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text 2019-04-01 09:00
April 2019 Reading List
Jambusters: The Story of the Women's Institute in the Second World War - Julie Summers
The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years - Sonia Shah
The Colour Bar: The Triumph of Seretse Kama and His Nation - Susan Williams
Abigail and John: Portrait of a Marriage - Edith B. Gelles
1968: The Year That Rocked the World - Mark Kurlansky
Eisenhower 1956: The President's Year of Crisis--Suez and the Brink of War - David A. Nichols
The Twentieth Century: A People's History - Howard Zinn
Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation - Dan Fagin

I am a little over halfway up the Snakes and Ladders board, so hopefully I will be having my BL friends voting on my final book sometime this month. My NOOK and physical book shelves are gathering a lot of dust since I went on my library binge, so April will be mostly about my own copies (probably May's reading list too).

 

1. Jambusters: The Story of the Women's Institute in the Second World War by Julie Summers (Physical Non-Fiction List)

 

2. The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,00 Years by Sonia Shah (Science Reading List)

 

3. Colour Bar: The Triumph of Seretse Khama and his Nation by Susan Williams (Physical Non-Fiction List)

 

4. Abigail & John: Portrait of a Marriage by Edith B. Gelles (Physical Non-Fiction List)

 

5. 1968: The Year that Rocked the World Mark Kurlansky (Nixon Reading List)

 

6. Eisenhower 1956: The President's Year of Crisis/Suez and the Brink of War by David A. Nichols (Physical Non-Fiction List)

 

7. The Twentieth Century by Howard Zinn (Physical Non-Fiction List)

 

8. Tom's River by Dan Fagin (Science Reading List)

 

Plus I have a separate list for the Dewey Read-a-thon (April 6, 2018).

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text 2019-03-29 10:55
2019 Reading Goals: Non-Fiction Science Reading List - Progress Report #1
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot
Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World - Laura Spinney
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History - Elizabeth Kolbert
Code Girls: The True Story of the American Women Who Secretly Broke Codes in World War II (Young Readers Edition) - Liza Mundy
Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet - Claire L. Evans
Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars - Nathalia Holt
Upstream: Selected Essays - Mary Oliver
Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation - Dan Fagin
Pandemic: Tracking Contagions, from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond - Sonia Shah
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements - Sam Kean

After three busy months, a check in on my progress with this reading project:

 

Read:

1. The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean (Flat Book Society pick)

2. Pandemic by Sonia Shah (substitute for a DNF)

 

DNF:

1. The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman

2. The Glass Universe by Dava Sobel

 

Currently reading The Fever by Sonia Shah (about malaria). Up next is Tom's River by Dan Fagin.

 

_________________________________________________________________________

In addition to the twelve books listed in this post, I hope to read a few of the Flat Book Society picks.

 

1. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

3. Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World by Laura Spinney

4. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

5. The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert

6. This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein

8. Code Girls by Liz Mundy

9. Rise of the Rocket Girls by Nathalia Holt

10. Broad Band by Claire L. Evans

11. Upstream: Selected Essays by Mary Oliver

12. Tom's River by Dan Fagin

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text 2019-02-01 11:29
February 2019 TBR
Abigail and John: Portrait of a Marriage - Edith B. Gelles
The Colour Bar: The Triumph of Seretse Kama and His Nation - Susan Williams
The Genius of Birds - Jennifer Ackerman
Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars - Nathalia Holt
1968: The Year That Rocked the World - Mark Kurlansky
Radio Girls - Sarah-Jane Stratford
Somewhere in France: A Novel of the Great War - Jennifer Robson
Master of Love - Catherine LaRoche
The Trouble with Valentine's Day - Rachel Gibson,Kathleen Early,Blackstone Audio
Maisie Dobbs - Jacqueline Winspear

 Image result for snoopy february

 

From my physical non-fiction shelf -  Abigail and John: Portrait of a Marriage by Edith B. Gelles and Colour Bar: The Triumph of Seretse Khama and his Nation by Susan Williams.

 

From my science reading list - The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman and Rise of the Rocket Girls by Natalia Holt. 

 

From my Nixon reading list - 1968: The Year That Rocked the World by Mark Kurlansky.

 

From my Winter COYER reading list - Radio Girls by Sarah Jane Stratford, Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson, and Master of Love by Catherine LaRoche.

 

From my physical fiction shelf - The Trouble with Valentine's Day by Rachel Gibson.

 

Library pick - Maisie Dobbs by Jaqueline Winspear.

 

Finally, I am doing an experiment. Every Friday, I am going to read a short book from either my NOOK or Kindle. I am using Random Number Generator to pick from a list. I will announce these picks on my Friday reads. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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text 2019-01-31 09:00
January 2019 Reading Wrap Up

Image result for goodbye january

 

Goals Progress

BL/GR: 16/75 (21% complete)

Nixon Reading List: 1/12 (8% complete)

Science Reading List: 2/15 (12% complete); 1 read, 1 DNF

Physical Non-Fiction List: 1/18 (5% complete)

 

Challenges

Winter COYER: 10 books

BoB Cycle 24: 1/4 (25%) books read, 4 challenges completed

24 in 48 Read-a-thon: Read for 12 hours, 23 minutes and completed 597 pages

 

Read

1. A Dance with Danger (Rebels and Lovers #2; Tang Dynasty #5) by Jeannie Lin (COYER; last item for 24 Festive Task game) - 4.5 stars

 

2. The Last of the President's Men by Bob Woodward (Nixon reading list) - 4 stars

 

3. The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of Elements by Sam Kean (Flat Book Society book club pick) - 2.5 stars

 

4. Cheer Up, Love: Adventures in Depression with the Crab of Hate by Susan Calman (COYER) - 3 stars

 

5. A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. edited by Clayborne Carson and Kris Shepard - 5 stars

 

6. Three Fearful Days: San Francisco Memoirs of the 1906 Earthquake and Fire by Malcolm E. Barker - 4 stars

 

7. The Rancher's Convenient Bride (Coal Valley Brides #1) by Rose Andrews (COYER) - 2 stars 

 

8. A Death on the Way to Portsmouth (Lady Ashes Mystery Short Story) by Christine Trent (COYER) - 3.5 stars

 

9. To Be a Spy (Spy Series Short Stories #1) by Jessie Clever (COYER) - 2 stars

 

10. The Schoolmarm's Surprising Suitor (Poppy Valley Romance #1) by Beverly Bernard (COYER) - 2 stars

 

11. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (COYER) - 1 star

 

12. For the Love of Laura Beth (Chicago Christmas #4) by Aubrey Wynne - 5 stars

 

13. The Good Luck Sister (Wildstone #1) by Jill Shalvis (COYER) - 4 stars

 

14. The Chef's Mail Order Bride (Wild West Frontier Brides #1) by Cindy Caldwell (COYER) - 3 stars

 

15. Poison in Paddington (Cassie Coburn Mystery #1) by Samantha Silver (COYER) - 4 stars

 

 

DNF

1. The Glass Universe by Dava Sobel - the ladies in the subtitle got almost no page time, it was all the males and rich heiresses that funded the work. Very dry; no narrative hook or personality development of the ladies. My science reading list is not off to a great start.

 

2. The Turning of Anne Merrick by Christine Blevins - a lot of words, nothing happens and after 25 pages I hadn't made it out of chapter one and couldn't care for any of the characters mentioned so far.

 

3. An Awakened Heart (Orphan Train #0.5) by Jody Hedlund - I knew by page five I was not going to like the author's writing or the characters. It was that instinct.

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review 2019-01-09 15:27
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World From the Periodic Table of Elements by Sam Kean
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements - Sam Kean,Sean Runnette

Date Published: August 18, 2010

Format: Audiobook (Tantor Audio)

Source: RB Digital/RAF Lakenheath Library 

Date Read: January 3-5, 2019

BL's Flat Book Society book club pick for January 2019

 

Blurb:

Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I, 53)? Why did the Japanese kill Godzilla with missiles made of cadmium (Cd, 48)? How did radium (Ra, 88) nearly ruin Marie Curie's reputation? And why did tellurium (Te, 52) lead to the most bizarre gold rush in history?

The periodic table is one of our crowning scientific achievements, but it's also a treasure trove of passion, adventure, betrayal and obsession. The fascinating tales in The Disappearing Spoon follow carbon, neon, silicon, gold and every single element on the table as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, conflict, the arts, medicine and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them.

Why did a little lithium (Li, 3) help cure poet Robert Lowell of his madness? And how did gallium (Ga, 31) become the go-to element for laboratory pranksters? The Disappearing Spoon has the answers, fusing science with the classic lore of invention, investigation, discovery and alchemy, from the big bang through to the end of time.

 

 

***********************************SPOILERS***************************************************

I listened to this book just before the amended date for the book club read because I had other bookish obligations this month and didn't want to miss reading this book. So if you are reading this book for the first time on the amended date, you might want to skip my review.

 

 

Review:

In full disclosure, this wasn't my pick for this month's book club choice (kind of had my heart set on reading The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert), but I am determined to read and participate fully in this book club in 2019. So here we go - wait, that title is quite a mouthful! Oh, it is about chemistry...okay, so the audiobook would be my best route. And it turned out it was, because if I read this book in print/ebook, I probably would've DNF'd by the third or fourth chapter. Major applause for the narrator in getting me through 12+ hours of chemistry!

 

So this book had its highlights, some lowlights, but mostly it was just okay. The chapters are sorted by breaking up the Periodic Table of Elements (PToE) into clusters of like elements, and then each chapter goes into discovery, history, and uses of each element in that cluster. There is one chapter early in the book that is more devoted to the reasons and history of word usuage/language development/common names of elements - this was the chapter that had me contemplating hitting the DNF button. Most of the history of the elements had to do with scientists' egos and the Nobel Prize awards; after awhile, these controversaries all blurred into one another. So many egos, fighting over the same award that was more political than scientific based. The highlights for me was the element's use in chemical warfare and radiological sections as well as Ghandi's hatred of salt and the Gold Rush in the US. 

 

The book may not be in my science wheelhouse, but now I do want to read Kean's The Violinist's Thumb because I like his writing.

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