Day: May 10, 2017

Review: To Kill a Mockingbird

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To Kill a Mockingbird Book Review
4+ of 5 stars for To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, published in 1960 and winner of a Pulitzer prize. Almost every teenager is told to read this during high school, or at least they were when I attended about 25 years ago… I thought about doing a normal book review for this one, but ultimately I wouldn’t be able to do it justice. Two key things I’d really like to say:

1. I couldn’t give this a 5 because there were a few parts that I thought needed some clean-up, could have added additional emotions and might have been an even more stellar jump off the page. But it’s a 4.4999999999999 and some days, I want to re-read it to see if I can absolutely push it up to that mighty 5 I’ve only given out about 15 times… less than 3% of my reads…

2. Forget what time period this was written in or written about. Ignore the color of a person’s skin. Don’t give any consideration to the parent / child relationship. Avoid focusing on it as a tale of an attorney with a case. This is a book about every single human being. About every decision we make in life. About all that matters when you are alive.

Each of us feels like someone in the book… Atticus Finch, Scout, Boo Radley, Jem, Aunt Alexandra, Calpurnia, Tom Robinson…. I could go on forever. Probably more than just 1 of them. And maybe different ones at different points in our lives. You cannot help but feel your mind moving all over the place in trying to decide where your heart falls in this story.

It’s a collection of lessons we all need to learn and be careful to understand to the fullest extent. People don’t raise themselves. They are raised by the influences around them. And then they make their own choices from all they’ve seen and heard.

We all have a choice. We may not know it. But we do. It doesn’t mean you like the outcome. But there is always a choice.

The very basics of your character are laid out on the table in this book.

Honor and Respect are earned, not given.

Family is important. But so is trust and an open-mind.

In the beginning, I noted we all see ourselves in some number of these characters. What I really should have said, although that is true, is that we also — every single one of us — without a doubt in my mind — IDENTIFIES with Scout. Everything she’s been thru (to varying degrees, excluding the obvious big item that happens/almost happens to her) is something every one of us faces during the course of our life.

Identifying with someone is at our core. And I can think of no better way to read this book than to choose who you are as a person and how you want to identify yourself to the rest of the world.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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Review: The Two Towers

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The Two TowersBook Review
For as long as I can remember, I have loved serial fiction and saga stories. The Lord of the Rings trilogy and associated books by J.R.R. Tolkien are a treasure. I first found the books when I was 14 and had to re-read again when the movies came out in the last decade or so. The second book, The Two Towers, was a worth follow-up, enhancing every original love I had with the story. I’m generally not a fan of the fantasy genre, and have only read perhaps 20 books in total, less than 3% of my entire reading history. But something about these books absolutely stands out among to me as a truly amazing series. I liken it to Star Wars as a movie and film phenomena, when it comes to the saga story. But this one started out as a set of books, which makes it even more fantastic. My rating: 4+ of 5 stars

For me, although I loved all three in the series, the middle one was the least favorite, but they were all still 4+. The first one introduces everything and sets the stage. The last one is the epic battle. The middle one… pure awesome storytelling… but it’s the middle. Full of history, secrets, revelations, explanations… you learn the most here. But you also get a little overwhelmed with the sheet amount to remember. But I like that about it too. And to tell the story of dark versus light. To see people you love fall to their death. To think so much will change for the worse. It’s a challenge to decide which part of the story to love most.

If you’ve not read the series, it’s probably 2000 pages in its entirety. I still think you should read it… but start with book 1 of course. You can’t read out of order. Then let’s chat again! 🙂

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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Review: Winnie-the-Pooh

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Winnie-the-PoohBook Review
Can you believe Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milneis almost 100 years old? I was shocked when I found out… I thought it was from the 1950s or 1960s… nonetheless, it’s an amazing memory. So many fun characters, great childhood moment and even some adult ones come from these books and the subsequent mass market media that came from them. It always had me wondering… what exactly is a “pooh,” as in bear… Christopher Robin’s made-up name, so it seems, came from a childhood bear and the name of a swan. Interesting… I also never knew when I read this years ago that it was from an entire series. I’m sure I read more, but I don’t know specifically which ones! I’m sure we’ve all seen some adaption of this childhood favorite. Kids love animals. Kids love talking animals. Kids love stuffed toys. It’s just perfect for them! My rating: 4 of 5 stars

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: Unnatural Exposure

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Unnatural ExposureBook Review
Unnatural Exposure, the 8th book in the “Kay Scarpetta” thriller series, published in 1997, by Patricia Cornwell, get 3 of 5 stars. By this time, fans of the series know Kay Scarpetta really well, and you either love her or get annoyed by her but love the mysteries. I generally like her as a character, but she did push a few buttons in this installment. Now that shes become fairly famous in her field, she’s a little holier-than-thou… probably rightfully so, but still, a little goes a long way. This one features more of her niece Lucy and a rival ME who seems out to get her. The chase revolves around a serial killer with a body count both in Virginia and in Ireland. Is is the same person? A copy-cat? An accident? When it turns out there is potential of a lethal virus being released, Scarpetta goes into over-drive and pushes everyone further and further. It also seems someone’s out to take her down, as well as anyone she’s close to. I liked the medical aspect of this book and the foray into virtual reality, but I like reading thriller books for the mystery, not the ultra technical aspects. They’ve always been technical, slightly ahead of their time… but this one is a bit heavy-handed. A good read, but fell middle of the pack for me.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: D is for Deadbeat

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D is for DeadbeatBook Review
3.5 of 5 stars (rounded up!) to D is for Deadbeat published in 1987 and written by Sue Grafton. In this installment, Kinsey’s rattled when a mysterious man asks her to deliver $25K to someone who turns out to be a teenager. Shortly after the check he gave Kinsey for her own fee bounces and the guy turns up dead. Cut her losses? No… Investigate to see if you can recover your money. Sometimes Kinsey… you just don’t know when to talk away, but at least you’re not beat up in this book like previous ones. All in all, a solid book in the series. Everything is right in the comfy range here… a even-paced read, a few laugh aloud moments, a couple of hints of suspense. It’s a joy to watch Kinsey work, as it is usually direct and without gimmicks. I love other series with gimmicks too, but sometimes you just want to focus on the crime and the resolution. And the setting is always great… Santa Teresa, California where the weather seems perfect and the people have just enough wit and charm to keep you entertained and happy.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

365 Challenge: Day 59 – Shoe-less!

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Shoe-less: lacking an exterior covering on one’s feet

OK, so here’s something a bit amusing. A few weeks ago, I noted that one of the words to describe me was retentive, but I also acknowledged that I sometimes completely forget easy words. Well folks, that just happened… I hopped out of the shower, got dressed and took my seat on the couch to prepare the daily word. And I looked at my feet as I propped them up in front of me and said… “you hate shoes. it’s time to blog about that.” And I tried to think of the word to describe it and could only come up with “shoe-less.” I looked up the official definition and then for a picture of it… and I knew there was a better word for it, but I couldn’t remember it. Bang! The picture said “barefoot.” But now I’m too lazy to update the word and definition, so you are stuck with “shoe-less.”

But back to the purpose of the post… you must be questioning my sanity for choosing this as a 365 daily characteristic, especially since most are traits about a personality. Sure, I had short, strong, AtoZ and genetics in the past, but those clearly speak to parts of who I am. But barefoot, really, Jay?

{Aside: I seem to be talking to myself a lot more lately. Please remind me when I get too far away from being slightly odd and find the inevitable way to eccentric and obtuse. Thank you.}

Yes, shoe-less, Jay. It’s actually a word that has many implications. Let’s review them:

  1. Certain countries have taboos against or for wearing shoes.
  2. In the past, if a suspected witch wore shoes, people thought she had a better chance of cursing someone. {Aside: So you better watch out for me… I HATE wearing shoes.}
  3. Studies show than people who go barefoot, more often than not, put less stress on their knees and ankles and help prevent osteoarthritis.
  4. Barefoot generally means dryer feet, which ultimately helps keep Athlete’s foot from finding its way to you.
  5. It’s a more natural gait, eventually leading to a more relaxed posture with less forceful pressure on your body.
  6. You’re more open to pickup a virus, fungus or cut your toes when stepping on something sharp or infected.
  7. Your feet get much dirtier.
  8. Barefoot Contessa. That’s all I need to say.
  9. Barefoot and pregnant. What a saying…
  10. Many people find feet ugly and/or disgusting; therefore, being shoe-less might cause you to lose a few friends!
  11. Some places won’t let you in unless you’re wearing shoes.

So… to put it in perspective…being barefoot is probably only good for certain kinds of people — Shy ones who don’t like running around all over the place and already keep themselves relatively clean and relaxed. HEY, THAT’S ME!!!

On a more serious note (yes, all that was true): let’s bring this back to me. Why don’t I like wearing shoes… well for one, this happens:

  1. I’ve already noted I am warm-blooded, which means wearing shoes tends to make me hotter. Hence, I avoid them whenever I’m in my own home.
  2. I’ve always been like this, and since I didn’t wear shoes much as a child, my feet spread a little wider than normal. Shoes are always tight on me.
  3. I like the sensation of my feet touching things… the ground, textures… it helps me feel connected to whatever it is I’m doing.
  4. I find feet sexy. Not sure about my own, but hey… you tend to do the things you like to see in other people.
  5. It’s constricting. I prefer to wear looser items… unless I’m going out or trying to impress someone. Then I let vanity win for a few hours and squeeze into a tight black v-neck t-shirt, looking all… never mind. You don’t care!

Where have we ended up? Determining what it says about us when we prefer to be barefoot or shoe-less:

  • You like being free, ready for something new, open and connected to the earth.

Is that me? Is that you? After 59 days… it’s time to get down-n-dirty… spill it, or beware the repercussions of this barefoot man!

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.