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text 2018-10-25 06:44
Lack of empathy is the root cause for all problems






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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-05-04 15:30
Book Review - His to Cherish (Tea and Empathy #2)
His to Cherish (Tea and Empathy, #2)His to Cherish by Jessie Pinkham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I just finished reading the 2nd installment of the Tea and Empathy series.

This was a sweet and gentle book and an easy read. If you enjoy books with little drama or suspense but love sweet relationship building this is the book for you. In this book we meet a character who was only touched on the previous book in this series, Cole's friend Gabe. In the last book we learn Gabe Thorne is from one of the rich and powerful families of Tusnua, the planet on which these books take place. Gabe's sister was in the middle of 'buying' an empath, something which disgusted Gabe to no end. Of course it was presented as a dowry to the empath's family, but she was in essence buying someone.

This book opens with Gabe finding out his sister was dead, killed in a freak accident, and Gabe's father expecting him to deal with the empath. Gabe goes to meet the family and is immediately disgusted by the parents who are more interested in getting the rest of the money than what is in the best interest of their son, Ignacio, a 19 year old empath. Gabe immediately goes into 'hero mode' and agrees to complete the contract and take Ignacio, or Nacio as he likes to be called, as his empath and be his anchor. He pays off Gabe's parents and sends them on their way.

The rest of the story is about Nacio growing into his own, from the idea he was 'compensation' to his mother and step-father, someone who was supposed to bend to the will of his anchor, to an independent but still gentle man who is very much in love with his anchor.

From start to finish this was a sweet, gentle story and I enjoyed it very much.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-02-28 00:30
Love and Empathy - Scifi style!
His to Hold (Tea and Empathy Book 1)His to Hold by Jessie Pinkham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

spoiler alert ** What an interesting premise! I'm really enjoying this book, but then I'm a sucker for both sci-fi and m/m :D

It's also interesting in mirroring of human rights throughout history. In this future world where humans have populated the stars, empaths started out as test tube creations with no rights who bonded to an 'anchor'. They were tools, much like drones, human tools to be used by politicians and the unscrupulous because when an empath bonded to an anchor they became so invested in the anchor that they would do anything to please them. And humans are nasty and brutish and more than willing to take advantage of that so there was a huge black market to buy and sell empaths for all sorts of things, including as sex slaves.
But as those first generations of empaths had children and the genetic trait was passed on and eventually, humanity was forced to recognize that empaths were human beings with autonomy and not just a tool to be used.

This book starts with an interesting debate on the practice of 'buying' an empath between the main character, Cole, and his friend who happens to be from a wealthy family. The friend's sister is shopping around for an empath, a practice Cole finds disgusting. The friend, being the black sheep of a wealthy industrial family, finds his family's attitude amoral as well. The conversation ends and Cole thinks nothing of it... until approached by another co-worker who overheard the conversation for a private discussion.

The co-worker has a cousin who is an empath in need of an anchor and he wants to find his cousin a _good_ anchor. The very fact that Cole was disgusted by the behavior and had no desire to be an anchor was what brought him to the man's attention. Out of courtesy Cole agrees to meet the cousin, Aiden, and finds himself falling for the other man _despite_ him being an empath, not because he was; and the attraction is mutual. But Aiden is on a timeline. He has to bond to an anchor with months or go mad.

The couple slowly falling for each other, Cole always aware of the ever-looming timeline. He spends his time away from Aiden pondering the weighty responsibility of becoming an anchor but an unscrupulous friend of a friend causes that timeline to speed up drastically when Aiden is kidnapped and an injected with a drug meant to force an empath into bonding prematurely.

It is only when he receives the news that Aiden has been kidnapped that Cole realizes all his worry and self-doubt was unnecessary. He was in love with Aiden, empathy and all. Now he can only hope he gets the chance to tell him.

It was a well-written and thoughtfully thought out book. I love how the rights of empaths mirrored struggles of previous generations - the emancipation of women, the end of slavery and the struggles of segregation. I will definitely be reading book 2!

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review 2017-03-08 03:33
Good Night, Firefly
Good Night, Firefly - Gabriel Alborozo,Gabriel Alborozo

Good Night, Firefly is a sweet story about a young girl who is afraid of the dark, and the firefly she catches as a nightlight. It is a story about understanding and doing what is best for others.

This book scored a 2.4 on the Automated Readability Index, making it ideal for 2nd grade and above. This book can be used to teach empathy to students. Classes can discuss how the characters might have felt throughout the story, and whether or not the main character did the right thing in the end. 

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text 2016-04-15 15:00
Fabulous Five Friday: Essay Collections (4/15/2016)
Slouching Towards Bethlehem - Joan Didion
Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader - Anne Fadiman
Bad Feminist: Essays - Roxane Gay
The Empathy Exams: Essays - Leslie Jamison
Paris Was Ours - Penelope Rowlands

Fabulous Five Friday: Five Great Essay Collections



 Slouching Toward Bethlehem by Joan Didion


There is no denying that Didion is the queen of the essay form. Bethlehem is one of her earliest collections, but it’s still my favorite. Though some might find the essays rooted in the current events of the 1960s a bit dated, her personal essays are timeless. Some of her best known pieces come from this collection, like “On Keeping a Notebook,” “On Self-Respect,” and “On Going Home.”


Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman


Anne Fadiman is a book person after my own heart, only smarter and more articulate. Each essay looks at a personal experience with reading, like learning to love reading by watching her parents, or her family’s obsession with finding errors in their books. Her whole family is bookish and weird and really fun to read about.


Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay


This collection is not so much a direct analysis of feminism as it is simply a collection of Gay’s pieces from all over the internet. She focuses so much on feminism, directly and indirectly, that the title is still pretty spot-on. The essays cover everything from the day-to-day struggle of being a POC in academia to what it’s like to compete in a Scrabble tournament. Her pop culture criticism is both incisive and highly personal, which something I strive for in my own criticism and she makes for a fantastic teacher.


The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison


This collection got a lot of buzz when it came out, and for good reason. Jamison writes highly personal essays on the experience of empathy in a style that seems meandering but always comes together in perfect but surprising ways.


Paris Was Ours: Thirty-Two Writers Reflect on the City of Light edited by Penelope Rowlands


Writers—some famous, some less so—write about visiting or living in modern Paris. The different voices and experiences each capture something unique about the city and about what it’s like to be in a famous place that contains so many contradictions. Like with all anthologies, I found some more interesting than others, but none were disappointing.

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