Friday, March 09, 2018

Weekend Reading: The I Wasn't Actually Getting Better Edition

When I wrote last week's post, I thought I was almost over my cold. And I continued to think that on Saturday. On Sunday, though, it became clear I was actually in the equivalent of the eye of the storm. I have been dealing with a really bad cough for this entire week. I've managed to work most days, but have had to work at home quite a bit, because the cough is really, really bad, and I would hate to make my colleagues listen to it all day. 

I didn't manage to do much other than work, though. My kids were in a play on Wednesday, put on as part of their after school program. They were so excited about it! And they did a great job. I went to see the play, and only had to leave to cough uncontrollably once. 

I also started the delightful task of scheduling our summer camps. I haven't actually scheduled anything yet, but I've made the grid I use to track all the options and have started talking to the kids about what's on offer. As usual, there are quite a few camp offerings I wish I could take, but that my kids are unenthused about. But I think we'll get a decent schedule together!

The other big event of the week was that Tattoo, by Michelle Rene, came out on Wednesday. This is a really neat book and it is getting great reviews - it got a starred review at Publisher's Weekly and a five heart review will be in the next issue of Foreword Reviews. The Fill Your Bookshelf review came out this week, too, and is also quite good. You can also see what other earlier readers are saying at GoodReads.

If you're convinced, go grab yourself a copy: 
It is available on Overdrive, too, if you want to ask your librarian to get a copy of the ebook. It will eventually show up on Scribd, too.

In other Annorlunda Books news... every year, I donate a small percentage of my book sales to a classroom looking for books. This was last year's pick... and the project is in danger of not being funded. If you have anything to spare to help buy some books for some kids who need them, would you please chip in? If we can get it to within $200 of the target, I'll fund the rest from my personal (not business) funds. If it doesn't fund, we get to pick other projects to put our money toward, but it would mean a lot to me to see this one funded. It is a dual immersion program, and I know how expensive it is to buy Spanish books here. 

On to the links:

If you read only one link today, make it Alison Spodek Keimowitz' beautiful piece about what having leukemia taught her about facing climate change... and then let's all commit to do what we can to push back the collapse.

A close runner up for the "read this if nothing else" spot this week: A philosopher's explanation of why the way we think about drug addiction is wrong.

This LA Times piece about the changes that came to Jacumba with Operation Gatekeeper is a good reminder of the fact that there are trade offs that come from making the border harder to cross. 

Here's another immigration-related piece, about what happened after a big immigration raid in one Texas town.

The success of the West Virginia teachers' strike is spurring some teachers in other red states at the bottom of the teacher pay list to consider striking, too. I know teachers in Arizona are starting to organize. I grew up there, and I've friended a lot of my former classmates on Facebook. I'm seeing a lot of avatars turn red in a sign of support for the teachers.

This Scientific American article summarizing some recent modeling about the role of luck in success is really interesting. I like the definition of talent as being the ability to take advantage of lucky opportunities. 

Anastasia Basil argues against letting your kids have social media, and has an interesting idea for how to get them to buy into that. (h/t @CaleeL)

And for a different view on kids and technology... The On Being interview with danah boyd was really, really interesting.

We're coming up on this discussion with our older daughter, who turns 11 soon, and so I'm reading and listening to these things with more interest lately. So far, she has email and a smartphone (which she uses primarily to text us when she gets to school and to text with my Mom and my sister about a license plate spotting game they all play), and she has a Pinterest account, because she likes finding pictures of birds and fairy houses. She also finds craft projects to do, and I am starting to think that this is the perfect introduction to the difference between the best effort people post online and reality. 

A couple of her attempts to replicate the crafts she has found on Pinterest haven't turned out as great as they looked in the picture, which gave us a chance to talk about how we don't know how many attempts it took to get the result shown in the picture, and about photo editing, and a bunch of other things that I want her to know about as she heads into the age when she starts comparing herself and not just her art projects to the things she sees online. So on the whole, I guess I'm glad I let her have Pinterest.

In other podcast listening this week... Josh Marshall has a new podcast, and Episode 3 is an excellent summary of what we know about the Russia investigation.

Kate Wagner argues that you probably don't need to renovate your home. I sort of agree and sort of don't. Our renovation added a lot of additional living space, which has really improved our enjoyment of living in this home. Sure, we could have just moved to a bigger house, but that move would have had downsides, too, even if we'd been able to find a bigger house with the right configuration of space in our current neighborhood... and been able to afford to buy it (a lot of the bigger houses in our neighborhood have gone WAY bigger, and built up to capture a view, which would price them out of our reach). For one thing, if we moved, we probably wouldn't have a 50 year old avocado tree that produces hundreds of avocados every year.... More seriously, we love our location and didn't want to move, but needed more space. Now we have it. Other renovations we're considering: doing up our backyard a bit, to get more enjoyment out of it; updating our kitchen to better fit our style of entertaining while cooking (and to get more storage space); upgrading a bathroom so I can have a proper soak tub (not likely to happen, but I can dream). In short, we'll do renovations that increase our enjoyment of our house and our life in it. 

I really like this:

I'm already seeing this kid's picture pop up in memes, but I think the original context is the best:



Happy weekend, everyone. May I stop coughing soon.

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