Uprooted by Naomi Novik

The second book I’m reading for the Bout of Books Readathon is fiction.  Below is a brief intro to the book (Thanks to Goodreads) as well as my reading progress so far. I usually read this book in bed before going to sleep so I’ve made less headway. 

A fantastical Beauty and the Beast type tale—widely accessible and sure to appeal to a broad audience of all ages.

Legions of fans around the world have fallen in love with the brilliantly imagined, compulsively readable novels of Naomi Novik. Now, in this magnificent new standalone, Novik pens a bold fantasy with all the charm and wonder of a dark fairy tale for the modern age.

Reading Progress

Started on page 97

Day 1 Read to page 100

Day 2 did not read

Day 3 read to page 109


Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries

I typically read up to 3 books at any time – a fiction, a nonfiction, and an ebook. Instead of starting new books for the Bout of Books Readathon, I have been plowing through the books I’m already reading. Below is a synopsis for the ebook I’m nerding over, followed by my daily reading progress (as a percentage measurement rather than page numbers). Check back to see where I’m at!

Ebook: Word by Word – The Secret Life of Dictionaries / Kory Stamper

Many of us take dictionaries for granted, and few may realize that the process of writing dictionaries is, in fact, as lively and dynamic as language itself. With sharp wit and irreverence, Kory Stamper cracks open the complex, obsessive world of lexicography, from the agonizing decisions about what to define and how to do it, to the knotty questions of usage in an ever-changing language. She explains why small words are the most difficult to define, how it can take nine months to define a single word, and how our biases about language and pronunciation can have tremendous social influence. And along the way, she reveals little-known surprises–for example, the fact that “OMG” was first used in a letter to Winston Churchill in 1917.

Reading Progress: Started at 31%

Day 1 read to 34%

Day 2 read to 43%

Day 3 read to 51%

Who Reads This Anyway?

I realise the words I write on here are mostly for myself. A way to express my thoughts to “the world” the “you” in that sort of abstract way where I assume everyone wants to know what’s going on in my head. Of course they do, it’s me!

Photo by Alexa Mazzarello on Unsplash

But everybody who writes thinks the same thing. We all think our ideas are the most important, and we want to accumulate all those hits and likes and comments to validate us and boost our confidence. I’ve been to writing groups that tout themselves as “critique” but then spend the whole time basically congratulating each other and stroking each other’s egos.

We’re important because we write. We’re important because we share our ideas and we publish them. But once in awhile, people actually read what we write. We don’t always think about the reader who will eventually interpret what we say, who will try to make sense of our ramblings, and who will judge everything more harshly than our writer friends.

But I have ideas and they’re important. Because they’re mine. At the same time, I hope I can find people who are interested in the same things that I am. That’s actually the end goal here. If you find something here you find interesting, don’t just “like” it. Start a conversation. Interact directly. Comment and argue and tell me what YOU think. Because I like to think I’m not alone, but some days it feels like I am.




Bout of Books Read-a-Thon Aug 21-27

If you like to read A LOT and appreciate a challenge, join a read-a-thon. I didn’t know such a thing even existed until today, but it sounds pretty awesome, esp. because I already read all the time. The goal is to read as much as you possibly can within a week and update your reading progress as well as interact with other people who are also doing the challenge. There are some prizes available, but it’s really about the experience. Now the question is, which books should I read? My shelves are full and I’ve even got some library books hanging out so there’s no shortage of material.

Photo by Aris Sfakianakis on Unsplash

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 21st and runs through Sunday, August 27th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 20 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.



The Longest Post Ever

Do you believe any human to be subhuman?

I’m legitimately curious, not really trying to start a debate or anything.

Maybe Nazis are still humans or are they pure evil?

If you defend Nazis and racists go fuck yourself

Only the pertinent man will pass as white

Runaway slaves found freedom. They didn’t back out.

Now I seem to be missing some people on my friends list.


P. S. I’m all for toppling statues of historical scum bags

The only thing I find troublesome about taking down statues is a removal of history

I’ve tried so many kinds of angry protest

In this world, especially in light of recent events

I’m glad I’ve missed the news the past few days

These ideas will have me breaking through walls, left, right and center

It’s dangerous to go alone… take this!


I wonder, does Trump ever look at things and say, “What have I done?” or is he just that stupid

Friends, I’m gonna tell ya what the soldier told me: if you’re going on a mission

Practice shooting, or maybe we should just impeach him



Somehow injured my tailbone to the point of immobility

It’s been 5 years since I dodged the reaper

Also today, I had to call 911 on the way to my doctor’s appointment

Sometimes volcanically angry young women are reduced to invalids

What would you recommend to a family member with esophageal cancer… and diabetes….

And heart disease… to help boost the healing process

To start feeling better?


I like knowing that some people will remember me as the girl who yelled at them for eating

I bought a can opener and found a pic I think I actually look good in

As a white-passing, multi-racial woman of color, I have always occupied a very weird space

I am the woman dressed in something that comes above the knees or elbows

But Im having a Sun King Dragon’s Delight to celebrate surviving

I want watermelons

I asked for a big water with my beer, the waitress did not disappoint



We ate “hate cake” at a “traditional marriage rally” and now

Timothy and I have some big news to share with everyone

We’ve been building a baby’s dresser

When my 10 yr old boy asked for a phone case with the glitter liquid and pink

I asked him, “Are you sure you want THAT one?”


I’d rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we’re going to make it count

There are few things better than wide-mouthed slobbery baby kisses


I officially have the apartment to myself for the next week

Home alone for the next few days

Every pair of socks I own are cleaned, folded, and put away



Well son of a fuck man

Who could only grunt, shriek, or scream

America is so gridlocked with fuckery

Going according to plan, we just walked into an ambush

For real though, let’s put aside all the terrible shit going on and realise…

Our demise is just one panic attack away


When something troubles me I’m the type of person who needs to talk about it

We were both feeling stressed

At twenty-eight, I snitch all the time. Everyone will know your secrets.

The things we’ve seen are just so “weird”

I couldn’t believe the “truth” until I knew it myself…WOW


Then we drove through two states

We caravaned to Indianapolis, a day trip to see the sunflowers

We needed a pilgrimage



Art Garfunkel has a M. A. in mathematics

JFK seldom talked about his sister Rosemary Kennedy, who was a bubbly champagne

Today’s got me thinking about how Harriet Tubman carried a pistol and how

Kim K said she is naïve about racism


So many things I want to say right now but would make this the longest post ever

Rainbow on Lake Michigan


Note: This is a Facebook poem – I grab statuses from my friends on any given day and try to take the heartbeat of social media. This post is from August 16, 2017.

Lagerszpracha: The Common Language of Concentration Camps

For prisoners held at concentration camps during World War II, a new language called lagerszpracha arose from necessity. In many camps, there were prisoners of up to forty different nationalities, many of whom spoke different languages. It became increasingly apparent that they would need to use a more familiar common language (also known as a lingua franca to us word nerds).

This language became lagerszpracha, also refereed to as lagerjargon or, rather morbidly, crematorium Esperanto. The official language of the camps was still German, but prisoners used lagerszpracha to communicate among themselves, particularly because using their native language was forbidden.

There were different varieties of lagerszpracha, which was created primarily out of Polish, Yiddish, Hungarian and Silesian dialects, as well as other languages spoken in the given camp. These differences were observed not only between camps but also between the language used in men’s and women’s camps.

Below is a book I am currently reading, which briefly mentioned lagerzspracha and made me curious to investigate more:




Interpreting in Nazi Concentration Camps

Bread & Butter

When I was kid, my mom and I would often walk on either side of a pole and then say “bread and butter” when we came back together on the other side. Today, while we were driving, she brought it up, asking “I wonder where that comes from?” Immediately, I decided to find out.

Turns out this “bread and butter” tradition dates back to at least the 1920s, if not earlier. It is a superstition that if a couple (either romantic or friends) is broken apart during their walk by either another person or another object, they must say “bread and butter” when they meet up again, or they are doomed to have a conflict later on. The thought is that bread and butter go together, and that bread, once buttered, cannot be “unbuttered.”

Although my family has only ever used “bread and butter” in this way, people have also used “salt and pepper” in this superstition.


Source: Signs and Superstitions Collected from American College Girls, published by American Folklore Society in 1923

Read for it for free online: http://wwwjstor.org/stable/535105