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review 2017-07-21 07:17
Other-Wordly
Other-Wordly: Words Both Strange and Lovely from Around the World - Kelsey Garrity-Riley,Yee-Lum Mak

I'm a sucker for words; especially unusual words, or foreign-language words that have no straight translation into English, and the beauty of this book's cover made it impossible to resist it, even though I already have similar books.

 

Luckily this small but beautifully illustrated collection of words are almost entirely different from those found in the books I already have and the author also included English words that are rarely used or hardly known (Deipnosophist, n, someone skilled in small talk or in conversing around the dining table).

 

Bonus points to the author and publisher for including not only an index of the words themselves, but an index of the words by language.  Demerit points because once again nobody thought to include a pronunciation guide, and figuring out how to pronounce cwtch (Welsh, n, hug or cuddle; a safe place; the cupboard beneath the stairs) is beyond my meagre abilities to even guess.

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review 2017-07-20 18:45
Insane Clown President by Matt Taibbi, narrated by Rob Shapiro
Insane Clown President - Matt Taibbi,Rob Shapiro

 

The only thing I really miss about my Rolling Stone subscription is the reporting of Matt Taibbi. And maybe the scary-ass environmental articles written by Bill McKibben. (I canceled my 25 year standing order because they had the audacity, {stupidity?}, to put the Boston bomber POS on the cover. I'm surprised this Massachusetts girl received her copy intact and not covered in spittle.) When I saw the audio of this book was available at my library, I eagerly put it on hold, but I'm sorry to say I'm a bit disappointed.

 

What I liked about this book was Taibbi's bluntness about the state of our media and the role that it plays in elections. I also liked his exploration of how that role has changed over the years-especially in regards to the 24 hour news cycle that now dominates our airwaves. I also liked the fact that he was hard on Hillary and her campaign. I'm not a Trump fan but I'm not a Hillary fan either. Taibbi went into some depth about how our candidates are selected in this country and it's not by us-America's citizens. It's by money. It's by the press. It's by those powerful people behind the scenes and their machinations. It's disgusting.

 

Regarding the media...all these talking heads and pundits and opinions. What happened to the freaking NEWS? What happened to the facts? I hate to say that Trump is right about anything, but the media is no longer trustworthy, if it ever was. They are out to sell us what they consider news. And guess what? Poverty doesn't sell. No one wants to see homeless people while they're eating dinner. People might turn the channel! No one could go without covering Trump's antics during the campaign, or even now, because people love that stuff! Here we are 6 months into Trump's administration and what has he accomplished? We're all too interested in Russia and Trump's Twitter feed to look too closely. Every time he Tweets the public is distracted. Again.

 

What I didn't like about this book, at least at times, was its flippancy. The campaign drinking games portion could have been funny-if it was done just once. Doing it twice, with lists of rules a mile long was redundant and irritating. The portion about who would play these candidates in a movie was also boring. I love Matt Taibbi's sense of humor and razor sharp wit, but I think these chapters were cheap shots and beneath his abilities and intellect. Then again, the title of the book is Insane Clown President and some of these things ARE insane.

 

Overall, I enjoyed this book and I still love Taibbi. I wouldn't recommend it to Hillary lovers though, unless they are ready to hear some hard truths. I expect that many are not.

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text 2017-07-20 09:25
Reading progress update: I've read 166 out of 244 pages.
Plasma physics - R.A. Cairns Plasma physics - R.A. Cairns

The final chapter is on applications. This means fusion reactors and "space physics"; what he really means is naturally occurring plasmas, which, since they constitute ~99% of "normal" matter, makes them of great scientific interest.

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review 2017-07-20 03:25
[REVIEW] Sex Object by Jessica Valenti
Sex Object - Jessica Valenti
What it feels like to see a stranger smiling while rubbing himself or know that this is the price of doing business while female. That public spaces are not really public for you, but a series of surprise private moments that you can't prevent or erase. 
Pg. 65



This book is hard to rate. It was incredibly easy to read, but it also contains extremely uncomfortable subjects: date rape, sexual harassment, molestation, and many other issues.

Ms. Valenti tries to understand how she survives and functions in a world that is hell-bent on shaming her for existing, for having a body, for having an opinion and sharing it.

For the most part, the essays are uncomfortably honest and raw. They make you angry, they make you sad, they make you think what sort of experiences you've gone through that you've refused to talk about because you don't want to take space or make anyone uncomfortable. This book isn't uplifting. It's melancholic, detached but it makes you think.

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text 2017-07-19 21:12
Reading progress update: I've read 140 out of 205 pages.
Sex Object - Jessica Valenti

[...] because for a feminist, anger is forbidden.

 

JFC, this is so true and so infuriating to me.

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