Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Blog All About It: Bloom

hosted by Herding Cats & Burning Soup
I missed last month's theme on sweet but I'm back this month with Bloom! I figured my flowers would be a great thing to showcase this month.

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Week-in-Review: All the Things...

It's been a couple of weeks since I've put a week-in-review up. My nephew got married last week. G had a dance performance. Mother's Day was last weekend and we saw the play Matilda on Monday. We've done lots of planting and put in some veggies and flowers. School is almost out and it's the last month of get-everything-done at school with the Book Fair, school performances, projects, and a field trip.

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My sister married into a Tongan family back in the day, and they always know how to throw a party, with lots of dancing and amazing food. DH and G got up on the stage and learned how to do a dance. It was hilarious!

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G's final ballroom performance until the dance festival in a couple of weeks.

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Finally got my veggies planted along with a few violas and marigolds to round it out! And I threw together some frozen margaritas after our hard day of planting and gardening!

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We saw "Matilda" Monday and it was so much fun. Tim Minchin wrote the music and lyrics. If you haven't heard anything by him, you should go check him out.

Last Week I:


Read: Small Spaces by Katherine Arden, The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, How to Live: Or a Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer by Sarah Bakewell, and Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly

Listened to: Someone Knows Something Season One. It's a cold-case podcast and it's really fascinating. Believed by Michigan Radio from NPR. It's all about the victims of Larry Nassar and how it all went down for so long. It's triggering but a very important story to listen to.

Watched:

TV:

Unforgotten on PBS, Chernobyl on HBO--wow, so good. There's even a podcast to get more show notes and facts about what happened, a behind-the-scenes look. What We Do in the Shadows is just the best thing on TV right now for being funny. It's a good time and it's something I need right now. And a little bit of the NBA playoffs if I have time.

Movies

Over the last few weeks we've seen Shazam!, Avengers: Endgame, and The Kid Who Would Be King, and my horror movies were Overlord and Cold Moon (so dumb it was good....)

I need to get my movie reviews up soon!

Made: fresh guacamole and pico de gallo for tacos, snickerdoodles for fun, and lots of stuff on the grill from asparagus to hamburgers and brats and Kabobs.

This Week I:

Am currently readingMy Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Argos: The Story of Odysseus as Told by
His Loyal Dog by Ralph Hardy, The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey, The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays by Esme Weijun Wang, and The Sense of Style: A Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century by Stephen Pinker.

Am currently listing to: The Library Book by Susan Orlean and On the Come Up by Angie Davis

Am looking forward to: G getting out of school for summer! It'll be crazy but we both need the break. Camping Memorial Day weekend. It's supposed to rain this weekend but if it lets up, I may plant a few more flowers this weekend. We're also planning on seeing "Detective Pikachu" Sunday!

Friday, May 10, 2019

Book Review: Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit


Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
Published in May 2014 by Haymarket Books
Genre: Non-fiction, essays, feminism, current events
Format: Kindle, 100 pages, own
Rating: 5 stars

Publisher's Summary:

In her comic, scathing essay “Men Explain Things to Me,” Rebecca Solnit took on what often goes wrong in conversations between men and women. She wrote about men who wrongly assume they know things and wrongly assume women don’t, about why this arises, and how this aspect of the gender wars works, airing some of her own hilariously awful encounters.

She ends on a serious note— because the ultimate problem is the silencing of women who have something to say, including those saying things like, “He’s trying to kill me!”

This book features that now-classic essay with six perfect complements, including an examination of the writer Virginia Woolf ’s embrace of mystery, of not knowing, of doubt and ambiguity, a highly original inquiry into marriage equality, and a terrifying survey of the scope of contemporary violence against women.

My Thoughts:

This is a very short collection of Solnit's essays from around 2014 and before. Her essay "Men Explain Things to Me" is my favorite and the one essay the propelled me forward head-first into her thoughts and brilliant ideas on society.

Here's just one quote from this essay: "...the out-and-out confrontational confidence of the totally ignorant is, in my experience, gendered. Men explain things to me, and other women, whether or not they know what they're talking about. Some men.

Every woman knows what I'm talking about. It's the presumption that makes it hard, at times, for any woman in any field; that keep women from speaking up an from being heard when they dare; that crushes young women into silence by indicating, the way harassment on the street does, that this is not their world. It trains us in self-doubt and self-limitation just as it exercises men's unsupported overconfidence."

I have experienced this many times in my life from school to work to even at home or meeting new people in a friendly setting. This happens all the time. And my more career-driven friends have experienced it in their fields and jobs.

She has other essays that discuss global economics, politics, and culture. Solnit is a thinker, an old-soul. I can't believe I haven't read more by her. The best thinkers are those who can see the past, learn from it, and offer hope for the future. She tells it like it is, but she is no cynic and her hope is inspiring. 

I just picked up her newest collection of essays and look forward to the wisdom and insight she'll no doubt supply.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Cat Thursday-- Larger Than Life Cats!



Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us (Michelle at True Book Addict) by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats!

My Modern Net has featured Japanese digital artist, Monokubo, who has created some amazing art featuring larger than life cats, dogs, and other forest animals.

According to the article,

Monokubo was inspired to produce these illustrations after seeing iconic Studio Ghibli films like Princess Mononoke and My Neighbor Totoro which both feature large creatures in their cast. Many of the animals that Monokubo depicts are house cats. “In most cases, I choose the animals that have left an impression in my daily life,” she tells My Modern Met. “I have a cat and he is very cute.”
I definitely want all of these beautiful portraits! My Neighbor Totoro is one of my all-time favorite movies ever!







Check out the article for more details on Monokubo and their other portraits of forest animals!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Spring Into Horror and April Stats


I finished 6 books this month! And 4 were for the Spring Into Horror Readathon from Michelle over at Seasons of Reading. I'll be delving into the second book of The Call this month. I also picked up an India-based mystery book called The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey. So there will indeed be more horror and mystery for me in May. I'm always in the mood for a little horror and mystery this time of year. I didn't get to a few I had planned and I added a couple I wasn't expecting. Such is the nature of reading. But I have a few I definitely plan on reading in September and October.

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The two non-horror I finished were: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (didn't enjoy this one, unfortunately, and skimmed the last half of the book to finish) and How to Live or a Life of Montaigne: In One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer by Sarah Bakewell (very enjoyable book on Montaigne and his essays). (I actually started this one a while ago with my friend for our philosophy book club but we finished it and I'm counting it!)

Here were my original ideas and I only ticked off two of them but I added Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz and The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan.



  • The Exorcist by William Peter Beatty
  • Fledgling by Octavia Butler
  • The Call by Peadar O'Guilin
  • The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
  • The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
  • The Cutting Season by Attica Locke
  • Bluebird Bluebird by Attica Locke
  • NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
  • Mini Book Reviews: Era of Ignition


    Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
    Published in October 2016 by HarperCollins Publishers
    Genre: Mystery
    Format: paperback, 496 pages, own
    Rating: 2.5 stars

    Such an interesting premise here. Two mysteries in one. Author Alan Conway has written his last Detective Pund novel and his editor Susan reads the manuscript but that very weekend Conway dies from an apparent suicide. So now it's up to Susan to figure out where his missing final chapters are for his book....who killed Magnus Pyle??? And who killed Alan Conway?

    The concept was intriguing but the overall story was lackluster. It was too long as well, nearly 500 pages. Many parts were a slog to get through. I also was troubled by Horowitz' on the nose meta-commentary in regards to the mystery genre. Is he really saying it's all dribble? I felt like Horowitz was Conway and that's not a good thing. Plus the Pund novels were supposed to be crap and yet we read 200 pages of that crap book...yikes. I don't know. I read the whole thing and I enjoyed the premise but everything else was off.



    NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
    Published in April 2013 by William Morrow
    Genre: Horror
    Format: Audiobook, 19 hours, 41 minutes, library
    Rating: 2 stars

    I didn't realize Joe Hill had thrown this story into the world of his father, Mr. King. I literally rolled my eyes when I found out. Lots of people love Stephen King's stories. I enjoy some of them but I don't enjoy reading them very often. They are too long, way, way, way too long for me. But I loved Hill's "Heart-shaped Box" and so I was hoping for something along those lines with this one. Nope.

    The audiobook was narrated by Kate Mulgrew and she's amazing. She allowed me to get through most of the book without wanting to destroy my copy! I actually couldn't finish the audio. I ended up getting a hard copy from the library and skimming the rest of the book and the ending.

    It's an interesting plot about a man Charlie Manx who can suck the life out of children and live forever using a Rolls Royce...but man it was hard to feel truly scared by Manx. Him and his buddy are Chucky from Child's Play comical. Not my cup of tea. The protagonist Vic McQueen is a tough-girl trope. She had no real character. It was meh and I don't think I'll be reading more from Mr. Hill, unfortunately.



    Era of Ignition: Coming of Age in a Time of Rage and Revolution by Amber Tamblyn
    Published in March 2019 by Crown Archetype
    Genre: Memoir, Feminism
    Format: Audiobook, 6 hours and 14 minutes, own
    Rating: 4 stars

    I really enjoyed Amber Tamblyns thoughts and anecdotes on how she got to her own era of ignition. She has some real insights and ideas about our world today and where it's going. I listened to it and enjoyed her voice. But since I listened to it, it was hard to save or pick out any specific quotes or thoughts. But I thought her story about her abortion was moving and I loved her thoughts on her relationship with David Cross. Her ideas and hopes for her daughter Marlowe were also beautiful and thought-provoking. She's an inspiration. Loved it.

    And now I'm off to watch her movie Paint it Black on Netflix!


    Wednesday, April 24, 2019

    Week-in-Review: Easter!

    Our dear friends that moved last year came down for a visit a couple of weeks ago. We played games and had some drinks. G had so much fun playing with his besties again. It's sad to see them leave again but there are plans for the summer! We always make sure there are plans for the future, something to look forward to.

    Those yummy cookies and bagons from Pokemon Go. Community day was last weekend and a local baker had made up some special cookies for the event. One of the things we love about Pokemon Go is the fun people you meet with a shared activity.

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    G had World Culture night as his school. Lots of people volunteered to showcase various countries from around the world. It was a fun and successful night.


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    Happy Easter! The Easter bunny made a visit. We colored eggs, had an Easter egg hunt, even did a walk in the rain. But alas, I did not get the primo pics for these various fun activities! So our bedheads and bunny ears will have to do. Oh and Shadow cuz she's just always cute and adorable.


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    I read: Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz and Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit.

    Listened to: Era of Ignition: Coming of Age in a Time of Rage and Revolution by Amber Tamblyn and NOS4A2 by Joe Hill.

    Currently reading: My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Small Spaces by Katherine Arden, Argos: The Story of Odysseus as Told by His Loyal Dog by Ralph Hardy, Black Water Rising by Attica Locke

    I watched: Lots of NBA Playoffs. My team the Utah Jazz just won their first game against the Houston Rockets but it's highly unlikely they'll win the series. But that one win felt good! The TV series What We Do in the Shadows on FX is hilarious. Caught up on that one.

    Movies: La Llorona, Elle, and Pet Sematary. Reviews soon...

    Made: hamburgers, fried rice, crepes, mimosas! Some fun spring and summer food. It's getting warmer and warmer and I get excited.

    We also finished off our edging around our flower beds and made the veggie garden box. We plan on planting this weekend!

    Looking forward to: My nephew is getting married next week and his wedding dinner is Saturday. He's half Tongan so it'll be quite the party with a luau! Yummy food and dancing to finish off the evening. I'd like to pick up a fun spring dress for the event.

    Thursday, April 18, 2019

    Cat Thursday-- Garfield!



    Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us (Michelle at True Book Addict) by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats!

    No, not that Garfield. This one comes from Ely, Cambridgeshire! According to the BBC Garfield is a ginger tomcat that made his second home at the local grocery store Sainsbury. He started visiting the store after it was built in 2012 because it now stood on his favorite meadow. He now has over 5500 Facebook fans and has even come out with his own book!


    According to the BBC:
    A book of his adventures and misadventures has now been written by Mr Willers with Suffolk author Cate Caruth.
    The title - What's THAT Doing There - refers to Garfield's reaction when a fence was erected across his favourite meadow ahead of the supermarket being built.




    Garfield even signed all his books with his own special paw print ink!





    Congrats, Garfield! May you have many more adventures to write about!

    *All images were sourced from the original BBC article.

    Wednesday, April 17, 2019

    Mini Book Reviews: The Wild Robot

    The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
    Published in 2016 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
    Genre: Sci-fi, juvenile fiction
    Format: Hardcover, 279 pages, library
    Rating: 4.5 stars

    Roz is a robot who gets stranded on an island with only animals as companions. She raises a goose and learns how to survive in the wild with the help of all her furry friends. Until one day more robots show up to bring her back home. 

    I loved Roz and her animal friends. She tries to learn and teach and survive. It's the only way she knows how to do things. But where does she come from? Who are these robots that want to take her to a place she's never known? Who created her and for what purpose? It's a fun ride through the natural world. Brown brings philosophy into his book for young readers. What makes something human? Who gets to decide who lives and who dies? My son and I are looking forward to book 2!


    The Call by Peadar O'Gulin
    Published in 2016 by Scholastic Inc.
    Genre: Young Adult, horror
    Format: Kindle, 320 pages, Own
    Rating: 4 stars

    The island of Ireland has been surrounded by mist and has lost all outside communication with the world. The old fae the Sidhe are coming to take back their island that they lost thousands of years ago. In their revenge they "call" teenagers to their forsaken land. Can the teens survive the hunt of the Sidhe? They have 3 minutes and 4 seconds our time to survive but in the land of the fae it's hours. Now Ireland trains all of their teenagers to survive their time in the land of the fae. Some don't make it back, some make it back seriously injured and horribly misshapen.

    It reminded me a little bit of Hunger Games. The teens are survival training. But they're not fighting each other or at least not yet. It's bloody but not gloriously so. Nessa is a great character. She can't use her legs well but she makes up for it in other ways. But she knows when she's called...she probably won't survive. I loved the weaving of Irish myth with dystopia. It's a clever idea and I look forward to the next book.

    The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan
    Published in 2018 by Penguin Books
    Genre: Crime thriller
    Format: Kindle, 400 pages, Own
    Rating: 3.5 stars


    Cormac Reilly was a young cop when he answered the domestic call that found Hilaria Blake dead and her two children Maude and Jack left home alone. Jack was only 5 and his sister a young teenager. She disappeared from the hospital. Twenty years later Jack is found dead in the water from a presumed suicide. His partner Aisling can't imagine he would've done it nor his long-lost sister Maude. Cormac is new to the force since he moved back there with his partner Emma. He's not loved in the department and things are being kept from him. He knows there is more going on. How does it all connect?

    I enjoyed the atmosphere and the mystery. The ending fell apart a bit. And the villain was a little too over the top for my liking. Quite the first villain trope. But it's a good debut and I will probably read her next one. I bet this one would be fun to listen to with all the Irish names and accents.


    The Call and The Ruin were read as part of the Spring Into Horror Readathon hosted by Michelle at Seasons of Reading.

    Monday, April 8, 2019

    Week-in-Review: Spring Break!

    Well, blogger literally just ate my whole post that I spent 45 minutes on...so here's the shorter version. Gah! I'm so annoyed.

    G just had spring break last week so we headed up to Lava Hot Springs, Idaho and relaxed in the hot springs and played in the swimming pool. We ate some great food and had a blast just getting away. We also attended our yearly tradition of the Holi Festival of Colors that Krishna Temple puts on. We always enjoy this time of year.

    ColorFestival_collage


    LavaHotSprings1_collage


    LavaHotSprings2_collage


    We got a lot done this weekend. We got our edging for our garden! Every year the landscapers weed whack our plants so we're hoping with edging they'll be less likely to do so.

    We're also Konmari Methoding in our house. Just did clothes! Next is books...but I'll probably keep most of them but need to organize the shelves and make sure everything fits.

    Love spring and am looking forward to all the flowers and veggies I hope to grow soon!

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    I finished off Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe--all about the Troubles. To go along with that book I watched the documentary on Dolours Price I, Dolours. I find it all fascinating and disturbing. It's hard to wrap my head around that period of time.

    Watched Chilling Adventures of Sabrina which was fantastic. Started Santa Clarita Diet. I plan on watching Queer Eye too this week. PBS came out with Mrs. Wilson based on Ruth Wilson's grandmother. It's a wild story.

    I'm taking part in the Spring Into Horror Readathon and have started The Call by Paedar O'Guill, The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan, and The Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz. I also just started NOS4A2 by Joe Hill on audio! Wowzer, it's creepy. I want to finish this before the AMC series airs this summer.

    This week is all about planning out the rest of gardening and working on spring cleaning and organizing. My bestie is also down with her littles and so we'll be spending some quality time together too.

    Friday, April 5, 2019

    Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe

    Source: Goodreads

    Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe

    Published in 2019 by Doubleday
    Genre: History, Ireland
    Format: Hardcover, library, 441 pages
    Read: March 12- April 2

    Goodreads Summary


    From award-winning New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe, a stunning, intricate narrative about a notorious killing in Northern Ireland and its devastating repercussions

    In December 1972, Jean McConville, a thirty-eight-year-old mother of ten, was dragged from her Belfast home by masked intruders, her children clinging to her legs. They never saw her again. Her abduction was one of the most notorious episodes of the vicious conflict known as The Troubles. Everyone in the neighborhood knew the I.R.A. was responsible. But in a climate of fear and paranoia, no one would speak of it. In 2003, five years after an accord brought an uneasy peace to Northern Ireland, a set of human bones was discovered on a beach. McConville's children knew it was their mother when they were told a blue safety pin was attached to the dress--with so many kids, she had always kept it handy for diapers or ripped clothes.

    Patrick Radden Keefe's mesmerizing book on the bitter conflict in Northern Ireland and its aftermath uses the McConville case as a starting point for the tale of a society wracked by a violent guerrilla war, a war whose consequences have never been reckoned with. The brutal violence seared not only people like the McConville children, but also I.R.A. members embittered by a peace that fell far short of the goal of a united Ireland, and left them wondering whether the killings they committed were not justified acts of war, but simple murders. From radical and impetuous I.R.A. terrorists such as Dolours Price, who, when she was barely out of her teens, was already planting bombs in London and targeting informers for execution; to the ferocious I.R.A. mastermind known as The Dark; to the spy games and dirty schemes of the British Army; to Gerry Adams, who negotiated the peace but betrayed his hardcore comrades by denying his I.R.A. past, Say Nothing conjures a world of passion, betrayal, vengeance, and anguish.

    My Thoughts

    Being a teenager in the 90s I remember hearing some things about The Troubles but not much. It didn't affect me so why worry or remember or think much about it at all? And it wasn't until the whole Brexit fiasco did I even start to remember I'd heard anything about it. I started looking into books I could read to find out more about it. What happened? And why? Well, Patrick Radden Keefe came through for me and just published Say Nothing. He uses the murder of Jean McConville, a protestant living in Northern Ireland at the time, a mother of 10, and a recent widow to talk about The Troubles and its aftermath.

    The way he writes about everyone involved makes you think. He explains the views of each side and how it all escalated to the beginning of the conflict in the late 60s. I really got a sense of the injustice the minority Catholics had felt being in Northern Ireland after they were left behind when the 6 counties were formed that stayed in the UK after the civil war.

    The main characters Keefe focuses on are the McConville children dealing with the aftermath of the disappearance of their mother, Dolours Price who helped orchestrate the bombing of the Old Bailey building in London, and her sister Marian. Dolours Price grew up in a Republican family. Her Aunt Bridie had her hands and eyes blown off and out when she was only 25. She was a living martyr. But Dolours and her sister wanted to give non-violence a chance. A lot of idealistic youth at that time organized a peace march drafted after Martin Luther King's Selma march. But it went all wrong. The Protestant Loyalists and the Protestant majority police force stood back and watched while the protesters were beaten terribly.

    Dolours said she looked into the eyes of one of the Loyalists who were beating her and her fellow protesters and saw a fog of hate. And she knew she would never be able to get him or people like him to sympathize or change their minds. That's when her and her sister Marian joined the I.R.A. 

    England sent in soldiers to mediate but they targeted Catholic communities and let Loyalist paramilitary attacks slide. This in turn caused more people to join the I.R.A., which in turn caused more violence and escalation. This new I.R.A. "...aimed to be clean, disciplined, organized, ideological and ruthless. They called themselves "volunteers,"...As a volunteer, you stood ready to sacrifice everything--even your own life--in service to the cause. This pact tended to inculcate, among the revolutionaries, an intoxicating sense of camaraderie and mission, a bond that could seem indestructible."

    In this environment Dolours and Marian and many others were willing to kill people in the name of their cause, no questions asked.

    Eventually Jean McConville was found but no one has ever been prosecuted. Her children have suffered terribly. She is one of the disappeared and no evidence has ever been found of her being an informant to the British.

    It's an astounding account of what humans will do to one another. Us vs. Them. Dolours gave a couple of interviews before she died in 2013 where she was willing to discuss her crimes while apart of the I.R.A. She said she's not very religious but that she still says a prayer for the Disappeared. Not religious. Her fight, while technically sectarian--Catholics vs. Protestants, was actually something quite different.

    For more on The Troubles check out the documentary I, Dolours which was done by Ed Moloney who interviewed her in 2010.

    *linking up with Nonfiction Friday at Doing Dewey



    Thursday, April 4, 2019

    Cat Thursday-- Cat Vs. Rattlesnake



    Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us (Michelle at True Book Addict) by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats!

    This week features a family cat Oreo who comes to the rescue of her staff against a rattlesnake.

    YouTube video description:

    When a fearsome Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake slithered into the Peterson family's yard in Lake County, Florida, their cat rushed to protect his owner, Jaiden, 10. Oreo the cat fought off the venomous snake while Jaiden ran away, but the fierce feline suffered a bite during the scuffle. The Peterson family hurried Oreo to the vet to save his life. Oreo now wears a cast and can't go outside, but the animal clinic expects him to make a full recovery.

    Friday, March 29, 2019

    How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in 13 Animals by Sy Montgomery

    Source: Toadbooks
    How to be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals by Sy Montgomery

    Published in 2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

    Genre: Memoir, non-fiction, animals

    Format: Audible, 3 hours and 42 minutes

    Read: Listened in March

    Goodreads Summary


    National Book Award finalist Sy Montgomery reflects on the personalities and quirks of 13 animals--her friends--who have profoundly affected her in this stunning, poetic, and life-affirming memoir featuring illustrations by Rebecca Green.

    Understanding someone who belongs to another species can be transformative. No one knows this better than author, naturalist, and adventurer Sy Montgomery. To research her books, Sy has traveled the world and encountered some of the planet's rarest and most beautiful animals. From tarantulas to tigers, Sy's life continually intersects with and is informed by the creatures she meets.

    This restorative memoir reflects on the personalities and quirks of thirteen animals--Sy's friends--and the truths revealed by their grace. It also explores vast themes: the otherness and sameness of people and animals; the various ways we learn to love and become empathetic; how we find our passion; how we create our families; coping with loss and despair; gratitude; forgiveness; and most of all, how to be a good creature in the world.

    My Thoughts

    Source: Sy Montgomery's website
    Every encounter she has with animals is one where she reflects and learns from each and every one. I love animals but I can't compete with the empathy and genuine love she has for each creature she has encountered. Her encounter with an exotic tarantula from Brazil was poetic. The way she was able to be apart of the emu bird group in Australia was brilliant. And these stories are only the animals she didn't take home with her! Her stories of her border collies and her pet pig Chris are truly tear-jerkers.

    I listened to this and Montgomery reads her own memoir. You can feel the emotion and love and tenderness she has for each of these creatures and the memories and experiences she has shared with them. And she has literally given her life over to animals. They truly are her family. Her love and empathy is palpable. I just ugly-cried in the car when her animals passed away.

    I'd like to buy the book because the artwork is so pretty and I'd love to share this one with my son as well. It's a gorgeous book on the variety of ways these creatures have taught her all about being a good human.

    *Linked up with Doing Dewey's Nonfiction Friday posts





    Thursday, March 28, 2019

    Cat Thursday-- Japanese Tebori-style Cats



    Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us (Michelle at True Book Addict) by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats!

    The site ArtFido has featured Kazuaki Horitomo, an artist/tattooist out of San Jose, who combines his love of cats and tattoos into one. According to the article, Horitomo is "...steeped in the Japanese tradition of tebori (a technique of tattooing by hand), and his illustrations reflect that."

    Here are a few of his art pieces. Check out the original article for more of his art and how to find him on the interwebs.










    *All images were sourced from ArtFido

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