Veronica’s Still on Vacay

So, how’d that MRI go, when all was said and done?

Basically, everything went fine. The reading was all clear: no new areas of abnormality, so I’ve a clean bill of breast health till it’s time for my next mammogram.

The experience itself was, well, an experience.

Between last summer’s procedures and this latest scan, I’ve realized that I’m going to be spending time on the regular lying face down on medical tables with the girls hanging down through some sort of opening. Intellectually, I understand the use-value of this: gravity helps pull the breast tissue away form the rest of the chest wall, thereby making it easier to get a clear scan of the parts we’re wanting to scan.

Still, I feel as if some small part of my bodily dignity has died in this whole process, never to be resurrected again.

It is damn hard to feel like an empowered grown-up in this kind of set-up.

Continue reading “Veronica’s Still on Vacay”

100 Books Bucket List

Somewhere in that series of posts setting the context for my 2019 reading challenges, I mentioned an extra twist I was using to “level up” the complexity of my reading plans: a crosswalk with my “Bucket List Poster” to see if I could check off a few of those boxes along the way.

The poster is actually one of a set of three posters I purchased last spring: one for books, one for movies, one for music albums. I’m not entirely sure about the methodology of choosing what made the list—okay, I don’t have any idea what the methodology was. Some mix of legit Anglo-American classics, with some other titles tossed in to represent different genres (e.g., non-fiction, fantasy epic, kids lit, murder mystery), international perspectives, and titles that represent their zeitgeist.

My guess is that the company making these posters is British, both because of some of the inclusions (Dodie Smith? Kenneth Grahame?) and, more importantly, because of the absolute erasure of African-American and post-colonial titles. All of which is to say I wouldn’t want this to be the only source of new titles for me to choose and read,  but I’m happy enough to include it as a piece of a broader landscape.

Besides, having these hanging above my desk at home is a decor choice that is just so me, and I can’t deny the fun of scratching off a new title once I’ve read/viewed/listened to it.

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Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

I do what I can to fill out my reading categories using books I already have, whether they’re on Kindle or physically on the bookshelves. But there’s always a few categories that don’t readily lend themselves to that approach. PopSugar’s call-out to ghost stories this year is definitely one of those outlier categories, so I did what I usually do to make a selection: crawl the challenge discussion boards on Goodreads to get some ideas.

Between the good reviews (both on the boards and in the press), the National Book Award, and the resonance with my ongoing desire to keep reading more books by African-American authors, this seemed a book well worth the choosing.

And indeed it was.

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Off to Be the Wizard by Scott Meyer

(So far as my Around the Year plan goes, this book was read a tiny bit out of sequence: I jumped to it while waiting to get off the libe waitlist for category #6. Considering how sick I was this past week, it’s probably just as well that I had a non-taxing title like this one to be working through.)

Based on my experience with the PopSugar challenges over the past few years, I would postulate that the staffers over there* are kinda obsessed with the notion of literary genre.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t say that as a slam in the tiniest bit. After all, I spent all my grad school years being obsessed with literary genres, their categorization schema, their overlaps, and so on. But the notion of genre–especially obscure and unusual genres–has definitely been a recurring theme in their construction of topics. I found it most challenging last year when we were asked to read a book in a genre we’d never heard of before: several google searches on the topic only uncovered genres I had heard of before. Too bad I didn’t know about this year’s list while making my 2018 strategy, because 2019 PopSugar names not 1, but 2, different genres I had never heard of till looking at the categories list.

Including “LitRPG.”

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Heard it In a Pop Song

I had two alternate post titles tonight:

Tom Jones makes everything sound dead sexy

or

Tom Jones is a lying liar

More on that reasoning later. For the nonce, let me me unveil yet another way in which I am hopelessly art-and-media obsessed.

I’ve talked many times about how important music is to me and my life, and I think I’ve mentioned now and again how I’m the kind of old school dinosaur who still buys a fair proportion of music on physical CDs. But have I ever mentioned exactly how prodigious my CD collection is?

I don’t have a precise count right now*, but my best guess is around 1,800 or so. Across lots of different artists and genres–classical, Broadway, jazz, hip-hop. And lots and lots of stuff in the pop/rock/r&b vein. Lots.

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Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

It is taking some real self-discipline to post a book review tonight. I skipped last night ‘cos I was binge-watching the end of Season 5 from Game of Thrones, and I’d be quite happy to cuddle in with my iPad to watch another few eps tonight.

But I need to get back on schedule for the reading challenge, so I’m limiting screen time today in order to read and report out on what’s been read.*

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Radical Candor by Kim Scott

This is another “bonus book” that I decided to swap into a category. When I was planning my lists, I chose Freakonomics for a PopSugar category about “inserting a phrase into the common lexicon,* a choice that will also allow me to scratch off one of the squares on my “Bucket List” poster. And, because Freakonomics was written by an economist, I slid it into the “business book” category—even though I knew I was reaching with that. After all, for all I know, Freakonomics is going to be less of a business book and more from a behavioral economics perspective.**

In the meantime, a coworker of mine recommended this book, so I put it on my “hold” list in Libby. A copy was released to me a couple weeks ago, so I set aside my other challenge titles to read this. (Yet another reason why I’m a bit behind schedule for February’s challenge categories.)

Turns out I needn’t have thrown of my schedule this way to accommodate the library timeline, because I liked this book enough to purchase it for my home library.

Continue reading “Radical Candor by Kim Scott”