Day: May 12, 2017

Review: Death on the Nile

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Death on the NileBook Review
4+ out of 5 stars for Death on the Nile, a Hercule Poirot mystery published in 1937 by Agatha Christie. This is one of Christie’s better mysteries, not because of the complexity in the mystery but due to the characters she creates. No one is who they appear to be on this ship, and they are all trapped together. It’s nearly 100 years ago, so how could anyone get on or off the boat without the Captain or the rest of the staff in the know? (No, I’m not giving away a spoiler). Poirot is on vacation this time, and he is trying not to work. But when someone turns up dead, he has no choice but to solve this crime. People using different names, a killer trapped with little escape… seems easy to figure out. Add in a bit of archaeological history and all the wonderful things Christie learned on her own Egyptian trips, this is a culture storm waiting to explode. Poirot is at his best, which is usually his most annoying, of times. The upper-class and lower-class exploration in this novel crosses lines many times, as does the affairs or confusion over who is or was previously with someone else romantically. So many clues, so much fun to guess. And the film adaption does a great job at capturing the different personalities. Great one for a beginner to the series!

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 Girl Who Played with Fire

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The Girl Who Played with FireBook Review
4 of 5 stars to The Girl Who Played with Fire, the second book in the Millenium thriller series written in 2006 by Stieg Larsson. Although I am very fond of this book, it wasn’t quite as good as the first one, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. But it’s a very strong follow-up sequel worth reading. It packs an even larger punch as far as violence and drama, as well as brings out the sexual chemistry and tension between Mikhail and Lisbeth. But this book is all about Lisbeth… and in a strange way, I root for her. Despite the crazy that comes with her, she’s been through the ringer more than once. And when she gets revenge on those who harmed her in the past, I was a big fan of her tactics… despite what that may say about me. What’s great about these books is the intensity they bring to the entire story.

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: Labyrinth

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LabyrinthBook Review
3.5 of 5 stars to Labyrinth, the first book in a three part series entitled “Languedoc,” written in 2005 by Kate Mosse. I enjoyed this book. Many people felt it was a bit boring and inconsistent. It was one of the earlier books I read in the adventure genre, around the time I got hooked on the Da Vinci code book and series. Ultimately, I love this genre… when you go back and forth in time periods, cover adventures, try to connect ancient peoples to someone current, find devastating secrets, a little bit of romance… all works for me. What appealed here was the French backdrop and the labyrinth puzzles. I quickly moved on to book two and recently learned of the third book, which I purchased and plan to read in June. I liked the main character, though she was a little distant at times… Enjoyed the descriptions and scenery. It had a bit of a fantasy / ghost appeal to it, too. Felt like it had a bit of everything for me. Not top notch in the genre, but still strong to 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.

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Review: The Well of Lost Plots

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The Well of Lost PlotsBook Review
3 of 5 stars to The Well of Lost Plots, the third thriller and mystery book in the “Thursday Next” series written in 2003 by Jasper Fforde. For those new to the series, it’s a detective story where crimes occur inside books, and real-life people can jump inside the book to fix the problem or solve the crime. In book 3, things take a bit of a turn… Thursday, the main investigator, needs some down time, and goes to the “Well of Lost Plots,” where unpublished books go to die. But crimes and murders start happening there too… and it’s confusing poor Thursday because she doesn’t understand who would care about a book that hasn’t been published yet having its story changed! (Not sure how I feel about that as a writer myself…) But then she’s trapped inside a story she doesn’t know much about. That can be scary. The series is complex, full of fantasy and drama you never quite understand. The concept of the well of lost plots is delicious, but it made things even more complicated. It was here that I decided to stop reading the series as it started going over my head a little bit. I felt silly and inept! I may go back soon to pick it up again, as I’ve never read another series of books like it… and this one takes the cake of all 3 I’ve read to date.

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: Petals on the Wind

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Petals on the WindBook Review
4 of 5 stars to Petals on the Wind, the 2nd novel in the “Dollanganger” series written in 1980 by V.C. Andrews. It all started with the attic in the first book, but it set a series of event that would have disastrous impacts for years to come. When you finished the first book, you thought there couldn’t be anything more shocking in this family than two cousins falling in love and having children. You also thought there couldn’t be a meaner mother or grandmother. But then… book two takes it all that much further. Now, two of the children, brother and sister, fall in love and have an intimate relationship. But it doesn’t stop there… this family is full of insanity. There are so many crazy story lines between each of these people, you never quite know where it will go. VC Andrews excels at creating family drama. And I fell for it. Though Flowers in the Attic, the first in the series, is first in my heart… this was a fairly close second and follow-up book in the series. You’ll still be hooked… and wonder how the kids will get revenge. Keep with the series at this point. It’s definitely worth seeing the impact they attic had on the Dollanganger kids.

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: General Hospital: The Complete Scrapbook

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General Hospital: The Complete ScrapbookBook Review
General Hospital: The Complete Scrapbook by Gary Warner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was not a regular viewer of General Hospital, but during the 1990s and 2000s, I kept very close tabs on all the story lines, history and actors on each of the daytime dramas. I liked knowing the spoilers, comparing shows and seeing which actresses and actors were moving from show to show. It made sense that I’d read this book all about GH. Just like the ATWT, DOOL and GL books, it was very useful in learning all the family connections, seeing older pictures and getting immersed in the history. A great book to flip thru, a few pages at a time, to keep close to the shows you enjoy.

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 61 – Blind

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Blind: lacking perception, awareness, or discernment

The word “blind” has many interpretations, both figurative and literal. If you are blind, you are unable to see. Perception is important to understanding a situation, as what you perceive may not always be correct and could lead you to confusion and chaos. Some people have tunnel vision and can only see something that is within a certain range. Others have intuition and can sense more than what they actually see. The best way for me to characterize what I’m thinking about today is by talking about those of us who are blind and those of us who are not. Let’s talk about the physical side of it first…

Having issues with my sight has been prevalent for most of my life. I began wearing glasses around 7-years old. When I turned 16, I was allowed to get contact lenses. While I wouldn’t qualify under the proper definition of blind, I have almost no ability to see anything other than faint colors and a huge blur, unless I’m wearing my glasses or contact lenses. I’m grateful that I have at least some ability to survive without them, but it is minimal. I wouldn’t even get from my bed to the door without using my hands to navigate, walking baby steps and listening carefully to know what noises may clue me in to my surroundings. 20 / 400+ vision sounds familiar, from visiting the eye doctor when much younger. If I wear my glasses or contact lenses, I end up somewhere around 20 / 40 — able to see everything, but usually still squinting for anything minute or far away. At least I have that ability… and I know that makes me lucky, as I could not imagine having no ability to see at all.

Perhaps because of my inability to see things clearly, I’ve developed an unusual retention or understanding of my physical surroundings. I’m hyper-sensitive about knowing where the entrances and exits are to whatever location I find myself in. But I don’t often pay attention to the colors, art or objects within the place. Unless I’m there for the intention of looking at the art or objects, they all fade away as unimportant things to ignore. My “educated” guess is that it’s a fear inside me, pushing me to know how to get in or out if I needed to in an emergency, as I would be lost without the plastic devices in or on my eyes.

If I am wearing glasses, my peripheral vision is weak. I can only see what’s directly in front of me and not to the sides. If the room gets too hot, my glasses might steam up. It will even happen with my contact lenses in use. Or if the lenses get dry or itchy, I need to take them out right away. For me, those could be issues in an emergency situation. If I lose my glasses, or someone took them away from me, or my contacts had to be removed, I would not be able to get in or out on my own. Unless, I knew the entrance and exit locations fairly accurately, which is why it’s always important for me. I wonder if that’s part of the reason I don’t like crowds, going to in-door concerts or being stuck up on higher floors…

Tunnel vision, over situations, is something we all experience from time to time. We choose only to see what we want to see within the parameters we’ve setup for ourselves. It could be a painful memory, an emotional avoidance, a strong desire… but we cling to a certain view of something, unwilling to consider anything outside those boundaries. I’ve done this on occasion, more when I was younger. I see it frequently in others now, if I stop and just monitor a conversation or note the way someone talks about certain situations. I’ve become perceptive to other people’s tendencies, so to speak.

In my own world, my perception can be skewed. Sometimes I want something to be true, I don’t see the things already indicating it isn’t possible or couldn’t happen. One’s mind is powerful and controlling, often able to hide things we do not wish to see at that moment. Previous experience can sometimes dictate your emotional reaction to a situation, and then you are unable to consider all the other pertinent facts or actions. It’s not often on purpose or even a choice; it just happens that way.

Blind. Blind to physical objects. Blind to memories. Blind to hidden meanings. Blind to the facts. We’re all blind to something in our lives… sometimes it’s important and might significantly change our paths. Sometimes it’s meaningless and would simply be a red herring. Reality can be jarring. Blinding ourselves to the truth is often an easy way to move forward or avoid things that need to be confronted or considered. Have you ever taken a moment to step back… to look at what’s going on around you… to remove the blinders and observe with a fresh approach?

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.