July 29, 2017

my READING CHALLENGE

I made a goal for myself to read 24 books this year.  I search for new books and keep track of my progress using Good Reads.

Do you use Good Reads?  It doesn't seem like a ton of people I know use it.  I love it.  It's the main way I search for books.  I've read a lot of books I probably never would have had it not been for this website.

Anyway, below are the books I have read so far.

Rainbow Rowell is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.  Her books are charming, funny and unique.  Of the two I have read so far this year, Attachments was my favorite.  Fair warning, Rowell's books can have a bit of language.


The Life We Bury, Everything We Keep, The House We Grew Up In and The Serpent King were all books I found by browsing through Good Reads.  With the exception of The House We Grew Up In, I would give them all 2 stars.  They weren't anything exceptional and I wouldn't ever recommend them to other people.

The House We Grew Up In was an interesting read.  I'm not exactly sure why I liked this book.  I remember thinking about the characters as if they were real people and looking forward to reading any chance I got.  Simply put, it's a story about how one woman's hoarding habit affects the rest of her family.

The Book Thief and Kite Runner are two books I had heard numerous good things about and figured it was time for me to read them.  Of the two, The Book Thief was by far superior in terms of story, writing, characters, etc.  But, to be honest, both left me feeling a little underwhelmed.

I enjoyed Room.  The fact that the author was able to convey the horror of the situation while still maintaining a level of innocence (due to being written from the perspective of a child) was quite remarkable.  I think having a chapter or two from the perspective of an adult would have added an element of depth to the story that overall was impossible to convey with a 5 year old as the narrator.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull, I'll admit, was a fabulous and delightful read.  But, I really only read it so I could keep on track with my reading goal.  It's a short read, but very profound and thought-provoking.

I really like Anna Kendrick.  Her book, Scrappy Little Nobody, was a fun read.  It's interesting to learn more about celebrities and how they came to be these famous people.  I especially enjoyed learning about her experiences as a child working on Broadway.  I will admit, though, that her sense of humor, at times, was vulgar.

And, last but not least, the classics:  Lord of the Flies and The Bell Jar.  I've talked a lot about my experience reading Lord of the Flies.  It was such a slow read for me.  I felt like the words were dripping with symbolism and I was afraid I'd miss something if I wasn't careful.  I referred to Spark Notes a lot during this read.

I loved The Bell Jar.  It is the best book I've read all year.  I can't even explain why I loved it so much.  I just did.  This is not a story for everyone, but if you have an interest in psychology, mental illness and feminism, I think you'd enjoy this book.

My current read is Murder on the Orient Express.  I remember watching the movie from, like the 70s, and really liking it.  When I learned a remake of the movie was coming to theaters soon, I decided it was time to read the book.

Let me know if you've read any of these books and what you thought of them.

Isn't read the bestest thing ever?

July 3, 2017

thanks, DONNIE | july 2017 |

"There are some men who, in a spirit of arrogance, think they are superior to women.  They do not seem to realize that they would not exist but for the mother who gave them birth."

Welcome to this month's edition of Thanks, Donnie!  For those of you who may have missed my original post, I made the decision to write one positive aspect of the Trump administration for each month Donald Trump is president.  I am hoping to suspend the series on January 19, 2021.

By now, everyone is aware that Donald Trump doesn't think too highly of women.  Everything from the Access Hollywood recording, his comments about Megyn Kelly and, most recently, his tweets about Mika Brzezinki all point to a man who views women as mere objects.

Objects that only have value so long as they keep quiet and look pretty.

This behavior towards women, of course, isn't anything new.  The fact that Donald Trump is the President of the United States proves there are enough people that don't think it's a big deal to be a complete and utter sexist.  

Don't get me wrong, being a sexist, isn't as controversial as, let's say, wearing a tan suit, but it's pretty darn close.

Fortunately, the president's behaviors toward and opinions about women have solidified my belief in the importance of women's issues.  Equal rights, equal pay, equal opportunity, etc.


I think Tina Fey said it best, when receiving the Mark Twain Prize, that she was grateful to be the third woman to receive the award, but hoped "women are achieving at a rate these days that we can stop counting what number they are at things."

That was in 2010.

Seven years later, we're still counting the things women do.  Most recently, of course, being the release of Wonder Woman.  The director of Wonder Woman was only the second female to ever direct a movie with a budget over $100 million.  And, of course, the Wonder Woman movie itself was the first female-led super hero movie in more than a decade.


Now, women in Hollywood is one thing.  There's also women who are victims of heinous crimes that get little to no justice.

Who remembers Brock Turner?  He's that one guy that was caught raping an unconscious woman, and as a result spent 3 months in jail.  He was actually sentenced to 6 months, but was released after good behavior.  Which, according to his father, was a steep price to pay for "20 minutes of action."

If our commander-in-chief has taught me anything, it's that some people don't believe these very simple truths:  

Women are strong and capable and should be treated with respect and dignity.  Women are not here for your viewing pleasure.  Women should be given the same opportunities as men.  Women are important.  Women are essential.

Never before have I been more encouraged to take action and speak up on this most important subject matter.

And for that I say, "Thanks, Donnie!"
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