Had a good month of reading in August, the last month of the summer (for some of us). It was a mix of leisurely enjoy-the-last-few-days of break combined with the getting-ready-for-student crush, but overall pretty fun.
Here’s what I read last month:
- The Lady and the Panda: The True Adventures of the First American Explorer to Bring Back China’s Most Exotic Animal – Vicki Constantine Croke (2005) – NF/bio.
- Vacationland – John Hodgman (2017) – NF/essays.
- The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival – John Vaillant (2010) – NF/history.
- Pledged: The Secret Life of Sororities – Alexandra Robbins (2004) – NF/sociology.
- The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer – Siddhatha Mukherjee (2010) – NF/medicine.
- Buildings – DK Eye Witness Books (no blog post) – NF.
- The Illustrated Man – Ray Bradbury (1976) – Short stories.
Plans for September? Get back into the swing of things for teaching this semester, continue to read from the TBR pile, prepare for the annual FoL Library Sale (woo hoo!), and just be.
Happened to pay a visit to the local library the other day, although heaven knows why as I have loads of books at home. It’s that Hunting and Gathering instinct or something. 🙂
Picked up a mix of both NF and F, but mostly NF. From bottom to top, here is what I brought home with me:
- DK EyeWitness Books: Buildings. (Just love these books.)
- Does This Make Me Look Fat? The Definitive Rules for Dressing Thin for Every Height, Size and Shape – Leah Feldon (NF – fashion/style?)
- The Jaguar’s Children – John Vaillant (F) I really enjoyed his book about an Amur Tiger (post to come) and then saw that Vaillant had also published a novel about life in the borderland… We’ll see if his NF talent translates to the F world. (Slightly interesting: Vaillant has two kitty-related books?!)
- Crossing to Safety – Wallace Stegner (F)
- Africa in my Blood: An Autobiographic in Letters: The Early Years – Jane Goodall (NF) about her time in Africa studying the chimpanzees..
- Sweetness and Light: The Mysterious History of the Honeybee – Hattie Ellis… about bees…
- How to Get Dressed: A Costume Designer’s Secrets for Making your Clothes Look and Feel Amazing – Alison Freer (NF) – fashion/style.
Well, classes on campus start this week which means that summer is now dusted and over, at least in terms of (no) job responsibilities etc. The really hot temps are going to be around for at least another two months (if not more), and the weather forecasters warned this morning of temperatures around 106 and 109 this week. Crikey. That’s a bit too hot for me. (ETA (later the same day): It was up to 115 degrees in my car today. Wah.)
Still, I’m ready for school to start and to get back into that routine. I really enjoyed the summer though and wouldn’t turn down a few more days of doing-not-much if it was offered to me! We have a week or so of school, then it’s Labor Day and then we’re back into the academic calendar for realz.
Seeing as it’s going to be sooooo hot this week outside, I foresee quite a lot of staying inside the house in the AC, so perhaps a jigsaw puzzle may be in order over the next day or two. I have a couple in the cupboard that I could finish and I haven’t done a puzzle for quite some time.
This semester, I’m scheduled to teach the same class but this time only having the lecture class. (So me talking to about 60 students about the topic). In previous years, I’ve typically had a lab as well as the lecture, which means that I get 20 of those 60 students mentioned above, but in a smaller computer classroom with lots of one-on-one time and lots of grading. But – no lab for me means no grading which means more extra time which is a nice unforeseen bonus. What to do with the extra time…? 🙂
Reading-wise, I seem to be over the lassitude of late summer (and fatigue from summer school) and now I’m reading up a storm. (Reviews to come.) I’d like to start picking up some more POC reads. Since the demise of Toni Morrison, perhaps I should read one of her titles? Haven’t read her for quite some time. (In case you’re curious, here are my thoughts on Sula, Beloved, and Jazz…)
Movies? We saw the latest Tarantino one – “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood” which is a slow-burning movie but pretty good overall. Tomorrow, I think we’re off to see the British movie, “Blinded by the Light” which has 90 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Curiously, the movie is also set in 1980s Luton, a small town close to where I grew up in England and a town where nothing much ever seemed to happen. Despite that, this year I’ve read a fiction book set there (The Thrill of it All) and now this movie… Who knows what will happen to that metropolis in the future? The world is its oyster, right now. 🙂
Hit the back-to-school sales for some new back-to-work clothing, but it’s far too hot to wear anything that is remotely related to autumnal sartorial choices. Right now – we’re probably going to hit the outside pool this weekend. (Wear your sunscreen, folks. A free PSA for you.)
Hope your seasonal changes are going smoothly as well!
March passed by in a flash and that speed-of-light passing was reflected in my reading totals for the month. At first, I thought this low number was quite strange, but when I look back at other past March reading totals since I started teaching, I can see it’s historically this way. I think I forget just how busy and occupying teaching can be sometimes. Plus – there were Spring Break travels!
Still, no worries.
The reads for March 2019 included:
- Essentials of College and University Teaching – Eleanor Boyle and Harley Rothstein (NF) – no blog post (since work-related)
- All Passion Spent – Vita Sackville-West (actually, I ended up reading this 2x)
- There, There – Tommy Orange (F) POC author/POC topic
- Cooking and Stealing: The Tin House NF Reader – Charles d’Ambrosia (ed.)
And wow. No review blog posts. Gasp. Never mind. I’m going to do a recap post with some reviewlettes in a bit to get me back up to speed…
So to the numbers:
- Total number of books read in March 2019: 5
- Total number of pages read: 1,219 pages (av. 244).
- Fiction/Non-Fiction: 3 fiction / 2 non-fiction.
- Diversity: 1 POC. 2+ books by women. (The + is because I read a couple of anthology-type books which included both male and female authors.)
- Library books vs. books I owned (and thus removed from the home abode): 2 library books, 3 owned books and 0 e-books.
Plans for April include continuing the POC author/topic focus, finishing up a read of a teaching skills book, and placing my focus back on my own TBR.
Similar to others in the book blogosphere, I rather enjoy being quite nerdy and reviewing how my reading patterns went over the past year, although I had thought I had read more than this. However, no worries. It’s not a race so all is fine. Just interesting.
So, to the numbers:
TOTAL books read in 2018 – 78. (Average: 6.5 books/mo.) Biggest monthly totals in the summer months (when school is out). Smallest total was in March (which coincided with Spring Break travel and prep for said trip.)
This was composed of almost 50/50 with regard to F and NF. (Actual numbers were 40 F and 38 NF. Of the NF, the majority were bio/autobio.)
Authors: Another category that’s almost 50/50: 41 M and 37 F
Authors of color (AOC)/Topics related to POC: 30 (38%, just over one in every three).
Where were these books from?
I’m pleased with this one: 50 percent were from my own TBR. (Progress of sorts.)
I read an average of one e-book (Kindle) for each month. Library was the other source.
Year range of publication date: 1899 (The Vampyre/Polidori) to 2018 (various). 1993 average.
Shortest book length: 32 pp (The Vampyre/Polidori). Longest: 912 pp (Roots/Hailey). 295 pp. average.
Overall, this was a fun year. Additionally, I had two solid reads of the AP Style Book (for professional development), so it was a good mix of work/play. I had an enjoyable year.
Goals for 2019? None really (apart from the yearly read of the AP Style Book :-] ). Just more of the same, so long as it’s fun. 🙂
Wow. I’ve just noticed that more than 500 extremely smart and very hip readers have signed up to follow this blog.
Having crossed this milestone in relation to blogging may not be that big a deal to some of you out there, but it is to me.
I appreciate every minute that you choose to read the text in each blog post, especially when there are probably one hundred and one other things circling you for immediate attention.
Thank you to all who read these words. I’m having fun writing them, and so I hope you can say the same with respect to reading them.
Here’s to more bookish chit-chat! 🙂
“In this box are all the words I know,” he said. “Most of them you will never need, some you will use constantly, but with them you may ask the questions which have never been answered and all the questions which have never been asked.
“All the great books of the past and all the ones yet to come are made with these words. With them, there is no obstacle you cannot overcome. All you must do is to use them well and in the right places.”
— The King of Dictionopolis, The Phantom Tollbooth.