Interestings… (Jan 13, 2017)

A brief roundup of what caught my eye this past week or so…

The Handmaid’s Tale is one of the books that I count among the most influential in my life. The new television adaptation by Hulu starring Elizabeth Moss looks very good. Here’s the first teaser trailer.

Two obituaries of fascinating women I never had heard of until they died: Vera Rubin, who discovered dark matter, and Clare Hollingworth, the reporter who broke the story that World War II had begun.

Apparently, you don’t have to exercise every day. “Better is better” is my motto for 2017–which means just try to do better, instead of perfect, today. It’s a good thought for whatever goal you’re trying to accomplish. I know for me, it’s a whole lot easier to try to meet a goal of exercising 2.5 hours a week (in three sessions, say) than to try to exercise every day. My new Google phone has a Fit app that automagically tracks all my activity for the week and lets me know when I’ve hit my goal.

Funnies: Guy recreates popular movies with his cat; a list of totally true woman facts

Emergency Fund-Raising to Repair Flood Damage to Orange County Public Library

Consider donating to help our local library recover from flooding.

The Main Orange County Public Library sustained significant flooding during the winter storm this past week. Most of the damage occurred in the Teen Room and the Children’s sectio…

Source: Emergency Fund-Raising to Repair Flood Damage to Orange County Public Library

Best Reads of 2016

An annual tradition with me is choosing my top 5 reads of the year–not necessarily books that were published during the year, but books that I read and stayed with me, that stood out above the crowd. This year’s roundup is a varied assortment, but I highly recommend them all.

1. A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay — a really unusual horror story that pays homage to a lot of horror classics

2. Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende — just an enthralling work of historical fiction

3. Four Ways to Forgiveness by Ursula K. Le Guin — honestly, can she write a bad book? this one took my breath away

4. The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin — a thoroughly satisfying conclusion to his literary vampire-apocalypse trilogy

5. Descent by Tim Johnston — not your typical thriller, this novel about a father’s search for his missing daughter reminded me a lot of Cormac McCarthy

Did you have any favorite reads of 2016? Add them in the comments.

Hiatus…

I’m taking a hiatus from this website and all social media for an indefinite period. The Internet is not a healthy place for me to be right now.

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Why are there so many books with “girl” in the title?

Here is an interesting essay by Emily St. John Mandel that analyzes data to find common characteristics of books with the word “girl” in the title and try to answer the question of why this is a trend now. Fun game next time you’re in the bookstore: Make up a short story just using the the titles of books you see that contain the word “girl.”

Random Quote for Today

His situation, insofar as he was a machine, was complex, tragic, and laughable. But the sacred part of him, his awareness, remained an unwavering band of light. — Breakfast of Champions, Kurt Vonnegut

We all need a fright on a winter’s night…

Author Susan Hill delves into why we love scary books, especially as the weather gets colder, and recommends some classic ghost stories in this piece in the Guardian.