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video 2018-04-23 13:03

If you have lost a loved one, dealing with the grief can be a tough process, not only for the family, but for each and every person whose life was touched by your loved one. Creating an online memorial with yaadbook for your departed loved one can be one of the most suitable, lasting and broad-reaching tribute that you can make!

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review 2018-04-09 18:31
Starting National Poetry Month with a bang
Citizen: An American Lyric - Claudia Rankine

I'm cognizant of the fact that I don't read enough books by women of color and that I read very few works of poetry. I decided to kill two birds with one stone by reading Claudia Rankine's Citizen: An American Lyric. (Also, it's National Poetry Month so it was a no-brainer.) This book is especially relevant right now with the state of our world being what it is: a shambles. Citizen is essentially Claudia's exploration of what it is to be a black woman living in America as told through poetic verse. It is beautiful, tender, terrible, tragic, and real. She doesn't shy away from such topics as police brutality or the prevalence of feeling like an outsider. This book is a personal revelation and a public admonishment all rolled into one neat package Coupled with her verses are historical quotes and pencil drawn (I think?) artwork. What better way to begin your foray into poetry than by reading a book that challenges the status quo and speaks from the heart? If you'd like to maybe see the world through a different set of eyes Citizen is your golden ticket with many stops along the way. 9/10

 

I made a note of this quote on page 89 to give you an idea of just how powerful her words are:

 

Those years of and before me and my brothers, the years of passage, plantation, migration, of Jim Crow segregation, of poverty, inner cities, profiling, of one in three, two jobs, boy, hey boy, each a felony, accumulate into the hours inside our lives where we are all caught hanging, the rope inside us, the tree inside us, its roots our limbs, a throat sliced through and where we open our mouth to speak, blossoms, o blossoms, no place coming out, brother, dear brother, that kind of blue.

 

What's Up Next: From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty

 

What I'm Currently Reading: The American Way of Death Revisited by Jessica Mitford

 

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-03-13 11:30
A delightful read, full of great characters, inspiring, and heart-warming. Also recommended to dog lovers!
When the Stars Sang - Caren J. Werlinger

I write this review as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team (authors, check here if you want to get your book reviewed) and thank her and the author for the ARC copy of the book, which I freely chose to review.

I occasionally read romance novels although I am not their number one fan, but there was something about this book that called my attention from the very beginning. I am always attracted towards stories that are set in special locations (real or imagined) and the description of the island definitely fitted the bill for me. And, in this case, first impressions were right.  I loved the story and the place, and I wish it existed and I could be a part of the community in Little Sister.

The story is narrated in the third person from the point of view of two female characters, Kathleen, who returns to Little Island as an adult (after a traumatic breakup with her on-and-off girlfriend of 14 years), and goes to live to the house of her recently deceased grandmother (although she had not been back there since she was a child due to a very traumatic event), and Molly, the island’s sheriff, and also a handywoman, who loves restoring and repairing boats, but can set her hand at anything that needs repairing (even a broken heart). Although they are suspicious of each other at first, it is clear that they are meant for each other, but, as we all know, the path of true love never does run smooth, and there are a number of obstacles on their way, some of their own making, but others to do with childhood trauma, dysfunctional family relationships, and a past that refuses to be buried. If you are a big fan of romances, LGBT or otherwise, you do not need to worry. Although I won’t discuss the ending to avoid spoilers; I think you’ll be happy with it.

The author creates realistic characters we care for, and not only the protagonists. While Kathleen and Molly can be stubborn and blind at times (and even annoying, but ultimately likeable), there is a full catalogue of fabulous secondary characters, including Molly’s family (her wonderful parents, and her brothers, including Aidan, who is an integral part of the incident that made everything change for Kathleen), sisters Olivia and Louisa (who always carry the ashes of their father with them), Rebecca, the librarian and depository of the island’s traditions, and many more. Oh, and let’s not forget Blossom, a stray dog adopted by Kathleen (well, the adoption is mutual), that is both a totally realistic dog and a fantastic and heart-warming character.

There is lovely food, a variety of ceremonies and traditions, a strong sense of community [including matrilineal heritage that reminded me of the book The Kingdom of Women by Choo Wai Hong (you can read my review here)], secrets, deception, ecology and renewable energy, and plenty of love, not only between the two women, but between all the members of the community. The sense of belonging and the healing and growth of the characters is intrinsically linked to the way of life in this island that mixes Irish folklore and beliefs with Native-American (First Ones) ones. Werlinger creates a beautiful setting, both in its landscape and spirituality. Readers feel a part of this wonderful community, and I, for one, was sorry to come to the end of the book and would love to live in such a place.

The writing ebbs and flows, allowing readers to enjoy the descriptions of the island, its inhabitants, their actions and also their mental processes, although I did not find it slow and I was hooked to the story and the feeling of becoming one with the inhabitants of the place. As a writer, I easily empathised with Kathleen, who is an editor and also creates book covers, and I enjoyed the fact that female and male characters are diverse, are not restricted to standard gender roles, and the attitude of the islanders towards same-sex love is open and unquestioning. There are certain necessary characteristics that make a relationship truly compatible, but gender is not one of them.

As readers, we share the thoughts and experiences of the main characters although the third person narration also gives us enough distance to be able to make our own minds up. There are some surprises, some quasi-magical elements, some light and fun moments, but there are also nasty characters (although these are always outsiders), and intuition and family connections are very important. As for the love story, there are some sexual elements, but not a full-blown graphic description of events, and I found it rather delicate and in good taste (and I am not a fan of erotica).

I wanted to share a few things I highlighted:

Normally, those messages would have torn at Kathleen’s heart. But she wasn’t sure she had a hart any longer. She tapped her chest, half expecting it to sound hollow, like the Tin Man.

“It should be a mix. None of us is just one thing, complete in and of ourselves. We are the island, and the island is us.”

“That is not how it works. Love that has to be deserved or earned was never love to begin with.”

A joyful read, which I recommend to readers who enjoy books set in special locations, who appreciate a strong sense of community and belonging, and love solid characters. There are ups and downs, happy and sad events, although it is not a book for lovers of adventures and frantically paced novels. This is a contemplative and inspiring book, heart-warming and positive. If you need a pick-me-up, this is your book.

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review 2018-01-14 22:33
Community Service (Broken Mirrors #3) by Vaughn R. Demont
Community Service - Vaughn R. Demont
Some of my notes from Goodreads:
 
"Here we go again: info dumping and making things up on a fly (to add page count?) and reminiscing while everything is going to sh*ts. Why am still I reading this? @.O
Ah, right, challenge. And stupid notion that I must finish a book if I am past 75%."
 
 
"Omfg, stab me, stab! me! You don't frigging explain everything to your nemesis, you just KILL them! I swear my eyes are rolling all the way across *deh pond* right now!"
 
 
"This why I don't like present tense and cheap tricks horror books. You can't have a decent battle. The hero has to pause and reflect and both the hero the villain have to keep yapping at each other in the middle of life/death struggle. It's triple annoying! Maybe THAT is meant as horror? And damn if I am not tempted to dnf this bs at 80% :/"
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text 2018-01-08 07:47
Sharing the Melodies of Love 2017

When we say "Christmas Season", the first thing that you'll think about as a child or an adult aside that it is the birthday of Jesus are gifts, right? It is that time of the year when gifts are the symbol of people’s love and care to other individuals around them. Here on the Philippines, it is the norm to see some children and adults doing caroling in front of different houses with the hope of getting a few gifts from the homeowners, but at IROG foundation, the group was doing the exact opposite because they do caroling not to get gifts, but to give gifts to different families especially for the people in need.

 

The IROG foundation along with different volunteers, employees, and other generous and compassionate individuals and groups have been doing this “Reverse Carolling” for many years now and each time they do it, it is certain that it will be a very memorable experience for each person involved. Their dedication can even travel extra miles just to deliver their gifts to people similar to what happened on December 19, 2017, but this time, something special happened because one of the famous news programs of GMA News TV, the “State of the Nation with Jessica Soho”, took interest in the organization’s compassionate activity and decided to cover their caroling story and share it to millions of Filipinos watching their newscast.

 

 

Even though the group heard the Christmas songs a lot of times they still decided to practice the songs to deliver them properly during the morning of December 19, then afternoon came, and the group was ready to go, carrying their gifts and their feelings of excitement and joy. They might not be composed of great singers, but they still sing the Christmas carols from the bottom of their hearts with full of smiles, and to their delight, the families truly appreciate them. And as each set of songs were finished, the group was truly excited each time they’re about to give the gifts to different persons and families at Tibag, Zambales. This is also the group’s way of telling them that whatever challenges life may bring, there are still people who are willing to provide a kind help and support.

 

This benevolent tradition started by the organization with the genuine objective of sharing love and care through gifts to different people and families will surely continue in the next Christmas seasons.

 

 

 

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