Monthly Archives: November 2016

#NonFicNov ~ New to My TBR

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Hosted by Katie at Doing Dewey, Lory at Emerald City Book Review,
Sarah at Sarah’s Book Shelves, Rachel at Hibernator’s Library,
and Julz at Julz Reads

Lory: It’s my honor to be the host for Nonfiction November this week, with our final topic: New to My TBR.

It’s been a month full of amazing nonfiction books! Which ones have made it onto your TBR list? Be sure to link back to the original blogger who posted about that book!

A list with a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Books with a * are available at Tempe Digital Library.

What Else, Week 47

WhatElse

Writing

Wrote 2000 words this week, which makes it the best week of November.

Shared this week: the #1LineWed prompt was “ate, eat.”

Reading

For the second week in a row, I haven’t finished anything. I might not finish a nonfiction book during Nonfiction November. But…

I joined a service called the Pigeonhole. It breaks up books and sends you bite-sized chunks everyday. Then you can read along with other and comment on the book in a social manner. I signed up to read War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. Except, the chunks were too small for me and I downloaded the whole book to read. Apparently me and delayed gratification don’t work where books are concerned.

Blogging

Posts this week:

Fitness

Worked out at the park on Monday. I did fairly quick laps around the park, broken up by the exercise stations. My quads were still complaining on Thursday. On Thursday, I ran 5K around my parent’s neighborhood in Chino Valley. It’s at 4000 feet, which meant the air was a little thinner.

Other Life Stuff

As mentioned above, I spent Thanksgiving with my parents in Chino Valley. The weather was nice, for November in the high country. The food was very tasty, despite my mom’s worries about her new kitchen. And I watched a bunch of Dirk Gently and some basketball.

Deal Me In, Week 47 ~ “Tap Dancing”

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Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis
What is Deal Me In?

“Tap Dancing” by John Gregory Betancourt

Card picked: Ace of Spades
From: Masterpieces of Terror and the Unknown, edited by Marvin Kaye

Thoughts: Forty years ago, Martha Peckinpah was a star of stage and screen. She danced with the best in only the best productions. Unfortunately, her career was cut short by a car accident. Bitter about her situation and the failing state of dance on stage, Martha spends her time sneaking into rehearsals and silently criticizing new shows. That is, until one night when a young man in black leather and a silver earring in one ear, a soul in purgatory, asks her to remember how to live.

This is a very serviceable story. It feels like it could have been maybe a little longer, maybe a little more detailed.

Coincidentally, the tension between the old and new in this story reminded me of a videos that’s been going around (again):

Happy Thanksgiving from the Writerly Reader

I looked around for some Thanksgiving magic, but I couldn’t come up with a better routine for the holiday than Michael Kent’s take on the multiplying bottles routine:

Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!

#NonFicNov ~ Magic & Skeptical Thinking

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Hosted by Katie at Doing Dewey, Lory at Emerald City Book Review,
Sarah at Sarah’s Book Shelves, Rachel at Hibernator’s Library,
and Julz at Julz Reads

Week 4: (Nov 21 – 25) – (Julz) – Be The Expert/Ask the Expert/Become the Expert: Three ways to join in this week! You can either share 3 or more books on a single topic that you have read and can recommend (be the expert), you can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that you have been dying to read (ask the expert), or you can create your own list of books on a topic that you’d like to read (become the expert).

I’m going to preface this post by saying that, to me, knowing about something “magical” doesn’t take away from my appreciation of it. Knowing about refraction doesn’t ruin a rainbow for me. Learning about how magic tricks are done has only increased my appreciation for the effort and ingenuity that go into them. I know that isn’t the case for everyone.* These books are all very history-oriented. None of them contain the secret to anything you might have seen on David Blaine’s recent special. At least not directly. 😉

The thing I find important, though, is that learning about magic has also strengthened my critical thinking muscles. Magicians are some of the biggest skeptics out there. A little skepticism can go a long way.

The following books are in reverse order of their amount of magic trick exposure.

Cover via Goodreads Cover via Goodreads Cover via Goodreads

The Rise Of The Indian Rope Trick: How A Spectacular Hoax Became History by Peter Lamont – Fake news is not a news thing. Part history, part psychology, Lamont takes a look at this legendary trick—how it came to be, how people “witnessed” it, and how the story became impossible to kill. This is the most meticulously and amusingly annotated books I’ve read.

The Turk: The Life and Times of the Famous 19th Century Chess-Playing Machine by Tom Standage – The mechanical turk is another story that has unkillable falsehoods connected to it. The Turk is also about the popularity of some automata since the 18th century, how patronage doesn’t always work out for the best, and how anxious people can be about technology. Seriously, what’s a better use of tech: automated silk weaving or a mechanical duck?

Hiding the Elephant: How Magicians Invented the Impossible and Learned to Disappear by Jim Steinmeyer – Steinmeyer presents the early history of magic via his efforts to learn the secret of a stage illusion done by Houdini in 1917: making an elephant disappear. One of the first books on magic history that I read, Hiding the Elephant showed me the value in delving deeply and not being afraid to look at a subject from a different point of view.

* But if you are interested in reading about a lot more about magic, I have an ever-expanding list for that!

What Else, Week 46

WhatElse

Writing

Not a lot of progress, but I’m finally at 30K words, which is about the place things get tricky in a novel. I need to stop dithering and move on.

Lines shared this week:
The #1lineWed theme was “seat, sat, sit.”

Not only did Agatha shout, but in the close confines of the coach, Kelvaro felt her words push him into his seat.

The #FictFri theme was “trust.”

Agatha was some sort of community leader, Orther supposed, important in gaining the humans’ trust.

Reading

Judas: The Most Hated Name in History
Still reading Peter Stanford’s Judas. I might finish it this week. I also spent some time sampling some fiction, but nothing stuck. My next Deal Me In read is another selection from Masterpieces of Terror: John Gregory Betancourt’s “Tap Dancing.”

Blogging

Posted this week:

Fitness

November laziness in all things, apparently. I played ultimate on Wednesday and walked up to the mall on Friday, but that’s it. Women’s league was indeed cancelled.

Other Life Stuff

Been playing a bit of Minecraft. Minecraft is a good place to hide from the real world. When not searching for llamas and watching a forest mansion burn to the ground, I’ve been upgrading a village:

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Also, happy that it’s basketball season once again. A week in, Nebraska is 3-0.

The next round of VOTS’ leagues is already gearing up. Makes me wish for the “nothing going on” days of summer.

I’m heading to my parent’s this week for Thanksgiving. I don’t expect I’ll get much done, but who knows?

Deal Me In, Week 46 ~ “A Day in the Life of Comrade Lenin”

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Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis
What is Deal Me In?

“A Day in the Life of Comrade Lenin” by Carole Buggé Author

Card picked: Two of Diamonds – a WILD card!
From: Masterpieces of Terror and the Unknown, edited by Marvin Kaye

Thoughts: Vladimir Lenin, yes, that Vladimir Lenin, has a crisis of philosophy. He decides to head to America and search for the proletariat in New York City. What he finds is…not the proletariat…but an extraordinary selections of socks Bloomingdale’s and a beautiful punk rocker who seduces him. Did I mention that this is 1970s NYC? This story seems a odd choice, even for the anthology’s Miscellaneous Nightmares category. Then again, maybe that is precisely what Lenin’s nightmare might be like.

While this story didn’t induce fear in me, it was well written and fairly amusing. Poor Lenin is alternately confused and homesick, though in the end, he seems pretty happy with the “friends” he’s made.