Learning and Exploring

What I Read the Last 7 Months of 2022

Rereads

My Man Jeeves; Carry On, Jeeves; Thank You, Jeeves; Right Ho, Jeeves; The Mating Season; Ring for Jeeves; Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit. Y’all know I think these are great.

New to Me Fiction

Anna Karenina. I was pleased with myself for reading this. I actually semi-enjoyed it. I was fed up with Levin’s philosophizing by the end. Those last 20 plus pages about killed me. I definitely prefer Tolstoy to Dostoevsky. I clearly didn’t get to War and Peace, but I’m hoping to this year.

Remembering and A World Lost Wendell Berry. I’m trying to read all Berry’s work. These weren’t my favs.

Quartet in Autumn, Excellent Women, Crampton Hodnet, No Fond Return of Love, Jane and Prudence, Civil to Strangers: And Other Writings by Barbara Pym. I searched “autumn” in the Libby app and that got my started on my Barbara Pym

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh. Cute but rather to sad for me.

The Eight Mountains by Paolo Cognetti. Interesting but depressing.

This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki. Eh.

Nonfiction

The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero. Absolutely fascinating, highly recommend. In following this unique man’s history, you get some Irish history, a tiny bit of Australian history, and some U.S. history.

This Is Your Brain on Birth Control: The Surprising Science of Women, Hormones, and the Law of Unintended Consequences by Sarah E. Hill. Here is my Goodreads review:

“I liked the information presented in chapters 1-8. I think all women (and men) could stand to learn how hormones affect our bodies and lives. However, like other commenters, her stance is way too deterministic and limited. We aren’t just our hormones. We aren’t just our bodies to me. Read it to better inform yourself with a grain of salt since 1) This hasn’t been studied enough and 2) She’s not in the medical field (which I somehow missed while reading) and while to dismiss her for that reason is a fallacy, she doesn’t have practical working knowledge of these fields, she’s working from studies which I don’t think is a strong position to have adequate knowledge to understand the studies and interpret their data well. However, since we are limited in our books on women’s health and anatomy and physiology from the medical [perspective], I still recommend the book for these chapters until we can get better options.

A few other notes. She seemed to rather idolize the pill which caused her to omit pertinent information such as the usage of birth control types and percentages, data which does exist. This leads to her to make grand generalizations and assumptions which get worse in the later chapters. These chapters I just skipped, she started in on a political, personal opinion/paradigm schtick riddled with fallacies and jumping to conclusions and ignoring sociological/demographical data.”

A few notes now. I was leery of the pill from what I’ve heard of other women’s stories combined with my mental health during puberty. I still almost started it, I got a prescription and then never took it even though I had a slight sense of being histrionic. Turns out, no, I wasn’t since I took supplemental melatonin (a hormone!) which triggered a mental health episode, so just be very careful if you’ve had any history of hormonal caused mental health issues, if you are going to use the pill make sure you have everything set up with your doctor and a psychiatrist in case it doesn’t go well.

Also, I’m quite a bit fed up with people and pop culture throwing around inaccurate information. These stats are important:

Usage of the major forms of birth control (14% is the pill)

Effectiveness of birth control methods (medical source!)

Aerobics Program For Total Well-Being: Exercise, Diet, And Emotional Balance by Kenneth H. Cooper. This is a very old book, so the full fatal dangers of smoking are missing. It’s also written for men, so I’m not sure what the points would be for women. If you fill that in mentally, or ignore the smoking parts it is great!!! I read this shortly after a sobering doctor’s visit in June. I also started running and working on my diet. Several things went into this, mainly the doctor’s visit, but I’m sure the book helped a little. I think I want my own copy.

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