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review 2016-11-18 08:00
Aphorisms On Love And Hate
Little Black Classics Aphorisms On Love and Hate - Friedrich Nietzsche

I was a little bit afraid to start this collection of Aphorisms, because the last one I read, another one of the Little Black Classics, was a real disappointment. I'd previously only seen a little bit of Nietzsche in class, but was curious to what he had to say.

I can only speak for this short edition, which had some nice observation on human nature, which I liked although some seemed a bit random and it would have been nice as some more context could have been provided in this edition. On the other hand, his views on women and gender roles are very outdated, especially for someone seeing through a lot of other things. However, he -of course- was also just a man of his time, but I did deduct a star for it.

Little Black Classics #5

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review 2015-09-18 15:49
Review: Aphorisms on Love and Hate by Friedrich Nietzsche (Penguin Little Black Classic #5)
Little Black Classics Aphorisms On Love and Hate - Friedrich Nietzsche

Goodreads summary:

'We must learn to love, learn to be kind, and this from our earliest youth ... Likewise, hatred must be learned and nurtured, if one wishes to become a proficient hater'

This volume contains a selection of Nietzsche's brilliant and challenging aphorisms, examining the pleasures of revenge, the falsity of pity, and the incompatibility of marriage with the philosophical life.

 

My opinion:

I really liked his opinion on certain topics but I don't like this edition so much. I wish they would have explain just a few subjects and not executed in pointless bullet points. Some of his opinions only got one sentence. Even tough I didn't like this edition, it still made me excited to read more of his work. The Portable Nietzsche is listed on the Rory Gilmore reading challenge and I planned to read that one at some point, but because I got introduced by his works it made me even more interested in picking it up.

 

Have you read something of his works?

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review 2015-03-18 15:10
Awesome YA Contemporary!
The Boy in the Black Suit - Jason Reynolds

Okay, so Im coming dangerously close to neglecting the fact I haven't written this post in like 2-3 months, which is funny, because I read the book in less than a week. I knew if I sat down and wrote the review, I'd have so much to say, and I tend to be very wordy in reviews to begin with.

The Boy in The Black Suit follows the exploits of a 17 year old teenage boy who's mother recently lost her battle with cancer(correct me if Im not remembering correctly folks, I read it in January). With time, he ends up taking a job working in a funeral home, hence becoming "The Boy in The Black Suit."

I normally wait until I've actually started describing my pros and cons before I make a declaration this bold, but I think this book will be the best book I've read all year. Diversity in books is interpreted differently by nearly everyone I know, so when it comes to needing diverse books, what fits for one person, might not fit for the next.

When people say we need diverse books, Im almost positive they're talking about a book like this. The Boy in the Black Suit's leading character Matthew Miller(Matt for short) was a character I really rooted for. I hate the word "relatable" because it suggests "relatable" has to be something specific, or a one-size-fits-all answer. But I related to him more than most characters I've read since I dedicated myself to reading diverse titles.

I know the author's been around longer than I've been reading his work, but he reminds me a bit of author Zetta Elliot. I liked his use of language, mainly because the way I speak is very much like Matthew and his best friend. In fact, I'd always laugh to myself when reading, because the way they spoke to one another reminded of my sister and myself, and we're not even from New York.

One of the strongest parts about the book was Matthew himself. He was a male character, who actually seemed like a real person. A lot of depictions of boys and men tend to read as a fantasy to me, which I get. Readers like to have a fantasy of what is a perfect guy to them, but it just seems overdone a lot of the times.

He was written in a way our media would never depict a black boy, full of vulnerability, rejecting gender roles, and someone not afraid to cry. The kid could throw down in the kitchen, a trait he learned from his late mother. 

I know in Black/Latino homes of the past, boys and men were forced to be what society saw as being men. But this creates so many future issues for men not allowed to express their vulnerability or enjoy things society hasnt deemed "conventionally " masculine.

Let's not forget to mention he's African-American. I wasn't sure if I'd get a character who just reminded me of a default character who just happened to be Black, or a main character who reads too hard to remind me that he's Black, but I got neither. I got Matt. A character that you'd automatically know is a black teen, but in a positive light, that doesn't shy away from being born and raised in Brooklyn, NY.

I live in an oh-so small state called Connecticut, that happens to border NY, but I went to college in Brooklyn, and Im sure the writer is from NY. I mean, anyone can "do" NY, but not everyone can "do" Brooklyn. Reading this book, I was in Brooklyn, and not only that, I loved all the other settings(all the places that brought familiarity, like the Cluck Bucket, lol).

Matthew wasn't a scatterbrain like a few teenage protagonists I read. He had intelligent thoughts, and a big love for Tupac, so I know I would've been friends with a kid like this growing up. I think the only real complaint I had was with a detail in the past, feeling the need to tie it's loose end in the present. But I looked past it for all the other amazing details it had!

Matthew reminded me a bit of my 21 year old cousin. My cousin is religious, so he loves wearing fancy suits all the time. I loved how Matt wore a suit for his job at first as a requirement, but with time, he couldn't imagine himself without one. Not to say all kids should be wearing suits all of a sudden, but it was just interesting how the title wrung it's way in more ways than one throughout the entire book.

It's hard to comment on editing on traditionally published books, especially one like this, because it seems as though editors put a lot of time into making this effort perfect. It's easier to comment when there are mistakes =)

Diversity-wise, Im assuming nearly every character except one, was Black. Could be American, of Caribbean descent, or even of African, but most of the characters were Black. Only one character wasn't Black, and he was a bodega owner from Pakistan. He was cool, I wish I would've seen more of him, or other cultures, but I liked how it didn't feel the need to insert-white-character-here, just to make it "relatable"(there's that word again).

Matt also had a girl he was feeling named "Lovey." They had awesome chemistry, and it's really nice to read a book that focuses on the strength of Black Love, because as a Black women, and an Afro-Latina, everything tries to steer me away from Black Love. No one really says it, but it's true, and I do tend to read more books depicting interracial relationships than the latter.

Also liked how it incorporated texting, in a texting generation. And the way Lovey and Matt flirted is very reminiscent of how it was in neighborhoods I grew up in. If I could, I'd buy this book for everyone I know, because it's just that amazing.

The cover is intriguing, and the title is very catchy. It makes you wonder who is "The Boy in The Black Suit" and what does that mean to him. Character names? I'll say they're uncommonly common. They suit the characters, even though I meet a lot of people with names like theirs, outside of Lovey of course!

Sometimes I wish I would've gotten a better description of the characters who made the most appearances in the book though. Matt mentioned being the color of dark wood, but not much else. I couldn't tell if he was tall or short, and only the characters who walked on with little or no dialogue, were described in the most detail.

But overall, it was an amazing read. Im really looking forward to reading some of Jason Reynold's other books =)

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review 2015-03-16 00:00
Little Black Classics Aphorisms On Love and Hate
Little Black Classics Aphorisms On Love and Hate - Friedrich Nietzsche A collection of the German Philosopher Nietzche's thoughts on love, the human condition, feelings and marriage, set in short, devourable segments.

This was a marvellous collection. I swept through this as if my life dependended upon it: and perhaps it does.

There are segments which are truer than others, and some which are obviously products of the time Nietzche was writing in. It seemed a confusing batch at times, too, for I'm not sure Nietzche really, truly believed all he was writing, as hypocrisy was often rife within. It is quotable and will provide conversions aplenty, though perhaps we should forgive a man from a different time his views on women, paradoxical as they were.
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review 2015-01-21 17:19
Young Restless and No Longer Reformed
Young, Restless, No Longer Reformed: Black Holes, Love, and a Journey in and Out of Calvinism - Austin Fischer,Scot McKnight
Although I have never been one drawn to Calvinism or the Reformed tradition, I know people who are and since I love memoirs, I though it would help me better understand their journeys to read this book. I really like Fischer's honest account of his journey into and out of Calvinism. It is a strong testament to the power of faith and the reality that faith and certainty are not the same thing at all. In fact, they are closer to being opposites.
 

Lots to think about in this one. I think those who love the Calvinist and reformed tradition will find Fischer to be kind and honest in his story, but certainly not exclusionary of those who come to different conclusions.

 
Interestingly, last year at about this same time I read the memoir of a woman finding her way INTO Calvinism.  You can find it at the link below.
 
 
Fischer’s story gave me two important thoughts that I will carry forward in my own spiritual quest.
 
There is no way to find a theology that doesn’t leave you with questions and wondering.  
 
The theology you choose to guide your life will change you, so choose wisely.
 
In the end Fischer chooses to leave Calvinism, not because he thinks that Calvinist thought has no merits,  but because he realizes that he was drawn to it based on a feeling of certainty that he no longer had.   While other theology he explored also lacked certainty; he has found that for him this lack of certainty provided a healthier spiritual path to God. 
 
Fischer also talks about the irresistible pull that the certainty of Calvinism seemed to offer him.  As I read it, it reminded me of both my experience reading Butterfield’s book last year and of my experience as a high schooler being taught about Mormonism by our neighbors.  There is something emotionally powerful about being taught/shepherded by someone who is very certain of what they understand and believe.  There is something in that really makes you want to get wrapped up in that certainty and live there.  For some reason, some people are able to live quite comfortably in that experience while others of us must continue to question ourselves deeper into uncertainty.  But for me this going deeper into uncertainty has, in a paradoxical way, brought me closer to God.   When I wrote my review of Butterfield’s book I wondered aloud if her jump from one set of certainties to another was going to be enough for her.   I still wonder about that - especially as I read Fischer’s book and the way Calvinism crumbled under the weight of his questions.
 
I do really wish that Fischer’s book also contained some element of his experiences in community worship, study and service.  His shared journey both into and out of Calvinism seemed limited to the head - not the heart and hands.  I doubt this was all, but I guess it was the part that felt most important to share since it was a story of moving from certainty to faith and trust.
 
I really liked Fischer’s work to demonstrate that it is not humanist to use our human understanding to make sense of theology.  That it isn’t wrong to think our sense of justice can align with God’s.  He very aptly demonstrates that if we discount our own understandings as being completely irrelevant next to God, then we are basically saying we should not study the Bible at all because we are probably not able to really understand any of it anyway.   I can’t really do justice to the point, but he basically shows the circular thinking and logic that is used by many who want to push certainty.  Great food for thought.  
 
I recommend Fischer’s book to anyone with an interest in theology, even if it is not in Calvinism per se.  He has a lot to say about the spiritual journey and what it means to be thoughtful and careful about what you believe and how you live.
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