Day: May 28, 2017

Review: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Book Review
4+ out of 5 stars for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, a classic novel written in 1876 by Mark Twain. Another book where there are likely tons of reviews, each covering the plot, summary, characters, writing and themes. I’ll try not to do that, but instead a few quick hits on what made me like this one so much. An author’s job is difficult. You undoubtedly have hundreds of ideas and images swimming around inside your head. You may want to try to correct a wrong in society. You could be highlighting all the things that people should be aware of. It might be an opportunity to share a dream or wild imagination with readers. Mark Twain is all of those things tied together with a big, beautiful bow. He understands how to write. He knows how people read. He doesn’t care about either enough to worry what he does in his novels. And I don’t mean that in a critical or accusatory way. I mean that it all just pours out of him regardless of his audience, as he just naturally builds a wonderful story full of memories. With a setting like the Mississippi River, characters like Tom and Huck, messages like “how do you grow up to be a good man” threaded throughout the story, it couldn’t possibly fail. I’m not even covering the themes around slavery and freedom, men and women, skin color, age, relationships… it’s purely a theory on how to live your life so that you know what to expect, when to expect it and how to react. So much more I could say… but the best I could leave you with is… this is the kinda book everyone needs to read as we will all take something very different from it. Sometimes we will be angry that Twain didn’t do enough, considering how brilliant he was, to help support the causes going on at the time he wrote this. Others praise him for shining a light on what was happening. It’s controversial, diverse and thought-provoking. That’s why to read it — to engage in a discourse where you can feel free to share your opinion and understand every else’s feelings, too.

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.

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Review: H is for Homicide

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H is for HomicideBook Review
4 of 5 stars to H is for Homicide, the 8th book in the “Kinsey Millhone” mystery series, written in 1991 by Sue Grafton. Grafton hits another home run in the series with this installment, focusing on the death of one of Kinsey’s friends. It kicks off an investigation into insurance fraud claims, where Kinsey goes undercover to determine if a woman tricked Kinsey’s friend Paul into the insurance game, ultimately leading to his own death. But Kinsey’s in for a shock when she’s arrested herself, unable to clear her name as part of the investigation because she’s undercover. But this is when she realizes a crime kingpin is working with his girlfriend, and Kinsey doesn’t know who to trust. This was a good edition in the series, as it pushed Kinsey out of her comfort zone, showed some emotions and helped us relate to her better. Her skills as a detective grew, especially because she had to lie about her real identify. And the mystery has lots of good twists and turns. Fans of the series will enjoy this one… so far, the series has stayed in good shape and holds up well.

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.

View all my reviews

Review: The Cat Who Came to Breakfast

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The Cat Who Came to BreakfastBook Review
3+ out of 5 stars for The Cat Who Came to Breakfast, the 16th cozy mystery book in the “Cat Who” series, written in 1994 by Lilian Jackson Braun. Qwill and the cats head off the Breakfast Island for a little relaxation jaunt; however, the island is known by so many different names, everyone keeps steering him to different parts. Last count, it had 4 names and Qwill couldn’t figure out what was going on… that is, until a boat blew up and created a little mischief. Qwill’s mustache tingles, and the cats are behaving weirdly, so something is amiss. While this was a good book in the series, there wasn’t anything overly memorable about it. It also took him away from Pickax and the townspeople we know and love, so it’s a little different style. I appreciate when the author moves to a different locale in a series every now and again, to give the reader something different. But with this series, perhaps because it has 30 books, I feel like we jump around too often. All in all, the mystery is good, but leaves you feeling like it was a one-off story disconnected from the norm. It was around now when I thought to myself… “good series, but 15 should be the max!”

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.

View all my reviews

Review: Prime Cut

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Prime Cut Book Review
3.5 out of 5 stars for Prime Cut, the 8th book in the “Goldy Bear Schultz Culinary” cozy mystery series, written in 1998 by Diane Mott Davidson. We’re midway thru the series with this installment and it’s still going strong. Goldy’s working with her mentor, trying ot retain her catering business, as the competition has turned up the heat and stolen some business in their Denver-adjacent town. But the trouble doesn’t stop there, as anything that could go wrong, does go wrong for her this time. Her contractor, who is taking too long on the repairs, ends up being murdered. Goldy’s police detective husband is removed from the case and told to stay home for the short term, limiting Goldy’s access to important information. But when she almost bites the dust, she knows it’s time to step up her own investigation to save her business, her friend, her husband and her life. Another fine edition, full of good recipes and spot-on characters. The mystery is more complex (for a cozy) than usual, given various sub-plots. Seeing someone else besides Marla that used to know Goldy is great. But there’s also some sadness towards the end. I enjoy her relationship with Tom, wondering a bit about how close to reality this whole thing could play out, but then again… it’s supposed to be just literary fun. So… consider it an accomplishment. I enjoyed it.

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.

View all my reviews

Review: The Scarlet Letter

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The Scarlet Letter Book Review
4 of 5 stars to The Scarlet Letter, a classic romantic period tale written in 1850, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Students are often required to read excerpts from this book, if not the whole book, during school. I was one of those students, but then I read it again in college as part of my American Romanticism course during freshmen year. But I also read it a third time prior to a movie being released, as I liked the actors in the movie, but wanted to be able to compare the literary work against it… and it had been a while since I’d read the story.

It’s a tough work to get into, given the language and style. But once you do, it flourishes. Apart from being one of the most influential works of Puritan belief systems, it also broke ground by truly focusing on a woman who has done something sacrilegious above and beyond any normal broken sins. To lay with a man when you are not married… ugh, let’s throw some stones at that vixen! Phew… not that I got that out of my system…

I love the story. It was necessary at that time to push the envelope. People needed to break away from Puritan traditions of the former century. Minds were starting to open up about what it meant to be in love, to have a child and to be on your own. I may not agree with some of the lessons in the story, nor with the beliefs of all the Puritanical books, but there’s something to be said when this story can transcend time — and become a much copied work of literature. So many modern stories and books reference The Scarlet Letter… show the “A” on a woman’s chest… even down to something like Pretty Little Liars which has nothing to do with this book, but the villain simply goes by “A” in the first few books. Some may think I’m pushing it by connecting those dots, but it all got its start from this book, in my opinion.

Love it. But can’t give it a 5 as the language is difficult, tho I understand it was fine for the times.



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.

View all my reviews

Review: Othello

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Othello Book Review
4+ of 5 stars to Othello, a tragic play written in 1603, by William Shakespeare. When it comes to writing a thorough review about this Shakespearean work of art, it could take weeks and days to craft perfection; however, I’ve already stumbled upon a few across Goodreads, and the world doesn’t need another interpretation by a middle-aged white guy. Nor does it need my opinion about what this says of a person’s ethnic background, skin color or personality traits. But what the world does need to hear from me… at least if I’m going to post a review… is why I liked it. And I’ll keep it shorts, as we’ve all likely studied this one in high school or college, read it on our own, or watched a TV/Film adaption at some point. If you haven’t, shame on you… stop reading right now, go find one, then come back and let’s chat.

All sarcasm aside, my commentary on Othello is going to purely reflect my thoughts on three characters: Desdemona, Othello and Iago. Your non-classic classic triangle. A battle of good versus evil. Issues of trust in a marriage. All themes that have been explored countless times in literature. What captivates my attention in this play, over 400 years old, is the connection between Desdemona and Othello. A pure love tortured by all the games people play.

Desdemona is an enigma. She is a beautiful woman. A Greek goddess by any other means. She has it all. But she still falls prey to another’s claws. We’ve all been there. None of us are strong enough to resist with 100% force that our lover, partner, significant other or spouse are truly perfect. Doubt will always pervade our minds. Sometimes it’s just a momentary twitch. Others, you stalk the person until you are convinced chastity remains. 🙂

Othello is brilliant. He’s strong and faithful. He is powerful. But he is weak. As are we all. We allow ourselves to get into these positions, all because of experience and hearsay and tunnel vision. He is flawed, but he is every single one of us.

Iago, of course, the villain. Perhaps he simply has his own needs and wants. Maybe he is trying to meet his own objectives in some strange manner. But he is what so many future evil characters are based upon.

Reading this story in play format would be hard by today’s standards. But Shakespeare made it glisten during his time, and for me, it does so now, as well.

I love this story for all the hidden gems. It has more complexities than most of his other works, though many would argue it’s a basic story of love, betrayal, revenge and confusion. At first glance, yes. But when you dig deeper, you’ll find all the treasures.

I promised short… I’ve gone overboard. But hopefully your eyes are tearing from boredom. Read it please. And let’s converse, friends.

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.

View all my reviews

365 Challenge: Day 77 – Grey (Color)

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Grey: (a) of a color intermediate between black and white, as of ashes or an overcast sky, or (b) dull and nondescript; without interest or character

gray

Sunday posts, the end of each week, have become a theme on This-Is-My-Truth-Now, organized by groups of five (5). In the first set of five, we explored my primary ethnicity groups and nationalities. In the second set of five, we had the AtoZ Challenges for various favorite things in our lives. And so… I’m continuing the trend of the seventh day, ending the week on Sunday, as a list (we know I love them) that provides more in depth knowledge about me. Only this time, I’m going with colors that are important to who we are. For the next five Sundays, I will select a color that has some significance to my life and explore it in my post.

{Aside: Thank you to Valerie at Valerie’s Musings for convincing me to go this route… she had lots of good ideas we tossed around, but I’ve settled on this one and have other thoughts for future posts, too.}

grey

Color: Grey. Or is it Gray? That’s the first thing we need to discuss, even before I explain why this is the initial color I’ve chosen. And if you’re perceptive, you may have noticed I used “grey” in the subject’s caption, which means that’s my preference. At its simplest, “grey” is the UK spelling while “gray” is the American version. I’m American. I should use “gray,” but I feel like “grey” is the more appealing way to spell the word. It has a little bit of flair, ambiance and intrigue. And I like leaning towards my British roots, whenever I easily can, without confusion. I choose the British spelling for other words, too. That settled, why “grey?”

It is a beautiful color. It’s a middle ground between black and white, two polar opposite colors that are striking, each in its own way. But when you bring them together, you can create the most amazing of shades that highlight anything else you choose to go with it. I searched the Interwebs for the first article I could find (no science here!) explaining the color grey in terms of people’s personalities and choices. Below is the link, but the gist reveals, like the definition I posted above, that grey is an “emotionless, moody color… typically associated with meanings of dull, dirty, and dingy, as well as formal, conservative, and sophisticated.”

http://www.bourncreative.com/meaning-of-the-color-grey/

I disagree. Grey to me… is power — though, not in a typical way. I believe purple is reserved for royal or powerful. But in my world… Grey is a shade. It can be darker or lighter. It can hide, yet it can be visible. It can mean quiet, or it can be strong. Grey is neutral, goes with anything, almost like the Switzerland of colors. That’s who I am. I am torn between two extremes in all that I do. I find something I like in everything. I can be around anyone and figure out how to connect, if necessary, even for a short time. Grey feels like the color of my personality.

sky.jpg

In some ways, I am also boring, bland and dull. I offer little in terms of being able to clearly articulate who I am, meaning I’m not known for my passion over a sports team or my exceptional knowledge of any one topic. And, as I’ve said before in my posts, being average to me is a good thing — it’s not something I think of as a negative quality about myself. It’s an ability to fit into my surroundings without being noticed, but reliable and consistent in all that I do. That is the color grey. That is me.

Let’s chat about famous examples of the color grey… And yes, there are probably more, but these are the ones that come to mind or I have familiarity with:

  • Gray Matter: Our Brains
  • Grey’s Anatomy: A famous TV show, and I believe a book on the human body
  • Fifty Shades of Grey: a famous series of books and movies
  • Grey Hair: Divisive – people either hate it or embrace it
  • Gandalf the Grey: “Lord of the Rings”
  • Greyhound: the bus company, dog and drink
  • Earl Grey Tea: most common flavor, I think (To my “TEA” friends — yes/no?)
  • Grey Poupon: remember those mustard commercials?
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray: Classic book
  • Grey Gardens: Hamptons House in disarray of Jackie O’s family

Many feel depressed with the color grey, as though it is so dull, it offers nothing to the eye. To me, it offers Calm. Relaxation. Mood. Grey is in every room in my home. It’s on the walls in three different shades between the hallways, bedroom and living room. My couch is grey.  My bathroom towels are grey. My bed comforter is grey. It may seem bland, but it’s not. It’s a beautiful base that allows other colors to shine in their own way.

Grey is almost monotone (though by it’s definition, it is not). Think of black and white photographs. Your eyes don’t see the black or the white. They interpret grey. At least mine do. And it feels historic. Antique. Important. Valuable. Memorable. Like the grey wolf — another beautiful image:

How do you feel about the color grey? Does it stand out or hide among your life? Is it a neutral base of an item you avoid? And which way do you spell it?

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.