[I've been 
reading]

Redshirts   book icon  
by John Scalzi (2013)

read: 26 January 2015
rating: [+]
category: fiction

Really enjoyed this sort of meta look at the disposable ensigns and the like who always seem to eat it in sci fi shows (most notably Star Trek where they are often wearing a red shirt). Scalzi takes this idea and really explores it. What’s it like to be one of these people? How could you fix this situation if you found that you were inside of it? Why are some of these shows so poorly written? Serious fans of Star Trek will enjoy this even more than the casual reader, but I enjoyed both the story and the little chunk of “codas” at the end of it which gave a few more little vignette’s that fleshed out the overall theme.

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory   book icon  
by Caitlin Doughty (2014)

read: 20 January 2015
rating: [+]
category: non-fiction

Got this book from the library. In the back there is a little review form that other people can leave mini-reviews on. This one rated the book 2 out of 5 (for “limited audience") and then added "But interesting” I am this book’s limited audience. Doughty is a woman who grew up in Hawai’i and always had a fascination with death. Not just death itself but the way society deals with it. She decided when she got older that she would try to get a job in the “death industry” and starts working for a creamtory in Oakland and then eventually towards the end of the book goes to mortuary school. This book talks about all of that and does not pull any punches. However at the same time, she doesn’t make light of everything and it doesn’t have the jokey-jokey feel of Mary Roach’s Stiff which I really disliked. Caitlin is thoughtful and reflective about her choices and the choices of others even when she’s dealing with people who are difficult or who she disagrees with. I was very happy to get to read along with her journey here and it’s well stated.

Birds in Fall   book icon  
by Brad Kessler (2007)

read: 18 January 2015
rating: [+]
category: fiction

Part book about birds, part book about plane crashes (and grief and loss and moving on) this book was a little tough for the first few chapters (Spoiler: everyone dies in the first chapter) but improved after that. Great Canadian setting, great bird stories, real feeling interplay between characters. I liked it. It was long enough. It was not too long.

This One Summer   book icon  
by Mariko Tamaki (2014)

read: 17 January 2015
rating: [+]
category: graphic novel

A coming of age type of graphic novel where the main character goes to the summer place she’s always gone to and does the same things, sort of. Lots of depth and nuance in this vacationers vs townies, kids vs. teenagers vs. adults. I felt a lot of the emotional atmosphere of this story rang very true.

Refresh Refresh   book icon  
by Danica Novgorodoff (2009)

read: 17 January 2015
rating: [+]
category: graphic novel

Depressing but poignant story about a bunch of kids in rural Oregon growing into their teenage years without their dads who are off fighting the war in Iraq. Hard to read but very worthwhile.

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