By Awnali Mills
There comes a time in every children’s librarian’s life when she just needs to read some adult books—PLEASE! So that’s why you haven’t seen many children’s book reviews here recently. But, just to catch you up with what I HAVE been reading, here’s the list:
All of the Phryne Fisher Mysteries by Kerry Greenwood that are available in my system. I adore this series, but I wouldn’t listen to them with children in the car. For the most part, they’re very PG right up till (at least one) very explicit sex scene.
The Job by Janet Evanovich—Criminal mastermind Fox and FBI agent O’Hare are at it again, helping out the good guys and takin’ down the bad guys
Top Secret Twenty-One and Tricky Twenty-Two by Janet Evanovich—the Stephanie Plum series continues to amuse me.
Looking for Alaska: Part of the Great American Read, and one that I hadn’t read yet (I’ve now read 52 of the 100 books). This award winning book is worth the read and made me cry.
Carnegie’s Maid: a Novel by Marie Benedict—Fictionalized account of a relationship that the author imagines might have changed Carnegie’s character and turned him into the renowned philanthropist we know today.
The Fallen by David Baldacci—The newest in the Memory Man series.
Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish—Owl is an archaeological thief who specializes in finding supernatural goods. This time, she’s been hired by a dragon, and it looks like she’s in over her head. The first in a series.
Young Miles by Lois McMaster Bujold—I love everything I’ve read by Bujold. This is an old sci-fi omnibus that I was amazed to spy in our collection.
Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs—I inhale everything Briggs writes, and it always levitates to the top of my stack. This is the newest in the Alpha and Omega series. Unusual for her, the story didn’t have a neat and tidy ending, but promised battles to come.
Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson—I want to spend a little time on this one. My husband and I watched a Blue Planet episode, and were deeply moved by the way that plastics are impacting our oceans. In particular, for me, it was heart wrenching to hear that baby dolphins are being poisoned and dying, killed by their mother’s milk, which has been contaminated by the plastics in the mother’s diet. I was so distressed by this that I Googled “Is it possible to live without plastic?” which led me to the blog Plastic Free Life by Beth Terry. I subsequently read her book, and my search for knowledge about a plastic free lifestyle led me to work being done by Bea Johnson, who has moved from living without plastic to trying to live free of all disposables.
These women gave me something to aspire to. I tentatively laid out my plans for removing plastics from our home to my husband, sure that he would outwardly humor me, but inwardly resist because of the inconvenience. Instead, he said that he’d been haunted by the images of wales dying with their bellies full of plastic bags. He was all in.
A lot of the practices of zero waste were already a part of my routine lifestyle, like carrying fabric bags when shopping (I was doing it at least 90% of the time), shopping thrift stores, cooking at home, growing our own food, and composting. But I wasn’t sure if I was up to the challenge of getting rid of all the plastics in my kitchen and making my own mascara.
A few months after starting this journey, we’ve significantly cut down on our trash, mostly by replacing tissues, napkins, and paper towels with reusables. I’ve also made my own bee wraps to replace a lot of our plastic wraps/bags, as well as sewing reusable fabric baggies for snacks and lunches. We’re baking our own bread, discovered that we adore our own homemade tooth powder, and have little kits we carry in our cars to help us avoid restaurant trash. We’ve significantly reduced the plastics in our kitchen, and I’m still looking for a good mascara recipe (raccoon eyes are not a good look on me).
I’ve also come to terms with the fact that this is a marathon, not a sprint. It will take time to figure out what works for us and what doesn’t, what is reasonable to do and what isn’t. We have to weigh our budget against our desire for plastic-free foodstuffs. I have to firmly squelch my perfectionistic tendencies and realize that doing something is better than doing nothing.
So, there you have it. That’s my current adult-reading list. I have more adult books in the pile, but I started a children’s book this morning. I’ll let you know how it turns out.