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Matryoshka last won the day on June 15 2018

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About Matryoshka

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  1. It's a series, but Jane the Virgin. The narrator is not a character (only a voice), but does very much react emotionally to the events in the story.
  2. Finished two books this week: 24. The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin - for my SciFi book group, but on my recommendation because I'd heard so much about it here! I enjoyed this alternative history / alien first encounter, and also the Chinese default cultural viewpoint - we're so used to any SciFi being from often not just a Western, but a US default cultural viewpoint, even the ones supposedly far in the future with people who have never even visited earth. I've read enough Chinese literature that that viewpoint seemed familiar, but it was still nice to have some footnotes explaining some of the references Western audiences wouldn't be as familiar with. 3.5 stars. 25. Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets by Luke Dittrich (ebook) - I added this to my TR list ages ago after someone here read and recommended it. It was quite the interesting mix of the history of psychosurgery and what was learned by the rather liberal use of it in the mid-20th century and the author's family story - his grandfather was the 2nd most prolific lobotomist in history (he was a neurosurgeon who did operations, the most prolific guy wasn't a surgeon at all and popularized the ice-pick through the eye socket and stir method). Still, he really didn't know what he was doing, just mucking about to see what would happen in a more intentional way, and the vast majority of the patients were women who didn't conform to the feminine ideal (submissive, quiet, straight...) in some way. But the book focuses the most on the epilepsy patient H.M. who had much of the middle of his brain removed (hypothalamus, medial temporal lobes), just in case it might stop his seizures. It didn't, but it did make him lose all ability to make new memories, so he always lived in the present moment. And the family story, about his grandfather the rather cavalier surgeon (who performed the surgery on H.M.), his grandmother who had a psychotic break and was repeatedly institutionalized, his mother's childhood best friend who by some coincidence grew up to become the gatekeeper and main researcher on H.M. 4 stars. Just started Number9dream by David Mitchell and The Door by Magda Szabó (ebook), and still working on my two chunksters - Moby-Dick on audio, and Patria in print.
  3. DD18 has officially been accepted to the Isenberg Business School at UMass Amherst! I know it was a guaranteed AS at CC-to-Uni transfer, but I'm still relieved!! She hadn't applied anywhere else, and I guess now she doesn't have to. I was curious if they were going to ask for her high school transcript (which I have all ready to go), because I only graduated her from high school in December, but apparently not!
  4. In this situation, I'd go heavy on the FAFSA schools. The CSS will take all of ex's assets including retirement, primary residence, everything, and assume it's all available for the one kid applying. So in that case, need-based aid, even if 'more generous' really isn't. Her 'need' will be so much less at a CSS school that it unless the ex is willing to pony up the $, it won't matter. The CSS schools told us our EFC was *twice* what our FAFSA said because they thought we should take out a home equity loan and empty our retirement accounts (other assets the FAFSA doesn't consider), and did not care that we had three kids to think of, nor that dh will already be in his mid-60's when they're done with school with $0 in pension, so how in heck are we supposed to pay back the home equity loan and replenish our retirement and, y'know, eat? I called and challenged them, because I thought it had to be a mistake in calculations. Nope. They.don' All the money is for them. If you're destitute and on the street after retirement, or the next kid has nothing left for them, too bad, so sad.
  5. I think it's so dependent on how you personally use the sink. I have a big double-basin sink. Not sure of the relative proportions. I love the larger and deeper side for big pots; the smaller, shallower side is big enough to hold a dish drainer so I don't clutter or wet the counter with drying dishes. If it weren't big enough for that, I wouldn't want it. I don't have a garbage disposal, so that doesn't factor in for me.
  6. Well, I guess that depends on what you mean by 'too many'... since I've joined BaW, I've always got at least 3 books going, and often up to 5. I also try to mix them up in format and theme between audio, ebook, hardcopy, nonfiction, fiction, or scifi or fantasy. This helps keep me from getting muddled, lol. Before I joined BaW, I only usually read one book at a time and that would have seemed like a lot to me, but it doesn't at all now...
  7. Well, and also one of the 'services' this place offered was to have someone else attend class and take their tests for them...
  8. What with the Kardashians et al., it seems like many Americans look up to clueless and vapid as in ideal... as long as it also includes wealth.
  9. The link to BaW bingo is here, and includes instructions. Just pick a book for each category, and cross off as you go; see how many you can do, and see if you can make rows, columns, diagonals or Bingo blackout.
  10. I didn't finish anything at all week before last, so while I didn't post an update, there was nothing to report. This week I finished two books: 22. Flights by Olga Tokarczuk (ebook) - short stories and musings about travel, or perhaps more accurately, what makes people want to travel and their state of mind while travelling, and also body and body part preservation through time and place. 3.5 stars. 23. Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger by Rebecca Traister (audiobook) - How women's anger and outrage has changed the world (even when the history is later changed to deny it). 4 stars. Currently reading: - Moby-Dick by Herman Melville (audio) - I am rather stunned to find that I am quite enjoying this. I am become convinced that this book is most properly consumed with the aid of an excellent narrator who can really interpret the work. The voices, the inflections, the delivery - all great. He brings out the humor and the pathos and darkness equally well. I managed to get through the cetacean chapter with only a little zoning out. There are whole chapters that are written with like a play, with stage directions and all, which lend themselves excellently to being performed. He sings the sea shanties, all of which I was familiar with from our whaling studies and really brought me back. And it reads like a ripping yarn this way. The narrator is William Hootkins, in case anyone's interested. 🐳 - Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets by Luke Dittrich (ebook) - history of neurosurgery and the rather unethical things they did to find out how the brain works, especially in regards to the eponymous patient. - The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin - Enjoying this alternate history Chinese SciFi - even though I'm familiar with the non-alternate Chinese history, it's still nice to have the helpful footnotes in the translation with references that the original Chinese audience would get but a Western one wouldn't. - Patria/Homeland by Fernando Aramburu - Still reading this; all sorts of interwoven stories focused on these two families who used to be very close friends until they weren't. Set in the Basque Country before and after the separatist terrorist group ETA was active.
  11. Yes, it worked great. My youngest was a December baby, so it got used heavily for both purposes. You can find pics if you Google the name. Can't believe I remembered the name of the coat; that baby is now 18!
  12. I had a Japanese Weekend Mamacoat; it's just for front wearing. You just put baby in sling or carrier and zipped it up. It had a removable panel you could use to accomodate either preggo belly or baby in carrier, that you could ditch and use as a regular coat as well. Googling it, not sure if it's still made, though...
  13. Has he considered UMass? I know it's a huge school, but you can take classes at both Amherst and Hampshire for free if you go there. For sure very liberal, great language and business programs. There are ways to make a big school seem smaller.
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