A large part of the appeal of independent bookstores is their ability to carry and promote books that you don’t see everywhere else. These two books have little in common other than that; I picked them up at my local indie bookstore because they looked wildly different. The Maids and The News lived up to that promise.
I try to write in this space about books I have enjoyed, books I’d be happy to hand to you if we ran into each other on the street or if you walked into my classroom. I don’t see the point of trashing other people’s hard work, and if I truly hate something, I won’t write about it. I will write about books I have reservations about, and I try to articulate them as clearly as possible. I wasn’t sure when I finished this book whether I should write about it or not. I did not hate it, but neither can I really recommend it. I felt very conflicted about it, but after searching online and finding only positive reviews, I felt like I had an obligation to put out what I hope is a more nuanced take. In other words, what I wish I had read before shelling out money for this book. So here you are, a review for Ars Botanica. It is wordy, because I want to be fair to the author and to you readers as well.
For my birthday back in March, my husband bought me tickets to see Trevor Noah perform live. It was so far in the future that I tried to forget about it until last weekend when we finally got to go. And I will say if you get the chance to see him on tour, go. He was amazing – funny and intelligent and challenging and just fabulous. If that’s not in the cards, you can pick up his new memoir, Born a Crime. And yes, of course I read it before I went. Embrace the nerd, people. Continue reading
We went to the dentist this week and the hygienist explained plaque to my children as “bad bugs on your teeth.” My children looked confused both because of the image they had of their teeth crawling with insects, and because I had been lecturing them at length about this book, I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life. I know that the hygienist was trying to simplify for the kids, but they were so confused we had to have a long chat after in the car. If you want to learn more about the fascinating world of microbiology, read on. Continue reading