(k) The 16 books I read in 2019 :)


(k) The 16 books I read in 2019 🙂
Only counting books I read (or soon-ish will have read) in their entirety…
Faves: 13
Best: "Enlightenment now: The case for reason, science, humanism, and progress" by Steven Pinker! 😀 Even though I haven’t finished it yet.
Below are starting dates, titles, authors, and some quotes / comments that I could think of. :p Hopefully I have not typo-ed up the quotes too badly.


1-Feb-2019: 1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Fave! And a re-read.


7-Feb-2019: 2. Becoming by Michelle Obama

"If this were an American Dream story, Dandy, who arrived in Chicago in the early 1930s, would have found a good job and a pathway to college. But the reality was far different. Jobs were hard to come by, limited at least somewhat by the fact that managers at some of the big factories in Chicago regularly hired European immigrants over African American workers. Dandy took what work he could find, setting pins in a bowling alley and freelancing as a handyman. Gradually, he downgraded his hopes, letting go of the idea of college, thinking he’d train to become an electrician instead. But this, too, was quickly thwarted. If you wanted to work as an electrician (or as a steelworker, carpenter, or plumber, for that matter) on any of the big job sites in Chicago, you needed a union card. And if you were black, the overwhelming odds were that you weren’t going to get one.
This particular form of discrimination altered the destinies of generations of African Americans, including many of the men in my family, limiting their income, their opportunity, and, eventually, their aspirations. As a carpenter, Southside wasn’t allowed to work for the larger construction firms that offered steady pay on long-term projects, given that he couldn’t join a labor union. My great-uncle Terry, Robbie’s husband, had abandoned a career as a plumber for the same reason, instead becoming a Pullman porter. There was also Uncle Pete, on my mother’s side, who’d been unable to join the taxi drivers’ union and instead turned to driving an unlicensed jitney, picking up customers who lived in the less safe parts of the West Side, where normal cabs didn’t like to go. These were highly intelligent, able-bodied men who were denied access to stable high-paying jobs, which in turn kept them from being able to buy homes, send their kids to college, or save for retirement. It pained them, I know, to be cast aside, to be stuck in jobs that they were overqualified for, to watch white people leapfrog past them at work, sometimes training new employees they knew might one day become their bosses. And it bred within each of them at least a basic level of resentment and mistrust: You never quite knew what other folks saw you to be."

"Exactly on cue, something massive came around the corner: a snaking, vehicular army that included a phalanx of police cars and motorcycles, a number of black SUVs, two armored limousines with American flags mounted on their hoods, a hazmat mitigation truck, a counterassault team riding with machine guns visible, an ambulance, a signals truck equipped to detect incoming projectiles, several passenger vans, and another group of police escorts. The presidential motorcade. It was at least twenty vehicles long, moving in orchestrated formation, car after car after car, before finally the whole fleet rolled to a quiet halt /. . ./
I took in the spectacle: thousands and thousands of pounds of metal, a squad of commandos, bulletproof everything. I had yet to grasp that Barack’s protection was still only half-visible. I didn’t know that he’d also, at all times, have a nearby helicopter ready to evacuate him, that sharpshooters would position themselves on rooftops along the routes he traveled, that a personal physician would always be with him in case of a medical problem, or that the vehicle he rode in contained a store of blood of the appropriate type in case he ever needed a transfusion. In a matter of weeks, just ahead of Barack’s inauguration, the presidential limo would be upgraded to a newer model – aptly named the Beast – a seven-ton tank disguised as a luxury vehicle, tricked out with hidden tear-gas cannons, rupture-proof tires, and a sealed ventilation system meant to get him through a biological or chemical attack."

"Three times over the course of the fall of 2011, Barack proposed bills that would create thousands of jobs for Americans, in part by giving states money to hire more teachers and first responders. Three times the Republicans blocked them, never even allowing a vote.
‘The single most important thing we want to achieve,’ the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, had declared to a reporter a year earlier, laying out his party’s goals, ‘is for President Obama to be a one-term president.’ It was that simple. The Republican Congress was devoted to Barack’s failure above all else. It seemed they weren’t prioritizing the governance of the country or the fact that people needed jobs. Their own power came first."


26-Feb-2019: 3. The silkworm by Robert Galbraith (a pseudonym 😀 )


24-Mar-2019: 4. The plains of passage by Jean M. Auel
Fave! And a re-read, although this was the first time I read it in English.

"The entire vast delta was an extravagant, ostentatious demonstration of natural abundance; a wealth of life flaunted without shame. Unspoiled, undamaged, ruled by her own natural law and subject only to her own will – and the great void whence she sprang – the great Mother Earth took pleasure in creating and sustaining life in all its prolific diversity. But pillaged by a plundering dominion, raped of her resources, despoiled by unchecked pollution, and befouled by excess and corruption, her fecund ability to create and sustain could be undone.
Though rendered sterile by destructive subjugation, her great productive fertility exhausted, the final irony would still be hers. Even barren and stripped, the destitute mother possessed the power to destroy what she had wrought. Dominion cannot be imposed; her riches cannot be taken without seeking her consent, wooing her cooperation, and respecting her needs. Her will to life cannot be suppressed without paying the ultimate penalty. Without her, the presumptuous life she created could not survive."
Heehee. :B


28-Apr-2019: 5. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Fave! And a re-read.


9-May-2019: 6. Fire and fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff
Fave! Juicy. Trump’s incompetence, ignorance, and incoherence reminds me of me. D: But then, I’m not trying to be president. -_-

"All were larger-than-life American characters doing battle with conformity and modernity, relishing ways to violate liberal sensibilities."
Me in margin: "I relish ways to violate right-wing sensibilities."

"Some seducers are preternaturally sensitive to the signals of those they try to seduce; others indiscriminately attempt to seduce, and, by the law of averages, often succeed (this latter group of men might now be regarded as harassers). That was Trump’s approach to women – pleased when he scored, unconcerned when he didn’t (and, often, despite the evidence, believing that he had). And so it was with Director Comey.
In their several meetings since he took office – when Comey received a presidential hug on January 22; at their dinner on January 27, during which Comey was asked to stay on as FBI director; at their Valentine’s Day chat after emptying the office of everybody else, including Sessions, Comey’s titular boss – Trump was confident that he had laid on the moves. The president was all but certain that Comey, understanding that he, Trump, had his back (i.e., had let him keep his job), would have Trump’s back, too.
But now this testimony. It made no sense. What did make sense to Trump was that Comey wanted it to be about him. He was a media whore – this Trump understood. All right, then, he, too, could play it this way."


20-Jun-2019: 7. The choice by Edith Eger


26-Jun-2019: 8. A brief history of everyone who ever lived: The stories in our genes by Adam Rutherford

"All scientists think that their field is the one that is least well represented in the media, but I’m a scientist and a writer, and I believe that human genetics stands out above all else as one destined to be misunderstood, I think because we are culturally programmed to misunderstand it."

"Bones discovered in La Chapelle-aux-Saints in 1908 were the ones that gave rise to the stereotype of a hunched caveman oaf. In the 1980s, much more forensic analysis by Eric Trinkaus showed that this was a forty-year-old man hunched because of osteoarthritis, not because that’s how they all stood."

"The amount of introgression from Neanderthals is proportionally lower on the modern X than on the rest of the chromosomes. X chromosomes are only passed on by males half of the time because we also have a Y, but all of the time by women, who have two Xs. The observation that there is less Neanderthal DNA on our Xs implies that the first encounters we had with them that resulted in procreation were male Neanderthals with female Homo sapiens."
Me in margin: "Maybe Neanderthal women were too strong for Homo sapiens men to rape! :O "

"[Joseph Chang] concluded in 2003 that the most recent common ancestor of everyone alive today on Earth lived only around 3,400 years ago. /. . ./ When Chang factored in new, highly conservative variables, such as reducing the number of migrants across the Bering Straits to one person every ten generations, the age of the most recent common ancestor of everyone alive went up to 3,600 years ago."


15-Jul-2019: 9. Skinn Skerping, hemskast av alla spöken i Småland by Astrid Lindgren


16-Jul-2019: 10. Spelar min lind sjunger min näktergal by Astrid Lindgren


26-Jul-2019: 11. Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Fave! And a re-read.


23-Aug-2019: 12. Utopia for realists by Rutger Bregman
Fave! About basic income and stuff. I have been sporadically spamming the Internet with an article titled "Why we should give free money to everyone" – turns out it also became one of the chapters in this book! RTFA! 😀

"Remember: those who called for the abolition of slavery, for suffrage of women, and for same-sex marriage were also once branded lunatics. Until history proved them right."

The book includes a quote by Oscar Wilde: "Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do."


19-Sep-2019: 13. Factfulness: Ten reasons we’re wrong about the world – and why things are better than you think by Hans Rosling

"Think of the world as a premature baby in an incubator. The baby’s health status is extremely bad and her breathing, heart rate, and other important signs are tracked constantly so that changes for better or worse can quickly be seen. After a week, she is getting a lot better. On all the main measures, she is improving, but she still has to stay in the incubator because her health is still critical. Does it make sense to say that the infant’s situation is improving? Yes. Absolutely. Does it make sense to say it is bad? Yes, absolutely. Does saying "things are improving" imply that everything is fine, and we should all relax and not worry? No, not at all. Is it helpful to have to choose between bad and improving? Definitely not. It’s both. It’s both bad and better. Better, and bad, at the same time.
That is how we must think about the current state of the world."


21-Sep-2019: 14. Badger’s parting gifts by Susan Varley
Fave! And a re-read.


9-Oct-2019: 15. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling
Fave! And a re-read.


1-Nov-2019: 16. Enlightenment now: The case for reason, science, humanism, and progress by Steven Pinker
Fave! I haven’t finished it yet, though.

”The financial writer Morgan Hausel has observed that while pessimists sound like they’re trying to help you, optimists sound like they’re trying to sell you something. Whenever someone offers a solution to a problem, critics will be quick to point out that it is not a panacea, a silver bullet, a magic bullet, or a one-size-fits-all solution; it’s just a Band Aid or a quick technological fix that fails to get at the root causes and will blow back with side effects and unintended consequences. Of course, since nothing is a panacea and everything has side effects (you can’t do just one thing), these common tropes are little more than a refusal to entertain the possibility that anything can ever be improved.”

"The first fallacy is a confusion of intelligence with motivation – of beliefs with desires, inferences with goals, thinking with wanting. Even if we did invent superhumanly intelligent robots, why would they want to enslave their masters or take over the world? Intelligence is the ability to deploy novel means to attain a goal. But the goals are extraneous to the intelligence: being smart is not the same as wanting something. It just so happens that the intelligence in one system, Homo sapiens, is a product of Darwinian natural selection, an inherently competitive process. In the brains of that species, reasoning comes bundled (to varying degrees in different specimens) with goals such as dominating rivals and amassing resources. But it’s a mistake to confuse a circuit in the limbic brain of a certain species of primate with the very nature of intelligence. An artificially intelligent system that was designed rather than evolved could just as easily think like shmoos, the blobby altruists in Al Capp’s comic strip Li’l Abner, who deploy their considerable ingenuity to barbecue themselves for the benefit of human eaters. There is no law of complex systems that says that intelligent agents must turn into ruthless conquistadors. Indeed, we know of one highly advanced form of intelligence that evolved without this defect. They’re called women."
*sips tea*

Vegan FAQ! 🙂

The Web Site the Meat Industry Doesn’t Want You to See.

Please watch Earthlings.
By ratexla (protected by Pixsy) on 2019-12-31 20:51:23
tags{articles|100|campaign}Skin Like Mine | Books that Celebrate Diversity and Inclusion | Clark's Cozy Corner

Skin Like Mine by Latashia M. Perry | Clark’s Cozy Corner

This book is an excellent book that celebrates the different shades of our skin and reminds us we are all unique! Your skin might not be like mine and my skin might not be like yours! We are ALL BEAUTIFUL!

To add this awesome read aloud to your home library and to check out other amazing books by Latashia M. Perry please visit

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