Monday, November 29, 2021

Nonfiction November: Week 5: New to My TBR

Week 5: (November 29-December 3) — New to My TBR with Jaymi at The OC Book Girl: It’s been a month full of amazing nonfiction books! Which ones have made it onto your TBR? Be sure to link back to the original blogger who posted about that book! 

Here's a list of books that I'd like to look for and read. Thank you to all who shared books.


The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk from Rennie at What's Nonfiction.

The No-Nonsense Meditation Book: A Scientist's Guide to the Power of Meditation by Steven Laureys from Stephanie at Bookfever.

Mindscaping: A Practical Guide For How To Be Happier by Donovon Jenson from Stephanie at Bookfever.

Chill Out and Cheer Up: A Ten-Step Guide by Grace Grossmann from Stephanie at Bookfever.

A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled by Ruby Wax from Molly at Silver Button Books.

Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness by Ingrid Fetell Lee from Carol at Reading Ladies.


If God is Love, Don't Be a Jerk: Finding a Faith That Makes Us Better Humans by John Pavlovitz from Bonnie at Bonnie's Books and Lisa at Lisa Notes.

Unbelievable: Why Neither Ancient Creeds Nor the Reformation Can Produce a Living Faith Today by John Shelby Spong from Bonnie's Books.


Ultimate Visual History of the World: The Story of Humankind from Prehistory to Modern Times by Jean-Pierre Isbouts from Julie at JulzReads.

Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner’s Reckoning with The Myth of the Lost Cause by Ty Seidule, Professor Emeritus of History at West Point from Bryan at Still an Unfinished Person.

Tombstone: The Earp Brothers, Doc Holiday, And the Vendetta Raid from Hell by Tom Clavin from Bryan at Still an Unfinished Person.

The Flying Tigers: The Untold Story of the American Pilots Who Waged the Secret War Against Japan by Sam Kleiner from Bryan at Still an Unfinished Person.

Tunnel 29: The True Story of an Extraordinary Escape Beneath the Berlin Wall by Helena Merriman from Julie at JulzReads and Rennie at What's Nonfiction.

The Moralist: Woodrow Wilson and the World He Made by Patricia O’Toole from Lori at Entering the Enchanted Castle.

Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11 by Mitchell Zuckoff from Tina at Tina Says.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari from Nishita at Nishita's Rants and Raves and Harry at Unsolicited Feedback.

Square Haunting: Five Writers in London Between the Wars from Brona at This Reading Life.

Last Witnesses: An Oral History of the Children of World War II by Svetlana Alexievich from Jen at Introverted Reader.


Photo Ark Wonders: Celebrating Diversity in the Animal Kingdom by Joel Sartore from Julie at JulzReads.

Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities by Amy Stewart from Erin at Cracker Crumb Life.

Fathoms: The World in the Whale by Rebecca Giggs from Kate at booksaremyfavouriteandbest.

Inside Animal Hearts and Minds: Bears That Count, Goats That Surf, and Other True Stories of Animal Intelligence and Emotion by Belinda Recio from Bonnie at Bonnie's Books.

Field Notes from an Unintentional Birder: A Memoir by Julia Zarankin from Jane at Reading, Writing, Working, Playing.

Life’s Edge: The Search for What It Means to Be Alive by Carl Zimmer from Rennie at What's Nonfiction.

A Place in the Woods by Helen Hoover from Jinjer at Intrepid Arkansawyer.

Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard from Harry at Unsolicited Feedback.


The Devil’s Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea from Iliana at Bookgirl's Nightstand.

Team of Five: The Presidents Club in the Age of Trump by Kate Andersen Brower from Angela at Musings of a Literary Wanderer.

Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power by Anna Merlan from Christopher at Plucked from the Stacks.

Children Under Fire: An American Crisis by John Woodrow Cox from Tina at Tina Says.

Learning in Public: Lessons for a Racially Divided America From My Daughter's School by Courtney E. Martin from Tina at Tina Says.

The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green from Lou at Louloureads and Anne at My Head is Full of Books.


Epic Solitude: The Story of Survival and a Quest for Meaning in the Far North by Katherine Keith from Angela at Musings of a Literary Wanderer.

English Pastoral: An Inheritance by James Rebanks from Marg at Books Please.

Christ Stopped at Eboli by Carlo Levi from Jane at Reading, Writing, Working, Playing.

On Island Time by Hilary Stewart from Les at Coastal Horizons.


The Wild Silence by Raynor Winn from Karen at Booker Talk.

Men We Reaped: A Memoir by Jesmyn Ward from Jen at Introverted Reader.

Act One by Moss Hart from Lori at Entering the Enchanted Castle.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

The Sunday Salon: Thankful


It's Thankfully Reading Weekend, and I am sitting here in a turkey fog, stuffed with all the delicious things Thanksgiving brings, and I am reading. No goals. No boxes to check. Just enjoying some good books. 

Last week I read...

Some of the books I am reading now...

 An Alphabet for Gourmets by M.F.K. Fisher
Bicycling with Butterflies: My 10,201-Mile Journey Following the Monarch Migration by Sara Dykman
Five True Things: A Little Guide to Embracing Life's Big Changes by David Ricio
Good Birders Don't Wear White: 50 Tips from America's Top Birders edited by Lisa A. White
The Listening Road: One Man's Ride Across America to Start Conversations About God by Neil Tomba

Last week I posted here at Readerbuzz:

Good Thing #1

I am thankful for all the wonderful books I've gotten to read this year.

Good Thing #2

I am thankful for your amazing blogs.
I am so fortunate to be able to visit your blogs and talk books with you.

Good Thing #3

I am thankful for you
my wonderful friends here in the Blogosphere.

I'm happy you joined us here at the Sunday Salon. Sunday Salon is a place to link up and to share what we have been doing during the week. It's a great way to visit other blogs and join in the conversations going on there. 

Some of the things we often talk about at the Sunday Salon:

  • What was your week like?
  • Read any good books? Tell us about them.
  • What other bookish things did you do? 
  • What else is going on in your life?

Other places where you may like to link up over the weekend are below. Click on the picture to visit the site.


My linkup for Sunday Salon is below. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

In Which I Read a Book That is Way (Way, Way, Way) Over My Head (Personal Testimonial)



I avoided science in school. I took every advanced class I could take in every subject (even math!) except science. I made my first C when I was in sixth grade, and it was in this awful science class that I decided ever after that I hated science and that I would avoid science.

Until now. Suddenly, in the last few years, I've started reading everything I can about science. Butterflies...oak trees...climate change...oceans...moss...citizen science...octopi...birds...these are just some of the subjects I've read about in 2021.

And today I'm reading She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity. Heredity, folks. This book is about DNA and genes and mitochondria and lots and lots of other things that are unfamiliar to me. 

Let me say that again: I am reading a book about things I know nothing about. 

And I love it. Even though I don't understand much of what the author is talking about.

I thought it might help me to take a closer look at some of the key vocabulary from the book. But, it turns out, the glossary in the back of the book really just gives you the run-around. Example:

DNA: The double-stranded molecule that encodes genes.
Gene: A segment of DNA that encodes a protein...

See what I'm saying? Not really helpful.

Instead, I'm just going with the whole idea of DNA and genes as...well, let's just call them things...things that control how a person or another...let's just say creature...creature turns out. 

And it turns out that I can read an entire 600+ page book about heredity without the faintest idea of what I'm really reading about. 

And did I tell you that I love it? Yes, I love it.

Here are a few more words that I really don't understand...but nevertheless find quite intriguing...from the book:

Mosaicism: Genetic variation among somatic and germ cells in a single multicellular organism.

Single-nucleotide polymorphism: A site in DNA where a single base varies in a population.

Methylation: An epigenetic mechanism to silence a gene through the addition of a methyl group (-CH3) to a site on a DNA molecule. 

Before I go, let me remind you that I love this book. And, trust me, you will, too. Even if you, like me, are completely clueless about the workings of the tiniest parts of our beings.

Have you ever read a book that was way (way, way, way) over your head?

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered, or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative! It was first created by Kathy over at Bermuda Onion and is now hosted at Elza Reads.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Characters I’d Love An Update On

Whatever became of my favorite fairy tale characters from my childhood?

Red Riding Hood...Bet she was reluctant to visit Grandma again...

Rumpelstiltskin...Did he change his name to something a bit easier on the tongue?

The Three Bears...Did they install a home security system?

The Emperor (from The Emperor's New Clothes)...How did he face his people the next day?

Rapunzel...Her long hair came in handy, but did she ever just get tired of the whole thing and get a bob?

Hansel and Gretel...Sentenced to justifiable manslaughter? 

Aladdin...Does he keep his magic lamp over the fireplace? 

The Three Pigs...Perhaps they do commercials for Acme Brick...

Sleeping Beauty...Hired a castle seamstress?

The Gingerbread Man...Well, we know what happened to him, but if he had a chance to do it over, would he have steered clear of wolves as well as people?

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.  

Monday, November 22, 2021

Nonfiction November: Week 4: Stranger Than Fiction

This week during Nonfiction November we are focusing on great nonfiction books that almost don't seem real. Here are some incredible, almost-unbelievable true stories that I have loved.

Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders by Joshua Foer...amazing places in the world...

The Roads to Sata: A 2,000 Mile Walk Through Japan by Alan Booth...Booth walks 2,000 miles through Japan and takes in the sites and talks to people along the way...

Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder...I wanted to nominate Dr. Paul Farmer for sainthood...

The Splendid and the Vile: A Sage of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson...I read this during the presidency of He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named, and I kept wishing Churchill was our leader here in America during the Covid crisis...

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson...The Lusitania...but, honestly, anything by Erik Larson is going to be an amazing story...

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand...You won't believe the life of Louis Zamperini...

In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette by Hampton Sides...Grand and terrible is right...

A Night to Remember by Walter Lord...The best story ever about the Titanic...

Sudden Sea: The Great Hurricane of 1938 by R. A. Scotti...The only time a Cat 5 hurricane hit the mainland US...

The Radium Girls: The Dark Side of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore...yes, young women were employed by big companies to paint radium on can imagine how that turns out...

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown...indigenous people are living happily in a beautiful place in America...Europeans arrive...Europeans want the indigenous people's land...indigenous people make a treaty with Europeans...Europeans break the treaty...indigenous people are all killed or moved...repeat...repeat...repeat...

I had to include some kids' books, too:

Lives of the Writers: Comedies, Tragedies by Kathleen Krull (also Lives of the Musicians, Presidents, Athletes, Scientists, Artists, Explorers, Extraordinary Women)...amazing biographies...

Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine...He boxed himself up and mailed himself off to secure his freedom...

WildLives: 50 Extraordinary Animals that Made History by Ben Lerwill...If you are interested in celebrity animals...

All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys' Soccer Team by Christina Soontornvat...Nothing short of amazing...

Week 4: (November 22-26) – Stranger Than Fiction with Christopher at Plucked from the Stacks: This week we’re focusing on all the great nonfiction books that *almost* don’t seem real. A sports biography involving overcoming massive obstacles, a profile on a bizarre scam, a look into the natural wonders in our world—basically, if it makes your jaw drop, you can highlight it for this week’s topic.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

The Sunday Salon: What? Reading Two Fiction Books During Nonfiction November?


What's this? Reading two fiction books during Nonfiction November? Yep, that's what I did last week. Not what I would have wished, but I had to finish Gracelin O'Malley for book club and Baron in the Trees for my Classics Club spin. 

The good news is that they were both really good reads. Gracelin O'Malley is page-turning, soap-opera-ish historical fiction set in Ireland during the potato blight. The Baron in the Trees is a folktale-ish story of an adolescent aristocrat who fights with his dad and decides to spend the rest of his life living in the trees. 


She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity by Carl Zimmer
 The Gastronomical Me by M.F.K. Fisher
Committed: Dispatches from a Psychiatrist in Training by Adam Stern
Bicycling with Butterflies: My 10,201-Mile Journey Following the Monarch Migration by Sara Dykman
Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life by Zena Hitz
Seek You: A Journey Through American Loneliness by Kristen Radtke
Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival & Hope in an American City by Andrea Elliott

They all came in for me at once, as they always do. 

Last week I posted here at Readerbuzz:

Nobel Prize-winning author Wole Soyinko spoke about his new book at Inprint Houston.

100 Scope Notes: Gallery: NYT Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2021

Jenn at Jenn's Bookshelves will be hosting the Thankfully Reading Weekend November 24 through 28. No rules...just hoping to get some good solid reading time in. To join in, sign up here.

Good Thing #1
Our book club met in person at the library.

Good Thing #2
Yoga at the Y!

Good Thing #3
We got together with a bit of family for an early Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

I'm happy you joined us here at the Sunday Salon. Sunday Salon is a place to link up and to share what we have been doing during the week. It's a great way to visit other blogs and join in the conversations going on there. 

Some of the things we often talk about at the Sunday Salon:

  • What was your week like?
  • Read any good books? Tell us about them.
  • What other bookish things did you do? 
  • What else is going on in your life?

Other places where you may like to link up over the weekend are below. Click on the picture to visit the site.


My linkup for Sunday Salon is below.