30 April 2008
29 April 2008
So i joined up to the Weekly Geeks challenge. Hosted by Dewey at Hidden Side of a Leaf. It isn't exactly a challenge; it is more like BTT where you post on a topic or theme. Each week there will be a different theme. This week the theme is Discover New Blogs! We are to pick 5 new to us blogs from the other people who've signed up then read and give a comment. pretty easy!
1) Naked Without Books
2) Facing Abuse
Is it me or are there a lot more female book bloggers than male?
25 April 2008
I think i liked it but i don't know. It is really sad. I would say that a theme for me was loss, loss of dreams. Maybe it is supposed to be about growing up. I say this one is a 5. maybe. not sure.
24 April 2008
This is post 200!
23 April 2008
22 April 2008
I am not even coming close to doing this one justice. I really loved it. I've always, even as a child, found Hans Christian Andersen's children's stories a little too much for me. They are all dark and at best melancholy. I can barely think of The Little Match Girl and i start crying. Whoever decided that was a proper Christmas story was stoned. But I loved this book and i give it a 6!
21 April 2008
Enough politics though. The book is about the the American drive to buy happiness: how it came to be, how to see it in ourselves, how to combat it personally and politically. Honestly though, the best part of the book is the historical section. It is so weird to think a 35 hour work week was SOOOO CLOSE to being the law in the 30's. The section on the symptoms of affluenza with how our communities suffer and how we decline psychologically is good as well. I have read much about the environmental effects of the American lifestyle recently so that part wasn't too much of a revelation. I was disappointed by the section on what an individual can do but excited about the political ideas.
I gave this one a 5/7. I am starting Simple Prosperity by David Wann today that seems to be more of a how to type of book. It is also a relatively new release so will have more updated information. I think I'll wait to finish that one to give my feelings on the "live simply" idea. I like it, don't get me wrong, but I think I need to let my brain incubate it a few more days,
20 April 2008
17 April 2008
I’ve always wondered what other people do when they come across a word/phrase that they’ve never heard before. I mean, do they jot it down on paper so they can look it up later, or do they stop reading to look it up on the dictionary/google it or do they just continue reading and forget about the word?
99% of the time I try to figure it out in context, in fiction at least. In non-fiction if it is just a word and seems important I'll stop to look it up on dictionary.com or if it is a concept I look on Wikipedia.
To the review. More controversial subject matter, I really am on a roll. I finally finished Spirituality for the Skeptic by Robert C Solomon. I give this one a 3/7. I didn't really NOT like it but it was really difficult to get into and wasn't at all about what I thought it was about. It is only 140 pages but took forever. It was recommended by Sweet Reason, a humanist advised column on the Institute for Humanist Studies website. I have never in my life felt "spiritual" and have felt it is for touchy-feely-New Age hippy types or some term the ultra-religious use to feel better than other people. So I was looking for a non-supernatural definition which Solomon does give: a reverent love of life. But he doesn't really say why someone should try to be spiritual in that way and how to culitivate that attitude if you want to. It is more a defense of non-religious spirituality as he defines it and showing the philosophical history of the idea of spirituality.
Currently: waiting for my lunch break.
14 April 2008
Also got One Drop by Bliss Broyard finished up today. A history/biography/memoir that is long and sometimes difficult. Just before her father dies in 1990 the author finds out he was of mixed race. I almost said "raised as black" but that isn't exactly correct; in fact, his parents both passed as white for work. Honestly I liked the history (of New Orleans and the struggles of the free people of color) and the biography (of the author's father, Anatole Broyard) more than I liked the memoir stuff. I guess I just got a little tired of the author trying to decide how she should act or be different due to her racial history. I just don't think anything like that would matter to me. i give the book as a whole a 4/7.
My mom's hobby when I was a kid was genealogy and she was able to trace pieces of her family back to before the Revolutionary War. Pure American Mutt on that side. They were throughout the Midwest and South (Kentucky, Indiana, Virginia, Ohio) so even if I don't have an African American ancestor on that side I definitely have some long lost cousins who do. On my father's side, I am Russian, from which I received my Ivanoff last name, my large nose and blue eyes, and Italian, which topped out my adult height at 5 ft 2 but gave me tiny feet and hands. But with those two countries in my family tree who knows what mix of genes i have. Egyptian? Greek? Mongol? Indian? Does it truly matter who people hundreds and thousands of years ago slept with? What would change about me if I found out I had these various peoples as my ancestors?
11 April 2008
Tuesday night though I barely slept and felt really awful all day. Wednesday the same. Having what my therapist calls "irrational beliefs" that seem like they are quite rational and certainly backed up by plenty of evidence. Reading a bit of a depression book which I can follow intellectually but can't apply to my own situation because I just feel like what I am thinking is the truth. So I'll keep trying and trying.
08 April 2008
So Friday I did my normal running around thing. Therapy, lunch with BF, Target, Best Buy, etc. Found a very neat used book/music/movie store called McKay's (actually suggested by my therapist strangely enough) but only bought one book because i was overwhelmed. I will probably head there on my next payday with a list and see what i can see. Saturday I mainly just kinda laid around. I did hit the library where i found i actually had 3 books available from my hold list, not 1 as i had thought.
Sunday BF and I took a drive down Natchez Trace. We drove about 80 miles from Nashville down to Meriwether Lewis' grave. Took Chloe, our dog, who loved jumping and splashing at the waterfalls we visited. BF took a bunch of pictures but many were overexposed. I did take some decent ones of BF and Chloe so perhaps I can post those on my Flickr page later. Got a decent sunburn on my shoulders and neck; wasn't expecting that in April.
Monday I hung out at home. Played a lot of Sims, read, watched I, Robot (much better than i thought) and Good Night and Good Luck (pretty good) then went to BF's to watch the Championship game.
So I've now got 5 books from the library that I can't renew. With 2 more coming in the next week or so I'm reading strictly from library books, not my lists, at least until i get through the soon to be due books.
Read God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens. Really liked it. Had this on hold since it came out. Made me feel good actually because it is GREAT to read angry, pissed off, we are better than you atheists. I don't mean to tick off the religious specifically but i live in the Bible belt and am tired of seeing more churches than bookstores. I wonder why the only places kids can play outside are fast food restaurants and churches. I am tired of looking at these giant churches knowing they are sucking up energy and only being used 2 days a week and while these stand empty we've got people sleeping on benches downtown. I feel so sorry sometimes for these people who are afraid of an invisible man who lives in the sky who may torture them for thought crimes. So it is so rewarding to read some solid refutations of religious arguments. I give this one a 6. the only reason i don't say a 7 is that i know i wouldn't recommend it to any solidly religious person because they'd be all offended.
01 April 2008
Man is a creature that can get accustomed to anything, and I think that is the best definition of him.It has such beautiful writing about such an awful subject. The basic story is that an older man dies and his friend comes across a manuscript. This manuscript is the story of the man's ten year stint in prison in Siberia. We are talking serious hard labor 1850's prison. Dozens of men sleeping on the floor, bugs, constantly wearing chains, inedible food. It is supposedly autobiographical. The prisoners survive awful conditions and beatings, yet some seem to still have optimism for the future. The only thing i have read that even seemed close was part of Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King. Just haven't read much prison lit. I haven't read anything by Dostoyevsky before and his style is so poetic it is breathtaking. I am scratching something off my list to read Crime and Punishment just to compare. This book is a 6 for me and well worth the read.
Tyranny is a habit; it may develop, and it does develop at last, into a disease.