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review 2018-07-19 09:18
The Change Chronicles- Paula Friedman

      This book is dripping with realism, with historic realities, stuffed full of the issues of the then still young baby-boomer generation. We are immersed, near drowning, in the real issues of a student body that feared the bomb: but feared man’s inhumanity to man far more. We are with the issues of the post-war generation that had to make stark individual choices between defying the generally respected government apparatus of their parents and grandparents, by radically opposing neo-colonial war, or joining the ranks of those that might have to kill as soldiers, or certainly by proxy, those fighting for their homes and their innocent children in distant lands.

      As the body-bags and damaged young men, returned from the war in ever greater numbers a social divide split Berkeley, this read’s setting, then West-Coast America, and eventually the ‘free world’. Additionally, the boomer generation were deep in the already progressing struggle against racism and, as the ‘60s progressed, the drive towards sexual equality was gaining a long-dormant momentum. A tsunami of social consciousness grew out of the student Free Speech Movement, the roots of the 60s Counterculture, and swelled out so far and so deep that even today we feel its dissipated pull. Culture has seen fundamental change, despite recent pressures to reset the clocks of history from many right of centre and ‘religious’ groups.

      Nora is at the centre of the social struggle, a child of the ‘50s, a daughter of parent’s born in the ‘20s and ‘30s. The older generation that had suffered the deprivations and often the full horrors of world war and who now struggled to understand the anti-establishmentarianism of so many of their kids. In 1966, the parental generation was as psychologically distant from the lives of their children as any times have seen. But quite naturally, establishment structure and deeply ingrained cultural expectations, hung heavy shadows over even the most progressive. No generation can reject all the expectations of their upbringing. Nora, like those around her, was struggling with her personal place in the world as much as with grand designs. This is so vividly drawn in this story as the young unmarried mother feels little choice but to give up her new-born child. This is a chronicle of change for one women in a social fabric that was constantly melting and reforming around her.

      Friedman’s brilliant writing lets us see how the new sexual permissiveness of late ‘60s youth is overshadowed by old moralities. For example, we see how many men were all-too-ready to enjoy new sexual freedoms but without accepting the fullness of accrued responsibility. We see the young women, who are equally driven by new social permissiveness, but are so often left abandoned to face single parenthood, still then illegal abortion, or cruel adoption. The pill, though a birth control reality from 1960 onwards, was still years away from available to all but a few women; or in many territories and especially among their many religious and cultural groups, any women whatsoever. The 1960s were more about changed expectations than the progress that decade unleashed, just as previous history had paved the groundwork for racial equality, and the ‘70s would soon for the rainbow of sexuality.

      Friedman draws us through every significant thought and fear, not just of the principle character, Nora, but her whole generation of educated, informed, and variably enlightened young activists. She represents a post-war generation that was desperate to change society, rather than just their own fortunes. As always, change brought mixed and shifting actions and conflicting opinions even between those that held aloft the very same flags. This is a book that in an equal universe should find a place as the ‘lighter’ but equally socially enlightening read, complementing iconic works from Weinberg, Ginsberg and so many well-recognised others. This book should be on the shelves, available to all those that seek insight into the social tapestry behind songs of Dylan, Baez and Lennon and so many more. This book is so much part of the essential history of those in my wide generation that fought with the banner, the guitar and the pen, and with the desperate but sadly naive conviction that the world could be made better for all, not just those blessed by God to have the most money and the most destructive guns. Of course, as in all generations the baby-boomers fill all areas of the political spectrum, though for a time there was promise of us really being something different; a truly progressive generation. So incidentally, it’s feels so sadly poignant that our now senior, empowered generation, is making such a mess of its responsibilities to humanity and this planet. But despite abject failings those that marched can at least find some relief in the social earthquake that is still shaking out new and profound chronicles of hopefully sustainable change, across so much of the Earth. Despite everything, the wind of change that blew from Berkeley in the ‘60s has left an indelible footprint on social history, and Friedman’s book gives us a glimpse into the countercultural foundations of our changing social fabric. I feel so fortified when reading Friedman’s deeply woven commentary on the early determined stands of so many of our post-war generation. This goes some small way towards alleviating the sense of shame brought on so many of us by the actions of the aging boomer leadership, which conspires to reverse so very much of what Friedman and her contemporaries achieved. Sad though many aspects of this book are the overall feel is one of positivity, a banner flown for the progressive spirit.

      This is quality writing that lets one breath in the winds of change that may have lost its acute direction, but whose influence is felt in so many aspects of the world today, including currently in hashtag metoo, in the wider struggles for social justice, human rights and for our basic freedom of speech. We have hopefully passed onto our children enough social conscience to bring down the new savage capitalism and currently growing fascist tendencies. This is a book about some of the ordinary voices in an extraordinary movement, in the chronicles of change. This read is an intimate look behind the placards and politics of a generation that once dared to march, not for themselves, but for a better world.

AMAZON LINK

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review 2018-07-19 00:07
God and Blowjobs
Chaste - Lydia Michaels
Recommended by J.D. Thank you!
 
 
Perhaps they’d always been aware of each other, but were both smart enough to know they made no sense as anything more than acquaintances in a small town.
 
A small town, a girl who's mother dies early in her life leaving only a masculine presence which combined with her deeply held faith has her being a 24yr old virgin, a boy who attracts women early gaining a reputation that has him being the go to for a good night, and an attraction that doesn't seem to make sense. 
The whole trope of heroine being the shy girl who loves the hero from afar and the bad boy with hidden depth who never thought he was good enough for heroine, is one I can't help but enjoy and I greatly did for the first 20%.
 
After years of watching him, she’d seen hidden moments where his focus drifted and his smile faltered as if he was exhausted with putting on the charm. There was no denying Kelly was a funny and entertaining person to be around, but…so much of it was a performance.
 
The author did a great job of giving these two trope heavy characters and giving them depth. The heroine was considered a wallflower by everyone and socially acted like that but with the hero she showed her backbone and tilted his world on edge. The hero loved women and they loved him but he kind of always wondered about the heroine (we get a few flashbacks of him talking with her highschool), wanted something deeper, but never thought he was worth more because of his early formative years of having girls only want one thing from him.
These two were so adorable in the beginning and gave me all the ooey gooey feelings.
 
“Would you date a virgin?”
His lips buttoned up and he looked away. “Uh, I’m a little too…I got a sweet tooth.”
She frowned. “What?”
He blew out a breath. “I like sex, love. Lots of sex. Crazy, swinging from the chandeliers, make you scream, feel it days later sex.” He scratched his head and grimaced. “I’m really not that complicated. I basically only come with two settings, hungry and horny.” He laughed and gazed away, mumbling, “If you don’t see me with a hard on, make me food. Ah, but then I start thinking about cobbler and soft peaches and…” He cleared his throat and shifted.
She didn’t know where to look, but she couldn’t look at him. Her head turned with jagged increments as she focused her stare anywhere but at him.
He chuckled. “Sorry. Maybe that was a bit too graphic on my part.”
“Sometimes waiting means more than the act,”she offered lamely. Her decision really couldn’t compete with chandelier monkey screaming antics—not with Kelly. That was for sure. And was he actually talking about cobbler or was it a metaphor? Did he do stuff with food? Jeeze, she was ignorant, but now she was really curious.
 
Our wallflower didn't back down around him and I enjoyed her backbone and I felt for how the hero was so vulnerable. After the beginning first half though, the heroine's virginity started to become a huge focus, religious talk featured heavily, and there was the icky "not like those other slutty desperate girls" from the hero.
 
“Because I’m not like other girls,” she said frowning at her lap.
“Yeah, but not for the negative reasons you’re probably thinking. I know a lot of women. You’re different, interesting. You don’t cover yourself with fancy crap and pretend to be someone you’re not. You’re honest and unguarded.”
She snorted. “We’re all guarded.”
 
The hero was ugh with this thinking but delightfully, the heroine would come to the defense of the women, but I got tired of the "other women are so desperate when they only want sex from me". Now, I'm not religious so I have contradictory views with Christianity, so my personal enjoyment will vary if you're of a different school of thought. The heroine is a virgin because of her faith and how she's suppose to save her "innocence" for her husband. When she is trying to date, she ends up finding out that one of her dates is a virgin, also because of his faith. What does she think? She doesn't like it, she thinks about how the hero is better because of his experience. I'm all for personal decisions but this thinking of women must remain innocent because of God but men can sleep with anything is so barfy to me, I'm just not going to enjoy a story where the whole middle talks about this. 
 
The second half I lost the beginning spark and building connection between the two because sex became the focus. I'm not lying when I say this book is largely about God and blowjobs. I don't know if there is a category or sub-genre labeled Christian erotica but this would fit squarely there. I honestly felt like their rushed marriage was so they could have sex, their emotional connection stops being built and felt after they are married. The ending was rushed with a bunch of little added dramas and angst. 
 
The first 20% was very close to building up to a 5 stars but I'm not a Christian and their emotional building and bonding was replaced with endless faith talk and sexy times, making me not the target audience and not feeling their heat in the bedroom.
 
 
 
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review 2018-07-18 23:51
Lost in Indigo (Colors of Love Book 1) by V. L. Locey 4 Star Review!
Lost in Indigo - V.L. Locey

Mathieu Beresford was so close to seeing his dream come true.

The thirty-eight-year-old captain of the Buffalo Surge had led his team to the final round of the playoffs with his aggressive defensive play and leadership. During the first game of the championship series, he was taken down, and his leg snapped upon impact with the boards. From his hospital bed, Mathieu watched his team go on to win it all.

Adrift in anger, resentment, and the new direction of his life, he returns to his mansion along the St. Lawrence River. Alone and sulking, Mathieu is not prepared for Indigo Neu to enter his life. The genderflux twenty-year-old botany major signs on to play nursemaid, confidant, and groundskeeper over the summer and slowly leads Mathieu out of his confusion––one tender smile and touch at a time.

The deeper Mathieu falls, the more he wonders if being lost might not be so bad after all.

 

Review

 

I am excited about the start of V.L Locey new series Colors of Love.

This first book in series gives us an age gap romance set on the stunning St. Lawerence River between a pro hockey player and a college student doing gardening for the summer. 

There are a great deal of common tropes here but I think what the book does really well as look at the costs of being closeted as Mat is. It also takes seriously the struggle of coming out in a religous culture (in this case French Canadian Catholic) and when you are from the generation of men just after the highest point of the AIDS epidemic. 

I was a young adult during these time period and newly out as bisexual and going to my first Prides and much of my activism intersected with what was happening in the community around AIDS so I think I have a special infinity for stories that blend the arc of recent LGBTQA history into the characters.

Mat and Indigo are instantly attracted. The love that builds between them is that young tender first love through they both are far from virgins. Indigo's identity as genderflux layers into the plot.

Indigo does think he can handle a relationship on the down low. But he cant's and Mat is confronting the end of his career and coming out.

Despite the high drama of some of the plot points the overall tone of book is sweet and reflective. 

We get a lovely HEA. 

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text 2018-07-18 20:25
Reading progress update: I've read 288 out of 288 pages.
The Prince and the Dressmaker - Jen Wang

Loved the story and the art

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text 2018-07-18 09:42
Cover Reveal - Love
 
 
Title: Love
Series: SEAL'ed #2
Author: Andi Jaxon and AJ Alexander
Genre: Contemporary/Military Romance
Release Date: August 8, 2018 Cover Design: Pop Kitty Designs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
In the midst of trying to help his best friend get his girl, Charlie was hit by cupid's arrow, twice. He finds himself the perfect girl to bring home and a spare he wasn’t expecting.
 
Avery has never wanted the American Dream. She knows who and what she wants, and right now, it’s freedom and Amber. That is until these two tornadoes get a call from their best friend that turns both their lives upside down.
 
A wild ride of sex, love, and tequila teaches them that there is more to love than boy meets girl. Sometimes you have to get a little creative to find your happily ever after.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Raised all over the country, I'm a interesting mix of East Coast meets West Coast with a little bit of Southern thrown in, just for good measure. I married a sexy man in uniform who let me spawn and am now raising a mutinous army of hell raisers that I created myself, all while he defends our country. I drink too much coffee until it's late enough to drink too much wine and am sexually frustrated for your freedom. If you see me online, I'm probably sitting in a closet, hiding from my kids. 

Want to know more about Andi Jaxon? Follow her on social media or subscribe to her mailing list to receive the latest information on new releases, sales, and more!
 
 
 
Fluent in sarcasm, Supernatural, and song lyrics, I like talking to people and finding what makes them tick, though that probably has to do with the Psychology degree. I’m up before the sun because my kids don’t sleep, chugging tea and coffee to keep my eyes open and my brain semi functional. Being married to a man in uniform means I’ve lived a lot of places, survived seeing my husband for half the amount of time I’ve been married, and spent a lot of time raising my kids alone.  I love to write messed up psychos with lots of angst, happily ever afters that have to be worked for. Women with sass and backbone, men with a twisted hero complex and the need to control are my favorite to read as well as write. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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