Novellas in November: Short Classics

The theme for Novellas in November week four (hosted by Rebecca at Bookish Beck) is short classics. Classics aren't something I normally reach for, and I have to make a real effort to include them in my reading. I'm finicky when it comes to classics, and there are a ton of popular ones I'm bored to tears by (see the question at the end of this post). When looking through past classics I've read, I found that I especially loved short stories by authors like Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Isaac Asimov, and Ray Bradbury. I did find some novellas, though—I enjoyed all of the books below (some are more on the "modern classics" side of things). The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (44…

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Novellas in November: Translated Literature

The theme for Novellas in November week three (hosted by Cathy at 746 Books) is novellas that are translated literature. I gravitate toward Japanese literature (Haruki Murakami being one of my favorite authors) but I tried to branch out a bit here. Well, I did a 50% branching out, at least! The only book on this list that I haven't read yet—but it's on my TBR—is Troubling Love. I've been hesitating on reading Ferrante because I wasn't sure if I wanted to read her books in the original Italian, or as a translation. If I'm honest with myself, my Italian isn't where it used to be, and 2020 has sucked any willpower I might have had about doing the extra…

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Nonfiction November: Books for Leftists

Books for Leftists The prompt for week 3 of Nonfiction November is "Be the Expert" (hosted by Rennie of What’s Nonfiction). I thought it would be timely to talk about books for leftists. Let's use the word "expert" more like the word "enthusiast", because I'm always learning and listening and I still have a lot of theory to read up on. Obviously this would include books by Dr. Angela Davis (especially Are Prisons Obsolete? and Freedom Is a Constant Struggle). I see her books all over social media, so I'd like to highlight some other books that center leftist ideals—including anarchist principles of non-coercion, voluntary association, and mutual aid. These books have made a huge impact on me, just as…

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Novellas in November: Nonfiction

The theme for Novellas in November week two (hosted by Rebecca at Bookish Beck) is nonfiction novellas. I didn't realize novellas could include nonfiction as well. That word always insinuated "fiction" to me. But it turns out, there is room for the word "novella" in the nonfiction world. It's a way to describe nonfiction that's longer than an essay, but not quite the length of a book. There's a thought-provoking post about it over on the Brevity blog from way back in 2009. Regardless of what terminology we use, this week's topic fits in perfectly with Nonfiction November, and I'm excited to share some shorter nonfiction works I've enjoyed and recommend. On My Way To Liberation by H. Melt (28…

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Nonfiction November: Book Pairings

The prompt for week 2 of Nonfiction November is "Book Pairing" (hosted by Julz of Julz Reads), where we pair up a nonfiction book with a fiction title. I've got three book pairings for you today! The fiction titles I've chosen have the same subject matter as their nonfiction counterparts. C and I have been reading through the young people's version of Neil deGrasse Tyon's Astrophysics for People in a Hurry and are enjoying his goofy sense of humor and knack for explaining huge concepts in an easy-to-understand manner. I recently read To Hold Up the Sky by Cixin Liu [my review], which incorporates a lot of astrophysics and quantum physics in its hard sci-fi short stories. Some of those…

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Book Titles That Would Make Great Song Titles

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today's theme is: Book Titles that Would Make Great Song Titles This was a super fun prompt! I went by book title alone when making this list—not book description. (For example, I know Delia Owens's book takes place in North Carolina, not Louisiana. But that title!) I went ahead and included the music genres I imagined with the titles, too. 1. Where the Crawdads Sing (Delia Owens) is a song you hear when you're driving through southwest Louisiana and your car radio happens upon a station dedicated to zydeco. 2. Let's listen to some old-school 90s goth and put Cemetery Boys (Aiden Thomas) in the tape deck. 3. Bellweather Rhapsody…

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Novellas in November: Contemporary Fiction

I know I'm already doing Nonfiction November, but I couldn't resist jumping in on Novellas in November, too. This event is hosted by Rebecca at Bookish Beck and Cathy at 746 Books. The theme for week one (hosted by Cathy) is contemporary fiction novellas. I found varying definitions of what "contemporary fiction" actually means, so I probably stretched it a bit with some of the speculative and sci-fi picks. I went more with a "fiction published in a contemporary times" sort of theme. . This World Is Full of Monsters by Jeff VanderMeer (38 pages) - Surreal, strange, and terrifying. This is the kind of story that doesn't get old because there's endless nuance for your mind to explore. If…

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Nonfiction November: 2020 Year in Review

Nonfiction November week one is hosted by Leann of Shelf Aware. This week, we're taking a look back at our year of nonfiction and reflecting on the following questions: What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year? This is always a tough question, but I'm going to have to say Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, a memoir about growing up undocumented in the United States. I didn't end up formally reviewing it because I had so many feelings after reading it, everything in my head was a jumbled mess. It's a tough, heartbreaking, often frustrating read (frustrating in a way that only bureaucracy can achieve). But Castillo's writing is absolutely dazzling and there is joy, too.…

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Adventure by Chicken Bus by Janet LoSole

Janet LoSole's Adventure by Chicken Bus is a memoir/travelogue following the author, her husband Lloyd, and their two young daughters, Jocelyn and Natalie, on an 18-month long homeschooling field trip backpacking through Central America and, for a short while, living in Costa Rica. From the start, Janet and Lloyd were adamant about participating in community-based travel, supporting the local economy instead of corporations that gentrify the area. From the epilogue, community-based travel focuses on: 1. Benefiting the local community and its natural environment. 2. Respecting the culture of the host community. 3. Relying on local, family-owned businesses for food, shelter, and transportation. Travel memoirs like this can easily devolve into poverty tourism. The writer must remain aware of this at…

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Non-Bookish Hobbies: Crochet

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today's theme is: Non-Bookish Hobbies One of my favorite non-bookish hobbies that I don't get nearly enough time to do is crochet. I especially love to make amigurumi, which are small stuffed dolls or creatures. You crochet these "in the round," like a spiral, and the stitches need to be tight enough that the stuffing doesn't show through. They can be any size. I'm in awe of people who crochet the really tiny amigurumi, because my eyes just won't allow me to right now. If you happen to knit or crochet and want to connect on Ravelry, here's a link to my profile. For today's prompt, I'm going to highlight…

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