Friday, March 27, 2009

yet another hodgepodge

Help me. I'm drowning. In challenges. And I've no one to blame but myself. I fear there's just no hope for me. *sigh*

Okay, I knew all along that I would be joining the Non-Fiction Five again. There's a new hostess this year, our sweet friend Trish. The lovely Joy, founder of Non-Fiction Five and many other wonderful, popular challenges, stepped down as hostess to enjoy a much-deserved break. Anyway, I love, love, love this challenge! My biggest problem has been coming up with a list. I really wanted to weed it down to the required 5 books...but I'm just hopeless. I need options. I did eventually manage to weed it down so that I had just one book per category (though I suspect these labeling attempts are far from perfect).

My tentative list:
*Parasite Rex by Carl Zimmer (science)
*The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang (history)
*Fun Home by Alison Bechdel (graphic memoir)
*The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific by J. Maarte Troost (travel)
*Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, Religion, and the Battle for America's Soul by Edward Humes (current events)
*Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (diary)
*The Hot Zone by Richard Preston (medicine)
*Zodiac by Robert Graysmith (true crime)
*College-Prep Homeschooling: Your Complete Guide to Homeschooling through High School by David P. Byers, Ph.D. and Chandra Byers (how-to)
*Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (economics/sociology)
*Walden by Henry David Thoreau (environmental essay)


Herding Cats II. Now this challenge just sort of did a sneak attack. I didn't even have it on my radar. But yesterday when I saw that Renay was hosting this again, well, I knew I was a freakin' goner. Why? Well, for one thing Renay is so awesomely cool. (In fact, truth be told, she's so cool that she sort of scares me.) For another thing, I always regretted not joining last year...and if I didn't join this year, well, I'd likely regret that, too, wouldn't I?

This challenge is a bit's how Renay explained it:

Here are the rules Herding Cats II (April 1st, 2009 - December 31st, 2009):

1. Make a list of five books you love. Directions:

* Five. I'm as serious as a beached whale.
* All titles must be books you've read in 2007, 2008 or 2009.
* Please don't list a series; just the first book. If you really want to list a book in the middle of a series, you can, but it has to be that specific book.
* Feel free to share why you're putting the book on your list, because I am nosy.

2. Post your list:

* in your own journal, in the comments here, whatever is fine. Share the list here.
* Lists should be public (no locked entries, no logging in to view).

3. Browse the new book list. Stay a while. Read a few.

4. If you review your books, you can share the reviews. You know, if you want. No pressure. Definitely not.

So, five books I loved. Harder than I thought. Not that's it's hard to come up with five books I love, but well, I don't was just hard. But here's what I came up with:

*The Stand by Stephen King (Though I've read it several times in the past, I did read it again last year, so I hope that counts. And yes, I do realize I'm not surprising anyone who knows me with this particular choice.)
*We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda by Philip Gourevitch
*And the Band Played On: People, Politics, and the AIDS Epidemic by Randy Shilts
*Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
*The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

Ha. And if I thought that was hard...well, how am I going to feel about choosing books to read from the list everyone puts together. Will probably lead to mental breakdown of the "But I want to read them all RIGHT NOW" sort.


The Sisterhood Award. (Oh crap. I forgot to snag the button.) Anyway, two incredibly lovely ladies, Trish and Melody, passed along this award to me. And while I've adopted the policy of not passing along awards, I did want to say how much this means to me. I always wanted to have a real sister, in fact, I used to daydream about it from time to time. And when I did, my "sister" had all those wonderful traits that these two special ladies share...warmth, generosity of spirit, supportiveness, a truly kind heart. Thank you! I love you both!


And finally a wee bit of babble. Max and I read another book for dear Becky's Young Readers Challenge.

Cat, What Is That? by Tony Johnston, with paintings by Wendell Minor.

Me: So, what did you think of this one, Maxidoodle?

Max: *gives two thumbs up sign*

Me: Two thumbs up, huh?

Max: Nope. Ten thumbs up. Except some of them aren't thumbs. And ten toes up. And belly button up, too.

Me: Okay, so we've determined that this book is a winner, huh? What did you like about it?

Max: All the cats. (Said with that "Duh, Mom" exasperation that I've grown so accustomed to.)

Me: You mean all the pictures?

Max: Yep.

(Beautiful examples of what he's talking about.)

Me: And what about the words?

Max: They rhymed.

Me: They sure did. Did you like them?

Max: Well, I didn't really understand them, but I liked them anyway.

And there you have 6-year-old's opinion.


Becky said...

I was crossing my fingers that you would join this challenge and list The Stand. I started it last year but three library renewals couldn't get the job done. This time I think I'm going to try and buy it. :)

You just made my day!

Nymeth said...

lol. I love Max <3

You've just given me an idea for the Non-Fiction Five! Parasite Rex! I will totally read that.

And like Becky, I'm happy you listed The Stand for the Cats. And also We Wish to Inform You..., which I was thinking of reading for the World Citizen Challenge anyway. But now I have a double reason!

Still trying to come up with my five.. my mental list has been revised a dozen times already :P

Debi said...

I'm so predictable, aren't I? :) But you know totally made my day by saying you were going to give it another shot! Actually, you totally make my day just be being you!

Same goes for you, my dear. As in what I just told Becky about making my day by being you!

And of course you made my day by saying you might read The Stand, too...of course, it also scares me. I mean, what if you totally hate it, and then you blame me for wasting so many hours of your life!

I'm also happy to see you're excited about Parasite Rex...I have no clue why (must have been that Sapolsky essay) but I am just so eager to dig into that one! And oh my, have I told you how much Rich is absolutely loving Peeps?!!

I am so excited to see what you list for your five...I've no doubt that I will want to read all five of them!

Scrap girl said...

Debi- you have put me in a bit of dilemma now! Do I or don't I join these two challenges- they are both so tempting. I may have to sleep on it, but I fear you may get the better of me and find me joining.

Trish said...

EVERYTHING about this post made me smile. From your NFF list to trying to figure out five favorite books (impossible for me, too!) to your kind, sweet words to the conversation with Max about cats.

I SO want to read Fun Home. I think I'm going to look for that one when I hit the bookstore on the way home from work.

Kailana said...

I was looking at both of these challenges because, well, I am pretty much done all of the ones I am currently in! So, seems time to join some new ones. I am going to decide tomorrow when I have some time to think!

Debi said...

Scrap Girl,
I think the answer is "Yes, you should join these!" You might as well just become a full-fledged addict like so many of us are. :)

Aw, thank you! I'm so glad I could make you do that to me all the time. :)

Hey missy, hasn't anyone ever told you it's not nice to rub it in? ;) I'd be happy if I could say I was done with one of my challenges for this year.

Becky said...

I *did* go buy The Stand today. I was very pleased to find it in hardback for $7 at my *favorite* Recycled Books store :)

Chris said...

I love Max's review :D I'm going to start giving books "belly buttons up" instead of "thumbs up". I'm thrilled to see you're joining in for Herding Cats!!! Now I have more books to add to my list! Especially We Wish To Inform You...I'm sure it won't be a happy book, but it sounds good nonetheless!

Melody said...

More challenges! Way to go, Debi! Your list sounds good, and I can't wait to hear your thoughts on them!

Tony Johnston's book sounds so good! And Max's review further pushes me to add this onto my wishlist! LOL.

Anonymous said...

belly buttons UP!

Renay said...

Dude, I am so not scary. I am probably the opposite of scary. I just seem scary because I use so much capslock when I get excited. >.>

Meanwhile, the nonfiction on your list is tempting me, especially the Rwanda book, because John Green has mentioned it several times and I...well, I might try it.

Bookfool said...

I've read three of your nonfiction choices and they were all great.

Literary Feline said...

I am drowning right alongside you, Debi! Good luck with the nonfiction challenge. I am still wavering on whether to join that one or not. Maybe if Trish tries to twist my arm . . .

I am really interested in reading some of those on your list, especially The Rape of Nanking. I hear it's really good. I read Mo Hayder's book called The Devil of Nanking (or Tokyo) awhile ago and it got me interested in that particular historical tragedy.

The Herding Cats Challenge sounds interesting. I haven't read any of your favorites, but they all sound like ones I'd be interested in giving a try.

I love your conversation with Max! :-)

Kailana said...

oops.... Maybe that came across rude. Sorry! Totally was not my intention!

Debi said...

No, no, no...I was kidding!!!! You didn't sound rude at all!

Debi said...

Literary Feline,
You really should join! Come on, you know you want to! I'm going to go tell Trish to twist your arm if you don't. :)

Now that was quite the tease! Which ones did you read? I obviously can't weed things down myself, so help is greatly appreciated. :)

Seriously, I hope you didn't take the scary comment the wrong just are so awesomely cool, you know? :)

Quite the image, huh?

He's got a way with words, doesn't he? ;)

No, definitely not happy, but definitely one of the best, most powerful books I've ever read!


Susan said...

I love The Stand! Yaay! I joined last year and didn't finish it - I think....I can't remember now. As we are not going away for Christmas this year, it should be easier to remember the challenges i am in and wrap them up! lol actually, I just love the name, Herding Cats :-D

Jean said...

I always wanted a sister, too, Debi, not that my brother isn't a nice person and all. Maybe I'll start calling you my virtual (as in computer-land) sister instead of my cousin-in-law! And I'll see about posting the answer to the green liquid in bottle question soon.