January – What I’m Reading

Here’s what’s on the reading list right now:

Kevin Crossley-Holland The Norse Myths – in this introductory text on Norse Mythology, Crossley-Holland combines myth retellings with strong scholarship on the original texts for each myths. This book is extremely readable, and I love flipping back and forth between the myth retelling and the scholarly notes on each myth (which includes the original texts the myth is derived from, and any modifications that C-H made, as well as alternate ways of telling the myth).

Seanan McGuire Rosemary and Rue – Haven’t started this yet. This is the first book in the October Daye series. If it’s as good as her InCryptid series, I’ll be thrilled. I’ve been saving the second book of that series for later in the year.

Jim C Hines Libriomancer – Another book I’ve purchased but haven’t started. Magic and books, what could be better? Oh, also a fire spider. I am looking forward to the fire spider. This is the first in another series (the second book has been published already). I loved The Stepsister Scheme, so I’m hoping I will like this one as well.

J. K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – listening on audio book. This is month 4 of the Harry Potter re-read I’m doing with Tami and her blog readers. (I haven’t actually finished Prisoner of Azkaban yet, but I’m almost done)

Diana Paxson Tranceportation – a book on meditative trance. This was recommended to me when I mentioned that I do a lot of meditation and was looking for some different ways to approach it (since “blank mind” meditation is hard, especially with anxiety issues). I’m about two chapters in, and it’s interesting so far. Supposedly there are guided exercises later in the book.

Book Update

Since my last book update, I have finished Diet for a Dead Planet (Christopher D Cook) and The Consumer’s Guide for Effective Environmental Choices (The Union of Concerned Scientists), gotten halfway through Redwall, and read The Last Little Cat.

I highly recommend Diet for a Dead Planet to anyone who wants to read about the human costs to the current agricultural system – not so much as a condemnation (which it is) but also as a history of how the system actually developed, both industrially and politically. It’s written in such a way as to be easy to read in small chunks, and it was my bedtime reading book for awhile. Cook also does a great job of endnoting his work, so anything that seems outrageous can be fact-checked – something I did a few times.

The Consumer’s Guide was pretty dry but good to read, since it actually takes SCIENCE to the idea behind “greening” your everyday decisions. Especially in light of this week being Earth Day (more on that later this week), it’s nice to read something that says “these things actually make a difference, but those things really don’t”. For example, choosing to buy an energy efficient refrigerator is a much more important decision than whether you use plastic or paper grocery bags. They line up their scientific method and have a large section of data and analysis in the back of the book to support their findings as well. (Not surprising, given the authors.) Unfortunately, it’s about 10 years old, so it’s not as up to date as it could be, and a lot of the progress they see as possible hasn’t come about yet.

I have given up on the Dalai Lama’s book for now, mostly because it is a little too thinky for me right now. I’ve put off most of the other books for another time.

Instead, on my reading list, I have:

  • Bunnicula and The Celery Stalks at Midnight, by James Howe
  • The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan
  • The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels, by Ree Drummond
  • Beezus and Ramona, by Beverly Cleary
  • The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan
  • A Garden Book for Houston and the Texas Gulf Coast, by the River Oaks Garden Club, and Houston Garden Book, by John Kriegel

Plus, of course, finishing Redwall and whatever other Brian Jacques books I can track down at work. Hopefully this will be a good continuation of both fun reading that I’ll enjoy and reading that will feed my brain (pun intended) as I research and study various things about our food industry and about my local gardening climate.

Also, for what it’s worth, those books at the top of this post are the first books I’ve actually finished since all this started last year. *\o/*