Happy July, Everyone. Too much time has passed since my last post. Time flies, you know. Things are busy at work; I am staring at the computer all day and will hopefully produce useable e-books soon. But when I get home, I don’t feel like looking at another screen. I also upped my workout routine, since my girls and I are planning to run a 5K in a few weeks. My thighs are not happy about this! I’m trying to appease them with banana muffins. I finally found a recipe that I like. The muffins are moist and actually taste like banana. The secret is—unsurprisingly—to use more bananas. Now the husband is happy, too, because I used up all those frozen bananas that kept falling out every time he opened the freezer door.
My reading hasn’t been super-exciting for the past 2 weeks. I am making progress on my #20BooksOfSummer list, and once I have a little more time, I will write about The Great Dissent and La Vagabonde, both of which are great.
I also finished Chernobyl 01:23:40. It was an interesting, even-handed account of what exactly happened at Chernobyl, but I don’t have much to say about it. It is telling that 1) when the proper insulation material was not available during the building of the reactor, they chose to use a highly flammable material as a substitute because they had plenty of that, and 2) there was no emergency preparedness plan because everything was perfect in the Soviet Union and so there was no chance of anything bad ever happening and thus no need to prepare for an emergency. On the plus side, the Soviet Union spared no expense to clean up the giant mess that was made during the accident—although that was of little use to the thousands of people who were intimately affected by the radiation. And support for the victims has greatly diminished since the dissolution of the USSR.
Over the Fourth of July weekend, I read Frontier Grit, about daring pioneer women. It was good, but it felt a little too much like a list to me. I wanted to know more about each woman, even though I understand that with few original sources available, this is hard to do. If you like Headstrong, then you would probably like this book as well. As a balance, I also read The Hating Game, which was smart and entertaining and just right for a weekend full of barbeques. The Paperback Princess has a review for you.
So, do I have any plans for this month? Um, not really. There’s a War and Peace read-along being hosted by Laura at Reading in Bed, and while I am not planning to reread this doorstopper, I will follow along and lend moral support by listening to Anna Karenina. (That does make perfect sense, doesn’t it?) I want to read some poetry and get ready for next month’s Women in Translation and Austen in August events.
Mostly, I am searching for just the right book to satisfy my hunger for good nonfiction. I borrowed The Golden Ratio, which I thought was a book about pi, but turned out to be a book about phi. Nothing wrong with “the world’s most astonishing number,” it truly is remarkable, but darn it, I wanted π! Erik Larson aside, do you have any good narrative nonfiction to recommend? And tell me about a great book you read recently. Leave a link in the comments, if you’d like.