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What I read: The Start of Summer 2021 Edition

Little Bun Reads:

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid – He likes this series a lot but has since switched to…
  • Nate the Great – He enjoys learning about how things are figured out (like me at his age!)

  • January: 41
  • February: 24
  • March: 24
  • April: 17
  • May: 20
  • June: 11

Not including below

What I am reading

Please note that this month was pretty f*cking crappy. I read at a good clip until half the month went by and now I am spending hours doing what I don’t want to do – deleting content.

Call Sign Chaos

[ Military, Leadership, Anecdotes, War, Memoir ]

This is not a book I’d typically read but I loved it. It’s clear, well-written, no-nonsense… and while there are things I can criticize or raise an eyebrow at that I read in there, it gave me a deeper understanding of the American military.

Eating on the wild side

[ Food History, Wild Food, Health, Recipes, Food Science ]

Wild foods are what hold the most nutrients, but even supermarket food can be nutritious if you know how to cook and pick the right stuff. Things like iceberg lettuce should be avoided in favour of red leaf lettuce, and cook all your tomatoes to release lycopene. Things like this, are super interesting to me in terms of food science and understanding what packs the most nutritional punch in eating.

Life will be the death of me

[ Memoir, Chelsea Handler, Comedian, Family ]

She’s pretty funny, and this is a very raw book because she goes into detail about everything. Some of it gross, some not. I mean if you already know her as a comedian you may enjoy learning more about her. I knew something about her, but wasn’t really a fan per se (not that I disliked her – I just never saw anything of hers or knew much of her), and I enjoyed reading some parts of her memoir. She touches upon a lot of difficult, painful and raw subjects from death to religion and everything in between.

Frying Plantain

[ Coming of Age, Toronto, Growing up, Childhood, Single / Teenage Mother ]

I LOVED this book. It was nothing like what I expected at all, and yet it gripped me to the end. It’s about a girl growing up in Toronto (I recognized all the places in the book!) with her mother as a young teenage single mother. It was a raw, refreshing look into such a different lifestyle.

In such good company

[ Comedian, Carol Burnett, Show, Memoir ]

Like with Chelsea Handler, if you knew her or followed her, you’d enjoy this. I read it but didn’t get much out of it personally except for some funny parts that I enjoyed.

Quit like a woman

[ Alcohol, Non-Drinker, Society, Social Rules ]

Again, I am not a drinker (I am a non-drinker!), and while I tried drinking at age 19 a little, I didn’t see the point in it. It made me feel tired, and I didn’t get why everyone was shouting at each other, red-eyed and bleary-faced in bars. The whole scene turned me off, perhaps because I chose to stay sober for a lot of it.

She talks about why it’s so much pressure in our society to drink (I feel it allllllll the time), and the judgement you get when you are non-drinker even if you aren’t an alcoholic, or you simply don’t like it (like me). It’s like people think when you don’t drink, you’re judging them for imbibing. I am not, I just personally do not like it, but having to go into WHY and EXPLAIN myself is exhausting. I simply cannot make the choice to not drink, it’s unacceptable in our society.

Oh and she calls it poison. It’s basically ethanol (rocket fuel), that we’ve packaged and marketed as healthy when it isn’t. Good to know, I’ll stay young-looking & healthy for longer. LOL

Impossible Subjects

If you ever wanted to learn about the term “illegal alien” and immigration history in the U.S., this book is THICK and DENSE and full of all the answers you have been asking. It was truly an eye-opening read.

Faking It

[ Chick-Lit, Funny, Mixed Identity ]

I actually really enjoyed this book of hers. Personally, she had one great book (Stuck on you), this one, and the rest for me have been duds, however this one was interesting and not as clich├ęd. What I really hate abut her books however, is how she doesn’t tie up loose ends. I NEED TO KNOW MORE about the aftermath when it is all over, not just an open ended ending.. give me something. Anything.

No woman is a man

[ Conservative Muslim, Women, Family, Feminism ]

I am going to recommend this book with two grains of salt.

First grain: This book is fiction, but it mirrors real life in an extremely conservative, traditional, whatever you want to label it, kind of family.

PLEASE DO NOT THINK THAT ALL MUSLIM FAMILIES ARE LIKE THIS, and use this as a “AH HAH I KNEW IT” way to further push any kind of xenophobia. Please, please please.

I know this firsthand from having close Muslim friends but also, I have had a friend come from a very traditional, conservative CATHOLIC family in the Middle East, and she had eerily, almost exactly the same experiences, minus domestic violence (though she mentioned to me it was accepted as “part of life”).

She was CATHOLIC and she experienced what was written in this book. So do not tell me this is a Muslim/religious thing because it isn’t. She barely left the house, and had to fight with her father to advocate for her and her sisters to go to at least finish high school IN CANADA OF ALL PLACES because he told her: “No girl should be this smart, what’s the point? Such a waste.” …. UGHHHHHHHHH .. because as a budding feminist, I can tell you I got triggered hearing that as a teenager.

Second grain: This book is triggering to some.

It was to me in some parts. I almost burst out crying in some parts. My whole heart broke and ached reading it. There is domestic violence, and then, a raw look at it from both sides (neither of which, excuses any of it in my opinion).

That said, I highly recommend this book, but it does come with 2 grains of disclaimer salt. I think it’s one of the most gripping, strongest books I have read all year. I hope Rum translates it into Arabic and lets everyone read it because I feel like it would validate a lot of what SOME of them are feeling.

I also strongly related to this book because a lot of it was what I was told growing up – a girl is a burden, a boy is free. You women know what I am talking about. I did a whole post on this: A girl is a burden but a boy is freedom.

Clever Lands

[ Global, Education, Schools, Teaching, Children ]

What an excellent book. It talks about the pros and cons in each country, their education system, what they do, their flaws, what we can glean from them as changes to our Western system. Even Canada was featured in there! I had no idea we were to be featured at all. I am thinking now about how I approach learning with Little Bun and I am satisfied with the level of comfort and discomfort I afford him. I do not let him coast but I do not overwork him, I do challenge him to be his best and to not be lazy.

Becoming Brilliant

[ Global, Education, Schools, Teaching, Children ]

Same sort of principle as above, but focusing more on the curriculum, which they broke down as 6 C’s:

Collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creative innovation, and confidence

Getting children to hit all 6 in an activity, or as many as possible when learning, is what makes the difference. A very interesting read, and it’s actually the way I try to teach Little Bun but I called it as “having fun with education”, and less the “hey memorize this or else” method. The only things they need to memorize by heart are alphabet, multiplication, and things like that, the building block foundations. Everything else is useless as rote memory.

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