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text 2018-05-06 17:36
May Flowers TBR
Sisters of Heart and Snow - Margaret Dilloway
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
The Sword of Summer - Rick Riordan,John Rocco

Okay, so I am completely dragging my feet these last 2 months, and I finally realized part of the reason why. I have been off my anxiety meds since the end of February because my new pharmacy doesn't do autorefills and they are inept morons. They couldn't "get in contact with my doctor" to get the authorization for my Lexapro. Usually I'm okay for a few weeks without it, but I will become progressively more distracted and find it hard to focus on thing I usually enjoy. After about the 5th time of these people saying they hadn't heard back from my doctor, I fired off an email to him and within SECONDS he had them on the phone with my refill instructions. Somehow, the man wasn't dead on the other end of the line. Weird, right? When they send faxes to his designated refill line they claim they get nothing but all I do is send an email and he resurrected from the grave. I'm finding a new pharmacy with this next refill. I used to use Target because they did the autorefill and would even call in when I ran out of refills so I didn't have to do anything but show up once a month. Then Tricare dropped them. Maybe I will go back to Walgreens? Target is CVS so I can't use them. Ugh. But I have my pills again to get my brain back in line.

 

It's terrible to be trapped inside your head. I had to install an app on my phone to remind me to put it down because I was so obsessive about checking posts and just wasting time. The app pops up with a notification that says "isn't there something else you can be doing?" Hahaha, uh, yeah, I think so. I've backed off social media, and I'm forcing myself to read.

 

I should be back to myself in a month, once the Lex gets back into my system and makes the spinning thoughts slow down. I told my husband "I literally cannot read. I pick up the book and I can't focus on the words." He went and picked up the pills for me. I have a good hubby. If any of you have this problem, you understand it is not joke. It's exhausting. 

 

 

So I'm going to do my best to finish last month's books, then read all the comics I got from Free Comic Book Day. And maybe knock out some of my piles up Humble Bundle graphic novels.

 

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text 2018-04-02 02:10
April Showers TBR
Redwall: The Graphic Novel - Stuart Moore,Bret Blevins,Brian Jacques
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - Deborah Moggach
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
Sisters of Heart and Snow - Margaret Dilloway
Secret Vampire (Night World, #1) - L.J. Smith
Clash of Eagles - Alan Smale

Well, this month was going to be April Showers, so it was supposed to be dedicated to sad and emotional books. But then we had the Great Bedroom Flood of 2018, which ruined SOOOOOO MANY of my books. The bottoms of most of my graphic novels and several unread novels were soaked, causing the pages to warp, discolor and stick together. I wasn't too upset about the ones I had already read, but some of these books were brand new or just purchased at the Metro Book Sale. 

 

So, now April Showers means floods and water in the literal sense. I'm going to read the few books I salvaged that needed reading. Hopefully the pages aren't too stuck together. 

 

Before I read these I swear I will get through Envy and Splendor. I SWEAR. 

 

Also, Oklahoma teachers on strike. And I am behind them all the way. Teachers need better pay and our schools need more money! Oklahoma ranks 49th in the country in education. 

 

P.S. Friday was a terrible day. Saturday wasn't. Sunday was even better. Hope you guys are having a pretty good go of things. 

 

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review 2017-12-29 03:00
Review: The Kite Runner
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner is simply the most American foreign novel I've ever read. For those who aren't clear on this, that's not a good thing. We'll come back to this...

As a story, The Kite Runner starts a bit slow. I wasn't engaged as a reader until eighty to a hundred pages in. There was just considerable information to process and not much emotional weight to the story. The narrative jumped around quite a bit and it was difficult to follow. Then the tension began to rise. Amir, Hassan, and Baba became real. I was pulled into the narrative and I began to see how this story might actually warrant all the praise it has received. The characters were interesting and the plot was riveting.

For a chunk of this book somewhere in the middle, the story is quite good. There's the divisive heartrending story of the past that haunts our protagonist. His journey into adulthood, marriage, and immigration is insightful and honest. When the time comes for Amir to go back to Afghanistan, I expected the book to reach a satisfying conclusion, quietly observing Amir's past from his new position and providing Amir an opportunity to redeem himself for his past mistakes.

Then Khaled Hosseini did two things to crap all over any hopes I had for this book.

First, he found the cutest little ribbon he could, wrapped it around his story and tied it up so prettily. No, it doesn't end there. He found another cute ribbon. And he wrapped it around the story and the first bow. Then he found another. And another. There are no bloody kite strings in this novel. Those are the most ornate, gaudy ribbons the author could find because he wants you to see all of them. See this pretty ribbon here? Here's how I tie it all together. See this plot line here? Here's how I conveniently finish it off? Didn't see it? Well, let me explain it to you. There's redemption and there's soap opera drama needlessly orchestrated from page one. The Kite Runner is very much the second.

Second, and this is what really offends me, the intention of The Kite Runner is clear: to be a foreign novel that makes Americans happy that they're Americans. It justifies the superiority complex while convincing the reader that they're culturally aware. The western belief that Muslim nations are evil and that they need our salvation is abundant in the later half of this book. The Taliban is painted as a childish, hypocritical caricature with no need for sympathy. The only redeemable Muslim characters are those who reject any expression of faith and embrace western ideas and imagery. But it's all written by an Afghan, so it must be the way things are, right? Yes, The Kite Runner is a book that lets you feel cultured and entirely justified in bombing those bastards overseas.

I know many people love this book. I know that I've probably just stepped on many of their toes. They may think I'm calling them out as an “ignorant westerner.” I'm not. This book perpetuates these ideas, but falling for a good story while missing the underlying colonial notions can happen to the best of us, especially when the author is “one of them.” I do wish I'd read a book from Afghanistan that better represented the nation and its people. Hopefully, someday I'll get back around to it.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-11-24 22:08
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

So, what do you do when the guilt over something that happened in your childhood eats you up and prevents you from really living your life? You'll unconsciously look for a chance to redeem yourself.

 

"A man who has no conscience, no goodness, does not suffer."

 

Amir and Hassan practically grow up in the same household in Kabul, Amir, the son of a philanthropist who's revered in the community, and Hassan, the servant's son. They are close, and Hassan endlessly loyal, even throughout Amir's disparaging comments, until one winter's day the idyllic world is ripped apart when Hassan's assaulted and Amir doesn't interfere - and later on even drives Hassan and his father from the only home they've known. Years later, Amir's now married in the US, an old family friend calls him to Pakistan, uncovers the lies his childhood was built on, and offers a chance of redemption: go back to Kabul and save Hassan's son.

 

Usually, I'm not too fond of 1st person narratives. But they can, as in this case, work astonishingly well. As Amir grows up, so does his view on the world: from the arrogant, inwardly insecure boy always striving for his father's reluctant approval, always seeking out Hassan's presence but just maybe only to have someone to look down upon, to someone who hates himself for what he's failed to do and whose whole life changes because of one single event before it changes even more when he and his father are forced to flee to the US and start anew selling junk at flea markets. At least he finally gets to know the man his father is... even if still only partly because one revelation changes his entire perception. The focus falls on one little boy, left alone in Kabul and fallen into the same hands that ripped Hassan and Amir's childhood from them. And Hassan's reply to every of his demands during his childhood becomes his own after finally seeing a little smile on the face of that world-weary child:

 

"For you, a thousand times over."

 

This novel is an amazing journey into the aftermath of tragedy, into guilt and redemption, and into forgiveness given freely, even if you yourself don't feel you deserve it. But most of all it's a story about love, loyalty, friendship and family. Hosseini has the great gift of weaving a story tapestry with his words that sucks you in and leaves you grasping at every ray of hope that is offered... and those are few and far inbetween. And every time you think there's finally some good on the horizon he throws you right back into the darkness and despair that has you on the edge of your seat and a lump down your throat. An emotional tour de force that leaves you enriched, yet deeply humbled.

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review 2016-10-04 00:00
The Kite Runner
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini This book left me emotionally drained. I just can't even deal with it right now. I mean, it was amazing, but I need to take a break before talking about it...
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