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text 2018-08-10 12:22
Reading progress update: I've read 52 out of 272 pages.
Truth and Bright Water - Thomas King

This seems to be a very similar book to Medicine River. Similar characters, similar setting, similar everything... It's ok, but I am not sure I want to stick with this one. 

 

Neither Medicine River nor this one seem to have the magic and pull that The Back of the Turtle had.

 

I also have King's Green Grass, Running Water on Mt. TBR, which seems to also be set in Medicine River and I might just sample that one before deciding whether to read it or pass.

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review 2018-08-09 10:01
A Kind of Truth - Seth Clayton,Dreamspinner Press LLC,Lane Hayes

A sweet story about two lovable, down to earth guys falling in love and getting their priorities straight. Rand and Will both have people trying to push them in a certain direction because it suits their own agendas. Especially Will was suffering from a bad case of nasty parents.

Of course love wins in the end and the way Will took a stand for himself and his relationship with Rand was absolutely glorious.

Still, the most important conclusion for me from this book is that I now seem to have yet another favorite audiobook narrator. Awesome job by Seth Clayton.

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quote 2018-08-02 00:24
Jethro has brown hair and true hazel eyes—though sometimes they look almost gray. He’s the oldest and the most likely to give you a sweet smile while he steals your car and/or wallet.
Billy is the second oldest. His hair is a darker brown and his eyes are a bright, startling blue. He’s the most serious and responsible (and incidentally the worst tempered) of the bunch.

Next comes Cletus, number three; shortest, brown beard, olive green eyes. You can tell him apart from Jethro because he doesn’t smile often and his beard is longer. Instead of stealing your car, he’s more likely to take apart your toaster and tell you how it works. And he’s always been a little…odd. Sweet, but odd. As an example, he’d started attending my first period advanced placement calculus class two months ago. Apparently, he’d talked to my principal and had been cleared to sit in for the rest of the year. Ashley is number four. She’s the girl and looks just like a beauty contestant version of Billy.

Then the identical twins—Beau and Duane—with their red beards and blue eyes. Good luck telling them apart if they don’t talk; but if they do, Beau’s the friendly one. Last but not least is Roscoe. He’s a mixture of Jethro and Billy—big smiles that hide a more serious nature. He’s also a huge and indiscriminant flirt (or at least he was when I last knew him).
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review 2018-07-17 12:04
A Higher Loyalty
A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership - James Comey

I didn't know what to expect with Comey's memoir, and I ended up being impressed by his sense of principled leadership and ethical conduct. I don't necessarily see eye-to-eye with him on every issue, but I can appreciate his thought processes as he describes his reasoning behind various difficult decisions.

 

Going back to working in Rudy Giuliani's U.S. Attorney's office in New York City in the 1980s, to being in the Department of Justice under the Bush II administration, to Barack Obama's appointing him as FBI Director, through Donald Trump firing him (via the TV news), Comey takes the reader on a fascinating ride, with a narrative peppered with humor that sometimes made me laugh out loud (while in public, listening to my little mp3 player). Regardless of what your current opinion of James Comey might be, I think the book is well worth reading/listening to.

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review 2018-07-16 21:02
F*** You Very Much
F*** You Very Much: The surprising truth about why people are so rude - Danny Wallace

[I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.]

That was an interesting read. Perhaps not as funny as I had expected, but interesting nonetheless. Basing his argument on what he calls the ‘Hotdog Incident’, where he had to wait for 1 hour to get served a hotdog, and was rudely treated when he dared complain, Danny Wallace goes to explore rudeness and rude behaviours in general. Why are people rude? What’s in it for them? Why are the usual reactions to rudeness, and what do they reveal about people in general?

According to Wallace, it seems that there is something in it for rude people. Rudeness and bullying often tend to create a cognitive dissonance in people who’re at the other end of it, making them slower to react to it; so it looks like this explains why we keep wondering why rude people ‘get away with it’, when it’d stand to logics that they should be pointed at and shamed for their behaviour. I bet most of us had at least one experience of that kind (not necessarily about an actual hotdog) where hours later, we were still thinking about what we should’ve said or done instead. Why didn’t we do it for starters? Because of the shock of being treated rudely. I don’t know if the science behind this is really exact, however, I’m willing to agree with that out of empirical evidence, so to speak.

There were moments when I thought, ‘Did he really dwell on that Hotdog Incident for so long, isn’t that a little far-fetched?’, and it felt more like an artificial gimmick than an actual example to write a book about. But then, I guess it also ties with the point the author was making: what seems like little incidents can indeed stay with us for a lot longer than the few minutes or even seconds they took to happen.

And I do agree that rudeness is contagious. It’s happened to me quite a few times. If someone bumps into me in the street and doesn’t apologise, I’m much more likely to stop caring about the people around me: ‘If -they- don’t make way for me, why should -I- make way for them?’ So, it’s a vicious circle. Being aware of it helps, of course, because then it’s easier to act upon it. Still, it’s frightening how being rude can come… naturally.

A few parts are also devoted to exploring cultural differences, such as what is considered rude in one country but not in the other. Some of those I already knew about (the ‘Paris Syndrome’), others I discovered through this book. This, too, was interesting, because it puts things back into perspective. That’s not to say that we can afford to be rude because we can ‘make it pass as if it’s normal somewhere else’, of course.

The book definitely makes you take a look at yourself: we’ve all been rude at some point or other, and will be rude again. Yet acknowledging it is the first step to stop. (And if it helps facing rudeness from others in a calmer way, because we know the mechanisms behind it, I guess it’s also good experience to put annoying people back in their place.)

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