Thursday, June 1, 2017

Books and Movies

I read. That's what I do. And I do a lot of it. Every now and then I do enjoy a good movie but I'm rarely tempted to see a movie adapted from a book I've read. However, I've stumbled upon a discovery so grand that now, it's quite possible, I will see more movies adapted from books.

My discovery is this:  If the author of the book writes the screenplay I love it! Of course, it has to be a book I actually like.  I'm not just going to go see every movie adaptation of every book I read. Some books were not very good. I wouldn't want to pay money and time to see it again!

Here are my recommendations so far, where I read the book and then, saw the movie and the author of the book wrote the screenplay:

The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky wrote the book in 1999. The movie was released in 2012 and I thought it was excellent! Stephen Chbosky wrote the screenplay.

Room - Emma Donoghue wrote the book in 2010. The movie was released in 2015 and again, awesome! Brie Larson even won the Best Actress award for that movie. Emma Donoghue wrote the screenplay.

Me Before You - Jojo Moyes wrote the book in 2012. The movie was released in 2016. I cried in the book. I cried watching the movie at the same parts.  I rarely cry. And this was funny and sad crying. It was amazing! Jojo Moyes wrote the screenplay.

And they are listed as the only writers for the screenplay so, I'm a bit iffy about Ready Player One next year.  I loved the book but I don't see Ernest Cline listed as the "1st" screenwriter. I don't want to hate that movie.

But now I know what to look for when I see a book that I liked being released as a movie, I check to see who wrote the screenplay.  This will help me in the future I am sure.

Review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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Quite possibly my favorite Harry Potter book!  Counts as my re-read for the 2017 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge.

Review: Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone

Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone by Eric Klinenberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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I don't feel so bad now.

I love living alone. I didn't automatically choose it years ago but now that I'm here, at 45, living on my own, I relish it! As I've aged, I've learned to endure peace at any opportunity. I don't always turn the TV on and have gone weeks not turning it on. I sit and read in silence and I'm Okay with it.  I love the silence. When you have a job like mine where you are constantly inundated with phone calls and conversations around the cube you work in, silence at home, is golden.

For the most part, I do what I want, when I want. I've even started eating out more often (by myself) and going to movies (by myself).

In some ways living alone has changed me. I do get highly sensitive around noise and crowds.Sometimes, I have to just run away when it gets to be too overwhelming.

I do worry about getting even older though. I have no children, no spouse, no "other family" to help me out if or when anything should happen to me. My dog? Not much help there. Hah!

At this point in my life, I doubt it changes. I'm not seeking to change my situation either.

I love this solo life!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Review: Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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Review: This Is Where It Ends

This Is Where It Ends This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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Review: Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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Review: The Fate of the Tearling

The Fate of the Tearling The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked this! It wasn't god awful ginormous. Nor did it go on forever. Yes, yes, everything was tied up there at the end but isn't that how it's supposed to be? I didn't want this to go on forever and I'm glad the author did what she did.

I do have a few questions because some things weren't answered but, I'll make my own determinations there.

Good, fast read. I do not understand why I had to wait for months to get this from the library (early reviews that I read concerned me so I didn't want to shell out the $$$ for it until I had read it).  I read this book in 2 days.

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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Bridging the Divide Book Club - Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis

I went to a new book club tonight. Crazy, I know. But when I heard about this one, it really spoke to me and I knew that I had to be a part of it.  The first book was Robert Putnam's Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis.  Honestly, as of today I have not finished this book but I like what I am reading so far.

The book touches on a few things that interest me though because I grew up all over the maps he draws.  I had that family that did everything together until I was 12.  We had family dinner time.  I don't recall watching TV. We read. Or played games. OR talked! Of course there were extra curricular activities but my parents were INVOLVED.

But then divorce happened. We were raised by a single parent. There were serious tough times and yet, I succeeded.  I went to college. I own a home. I own a car. I have a 401k.

I will say this though: As a country, we divide ourselves. We create our own division and I can't figure out why.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Coffee, Rain & Books

I have a T-shirt that says that and I wore it all day yesterday.

It rained today.

Also, I didn't wake up until 1:30 today.  Not because I was tired or hungover or anything like that.  It seemed as though every  time I did actually "wake up" I could hear it pouring down rain.  Can't walk a dog in that mess. Especially not my dog. He's a diva dog!

So at 1:30, I finally jumped out of bed and proceeded to make a pot of coffee. I fed the dog, then took him outside where he peed but he wasn't going to do much more than that.  He turned right around and went back up the steps towards home, and no rain.

I sat down with my first cup of coffee and got back to reading Strangers In Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild. A deeply depressing book I might add.  Perfect for a rainy day like today!

Bleecker thought it was a perfect day for us to do nothing more than drink coffee, listen to the rain, read books and snuggle on the couch.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Review: I'll Be Damned: How My Young and Restless Life Led Me to America's #1 Daytime Drama

I'll Be Damned: How My Young and Restless Life Led Me to America's #1 Daytime Drama I'll Be Damned: How My Young and Restless Life Led Me to America's #1 Daytime Drama by Eric Braeden
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

So, I picked this up because I used to enjoy watching Y&R back in the day. I liked Eric Braeden (didn't know that wasn't his *real* name!) on that show. He did a great job with the character when I was watching. But then, life got too busy to watch daytime dramas.

I enjoyed the first part of the book, his early years, where he came from and how he came to America. Yes, he's an immigrant!

But once I got 2/3 of the way through, I started getting bored. The name dropping was incredible and "I get" that he's an actor and he's met a lot of people but a lot of times, it was just a listing of people with no reason why he met them or under what circumstances.

I understand that being on a daytime drama (or soap opera) isn't considered the greatest gig in the acting world and so maybe he has to throw out some interesting names so that people know he knows actors outside the daytime drama world.

Heck, the guy was in one of the biggest movies ever, Titanic. Glad to know that one scene with him was in just one take. Holy moly.

I should probably NOT read the memoirs of actors.

**I DNF'ed this 80% (Per my Kindle) because I just didn't give a damn anymore.

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Review: Black Ice

Black Ice Black Ice by Valmore James
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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If you are a fan of old school hockey and liked the "fighting" aspect before "goons" took over, then this book is for you.  If you think anyone should be able to play hockey, this book is for you.  It is not overly melodious but it is to the point. It's heavy hitting but with reasons.  I thoroughly enjoyed this and I am not a big fan of memoirs/autobiographies.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Review: Welcome to Braggsville

Welcome to Braggsville Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Review: How To Be A Woman

How To Be A Woman How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I find her interesting. I think you have to "get" British humor in order to actually like this. I listened to the audio version of this and loved listening to her "read" her book. I quite liked her!

Oh and she made a lot of sense too!

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Public Shaming

Last year I read a great book by Jon Ronson called, "So You've Been Publicly Shamed." I highly recommend this to anyone wanting a presence on social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.  Here's the rub: I've never seen it happen, until this week.  Yes, I saw someone taken down. I don't know if this person will lose their job or not but the messages were, disturbing to say the least.

After reading the book, it really made me think about my public presence. Heck, it made me think about my private presence.  So from here on out, I can assure you that I will never tweet, post or send text messages that could ever get me in any kind of trouble. I will no longer speak in a public forum about those things which might incite the wrath of another person, even one just over hearing the conversation. Because we all know things can be recorded right?

So, how did this guy get it?  Well he signed up for one of those online dating sites. A girl messaged him and it escalated. Anyhow, the guy started calling her names and saying nasty things to her in messages. Guess what?  She started taking screen shots. Of all of the messages. And then she posted them. On the Internet. On Facebook. And it went viral. The person I saw that posted it, lives here in NC. This originated in Seattle, WA.

I caught the first hint of it on Sunday. It is now Tuesday and this guy was found, on Facebook and it was not pretty people.  Don't get me wrong, I don't think what he did was right at all.  I think he's a horrible person and I would never want to go out with him or someone like him so I am thankful that I saw this (not that I ever plan to go to Seattle but, just in case, it's good information). He worked for some kind of law office. Maybe he doesn't anymore. He's removed everything from his facebook profile because let's face it, if there's a bad picture of you, the viral world will find it and it will become a meme.

I don't know where it goes from here. In some ways I feel sorry for him but I don't. The book was something to read and it made me think. Seeing it happen in real time, unbelievable.

Watch it my friends.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Review: Born a Crime

Born a Crime Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am glad I chose the audiobook version of this because Trevor Noah's presentation was simply phenomenal. I feel like I learned a lot more about him as a person. I thank him for telling his story.

I highly recommend this to anybody and especially the audio version.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Review: Kindred

Kindred Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this book the first time around but listening to the audio version was, spellbinding. Truly a great book and if you are into audio, I highly recommend that version.

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Friday, February 10, 2017

What I'm reading

I thought I would do updates on books that I am currently reading because I read a lot and because the reviews will be coming in.

This week saw a bunch of books come off of hold at the library so I have 12-14 days to read 13 books.  The odds aren't good I am afraid but I will do my best. Some others are my own. Yes, still a lot of books.

It was a weird sort of week that saw several books I'd been waiting for at the library become available (Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi, The Bees by Laline Paull, The Paris Wife by Paula McLain).

Still others were titles I'd read about on book reviews, in blogs and apps like Litsy (The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson.

A book my sister read and liked, The Night Gardner by Jonathan Auxier.

Three book club books (one I already had was The Awakening by Kate Chopin and another Paula McLain, Circling the Sun was available at the library and I couldn't believe it! Also, Kindred by Octavia E Butler on Audiobook. I love listening to books while driving).

For learning material I chose: $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America by Kathryn EdinH. Luke Shaefer, and Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich. 

Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey, The Turner House by Angela Flournoy Because they just sounded interesting and were available

A Book Riot Reading challenge book, Changing Planes by Ursula K. Le Guin (read a collection of stories by a woman).  

Oh and The Culture Clash: A Revolutionary New Way to Understanding the Relationship Between Humans and Domestic Dogs by 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

I'm not missing you


I've logged in a few times, because I am trying to download all of my photos and what not but for the most part, I'm sorry my friends, I have not viewed your status updates, or posts, or pictures or much of anything (Ok, I think I sad faced or liked one post by mistake).

Looks like I'm not the only one leaving:

I Said Goodbye to Facebook
Facebook Dead at 12, A Victim of 2016

By the way, you don't have to like these pages and you don't have to leave any comments here or there.  I think some of us just want you to understand how we are feeling.

I've also talked (face to face) to a few people and they too are leaving or have left. We all agree that it's just not fun anymore.

I'm learning about instagram and having fun on litsy and reading.  I've finally caught up!

Also, I'm hoping my meetups with regards to the book challenge I am doing will get more people coming.

Hope you are doing well!  Remember,

For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Review: The Five People You Meet in Heaven

The Five People You Meet in Heaven The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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Review: Sleep Tight Farm: A Farm Prepares for Winter

Sleep Tight Farm: A Farm Prepares for Winter Sleep Tight Farm: A Farm Prepares for Winter by Eugenie Doyle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Beautiful Artwork along with an easy understanding of what parts of a farm do. This was the American Farm Bureau Federation book for 2017 and our company received a copy for us to read.

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Social Media and How It Almost Killed Me

Why you ask? Why would I want to leave Facebook and all my friends? Well to be honest, the combination of antidepressants that I am taking is no longer working anymore.  I want to be happy and Facebook, on most days, leaves me anything but happy.  Twitter always disgusted me. But my first step away from any type of "social media" was hockey websites and boards and fans, etc. 

Yep, I was one of "those" fans. I proudly criticized my team on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly basis.  Wasn't that one of my rights as a fan?  I really need to find that fan constitution again. Eventually, I got tired of  being called an idiot, stupid because I didn't grow up around hockey, lived in the South, wasn't a season ticket holder and didn't see every game so I shouldn't talk.  Well guess what?  I don't even care about hockey anymore. and If the Carolina Hurricanes left NC that would be fine by me. And in the end, it was THEIR FANS, not their crappy play on the ice that drove me away.  Carolina Hurricanes Fans.  Ugh! Maybe they don't create havoc at games but they sure know how to make one feel unwanted as a fan. So now, I'm not.  At least I got to go to a few Stanley Cup games (the year they lost it, not the year they won it), the NHL All Star Game, and even Finland which was the best trip/vacation ever!

Twitter: After the 2016 elections, I deactivated my Twitter account first . The vitriol on that social media site after the 2016 election was just too much for me to handle. I rarely used Twitter.  Maybe for a contest or some update from someone who wasn't on Facebook.  It was also an easy way to get updates on my favorite sports teams while they were playing. As a person without cable TV, this was especially helpful when the games were not being played on "regular" TV.  So, I will miss the updates about NC State College Sports and the Washington Redskins. I followed some other teams but those were my top follows.  I downloaded the ESPN app to my phone and I'll get updates from that now.  Whew! If I want to read a story about a game, well, I'll just go online and find one.

Twitter was always hard for me.  Conversations were always going on and if you missed something, well you were just out of the loop. I think the ease at which you could text to a bunch of people at one time was good for those who spent their time texting all day anyway.  I don't text a lot.  I prefer talking; face to face or even on the phone.  It's rare I know.  I'm rare. I actually wish people would go back to writing letters.

Finally Facebook.  Ah Facebook, what a fickle friend you are. I've lost and found friends because of you. Reunited with family members. Found out about the dog rescue world and even signed on.  Unfortunately, in our new world, I no longer know how to be. I don't do politics. I'm not going to get involved in mud slinging or insult hurling or what ever the game is called these days.  But it hurts when I see people I truly like and love, call other people (maybe myself, or family or friends) names. You don't know me Facebook, and you never will.  Stop trying. 

As for my friends, I'm heading back to the old days. I'm going to get a home phone so that I can turn off the smart phone at night. I will always be here, I just won't be there.  

Peace and love to you all.