Thursday, July 06, 2017

Lisa Reads 2017 - Second Quarter Update

I just realized that my year-division skills were woefully lacking in my last "Lisa Reads" post. I did my first quarter update in's the 5th month Lisa. 12 divided by four is three, not five. Nice try though.

Let's get this train back on track, yo! I've got two months to work with for this post, but they were some good months for reading!

I read Rubin's book on habits earlier, and I did not expect to love it and be influenced by it as much as I was, so when my pal Nadine offered to lend me her other books, I jumped at the chance to read them for free! The Happiness Project surprised me - again. I have lots of thoughts about happiness, and how to actively search for it and do things in my everyday life that contribute to my (and the folks around me) happiness. In fact, I'm going to start up my own Happiness Project, and plan to start blogging about it soon.

There are a few science fiction/fantasy series that stick out in my head as being "memorable, transformative, mind-blowing": Tolkin's LOTR, The Long Earth series by Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter, anything Discworld. I am going to add NK Jemison's The Broken Earth series to this list. The first two books were so rich...what a beautiful and terrible world she has created. The third book comes out this year sometime, and that's too far away.

Honorable Mention: I find that I am still sitting with parts of The American War. This book was disturbing in its relevance to current events. Essentially, the book takes place after the second American Civil War, far into our future. The earth has warmed, Florida is a sea, the US capital had to be moved to Columbus because Washington DC is under water. Most of the west belongs to Mexico. And the entire state of South Carolina has been quarantined thanks to a plague that was released there by the US government. The war started because the south doesn't want to give up fossil fuels when pressured by the north to do so. The story follows a black girl from the south as she grows up in a refugee camp, which is - spoiler alert - not the best place to grow up, but she makes the most of the time with her Mom, brother, and twin. Well, shit happens and she is essentially groomed to be an "insurgent" for the southern cause. She grows up, becomes an adult, and again shit happens and she ends up in a pretty terrible northern prison for a big chunk of time. Trigger Warning here for descriptions of torture. Her story doesn't end there...but I don't want to spoil it.

There are so many parallels to our current world it's a bit gobsmacking. But one of the biggest takeaways for me was "who is the bad guy?" Our first instinct - thanks to the outcome of the real Civil War - is to say "the south", but it is so much more complicated than that. And that is the reality of war.

I read some poetry last month, and it reminded me:
1) I haven't read poetry since school;
2) I need to read more poetry.
So if anyone has a favourite book of poems, or fave poet, drop it in the comments!

And finally - and I say this every year - how is it already July?! I feel like these past months have disappeared into a haze of moving, moving, and volunteer training. I am looking forward to longer, lazier days this month, enjoying my backyard, exploring my new neighbourhood, and going on some adventures with my boys. Summer feels so "short" in Edmonton, and I really enjoy making the most out of it!


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