logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Who-We-Are
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-09-19 00:24
And I'm still indulging myself...
Who We Are - Charlie David,T.J. Klune

'Who We Are' is the second book in T.J. Klune's 'Bear, Otter and the Kid' series and this one found me enjoying the narrations of Charlie David and while I did enjoy this book, I have to admit for I enjoyed Sean Crisden's narration in the first book just a teensy, tiny bit more but this is probably as much a subjective opinion as it is anything else. 

 

I Ioved this series when I read it the first time and listening to it again on audio has only reaffirmed that opinion so I'm off to enjoy the third and final book available on audio as I anticipate the release of 'The Long and Winding Road' on audio...one day...soon...hopefully!

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-09-15 22:01
Dataclysm by Christian Rudder
By Christian Rudder Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One's Looking) - Christian Rudder

On its face this book sounds good: data guru uses the information people share online, particularly on the dating website OkCupid, to reveal demographic trends. There is some interesting information here, along with fun graphs and charts. But while Rudder may be a good statistician, he’s a poor sociologist, and the book is riddled with eyebrow-raising assumptions and conclusions. It also hangs together poorly, jumping from one disconnected subject to another, with chapters that share a fairly simple finding padded by repetitive discussions of the author’s methods and rhapsodizing about the scope of his data. For a better book on what Big Data says about us, I recommend the more recent Everybody Lies.

Unfortunately, Rudder begins the book with random, skewed guessing. In describing OkCupid, he confidently asserts that “[t]onight, some thirty thousand couples will have their first date because of OkCupid. Roughly three thousand of them will end up together long-term. Two hundred of those will get married[.]” This caught my attention immediately: 10% of online first dates leading to long-term relationships is a fantastic success rate, but less than 7% of long-term relationships ending in marriage seems awfully low for the 20’s-and-up crowd. Curious what definition of “long-term” Rudder was using, I flipped to the notes at the back, only to find that he made it all up based on the fact that the site has 4 million active users and 300 couples per day reporting that they are leaving OkCupid because they found someone on the site. Plus his intuition that fewer than 1 in 10 long-term couples get married: “How many serious relationships did you have before you found the person you settled down with? I imagine the average number is roughly 10.” My own experience of the world is very different (I don’t think I know anyone who’s had 10+ long-term, serious relationships). And since the average American woman marries at 27 and man at 29, and according to the CDC, the average adult woman reports 4 lifetime sexual partners while the average man reports 6-7, Rudder’s impression seems the more likely to be skewed.

The author’s conclusions are equally questionable. He observes that men seem to find 20-year-old women the most attractive (at least on a site evidently without teenagers) throughout their lives, while women’s view of male attractiveness changes to accommodate their own age, and concludes that middle-aged men don’t contact young women for fear of rejection and social judgment. This overlooks the fact that there’s much more to a relationship than physical attractiveness; how many 50-year-old men want to live in a world of exam stress and frat parties, with a partner who has comparatively little life experience?

Another chapter seems to confuse correlation and causation. In “You’ve Gotta be the Glue,” Rudder explains that couples who each have multiple clusters of Facebook connections from different areas of their lives, and are the only person connected to each other’s various tribes, last longer than couples who are connected to all the same people, who all know each other. This makes sense: if you belong to several social groups (co-workers, college friends, book club, etc.) and your partner has gotten to know all of them, your relationship is well-established and likely serious. But if you belong to a tight-knit community and start dating someone within your group, your Facebook connections provide no indication of how serious you are. Rudder, however, interprets the data as proving causation, concluding that the “specialness” of the couple in being the “glue” between different social groups somehow boosts the relationship. He fails to explain how “connecting” his gaming buddies to his wife’s extended family strengthens their marriage – presumably if these social groups cared to mingle much, they’d befriend each other on Facebook and then what happens to the couple’s “specialness”?

When the book moves away from dating-related data, it becomes a series of disconnected one-off chapters. There’s a discourse about group rage on the Internet that involves little data analysis and seems to be included because the author is interested in group rage on the Internet. There’s a chapter about the language used in Twitter posts, concluding that Twitter definitely isn’t killing sophisticated thought because “a,” “and,” and “the” are among the top 10 words used in English both on Twitter and off of it. There’s an equation meant to demonstrate that multiplying a word’s frequency rank in a text by its number of uses will result in a constant, but the chart meant to illustrate this point with Ulysses displays a “constant” ranging from 20,000 to 29,055.

All that said, there is some interesting material here, particularly the data on race. The chapter on racist Google searches is less relevant now that the author of that study has written his own book (the aforementioned Everybody Lies); and Dataclysm, published in 2014, has a rosier view of this than the 2017, Trump-era version. But the study showing massive racial differences in how people rate one another’s attractiveness is still quite relevant: key findings include the fact that people tend to view members of their own race as more attractive than others, but black Americans take a major hit in the ratings from everybody (including other black people, though to a lesser degree). My first reaction on reading this was that it’s hard to judge people for preferring cultural commonalities in their most intimate relationships. But the data isn’t so simple: it’s based on how people rate a photo, not whom they choose to contact, and attractiveness doesn’t only affect one’s dating prospects, but employment too (there’s a chart on that). And in-group biases in American society are hardly limited to dating; while our neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, churches, and friend groups are still largely separate, I’m inclined to believe that Rudder’s data does show hidden bias.

Overall, while there are interesting nuggets in here, I wouldn’t recommend the book. A few interesting data points are padded into book-length by ill-conceived interpretations and rambling. By the end I was simply tired of it – the writing didn’t engage me when unaccompanied by charts, the book lacks cohesion and the author had lost far too much credibility. Try Everybody Lies instead.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-04-20 00:43
Review of The American Spirit by David McCullough
The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For - David McCullough

I really love David McCullough.  This book is a series of speeches he had given over the years at college graduations, historic places, and to political leaders.  McCullough's love of history and every part of our American culture from the past is a true inspiration.  After every speech, I wanted to go track down new books on the topics he addressed.  I want to read great literature, I want to travel, I want to improve myself as a learner and as an educator.  I will be returning to this short volume many times in the future.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-03-15 06:00
Blog Tour for Who We Are by Nicola Haken
 
 
Title: Who We Are
Author: Nicola Haken
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Release Date : March 13, 2017
 
 
 
 
Since putting his life on hold ten years ago, Oliver Clayton doesn’t know who he is anymore. To his clients at the hair salon, he’s the sassy and confident stylist. To the crowds who come to watch his drag act at the club, he’s the fierce and fabulous Miss Tique. He’s popular. Talented. Out, proud, and self-assured.
 
He’s also a good actor. 
 
Sebastian Day is content with life’s easy, if not a little monotonous, routine. After several failed relationships, he likes the simplicity of being alone in his truck at his job as a heavy goods driver, spending the weekends with his teenage son, and putting the world to rights with his cat, Marv. He’s not lonely. He isn’t hiding.
 
At least…he doesn’t think he is until he meets the mesmerising stranger with the red hair and purple lips. 
 
Can Oliver and Sebastian help each other embrace who they are? Or will a cruel twist of fate end their journey before it’s even begun?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Angie at Wicked Reads ~ “Very heartwarming story, the banter between these guys is so sweet. I can’t say enough about this book to do it justice, just read it, you will love it.” Beverly at Southern Babes Book Blog ~ “Sebastian and Oliver’s story is beautiful and heartbreaking… These two amazing men are trying to figure out who they really are and together they figure out that they can do anything.” Jodi at Alpha Book Club ~ “Oliver's story will make you cry and stand up and cheer for how strong of a human being he is… Loved this story and would recommend to anyone.” MJ at Alixzia Reading Corner ~ “I ache and bleed with this book for every page turned! Highly recommend!” Deanna at Two Chicks Obsessed ~ “This might be my new favorite Nicola Haken book. Broken nearly broke me, thus becoming my favorite; but this one left me far more emotional and thoughtful. I think it's taken the crown.”
 
 
 
Who We Are 
Copyright © Nicola Haken 2017
 
~ Sebastian~
I WAS JUMPING down from my cab after arriving back from my last drop of the day when my life almost ended. Okay, so maybe I was known for being a tad on the dramatic side, but when Benny - my oldest friend and biggest pain in my arse -jumped out from behind my trailer, I almost choked on my fucking heart. 
 
“Jesus Christ,” I muttered, breathless from the fright. “How the hell did you get in the yard?” 
 
I’d been a heavy goods driver for thirteen years, working here at Patterson Haulage Ltd. for three of those – long enough to know they didn’t let pedestrians wander in off the streets to play hide and seek behind the lorries. Transport was in my genes, I guess. My dad had been a trucker all his life, and he met my mum at work – she worked as a clerk in the office. I never wanted to do anything else. I walked straight into my first warehouse job fresh out of school and stayed there until I was old enough to train for my Class 1 licence and could go out on the road. I loved my job. 
 
“That old lady with the bright orange face let me in. Told her I needed to talk to you about Scott.”
 
“Scott?” Slamming the door to my cab closed, I fished my phone from the pocket of my Hi-Vis jacket and scanned the screen for missed calls. “What’s wrong with him?”
 
“Well, he likes Eminem, but hopefully he’ll grow out of that.”
 

“What?” Narrowing my eyes in confusion, I stared at Benny who looked to be admiring his thumbnail. 
 
“Nothing’s wrong with him. I just knew they’d let me come see your truck if I played the kid card.”
 
Rolling my eyes, I huffed as I turned and re-opened my cab door. Climbing the steps, I leaned inside to grab my holdall and tacho card before hopping back down. “You’ve seen a wagon before. You shouldn’t use Scott like that. There could be a real emergency one day.”
 
“And if there is I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be the one anyone’d call about it,” he said, his tone amused as he ran his finger along the curtain of my trailer. “This needs a wash.”
 
“You offering?” I asked as I locked up the cab and started walking towards the transport office. I found it highly doubtful as I turned my head to the side and eyed up his leather coat, and beige turtleneck that no doubt he’d paid upwards of a hundred pounds for. Benny worked in recruitment. In other words, companies paid him far too much money to find them suitable candidates for their businesses, money which he wasted on overpriced shit he didn’t need. “Or did you come here for another reason?” 
 
“I came because, as you know, it’s my birthday on Friday. The big three-four. I want y…” Pausing mid word, Benny spun on his heels. “Holy hot ginger.”
 
I didn’t need to turn around to know he’d spotted Rod, seeing as he was the only red-headed bloke who worked at this depot. “Christ, Benny. Keep it down. I have to work with these guys.”
 
“Chill out. The fact you’re mates with a gay guy won’t give away the big secret that you like cookies and ice cream.”
 
“It’s not a secret,” I snapped. Or maybe it was, given that I’d never told anyone I worked with that I was bisexual. My last two relationships had been with women, and ‘passing’ as straight was simply…easier. I was a copout and a liar but I was tired of explaining, defending myself. 
 
There are a lot of misconceptions about bisexuality and I’d encountered most of them during my twenties. Now, at thirty-four, I was kind of exhausted with it all. I wanted to fall in love and create a future with another person as much as anyone, but I’d given up on the idea a while ago. Relationships, for me, whether with a man or a woman, seemed to consist of me justifying myself, reassuring my partner, or hiding – as Benny would say – the cookies or ice cream part of my sexuality. 
 
I couldn’t just be me.
 

wasn’t good enough.
 
Contrary to popular belief, I didn’t want to sleep with everybody, and there weren’t twice as many fish in the sea, because most fish thought I was confused, greedy, unfaithful, trying to be trendy, or afraid to admit I was gay. The last one confused me the most. The number of people who believed bisexuality was a temporary label used to ease the transition to gaytown would never cease to amaze me. It happened, sure, but there were a hell of a lot of bisexuals claiming to be gay, or straight, for no other reason than they couldn’t face the stigma attached to it, too. 
 
I was simply attracted to people. I got turned on by the way someone carried themselves, by their confidence, or even shyness. I felt the same stir in my cock and pull of excitement in my chest when I saw the rugged grooves of a man’s chest as I did the silky curves of a woman’s hips. People are beautiful. I couldn’t help it. It’s just the way I was made. 
 
Thankfully, many people realised these days that being gay or straight wasn’t a choice. Unfortunately, some of these same people believed bisexuals were capable of making a choice, and that they should. Well, I tried that when I was a teenager. I tried to pick a side, to ‘fit’ in somewhere. 
 
Unsurprisingly, it didn’t work out too well. 
 
“Just tell me what you came for,” I added to Benny, pushing open the swinging door that led to the warehouse which, in turn, led to the office. 
 
“Do you have Scott this weekend?”
 
“No. Lisa’s taking him to see Jenny’s parents in Cornwall. Why?”
 
“Great! You’re coming to the village for my birthday.”
 

Ugh. “Ah, you know it’s not really my scene.” I had my reasons for not frequenting the village, unlike Benny who spent so much time there it could be considered his second home. Besides, after a day on the road my idea of a good time was Netflix and a takeaway. 
 
“Yes, Mr Misery, I know having fun isn’t usually on your To Do list but it’s my birthday and you’ll hurt my feelings if you say no.”
 
We’d reached the office now and I handed my keys over to June through the window partition while raising a sceptical eyebrow at Benny. “Fine,” I said. “But as soon as you’re too drunk to notice whether I’m there or not I’m leaving.”
 
“I love you.” He turned to June who looked rather amused by my dickhead friend. “I love him, you know.”
 
“Knock it off, moron,” I said, ramming my shoulder into his. 
 
“Watch the jacket!” he shrieked as he rubbed at the tan leather that made him look like a seventies pimp. “You’re covered in dirt and smell like oil.”
 
“Please excuse my friend, June. They don’t usually let him out unattended.”
 
“Don’t mind me, lovey. I’ve seen all sorts in my time.”
 
I risked a glance at Benny, whose mouth had dropped ever so slightly open. For a man who wasn’t easily offended, the image was priceless. 
 
“You’re on the Midlands run tomorrow, lovey,” June added as she tapped on her keyboard. 
 
Nodding, I told her I’d see her in the morning, swung my holdall over my shoulder and started making my way to the car park, all the while trying not to laugh at Benny’s reaction. 
 
“Did she seriously refer to me as an all sort?” he muttered under his breath when we neared my car. I knew he wouldn’t let it go so easily. “Clearly, out of the all sorts she’s met none of them have been make-up artists.”
 
“Stop it,” I said, snorting as I clicked open the central locking on my matte black Ford Galaxy. “June’s lovely. A little old-fashioned, but harmless.”
 
“I’m sure. It just wouldn’t hurt for her to go down a shade or twelve in the foundation department is all I’m saying.”
 
Opening the rear door, I tossed my bag onto the back seat. “Have you finished being a bitch?”
 
“God, I hope not.”
 
Removing my thick, Hi-Vis jacket, I threw that on top of my bag, revealing my dark green uniform polo shirt, before closing the door and getting into the driver’s seat. “Is that all you wanted? You could’ve called or text.”
 
Benny leaned against my open door, hand on hip. “Told you, I wanted to see your big truck.” He winked at me. 
 
I wanted so badly to roll my eyes, or at least keep a disinterested expression, but I couldn’t help chuckle at him. 
 
“I was in the area, and besides, you’d have said no without my pretty face to seduce you.”
 

Probably. 
 
“And hey, if you want to bring a plus one your red-haired co-worker is more than welcome.”
 
Shooing him away from the door, I pulled it closed and brought the engine to life before rolling down the electric window. “Let me know when and where during the week,” I said, dismissing the idea of inviting Rod. He’d only been here for three months and I didn’t know the guy well, but the fact he had a wife and three kids told me Rod wouldn’t be interested in the kind of socialising Benny had in mind for him. 
 
“Will do,” he said, tapping the roof of my car before backing away. “Don’t forget I have expensive taste!”
 
Shaking my head, I bit my lip to suppress the grin that wanted to escape as I reversed out of my space. I already had his present – a bottle of Dior aftershave, same as every year. It was the only thing I knew the fussy bastard wouldn’t return in exchange for store credit. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nicola Haken lives in Rochdale, England, with her five kids – one of whom is a grown man who many refer to as her husband. She spends her days writing about life, love, and all the beauty and angst that comes with it, and her nights binge watching Netflix or being the household slave. She’s also not very good at referring to herself in the third person, so if you’d like to get to know her your best bet would be to follow her on social media! 

Oh, and if the kids ever ask, she moonlights as the Pink Power Ranger while they’re sleeping…
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
HOSTED BY:
 
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2016-07-17 00:45
Bear, Otter, and the Kid - T.J. Klune
Who We Are (Bear, Otter, and the Kid #2) - T.J. Klune
The Art of Breathing (Bear, Otter, and the Kid Chronicles) - T.J. Klune

So I read those treasures back to back... 

 

Since I read Tell Me It's Real last year I wanted to read more books by T.J. Klune. I loved his humor.

 

Now with Bear, Otter and Tyson (who isn't any longer the Kid) and their chosen family he absolutely got me under his spell!

 

The angst!!!

 

The love!!!

 

The humor!!!

 

The feels!!!

 

This series has it all and then some.

 

And my personaly cherry on top of it all was Tyson's trip to Tucson where he met all my friends form Tell Me It's Real! I just have to read The Queen & The Homo Jock King immediately.

 

It's inevitable!!! 

 

If you haven't read T.J. Klune yet.... WHY NOT?????

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?