#WorldBookDay2020

According to Twitter, today is World Book Day. I thought about just listing all the books I’m reading right now, but then I realized that I have a blog where I can talk about all of them and post the entry to Twitter! Because I am currently reading 13 different books. Well, reading may be a strong word to use for some of them…

The Sum of All Fears
by Tom Clancy

At the end of last year I decided to read Cardinal of the Kremlin because I didn’t remember reading it of those early Jack Ryan books. After I finished it, I just went for a read from the in-series chronological order. Right now I’m up to The Sum of All Fears which I don’t think I read before. As with most of the Jack Ryan books, I’m really enjoying it.

Unlearn: 101 Simple Truths for a Better Life
by Humble the Poet

I picked this up for free on Kindle between it being on sale and having credits. This is great for reading a chapter or two when I need a break from everything. It’s a great read. It is spiritual and so refreshing.

Alexander Hamilton
by Ron Chernow

This has been on my “currently reading” list for the longest. I picked it up back in March 2016. The only reason it has taken so long to read is I don’t have time to get absorbed by the amazing writing and spend hours reading it. Chernow is a wordsmith and is able to bring history to life in a way that I had not experienced before.

Introducing Cultural Studies
by Ziauddin Sadar, Borin Van Loon, and Richard Appignanesi

This is part of the Graphic Guide series that gives an introduction to different scholars, areas of study, and theories in a graphic novel way. I love the combination of illustration with the words, as well as another scholar’s take on things. This book has really been interesting because it talks about Cultural Studies in different countries, not just the idea of cultural studies in one context or another. It’s given me a better grasp on what Cultural Studies can mean, as well as what most people think of here in the US.

They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing
by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein

This is the one book that I have assigned to read this semester. In it they talk about how to bring in sources into your argument while still maintaining your voice in your work. It is going to be really helpful when I get to that point in my dissertation writing. Right now it’s a lot of the “I Say” side of things, which is just as important as the “They Say” and bringing the two together. I highly recommend it for anyone who is doing academic writing.

The Craft of Research, 4th Ed
by Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, Joseph Bizup, and William T. FitzGerald

I also recommend this for academic writers. It was recommended to me by my theory professor way back when I started my PhD work. This is actually my second or third time going through. They break research down into the steps and then break those steps down and give really useful advice. It makes the research process feel less overwhelming and more possible to do. I’m probably going to reread it every time I have a research project, because each project is different and I get something different from it each time I read it.

From Dissertation to Book
by William Germano

This book was recommended to me by the editor of a publishing company that I really love. I had asked for advice about turning my thesis into a book and she, and the rest of the panel, suggested this book. I haven’t read much, but it has also been helpful in helping me with my dissertation. What I’ve read so far talks about the differences between a dissertation and a book. I turns out I had been thinking about my dissertation like a book instead of a dissertation. Seeing those differences explained really helped me get started in the writing process and just getting the chapters figured out.

Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean
by Douglas Wolk

I’ll admit, it’s been a while since I got back to this book. I do remember it wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but it’s really interesting for a comic scholar.

Batgirl Vol. 3: Death of the Family
by Gail Simone

This is an important chapter in Barbara Gordon’s life, especially in this post-New 52 world. This addresses the trauma that she went through and how it still affects her. It is really important for me to read, especially since I’m writing a book chapter on Oracle!

House of X/Powers of X
by Jonathan Hickman

When they announced that this big change was coming, I made the conscious decision to wait for this book before moving forward. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep reading, especially as a researcher. It is an interesting read so far. They alternate the series by number, so it’s the number one of each, then the number two, and so on. I think I’m getting what’s going on in this part, but I’m continuing, hoping that I get an idea of where the franchise is going and whether I want to start reading any of the comics again.

X-Men comics were one of the first comics series I read. But now it’s become more of a search for how it works with my argument about their correlation to Deaf Culture. There is little to none of that when they’re not in relation to humans. Then again, I always like the storylines that were more about the X-Men and their culture and everyday lives than the stories that took place in space or were focused on on baddie.

Metaculture: How Culture Moves Through the World
by Greg Urban

This is the main theory that I am working with in my dissertation. I am working on building on it, making connections to other related works to expand on it, using Hamilton as my example, as the focus of those connections. It has taken me years to get his work to click, but when it did, I realized that this has been a huge part of my research. I simply didn’t realize it. It is a very intense read.

Signifying Rappers
by David Foster Wallace and Mark Costello

My dissertation chair/advisor strongly suggested reading this, because of its perspective on rap and hip-hop by white guys in Boston. I’ve only gotten through the first chapter so far, but its an interesting read. I just need to figure out how it fits into things.

Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture
by Philip Auslander

Another book recommended by my chair/advisor. He recommended this back when I was arguing about the importance of seeing it live, in the theater and how that differed from other ways of seeing it. I think I can still use it to talk about that difference, but in a different way. I think realizing the bigger picture that I am writing about has changed how I interact with this text. I may have to start it over again.

This whole pandemic and quarantine has changed so many things. It’s part of why my list has grown. I keep forgetting how many books I already have started and pick up something new. I’m trying to get refocused, get these books read so I can make that progress and move forward.

Finished! Chicks Dig Time Lords

Have I mentioned I have an awesome father-in-law?

Image from Goodreads

This year one of my Christmas presents was the book Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It. I had put it on my Amazon wishlist once I found out about it a few years ago. It’s not a huge book, so I thought it would be a good choice to bring with me to Ohayocon to read during down time between panels. Boy, was I right.

This book is a collection of essays written by women Who-vians. Jody Lyn Nye, Seanan McGuire, and Carole E. Barrowman are just a few of them. I decided to pick through and read what caught my attention instead of just reading it straight through. Why not? It was a good approach. Strike that. It was a great approach!

Reading about how all these women got into Doctor Who and the fandom was really inspiring. Some got into it watching it on PBS. Some started with the Ninth Doctor. Some were there at the beginning in Britain. Some talk about different aspects of the fandom. All of them talk about how it became a part of their lives, in one way or another. All of them made me glad to be a part of the fandom.

Right now I’m reading through it, again. This time with my notebook and pen nearby to write down thoughts and passages as I go. I wished I had that the first time, but there’s only so much you want to carry around at a convention.

If you’re into Doctor Who, this book is a great read. I highly recommend it!

Finished! Deaf Side Story

Deaf Side Story by Mark Rigney

When I checked the book out of the library, I thought it would be comparing spoken language and ASL cultures. Wrong!

Deaf Side Story is about a production of West Side Story done in 2000 at MacMurray College in Illinois. The Drama professor decided to have the Sharks be students from the Illinois School for the Deaf, which was in the same town as the college. The book follows the production from when the professor first has the idea to after the last performance. The author does an amazing job of chronicling all the trials and problems that arise when you are not only dealing with two worlds, but trying to have them together on stage and make sure the audience has full access to the entire show.

It’s a great read for anyone interested in ASL culture. If you have no prior knowledge about it, don’t worry! The author takes the time to explain various aspects of the culture and the language so reader fully understands why things are the way they are. It’s a great book and is a great way of showing that a difference in languages doesn’t have to mean it’s impossible to work together.

Finished! No Impact Man

I just finished my annual re-read of No Impact Man. Every time I read that book I get something different out of it. As I was reading along, I would feel guilty about everything that I do or don’t do. I buy too much. I waste too much. I don’t do enough. Then I got to the end of the project and the epilogue after.

In the end, the point of No Impact Man, isn’t to be extreme and follow his lead. It’s to show that it can be done and it makes you think about what you can do without making yourself miserable. There are so many things that I’d like to do to lessen my impact, but they’re just not possible right now.
-I’d love to do most of my shopping at Whole Foods and buy as little prepackaged foods as possible, but we can’t afford that right now. So I buy what I can and try to be smart about the rest.
-I’d love to compost, but we live in a small apartment that barely fits all of our stuff. I have nowhere to put a composter, and I don’t think my hubby would be too pleased with it being in the apartment. So I try to make sure we throw out as little food as possible.
-I’d love to use my car less, but we live in a large city with little transportation options in Ohio, which means I can only really use my bike about half of the year. So I simply try to use my car wisely and make that tank of gas go for as long as I can.

Then I think about all the little things I do manage to do in my life and I feel a lot better. It’s amazing how we forget to focus on the positives instead of the negatives. Yes there is a lot more that I can do, but I already use soap made locally, baking soda and vinegar to wash my hair, non-toxic cleaners for laundry and dishes, and some kick-ass non-toxic toothpaste and mouthwash. Instead of going out and buying a brand-new desktop, I made it so I can use my laptop like a desktop. Instead of going out and buying a net bag, I looked up a pattern and am using yarn I’ve had sitting around (I’m finally on the handles!).

And yes, one thing I kept feeling guilty about was my spending habits. Let’s face it, it’s the holiday season and we’re all spending money when we can. But by buying a few awesome tea accessories, I improved my ability to use amazing loose leaf teas and keep my use of teabags at zero. It’s also helping me to kick my Wendy’s sweet tea habit. I just bought some silicone baking sheets today on Amazon because they were on sale and they’ll help me use a lot less parchment paper.

Sorry if this sounds like me tooting my own horn or justifying spending money. But it’s my way of reminding myself of everything I already do, and it’s a reminder that you can do some amazing things to reduce your impact on the planet while still enjoying life!

Impact!

Last night I finished getting caught up on the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire, which I will be posting about soon, and decided to go reread No Impact Man.

I’m only about 25 pages in and I’m already looking at how much I can improve my life. That’s part of why I read that book. It helps to remind me of all the little things that I can do to lessen my impact on the environment. Once I finish it, there’s going to be a great big post. But there’s probably going to be more green posts in the meantime. I’m really looking forward to it!

Read shelf: April

I was just a little busy this past month.

Akira Vol. 1 by Katsuhiro Otomo
Maggie Without a Clue by Kasey Michaels
Undecorate: The No-Rules Approach to Interior Design by Christiane Lemieux
The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Brain Droppings by George Carlin
X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga by Chris Claremont
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
Princess Jellyfish, Vol. 10 by Akiki Higashimura
Napalm and Silly Putty by George Carlin
More Napalm and Silly Putty by George Carlin
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman
The Red Tent by Anita Diamanat
When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? by George Carlin

15 books! That’s one book every two days! I have not read that many books in one month since I started keeping track. Possibly ever. Well, at least since I started reading chapter books.

Undecorate!

Undecorate: The No-Rules Approach to Interior DesignThis weekend I sat down and devoured this book. It is a wonderful book for anyone who is looking for inspiration when working with a room. It really inspired me to just let me be myself. That is what this book is all about, homeowners simply being themselves.

I’ve seen a lot of people say how the rooms in the book aren’t undecorated. “They look like they’ve been professionally done!” is one I’ve seen a lot. Do they look like a camera crew simply went in with no heads-up and everything’s a mess? No. Each room is how the owner wants it to look ideally. But they definitely aren’t “professionally done” rooms.

For me it was the icing on the cake for when I was working on my room. It helped me to look at my stuff and see it in a new light. And that really helped.

Finished! Japanamerica

Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture has Invaded the U.S. by Roland KeltsJapanamerica is a great read for anyone who has an interest in any aspect of Japanese popular culture. The author talks about the history of aspects like anime, manga, and cosplay and talks with people in those professions and fans of those medium. I loved it. I now have a much broader appreciation of anime and manga. It really fills in a lot of gaps that, I’m guessing, many American otaku have in their knowledge of Japan. This book makes me want to visit Japan even more now. The various places he describes, the depth he goes into about the culture, I want to experience it for myself!

A look back at April, May, and June

Yeah. Somehow I forgot to post this for three months! I guess I was so focused on getting the SBC done that I totally forgot. Well, it’s done now and I’m not even trying with the SuBC. I’m personally going to keep track of what would fit where, but I doubt I’m going to bother with the challenges again. No matter how hard I try I just can’t get it finished. So I’m simply going to read for me and enjoy myself.

Anyway, here’s my book breakdown for the past three months:
April
Barefoot Gen, Vol. 4: Out of the Ashes by Keiji Nakazawa
The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey
Ranma 1/2 Vol. 1 by Rumiko Takahashi
Peach Fuzz Vol. 2 by Cibos & Hodges
Legends of the Dark Crystal, Vol. 1 by Barbara Randall Kesel
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour by Brian Lee O’Malley
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

May
Feed by Mira Grant
Wide Awake by David Levithan
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
And Another Thing… by Eoin Colfer
Deadline by Mira Grant

June
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi
The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon
Blackout by Mira Grant
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein
Barefoot Gen, Vol. 5: The Never-Ending War by Keiji Nakazawa
Barefoot Gen, Vol. 6: Writing the Truth by Keiji Nakazawa
Barefoot Gen, Vol. 7: Bones into Dust by Keiji Nakazawa

Now I get to sit back and read whatever I want at whatever speed I want. Yay!

Finished! In Defense of Food (again)

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Michael Pollan’s last book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, launched a national conversation about the American way of eating; now In Defense of Food shows us how to change it, one meal at a time. Pollan proposes a new answer to the question of what we should eat that comes down to seven simple but liberating words:Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Pollan’s bracing and eloquent manifesto shows us how we can start making thoughtful food choices that will enrich our lives, enlarge our sense of what it means to be healthy, and bring pleasure back to eating.

Review:
Yes, this is another reread. But it’s always a little different each time you read it.

When I put serious effort into losing weight, I worshiped at the feet of nutritionism. I made sure I could figure out exactly how many calories I was eating per day. How did I survive, let alone lose weight?!
Now I’m worshiping at the feet of whole foods and very minimally processed food. If it’s an imitation, chances are very low that I’ll eat it.

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In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
Rating: 5 stars