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review 2017-11-16 04:27
Brave New World (Audiobook)
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley,Michael York

Brave New Shock Value: the Anti-Utopia

 

So, I read that. Or listened to that. I can see why this was a revolutionary novel when it was written. Huxley set out to write a satire of the utopian novels so popular in his day and wrote a horror story instead. It's certainly imaginative, and not entirely out of left field, unfortunately. It does show its age in some respects, but since this is meant to be uncomfortable, that's not as much of a deterrent as it could be. I'm not really sure what to rate this though, so I'm leaving it unrated.

 

Narration is top-notch though - 5 stars for Michael York.

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review 2017-11-15 04:24
Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson & Lauren Myracle

 

"The Jubilee Express" by Maureen Johnson - 3/5 Stars
I liked the story, thought it was cute-ish, but did not like how the main character stereotyped cheerleaders. It was another one of those "I'm not like those girls" type of thing. I really hate when people do that. Just because someone is pretty, wears make up and likes to be perky and do cheers, doesn't make them a bad person or make them less than you. That goes for any person/group who is different from you. Don't be so quick to judge. It was also annoying how the author basically said all cheerleaders are named Amber and Madison. Of course, I know nothing about cheerleaders, so...

I was really cringing throughout the story, because I was expecting her to cheat on her boyfriend; the story just gave that vibe.

Luckily there was no cheating

(spoiler show)

.

I liked Stuart as a character. He seemed genuinely like a good person.

The whole thing with the Christmas village was different.

I like the writing style and think it would be fun to expand it to a full length novel and really expand on the character developments, and have it not be so instalove.

---

"A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle" by John Green - 1/5 stars.
Did John Green really write this? It was horrible and gross. Are boys really like that about cheerleaders? Anyways, it just made me feel a little disgusted how the girls are being treated/are viewed because they happen to be cheerleaders. Also saying "that's so gay"... ugh, and it was used more than once. I also did not appreciate the dig at Lindsay Lohan. Sure the likelihood, Lindsay will ever read this is slim, but it's a pretty crappy thing to do. She's still a person and the story basically called her a slut. "Legs always open." So John Green lost a little of my respect.

---

"The Patron Saint of Pigs" by Lauren Myracle - 2.5/5 stars.
The main character was really painful to read. I mean, I guess she learned her lesson in the end, at least I hope so. I didn't really care much for it, but I did like the ending somewhat with everyone coming together.

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review 2017-11-15 00:49
Higher is Waiting
Higher Is Waiting - Tyler Perry

By:  Tyler Perry 

ISBN: 9780812989342

Publisher:  Random House 

Publication Date:  11/14/2017

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating: 5 Stars 

 

From the hilarious creation of Madea, Perry delivers an inspiring memoir and words of encouragement in HIGHER IS WAITING —with a combination of his own unique blend of spiritual hope and southern humor over a ten-year period of his personal journals. Top Memoir of 2017. 

From the multi-talented author, writer, actor, director, producer, filmmaker, playwright, songwriter, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Tyler Perry is the mastermind behind nineteen theatrically released feature films, twenty stage plays, nine television shows, and a #1 New York Times bestselling book. 

The author once again demonstrates how tragedy turns into triumph, both in the hearts and minds of individuals and sets sparks of change within communities. 

There is an entire world out there waiting for those who "want it." Cherish your dreams and keep them safe. From hard work, positive energy, and self-encouragement. Prov. 19:21. 

We are worthy, despite our histories. God gave us breath and life. Jeremiah 29:11. 

 




Who doesn’t love Tyler Perry? Being an Atlanta gal, I am a huge fan and have seen all his movies, a few of his plays, and read his books. (loved the references to Atlanta’s Silver Comet Trail which was my inspiration and logged in many hours on my bike for years). It brings solace. 

In addition to his witty warm-hearted stories, he is a powerful spiritual leader. The essence of power, faith, and the grace of God and how it has worked in his own life. 

In HIGHER IS WAITING, the author tells his own story. His own struggles with money, abuse, his career, and his unwavering love for his mother. His dreams. He never gave up on his dream and encourages others to do the same, no matter where they are in their journey or the climb.

Higher is divided into four sections that revolve around the metaphor of a tree. 

The Tree of Life. Taking a tree, he compares to the various stages of spiritual growth from his early childhood years to the present.

• Planting the Seeds
• Nourish the Roots
• Branching Out
• Harvesting the Fruit

It is the author’s hope, readers will spark God within and ignite a flame to go higher. From those who are struggling or are angry. Those who need forgiveness. A desire for a better life. For all humanity. 

From his own mom’s time growing up in the Jim Crow South when black people were not allowed to dream big. Tyler had big dreams. It meant reaching higher and taking chances. 

On a personal note: When I served on the board of directors for YES! Atlanta, this was an important topic and message we stressed to this group of at-risk teens. "To dream big." To see beyond their current surroundings which may appear dismal, and unattainable. 

God’s words can be of service. From your own thoughts, finances, love, career, or family; that love and compassion will be waiting in every single part of your life and step of your journey.

“Sometimes in life, dreams are hard to follow. Just like that climb, you’re not aware of how high you’re going or if you’re even moving. But every step, even when you can’t see what’s behind you for what’s in front of you, brings you closer to your goal. . . " 

Faith.

Easy to read, well laid out, this powerful book could be utilized as a daily devotional. From tidbits of real life from Tyler, wise lessons, and a special call out section with questions, thoughts, and meditations, with related scripture. 

“Look how far you’ve come. God has brought you here. You won’t be abandoned. Stay in the climb.”

Perry vividly and movingly describes his growing awareness of God's presence in his life, how he learned to tune in to His voice— to persevere through hard times, and to choose faith over fear. 

I particularly enjoyed his personal stories and how he connects with nature. Especially, Chapter 6. Relating trees to people. 

Leaf People: people in your life for only a season. You can’t depend on them. They have their own weaknesses and are only able to offer shade. Like the leaves, they blow away.

Branch People: They are stronger than Leaf People. However, they need care. They are often fragile and unreliable. If a storm rolls in, they may break. Their strength has to be tested. 

Root People. Someone very special. They do their work underground. Quietly without fanfare. They provide help, support, and nourishment. They are happy when we thrive. They are strong, resilient, and powerful. Be sure and water them with love, appreciation, and gratitude. Treasure these folks. 

The leaf, branch, and root people in our own lives. 

Perry reiterates his soul-filled experiences have taught him to embrace disappointments, knowing deeper lessons will be revealed. 

They have shown him time and time again God’s hand in closing some doors and opening others. Helping him to release the past and create a future of hope. The tools for forgiveness and placed him back on his path, when he lost his way.

I also enjoyed Chapter 13. Discovering the Gift. We all ponder our higher purpose. Our hidden gifts. We must look for them.

HIGHER IS WAITING is a beautifully written spiritual guidebook (thought-provoking and soul-searching) one to treasure. Highly recommend and an ideal choice for the gift giving and the holiday season as well as book clubs or small groups. 

This is not a one time read. HIGHER IS WAITING is a memorable book you want to use, bookmark, and reference daily, to enrich your life. A reminder of how far we have come, and heights yet to attain. Buy two copies. Give one away to someone who needs "hope and faith," this Christmas season.

A special thank you to Random House for an advance reading copy and also purchased a hardcover copy for my personal library.

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/10/08/Higher-Is-Waiting
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review 2017-11-14 18:51
Review: "Necropolis" (Whyborne & Griffin, #4) by Jordan L. Hawk
Necropolis - Jordan L. Hawk

 

~ 4.5 stars ~

 

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review 2017-11-14 18:45
Childgrave by Ken Greenhall
Childgrave - Ken Greenhall

 

CHILDGRAVE is a beautifully written quiet horror story, with a sketchy small town lurking in the background. By the time the secrets of the town are revealed, it's too late for the reader to turn back.

 

As I get older, I find myself more and more drawn to quiet horror. I can do without gore and torture and all that if I have a tale that's well written and atmospheric. I also need compelling characters and CHILDGRAVE has that in spades. The main character, Jonathan, is a widowed photographer. He, his daughter Joanne, and his housekeeper Nanny Joy, are so well drawn I feel as if I know them personally.

 

When Jonathan's photos of his daughter seem to show specters in the background, while at the same time Joanne seems to have developed some new invisible friends, Jonathan is intrigued. Are the two events connected? Who is Conlee, the name of Joanne's new invisible friend? Lastly, what is Chilegray and how is connected to Conlee? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

I'll get it out of the way now-this is a slow moving story. What kept me interested was the quality of the writing and the characters. Jonathan is a quirky man. He has few friends and little interest in fashion or modern day trends. His housekeeper Nanny Joy loves jazz and Jonathan's daughter, but is concerned about the appearance of Conlee and the specters in the photographs. Jonathan's agent Harry is hilarious and his girlfriend, Lee, is interesting as well. NYC of the 70's is the main setting, and it was fascinating to read about the city during that time of social upheaval and change.

 

I was inexorably drawn to the conclusion which leads the reader to a small town hidden in a valley. "Evil in a small town" is one of my favorite tropes and Greenhall knew how to deliver it in a chilling and shocking- yet believable way. You find yourself wondering what you would do in such a situation and I continued to think about it all night long...hours after finishing the book. I can't say that I blame Jonathan for the choices that he made.

 

While CHILDGRAVE isn't the psychological, fast moving story that both ELIZABETH or HELL HOUND were, it was excellent in its own quiet and compelling way. Slowly drawing the reader down into the valley where secrets are kept for generation after generation, Greenhall deftly brings things to a head and left this reader wishing for more.

 

Highly recommended!

 

You can get your copy here: CHILDGRAVE

 

*Thanks to Valancourt Books for providing this e-book free, in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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