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Sunday, June 1, 2014

That's a Wrap: Adios May, Howdy June!

Yesterday I met my homeboy, Abraham Lincoln (technically he was born in Kentucky, but Illinois is the Land of Lincoln and that's my home state, so there you have it).
More about that on Tuesday.

Armchair BEA just wrapped up. Did you participate? How'd you enjoy it? I had a fabulous time as a cheerleader this year and will definitely be involved again next year. I met dozens of new-to-me bloggers and reconnected with others. I don't get out and comment enough throughout the year, so this was both a treat and a bit of training for me.

I was worried that getting into a new job would interfere with my reading, but I still managed to get some good reading time in and they were all really great books. And who am I kidding?? Like anything could get in the way of reading. Phft.

Books read in May:
  • The Street or Me by Judith Glynn (5/5 stars, review here)
  • Disquiet by Julia Leigh (4/5 stars, review here)
  • Stiff by Mary Roach audio (4/5 stars, review below)
  • Blossoms & Bayonets by Jana McBurney-Lin and Hi-Dong Chai (5/5 stars, review on 6/4)

Stiff by Mary Roach (audio version read by Shelly Frasier)
A great blend of the historical and contemporary ways people take care of cadavers, from the ways they are disposed of (or honored, if you prefer), to their use in teaching, experimentation & research, transplants and even human consumption for medicinal use and/or cannibalism. I've worked in a cadaver lab (only one class, I'm no specialist) and have been around the recently expired (hospital work) and so this book didn't creep me out or anything, but what I did find hard to listen to were the parts about animal experimentation.

Shelly Fraiser narrated the audio version and she was a PERFECT fit for the subject matter. She made Roach's humor sparkle with her dry, understated tone and sarcastic delivery.

Currently Reading:
  • The 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss. This book sounds so hoaxey but someone I respect recently spoke highly of it, so I thought I'd give it a try and checked it out of the library. If nothing else, its motivational.
  • The Zen of Social Media Marketing by Shama Kabani (audio). I had credits on Audiobooks.com due to expire and was looking around for something work-related. This seemed like it might be helpful and fresh. I listed to about an hour of it on Saturday and think I need to check out a print copy, too.
New Books in My Library:
  • The Bees by Laline Paull. I read two positive reviews about this new novel and look forward to starting it soon. I actually splurged and bought this one and the next book from my local Indy, Breakwater Books.
  • Red Love: The Story of an East German Family by Maxin Leo, translated by Shaun Whiteside. My mom is from Dresden, Germany. Shortly after the end of WWII the family was split in three ways: some left for Australia, some went to West Germany, and some stayed in East Germany. Luckily for me, my grandmother managed to get all her children into West Germany (and three eventually ended up in the US). I didn't meet my relatives who stayed in East Germany until the early 1990s after the Wall came down. There were strong physical and behavioral similarities, but some significant differences as well. Differences that I/we attribute to growing up under a repressive regime. I'm hoping this book will give me more insight into what my family lived through in East Germany.
  • My Idea Bookshelf by Jane Mount and Thessaly La Force. Laura saw this in a thrift shop and picked it up for me. This is a book about books, one of those that you can get lost in for a while. It's a book about what books are important to over 100 famous and/or influential people like Alice Waters, Tony Hawk, and James Patterson, to name a few. One side of the page is a drawing of the spines of the books that are important to said person and the other side is their experience with books. I love the comic-like drawings and what book geek doesn't like to read about what another book geeks has to say about important books in his or her life?
I'm off to play with my books now. Hope you had a lovely May and I'd love to hear about any great reads you enjoyed or what you're looking forward to in June!

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