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review 2018-04-13 16:21
Looking for death in all the right places
From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death - Caitlin Doughty

Here I am talking about death again. Part of me worries that 'harping' on about this subject and these books will turn away the average reader to my blog but the larger part of me (and the one who runs things) believes that if I am going to be authentic with my reviews then I have to follow my mood with what books I voluntarily choose to read. That being said, I'm here to talk about Caitlin Doughty's second book From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death. As the title suggests, this is a bit more of a travelogue piece about the death industry. This book explores in depth the way that death is viewed, celebrated, and treated in different countries and cultures. [A/N: I don't know that it needs to be necessarily spelled out but just in case: This book is not for those who shy away from talk of decomposition and graphic depictions of death in general.] Caitlin visits places both far-flung and just around the riverbend all in search of what she terms the Good Death. (For more info visit her website to see if you'd like to join her group.)  She attended an open air cremation where the body is laid atop a pyre and the ceremony is experienced by all members of the community (Colorado). In Japan the families are brought in after the body has been cremated so that they can extricate the bones by chopstick to place them in an urn for safekeeping. She experienced Fiesta de las Ñatitas in La Paz and spoke to those who celebrate these saints by collecting and displaying shrunken skulls (and in some cases mummified heads). One of my favorite places that she described was the Corpse Hotel in Japan where you can visit your deceased family member in the comfort and splendor of an upscale hotel. Overall, From Here to Eternity is a fascinating look at the way that death is addressed by various cultures around the world. It serves as a sobering reminder that death is not accepted but rather feared here in America. If you are interested in the ways that others approach death and how they treat their dead (some cultures revisit the dead to clean and redress them as a sign of honor and remembrance) then I urge you to read this book. 9/10

 

P.S. I'm not done with books on this subject. Keep an eye out for at least 1 possibly 2 more in the not too distant future.

 

What's Up Next: How to Love the Empty Air by Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz

 

What I'm Currently Reading: The American Way of Death Revisited by Jessica Mitford

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-03-30 16:06
Comedy is the best and dating apps are the worst
I've Got This Round: More Tales of Debauchery - Mamrie Hart

I've Got This Round: More Tales of Debauchery by Mamrie Hart was just what I needed after the last couple of books. Without realizing it, I desperately required a fresh dose of humor and Mamrie's voice in particular pulls one out of their own funk and reminds them that life should be fun. If you want to read a book by someone who feels like they are in your corner and rooting you on then you are in the right place. She has inspired/reminded me to continue to live authentically and for me. Also, I should travel more. Like a LOT more. If you've never heard of Mamrie I highly recommend you do two things: Watch her YouTube channels and read her first book. After you've done those two things you'll have a better understanding of just what you're getting into by diving into her second book which focuses less on the distant past and more on living in the moment. In I've Got This Round Mamrie set out to make moments that could be turned into a book and she succeeded with flying colors. She tests out a dating app which I had never heard about before and then I heard about it again the week after I finished reading this. (It's called Raya and I think it's for celebs. Full disclosure: I never researched it.) She goes on crazy trips with friends where everything is planned last minute and insane things happen. Some of the stuff that happened was so surprising that I literally looked up from the page and stared into space for several minutes. (I so badly want to tell you which things I'm talking about but I don't want to ruin it for you.) I have no idea how someone can consume the amount of alcohol that Mamrie does and still function as a normal human. It does make for hilarious content though so...worth it? This is a fun read that still manages to have a lot of heart. If you enjoyed You Deserve a Drink (the book and/or her YouTube show) then you will undoubtedly love its sequel. 10/10

 

What's Up Next: The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Death of a Hollow Man by Caroline Graham

 

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-02-05 00:36
A SENSE OF THE WORLD: HOW A BLIND MAN BECAME HISTORY'S GREATEST TRAVELER by Jason Roberts
A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History's Greatest Traveler - Jason Roberts

An interesting man who went from being a naval lieutenant who suffered from joint pain then became blind and traveled the world alone.  Fascinating!  And this all takes place from 1787-1857.  James Holman was an apothecary/shop owner's son who was destined to follow in his father's footsteps when family fortunes changed.  He goes to the Navy at 12 and expects to be there for the rest of his life but his health turns bad and he must retire on half-salary.  He becomes a Naval Knight of Windsor to retain his half-salary.  He absents himself a lot from his duties as he travels the world.  What is does and how he learns his way around with short funds and limited language skills is remarkable. 

 

I loved that the history of the time is explained and that what is happening in the countries he explores is also given.  That he often is on naval vessels and helps is remarkable.  I also enjoyed seeing the societal downsides of his times.  He is a remarkable man.  I am glad the bookseller recommended it as I was checking out.  Excellent read!

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review 2017-10-15 08:00
The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants - Ann Brashares

I found some more very old reviews, and thought to post them all now, so that they are once and for all all together ;).

 

Some of my friends recommended this book to me, but I wasn't blown away by the premise of four girls sharing a pair of jeans.

The book was OK, but not really something I like to read. The story was a bit simple. It's a nice read between two other books, but nothing special

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review 2017-08-25 13:51
40 DAYS AND 1001 NIGHTS by Tamalyn Dallal
40 Days And 1001 Nights, One Woman's Dance Through Life In The Islamic World - Tamalyn Dallal

Living 40 days in a different culture helps you understand the culture.  These are small vignettes of Tamalyn Dallal living in five countries that are with large Islamic populations.  Within each culture, Islam has been changed to take in the local customs that existed when Islam came into the area.  I thought she would live with one family for the whole 40 days but she lived in hotels, apartments, rented rooms, etc. instead of spending all her time with one family.  She met many different people.  I learned much about the cultures and countries, such as where some are and where they are near.  It is interesting and worth reading.  I just wish she had lived with one family 40 days and immersed herself in their daily lives.  

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