"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=========

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Sunday Salon and 'What Are You Reading Monday'

Puzzle cat (yawning)

No matter the puzzle, George is willing to sit on it.

Weather: Ugh. Gray and dreary. The Pacific NW is famous for this weather but it is still depressing when it arrives.

Family news: We finally have started to make progress on our needed bathroom renovations. First we had a designer come in and we will see her plan this week. Then we went to a design center ourselves and met with a designer that had some ideas of what we could do to update our bathroom and get moving. Lastly we stopped by and started the process of 'thinking' about new carpet. If you don't remember, we had a water event in December which has precipitated the need for these updates.

What am I reading/finished this week?

Apple: Skin to the Core by Eric Gansworth. Eric is Native American and writes poems about his life on the Rez and what is means to be an outside inside. He and his family are the only members of his tribe on the reservation, so he often is made to feel like an outsider. I appreciate all of his insights though many break my heart. I also appreciate his love of the Beatles and how much they meant to him during his developmental years. Apple: Skin to the Core won a 2021 Printz Honor when the Youth Media Awards were announced this past Monday and it will be my first Printz book read of the list of winners. YA. Memoir. Print. 25% complete.

Jane Against the World: Roe v. Wade and the Fight for Reproductive Rights
by Karen Blumenthal. This is a Cybils Nonfiction senior high finalist selection. The book, written for a YA audience, covers four aspects of reproductive rights: restrictions, reform, Roe v. Wade, and after Roe. I'm still in the section titles 'restrictions' which has to do with the history of contraception, sexual education, and abortion. Blumenthal is an excellent writer for this age group and I have found the text interesting, fascinating and maddening so far. YA. Nonfiction. Print. 15%.

No Voice Too Small: Fourteen Young Americans Making History edited by Lindsay Metcalf, Keila Dawson, and Jeanette Bradley, illustrated by Jeanette Bradley. This is a Cybils Nonfiction Children's finalist. Each of the fourteen young activist are highlighted on a page with illustrations and poems about their efforts. Charming and inspiring. Example---Resonate: a haiku---No voice is too small / to solve a problem that's big. / Change ripples forward. I am not sure what age group would be the perfect age for this children's book but I am guess it would be 6-9 years old. It is definitely not for three-year-olds. My grandson and I sat down to read it, opened to page one, looked at the first page and decided together to skip it. Ha! Children. Nonfiction. Print. 50%.

Anxious People
by Frederik Backman. A bank robber takes eight hostages and then seems to disappear into thin air. The police interviews with the hostages are the weirdest things the police have ever dealt with. I started this audiobook back in 2020 and didn't finish it before the library checkout expired. I finally got the book back this week after being on hold for over two months. I am a Backman fan, every book I've read by this author is so creative and different. Audiobook. 60% complete.

A Promised Land
by Barack Obama. I understand that this book, weighing in at over 750 pages, is the first half of the Obama presidency memoir. My husband and I only listen to the audiobook when we are together in the car, which isn't that often these days. With 29+ hours of listening for the complete book, we will probably be working on this one for months. Memoir. Audiobook. 47%.


Ready Player Two
by Ernest Cline. This audiobook has gotten pushed off to the side because of the library checkout for Anxious People but I will get back to it as soon as that book is finished. This book, the second in the series after Ready Player One, was high on my anticipation list but so far I am not captivated. Wade, the protagonist in the first book is a brat in this one. Fiction. Audiobook. 16%

The Cat I Never Named: A True Story of Love, War, and Survival
by Amra Sabic-El-Rayees. This is a YA memoir by Sabic-El-Rayees who grew up in Bosnia during the genocide. She and her family are Muslim but it came as a surprise when all of her Serbian friends turned on her. This is another Cybils Nonfiction high school selection. YA. Memoir. Print. 14%.

This is Your Brain On Stereotypes: How Science is Tackling Unconscious Bias by Tanya Lloyd Kyi and Drew Shannon. A Cybils nonfiction middle grades finalist selection. I think this book should be required reading for everyone not just middle grade students. With the polarization of politics and religious beliefs right now it would be lovely to figure out how to rewire our brains to be more accepting of people who are different than us. I also wish I had this book back in the day when I was teaching sociology classes at the high school. The information is very accessible and the examples are spot on. I am writing reviews for all the Cybils books I've read in role as a judge but I am not allowed to publish them until after we announce the winners. After February 14th I'll post one a day until I exhaust the backlog. Nonfiction. Middle Grades. Print. Completed!

The Radium Girls (Young Reader's Edition): The Scary But True Story of the Poison That Made People Glow in the Dark by Kate Moore. This is the YA version of the adult book published in 2017. This book is another Cybils finalist for high school students. I admit to becoming a bit obsessed by the horrific story of the dial-painter girls who were poisoned by radium as they painted watch and clock dials. When they became ill their employer denied that radium was the cause. Several girls fought for themselves and for all those to come after them for workplace safety. After I finished the book, my hubby and I watched the movie which dealt with only a portion of the nightmares that engulfed these poison victims. Narrative nonfiction. YA. Completed!

Politics: Biden has been busy, busy, busy. If you are interested in everything he has done so far in his one and half week in office, here is a link to the White House Briefing Room. It's a lot. I dare you to read everything (I didn't.) 

Music: I created a Spotify playlist of songs used during all the celebrations for the Biden Inauguration. Some of the songs are sung by someone else on the list than the group that sang it during the events but most are the same. I hope you can open this up if you want to take a listen. (Inauguration Playlist Spotify)

On the lighter side (just three this week!)

1. I normally try to avoid foul language, but this one is so funny I couldn't resist including it. When I showed it to Don he spit out whatever he was drinking he laughed so hard. Biden has been very busy...

2. It would be nice if the constitution were a bit more direct, don't you think?

3. This is us for sure. We think we've done a lot each week now if we have errands to run.


Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb Nance at ReaderBuzz

What Are You Reading Monday is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date, so head over and check out her blog and join the Monday fun! You can also participate in a kid/teen/YA version hosted by Unleashing Readers.



  1. I'm glad you are able to get started on your bathroom renovation and new flooring. We have decided to hold off on the new flooring we'd planned to put in last year until after we are able to get vaccinated. It will be some time for us. It will give us time to think about what we want.

    Great list of books. I hope your reading mojo has returned; it looks like it has. I enjoyed Anxious People and I'm eager to read Apple; Jane Against the World; No Voice Too Small; Promised Land; and Ready Player Two. I haven't seen No Voice, but I'd guess that it really falls on the upper end of that age range.

    I'm so happy to see President Biden working to get our nation on the right track again. So much to set right.

  2. Decision making is hard for me, and I struggled over each bathroom renovation. The more choices I made though, the easier it got. More importantly, it's all turned the way I wanted and envisioned. What kinds of changes are you contemplating? Would love to hear all about it. I'm picking up a copy of "Moloka'i" at the library tomorrow so that will be my Monday read. Today was certainly depressingly gray.

    1. I think that is why I enjoyed the visit to meet with the designer so he could help guide me in the direction I wanted to go but didn't realize I did.

  3. Oh your kitty is so cute! Although I had been meaning to I have not yet read any books by Backman. I have the adult version of Radium Girls. I hope you have a great week of reading and puzzle making. :-)

    1. I'm wondering if some of the stuff in the movie of Radium Girls was in the adult book but left out of he YA version.

  4. Best of luck with your bathroom renovation - kitchens and bathrooms are always testing to redecorate as they are difficult to do without! I love the pics of your cat reclining on the jigsaw puzzle:)). And your pic of Joe Biden busy sorting out the US after Trump's debacle is hilarious! And Kermit isn't the only one who's at that stage in his life - I would LOVE to go out to do the errands!! I hope the week is a smooth one, particularly regarding your bathroom!

  5. Oo exciting about your bathroom reno! I am so ready to start that here. Lol. We are not planning on it for at least a year from now but I am already getting ideas.

    All of your books look wonderful. I am definitely adding Apple: Skin to the Core to my list.

    And your kitty is so darn cute!

  6. I really liked the audio version of Anxious People. Marin Ireland is getting to be a favorite narrator. A few years ago I enjoyed a read/listen combination of Radium Girls... glad there is a young reader edition. That was a fascinating story. Not sure how I missed the fact that there is a movie... adding to my Netflix queue. Thanks. And good luck with the renovation!

  7. Nice looking bunch of books. You read and are reading more nonfiction than I read in a year. Good luck on you renovations. I keep looking at my living room carpet and thinking it needs replacing but the wall to wall bookshelves set on top of it make it a daunting task. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  8. Oh, I totally hear you about the PNW grayness! I realized that I was battling with some SAD symptoms and had to get my mood light out. Hopefully it helps!

  9. Lol, I enjoyed your memes :)
    You’ve read a great selection of books this past week, I’m a fan of Backman too.

    Wishing you a great reading week

  10. Loved the Biden meme and the constitution comic! The Kermit pic is a little too familiar since my husband and I got very excited for a trip to Walgreen's today for Senior Discount Day! lol Hey, we've been snowed in for 2 days.

    Wow, you are reading so many books and such a great variety, Anne! I can't wait to read Ready Player Two, but since I gave it to my husband for Christmas, I figure I should let him read it first :) A Promised Land sounds amazing, too - definitely on audio. Oh, and I'd like to read Anxious People, too, since I just finished Beartown.

    Have a great week, Anne, and enjoy your books!


    Book By Book

  11. Errands are "going out" for sure! You have a great list of books going right now; I can't wait to see what you think of them.


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