Blog Posts

Some thoughts on Hidden Figures, the movie

I just returned from watching Hidden Figures, and I have some thoughts! Going to try to keep this short (I’m tired), but this is more than 140 characters, and I don’t like threads. That’s what blog posts are for. Also, I already reviewed the book, so read that…

Reading goals for 2017

Now that I’ve discussed my favourite books from last year, here’s what is in store for this year, hopefully. I’m not a super organized reader. I know some people make lists of what they are going to read, keep calendars of upcoming releases they want to buy, etc. I…

Best Books of 2016

Oh hey, it’s a new year. I usually do a round-up of my best 10 (and worst 10) books of the year and post it as a list. I’m fairly proud of the lists area of my site, but I also have ambitions to do a little overhauling this year,…

What are your blindspots?

I’ve been reading Hidden Figures, in anticipation of the movie coming out next week. It’s a fantastic book, and I already have so much I want to say in the review. This is one topic that would be too much of a digression, so I’ve spun it out into…

Sharing the knitting knowledge

Today I showed someone how to long-tail cast on, and I can’t help but feel like I did a good thing for the world. I was working in the evening at the gallery, and had just taken the vacuum cleaner out. Winter is upon us, which means people track…

Currently Reading

Book Reviews

Tales of Nevèrÿon cover image

If you have read any Samuel R. Delany, you know he is a complex dude, and even his simplest stories are complex in some way. Tales of Nevèrÿon is no exception. Largely branded sword-and-sorcery, it’s actually an attempt to deconstruct this subgenre and provide commentary on the relationship between capitalism and slavery. And, for bonus points, if you read closely enough you start to see patterns and echoes from some of his other work, including Triton and Dhalgren .

I picked up what…

Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World cover image

I suppose I should start with one of those disclaimers about how I received a free electronic copy of this from NetGalley and Algonquin Young Readers. However, I also preordered two hard copies with my own money (OK, someone else’s money in gift card form) even before that request was approved. But why wait a whole three weeks when I could read it earlier than that? That’s how excited I am for Here We Are: 44 Voices Write, Draw, and Speak About Feminism for the Real World. It turns out that this…

Soulmates

Holly Bourne

Soulmates cover image

Last year I picked up my first Holly Bourne book with Am I Normal Yet? . I had been hearing so much about Bourne and her Spinster Club trilogy from people I follow on Twitter and YouTube that I ordered all of her books—yes, all of them—on faith. I deliberately deferred her debut, Soulmates. Not only did I want to see what all the fuss around the Spinster Club was about, but I know that debut novels are often not representative of an author’s full talents. Nevertheless, I still wanted to tackle…

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race cover image

No, but seriously, did you expect anything less of a rating from me? This book is kickass. It is literally everything I have wanted in a science history book for a while.

Hidden Figures details the lives and achievements of the Black women who worked first as computers, then as mathematicians and engineers, for NACA (the National Advisory Committee of Aeronautics) and its successor, NASA. Margot Lee Shetterly pulls back the curtain on an aspect of science history that has remained obscured and…

A Room with a View cover image

This is a tough one, because I’m feeling pretty conflicted about A Room with a View. On one hand, I’m pretty sure I didn’t like it—despite being only 220ish pages, it took me a long time to read, because I kept putting it down and looking for other, more interesting things to distract me. On the other hand, this is not a bad or poorly-written book. I can see what E.M. Forster is trying to do; I have seen other writers tell similar stories and knock my socks off. So what do George Eliot or Thomas…

The Hatred of Poetry cover image

It’s with no regret, but some shame, that I admit I’m not a fan of poetry, and that I actively avoid teaching it. I use poems in my classes, when we’re talking about other subjects. But I avoid teaching the mechanics and technique of poetry, analyzing the metre and rhythm, looking into the intricacies of imagery and similes and repetition. I do this largely because, as a reader, I am not comfortable with poetry, and that translates then into my teaching.

I avoid poetry for the same reason I avoid…