too, however no snow for us just rain, rain and more rain! I am escaping it all by reading The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas :-)

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    1. Jessica - Dumas is the perfect escape! I loved The Count of Monte Cristo and have The Man in the Iron Mask on my list. Stay warm and cozy :)

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  18. We'll be cutting down our trees this weekend too when everyone is in town. Enjoy your Thanksgiving! I hope the snow doesn't put a damper on your plans.

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    1. Stephanie - I'm worried that we won't even be able to tell what the trees look like if they're covered in snow, but that's never stopped us before ;-) Happy Thanksgiving!

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  19. Wow 21 people for Thanksgiving! How many turkeys will you buy? Did it really snow 12 inches there?? Enjoy your week & company!

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    1. Susan - I bought a 23 pound turkey, but am considering roasting an extra breast ...gotta have those leftovers! It's been snowing steadily since Sunday afternoon. We're at 24" now and still counting!!

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  20. Oh my goodness...I *loved* Sonia Sotomayor's book! It is probably one of my favorite memoirs!

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    1. Melinda - I'm about a third done with Sonia Sotomayor's book, but can already see why you loved it!!

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  21. Fall has finally arrived here in the south (it was only in the low 60s today!). I do hope we get aurt least one snow this winter. Enjoy your week and Happy Thanksgiving! Girl Who Reads

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    1. Donna H - We'll head south after the holidays, so I'm hoping we don't have too many more storms like this... we're at 24" now and it's still snowing!

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  22. A nice selection. enjoy them all.

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  23. Happy Thanksgiving to you, I hope you are enjoying the holiday time and the cooler weather.

    I love your selection of Non Fiction reads. I need to make more of an effort to read more widely. you have inspired me!

    Have a great week.
    Amanda @ Mrs B's Book Reviews

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    1. Amanda - Thank you! I've really enjoyed reading nonfiction all month... this is a first for me. Have also gotten some wonderful recommendations from other Nonfiction November participants. Don't think I'll be running out of nonfiction ideas for a long, long, time ;-)

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  24. Kudos to you for the great nonfiction month you've been having!

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