Tuesday, January 26, 2010

new books, blame, and good stuff (quite the uninspired title)

Decided that I ought to get caught up here on the doling out of blame. My latest two trips to the bookstore need to be accounted for.

First though, the non-blame books:

The Value of Nothing by Raj Patel. I am sooooo excited to read this book...it just sounds incredible. If it lives up to its description, it sounds as if it not only addresses the failings and unfairness of our world economy, but it offers hope and ideas. And as I was just admitting to a very dear friend, as optimistic as I try to be in my own little personal life, I tend to be extremely pessimistic about the future of our world in general. So pessimistic that it can leave me hiding in depression for days at a time. So yeah, I'm all for a little hope.

Created Equal: Voices on Women's Rights by Anna Horsbrugh-Porter. Another one I'm really excited to read! Okay, I guess that's sort of a no-brainer, huh? Obviously, I really want to read these books...otherwise, I wouldn't have bought them. This isn't a long book. It appears to be more of an introduction to the state of women's rights around the globe today. Among the issues it discusses are education, violence against women, slavery, and poverty. I may have to wait to read it though...when Annie saw it, she immediately asked if she could borrow it.

The River of Lost Footsteps: A Personal History of Burma by Thant Myint-U. I'm really tempted to blame this on poor Eva, but I guess that wouldn't be fair. See, I really wanted to get From the Land of Green Ghosts because of her review, but the bookstore just didn't have it. But I was determined to read something about Burma, so I picked up this book instead.

Nylon Road by Parsua Bashi. A graphic memoir. What can I say...you all have turned me into a graphic novel junkie...seems as if I have to get my fix every time I hit the bookstore anymore. ;) This wasn't the book I really went looking for...thanks to Ana, I really, really, really wanted to get my hands on I Kill Giants, but they didn't have it. But this book caught my eye...and then made its way home with me.

Collage Lab by Bee Shay. One of those impulse buys. One of my biggest personal goals for the year is to make more time for "playing" in my craft room. A goal, I am to the point, failing miserably to meet. This book makes a massively fun addition to my inspiration library.

And now we come to those books that I refuse to take personal responsibility for. ;) Points go to:

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. I have been wanting to get my hands on this soooooo badly ever since reading Carl's review! It just sounds so utterly delightful and fun. (Irrelevant side note: I was surprised to realize that this was the only novel of the whole bunch.)

Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science by Atul Gawande. Yeah, no way Eva's escaping blame for this one. And somehow I suspect that blame for Better will be forthcoming as well.

The World Without Us by Alan Weisman. Don't even have to tell you who gets the blame for this one, do I? Yep, the lovely Ana made it impossible for me to resist. And I suspect she doesn't even feel guilty about it. ;)

Whatever day it is "Good Stuff"

*Annie started her latest college course last night. She's taking Arabic. And she came home just as excited as could be...chatting away, showing me the letters she's learned to write so far, talking about the course in general. Don't you love the way that enthusiasm is simply contagious?

*Last night was also the first night of Rich's evolution class for this semester. And all went well! I suppose on the surface it seems a silly thing to even worry about...we certainly haven't worried about his other classes that start this week. But yeah, because it's evolution. And there's been precedent for attracting people who don't want to learn, don't want to listen, don't want to ask questions, but simply want to be disruptive and obnoxious and threatening in an effort to promote their religious agenda. The first semester he taught this course, things were so bad that we actually worried a bit about his safety. But Rich was so happy when he got home last night, said his students seemed engaged and enthusiastic and asked really great questions...and well, it's just a relief.

*There are times when this kiddo has me wanting to pull out all my hair in frustration. And then there are times like these...yep, my heart just melts. I think I shall never tire of watching the munchkins sleep. :)

*Sooooo happy for Chris!!!! And the city of New Orleans, in general, too. :D

*I've been trying so hard the last few weeks to come up with an idea for "something," but just couldn't come up with anything I was satisfied with. But that proverbial lightbulb lit up yesterday! And I don't just like the idea, I love it! (Hopefully, it will turn out the way I envision it in my head.)


  1. I really want I Kill Rabbits too and it's available absolutely nowhere! Ugh!

    It's so cool Annie's learning Arabic! I've wanted to learn for a couple years now but have never gotten up the courage to take a class, and now the classes they used to offer aren't around anymore. I guess they didn't have enough participation or something. :(

  2. The Value of Nothing sounds amazing! And I do hope it brings you hope *hugs*

    And Created Equal? Zomg want want want want! The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is one I've been dying to read as well.

    And guilt? No guilt B)

    Hooray for Annie's enthusiasm and Rich's class and Max's adorableness :D

  3. Cool for Annie's taking Arabic! The young woman with whom I went to the National Book Festival is Saudi (dual Saudi-US citizenship), and I absolutely love it when she decorates her letters to me (we correspond the old-fashioned way, fountain pens on paper) with Arabic script. It is so very beautiful. I can't wait to hear Annie say something in Arabic the next time I see you guys. Smiling!!

  4. Arabic? Cool!

    I am glad that things look promising for Rich's class this semester. It can be horribly frustrating and scary to deal with some of the people that end up in college classes. Too bad students can't all be like Annie!

  5. Complications is a brilliant book! It's the first (and only) book I've read this year so far, and I haven't even gotten around to reviewing it yet despite its considerable awesomeness (Shhhh, don't tell the book bloggers that I'm not fit to be one of their number!). I've got The World Without Us on Mt. TBR, too.

    That's so cool that Annie's learning Arabic. I wish I had the guts and the ambition to learn Arabic (or that they would make a lazy person's learning tool that uploads the knowledge into my brain). Go Annie! =)

  6. Enthusiasm is contagious! I find it so cool that Annie is learning Arabic! I wish I've some time to learn another foreign language, it'd be so exciting!

    You've a lovely loot there! Happy reading, Debi! :)

  7. I love the topics of the books that you chose for yourself...very heavy and interesting!! I love doling out the blame and you got to spread it around today!! Yay for you!! Isn't that a great photo??? When they're sleeping you wonder how you could ever be mad at them...and then they open their eyes!!! LOL!!
    I love to learn and your daughter enthusiasm for education is so damn awesome!! We have so many kids that whine about school that it is refreshing to read about one that actually relishes it!!! Go Annie!

  8. I requested Complications from PaperBack Swap after reading some blogger reviews on it. I have not had a chance to read it yet though.

    I have a BS and MS in Biology. If you take a class called Evolution then that is what you are going to learn ... don't take the class if you don't want to learn about it. Glad everything is going smoothly. :)

  9. I read Carl's review of Sweetness too, and totally have this on my wish-list!! Looks like there are a lot of great books in that pile!!

    How cool is it that Annie is taking Arabic?? Not really anything I wanted to take (after my Hitory of the Middle East Class...YUK! I just hated it. Mostly because the names were so similiar, I had a hard time remembering who was who!!)

    Hope you have a wonderful week!!

  10. Annie's taking Arabic?! That's so awesome!! Ok...so I want ALL of those books now!! Well, all of the ones that I don't have already :p And I already wanted Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and I kill Giants prior to this post for the same reasons you did :p

    I'm so glad to hear that Rich's evolution class sounds more promising this year!! He really deserves a good, engaging class that will appreciate what he has to teach them! The picture of Max is priceless :) So cute. And Yay for me again!!! Still floating on cloud nine over here with the win!!!!

    Ooooh ooh ooh....now I want to know what your secret project is!!

  11. Awesome! I'm so glad you got Sweetness, not to mention the rest of the interesting looking pile of books.

    Arabic! That is really fun. I'm glad she is excited. I think trying to learn another language at this point would make my head explode.

    In reading about Rich and his class I couldn't help but wonder, isn't college the place for the obnoxious and disruptive?!? Ha! I hope his class continues to be productive this year.