How many books did you read this year?
60! I EAT BOOKS FOR BREAKFAST. Wait, no, that is not an efficient use of books, as my stomach doesn’t know how to read.
What was your number one TOP FAVORITE of them?
Usually this question has me pacing in circles and wringing my hands, because to pick a single favorite of the year is literary masochism, but this year? This year I think I’ve got my winner… A Tale For the Time Being (Ozeki). BUT it’s very closely followed by The Highland Witch (Fletcher), and Some Kind of Happiness (Legrand), and ohhhh about 15 others.
A few days ago I started a new job as a library assistant! It’s been awesome. How could it not be? I’m surrounded by books all day, talking about books all day, handling books all day, scoping out the back cover descriptions of books all da–I MEAN, definitely not getting distracted by that, of course not, nope. 🙂 I’m kidding, I’ve been way too busy learning the ropes for any distractions. Library work is a lot more complicated than it looks on the outside, hoo boy.
This month’s nonfiction post is another languagey one! And yes, I can use languagey as a word, because language is a constantly evolving system in which all words are “made up” and every word was, at one point, “not a real word.” 😉 I think Bill Bryson would side with me on this. He did write a whole book about it after all. Here are my favorite tidbits~
Even though I don’t plan on having kids, I’m fascinated by parenting methodology, strangely enough. Maybe that’s because I’m fascinated by the brain, and child psychology is kind of the basis of ALL psychology, since children… you know… grow up.
That’s why I was drawn to this month’s nonfiction, “Nurtureshock,” which digs into parenting techniques that are actually counter-productive to the way humans operate. This book was so packed with interesting info that I couldn’t not make this post crazy long, but hopefully you find it interesting too!
I LOVE book covers. As both a writer and artist, they are the perfect combination of my passions. Over time I’ve collected a bunch of cover art, many for books I haven’t even read; I just like gazing starry-eyed at them. Here are some favorites!
This month’s nonfiction read is a fascinating account of going undercover in the secretive and oppressive dictatorship of North Korea. Suki Kim is a Korean-American journalist who infiltrated a North Korean university as a teacher, during the reign of Kim Jong-il in 2011. Here is some info I found the most interesting in her book:
I don’t like the term “Strong Female Character.”
That does not mean I prefer weak female characters. This is not a black and white world in which you either swing swords with swagger or cower in a corner. There’s a vast spectrum in between.
The reason I can’t stand the term “strong female characters” is because women described that way are usually one-dimensional, monotone cutouts of what the writer thinks a strong woman is. Often she’s a woman who can shoot a gun or throw a punch, and that’s enough. She never cries or feels uncertain or has any internal struggle whatsoever, unless of course it’s just for a minute to get the plot going and then she knows exactly how to deal with it. (Probably by shooting a gun.)
Reading, right? It’s crazy!! The psychic delivery of entire worlds from one head to another, via squiggly little marks? Ri-donk-ulous. Since most of you visiting this blog are writers, and thus readers as well, I decided to make this month’s nonfiction book about something we all relate to.
Ironically, I listened to this on audiobook instead of reading it, because sometimes I like to break the rules. Excuse me while I don some cool sunglasses and jump into a moving helicopter.
… I’m back. Anyway, I’ll be citing the following tidbits with time-markers instead of pages. Alright, let’s read about reading!
Several months ago I broached the topic of OCD with a nonfiction read about hoarding. Because OCD is such a personal subject to me, I decided to devote this month’s nonfiction more fully to the illness with a read of David Adam’s “The Man Who Couldn’t Stop: OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought.”
For the average, non-ill person, it’s normal to obsess now and then. It’s normal to have a senseless fear (clown in the closet?), a sudden and unsettling urge that does not fit with who we are (swerve into traffic, perhaps?) or a good-luck practice not founded on reality (certainly no one believes that knocking on wood actually works, but… just in case.) It’s normal to be picky about your books lining up straight or to lose sleep one night as a worry goes round and round in your head like a circling predator. This is not OCD.
There are few things more grating to me than the insta-love trope seen so often in fiction. This device essentially involves shoving two characters in the same room, then poking them with a stick until they have nowhere else to go but each other’s arms.
The development of their relationship usually looks like this: