TBR Jar: The Bechdel Test

I had The Radical Elements come in from a library hold. It seemed like a perfect fit for this category since it was stories by women about young women. It was just as good as its predecessor, A Tyranny of Petticoats, if not better.

  • Daughter of the Book – 4/5
  • You’re a Stranger Here – 3/5
  • The Magician – 5/5
  • Lady Firebrand – 4/5
  • Step Right Up – 5/5
  • Glamour – 3/5
  • Better for All the World – 5/5
  • When Moonlight Isn’t Enough – 3.5/5
  • The Belle of the Ball – 4/5
  • Land of the Sweet, Home of the Brave – 5/5
  • The Birth Of Susi Go-Go – 4/5
  • Take Me with U – 5/5

Not all of these stories pass with flying colors but exclusive dialogue doesn’t mean the roles women play aren’t important. We never see Lana have a conversation with her mother or grandmother but their presence can’t be denied in the story. Ray passing in a man’s world is a crucial part of her narrative but limits the number of female characters present.

The test works well for a visual medium but you don’t need a direct conversation in a written work. All of these stories center on young women who need to stand strong in a world that doesn’t belong to them. These are stories about the importance of bravery, perseverance, and integrity.

The average for this collection is 4.2 which is pretty spot on since I’d give it a 4.5. I rounded up to 5 for my GoodReads.

Advertisements

Dog Tales: Life Inside the Daycare

I’ve shared several fun stories with my friends and one said I should start a blog. I already have one so I’ll start sharing some of my more fun stories here.

Today, here are some ridiculous interactions I’ve had with my coworkers about the crazy dogs we deal with.

Truth

Me: [Dog] is so cute! But you already know that, don’t you?

Coworker: I swear I just heard him say “mm-hm.”

Limited Options

Me: For around 8 pounds of dog, [dog] does sad and pitiful really well.

Coworker: When you’re that small, it’s really the only hustle you can do.

Play Time

Me: The chihuahua is not a toy!

Coworker: Yes, it is.

Me: Toys don’t bite you back.

April 2018 Nocturnal Reader’s Box

Based on the awesome author list, I wanted to get in on this box. You definitely get plenty of bang for your buck with this box.

Stephen King inspired hat

It’s a quote from The Gunslinger series which I haven’t read but really need to. I was thinking I needed a new ball cap. I’d been planning on getting one from a local business so I’m on the fence now. Black tends to hold heat and the alternativehat is a brighter color but this one is already paid for.

Let the Right One In inspired koozie.

I’m not a huge fan of this particular product. Neat idea, not my jam.

The Rising inspired pin

Another series I’m now very compelled to read. I’m not much of a pin person but this is a nice piece. Cool item, not my jam.

The Thing/Who Goes There inspired art

I’ve never been enamored with the art I’ve gotten in the past but I really like this one. It’s creepy but not wholly unsettling and therefore easy to display. Light colors and an unambiguous association to the work. I’m a fan.

Bookmark

In genuinely unsure what the bookmark art has to do with anything in the box but I like it. Who doesn’t need a solid bookmark?

Neil Gaiman inspired coin

The aspiring minimalist in me is saying “You don’t need another trinket that serves no purpose” but the Gaiman fan is saying “Shut up! This is cool.” It makes me want to reread American Gods so thumbs up on this one.

Apex Magazine

This is like getting a third mini book so I heartily approve of this one.

Slade House

I fell in love with the cover on the yellow book and it now sits unread on my shelf. This white and red edition makes me wonder about the general vibe of the book. It’s even pretty naked. If I really love it, I might keep both. We’ll see.

Unbury Carol

This is excellent. I’m super pumped because this is on my TBR. Malerman has an excellent thriller about sight and one I didn’t love about sound. I thought he might do one about all the senses but this one really strikes a chord with me. I have some claustrophobia issues so this is going to be a scary ride.

TBR Jar: By a Woman

For a book by a woman, I give you The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump exited by Bandy Lee, M.D., M.Div. In addition to a female editor, there were also several female contributors. Some essays were written for the average person but others felt like you needed a bit of insider knowledge to the world of mental health.

The essays I found the most interesting were more diagnostic in nature. What’s wrong with this man and what made him this way? Is he just a narcissist or is he deluded? Could cognitive decline play a factor? How heavily do his daddy issues factor in?

One that really struck a chord with me was our country being in an abusive relationship with our president. The last year an a half was very traumatic for me because I faced abuse from multiple places and finally confronted the reality that it had been happening for years. Seeing the toxic dynamic I cut out of my life play out on a national stage and having a therapist nail the comparison left me shook.

That plus general busy-ness lead to me coming and going from this collection. I didn’t get as much out of the ‘Is this ethical?’ essays. Trump has access to the big red nuclear button. Slap a disclaimer on your thoughts and send them out. All is clearly not well in the man’s head.

I did rank individual essays like I often do in anthologies. The nature of this book is too important to give it anything less than 4 stars, so long as its contents are sound. It’s honestly a 4.5/5 for me but I slid down to a 4 for GoodReads. Not all of the essays chimed with me based on personal preference.

Going Greener

Reducing your carbon footprint isn’t that hard if you start small. My footprint is still bigger than what I’d like but I’ve taken the edge off by doing the following:

Unplugging shit

Did you know appliances will still leech energy even if they’re turned off? Unplug your toaster, blender, chargers and any electronics you don’t need. TVs and internet stuff might be a little more complicated but unplug what you can.

Changing my laundry routine

My favorite detergent was discontinued. It seemed like a good time to try something new so we decided to go really green with econuts. Throw a few in a bag and into the wash and your clothes still get clean. We added a plant based stain remover and are killing our dryer sheets before switching to something else to prevent static.

Because I wear a lot of athletic wear for work, my clothes generate a lot of problematic microfibers in the wash. Insert the GUPPYFRIEND wash bag! I haven’t seen a ton of fibers but it definitely catches something.

Eating less red meat

I’ve ever been much of a hardcore carnivore. There’s all sorts of info about how the cattle industry is bad for the planet so it makes my ambivalence even better. I even have days where I don’t eat any meat.

Removing my makeup remover

I switched to an oil based makeup remover instead of those wipes that just go in a landfill. Use oil, use face wash or baby shampoo depending on the intensity of makeup, scrub with washcloth, done. I use baby wipes when I travel but I’ve started using coconut oil as a travel conditioner and moisturizer. We’ll see if that changes things.

Thrifting

Buy secondhand. Textile waste in the western world is insane. Keep that down by using thrift stores, GoodWill, Poshmark, thredUP, eBay, or garage sales. It’s also cheaper. On the same token, sell or donate what you don’t want instead of throwing it away. What can’t be donated should be recycled. Textile recycling is a thing and I’ll be doing a drop off sometime this month.

Personal rant: I sold items to thredUP stuffing that bag to the gills and paying for them to send the rejects back (they charge for this). The prices they offered me for my items resulted in me turning a profit of $0. I still feel extremely ripped off. Several influencers I follow have been hyping them but I’m not a fan.

Changing how I shave

I’ve been dry shaving with coconut oil. It shortens my shower time and I don’t buy shave cream/gel. I have to use a rag to get the hair off the razor but it’s still better than wasting water going blind in the shower. Sugar scrubs are also supposed to be a good option.

Changing my period products

I switched to reusable pads and period underwear. I made the switch right before the hottest, mightiest day of summer which made the day so much more comfortable for me. Diva cups are also a good reusable option but I haven’t used one personally. If you still want or need disposables, switch to organic cotton.

Recycling and Reusing at Snack Time

Napkins and paper towels are products you buy just to throw away. Pick one to switch with a reusable product. Hubs and I use and love flannel napkins and recycle or compost paper towels. We discovered a local company that makes reusable snack bags, among other things.

Composting

This one won’t be doable for everyone but Hubs and I live 2 blocks from an organic market. We have a little trash can in the kitchen and use compostable liners. In addition to veggies, fruit, and bread, we can also compost a lot of paper products.

There’s more I can do but these are the ones I do regularly and easily integrated into my routine.

March Wrap-Up and April TBR

My TBR went out the window and down the street. I won a giveaway for a new release so I read it immediately and then I had 2 library holds come in. I didn’t read my feminist pick but I did read several books by women.

Wrap-Up

Feminist Baby by Loryn Brantz

Not the comics I’ve seen on the internet but great nonetheless 4/5

Glitter Kiss by Ambrose & Gallagher

A cute contemporary with a splash of magic 4/5

Sunburn by Laura Lippman

A slow burning story full of layers of deceit. 4/5

Persephone by Allison Shaw

A fun twist on an old tale. This fulfilled this month’s Jar Challenge so it got a full review earlier. 4/5

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

An old favorite that I still love. 5/5

Lab Fever by Bruce Cochran

A cute little collection of comics that I found in a Little Free Library. 4/5

Taylor Swift: Girl Detective in The Secrets of the Starbucks Lovers by Zageris & Curran

A Nancy Drew style parody of Taylor Swift during her 1989-Calvin-Harris-squad heyday. 4/5

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill

A very sweet and beautiful graphic story about tea dragons and much more. This is meant for kids but works for all ages. 5/5

Bonus TBR Jar pick: By a Woman

Since we’ve established I can’t stick to TBRs, I’ll keep it short.

April TBR

Already started

I have several books I’ve started and not finished. I want to wrap up one of them.

The Radical Element exited by Jessica Spotswood

I’m next in line on my library’s hold list for this much anticipated sequel to Tyranny of Petticoats.

Since I’m not taking much initiative on boosting my jar count, I pulled two.

I have to have a book that passes the Bechdel test and a book from an indie publisher. Bring it on!

Twofer Challenge Quarterly Check-in

It’s the end of March so time to see home the Twofer Challenge is coming along.

Alphabet

  • C is for Canto Bight
  • D is for Double
  • G is for Glitter
  • M is for Mountain
  • N is for Network
  • P is for Presidential
  • Q is for Quest
  • S is for Sunburn
  • W is for Winter

9 out of 26 letters is pretty good for as earlier in the year we are.

TBR Jar

  • Mental illness – Turtles All the Way Down
  • Ultimate Flowchart – The Woman in the Window
  • Myth or fairytale retelling – Persephone

I did one for every month but no bonuses. I am stepping that up in April with two jar picks.

Activities

  • Reread a favorite
  • Shop at an indie bookstore
  • Kickstart a book

The last one is in italics because I have backed books but haven’t received them yet. All of them should roll in sometime this year though.