Sunday, November 14, 2021

The Sunday Post #283


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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 #283

On The Blog Last Week

On The Blog This Week

  • On Tuesday we talk about which bestsellers are worth reading.

In My Reading Life

Nonfiction November continues! Last week, I finished The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister's Quest To Transform The Grisly World Of Victorian Medicine by Lindsey Fitzharris. "Grisly" is the perfect word to describe this book. There are detailed descriptions of surgeries-gone-wrong. Don't read it if you're squeamish. Also, don't read it without Google. I think the target audience has slightly more medical knowledge than me. I had to Google a few diseases because I'm not a doctor, and the author doesn't explain.

If you couldn't tell from the title, the book is a biography of Joseph Lister. He was a surgeon/professor in Scotland in the 1800s. His life goal was to figure out why wounds get infected and how to stop infections. Spoiler alert: He eventually figured it out. Then his challenge became convincing the medical world that you shouldn't slice people open without disinfecting stuff first. I like that the author and Joseph Lister both acknowledge that discoveries don't happen in a vacuum. Lister couldn't have made his medical advancements without building on the work of other scientists. Biographies sometimes glorify one person and ignore everybody who helped or influenced that person. This biography spreads the credit around.

The book is extremely focused on Lister's medical career. I wish we'd learned more about his life outside of work. We learn a tiny bit about his family and his Quaker beliefs, but that's it. Lister said he didn't want his personal life written about, so maybe information about his day-to-day life doesn't exist? I don't know. His fascination with germs gets slightly tedious to read about after 200+ pages of it. Still, I highly recommend this book if you're interested in medical history. It'll make you grateful that you don't live in the 1800s. That stuff was nasty. (The top hats were cool, though.)

Then I read The Last Girl: My Story Of Captivity, And My Fight Against The Islamic State by Nadia Murad. This memoir will make you want to punch people in the face. Seriously. Why is this stuff still happening?! The author was raised in a small Yazidi village in northern Iraq. In 2014, when she was 21 years old, ISIS invaded the village. They slaughtered most of the villagers, including many of Nadia's family members. Nadia was kidnapped and sold into sex slavery. She eventually escaped and made her way to Germany. There's a quote on the back of the book from The Economist that says "horrific and essential reading." I'd agree with that. Why are genocides still happening in modern times? And, why are terrorists using Facebook to sell sex slaves? (Seriously, WTF Facebook?)

For me, the most interesting part of the memoir is Nadia's observations about people who see problems and choose to ignore them. Here's a paragraph for you:

"Maybe, I thought, it was asking too much of a normal family to fight back against terrorists like the men in ISIS, men who threw people they accused of being homosexual off rooftops; men who raped young girls because they belonged to the wrong religion; men who stoned people to death. My willingness to help others had never been tested like that. But that was because Yazidis had never been shielded by their religion, only attacked. Hisham and his family had remained safe in ISIS-occupied Mosul because they were born Sunni and therefore were accepted by the militants. Until I showed up, they'd been content to wear their religion as armor. I tried not to hate them for it, because they were showing me such kindness, but I didn't love them." - The Last Girl

If I was forced to find something to complain about in the book, it would be the lack of a family tree. Nadia has a big family and a lot of friends. Sometimes I had a hard time remembering how they were all connected. That's a small complaint. This book should be required reading.

I'm currently reading Cursed Objects: Strange But True Stories Of The World's Most Infamous Items by J.W. Ocker. It's a nice change from the depressing books I've been reading! The writing style is upbeat, and the objects are weird and fascinating. I'm enjoying it.

In The rest of my life

Five things that made me happy last week:

  1. I have blog posts scheduled for the rest of November. It's been a long time since I was organized. Nicely done, me.
  2. I got a new mattress! The old one had springs poking through it that cut me while I slept. I've now gone 3 nights without waking up because something was stabbing me.
  3. I brushed the dog. I procrastinate grooming the dog because the dog and I both hate it, but she's a lot less disgusting now.
  4. Christmas shopping! I love buying gifts. I'm happy that stores are having extended Black Friday sales instead of making us all rush out on the same day.
  5. I unfollowed a bunch of people on Twitter. Now I'm seeing more content that I actually want to see. I don't know why, but sometimes my feed becomes 90% book advertisements. I know that self-published authors need to make money, but I want to see people talking about books, not just trying to sell them. (If you think I unfollowed you by mistake, let me know and I'll refollow. I've been known to get overzealous with the unfollow button.)

If you talk about books, I want to be friends

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


  1. Cleaning up the feed makes my experience better. I don't want to unfollow someone who follows me (unless they are offensive), so I usually just mute. Gold star for being scheduled ahead, and I am happy to hear you are sleeping better with the new mattress.

  2. Cursed Objects sounds quite fun. As much as I want to, I can't seem to read books like Last Girl right now...I start ranting on the awful state the world is in, and that really doesn't seem to make the world any better.

    I love the feeling of having my blog posts ready to go way before time. It doesn't happen often for me either.

  3. The Last Girl sounds like it would wreck me. Whats this about facebook now?

    I went to BN yesterday and it was packed! I feel like everyone was already doing their holiday shopping!

    Kudos to you for unfollowing folks on TW. I've been muting people this week. Now if only there was a way to make IG show me the content I want!

  4. Cursed Objects is on my TBR, so I'm glad to hear you're enjoying it! I love buying Christmas gifts, too! I'm trying to get done early this year, but of course, there are a few people on my list who are impossible to shop for.

  5. I need to read more non fiction. I will be adding some to my list -do cookbooks count? My doggy needs a brush too -maybe I will go do that.

  6. I have been thinking of culling my Twitter feed as well, especially now that I am changing jobs. You did some great reading this week!

  7. The Butchering Art sounds good! And I've got the Cursed Objects book on my TBR. Glad to hear you are enjoying it. Have a great week!
    Lisa Loves Literature

  8. I'm on the tablet tonight and gosh, I struggle to get the typing done! I need a millenial in the house.

    You have some really interesting picks for non-fiction November. I like the objects one.

    Good for you for having posts done till end of November! I don't even know if I'll be able to post anything this week! But I do have good intentions.

    Christmas shopping yea11 Haven't even started, but love it too!

    Have a good week A.J

    Elza Reads

  9. I am so glad you got a new mattress! I recently got a new one earlier this year and it makes all the difference!

  10. You made me laugh with the springs poking you AJ!!!

  11. Yay for the new mattress! I read a non-fiction book this week. I liked it but I kept wishing it was better organized and that she would get to the point. Too many years in the business world means I want information, not raw data.

    Anne - Books of My Heart This is my Sunday Post

  12. I need to read Butchering Art. So is Listerine mouthwash just named after Lister or did he come up with the idea for it?

  13. So glad you got a new mattress! While I am not having problems with mine at the moment, I know that could happen I have had this one for more than a decade! LOL

    Enjoy your week.

  14. I need to get a new mattress myself. The one I have now is just too busted to lay on. Glad that you are unfollowing people on Twitter who are only advertising rather than having meaningful discussions. I prefer to be on Twitter to have meaningful discussions about books I love.

    Here’s my Sunday Post!

    Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog

  15. When I was homeschooling my kids we read a book called Exploring the History of Medicine. It covered developments in medicine along with the men and women who pioneered them. That was where I first read about Joseph Lister, but also about others who were practicing medicine when things were pretty brutal. It is fascinating, but also made me glad I didn't live back then.

    Glad you are reading something a bit more upbeat. Have a great week!

  16. Oh my gosh right? The last time I went through old stuff I lost HOURS...

    Anyway the genocide thing. It is hard to believe that in this day and age these things are still happening.

    I have the opposite problem on Twitter. I'm so sporadic on there I've probably neglected following back people who followed me- I really need to catch up.

    Hope you have a great week ahead!

  17. The Butchering Art sounds pretty interesting to me... love medical history!

  18. Yay for having your blog posts scheduled! Such a relief. Your top graphic made me laugh. My daughter has a notoriously messy car and lately she's been cleaning it out and has been finding all kinds of trouble. The winner was finding her ex-husband's golf clubs in the trunk (it's a Civic so it's not like it's a massive trunk) which she was able to sell for a bit of money. The Lister biography sounds fascinating. I read a book about the Spanish Flu epidemic and it's crazy how little was known about medicine even 100 years ago and it's basic stuff like wash your hands before surgery! Have a great week!

  19. No not reading a book on surgeries gone wrong!! Enjoy that new mattress.

  20. The Last Girl: My Story Of Captivity, And My Fight Against The Islamic State by Nadia Murad, just sounds so intense. I also started scheduling blog posts weeks in advance, and it makes me feel organized and happy.

  21. Congratulations on having blog posts scheduled for the rest of the month, that's so exciting! And I need to groom my dog too. He doesn't mind it, but once I star brushing his hair then I find myself trimming parts of it and it takes a couple of hours lol. And enjoy your new mattress, yay! :)
    Jen @ Star-Crossed Book Blog

  22. All of your reads appeal to me.
    I’m just starting to think about Christmas presents though I have them for my nephews and nieces already because they have to be dropped off next week unless I want to pay a fortune in postage.

    Wishing you a great reading week

  23. The Last Girl sounds like a very strong cup of coffee to read. I'd likely have to punch something. Where is the author now? Does she live in Germany? It destroys me to think of ISIS doing that to her village. You might need a happier book next. Enjoy your week.

  24. I've been doing some Christmas shopping too. It's fun!! I haven't unfollowed people on Twitter in awhile, but I probably should. I have been going through Instagram here and there though.

    Lauren @

  25. This must be the year for new mattresses. I didn't have a spring poking me but it felt like I was sleeping on rocks. It is much better now. Interesting assortment of nonfiction. I liked a kid's version of the book about Lister since I'm not a medical person either. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  26. I did a Twitter purge a few years ago and I use the mute button liberally. I feel like it's all optional and you should only follow who you enjoy seeing tweets from or else you avoid it.

    I've been starting a little Christmas shopping too. I'm hoping to get anything that needs to be shipped out soon.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

  27. I'm procrastinating washing Lulu. Lol. It needs to be done though! She's been super itchy lately.

  28. We got a new mattress a few months ago. That is awesome to have your blog posts done for the month of November. I am super organized, but it's never made it to my blog. That is a dream that will hopefully happen one day!

  29. We also recently got a new mattress, so I relate to the annoying poking :) A Twitter cleanse actually also sounds like a great idea.

  30. Glad you're finally getting a good night's sleep! Hope your unfollowing spree improves your feed.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  31. I have never had posts scheduled and ready to go for any amount of time (though I always plan to!).. and totally get being distracted by stuff while cleaning.. It happened to me and my daughter this past weekend as we reorganized our garage and moved stuff to a new shed we got :-) ..
    And I am torn between wanting to and NOT wanting to read Last Girl.. However, Cursed Objects sounds perfect..My Sunday update