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text 2018-12-01 09:00
November 2018 Reading Wrap Up
Citizen: An American Lyric - Claudia Rankine
Feminasty: The Complicated Woman's Guide to Surviving the Patriarchy Without Drinking Herself to Death - Erin Gibson
Princess Elizabeth's Spy - Susan Elia MacNeal
A Moveable Feast - Ernest Hemingway
The End of Epidemics: The Looming Threat to Humanity and How to Stop It - Bronwyn Fryer,Jonathan D. Quick
Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America - Michael Eric Dyson
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis - J.E. Vance
Amelia: An Autumn Bride - Hildie McQueen
Love's Unfading Light: Historical Christian Romance (Eagle Harbor Book 1) - Melissa Jagears,Naomi Rawlings,Roseanna White

24 Festive Task challenge have goosed up my reading this month, plus the English winter weather has set in (darkness at 4:30pm kills any desire for going outside). 



1. Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine 3.5 stars

2. Feminasty by Erin Gibson 4 stars

3. Princess Elizabeth's Spy (Maggie Hope #2) by Susan Ella MacNeal 4 stars

4. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway 3.5 stars

5. The End of Epidemics by Jonathan D. Quick, MD 3.5 stars

6. Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson 5 stars

7. Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance 3.5 stars

8. Amelia: An Autumn Bride (Brides for All Seasons #7) by Hildie McQueen 3 stars

9. Love's Unfading Light (Eagle Harbor #1) by Naomi Rawlings 2.5 stars

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text 2018-11-24 16:37
Reading progress update: I've read 25%.
The End of Procrastination: How to Stop Postponing and Live a Fulfilled Life - Petr Ludwig, Adela Schicker
I'm 25% done with The End of: I procrastinated for weeks just picking this up. I am so sick of "reach for your goals, see your goals"... blah blah blah, doesn't work and is very unsatisfying. This book has a whole different approach and I'm loving it so far, I don't want to put it down.
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review 2018-11-23 22:53
Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson
Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America - Michael Eric Dyson

A must read that puts the onus on white people in America to take responsibility and activism against institutional racism. Mostly this book settles into blackness and whiteness, but there are mentions of LGBT+, women, and class issues. Dr. Dyson uses his own experiences as well as national incidents to explain what is wrong and how to correct. 

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text 2018-11-16 22:35
24 Festive Tasks, Door 6 - International Day of Tolerance
Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America - Michael Eric Dyson
The Toymaker - Kay Springsteen

International Day of Tolerance


Book: I picked this book up before the game even started, so congrats to past me for thinking about present me's book choice. I am reading Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson (book about tolerance, but not in the hippy-dippy sense). I only know Dyson from following him on Twitter, so I wanted to read (in more than 280 characters) more from him.


Task #1

I read The Toymaker by Kay Springsteen and gave it only 1 star due to the heroine. However, the one redeeming trait this book had was that the hero, a duke, actually enjoys his job as a toy maker and making kids happy. He doesn't pull a Grinch, he is just in a cheerful jolly mood and up for going to the party dressed as Father Christmas so he can give his toys away. He doesn't put on airs, he doesn't throw his money or title around, and he has a great friendship with his valet. This was very different from the man-whores or grumpy dukes you mostly meet in historical romances.


Task #2

1. Secret baby. It's somewhat reasonable for historicals set before 1920, but I start to lose patience for this trope anytime after 1960 and ESPECIALLY not in contemporary romance. Seriously it is 2018 - if the heroine and hero don't know how pregnancies happen, they are TSTL and need to be removed from the gene pool. I don't care if heroine is drunk or just so hot for the hero, she could and should buy a box of condoms and have hero use them and also look into birth control for herself (if she doesn't already). And the hero should not be carrying around the same condom (sealed) that his dad gave him on prom night in his wallet. Yes, I am referring to that awful book One Wish (Thunder Point #7) by Robyn Carr.


2. Unresolved/never-ending love triangles. I don't mind hints at love triangles or if the situation is throughout one book, but there better be a resolution by the end of the book (heroine picks one person or the people decide on being in a relationship together - aka a throuple). 


3. Misogyny in M/M romance. In almost every book there is an evil ex or relative that is evil because she has a vagina. It's why I rarely read M/M romance.


4. Violence against women to signal how evil the villain is in M/F romance. It is ugly to read and makes the villain a cardboard cutout rather than a fleshed out character.

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review 2018-11-14 18:22
Don't Stop Believin' (audio)
Don't Stop Believin': The Man, the Band, and the Song that Inspired Generations - Jonathan Cain
I thought this was a great autobiography as it covers Cain’s life and his reflections during his lifetime, isn’t that what an autobiography is supposed to do? Some individuals are upset because this book talks too much about his childhood, it’s too religious and because it doesn’t cover enough of his life with the band Journey. Well, Cain had a life besides Journey. He had to begin his music career, get married, and experience a lot of hardships and failures along with some incredible successes and fun before he can join Journey.
I remember in the 80’s listening to Journey as I cleaned my house, cranking up the volume and forgetting about the task at hand. As I drove to work, I’d pop in some Journey along with some Def Leopard and sing, I didn’t care who saw me. It wasn’t until 2006 that I got to see them live, up-on-stage and I remember thinking, that it was just like Christmas! That summer, my daughter and I were “groupies” as we saw them four times as they toured with Def Leopard. I love that my daughter enjoys both these bands as she grew hearing their music from the speakers. Had I known the group would fall apart, I would have gone to more concerts that summer.
As Cain mentions in this book, there are individuals who have boycotted Journey as they adopt new band members when the original members drop out. I am one of these such individual. I tried the new Journey right after Steve Perry left and Arnel joined but to me, it just wasn’t the same. I cherish that summer my daughter and I spent going to concerts together, singing and dancing along with all the other fans. After reading this book, I now know more of the background information on his songs and I feel a deeper connection to the songs.
In this book, Cain begins by talking about his childhood. A fire ripped through one of the schools that he attended as a child, killing many students and teachers who were not able to escape. This tragedy haunted Cain for many years. Early one, Cain realized he had a musical talent which he took advantage of and he formed a small band with some of his classmates. I was shocked to hear that Cain’s first instrument was an accordion. Not an instrument I thought someone would WANT to take up.
What I enjoyed about this book was hearing how Cain plowed through when faced with another obstacle. It seemed that Cain was constantly being faced with one blow-after-another as he tried to start his career in music. His father’s encouragement kept him going too as his father believed that Cain had talent.
As Cain talks about the songs that he wrote or helped write, he talks about what they meant when he wrote them. They weren’t just thoughts that came into his head, these songs were based on events. Makes you want to listen to their songs and really think about them- the true feelings and meanings behind each and every last one.
Cain does talk about God throughout this book. Cain wavers throughout his life in his relationship with him- looking for a connection and answers to his questions.
I need to buy this book now. I would like to keep it to remember some of the songs and their true meanings as some of their songs are my favorite.


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