ASK Musings

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Monthly Archive: December 2013



December 2013



Cannonball Read 5: What exactly did I read again?

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I’ve not seen a post like this on the CBR webpage, so for now I’ll just post it to my own blog. I thought I’d take a minute to really look at what I read this year and see how I can change it up for next year’s challenge (for which I’ve already signed up – join me!

I originally signed up for the half cannonball, because in 2012 I think I read maybe 15 books, and 52 seemed a bit … much. But as I got into it I realized that with some long flights (thank you honeymoon!), some quick reads (thank you Bridget Jones!) and a healthy sprinkling of audio books (thank you subscription!) it was actually going to be possible.

I usually read non-fiction, so this year I thought I’d try to get a few bits of fiction in there. I was pretty successful; 16 of my 52 books were of the fiction (if not high-brow literature) variety. Some were books I’d wanted to read (the aforementioned Bridget Jones trilogy), and others were books I discovered through media (The Handmaid’s Tale, Warm Bodies). But, true to form, the majority of books I picked were non-fiction. A huge chunk of those (14) were humorous memoirs or memoir-esque books, like Dan Savage’s American Savage, which was one of my favorites of the year. I also read seven science books, including one on forensic anthropology that was pretty riveting. Some etiquette books (three), a couple of fantasy novels (GAME OF THRONES), a couple of feminist books, and an interesting modern philosophy tome round out the bunch. And, I managed to read only books that I had never read before, which, near the end, was a bit of a challenge.

One thing I did after finishing up was go back to analyze the authors of these books. While so much of society seems to think that the straight white male point of view is ‘neutral’ and anything from another group is a niche, I’d like to make sure that I’m not just consuming books written by those folks.

On the gender front, I was pretty good – I read 28 books by women and 24 by men. Unfortunately, where race is concerned my authors were overwhelmingly white – like, 47 out of 52, which meant that only five books were written by people of color. That’s not acceptable. So my goal for 2014 is to aim for books written by men and women of color for the vast majority, unless a) it’s a book I already own or b) it is part of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, because I really want to get through books three and four before the next season starts. I also only read about three book by people who are openly not-heterosexual (either gay, lesbian or bi), and none by trans men or women, so I need to look into that more.

All in all, this was a really great first experience with the Cannonball Read. I’m excited to put together my reading list for 2014 and to get things started!

(to check out my reviews from 2013, mosey on over here.)



December 2013



What I’m Reading – December 27, 2013

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Last wrap-up of the year! Hope you all had a great Christmas (if that’s your thing).

– Peter Singer makes the argument that we should give to the organizations that can make the most of our money: Heartwarming causes are nice, but let’s give to charity with our heads (h/t @ClinicEscort)

– This is a disgusting refusal to honor a woman’s wishes: Texas Father Barred from Taking Pregnant Wife Off Life Support (h/t @AIsForOrg)

– Whoa. I did not know this: The Extraordinary Story Of Why A ‘Cakewalk’ Wasn’t Always Easy (via @NPR)

– Excellent: Notre Dame Dealt Big Rejection In Challenge Against Birth Control Coverage (h/t @graceishuman)



December 2013



What I’m Reading – December 19, 2013

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I get to see my family soon! In the meantime, here is what’s fueling my fire these days…

– I have to say I had no idea how  disrespectful Eve Ensler has been to women of color, specifically first nations / native american women: One Billion Rising: Eve Ensler’s White Feminist Low Blow (h/t @ChiefElk)

– So if Ms. Ensler’s way is wrong, what’s another possible approach? Beyond Eve Ensler: What Should Organizing Against Gender Violence Look Like? (h/t @laurenarankin)

– The headline says it all: Michigan passes ‘rape insurance’ bill (via @ProPublica)

– This is a thing that happened. Affluenza: the latest excuse for the wealthy to do whatever they want (via @scATX)

– So yeah, don’t put things in the mouths of people having seizures: If Someone Is Having a Seizure (h/t @stavvers)

– We need to get the money to keep his dog with him: Blind Man, Guide Dog, Safe After Subway Track Fall (via @AP)

– A woman’s story of late-night bus harassment: I was threatened with violence and rape and begged a bus driver to protect me from my harasser. Instead, he laughed and shook the man’s hand. (h/t @pennyred)

– The No Fly List is terrifying: Read this woman’s personal no-fly list hell

– Racism takes many forms. It doesn’t just involve slurs: Racism Up Close: How A White Woman Tried To Get My GoFundMe Shut Down (via @thetrudz)




December 2013



What I’m Reading – December 15, 2013

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This is a few days late because Thursday I was here. Then we had friends over on Friday night, and have been busy holiday-ing since. But here are a few articles I’ve been reading this week between events.

– Fascinating / disturbing: People of Color Removed from Paintings

– Lots of ‘yup’ in this one: David Simon: ‘There are now two Americas. My country is a horror show’ (h/t @tgijsola)

– Reminder: Not filing charges does NOT mean the person didn’t commit the crime. Also, this guy won the Heisman Trophy yesterday. Disgusting. Why I Believe Jameis Winston’s Accuser

– Salvation Army is fighting hard against the (deserved) image that it discriminates against LGBT folks. They may be getting better, but No Red Kettles has some evidence to suggest that they still don’t deserve the money of those who support LGBT people: Annual Reminder: Don’t Give to the Salvation Army

– The county held; now a judge decides: SeaTac’s minimum wage measure stands after recount (via @Q13Fox)



December 2013



What I’m Reading – December 5, 2013

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It is SO COLD here right now. Not, like, upstate New York cold, but still. Brrrrrr. Here are a few articles that might raise your temperature … as your blood boils.

– And today they announced no charges. Sigh. Jameis Winston, and the Overlapping of Football Culture and Rape Culture (via @scATX)

– Fighting for intersex rights: Special report: Intersex women speak out to protect the next generation

– The problems of low and no-wage jobs exist. It’s not ‘just’ fast food workers. And also? It’s at ‘progressive’ publications: Mother Jones Reportedly Told Its Interns to Go on Food Stamps Because It Pays So Little (h/t @RhaniaKalek)

– Oh man. I’ve got the first dozen or so books for next year’s Cannonball Read: The ‘MHP’ Black Feminism Syllabus (h/t @laurenarankin)

– Justice. Or, you know, not. What is wrong with these people? Divided Federal Court Rules Crack Cocaine Sentencing Reforms Do Not Apply To Those Already in Prison (h/t @prisonculture)

– Oh hey! Two white guys get a Black woman professor disciplined for making them uncomfortable when she talked about institutional racism. Nope, not an article in the Onion. A Few Things I Think We Should Learn From MCTC’s Attack on Professor Shannon Gibney

– Read about the fast food strikes across the country: Fast Food Strikes Hit 100 Cities Thursday (via @allisonkilkenny)