May 2021

May has been a…weird month in my life, that’s all I can say. I’ve obsessively studying for the CompTIA A+ exams, and I started a part-time job driving for the railroad to expedite the whole “buy land and become an eccentric recluse” lifegoal. The month ended with a lot of anarcho-agorist reading. Who knows what June will bring?


Challenge Progress:

Science Survey:

6/12 categories now filled, with Drug Use for Grown Ups and Clean now filling the Wildcard slot.

Spying on Whales: The Past, Present, and Future of Earth’s Most Awesome Animals.
Drug Use for Grown Ups, Carl Hart. Er…sort of.
Clean: The New Science of Skin, James Hamblin



Classics Club Strikes Back:

1 new, bringing us to 6/50 in total.

A Gathering of Old Men, Ernest Gaines



Climbing Mount Doom:

Enemies: A History of the FBI, Tim Weiner
Broke, USA: How the Working Poor Became Big Business, Gary Rivlin
Gambling with Other People’s Money: How Perverse Incentives Caused the Financial Crisis, Russ Roberts



Southern History/Literature:

A Gathering of Old Men, Ernest Gaines

The Unreviewed

She Come By it Natural, Sarah Smersh. Less a biography and more of a feminist appraisal of Dolly.

Clean: The New Science of Skin. A brief book that combines a history of soap and skincare with some of what I was looking for, science writing on how our skin is a little ecosystem and that barraging it with harsh chemicals all the time is not a great idea.

No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority, Lysander Spooner. I was planning this for a celebration of rebellion and sedition aimed around Independence Day, but from the opening page I could not stop reading. Comments to come.

Enemies: A History of the FBI, Tim Weiner. A history of the FBI that highlights its role as secret police, more obsessed with watching and arresting political dissidents than functioning as genuine law enforcement. I’ll possibly give it fuller comments.

Alongside Night, J. Neil Schulman. Dystopian novel with an anarchist bent. Heard of this while listening to a podcast over the weekend; began reading it and couldn’t stop. Review to come, possibly along with comments on the movie adaptation. The latter had….limitations.

The Newly Bought:

NONE! I was tempted, dear readers, boy I was tempted….but I looked at the pile of books behind me and said “Nope”.

June Goals

Continue reading only what I already own, supplemented with the odd library book. Read more — I’ve been eliminating competing timesinks. Right now I am in a serious SF mood, so don’t be surprised to see a little of that popping up. Toward the end of June we’ll be shifting to The American Summer, which will feature American classics, American history, etc. It’ll be an expanded version of my annual tribute to the American Revolution.

About smellincoffee

Citizen, librarian, reader with a boundless wonder for the world and a curiosity about all the beings inside it.
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4 Responses to May 2021

  1. Cyberkitten says:

    I admire your temperance, I really do. If only I had that moral fortitude. It might help me to stay out of books shops or delete my Amazon account but neither of those are ever going to happen.. [lol] I just hope that my house doesn’t collapse under the weight of all this paper… [grin]

    • Almost less temperance and more self-defense. The pile of doom is currently enough to injury me if it fell in my sleep! I literally had 3 tabs open to several different SF titles (“The Disposessed”, “Snow Crash”, and something about alt-history and the moon) and I had to make myself close the browser..

      • Cyberkitten says:

        Oh, I LOVE ‘The Dispossessed’. It’s quite possibly my fave SF book – or at least in my Top 10. One of the very few books I’ve read at least 3 times. I believe it had a substantial impact on my political beliefs long before I actually realised I had any!

      • I think I’ll get to it soonish, definitely this year.

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