Day: June 19, 2017

Review: The Great Gatsby

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The Great GatsbyBook Review
4+ out of 5 stars to The Great Gatsby, written in 1925 by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I read this book the summer before I went away for college. Knowing that it took place in the 1920, a time period I adored, on the Gold Coast of Long Island, where I lived, and the main character’s name was Jay, like me, how could I not make it a priority? And I’m so glad I did. It’s a fantastic story with so many components and a ton to say about life. The characters felt so alive. The setting and the description felt familiar. The actions seemed to call you to jump inside the book. It was a phenomenal read for me… and the only reason I held back a 5 is because I felt there were a few too many caricatures drawn on people from the time period. Though it comes close to being accurate, it took a few points too far. Where it could have held back, showing a few more realities, it stepped into a bit of quick-sand for me… pulling people’s views to the extraordinary instead of the familiar. I had the same reaction to some of the film versions. All that glitters is not gold, and I don’t know that Fitzgerald wanted those areas to be the primary thing people took from the novel. There was more beyond it. But it’s one of those books that really gives you a perspective unlike any other about the things that happened both out in the open and beyond closed doors.



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

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Review: The Catcher in the Rye

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The Catcher in the RyeBook Review
3+ out of 5 stars to The Catcher in the Rye, a coming-of-age novel published in 1951 by J.D. Salinger. I am so glad I read this book as a teenager and not as an adult. I would absolutely hate it today, not because it’s poorly written or has no value, but because I’d hate Holden more than anything in the world. I was certainly not a perfect teenager, but I never had that angst as a kid, nor do I have it now. I have maybe 10 days a year where I complain a little bit about something, but for the most part, my mouth is shut and I do what I’m supposed to do. Supposed to, as in my own perception, not because someone else tells me to do it. Arguing and railing and running away and getting angry don’t come naturally to me, so I couldn’t identify with him. That said, I’ve seen this in others and it was well captured, a bit ahead of its time. For those reasons, it’s a good book. I’m a little concerned this is the type of book that will no longer be read… and teens reading it today wouldn’t understand it. I’m curious to see reviews by the under 25 crowd, just purely to see if the current generation has any different feelings towards it than I had when I read it in high school in the 90s.



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: Jane Eyre

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Jane EyreBook Review
3+ out of 5 stars to Jane Eyre, a wonderful novel written in 1847 by Charlotte Brontë. I read this book on Spring break just prior to my 21st birthday, perhaps not the best time to take this beauty on. At 21, being a guy, and English major and forced to read a few books I didn’t think I’d like, this came at a time where although I liked it, I wasn’t as in love with as most others are… hence the 3+ rating. I believe if I read it today, it’d be a 4+. But I have 1200 books on my TBR and simply can’t afford to take on any re-reads without losing my mind. Perhaps I should watch a TV or Film version to renew my interest? It has all the right parts… young woman suffering at the hands of the conventions of time and family (two things I enjoy in books)… the love of a ‘good’ man (meaning you see a relationship grow high and low)… and drama (will she escape it all?). Society was harsh nearly 200 years ago. I would not have survived. I am not vocal about my opinions of people’s behavior or societal limitations, but I believe anyone should be able to do anything they want without hurting someone else or the world we live in. If you want to marry your cousin, go ahead… not my business. If you want to sleep with a new man or woman every night, more power to you. Doesn’t affect me. If you want to wear revealing clothing… go look your best — just don’t do it where someone may cause an accident as a result! 🙂 Point being…. I struggle sometimes with books that cover these conventions because I want everything to be free and open. And when it isn’t, I can enjoy the battle to get there, but it’s a bit difficult when I combine it with 200 year old setting and guides. That said… I adore Jane. I empathize with her. I could be her on some levels. The words and language are great. It should be read. But know what you’re getting into!



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 Cherry Orchard

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The Cherry OrchardBook Review
4 out of 5 stars to The Cherry Orchard, a tragedy and comedy all rolled into one, published in 1904 by a great Russian, Anton Chekhov. I’d heard of this play during my high school years, but never actually read it. In college, I had a course in modern drama and theatre, where this was one of the 16 plays we read: 1 per week for the 4 month course. Our school also performed a theatrical version a later semester where I participated in some backstage work. We also did a video and literary analytical comparison. I know the play well. Commentary on society. Discussion of values. Choices. Understanding what you will give up for what you need to have. The themes in this one are so large, it’s often hard to discuss them without getting animated.

Additionally, The Cherry Orchard was the piece that I did my technical and textual analysis on, so I had strong opinions and theories about the characters and the action. When I saw the video, I was a bit shocked at some things, but I also realized that many things were done in the way that I would have done them. The whole discussion/argument about the play being a comedy or a tragedy is one that comes to mind.
I thought while reading the piece that it was mostly a tragedy. The Ranevskys were losing their estate and cherry orchard. I had sympathy and pity for them. Then, I thought more about how it was played in the video, and what the narrator had to say. I also recalled the action in the play and realized that the action is external, and therefore, it depends on the way that characters are played by the actors. It was the acting, at least for me, which showed the tragic side of the play in the video. When Lopakhin is announcing at the end that he is now the owner of the estate and the orchard, the staging and directing was brilliant. The entire stage was silent, and the characters all stood around Lopakhin. The orchestra was playing a little bit also, and Lopakhin began his speech. He was somewhat hysterical, but also vindicated. Watching this scene is what convinced me that the play was more tragic than comic.

The actress who played Madame Ranevsky was a great actress. When she broke down about losing the estate with her brother Gayev, there were more tragic tones to the play. It was hard to decide exactly how I felt about the piece because there were the interruptions to let the narrator talk for awhile. Overall, I liked the version because it appeared very classic. By classic, I mean in the lines and the dark colors. I wish that I saw the actual orchard. I felt a little deprived because the orchard was the focus of the piece.

There were parts that were left out also that I wish I could have seen acted. In my opinion, the entire play should have been put on, and then afterwards, the narrator should have commented on it. They could have held flashbacks and then remind us of specific scenes that were played in a certain way, etc. The end was good when Firs was left alone. I like that part. He was on the couch and I wondered what was going to happen. When I read the play, I thought that he was going to die, but I was unsure about his character in the film. There was a lot of discussion about the sounds of the piercing harp string and the axe at the end when the orchard was being cut down. This discussion was very interesting because it helped me to understand the importance of the sounds before I gave my textual analysis.



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: Pride and Prejudice

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Pride and PrejudiceBook Review
So it starts off with this zombie who is thirsty for… oh wait, wrong book. I thought this had zombies in the title. I must be confused. Oh, there are 2 of them. Why would someone do that? What do zombies have to do with marriage and love and the idea of ideas? Is this the book where the women in a lion’s den dislike the men? Oh, I’m so lost today with these older reviews. JUST KIDDING!

3 out of 5 stars to Pride and Prejudice, a remarkable novel written in the early 19th century by the wonderful Jane Austen. I read this when I was around 20 years old, as part of one of my English courses. I like the book. I enjoy the characters. But I’m not as big of a fan as most people who say they like this book. I’ve also never seen any movie, film or tv series versions of it, nor would I dare pick up the one that includes the zombies. There are 2 things preventing me: (1) I wasn’t enamored with this one enough to want to re-read something very different and (2) I’ve never been a fan of zombies. Vampires, yes. Werewolves, yes. Witches, totally. But for some reasons, zombies don’t do it for me. I did like the first two movies in the Resident Evil series, but that’s just because she’s a badass! Why am I still talking about zombies. Let’s move to marriage, a more appropriate topic, given it’s a central theme in the book.

I am not married. For a while, it wasn’t legal for me to marry the person I’d want to marry. It is now. But I’m still not married. And I have been in a relationship for nearly six years. My point… so off topic in this one… is that marriage has never been important to me. And so this book had some interesting parts to it that I both agreed with and had some conflicts with. I believe in doing what’s best for the two people involved in the relationship, not what society says is the acceptable thing to do. I also find marriage to be something more private between the married couple, and it would be weird to stand up in front of a whole room of people and say some words, have some sort of institutional approach and then continue on with our lives.

I liked the pairing of Elizabeth and Darcy, but it wasn’t a romantic and wonderful turn of events for me. It felt more like a societal commentary of relationships, expectations and courtship. As a result, I focused less on “should they be together” and more on “what’s the meaning under all these words.” I liked the book, probably give it a 3.4999999, which unfortunately rounds down to a 3.

Of all the classics, it’s not one of my favorites, but I’d give it another chance under the right circumstances. Just would want to maybe see a visual interpretation first, perhaps to drive my imagination and provoke some different thoughts for the next read.



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

AWARD: Sunshine Blogger #3

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I would like to thank my friend Phil @ WhatShouldIDoWithMyLife for nominating me for the ‘The Sunshine Blogger Award’. I was nominated for the award previously, but he has a whole new set of questions, which I felt compelled to answer. Please stop by his blog to see all the great content, advice and open thoughts. He and I have a similar theme, as we both blog about what we want to do with our lives… reading his helps keep me focused!

sunshine-blog-award

 

Rules:

1.) Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
2.) Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
3.) Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
4.) List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

 

Questions for nominees:

1. Tell me about the most interesting person you’ve ever met.

  • This is a tough question for me. I find something interesting in everyone I meet, and I tend not to get awestruck by anyone. I find people amazing, talented and remarkable, but I’m not certain I know who has been the most interesting. I’ll keep thinking about it and come back to re-post a comment when I figure out who it is.

2. If you could take a week and travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

  • I’d go back to the English countryside in the Cotswolds. No devices. No specific plans. Just enjoy the scenery, the food and the drink.

3. What is the one truly defining moment of your life so far?

  • I think finally writing a full novel, something I’ve said I always wanted to do. And I accomplished it.

4. What is the most spontaneous thing you’ve done lately?

  • Oy! I’m not very spontaneous, so lately… maybe several months ago when I said “I need a blog.” And then I spent days creating it.

5. Who has influenced you the most?

  • Probably my mom. I’ve spent the most time with her and I see so much of her in me. Lots of differences, but the basics are all the same.

6. What is the one thing you most want to do?

  • Publish my novel. Have a child. Live outside the USA. Too many to choose!

7. What is your best inherited quality?

  • Kindness. I can’t understand why people aren’t just naturally kind.

8. Name your favorite thinker.

  • Socrates. He gave us so much to consider.

9. Who is your favorite historical figure?

  • As a child, I adored JFK. As an adult, George Washington.

10. Have you been to any good musical performances lately?

  • I saw War Paint on Broadway last weekend. It was very good! I don’t generally go to music concerts, so hopefully this counts.

11. What type of vacation do you prefer? Are you a relaxer or an explorer?

  • 75% relaxer, 25 explorer. I like my downtime!

 

My Nominees:

 

  1. https://meltotheany.wordpress.com/2017/06/16/the-dragons-of-nova-loom-saga-2-by-elise-kova/
  2. https://talesofbelle.com/2017/06/14/becca-review/
  3. https://lostartofreadingblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/13/reading-types/
  4. https://lifeofastayathomemomcom.wordpress.com/2017/06/19/an-open-letter-to-my-younger-self/
  5. https://carlalovestoread.wordpress.com/2017/03/17/hedys-journey-the-true-story-of-a-hungarian-girl-fleeing-the-holocaust/
  6. https://withinseoul.wordpress.com/2016/07/29/playing-on-the-rooftops/
  7. https://growingself.blog/2017/06/19/rise-and-shine-breakfast-cookies/
  8. https://carrierubin.com/2017/06/19/eating-bull-body-shaming-big-food-and-writing-an-interview-with-bertholdgambrel/
  9. http://inspirationpie.com/?p=561
  10. https://booksteacupnreviews.wordpress.com/2017/06/19/the-unpopular-opinions-tag/
  11. https://edgeofhumanity.com/2017/06/19/family-9/

Special Nomination:  https://susanlovesbooks.wordpress.com/2017/06/19/goodreads-monday-15/

Note: If you haven’t been tagged, but want to participate, you should! If you have been and don’t want to participate, you don’t have to. If you’ve already been nominated for this award, congratulations — but these are different questions… so you might want to do them again. 🙂

 

Questions for nominees:

  1. What hour are you most alert during the day or night?
  2. Who was the last famous person you stalked?
  3. What courses were your worst and best in school?
  4. If you could let someone else takeover your blog for 1 day, who would it be? (can be a celebrity or even someone who doesn’t blog currently)
  5. What country has the happiest people?
  6. What lesson took you the most to learn?
  7. Where do you go for peace and quiet?
  8. What person who died before 1900 would you try to bring back to live today?
  9. Where do you see yourself retiring?
  10. What cartoon character are you most like?
  11. What personality trait are you currently trying to change or improve?

 

About Phil:

To learn more about Phil in case you’re deciding whether to go check out his blog, see his own questions and answers below:

  • A quote or any saying that you love and follow.

Be the change you wanna see in the world.

  • If you get chance : either to go in future and know what’s there for you or to go back in past and change something Which one would you choose & Why?

I would choose to go in future. I would like to change what comes next, and not the things which have already happen.

  • A superpower that you think everyone should have.

The superpower to understand the other person’s lies.

  • Mountains or Beaches?

Mountains at winter and beaches at summer.

  • Is there anything that can/might make you stop blogging?

Only if I ‘ll my motivation and that’s really difficult

  • If you get a chance to watch any war that happened in the past live Which war would you choose n Why?

The war of  Thermopylae, where 300 men fought against thousands of Persians.

  • Share any adventurous or risky thing that you ever did. 

I jumped from a fifteen meter cliff straight to the water.

  • What gives you goosebumps every-time?

To hear stories about WW2.

  • A gift that you would love to receive anytime.

An album full of photos, memories and letters from friends or family.

  • Your favorite topics to have a conversation on.

Movies, music, gymnastic and of course books.

  • One thing that you want to eliminate from your life completely.

Bad thoughts, bad people and bad relationships.

 

About Me

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. Once you hit my site “ThisIsMyTruthNow” at https://thisismytruthnow.com, you can join the fun and see my blog and various site content. You’ll find book reviews, published and in-progress fiction, TV/Film reviews, favorite vacation spots and my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge.” 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… see how you compare!

Review: One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

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One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue FishBook Review
4 out of 5 stars for One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, a children’s picture book written in the 1960s by Dr. Seuss. I loved this one as a child, and probably read it around 7 or 8 years old, then again at 10. Between the rhymes and tongue-twisters, it encourages kids to laugh and have fun when reading. Focusing on pets, under water fish are my favorite. All the colors, shapes and sizes. All the things to do with them. Dr. Seuss is a definite children’s classic, but with pictures and movies being made, it helps bring it all full circle. I love buying these books for my friend’s children, then sitting to read with them. Great memories!

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