April Wrap-Up, May TBR, and Nerdy 30 Activity 12

Was my library 3 weeks productive? Venture forth and check for color coded books.

April Wrap-Up

The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer
I had enough to complain about to merit a full review. Skip it. 2/5

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
This is one of my Nerdy 30 books so the full review is here but TMALSS, it’s worth the hype and the Pulitzer. 5/5

Fresh Romance edited by Sarah Kuhn
A fun collection of mostly magical stories about love and its complexities. It was an excellent read and I look forward to more installments. 4.5/5

No Baggage by Clara Bensen
This has been on my TBR since last year. Fun and interesting, it was both a memoir of Bensen’s emotional happenings as minimalist travel. 4/5

On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis
An autistic own-voices YA sci-fi novel about the end of the world. Full review. 4/5

The Big Tiny by Dee Williams
My nonfiction pick, this book has been kicking around my TBR for too long. Full review but TMALSS, I liked it, didn’t love it. 3.5/5

Split the Party by Drew Hayes
The next installment in the Spells, Swords, and Stealth series. I really enjoyed this. The writing, plot, and character development has improved and there was plenty left for them to delve into in the next book. 5/5



In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park
May is Asian Pacific Heritage month so I’m going to read this much lauded memoir of a former North Korean citizen.

Springtime: A Ghost Story by Michelle de Krester
A short tale about a ghost in Australia

United States of Africa by Abdourahman A. Waberi
I have definitely never considered visiting Djibouti and the concept sounds fantastic.

Empire of Imagination by Michael Witwer
The life and times of Gary Gygax, creator of D&D.

Hikertrash: Life on the Pacific Crest Trail by Erin Miller
One of my hiking/adventure stories from my latest haul

I’d also like to make a bigger dent in Best Horror of the Year.

Nerdy 30 New Books #6-28 March & April Book Haul

Holy Hauls Batman!

For all the purging and gutting I did of my shelves, I spent March and April in an unintentional effort to refill them. I’m breaking this haul down into parts just so it will make more sense.

Discount Adventure Books

I kickstarted a book about campfire tales last year. They partnered with an indie publisher, Mountaineers Books, and offered all backers a one shot 50% off discount code that expires in May. A lot of the books were about climbing or biking and a few other things that didn’t quite jibe with me but there was plenty that piqued my interest.

Before you judge me for this binge, I checked and every title I purchased was not available at my library. Some of these may also work as decent gifts for my mother since she loved Alaska. I did notice there was a ton of PCT trail memoirs but next to no Appalachian trail memoirs. Is it the mosquitoes? I think it’s the mosquitoes.

  • Live! From Death Valley: Dispatches from America’s Lowest Point by Joe Soennichsen
  • Alaska Range: Exploring the Last Great Wild by Carl Battreall
  • Alaska Wildlife Through the Seasons by Tom Walker
  • The Road Trip Pilgrim’s Guide by Dan Austin
  • Spirited Waters: Soloing South through the Inside Passage by Jennifer Hahn
  • Over the Edge: The True Story of Kidnap and Escape of Four Climbers in Central Asia by Greg Child
  • Journey on the Crest: Walking 2600 Miles from Mexico to Canada by Cindy Ross
  • Prophets and Moguls, Rangers and Rogues, Bison and Bears: 100 Years of the National Park Service by Heather Hansen
  • Mudflats and Fish Camps: 800 Miles Around Alaska’s Cook Inlet by Erin McKittrick
  • Found: A Life in Mountain Rescue by Bree Loewen {This book was ordered at the same time but shipped to me a couple of weeks later. Since it isn’t supposed to be out until May 1, that’s pretty cool.}

Total: 10


Give Me Some Credit

The next portion of my haul created something of a predicament. I routinely sell books I no longer want for store credit. Inevitably, that store credit results in my acquiring new books. Since I always get fewer that what I sold, should they count individually for my final 30?

I asked on Twitter and Facebook; nobody was helpful. I’ve decided the best compromise is to do a two-for-one count and round down on odds. Yes, it’s rule bending but I’m still bringing in more than I’m sending out, I get used books as often as I can, and it’s not costing me money.

  • I Promise Not to Suffer: A Fool for Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail by Gail Storey
  • Conquistadors of the Useless by Lionel Terray
  • Hikertrash: Life on the Pacific Crest Trail by Erin Miller
  • The United States of Africa by Abdourahman A. Waberi
  • Accessing the Future edited by Djilbril Al-Ayad and Kathryn Allan
  • Springtime: A Ghost Story by Michelle De Krester

Total after BS math: 3


It Was Pretty

Jen Campbell hauled The Secret Lives of Colour. It was beautiful. Wandering a B&N on Easter, I discovered Grimbeard and the gorgeous cloth bound Anna Karenina. I discovered a new indie bookstore near us and they had a lot of pretty books. The store got 3 ARCs of Little Monsters and the clerk saw I had a sample chapter so she just gave me one of the spares for free. That is basically a gift and this wasn’t counted (but is in the photo).

  • The Secret Lives of Colour by Kassia St. Clair
  • Grimbeard: Tales of the Last Dwarf by Samwise Didier
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (in hardcover!)
  • The Moth Presents: All These Wonders edited by Catherine Burns
  • Why We March: Signs of Protest and Hope by Artisan Press
  • We Are All Stardust by Stefan Klein

Total: 7


You Got a Friend in Me

My library had one of its regular books sales and they have a special Friends of the Library day where we get to go a day before everyone else. I had a $5 coupon and everything was obscenely cheap. I employed my BS math again because it’s a good cause and cheap AF.

  •  Africa’s Animal Kingdom by Kit Coppard (only $2!)
  • Smithsonian Ocean
  • On the Beaten Path by Rubin (An Appalachian trail memoir)
  • Whose Panties Are These?
  • The Conscious Bride by Paul
  • Tales of a Female Nomad by Rita Golden Gelman
  • Who Wants To Be the Prince of Darkness? By Michael Botman

Total according to my BS math: 3

This makes my grand total of books purchased for this haul to 23 and 28 for the whole of 2017. I think I have a problem. Time to watch all the minimalist and declutter videos to try and stop before I haul again.

If you start taking bets on when I’ll hit 30, I won’t be offended.

Target Advertising Misses the Mark

Former BuzzFeed starlet Safia Nygaard started her own YouTube channel. One of her most recent videos caught my attention. She orders the first five reasonably priced items Facebook targets to her. I decided to try that. I did not have her level of success.

Fragrant Jewels – I’m allergic to scented products and do not fit comfortably in normal tubs. It was a video specifically for bath bombs that have rings and such inside. Upon inspection, they don’t carry my ring size either.

Lotus Leggings – I have actually tried this brand. They had some very cool looking zombie leggings. Their fat sizes were made by someone who has never met a fat person and they charge you return shipping and a restocking fee if you return it. I’d have kept more of my money selling them on Poshmark. 0/5

LOLA – Organic cotton tampons. I’m not exactly sure where they got this since I dislike using tampons at all. Great concept but I’m not your girl.

I got through these three at which point FB said “Well, screw you then” and just gave me my usual stream of dog videos. It’s not my fault your ads were all duds.

Tipsy Elves – Specifically bride themed tank tops. I like tank tops but I refuse to buy any crap with ‘bride’ on it. Once again, not in my size.

Dreamland Jewelry – They were showcasing rings identical to a ‘resist’ ring I looked at on Etsy. The main difference is that it wasn’t a small business, the words were basic AF (blessed), and they didn’t have my size.

That Is Not a Double Standard

I recently watched The N-Word “Double Standard” by Chescaleigh. I have thoughts.

White people need to stop using the N-word and bitching about the consequences when they do. It’s not loaded with our oppression or lack of privilege. It does not refer to us. It is not our word. It has an ugly history that reflects pretty badly on us, fellow white people. It doesn’t matter if your ancestors didn’t own slaves. Mine probably didn’t but I still benefit from a system established by those who did.

There are two big points I keep hearing repeated about it and I’ll throw in my 2 cents on them sinec it’s by blog and I can do that.

“If you don’t want other people to say it, you shouldn’t say it.” There is some truth to this. If you don’t want to hear the word used against you, it’s probably wise to not use it at all. However, one person does not speak for an entire race. Offering this complaint to one black person solves nothing and showcases your own ignorance.

It’s like saying Westboro Baptist speaks for all Protestants, David Duke speaks for all white people, or Trump speaks for all Americans. If we can’t arrange a meeting to convince white girls who worship at the altar of Uggs and pumpkin spice lattes to read a fucking book, black people cannot arrange a general meeting amongst themselves regarding usage of this word.

As for the idea the reclaiming the word in an attempt to alter its power is a nice idea. But once you put an idea out there, you lose all control on it being misconstrued and staying as you intended. The originator of this concept may have known the history wanted to take power back but he didn’t control who decided this was a good idea.

The people who seem to use this word the most are not college professors, respected ministers, or other pillars of the community. They are rap artists who are walking stereotypes and other folks who are unlikely to join MENSA. The aforementioned folks care what the history of the n-word is or how their actions ripple out into the world.

My most important point is to echo what chescaleigh ended with. Anyone who whinges about this double-standard only cares that it inconveineces them. They don’t care about Black Lives Matter, the wage gap, or a variety of other things that are unfair for not them. If this is your biggest complaint in life, you need to watch the news.

First World Rants

I have had a headache since yesterday, my facial spasm is going nuts, I didn’t sleep well, and generally just not in the mood for the human race. I am unbelievably sick of hearing about the following first world problems:

-How much work it is to have people come over, get their own plates and glasses, bring their own food, and generally don’t make you do more than answer the door. Imagine how much more work it would be if you had to go to someone else’s home, figure out parking, get your own food, and not just sit around and wait for us to show up.

-Lectures from skinny/fit women about how I shouldn’t be snarky about “skinny bitches.” Body positivity exists because fat people got sick of being treated like garbage. Don’t lecture me on something you commandeered because you didn’t like being left out. Someone made you feel bad about your body for 5 minutes? Make that your entire fucking life and then you can be a condescending twat about it.

-My boss is mean/sucks. My boss exploits me and is fine with it. She DGAF about me as a person to the point where she doesn’t know I’m getting married. I get not PTO, am paid at least $10K a year less than I’m worth, and pay for my own health insurance out of pocket. Do not bitch to me about your fucking job if you get benefits of any kind.

-Something went wrong with your vacation. I haven’t been on a plane since 2013. I haven’t had a paid day off since 2015. I dare you to ask me how many spare fucks I have to give about your trip being rained out.

If you’re going to complain about a first world problem, you may want to consider the audience before assuming your idea of a problem isn’t their idea of Tuesday.

Nerdy 30 Activity #13

Today was Earth Day. Unfortunately the yo-yoing temperatures ensured FHubs and I weren’t up for marching for science. I plan on donating to The Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Federation, and the Natural Resources Defense Council to make up for it.

I did honor Earth Day with an elaborate Instagram post! The picture is below and features several titles from an upcoming haul. (Spoiler alert: I have no willpower.) 

All of them are stories from people who went out into the world to explore its natural wonders. I hope to do more of that locally soon.

We have no Planet B. Our best resources our educating ourselves and our children. Science, not silence. There are no alternative facts, just lies.