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review 2017-09-20 23:47
For the "right" person it could be a great gift.
Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Ch... Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World - William H. McRaven

Didn't really know much about the author or the book but probably saw it somewhere as a recommended reading and it sounded interesting. The title may seem "simple" (making your bed) but the author expands upon why the seemingly simple nuggets of wisdom he shares are important tidbits to guiding life.


Best way to describe this based on books I've read was that this reminded me of 'Very Good Lives' by J.K. Rowling (her commencement speech to Harvard) and An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Colonel Chris Hadfield. This book is an expansion of McRaven's speech to the University of Texas's commencement and like Hadfield's book it integrate's the author's life and and career in the Navy. How these guiding principles helped in his professional life (and some personal) and why they can help a young person going forward in life.


It was okay. I've never cared for books by military people or military history so I found I could really only skim this. I couldn't relate to a lot of what he said (clearly demonstrating I'd never survive in the Navy or any other branch...) and at best it just seemed at times a bit simplistic, perhaps occasionally too "obvious". Accepting failure, learn how to overcome adversity, stand up to bullying, etc. Nothing earth-shattering or framed in such a way that really made me rethink anything.


That said: I think some of these approaches just aren't for me. Rowling's words resonated with me a lot more but I'm probably more similar to her than to McRaven. I think for the right person (someone considering military service or grew up with as an Army brat, etc.) might like this a lot more. Or maybe if you liked his speech and want to keep a physical copy that expands more on what he said. 


Bottom line it might make a great gift for the right high school or college graduate (I've read younger people like it too but I suppose that would depend on the person) but I was glad I borrowed this book from the library instead.

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review 2017-09-16 21:50
69 Million Things I Hate About You
69 Million Things I Hate About You - Kira Archer

Title:  69 Million Things I Hate About You

Author:  Kira Archer

Publisher:  Entangled Indulgence  

Series:  Winning the Billionaire #1

Reviewed By:  Arlena Dean

Rating:  Four



"69 Million Things I Hate About You" (Winning the Billionaire #1)  by Kira Archer


My Thoughts...


When I first started reading this novel I was wondering would I like it this particular read.  Well, I dd finding it a sweet humorous read that will keep your attention till the very end.  I tell you that Kiersten Abbott really puts it on Cole Harrington  and in the end how it all comes together being quite a nice fun enjoyable read. Truly winning that lottery ticket with her friends started it all!  I did find it somewhat predictable in spots but it was still a good read with some of the funniest scenes...one of them being [Kiersten and Cole's mother] that will have you laughing out loud!


Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the ARC in return for my honest review.

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review 2017-09-05 19:55
Halloween Bingo -- Terrifying Women Square -- yeah.
Men Explain Things to Me - Rebecca Solnit




Because we should all be so terrifying, instead of terrified.


The truth is that even if we don't live in constant conscious fear, our lives are bounded by it, our actions limited by it.  It's far more real than haunted houses or vampires.  We're far more likely to be victims of sexual assault or gender-based silencing than of a zombie apocalypse.


If I remember correctly, many of Barbara Michaels's contemporary gothics included -- if not specifically featured -- elements of misogyny and oppression.  It's the main theme in Houses of Stone, both in Ismene's mysterious manuscript as well as in Dr. Karen Holloway's search for the author's true identity and her fate.  But there are also elements of misogyny in Ammie, Come Home, as we discovered in our buddy read last year.  Again in The Walker in Shadows and Vanish with the Rose, where women are denied the right to love whom they choose.  Be Buried in the Rain involves both historical and contemporary efforts to silence and/or punish women for daring to . . . be.


Almost all of our "terrifying women" authors are doing the same thing Solnit does -- they are speaking out against The Terror we all face.  The terror of silencing.


It even appears in the poorly written novels, like The Haunting of Ashburn House, where the character of Adrienne is  making an attempt to take control of her life.  The irony, of course, is that it's not a man who is trying to destroy her, but she's still making her effort to exist.  (And maybe that was the point of not having any boyfriends in the story??)  Gemma Rose, owner of the Little Stables Tearoom in A Scone to Die For, resists her mother's efforts to mold her into a traditional role and puts her own efforts into making her own way with her own choices.  And in Terror in Tower Grove, the repression of the patriarchal religion imposes its strictures on Tricia, on Andrea, denying them their full humanity in the name of  . . .  God.


Men Explain Things to Me is the Ghostland of women writers in all genres, from the Brontes and Andre Norton who had to hide behind androgynous pseudonyms to all the romance writers who endure snickers and dismissal because they write for women.


Yeah.  Terrifying Women indeed.

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