Monday, October 29, 2012

Another Visit to the Bookshelf

So here's another peak at what I've been reading lately.  Once again, it is a smattering of random stuff, but it sure beats reading the back of the cereal box...again!

Plastics A Toxic Love Story by Susan Freinkel was a great read.  I actually read this one a while ago, but it didn't make it on my last list.  This was not an easy read.  It had a lot of chemical names and compounds that you kind of had to pay attention to and me somewhat familiar with to make it through the book.  The author did explain the words she was using, but to make it easier to follow along, it was nice to already have a background in the jargon.  This book was a real eye opener.  I think that one of the biggest things that I hadn't thought of was the whole plastic pollution issue.  The thing is, or so I learned in this book, is that it is not the bags and bottles that are the biggest plastic pollution issue.  It is that these things never compost, but rather break down into little micro-sized pieces that are now in our oceans.  It is impossible to remove these micro pieces because if a net were used, it would also remove the tiny organisms that are important to our ecosystem.  Another aspect that I had not thought of was how the tubing that is used in the hospitals is all plastic and that is used in babies in the NICU.  That means that sometimes in healing our babies, we are also infecting them with plastic 'runoff' from the tubing and therefore causing complications down the road.  Never thought of that.

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon was an incredible read.  It took a minute to get into it, but once I did, I really couldn't put it down.  It is the fascinating true story of a girl who lived in Afghanistan during the Taliban rule.   It is written by a reporter, and I could feel this in the way that it read.  I can't quite put my finger on it, but it was not written in a way to entertain, but rather to inform one of details.  But it was not dry at all.  I was captivated.  One day, while I was shopping at Safeway, I saw a woman in full chadir (the one where the whole person is covered with only a little net rectangle over the eyes to see out) and it really made me think about the huge differences in our cultures.  But this book does not focus on the culture so much, but rather on one girl's life and how she moved purposefully through her life constantly striving to help her family and her community against what seemed to be insurmountable odds.  After reading this book, I wondered what exactly is it that I am doing for the good of my community and if I would have had the ability and perseverance to do what she did.  

Miss Spider's Tea Party by David Kirk
For some reason, this has been Gabriel's book of choice for the last few weeks, so I have read this one about one million times.  Well, actually, what happened was that he was into Miss Spider's New Car

which anyone who knows Gabriel will know that this one is more up to his speed, but he misplaced the book and so he had to settle for the tea party one.  It's still cute with lots of bugs in it.  He likes to read the same book every day at nap time for a while then he will just up and pick a new one.

I just finished reading The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner with Jo and Gabriel, so they have spent the last week or so playing boxcar children in the backyard or under the table in the dining room in inclement weather.  It's a cute story about a group of children who are on their own and find an abondoned boxcar to live in.  They are running away from their grandfather, who they think is mean, but it turns out that really he was looking for them and is very nice and rich, too.  I think that part was kind of lost on the kids, but they liked the part about the kids making their own home in the boxcar.  Honestly, that's all I really remember about the book from when I read it when I was little, too.  Cute read.

The Enclave by Anne Aguirre was also a good read.  It is another one of those books that takes place in the future (the not so distant future, it would seem with all this crazy weather we are having!).  It is about a girl who lives below the ground in what was the subway system and then is sent away from her clan to live above the ground.  She realizes that there is indeed life above ground and she and her friend, who was cast out with her, try to survive above the ground.  There is a sequel to this, and I will read that one, too, but it seems like an awful lot of the new literature is about the future, and sometimes I get tired of reading about everything getting blown up, taken over and/or enclosed and ruled and teenagers trying to figure out how to live.  Maybe because it's kinda scary to think about?  Or maybe because it's not the literature I grew up on, or maybe it's just because I like to vary my reading (as is made obvious by what I end up burying my nose in!)

On another note...

A neighbor called and asked if we have power.  We do.  They asked if they could run an extension cord from here to there.  I told them that they could but that the part of the house that is closest to them is an addition, and is not wired well and the fuse can't take much before it blows.  It blows on us all the time with just the fridge and the microwave.  I told them that they could use the power, but mainly just to run a lamp or charge a phone or something small but not like a TV and lights and a computer and everything.  They said they would call me back.  They never did.  It just seems like two things:  1.  This storm did not spring suddenly upon us.  If you know that you will probably lose power, you should prepare at least somewhat so that you have some sort of lighting and a plan of what to do when you can't turn on the TV, and 2.  If you want to borrow electricity from your neighbor, you should not be expecting to power your whole house with it in an attempt to act as if the power is not off.   Anyway, that's just my opinion, but then again, I am the one sitting here with full power.  If my lights were off, maybe I would think differently.

I hope everyone is safe and I plan to go to bed now and hopefully sleep through what's left of the storm and wake up with at least some of the shingle still on my roof!

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