"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Nonfiction November, 3rd week updates and goals

With my reading for Cybils Nonfiction judging I have had a fairly fruitful month so far. Most books I finished unless otherwise noted. there are some very good nominations this year and it is going to be tough to cull down a list of 89 books to 14 or 15.

Nonfiction books digested this week:
  • Blacklisted: Hollywood, the Cold War, and the First Amendment by Larry Dane Brimner. Just when you think everything is so bonkers in politics it is good (or disturbing) to look back in history to the stuff that politicians were doing because of the Red Scare of communism. Ten actors were blackballed because they refused to participate in the charade. It is a very well sourced book, but not what I am looking for in a winner.
  • Nevertheless, We Persisted: 48 Voices of Defiance, Strength, and Courage. We have so many of these collections in our list of nominations this year. I liked this one where people persisted against all odds and did something amazing, but the book did not distinguish itself from the pack.
  • Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett Krosoczka. A Mock Printz selection and I think a potential winner. This is a graphic memoir. Amazing coming-of-age story.
  • We Say #Never Again reporting by Parkland Student Journalists. I think this book is so important. I hope it percolates to the top of everyone's list so we can move it on to the next level of judging.
Currently checked out and on a teetering pile of books right in front of me awaiting my attention:
  • (Don't) Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation About Mental Health edited by Kelly Jensen [3rd week; Cybils], I started this one today and the first essay was EXCELLENT.
  • Google It: A History of Google: How Two Students' Mission to Organize the Internet Changed the World by Anna Crowley Redding.[Second week, Cybils]
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stephenson---a young reader's edition of the much lauded adult book by the same title. [Second week, Cybils] This will be my next read. I can't renew it so will to read it within th three week window allotted.
  • The Strange True Tale of Frankenstein's Creator Mary Shelley by Catherine Reef [3rd week; Cybils]
  • Unpunished Murder: Massacre at Colfax and the Quest for Justice by Lawrence Goldstone (1st week, Cybils)
  • The Disappearing Spoon (Young Reader's Edition) by Sam Kean...I've wanted to read the adult version of this book published several years ago, so I am looking forward to diving into this one.  (1st week, Cybils)
  • Our Stories, Our Voices: 21 YA authors Get Real About Injustice, Empowerment, and Growing Up Female in America edited by Amy Reed. Oh boy. Another one of these collection books.  (1st week, Cybils)
  • Very, Very, Very Dreadful: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918 by Albert Marrin. I love the title!  (1st week, Cybils)
  • They Lost Their Heads: What Happened to Washington's Teeth, Einstein's Brain, and Other Famous Body Parts by Carlyn Beccia  (1st week, Cybils)
  • The Wondrous Workings of Planet Earth: Understanding Our World and Its Ecosystem by Rachel Ignotofsky. I just received a copy from the publisher because my library system doesn't have a copy. Thank you. I promise I will give it a review.
Now for a little math. There are four/five judges (one is our coordinator and a Round 2 judge, but she does read some.) So for ease on computation, let's say there are four judges. 89 books have been nominated. Each book should be read by at least two judges, that means that each of us should read approximately 45 of the nominated books to pull our weight. But several of the books have been read by more than two of us (no equal distribution) so I'd say we'd best bump up that number to 50 books each or some books will get left out. I counted last night. So far I have read 21 books (some or all.) Adding on my fingers and toes, I have at least 29 books to get to by mid December. Why am I doing math? I need to get reading!


  1. Such wonderful books on your list. I do hope the young reader version of Just Mercy is great because I loved the adult version so much!

  2. That is an intimidating number of books, but I know you can do it! You are highly motivated and I admire your dedication to the award judging.

  3. This is a great way to summarize and keep track of the books you've read. Our category, younger nonfiction, has 153 books. I realized the other day I was sailing through the picture books, but hadn't read many of the longer middle grades. Time to get reading, indeed. (So, of course I saw the Disappearing Spoon, which I read in the original version, and now I want to look for it. )


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