Books read in June 2019

One of my YA-zeitgeist books is on this list. Check out Dig, by A.S. King.

Picture Books

Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies
Jorge & Megan Lacera
Read for Librarian Book Group

A funny book about a zombie kid who prefers eating vegetables to eating humans; it also doubles as a nice coming out narrative.

I am Hermes
Mordicai Gerstein
Read for Librarian Book Group

This book has illustrations that pair perfectly with the text. It makes for a whimsical illustration of the life of Hermes.

Vamos, Let’s Go to the Market
Raul Gonzalez III
Read for Librarian Book Group

The pages are packed with a ton of things to look at, appealing to those kids who like to really study their picture books. There’s a great English/Spanish mix of words and the journey through the market is interesting.

Where are you from?
Yamile Saied Mendez, Jamie Kim
Read for Librarian Book Group

A long (and beautifully illustrated) answer to a question we* should probably be more aware of what we’re saying when we ask it.

*we=white people

Middle Grade

Other Words for Home
Jasmine Wanga

Read for Librarian Book Group

A slimmer novel in verse that shows us Jude’s life in Syria and then how her life changes when she comes to America.

I would have liked more details, but I enjoyed the verse. I also couldn’t remember anything about this book when it came up in book group discussion until I looked at the cover.

Young Adult

A.S. King
Read for Librarian Book Group

“Am I really up for A.S. King’s weirdness?” I asked myself as I picked up the book.

Turns out: yep! I was. It’s best to carve out a larger segment of time to get started with this book. There are many characters and many things aren’t clear as the book begins. But stick with it, and soon it will be hard to stop reading.

Most A.S. King books are uncomfortable. She seems to tap into the parts of this modern world that just aren’t right. But being uncomfortable and adrift is not an uncommon feeling in life, so perhaps A.S. King has her fingers on the pulse.

If you are a white person ages 15–107, this is your 2019 zeitgeist book.

Again, but Better
Christine Riccio

At first, I thought this book was aggressively mediocre, but I kept reading because the mild social panic was described so well. I also liked the idea of a college student realizing she’s done a terrible job making friends and trying her best to start fresh during her study abroad program.

Then the story changed and I was hooked. Overall, I found it to be a somewhat brilliant book.

Not to mention, it’s YA fiction with a 20-year-old protagonist. I’ll have to add it to my list of YA-in-college books. (Take that, agent who told me I wasn’t writing YA!)

The Afterward
E.K. Johnston
Read for Librarian Book Group

E.K. Johnston builds us a world where a group of knights, a mage and a thief have successfully completed a quest and now it’s back to the everyday. But the everyday is tough. Some of them have battle trauma, some of them have to do things to survive that become increasingly hard. Some of them are in love, and can’t be together for various reasons.

This book constantly challenged my mental pictures, and I love it for that. It’s also a fantasy book that doesn’t take place today that I was still interested in reading. Big wins! Hopefully it will get a better cover in the future.

Grownup Nonfiction

The Power of Habit
Charles Duhigg

A thorough examining of how habits rule our lives, not just on an individual level, but in companies, and in social movements.

This is more of an informational text than a self-help book. I would have liked more of a how-to on how to change habits. But I’m sure there’s a book out there for me. In the meantime, this was interesting and informative.

Nolo’s Guide to Single-Member LLCs
David M. Steingold

This is a handy guide of things to know if you are thinking about starting a single-member LLC. The information is clear, it breaks down details and there are links to free forms.

Celebrating Matt’s birthday

For Matt’s birthday we visited Han Oak and partook of their very delicious tasting menu.

For appetizers we had the kimchi plate, curried potato salad and the seaweed and greens. We picked the chicken wings and the onomiyaki for the snack and had dumplings. Also the smoked hanger stake and the pork bo ssam. Plus the dessert.

While we didn’t love the dessert (we reestablished that neither of us like mochi, or meringue) the rest was incredibly delicious.

Plus, they were playing hair metal ballads the entire time, much to my delight.

SKS Postcard: Alma again.

Another first-of-two postcard that arrived first!

Sara grabbed this when they ate here for their anniversary dinner. She had a comment about the food that she told me not to put on the blog so I won’t.

The dinner was there courses with wine pairing and she reports that it was nice to visit a place they’ve been wanting to go to for a special occasion.

Fence creeping closer

We turn to the housing development down the street to see how it progresses. We illustrate the progress with blurry pictures (sorry).

This house used to have a full driveway. It now has a skinny sidewalk. As I am concerned about how this development will affect parking in front of my house (which does not have a driveway because I am also part of the problem) this isn’t great news. I assume the house is staying (but perhaps not?) and eventually those two units will be occupied again and will need parking, just like all the new units will.

And when I say “units will be occupied” I mean by rent-paying people. The squatters who have been living in it don’t come with cars. You can see where the trash has been emptied from the house. Again.

A view from the opposite corner. I can’t remember how high this development will go, but it is probable that eventually the house will not be visible.

SKS Postcard. Fancy!

This one arrived a little worse for wear. See: that schmutz in the corner. But it’s fancy. It changes when you move it in the light.

She found this while packing up her office. It originally came from Virginia, but has made its way to me. She hopes that I’m enjoying that packing and moving is NOT part of my summer.

And her hopes are not in vain. I always enjoy when packing and moving are not parts of any season of my life.

Last days of the Alder Street Food Cart Pod

The Alder Street Food Cart Pod is famous! It takes up an entire city block. Yes! People can walk the perimeter and find a large variety of choices for their meals.

It’s also going away at the end of the month. A luxury hotel and condominium will be built on the block instead.

These pictures were taken from the streetcar, hence the blurry glare.

There has been talk of relocating some of the food carts to a different area of town, maybe the North Park Blocks, or the underused park on Ankeny and Burnside. But nothing has been firmed up. So in a few days, these carts will be gone.

Waiting for Pride 2019

I arrived at the Rosetown Ramblers designated parade slot at nine a.m. and groups were already assembling in the parade staging area. Energy was high. Music was playing, people were dancing, talking, shouting.

That energy was sustained for a very long time, but by noon most people had wilted. That’s when I caught this picture of Jim and Eileen.

Energy returned once we started marching, and the parade was, as usual, an overwhelming experience of celebration and joy.

SKS postcards: Union Station, Sweet Science Ice Cream

Sorry for the blurry photo. It might be my middle-aged eyes, it might be lack of attention to detail.

Sara uses a postcard of Union Station in Washington D.C. to remind me that I’ve got this. As in: YOU’VE GOT THIS! Also to let me know that the stamp was the last of her hummingbird postcard stamps, which she had to augment with a 1-cent stamp because the price had gone up and those hummingbird stamps weren’t Forever stamps.

She sent this postcard from Sweet Science Ice cream to update me on their weekend, which was quite busy, but not with church. (!) Also, the realtor team was coming over that morning. The house sale begins in earnest!