Thursday, March 6, 2014

A peak into Souless and Lake Effect

Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Rose City Reader.
This week I am going to reverse my usual approach and present the nonfiction book I am reading first. 

Lake Effect: Two Sisters and a Town's Toxic Legacy by Nancy A. Nichols is a short but very intense examination of the impact of environmental cancer in the town of Waukegan, Illinois. This book isn't as much fun as the previous nonfiction books I have posted, but it tells an important story.

"In the aftermath of my mother's death when I was ten years old, my older sister became a kind of substitute Mom. To console me that first summer, we often went as a big sister/little sister dyad to the Lake Michigan shore.

The municipal beach in Waukegan was a small piece of land edged by factories and the town's water processing plant. If you were facing the lake when the sun rose, our town beach looked like a picture postcard; but at sunset the string of factories cast long shadows over the bandstand, the snack shop, and the playground. The factories did not deter us, however. Like so many townspeople, we simply turned our back on them and enjoyed the lake."


To counterbalance, I am reading Soulless by Gail Carriger. Since I finished off the two YA books that are also set in the Parasol Protectorate universe I figured that I ought to try the original series as well.

 (I also have to point out that as much as the cover of Etiquette & Espionage disturbed me, this cover positively makes my back ache in sympathy! As bad as corsets are, they don't do that to your body - they keep you up in proper posture - you could not even bend like that in a corset!)

"Miss Alexia Tarabotti was not enjoying her evening. Private balls were never more than middling amusements for spinsters, and Miss Tarabotti was not the kind of spinster who could garner even that much pleasure from the event. To put the pudding in the puff: she had retreated to the library, her favorite sanctuary in any house, only to happen upon an unexpected vampire."

For The Friday 56 hosted at Freda's Voice here is something from page 56 of Lake Effect ... 

Source website Photo:Fermilab Today
"They called it unexplained infertility. But I knew a few things about the pollution I had been exposed to back home. In the car on the way to the fertility clinic, my mind would drift back to the fish in Lake Michigan. I remembered that minks fed on fat-rich coho had fertility problems, one of the first indications that the chemicals in the lake were dangerous, and I knew that this could also affect women who ate the salmon."

And to cheer us back up here is something from page 56 of Soulless ...

"Miss Tarabotti giggled. Nothing was funnier than watching a vampire try to emulate a werewolf. "

(this is tough!  too much spoilerage there !) We need something else fun ... Right, so there is a manga of Soulless.  This bit follows on the quote from the top (the beginning) ...

Humm - I don't think was picturing Miss Tarabotti exposing quite so many of her assets. I believe glue is involved somehow. This is wildly different from what I have been picturing while reading.


  1. Lake Effect sounds positively heartbreaking! It's good you have another, more fun, read next to it so you can cheer yourself up in case it makes you sad! Thanks for sharing :) Hope you have a good weekend!
    My Friday post
    Juli @ Universe in Words

    1. It is. The author is a journalist who wrote the book to fulfill a promise to her sister, who died of ovarian cancer. (This isn't a spoiler - it's in the dedication and the first couple of pages of the book.) It also makes me want to pack up the kids and move far, far away from the Great Lakes. I have to keep reminding myself that things have improved and we are not eating fish from the lakes.

  2. I loved Soulless and you are so right about the cover.

    Lake Effect sounds as if it would be an emotionally challenging read, not sure I could do it.

  3. I hope the Great Lakes have been cleaned up in recent years. It would be hard to read about the effect of pollution on nearby residents. Makes me think of Erin Brockovich. I'm glad you had SOULLESS for a change of pace!
    Here's the link to my Friday post: THE MERMAIDS SINGING.

  4. Sounds terrible and I think we have more of these stories that will be coming to light. My post:

  5. I really liked Soulless!

    Happy weekend!

  6. The first book does sound like something that needs to be told even if it is not fun to read. I love Souless and the entire series. Hope you enjoy it. Here is my post: Mixed Book Bag

  7. OMG! Great Lakes sounds like a really interesting book. How awful and hearth breaking it must be. A non-fiction I would love to read.
    Great choices.
    Ruty@THE FRIDAY 56

  8. Wow, what two completely different choices: a graphic novel and a scary sounding memoir! I've been reading more nonfiction lately. Very sad Friday 56!

    Linking from Freda's Voice,
    Ricki Jill


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