Birth of a Nation

This is a story of the events that lead up to Nat Turner leading a rebellion of the slaves in 1831. I had heard of the movie from multiple sources, so it was time to watch it.

I enjoyed the movie. It was very informative, but I hadn’t realized that it was about an actual event. I learn more and more every day.

This movie is not the same as the 1915 movie starring Lillian Gish. At first, I thought it was a remake and I was expecting a KKK rising any minute. It’s definitely not the remake. I still don’t know that I want to see the 1915 version.

Marriage Story

I was looking over the list on the best of Netflix article. I was reading off the names of movies I’d be interested in seeing and we decided that Marriage Story might be interesting.

I was expecting more of a comedy, but it was definitely not. It was a drama, and it was sad to watch the end of a marriage.

I felt that the couple could have had a different ending if so many other people weren’t involved. I am sure that many people have had similar stories end the way the movie did. I am also sure that others had different endings, depending on the process.

I would recommend this movie, but it was a little heavy for a distraction watch. I can see why it won so many awards, though. Very good movie, just not a lot of humor.

Hadrian’s Wall

Hadrian’s wall

I heard someone refer to her book stack as “Hadrian’s Wall by my head at night.” I had to look it up.

The Wikipedia entry is linked above. I pulled photos from it, and, yes, I agree, it does look like a stack of books. In its day, before 122, it was much taller than it is now. Maybe people have gotten around to reading the books in the stack? Kidding. It looks like it would have been overwhelmingly huge in its time. Kind of like some books stacks I know.

File:Hadrians Wall with Weedkiller.JPG

How to Name Your Pet

Over the last few weeks, I have noticed more dogs out and about with their owners. I guess the owners are getting out more, so the pets get out more.

I was walking out of work and I could hear a woman dropping her car off with the valet. I heard, “come on Nama. Be good. Nama, stay. Nama stay.” I just knew that she named that dog just so she could say Namaste.

A few days later, as I was going in to work, I saw a woman trying to get out of the car while her dog yapped away inside. “Come on, Loretta. Calm down.” I don’t think I’ve ever met a dog named Loretta before.

Kallie lives in the house which has a backyard that shares a fence with us. When we let our dogs out, it sounds like a tea party is going to happen. “Molly, Doris, Kallie! Keep it down out there!” They mostly just bark to talk, not out of anger. We don’t trust them enough to meet each other face to face.

I love to hear entertaining pet names. If you’ve heard any, please share.

The Real Names of Fictional Characters

The real names of fictional characters

Some of the names mentioned in the above linked article were not new to me. For example, I knew what Barbie’s real name was long ago.

I was glad to learn that Jughead’s parents hadn’t named him Jughead, but I can see why he uses that nickname. The same goes for Shaggy.

This was a fun list to look through, although some of the names were kind of silly.

Competitive Book Reading

Competitive book reading

The above linked article tells about how reading challenges have changed the way people read. It claims that the challenges add a layer of guilt if you aren’t reading “fast enough” or reading “all of the books available.” I disagree with it. Yes, I get pushed along with my reading when I am working on a challenge, but if I don’t meet the challenge, I don’t feel guilty. I am only competing with myself. I read for enjoyment. I do keep track of my books, but mostly just to see where I am. I will mark my pages on goodreads, and I will mark and review my finished books. For my own knowledge, not to make anyone else feel bad or good.

It is an interesting article, though. It gave me something to think about.

Laziness doesn’t exist

Laziness doesn’t exist

I loved the title of the above linked article. The actual article is about unseen obstacles. Also, you don’t know what anyone else is going through. No one is lazy, there’s just an obstacle.

Procrastination can be caused by many things – Anxiety about how to start. The inability to break the project up into manageable pieces.

Mental health can be an issue. Juggling meds, getting stuck in an OCD situation, insomnia, etc can all be problems.

Bottom line here… don’t assume laziness. It most likely isn’t the issue. Also, don’t judge a book by its cover. Don’t judge other people.

Bookstores Selling Out

Selling out

Right now, many bookstores are selling out of several books on anti-racism. Here’s a list of books to choose if you are finding that you have to wait for your book choice to be in stock.

History and Journalism

Conversations in Black: On Politics, Power and Leadership, Ed Gordon (2020)

55, Underemployed and Faking Normal: Your Guide to a Better Retirement Life, Elizabeth White (2019)

An African American and Latinx History of the United States, Paul Ortiz (2018)

Chokehold: Policing Black Men, Paul Butler (2017)

Memoir

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir in Essays, Damon Young (2019)

Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates (2015)

Fiction

Rainbow Milk, Paul Mendez (2020)

The Water Dancer, Ta-Nehisi Coates (2019)

Children’s and Young Adult

This Book is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work by Tiffany Jewell (2020)

Anti-Racist Baby, Ibram X. Kendi (2020)

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi (2020)

Brown Girl Dreaming, Jacqueline Woodson (2014)

A is for Activist, Innosanto Nagara (2013)

Notable books of 2019

NY Times Notable books 2019

The New York Times put this list out of the best books of 2019. I have read several of them and have several on the TBR list. It’s a long list, but they are really good books.

The Age of Surveillance
Capitalism: The Fight
for a Human Future at
the New Frontier of Power

American SpyBy LAUREN WILKINSON

Antisocial: Online
Extremists, Techno-Utopians,
and the Hijacking of
American Conversation
By ANDREW MARANTZ

Audience of One: Donald
Trump, Television, and
the Fracturing of America
By JAMES PONIEWOZIK.

Bangkok Wakes to RainBy PITCHAYA SUDBANTHAD

BecomingBy MICHELLE OBAMA. 

The Beneficiary:
Fortune, Misfortune, and
the Story of My Father
By JANNY SCOTT

The Body in QuestionBy JILL CIMENT

Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story
of the Generic Drug Boom
By KATHERINE EBAN

The British Are Coming:
The War for America,
Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777
By RICK ATKINSON. 

Cherokee, AmericaBy MARGARET VERBLE. 

The Club: Johnson,
Boswell, and the Friends
Who Shaped an Age
By LEO DAMROSCH. 

The Conservative SensibilityBy GEORGE F. WILL. 

The Crowded Hour:
Theodore Roosevelt, the
Rough Riders, and the Dawn
of the American Century
By CLAY RISEN. 

Deaf Republic: PoemsBy ILYA KAMINSKY. 

Disappearing EarthBy JULIA PHILLIPS.

Ducks, NewburyportBy LUCY ELLMANN. 

The Dutch HouseBy ANN PATCHETT

The Education of an
Idealist: A Memoir
By SAMANTHA POWER

Exhalation: StoriesBy TED CHIANG

Fall: Or, Dodge in HellBy NEAL STEPHENSON.

Fleishman Is in TroubleBy TAFFY BRODESSER-AKNER.

Full Throttle: StoriesBy JOE HILL

Furious Hours: Murder,
Fraud, and the Last
Trial of Harper Lee
By CASEY CEP

GirlBy EDNA O’BRIEN

The GodmotherBy HANNELORE CAYRE. Translated by
Stephanie Smee.

The Gone DeadBy CHANELLE BENZ

Good Talk: A Memoir
in Conversations
By MIRA JACOB

Grace Will Lead Us Home:
The Charleston Church
Massacre and the Hard,
Inspiring Journey to Forgiveness
By JENNIFER BERRY HAWES

The GrammariansBy CATHLEEN SCHINE

Grand Union: StoriesBy ZADIE SMITH. 

Growing Things:
And Other Stories
By PAUL TREMBLAY

The Guarded Gate: Bigotry,
Eugenics, and the Law That
Kept Two Generations of Jews,
Italians, and Other European
Immigrants Out of America
By DANIEL OKRENT. 

Guest House for
Young Widows: Among
the Women of ISIS
By AZADEH MOAVENI. 

The Heartbeat of Wounded
Knee: Native America
From 1890 to the Present
By DAVID TREUER. 

The HeavensBy SANDRA NEWMAN. 

HorizonBy BARRY LOPEZ

How to Be an AntiracistBy IBRAM X. KENDI

How We Fight For Our LivesBy SAEED JONES. 

If: The Untold Story of
Kipling’s American Years
By CHRISTOPHER BENFEY

The Impeachers: The Trial
of Andrew Johnson and
the Dream of a Just Nation
By BRENDA WINEAPPLE

In Byron’s Wake: The
Turbulent Lives of Lord Byron’s
Wife and Daughter: Annabella
Milbanke and Ada Lovelace
By MIRANDA SEYMOUR

In Hoffa’s Shadow: A
Stepfather, a Disappearance
in Detroit, and My
Search for the Truth
By JACK GOLDSMITH

The InstituteBy STEPHEN KING

Know My Name: A MemoirBy CHANEL MILLER

Kochland: The Secret History
of Koch Industries and
Corporate Power in America
By CHRISTOPHER LEONARD.

Last DayBy DOMENICA RUTA. 

The Last Whalers: Three
Years in the Far Pacific
With a Courageous Tribe
and a Vanishing Way of Life
By DOUG BOCK CLARK. 

The Lost Art of Scripture:
Rescuing the Sacred Texts
By KAREN ARMSTRONG. 

Lost Children ArchiveBy VALERIA LUISELLI. 

Lot: StoriesBy BRYAN WASHINGTON. 

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay
and a Mother’s Will to Survive
By STEPHANIE LAND. 

Mama’s Last Hug: Animal
Emotions and What They
Tell Us About Ourselves
By FRANS DE WAAL. 

Maggie Brown & OthersBy PETER ORNER. 

The Man Who Saw EverythingBy DEBORAH LEVY. 

Margaret Thatcher:
The Authorized Biography
— Herself Alone
By CHARLES MOORE. 

The Mastermind: Drugs.
Empire. Murder. Betrayal.
By EVAN RATLIFF. 

The Memory PoliceBy YOKO OGAWA. Translated by
Stephen Snyder.

Midnight in Chernobyl: The
Untold Story of the World’s
Greatest Nuclear Disaster
By ADAM HIGGINBOTHAM.
Mostly Dead ThingsBy KRISTEN ARNETT. 

Mrs. EverythingBy JENNIFER WEINER.

The NeedBy HELEN PHILLIPS. 

The Nickel BoysBy COLSON WHITEHEAD. 

Night Boat to TangierBy KEVIN BARRY. 

No Visible Bruises: What
We Don’t Know About
Domestic Violence Can Kill Us
By RACHEL LOUISE SNYDER. 

Normal PeopleBy SALLY ROONEY. 

Nothing to See HereBy KEVIN WILSON. 

Now We Shall Be Entirely FreeBy ANDREW MILLER. 

The Octopus Museum: PoemsBy BRENDA SHAUGHNESSY. 

The Old DriftBy NAMWALI SERPELL. 

Optic NerveBy MARÍA GAINZA. Translated by
Thomas Bunstead.

Our Man: Richard
Holbrooke and the End
of the American Century
By GEORGE PACKER. 

The ParisianBy ISABELLA HAMMAD. 

The Problem With
Everything: My Journey
Through the New Culture Wars
By MEGHAN DAUM. 

Rabbits for FoodBy BINNIE KIRSHENBAUM. 

Red at the BoneBy JACQUELINE WOODSON. 

The RevisionersBy MARGARET WILKERSON
SEXTON.
 

Rusty BrownBy CHRIS WARE. 

Say Nothing: A True
Story of Murder and
Memory in Northern Ireland
By PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE. 

Separate: The Story of
Plessy v. Ferguson, and
America’s Journey From
Slavery to Segregation
By STEVE LUXENBERG. 

The Shadow KingBy MAAZA MENGISTE. 

She Said: Breaking the
Sexual Harassment Story That
Helped Ignite a Movement
By JODI KANTOR AND MEGAN
TWOHEY.
 

She Was Like That:
New and Selected Stories
By KATE WALBERT. 

Solitary: Unbroken by
Four Decades in Solitary
Confinement. My Story of
Transformation and Hope.
By ALBERT WOODFOX WITH
LESLIE GEORGE.
 

SpringBy ALI SMITH. 

Stony the Road:
Reconstruction, White
Supremacy, and the
Rise of Jim Crow
By HENRY LOUIS GATES
JR..
 

The TestamentsBy MARGARET ATWOOD.

Thick: And Other EssaysBy TRESSIE MCMILLAN
COTTOM.
 

The Topeka SchoolBy BEN LERNER. 

The TraditionBy JERICHO BROWN. 

Trick Mirror: Reflections
on Self-Delusion
By JIA TOLENTINO. 

Underland: A
Deep Time Journey
By ROBERT MACFARLANE. 

The Uninhabitable Earth:
Life After Warming
By DAVID WALLACE-WELLS. 

The Unwinding of the Miracle:
A Memoir of Life, Death, and
Everything That Comes After
By JULIE YIP-WILLIAMS. 

The War Before the War:
Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle
for America’s Soul From the
Revolution to the Civil War
By ANDREW DELBANCO. 

WestsideBy W.M. AKERS. 

What You Have Heard
Is True: A Memoir of
Witness and Resistance
By CAROLYN FORCHÉ. 

Women TalkingBy MIRIAM TOEWS. 

Women’s Work: A Reckoning
With Work and Home
By MEGAN K. STACK.

The Yellow HouseBy SARAH M. BROOM. 

Ugly Cry YA Books

Ugly cry ya books

I don’t know many of these books, but sometimes you just need an ugly cry. YA is a good genre to use to attempt that level of crying.

1. Just Breathe by Cammie McGovern

2. Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby

3. How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow

4. Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

5. The How & the Why by Cynthia Hand

6. Three Things I Know Are True by Betty Culley

7. They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

8. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

9. Heroine by Mindy McGinnis

10. Sorry For Your Loss by Jessie Ann Foley

11. History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

12. Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian

13. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

14. Far From the Tree by Robin Benway