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New Year's Goal Check: Is This Thing On?

*pokes blog* Hello? *clears throat, speaks into mic* Is this thing on?

I've been absent for most of February because life events took over and grabbed all my attention. There's a GoFundMe widget on the sidebar now, which you can click to learn a bit more about my situation. If you give $10 or more, I'll contact you and ask if you would like to be mailed a used book from my personal shelf as a thank-you. (Or Kindle/Nook-gifted a book, for international readers.) 

Anyway, what have I been up to? Besides running around like a chicken with my head cut off?

My New Year's Resolutions

This New Year, I decided I wanted to read more nonfiction. And finish the nonfiction I started but never completed. Here's my lineup:

Image result for born a crime cover
[Image Description: Book cover of Born a Crime:
Stories FromA South African Childhood by Trevor Noah.
Noah is depicted laughing on a mural in the background
while a woman looks on in the foreground.]
I finished this one! I listened to it on audiobook, which probably helped. Trevor Noah is a comedian and currently hosts the Daily Show in the U.S. This book tells the story of his childhood in South Africa, specifically being the child of a black and a white parent during Apartheid. His narrative voice is engaging; since he's a performer himself, it was a natural choice for him to perform his own audiobook. If you can listen to the audiobook version, I HIGHLY recommend it. The book is both funny and serious. Also, it was a good book for me to be listening to right now, because so much of the story is him jumping from crisis to crisis and getting into situations where you wonder, "How will they ever get out of this??" And I was listening like, "Well, I might have wrecked my car, but at least I've never accidentally burned down a house." 

Image result for I am malala
[Image Description: book cover for I Am Malala:
The Girl Who Stood Up For Education And Was
Shot By the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai. Malala wears
a bright pink head covering with gold trim and looks out
at the reader with a small smile.]
I'm still working my way through this; I'm about halfway finished. This is one of those books which is both inspirational and also makes me wonder what I've done with my life so far. This is Malala Yousafzai's autobiography of her childhood in Swat, the attack by the Taliban, her mission to promote girls' education across the world, and her hope that she'll be able to return to her homeland one day. 

I think I'm spoiled by Born A Crime because now, I want to just listen to people narrate their own memoirs. This is a great book and I mean to finish it before it's due back to the library.

Image result for in the body of the world eve ensler
[Image description: book cover of In the Body of
the World: A Memoir by Eve Ensler, author of
The Vagina Monologues. The cover is plain with only
the title/author text and a large gold V.]
In college, I read The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler, as well as the accompanying book about how the play was constructed. I picked up this memoir by the author because these issues seemed pertinent to our time and our political climate, and I was interested to know more about the author. I haven't started this one yet. The summary for In the Body of the World describes it as a memoir about how she had to adjust her perspective on her own body when dealing with childhood sexual abuse, cancer of the reproductive organs, and working with women who were raped during wartime. 

Image result for the history of tea claire hopley
[Image description: book cover for The History
of Tea by Claire Hopley. There's a cup of tea on
a saucer.]
This was given to me as a gift YEARS ago and I still haven't finished it. I had to move in the middle of beginning to read it, and never picked it back up. I need to get back to that. It's a history of how tea drinking and growing and whatnot originated and was spread across the world. 

Image result for homer's odyssey cat
[Image description: book cover for Homer's Odyssey:
A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned About
Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat by
Gwen Cooper. A black cat without eyes
sits on a gold plush chair.]
This was also a gift -- a Christmas gift, to be precise. I haven't started it yet. I'm interested to read this book because black cats are already difficult to get adopted due to superstitious prejudice, and special needs cats are more difficult to adopt out still. Hopefully Homer's story will convince someone out there to discard their prejudices about animals and care more about animal welfare. I am assuming that this book has a happy story? (Seriously, I cannot handle books where the pet dies in the end.) I will probably need to read it as a pick-me-up halfway through this depressing year.

Well, what about you? Have you read any nonfiction recently?


  1. I have been thinking of reading the Malala book for a while. I dreamed once that I was stuck along the side of the road, and she helped me. (Which sort of sounds like something she would really do, now that I think of it.)

    And I didn't know about the tea book, but I think I'll have to check it out as well...given that I am a tea person. I'm making some soon, in fact. Irish breakfast.

    As for me, I am currently reading "Dear Theo," an autobiography of sorts of Vincent Van Gough, by way of his many letters to his brother Theo.

    1. It's a good book! I highly recommend it. I'm about 2/3rds of the way through now.

      "Dear Theo" sounds interesting. Letters aren't quite like a diary, but it seems like a fascinating format to read...are there other things in the book, or is it just the letters?

    2. This one is just the letters, though collection and editing decisions are made. Fabulous insights into the man, however.

    3. That sounds really cool. I may have to check it out sometime!

  2. Cool! All of these books sound good - I'm especially interested in the tea one. ;) I've also wanted to read Malala's book for years but never got around to it. I haven't been reading any nonfiction lately, but I've also not been reading much of anything lately, so...

    1. I find listening to audiobooks can help me kickstart my reading habits if I'm in a slump. I usually put something on in the car or when I'm doing dishes.

  3. I'm not a hug fan of non-fiction, but I've enjoyed watching the Daily Show. I bet Trevor Noah does a great audiobook. :)

    1. Ahhhhh he does! He does different accents, impressions, and languages sometimes on the Daily Show, and he does a LOT of that in the audiobook.

      Nonfiction is enjoyable but often takes me longer to finish. The only one I've ever zipped through like a novel was "The Year of Living Biblically" by A.J. Jacobs. Having it on audiobook definitely helped my reading pace!


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