update on me
I’m struggling through a library cataloging course, which is why I’m not updating you all on anything about it. It’s basically computer coding, but for libraries?! The 4th of July happened, a holiday on which, for most of my adult life, I’ve worked, so I’m used to not doing anything. I have an ungodly fear of fireworks, so if you’re the type of person who cuddles their dog in the bathroom after strapping them into a thunder vest, just know that I wish I were your dog.
I haven’t been reading in a focused fashion lately, and it’s aggravating. There are some plans listed at the bottom, though, to counteract, I hope, this feeling like a Picasso painting has captured my brain. Here is a bird playing with a wind chime, just for the fun of it, because many of you were delighted with my review of The Bird Way by Jennifer Ackerman. I watched Parasite for my Friday night horror pick, which is so good and thought-provoking, and you should watch it.
THIS WEEK’S BLOG POSTS
Motherhood So White by Nefertiti Austin attempts to begin filling a gap on library shelves when she asks, “Where are all the parenting books for black women who adopt?” There are books for birth parents and white parents adopting children, but the unique experiences parenting adopted black children in the United States aren’t discussed widely enough, and Austin’s memoir is an excellent start to that conversation.
While The Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor wasn’t my jam, the book itself is a celebration of all bodies, especially those ignored or harassed because they’re fat, disabled, or brown or black. Some of the contemporary self-care language threw me off.
NEXT WEEK’S BLOG POSTS
Next week I’ll have reviews for two self-published memoirs set in correctional facilities. Hummingbird in Underworld by Deborah Tobola is the story of a creative writing instructor who builds an arts program in a California prison that reads like you’re sitting on the author’s shoulder. Breakfast at Bronzefield by Sophie Campbell is written by a formerly incarcerated British woman who takes readers inside a prison and demonstrates how it changes a person by incorporating her experiences and research. Reviews will be published Tuesday and Thursday, respectively.
Oathbreakers by Mercedes Lackey is part of #ReadingValdemar, which Jackie and I have been doing for 19 months now. Two of our favorite and most reliable characters, Tarma and Kethry, are back as mercenaries under a captain who must leave home to attend to political business, but vanishes. Review on Thursday.
BOOK I’M READING ALOUD TO MY SPOUSE
We’re starting to understand what East Pittsburgh Downlow by Dave Newman is about: a man who teaches full-time at a community college in the English department makes money on the side publishing westerns under a pseudonym. But what he truly wants is to have a literary novel published with his name on the cover, a novel about working class people who have shitty jobs. Agents don’t want that; it’s a hard sell to people who want cowboys, rich ladies shopping, and violence. Readers follow the man’s life and the weirdness that crops up when you have a long history with people who aren’t graduates of ivy league colleges and come from families of wealth and privilege. To some degree, East Pittsburgh Downlow feels like interconnected short stories and flash fiction pieces for the way there are separate scenes, but it goes together as a novel.
BOOKS ADDED TO THE TBR PILE
I’m going to be buddy reading Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler with Gil and The Girl in the Tower and The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden with my mom.