Sunday, November 22, 2020

The Sunday Post #250


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The Sunday Post is a chance to recap the past week, talk about next week, tell you what I’m reading, and share news. It’s hosted by The Caffeinated Book ReviewerReaderbuzz, and Book Date.




The Sunday Post #250





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On The Blog Last Week






On The Blog This Week


  • On Saturday there’s a book haul.





In My Reading Life


It’s still Nonfiction November, so I continued plowing through the chunky nonfiction books on my shelf.

I finished The Radium Girls: The Dark Story Of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore. It’s about a group of female factory employees who worked with radium in the early 1900s. The factory owners knew radium was deadly, but they refused to admit it, even when the women were dying from radium poisoning. This book is terrifying! The women were growing massive tumors, and their glow-in-the-dark bones were disintegrating and poking through their skin, and they were spending all their money on medical care that wasn’t going to save them. It’s a worst-nightmare situation. If you’re interested in books about medicine or workers’ rights, pick this one up. It’s yucky at times, but it’s also fascinating and worth reading.

Then I read Evicted: Poverty And Profit In The American City by Matthew Desmond. (Damn, my books were depressing last week.) This one is a sociological study of grinding poverty and slum landlords. I respect how this book is written. Sociology books are tricky because the author goes into a community that isn’t theirs and studies what’s happening. The author can’t ignore their own presence because a writer with a camera will change how people act, which will influence the study. The author has to acknowledge their own influence. But, some authors acknowledge it too much and make the book about themselves. Then the book comes across as disaster tourism, which is gross. I think Matthew Desmond handles the dilemma perfectly. He keeps the focus on poverty and the people who experience it. He waits until the end to discuss how his presence may have altered the interactions between landlords and tenants. I can see why this book won awards. It’s compassionate, fair, detailed, and well-researched.

My journey through depressing nonfiction continued with Rage by Bob Woodward. I’m trying to get all the Trump books off my TBR shelf so I don’t have to think about him anymore. This is the follow-up book to Fear, which I read last year and found both thought-provoking and unsurprising. Fear covers the first two years of Trump’s presidency; Rage covers the last two. (Well, it stops at the end of summer 2020. Woodward could write a whole new book on the last six months of this year. I would title it Exhaustion.) If you follow the news every day, then there’s nothing new in Rage, but Woodward has some interesting observations about people’s reactions to Coronavirus. He talks about how he’s a rich white guy, and his parents were rich white people, and that has shielded him from America’s problems. Coronavirus is the first time in his life that the government’s actions (or inactions) have severely impacted how he lives. I think his fear of the virus occasionally makes him overstep boundaries. His virus-related interviews with Trump come across as arguments or efforts to influence the president. As an American citizen, I was uncomfortable with this. Woodward is a journalist, not a Coronavirus advisor. Trump needs to listen to scientists, and the media needs to stay in its lane. That’s my opinion. I recommend this book, even though a few of the interviews made me grind my teeth.

Right now, I’m reading a memoir: In The Days Of Rain: A Daughter, A Father, A Cult by Rebecca Stott. It’s beautifully written. I love her descriptions of the English countryside. I’m also reading a wilderness survival book called Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, And Why by Laurence Gonzales. The nature in this book is much less beautiful.


In The Rest Of My Life


Five things that made me happy last week:


  1. Lots of reading.
  2. I’m very close to being able to run 10k without walking up the big hills or having a near-death experience. Yesterday I ran 5.2 miles in below-freezing weather and didn’t feel like a microwaved corpse at the end of it.
  3. Christmas shopping. I love buying presents.
  4. Thank you to everyone who has entered my giveaway so far! Please enter if you haven’t. You can win cool stuff.
  5. It’s almost Thanksgiving! Bring on the food.



I’m Stuffed With Holiday Cheer


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Take care of yourselves and be kind to each other. See you around the blogosphere!


  1. That's awesome that your training is paying off. I can't believe how cold it is by you though. (we had our windows open during the day in NJ)

  2. Huge congratulations on getting so fit by running! Your non-fiction reads all sound fascinating, though right now I'm all about escaping from the nasty real world:). I hope you have lovely Thanksgiving, AJ:)

  3. That is a lot of emotionally taxing reading for one week! I really must read Radium Girls though perhaps when I’m in a better head space (which will hopefully be Jan 21st)

    Wishing you a great reading week and a lovely and safe Thanksgiving

  4. Wha ha ha!! Loved your opening picture! Guess I'm glad we don't celebrate Thanksgiving in South Africa.

    Had to chuckle at "didn’t feel like a microwaved corpse at the end of it." I know the feeling! We have two youngsters (with that I mean somewhere in their early twenties) who joined our ballet barre class. The one girl just about passed out and although I felt sorry for her - I was soooo chuffed to realize that the 40+ ladies cruised through the class!

    No, your books are way to depressing. Time for some light reading!!

    Have a wonderful week AJ. Soar those mountains and read those fun books.

    Elza Reads The Sunday Post #19

  5. WOW AJ you become quite the runner! And I'd love that title Exhaustion! I am snikkering reading this right now. Have a great week!

  6. Love your opening photo. Eagerly awaiting Thanksgiving? Not.

    I like the idea of LillyPost, and I'd love to do that for my g-kids.

    Radium Girls and Evicted? Bleak, bleak, bleak. But wonderful in a bleak way.

    Deep Survival sounds promising.

    Have a happy Thanksgiving!

  7. OMG your gifs. LOL. Have a great Thanksgiving!

  8. I love buying presents, too! Of course, I also have to stop buying stuff for myself...

  9. I just love your image at the top of the post....SO FUNNY!! Considering how 2020 has gone, that is what will happen, just our luck right? LOL

    Serious note....hope you have a wonderful week with your loved ones.

  10. Your running is impressive. I can't imagine running that far without needing a break. I think that The Radium Girls and Evicted sound like great books. I don't think I have it in me to get through an entire book about Trump. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

  11. You truly are COURAGEOUS to read those depressing books during bleak November. And you ran 5.2 miles in below-freezing weather? Wow...I hope you have a great week.

  12. Ha I love that mutant turkey! About on point for 2020. That children's book subscription service sounds great.

    Very interesting about the Rage interviews. I've often wondered about his interactions with presidents- it's a fine line between interviewing and veering into advocacy.

    I can't wait for Thanksgiving! :)

  13. I agree that my Nonfiction November reading has also been depressing!! ha ha But it's important to be informed. I've heard good things about both The Radium Girls and Evicted and hope to get to them both (eventually). I have seen excerpts from the Woodward interviews but haven't read the books - those sound REALLY depressing. I can barely stand my tiny dose of news each day.

    Hope you continue to enjoy Nonfiction November and whatever kind of Thanksgiving you have planned (as usual, I am way behind and this is my visit from LAST week - lol)


    Book By Book

  14. I'm glad you are getting in lots of reading. I get your point about RAGE but I also think one of the things which has made me most successful in my life is hearing many perspectives and ideas when I make decisions. That helps me ask the best questions and know the most when I have to make a decision. I haven't read it but I guess I also don't think anything anyone says sways Trump except maybe the ones he owes $400 million.

    Happy Thanksgiving! We have much to be grateful for, even in these crazy times. Stay well! Enjoy some great food and great books!

    Anne - Books of My Heart This is my Sunday Post

  15. I legit don't think I could get through a book about Trump, let alone two. Good job on the running front. I hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving. Happy reading!


  16. Thanks for your comment on my post.
    All places of worship are limited to a 10 person capacity here!

    I read the Mary Trump book and it was enough to convince me about how despicable tRump is.

  17. I've been curious about the Rage book, but just the thought of reading something about Trump makes me grind my teeth, haha. Congrats on making so much progress with your running. That is really impressive. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  18. I read Deep Survival 10 years or so ago. It's an interesting book, but then I've often had a fairly high risk tolerance.

  19. I seem to have a huge pile of Trump related books on my shelves that I need to deal with, including the two Woodward books. I'm still in a non fiction mood so I think I might look at one or two of them before the year ends. I have a lot of political hardbacks that I need to deal with to free up bookshelf space!

  20. Quite the heavy reading week... I hope you have some lighter reads to enjoy also! Great that you are still enjoying being a part of Nonfiction November and working through some of those titles.

    Happy reading and a lovely week to you!

  21. I've read most of the Trump books, and now would like to forget his existence! But unfortunately, he isn't done with us yet. Sigh.

    Your books look depressing, but important. Thanks for sharing, and here are my WEEKLY UPDATES

  22. Congrats on all the progress you've made running. That's so exciting! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  23. I do love Christmas shopping. I really need to cut it back a bit, but it just makes me happy!!! LOL


  24. Your "microwaved corpse" and the picture made me laugh, thanks :D It must have been depressing indeed, reading all those books in the same week, but they must have been highly interesting nonetheless - I have my eye set on Radium girls and am awaiting your Rebecca Stott review. Have a great week ;)

  25. Microwaved corpse... Lololololololol.

    Congrats on the running progress!

  26. Your nonfiction books do sound intriguing in a bleak and depressing sort of way. I haven't read anything about Trump and have no plans to ever do so. I do like your projected title for a third Trump book though. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  27. Your books look good. I've been listening on and off to Rage, it's long :) It's interesting. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

  28. I can't unsee that Trump turkey! :-D Radium Girls has been on my radar for a while but that will have to wait for happier, more settled times.

    Congrats on the 10K! My knees have been bothering me off and on for almost a year so I haven't been jogging. I've been missing it lately. Maybe I can at least get back on the elliptical one day when gyms feel safe again.

    Enjoy your week and happy Thanksgiving!

  29. Wow those three nonfiction books ... are pretty bleak. So glad I didn't live in the radium working age. Sounds horrific. You need a happy read soon! Have a happy Thanksgiving.