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Adventure Time

Hey, guys. Just letting you know I will be gone for a couple of weeks. Reading and blogging will be minimal at best. But I promise to be back with pictures for you all 🙂

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2018 Reading Goals or Lack Thereof

Last year I made a bunch of reading goals and I have realized that it doesn’t really matter, because I don’t even remember them all. This year I am keeping it simple. I will try to 100 books and I will read whatever I want. I have a couple of books for review that I haven’t read yet, but once those are done I am going to drastically cut back on what I accept maybe one or two a year if I think I will absolutely love them.

I hate feeling obligated to read or write. I know lots of people have a goal to make schedules, but I am going to be a bad blogger and just read and write when the mood strikes.

I would call it a goal, but I enjoy reading diverse books so I don’t need to push myself too hard to achieve that. I also want to be better at reading the books I own, which is crazy a amount that are unread….Probably best if I don’t count haha.

My goal, is for my reading to be as relaxing as a cat laying in the sunshine.

cat sleeping

The Best and Worst of 2017

Overall 2017 was a great year, I almost doubled what I read last year and my average rating was 3.9!! The only thing I really want to sum up from 2017 is the best 5 and worst 3.

Let’s start with the best, because I am a glass half full kind of girl….Sort of:

1.

flowers for algernon

This books is one that I feel like everyone should read!! I read an excerpt in high school for my English class, I enjoyed it then and I am so glad I have now read the whole book. This book deals with some heavier subject matters. It makes you think about how you treat people, how important is your intelligence, and is ignorance bliss?

2.

George.jpg

Yes, a middle grade book made it on to my top 5 list. For anyone that wants to learn more about transgender issues this is the book for you. It is a beautiful story, and it has really stuck with me. I also love the fact that these books are becoming more available especially for younger people.

3.

The Hate U Give

This is one time I will say, the book is 100% worth all they hype. The way it is written it all feels very real, and makes you think about your privilege. It is a YA book but the story is great for all ages.

4.

a monster calls

A second middle grade book! I read the illustrated edition which I would recommend, I think it adds to the story. This is a great book for kids and adults to read. Dealing with illness and death is hard at every age.

5.

She's So Fine

My first book I read for review and I loved it!! This is a faced paced book with great character development. If you’re looking for something short with some major punch, this one is for you.

 

Okay, and now the bad apples:

1.

Fear and Loathing

I don’t see the point, just drugs and alcohol. I guess wasn’t for me.

2.

In cold blood.jpg

This one was mainly not what I was expecting. It wasn’t bad exactly, I just found it to be a big let down. It is true crime but felt like I was reading a novel. Wasn’t a fan of the writing style, it felt like he was romanticising the murders.

3.

everything everything.jpg

Instalove, and overall not very plausible.

 

I didn’t even have enough bad books to mention them in this post so the year must have been pretty good overall. Have you guys read any of these? Do you agree?

Enterprise Reporting: Can anyone ever really trust the news again? by Tom Chorneau

Enterprise Reporting

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I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This is a book about deception. How a manager of a lobbying firm and his nephew could use the system to get their clients what they want, and what they were paying for, all right under governor Schwarzenegger’s nose.

This book was not exactly what I was expecting. What I had in my mind more of a fasted paced, almost thriller. I was a little surprised to see this story slowly unravel before my eyes. Yes, this is the story of deceit and manipulation of the media, but there is much more going on behind this cover.

The book starts off with a top political reporter who gets an offer from his uncle, something that he doesn’t feel right about (no spoilers). When you hate your job it can be hard to turn down cash for some less than ethical behaviour. The story then follows the reporter and his internal conflict. Does he take the money?  How could he be caught? Next thing you know, he has made the leap and starts running a website for his uncle. If they happen to publish a few articles here and there that promote the clients’ motives, that shouldn’t be a big deal right?

As I watched the scheme unravel, it really made me think about the media: how easy it could be to manipulate and to sway public opinion. Which bring the question as in the title, how much can you really trust the news? Can we see the subtlety? You can also  see how simple it may be for someone to leave behind their reputation they have worked so hard on for money. When it seems so minute of a deception, it makes it is easily believable. I don’t doubt that someone would take that risk…That people have taken that risk. But the scale escalates and it gets harder to hide and justify.

I couldn’t tell through out this book what was going to happen in the end. The character development was very well done. I could watch how his mind set was changing; ethical seemed to change definitions. I found the writing style really helped to tell this story. I wouldn’t describe the writing as beautiful or picturesque. It felt as though I was reading a news article at times, which I found really drove home the theme. I had mixed emotions about what was happening: I was a bit sad to see the character make compromises with himself, and to see his personal life suffer because of it all. But I also felt like it was true to the character and would have it any other way.

Overall I would recommend this book. I found it interesting and engaging. If you want to question the news pick up this book.

 

November Chat-Up

I have been in a major reading/blogging slump. I just can’t seem to get into anything theses days. Oh well it can’t last forever, just wanted to let you guys know I am still here….Don’t forget about me 🙂

Also I welcome any suggestions to get me back in my groove please.

 

Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson

Tears We Cannot Stop.jpg

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’m not entirely sure I am the right person to review this book. This book is about African Americans living in the U.S. Also, I don’t know what I can add to the conversation, but I hope if I can convince one person to read this it was well worth writing the review.

This is a non-fiction book written for everyone to learn about the race issues. Dyson talks about pretty much all aspects of race in here: from his childhood to the systematic racism in the U.S. He also touches on how we, as humans, can work together to bring true equality.

The book breaks it down into different aspects and makes it very easy to see the problems, and offers answer to questions you may have. It shows the common misconceptions surrounding “black-on-black crimes”. Dyson explains how social injustice has put many African Americans in a desperate situation, causing much of the violence. For example, he cites statistics on how many unarmed African Americans are killed by police compared to Caucasians. Hearing how African Americans need to teach their children how to act around a police officer in order to live through a traffic stop is heartbreaking.

This is a pretty small book for such an enormous topic. There is so much to be said, done, changed, and learnt. I have not lived in the U.S. and I am Caucasian, so I can’t say firsthand if the race issues are the same in Canada as they are in the U.S. However, no matter where you live, this book will teach you something about race and inequality.

It has now come to my realization how much denial people may have. Just because you aren’t racist doesn’t mean you aren’t contributing to the problem. Everyone needs to make an effort so that everyone has the same opportunities in society, no matter their colour. I think this book just helped me realize what white privilege really is, and to be respectful and give more credit to people whom I had no idea what they were going through.

This book is literally for everyone, to learn about another race, or perhaps to learn a bit more about your own. I have heard many glowing reviews from people of many ethnicities, so I hope that means it is a good representation for many.

This is an important piece of literature.

Carry On: Stan Zuray’s Journey from Boston Greaser to Alaskan Homesteader by Tim Attewell, Stan Zuray

Carry On

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I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

A quick little recap for you guys. This the true story of Stan Zuray. Living in Boston, he was searching for meaning in his life. While his friends were being shipped off to Vietnam and then returning with injuries, emotional and drug problems, Stan decided his future would be in Tozitna River Valley, Alaska. This book will show you what nature can throw at you: good and bad from grizzly bears and famine, to dog sledding and racing. This is an amazing journey of heart and soul.

This is a great book. I find it hard to rate and review non-fiction/memoirs, but I settled on 4 stars for this one. My deciding factor…The story really stuck with me. It’s been about a week since I put it down and I still think about it.

The book starts off with Stan’s situation in Boston where his life was not heading down a good path. If he continued he could have inevitably ended up in prison. With the draft for the war and all the problems that it brought and his unstable situation, he decided move north.

Alaska, this is where the story really starts to gain momentum. I live in Canada; it gets cold up here(tons of snow where I live). But, that is nothing compared to what Stan was able to overcome. There is a monumental difference between living up north and living off the land up north. I found it fascinating just learning how he built somewhere to live, and the logistics of it all: cutting down the trees, prepping them, stacking and securing them into his new home.

The physical requirements and knowledge of the land is very important, which is pretty much what I would have expected. What I didn’t know, was how easily it could all have been lost. One fire and they almost lost everything. One bad winter and they could have starved. One bad injury and it could have been over too. There is very little room for error.

As I watched the story come to life, I felt anxious just reading about his life. Stan was saved after a fire had burnt almost everything they owned. An army base nearby sent up a boat full of food. While this saved the day, it was still touch and go whether they were going to make it or not. When Stan was attacked by a grizzly, and was rushed to the closest town to seek medical attention, again I had no idea how that was going to turn out.

Over the years they seemed to get a little more comfortable, earning a small amount of money selling furs in town while continuing to living off the land. Then Stan decides to race in the Iditarod. This is race that is nearly 1000 miles, going from Anchorage to Nome. Due to extremely harsh weather conditions, “It would remain among the longest,toughest races in Iditarod history”. From start to finish it would take the racers from 16 to 26 days to complete. Stan came in 9th place and won Rookie of the Year. His race time was 16 days, 6 hours and 44 minutes. The endurance and perseverance of the dogs and mushers is worthy of a book all too itself.

Stan’s story is fascinating, amazing, interesting, and I think for everyone. You will learn something, and it’s just a great story.

Animals do get hurt in this book, it is not done with malice, it was just the way of life.

Have you guys read any non-fiction about living up north? Or any suggestions for me based off this one?