Saturday, November 26, 2016

Books Read in October

52. Queen of Flowers and Pearls by Gabriella Ghermandi. Translated by Giovanna Bellesia-Contuzzi and Victoria Offredi Poletto.

Came across this interesting gem just browsing in the library. It's a series of interpolated stories, compiled by the narrator, set during Italy's occupation of Ethiopia. Embarrassingly, I didn't even know that Italy had occupied Ethiopia, so it was very informative for me. The author lives in Italy and was born in Ethiopia, and the book is translated from the Italian, so this was a Women in Translation (WIT) read for me this year. Highly recommended if, like me, you want to learn about this moment in history.

53. Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard

This well-regarded biography of President James Garfield was an appropriate read during the election. Millard starts with Garfield's rise to the presidency and chronicles the assassination attempt and its aftermath. She compellingly argues, based on contemporary medical evidence including the autopsy, that Garfield's death was the result of his doctors' treatment and not the bullet in his back. She spins a fascinating tale, with major players surprisingly including Alexander Graham Bell. Although nonfiction sometimes takes me longer, I flew through it in just a few days. Highly recommended for American history buffs, but really just anyone. The most amazing part of the book, however, comes early on. After Garfield is unexpectedly nominated at the 1880 Republican National Convention, he replies to a congratulator, "I am very sorry that this has become necessary." He does, luckily, have a brief reprieve during the campaign since "asking for votes was considered undignified for a presidential candidate." Just imagine.

54. The Haunted Bookshop by Christopher Morley

A longtime TBR lister,  origin of the word "librocubicularist" (a person who likes reading in bed), and found serendipitously at my local Little Free Library. It's a quirky little tome, set in a Brooklyn secondhand bookshop, post World War I, aimed at younger, perhaps middle-grade readers. Its 1919 copyright is evident in its portrayal of women and the cartoonish German (natch) villains, but worth reading for the quixotic vocabulary. Also worth it for me, as I was about to start a NaNoWriMo novel set in the time period. Adults may want to read it for fun, or recommended for children perhaps with some caveats about stereotyping.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts

1. After the election, I decided I can take out all the library books I want. Although I've returned only one of the six from two weeks ago, I took out three more today. Pictured below, minus An Abundance of Katherines audiobook. So far, I like it better than Paper Towns. p.s. Do all John Green's books feature road trips?
2. I'm obsessed with memoirs. Biography used to be the only nonfiction I would read, but now, I can't get enough. I loved Jen Lancaster's Bitter is the New Black so much I read it twice in one month, and when I saw a row of Jen Lancaster books at the library, I couldn't help myself. The Tao of Martha, about her attempts to live a la Martha Stewart stood out the most to me, so I got that one, but I'll be back! Mennonite in a Little Black Dress also caught my eye, and although it wasn't what I was expecting (prodigal Mennonite daughter moves back home, instead of out), I'm intrigued.

3. I'm picking wedding colors, and it might be as bad as women's dress sizes. Google's "fern green" is David's Bridal's "clover green" and Pantone's "elves dancing merrily green" (okay, I made the last one up). But, seriously, can we all get on the same page? Like, literally.

4. Wedding websites, however, seem to be a charm. I admire the ethos of A Practical Wedding, , but no customizable Squarespace sites for me! The Wedding Knot's prefab wedding sites mean I don't have to think at all, thanks!

5. I'm way behind in NaNoWriMo, and at this point, I've given up hope of reaching 50k words in 30 days. However, I'm determined to surpass 25k (I'm around 22k now), and keep writing at least until 50k or until I finish, which is what I did last year.

6. It's Thanksgiving! I'm thankful for my adorable puppy and my fiance, and so much more. I'm excited to make Marbled Pumpkin Gingersnap Tart from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook, and not have to make anything else!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Post-Apocalyptic Library Haul

It's been a long time since I let myself take out this many books, but I needed it. Even though I won't finish them all, it felt satisfying to take out all the books I wanted. Some are research for my NaNoWriMo novel, which spans the time periods of both WWI and WWII.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Check Out My NaNoWriMon!

SpaceStationMir's NaNoWriMon to get your own! You need to have an account and updated word count at!