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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

#sixtybooks: book #2

Hey, there! School is back on, and it's midterms time, so my fun reading plan has gone down the drain for the most part, but this is the last book I read on vacation (mostly on the plane).

I know Carrie Brownstein from the TV show "Portlandia," which I love, but she is best known as a musician in the all-female band, Sleater-Kinney. This memoir explores her childhood in Washington with an anorexic mother and a closeted gay father. She struggles to find her place in the world and makes friends in the girl rock scene. She then starts a band and deals with her own sexual identity and enduring the life of touring. The band broke up and then reunited recently.

Brownstein is a terrifically adept writer, especially about concerts and her many famous musician friends. The world she describes is so insular--it's cool to see it from the inside. I was disappointed that there was nothing in the book about "Portlandia" and how she developed her comedy writing and performances. The book did make me yearn to see Portland, Olympia, and the Pacific coast!

Currently reading and attempting to finish before book club dates next week!

Also, I'm taking an online class by Brene Brown, of TED talk and Oprah fame. Good stuff about being yourself and taking risks.  The title comes from this quote by Theodore Roosevelt:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”


  1. Hello fellow Daring Greatly English teacher (and member of 40hour club!). I'm trying to conceptualize ways to bring Brene's advice into my teaching life, and especially the creative writing class I'll start teaching next semester. I just found your blog, but I'm a fan already! :)

    1. Hey! Thanks for the comment! Send me your email at so we can chat! Thanks for reading.