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Search tags: S.-Walden
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review 2017-11-11 23:48
Over a month behind...yikes!
Spinning - Tillie Walden,Tillie Walden

Tillie Walden's Spinning is a graphic novel/memoir in the vein of Blankets or Stitches, err, with less child abuse. It chronicles the author's competitive experience with figure skating as a child, falling in love, learning how to communicate, and the changes she was undergoing and why she ultimately felt like she had to leave the sport behind.


Despite also being an introvert and being on the queer spectrum, the only pieces of Walden's experience that I could personally relate to were parental indifference to sports involvement. I, of course, used that as an excuse to never play any sports past 3rd grade. This is also one of the first books I can immediately tell has been created by someone younger than my generation. There's a quality to the book, not to mention the ubiquity of handheld smart electronics, that I can't pinpoint that made me feel ancient. It was a great experience.


This was a great find, highly recommended for any teen reader (or older) looking for a good coming of age story. Walden's storytelling transcends any pigeon-holes a bookseller may be tempted to use to categorize her book.

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review 2017-10-28 00:00
Walden: With an Introduction and Annotations by Bill McKibben
Walden: With an Introduction and Annotat... Walden: With an Introduction and Annotations by Bill McKibben - Henry David Thoreau https://msarki.tumblr.com/post/166071074298/walden-with-an-introduction-and-annotations-by

What nature provides is scale and context, ways to figure out who and how big we are and what we want. It provides silence, solitude, darkness: the rarest commodities we know. It provides reality, in place of the endless electronic images and illusions that we consider the miracle of the moment.___Bill McKibben from the Introduction to Thoreau’s Walden

Simply put, I am humbled by the reading experience. Not only was Thoreau a smart and gifted writer, but he had enough courage to experiment and live alone, in the woods, and off the land. Even though the span of two years does seem brief, it was long enough for Thoreau to accumulate wisdom to share. And it seems we all could use a bit of that these days.

…Moreover, with wisdom we shall learn liberality…

There were chapters extremely difficult to stay interested in. At times I doubted the book’s ascribed greatness. But the conclusion found in the last chapter was worth the trouble and the time it took to get me there.

If one listens to the faintest but constant suggestions of his genius, which are certainly true, he sees not to what extremes, or even insanity, it may lead him; yet that way, as he grows more resolute and faithful, his road lies…If the day and night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal,—that is your success.

A relaxed reading of four to six pages each morning was my practice and my meditation. Rewards, though never frequent, did surprise me and gave me much to think about on any given day.

…We can never have enough of Nature. We must be refreshed by the sight of inexhaustible vigor…We need to see our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander…Compassion is a very untenable ground.

No one can accuse me of exhibiting too much compassion. I am guilty of other transgressions, far too numerous to list on this page. But Thoreau offers us a yardstick from which we might measure our growth as individuals.

I left the woods for as good a reason as I went there. Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any more time for that one…I learned this, at least, by my experiment that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours…

Here, here. I concur and continue to go boldly for my grave.
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review 2017-03-30 23:54
reminds me of the folks saying "save up by not buying that daily coffee!"
Walden - Henry David Thoreau

So, Walden.


There's some nice, flowery prose here.  Also some overly discursive and recursive prose that I found tedious.


But overall, and I'm writing this as someone who's happiest living out in the woods where I can't see my neighbors, the book drove me bonkers.  His privilege is suffocating.  He talks against things he was a huge subscriber and user of (Post Office, railroad, etc), writing about how we'd be better off without them, how he has no need of them, etc.  He portrays himself as a common man supporting himself on his own labor... but he's on this property with express permission, certainly was not destitute going into this, and should things go very poorly he had plenty of reasonably wealthy friends who could help him get back on his feet.  He likes to educate folks who come from lesser means about how his way is so much better and fulfilling, but at the same time ignoring the situational elements that allow his way of life.


There are definitely sentiments I enjoy here, but they're wrapped in so much of the above that it was frustrating.  Land and resource management are almost moot when you're one person living in the woods.  Once you start facing large congregations and communities things aren't as simple as his hybrid farmer/hunter-gatherer lifestyle enjoins, and for all that he speaks against it, he too enjoys the products of commerce and industrialization.

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review 2016-07-28 00:00
Interim - S. Walden Man, this is a difficult book to rate and review.
I guess 3.5 stars? But I'm not even sure.

Only mild spoilers, but I put them in tags just in case you want to skip them.

I'm not easily shocked or scared because of books or movies and I enjoy being suprised, so I thought this was a perfect book for me. I thought I could handle it and wouldn't feel sick about this story at all. I was wrong. The story is kind of disturbing and the idea of actual people like this and events like this did make me sick to my stomach. It's well written and just very real...

That being said, there was a lot about the story I didn't like. I wasn't a fan of Jeremy.
His dream about killing Regan was disturbing, his mindset regarding the shooting made me wanna turn the gun on him instead.

Regan was a bit annoying, naieve and kind of a gullible idiot, to be honest. If you associate yourself with horrible people and do nothing to stop their bullying, you are kind of guilty by association. Also, I find it a bit hard to believe that someone who used to protect kids that were bullied on, all of a sudden wouldn't recognize bullying when it practically hit her in the face.
Also, for future reference.... when you find a notebook with very detailed information about a shooting, you turn it in damn it. You do not believe a person when he/she tells you that it's just an idea, grown out of frustration, never meant to become a reality. You don't keep going over there and kiss the bastard. People who plan massacres aren't cute, romantic or just misunderstood.

This is kind of an ugly book. Filled with hurt, pain, horrible thoughts and ideas, terrible people, bullying, mistakes, growing up and romance. S Walden sure knows how to write about very difficult subjects (if you don't believe me, go check out [b:Going Under|17337522|Going Under|S. Walden|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1364409096s/17337522.jpg|24070983]).

The 'finale' was difficult to read and kept me up for a bit (though that might also be because it was almost 3 am by the time I finished the book). I had to finish this book. Not necessarily because I loved it so much, but mostly because I just couldn't wait to see how it ends. The ending was a bit of a shock and a suprise. Which I loved, because these days you can usually see twists coming from a mile away.

Difficult book, difficult subject matter, annoying people, well written, intriguing.
Give it a chance, it's a very interesting read. But be mindful of the fact that this is not a happy book and if you can't deal with these settings, stay away.
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review 2016-07-27 00:00
Going Under
Going Under - S. Walden This is a difficult book to rate.
It took me a bit of time to get into this story. I think that was mostly because this story in set in high school and because I wasn't really a fan of Brooklyn at the start of the story.
It's not really a feel good story, it deals with some dark subject matters - rape and suicide. Stay away from this book if you can't handle to read about either of them.

This book was - at times - hard to read. It's not pretty, it's not fluffy and sweet. What I did like about it is the way S Walden was just honest and real about it, that something horrible happened - which I really did not expect to happen - total shocker!, Brooklyn's father, Gretchen and Ryan. Ryan is a sweet and great guy. Though he did seem a bit too old for his age.

Why not 5 stars? It took me a while to get into the story and I felt that the last part - after all the shock and events happened - was a bit rushed. I felt like this difficult story deserved a longer ending and I felt that we as readers of this hard story needed more information than we got.

Thought-provoking, beautiful and at times horrific book. Read at your own risk. If you don't mind the subject of the book, give it a try. It's a dark and beautiful story.
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