Category Archives: Reading Challenges

Nonfiction November – I Am Malala Discussion

Nonfiction November 2015

I’m super excited to be participating in Nonfiction November again this year. Last year, I read some great books that I would have otherwise never picked up, so I’m thankful that this event exists to expand my knowledge base. Week 2 is hosted by Katie over at Doing Dewey, where we are discussing this year’s official read-along book, I am Malala.

What did you think of the tone and style in which I Am Malala was written?

I wasn’t a huge fan, to be honest. You can definitely see Malala’s voice coming through, and it’s definitely the sort of writing one would expect from a teenager. Lots of rambling thoughts and some disjointed paragraphs. Not necessarily bad, just not my style.

What did you think of the political commentary in the book?

I enjoyed the political commentary – I’ve read several things lately that have helped to educate me as to the true nature of American politics. More and more I’m finding myself outraged at how we think we can play God with many of the world’s countries. Setting up regimes that depend on us, maneuvering trade deals that are favorable towards us, interfering in other countries against the will of their populations. I think it is despicable when political motivations take precedence over human rights and dignities.

Did anything particularly surprise you about Malala’s daily life or culture?

I was a little bit astonished at how they lack some of what we would call the basic necessities of life in some cases (running water, electricity), but have access to thoroughly modern and American products. It’s an interesting juxtaposition.

Do you think you would act similarly to Malala in her situation? If you were her parents, would you let her continue to be an activist despite possible danger?

I hope I would make a similar stand. And as a parent, I’m not sure. I hope that I would be willing to make those sacrifices and teach those lessons, but at the same time, I would be worried about the very real dangers.

What did you think of the book overall?

It wasn’t my favorite book ever, but I believe that it is undeniably important. I believe that stories like this one must be told. We all have a story and we all have a role to play – building each other up and getting behind worth causes is a great way to change the world! So in that aspect, this book is very appealing and very important.

 

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Filed under Doing Dewey's Nonfiction Book Club, Reading Challenges

Nonfiction November – Book Pairings

Nonfiction November 2015

I’m super excited to be participating in Nonfiction November again this year. Last year, I read some great books that I would have otherwise never picked up, so I’m thankful that this event exists to expand my knowledge base. Week 2 is hosted by Leslie over at Regular Rumination, who asks readers to create book pairings (nonfiction/fiction, nonfiction/nonfiction, etc.) that go really well together.

You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) Like This Read That The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss

I feel like Felicia Day and Dahlia Moss could be the same person. They’ll both admit that they’re a little awkward, they both get a little addicted to online gaming, and they both like conventions. Also, geeky-themed clothing. The only difference is that Dahlia Moss is a fictional character trying to solve a murder.

Displacement: A Travelogue Like This Read That Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?

Both are graphic novels that deal with aging and mortality, albeit in a slightly different manner. Displacement is Lucy Knisley’s story of chaperoning her grandparents on a cruise, with all the worries and hijinks that ensue. Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? is all about denial, in addition to highlighting the importance of spending time with aging parents.

The State of Play: Creators and Critics on Video Game Culture Like This Read That Ready Player One

Video games and their impact on society. The State of Play is a collection of essays concerning feminism, race relations, and game culture. Ready Player One is the ultimate video game scavenger hunt and love letter to the 80s. Both are really, really good.

That’s it for this week. Off to read more nonfiction!

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Filed under Jancee's Thoughts, Readers' Advisory, Reading Challenges

Nonfiction November – My Year In Nonfiction

Nonfiction November 2015

I’m super excited to be participating in Nonfiction November again this year. Last year, I read some great books that I would have otherwise never picked up, so I’m thankful that this event exists to expand my knowledge base. Week 1 is hosted by Kim over at Sophisticated Dorkiness and focuses on the reader’s year in nonfiction.

Your Year in Nonfiction: Take a look back at your year of nonfiction and reflect on the following questions – What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year? What nonfiction book have you recommended the most? What is one topic or type of nonfiction you haven’t read enough of yet? What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?

When I went through my Goodreads list to count up my nonfiction reads for the year, I was simultaneously impressed and disappointed. Does that make sense? Yes, 10.5% of my reads were nonfiction, so that’s cool. But the quality and type of nonfiction that I’m reading doesn’t impress me at all. And I could have sworn that I was doing better this year. So keep in mind as I answer these questions that I read a lot of pop culture/kidlit/YA nonfiction this year.

What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year?

Looking back, I have two that I really loved. Mary Roach’s Packing for Mars, which I read as part of Katie’s nonfiction book club, was a super fantastic look at all things space and being an astronaut. It made the job seem way less glamorous that we tend to think about it, while really piquing my interest in topics I had never considered. I also loved Felicia Day’s You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) because Felicia Day is a really big deal in geek girl society. I love The Guild and pretty much everything on the Geek and Sundry channel, so of course I was going to read it.

What nonfiction book have you recommended the most?

Definitely You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost). It’s fun and funny and heartfelt. And then I wrote this post about my love for the book and my admiration for Felicia Day, which she then retweeted, so there’s that.

What is one topic or type of nonfiction you haven’t read enough of yet?

Probably memoirs. I just don’t like them all that much, except when it’s someone I really admire. Even then, I have to make myself pick up the book sometimes. I don’t know why. I like history and science and narrative nonfiction much more. So no, I haven’t read many of the celebrity memoirs that are so hot right now. Yes, I know I need to.

What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?

Like last year, I simply want to expand my horizons, get out of my comfort zone, and find some great books. It’s nice to have a month to focus on something that I normally wouldn’t pay a ton of attention to the rest of the year, even though I try.

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Filed under Jancee's Thoughts, Reading Challenges