“The men who get it also understand that feminism is not a scheme to deprive men but a campaign to liberate us all.”
This collection of essays would be brilliant if the title and blurb portrayed what it was really about. Feminism, how far we’ve come and why there is still work to do. If that had been the entire intention, this would have been 5 out of 5 stars.
Unfortunately, what was billed to me was not what was received. I went into this looking for funny anecdotes of men with no clue, saying dumb things to women in their quest to seem intelligent. Every woman can relate and has her own stories about this exact subject. That happened twice in the beginning, while the rest dived into fighting the patriarchy. Which, do not get me wrong, I am down for, but I was looking for something more humorous.
“Finding ways to appreciate advances without embracing complacency is a delicate task.”
If I ignore what is lacking in humor, it is rich in information and it is a topic that should never leave anyone’s mind until there is equality. Therefore, I think this is an important read. However, I have a feeling that more people will pick this up for the same reason that I did and those people probably already understand that there is still work to be done. Meaning, the people that need to be reading it to get the message, most likely are not.
“Men explain things to me, still. And no man has ever apologized for explaining, wrongly, things that I know and they don’t.”
If nothing else, this year was decent for reading. Even though I took time off of reviewing, I remained a pretty strict rater. Not a lot of books made 5 stars for me this past year. Nonetheless, I enjoyed reading more by not forcing myself to do any challenges, not pushing myself to review anything, and just going with whatever my mood called for. I am a mood reader and I must accept that and stop forcing myself to into any reading boxes.
In no particular order, here are my favorites from 2020:
I’m almost done with Dune Messiah, I plan to finish it tomorrow night, and I am just going to go ahead and name my top two books of 2020 as such:
A surprising amount of reading happened in June. Granted, many of them were smaller books, they still count!
4 out of 5 stars – I actually finished this the very last day of May but I had already done my May books post. If there is a strong female lead in an urban fantasy series, you bet your sweet honey ass I’m going to give it a go. I read the first book in this series years ago and enjoyed it, but it wasn’t something I was dying to get the next book. After book two, I feel much the same. I enjoy it, I’ll pick it up when it’s on sale, but I’m not rushing to purchase the next installment.
5 out of 5 stars – I couldn’t decide what I felt like reading so Ignited Moth kindly decided for me. This book has been sitting on my TBR shelf for roughly 6 years. I am so glad that I finally made the time to read it because it was splendid. Have you ever heard me call a book ‘splendid’? Probably means you should read it ASAP.
3 out of 5 stars – During this pandemic, I decided to bring a book for lunch reading that just stays as work to lower any chance of someone putting their filthy virus hands on it. (I’ve decided on all selections being something I’m not in a rush to read.) This is an easy, peasy read that I have described as a “cozy Southern murder mystery.”
4 out of 5 stars – Not my favorite Alpha & Omega installment but I still thoroughly enjoyed myself and the drama of Bran’s disappearance was riveting, since he’s never bailed on the pack before.
Rants From the Hill (Pictured above)
4 out of 5 stars – An educational, fun essay collection from an environmentalist who lives out in the high desert of the United States. It’s a different world out there but the author manages to make it sound magical and just as important as all other ecosystems out there that have better reputations.
4 out of 5 stars – Dina is forced (kind of) to host an intergalactic summit at her inn. The inn requires guests to thrive and so she must accept a deal that no other inn on Earth would. She’s not sure she’s powerful enough to keep the peace between three warring factions from another planet, but her little dog Beast is there to help her try.
4 out of 5 stars – The inn’s latest guests are a race of aliens who have been hunted to near extinction by another close by planet. If there is one thing Dina can’t resist, it’s helping out the underdog. Not to mention, rescuing her sister and niece from a barren planet exiled from the rest of the galaxy. Just another week at the inn.
For the first time ever, I’m not rating a book that I didn’t
finish. Usually, if I don’t finish a book it’s because I hated it
or it bored me to death. Those two things mean they deserve some type
of rating either for the feedback of the author (if they bother
reading reviews) and for other people who are considering picking up
the book or both.
In this case, the book did keep my attention, however, in the end, I
just can’t bring myself to care much about the lives of people who
died 130 years ago. I respect the concept that these women don’t
deserve to be remembered as prostitutes because there is not enough
evidence that they were. But in the end, they are dead and they don’t
care. (Does that sound super insensitive? Probably, but I’m too
tired to care.)
This is thoroughly researched when it comes to Victorian London and
that I really enjoyed. I learned things I didn’t know and that
always earns my respect.
So this is a toss up kids! It’s research is fantastic. If you want
to learn lots of information on that time period, this is great. If
you don’t really care if someone who was murdered that long ago was
a prostitute or not, this might not be for you either.
Does that title look familiar?? Well it should since I 100% stole this idea from Ignited Moth. I told her I didn’t think I had the patience to do a post like this but where there is a will, there is a way to cheat the game. Print screen for the win!
June officially marks this as half way through the year and I’m just shy of meeting my yearly reading goal. I have got to say, not having the pressure to complete an enormous reading goal at the end of the year has been great. I feel like I’m enjoying reading much more again. Plus, it’s left me with more time to get out and try new things/hobbies.
Ahaha! If you look closely at my tabs, you can see my search for how to find my print screens. I’ve never tried since getting Windows 10.
Anywho, onto the subcategories she listed!
My favorite books I’ve read so far this year goes as follows:
Favorite (Fiction) novel so far: Knight’s Shadow by Sebastien de Castell.
5 out of 5 stars on this one. It’s my favorite epic fantasy of the year so far as well. It’s much like the 3 Musketeers but with fantasy and plot twists thrown in liberally.
Favorite (Nonfiction) novel so far: The Indifferent Stars Above by Daniel James Brown.
This was such a thoroughly researched novel on the Donner Party. It really took you back in time and showed you how life was in the frontier days. Peppered with scientific facts about what the body goes through when you’re starving and freezing to death.
Favorite graphic novel so far: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Vol 1. by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.
Honestly, this one kind of just wins by default as it’s the only graphic novel I’ve read so far this year. Does not make it any less fun of a read though if you like dark, spooky things.
Books that were re-read: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
I was SO nervous to read this. I’ve never re-read it since I was a kid and I was really afraid that it wouldn’t hold up. But, it totally does! I was still too intimidated to write a review for it though. :3
Book suggestions from blogging buddies:
Recommended to me by The Shameful Narcissist. It was one of those ‘meh’ books for me, but I can see how people would really enjoy this post apocalyptic novel and if you’re interested in it at all, give it a try!
Suggestions from Ignited Moth:
I’ve called her it a million times now, she’s my Comic Book Fairy. ❤ She’s also always full of random non-fiction novels to recommend as well. I know there’s a novel about plagues on my TBR list thanks to her. 😛
Well that’s my 2019 reading so far! How is everyone else’s year going?
You know you’ve worked in the medical field for awhile when you can
read about gonorrhea and syphilis on your lunch without losing your
appetite. Some people may count that as a negative, I count it as a
positive. It takes a hell of a lot to ruin my lunch.
For myself, this was very much a one chapter at a time read. There is
nothing wrong with it, it’s not even too text book like in any
matter. The stories are fairly fascinating and John Hunter was a
character, there just wasn’t the pull to dig in deep and not let up
until I was finished. Perhaps in true Hunterian fashion, I had to
contemplate the works and dissect the knowledge at my own pace.
John Hunter had a thirst for knowledge that could hardly be quenched.
From his early days, until his last, he needed to know more about how
the world worked. About anatomy, about evolution (though it wasn’t
dared called that back then), and disease states. His approach to
science greatly influenced the scientific method that we know today.
He began to change how wounds were treated, depending less on blood
letting and more on experimentation to find a better way. He improved
While he had many admirers, he had just as many enemies who did not
like him challenging the accepted way to practice medicine. This
almost never slowed him down though. He pushed boundaries that led to
many advancements. He also had a few theories that ended up slowing
down progress on other things, for example, he conducted an
experiment to prove that gonorrhea and syphilis were essentially the
same disease. There was a flaw in his method that he never did find
out about, as we know today that they are not the same disease.
There are so many things that this one man is responsible for
influencing in both science and medicine, that I could go on for
pages. Instead, if you’re interested, go pick up this book. It
will educate you far more than I would ever be able to. He was a
revolutionary and a rebel, and you know how much I like rebels.
Warning: lots of animal torture.
“Hunter had died, as he had lived, in rebellion, speaking his mind.”
A saga that has fascinated people since the late-1840s.
Author Daniel James Brown does a fantastic job of weaving the tale of
the doomed emigrant party that we’ve all heard of at some point in
our lives. The tale of a group of early Americans, who with big
dreams, traveled the wrong path to glorious California and became
stuck in the Sierra Nevada mountains as winter hit. Eventually,
almost all of them, would have to eat their fallen friends in order
Brown not only brings light to the every day trials they faced before
becoming entangled in Mother Nature’s snare but also highlights the
science behind the way people behave in horrific situations, and how
the human body handles things like starvation and hypothermia. He
paints a brilliant picture of life during this time period before
tragedy struck and how the survivors tried to rebuild their lives
This has been so thoroughly researched that you’re bound to hear
some new tidbits to an old story. The narrative doesn’t shy away
from difficult subjects. For instance, one mother boiled ox hide
until it became a gelatinous goo to feed her children. Not much for
flavor but apparently nutritious. Some members of the camp would boil
and re-boil ox bones until they were soft and chewy.
While it is a bleak tale, it is also one of the stubbornness of the
human spirit and the adamant will to live.
But, I also wonder why they didn’t start eating the flesh of dead
people sooner. I can only imagine the mind set one must get to before
they can actually consume human flesh, but there were a few bodies
that weren’t touched at all in the beginning even though they had
already run out of meat. It feels as though perhaps, a few more
people could have survived if they had come to terms with their
impending cannibalism sooner.
Fantasy and sci-fi are my bread and butter of reading BUT I do enjoy a good non-fiction book now and again. Quite frankly, I’m very picky about them so I thought I’d share some that have made my TBR list. I haven’t read any of them yet so don’t come yelling at me if you don’t end up liking them. 😉
Journalist Rachel Nuwer plunges the reader into the underground of global wildlife trafficking, a topic she has been investigating for nearly a decade. Our insatiable demand for animals–for jewelry, pets, medicine, meat, trophies, and fur–is driving a worldwide poaching epidemic, threatening the continued existence of countless species. Illegal wildlife trade now ranks among the largest contraband industries in the world, yet compared to drug, arms, or human trafficking, the wildlife crisis has received scant attention and support, leaving it up to passionate individuals fighting on the ground to try to ensure that elephants, tigers, rhinos, and more are still around for future generations.
Nadia Murad was born and raised in Kocho, a small village of farmers and shepherds in northern Iraq. A member of the Yazidi community, she and her brothers and sisters lived a quiet life. Nadia had dreams of becoming a history teacher or opening her own beauty salon.
On August 15th, 2014, when Nadia was just twenty-one years old, this life ended. Islamic State militants massacred the people of her village, executing men who refused to convert to Islam and women too old to become sex slaves. Six of Nadia’s brothers were killed, and her mother soon after, their bodies swept into mass graves. Nadia was taken to Mosul and forced, along with thousands of other Yazidi girls, into the ISIS slave trade.
Nadia would be held captive by several militants and repeatedly raped and beaten. Finally, she managed a narrow escape through the streets of Mosul, finding shelter in the home of a Sunni Muslim family whose eldest son risked his life to smuggle her to safety.
Today, Nadia’s story–as a witness to the Islamic State’s brutality, a survivor of rape, a refugee, a Yazidi–has forced the world to pay attention to the ongoing genocide in Iraq. It is a call to action, a testament to the human will to survive, and a love letter to a lost country, a fragile community, and a family torn apart by war.
Dear Mr. Manson…
It started with a college course assignment, then escalated into a dangerous obsession. Eighteen-year-old honor student Jason Moss wrote to men whose body counts had made criminal history: men named Dahmer, Manson, Ramirez, and Gacy.
Dear Mr. Dahmer…
Posing as their ideal victim, Jason seduced them with his words. One by one they wrote him back, showering him with their madness and violent fantasies. Then the game spun out of control. John Wayne Gacy revealed all to Jason — and invited his pen pal to visit him in prison…
Dear Mr. Gacy… It was an offer Jason couldn’t turn down. Even if it made him…
The book that has riveted the attention of the national media, this may be the most revealing look at serial killers ever recorded and the most illuminating study of the dark places of the human mind ever attempted
In this sweeping, eloquent history of America, Kurt Andersen shows that what’s happening in our country today—this post-factual, “fake news” moment we’re all living through—is not something new, but rather the ultimate expression of our national character. America was founded by wishful dreamers, magical thinkers, and true believers, by hucksters and their suckers. Fantasy is deeply embedded in our DNA.
Over the course of five centuries—from the Salem witch trials to Scientology to the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, from P. T. Barnum to Hollywood and the anything-goes, wild-and-crazy sixties, from conspiracy theories to our fetish for guns and obsession with extraterrestrials—our love of the fantastichas made America exceptional in a way that we’ve never fully acknowledged. From the start, our ultra-individualism was attached to epic dreams and epic fantasies—every citizen was free to believe absolutely anything, or to pretend to be absolutely anybody. With the gleeful erudition and tell-it-like-it-is ferocity of a Christopher Hitchens, Andersen explores whether the great American experiment in liberty has gone off the rails.
From Waco to Heaven’s Gate, the past decade has seen its share of cult tragedies. But none has been quite so dramatic or compelling as the Jonestown massacre of 1978, in which the Reverend Jim Jones and 913 of his disciples perished. Deborah Layton had been a member of the Peoples Temple for seven years when she departed for Jonestown, Guyana, the promised land nestled deep in the South American jungle. When she arrived, however, Layton saw that something was seriously wrong. Jones constantly spoke of a revolutionary mass suicide, and Layton knew only too well that he had enough control over the minds of the Jonestown residents to carry it out. But her pleas for help–and her sworn affidavit to the U.S. government–fell on skeptical ears. In this very personal account, Layton opens up the shadowy world of cults and shows how anyone can fall under their spell. Seductive Poison is both an unflinching historical document and a riveting story of intrigue, power, and murder.
If you could only recommend ONE non-fiction book, what would it be??
This was a fun, easy informational read. There were SO many women I had never heard of that were true BOSS bitches. I’m glad this book exists so that more people may learn of their adventures and inspire women to be fearless.
I liked the author’s humor that was added to each little chapter and the art was fun as well.
Raised in a small Mormon town, child to a mentally ill father, forced to work in a junkyard pulling scrap or making essential oils and homeopathy in the kitchen with her mother, Tara Westover never had an actual education. In fact, she didn’t even have a birth certificate for nine years or an actual birth date. Everyone had a different account of the day she was born and even when that date was.
Her life was preset before her. Help her parents make money and prepare for the End of Days, then one day become a wife and mother. Those were the foundations of a good Mormon believer according to her father.
As she grew, she began to realize that this was not the life she wanted. However, she felt guilty, almost blasphemous for feeling this way. First, she had to survive her family. An older brother who was extremely physically and mentally abusive. A father, who wanted to live off the grid, believed the government would come for them one day, and did not believe in the Medical Establishment. Meaning, serious injuries caused in the junkyard were treated by their mother with oils and homeopathy.
Tara grew bolder when a different older brother encouraged her to teach herself and pass the ACT so that she could escape the life laid out before her. A large portion of the story is about her education, learning about historical events she never knew had taken place, like the Holocaust. Her struggle to maintain her grades and earn grants to continue school and even placing into study abroad programs, learning about a world she never knew existed. All this while struggling with the drama and control of her family.
You could not have had a more polar opposite upbringing than my own. I was raised in an agnostic/atheist household with a strong stance on the importance of education. Therefore, it absolutely amazes me that this woman was not only able to survive a brutal childhood, but to go on and graduate from a school like Cambridge. She is only a year older than me and has accomplished so much more than I can imagine but I wouldn’t trade my childhood or my family for it.
It’s such a weird life and way of believing that at times I thought this story was something set before I was born but no, these people are out there today, doing these same things they’ve been doing since before I was born. It’s so bizarre to think about.
I liked the author’s honesty about how hard and how long it took to detach herself from the toxic portion of her family, even if it wasn’t fully her choice.
If you’re looking for an inspirational read, you’ve found it right here.