Review: The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts

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The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts Book Review
4 out of 5 stars to The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts, the 10th book in the Cat Who series by Lilian Jackson Braun. Ugh… this was such a sad one to read. I loved the series and read a bunch all in a row. This was mixed in the middle of the long read, towards the early middle part of the entire series… but poor Iris Cobb is killed. It’s not a spoiler, as it says so in the book jacket cover. But she was my favor transplant from Down Below… when she came up with her antique business and kept Qwill company… I was so happy for him. I didn’t want them to get together romantically, but I loved the friendship. I think it was a huge series change, but also a big mistake, for this character to be murdered. Don’t you hate it when the author does something like that? All in all, it was a good book. I loved the concept of ghosts. I liked the mystery. I was happy with the emotions and sentiments around the funeral. And it ended on a good note… but I will always wonder what could have been, had Iris Cobb made it a few more books!

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: Matilda

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Matilda Book Review
Roald Dahl gets 4+ out of 5 stars for his knock-it-out-of-the-park story, Matilda, from 1988. For some reason, I thought this was published before 1988, but I know I read it when I was 13, so… must have been right then. I thought it was great. Looking back years later, and seeing all the films and cartoons made from it, I love it even more. While she’s a good role model in many ways for young kids, she’s all a little too spunky and might give some the wrong impressions. Nevertheless, with the right guidance, she can be someone to look up to.

Not everyone gets the best parents, family, teachers and friends. And when you don’t, you better be a smart girl to be able to make it on your own. And that’s what she is… brilliant, funny, witty, sarcastic, friendly… everything all wrapped up into 1 adorable young girl. She has a few adventures, tries to make things happen and shows the world who she. And that’s all we can ask for! Great book. Great story. Lots to see and learn. Definite re-read some day!

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: As You Like It

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As You Like It Book Review
3 of 5 stars to As You Like It, a pastoral comedy and play written by William Shakespeare around 1599.

Rosalind falls for Orlando for many reasons in Shakespeare’s play As You Like It. Since Orlando is such a small man compared to Charles the wrestler, when Orlando beats Charles, Rosalind thinks that the “young man” is capable of great strength and survival despite his small frame. He has some hidden strength and power that he is able to fight up and beat his large opponent. He is such a free spirited man and seems so approachable. He is the good guy or the “boy next door” type. He has determination and skill. Orlando is powerful in his words too. His speech is eloquent and very convincing. He just seems like such a perfect man that any woman, particularly Rosalind, could fall for him.

Orlando comes across as a charmer and a seducer. He is quiet in some ways, yet he has an underlying sense of risk and danger. The darkness that surrounds him creates an aura of appeal to women. This is probably how Shakespeare intended the role to be played. He is a charismatic portrayer and wins the audience quite easily. When he is wrestling, he is strong and confidant, determined and willing. He could conquer the world. It seems as though he is the perfect actor for the role.

In the BBC version of As You Like It, the actor who plays Orlando reminds me of a weakened, run-of-the-mill schoolboy who hasn’t yet found himself. The character of Orlando is so much more. As a wrestler, he seemed to know what he was doing, but the match was so fake. At least in Olivier’s version, it looked somewhat possible for Orlando to beat Charles. In this version, I laughed at the whole scene. It seemed so fake. He was strong-minded, yet he didn’t have the physical appeal like Olivier did. Olivier looked like the Orlando I pictured. In the BBC version, the scenes between Orlando, Celia, and Rosalind seemed contrived. I thought Rosalind was just in a bit of shock over seeing Orlando win. I don’t think she was attracted to him or felt as though he was such a great man.

Olivier’s work is usually very close to the true Shakespearean plays, yet so are the BBC versions. It was hard to decide how I felt about these two. I though the casting was bad in the BBC version while in Olivier’s version, the casting was on target. I believed their every moves and emotions. The looks between Rosalind and Orlando were real, not just fake longings like those in the BBC version. I definitely preferred the Olivier version — this time — over the BBC one. It came closer to Shakespeare’s intentions.

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: The Swimmer

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The SwimmerBook Review
3 of 5 stars to The Swimmer, a short story written in 1964 by John Cheever. Why on Earth would a man want to swim from one end of a county to the other? There would have to be something wrong with him to even want to accomplish something like that! Yet, Neddy Merrill, a character in John Cheever’s short story “The Swimmer”, wanted to do it, which obviously shows that there was something wrong with him. Neddy planned on jumping from pool to pool as though he was really swimming in the Lucinda. He also wished that he could do his marathon without his trunks on. Neddy was crazy and needed help. However, one has to have some admiration for the man because he achieved his goal of swimming the county. One also has to feel sympathy for a man who no longer has his job, money, wife, and daughters. Neddy Merrill may have his faults, but he also has several reputable qualities.

From the beginning of the work, Neddy Merrill had been drinking and crashing parties at several neighbor’s homes. Every time that he reached a new house he jumped in their pool, swam laps, drank, and had short conversations. Neddy encounters several interesting people and was always in a rush to leave. When he finally finished half of the river, he had arrived on the doorstep of the Hallorans, who were an extremely rich, elderly couple that basked in nakedness. Neddy got his wish from before when he wanted to make his swim without his trunks.

trunk
However, the couple then expressed their sorrow for Neddy’s misfortunes (losing the house and his children). Neddy, however, had no idea what was going on and he got up and left. Similarly, Neddy goes on to stop at his ex-mistress’s home. He knew that she would give him a drink and comfort. When he arrived, he suddenly could not remember whether he and the woman broke off their affair a day before, a month before, or even a year before. He did not appear to know what was going on around him or maybe he was living in the past. Nevertheless, he was having delusions again.

However, near the end, he was so weak that he was forced to go against his beliefs. He had lost his strength and was slowly dying. Yet, he made it to his house where he found himself in another shock and state of confusion. The door was locked, his family was gone, and the house was empty. He had no clue what was going on; Neddy was delusional, yet again.

Besides all of the evidence that made Neddy look crazy, there was the route that led him to those actions. It seemed as though while Neddy was trying swim the entire county on the Lucinda River, he was really trying to recapture his wife Lucinda. His quest really was not to swim in all the pools, but to win back his wife. Deep inside him, he was a lonely, confused, and scared man who probably knew that he had lost his money, wife, and family. He did not want to accept that and so he did anything he could to retrieve his lost belongings. Neddy did swim the whole county, but when he got home, he hadn’t reclaimed his family and money. He was still the same old guy, but now he had swum the county. There appeared to be no change in him. Or, does he now realize his surroundings? Is he know longer crazy? I wonder…

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: The Cat Who Said Cheese

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The Cat Who Said Cheese Book Review
4 of 5 stars to The Cat Who Said Cheese, the 18th book in the “Cat Who” cozy mystery series, published in 1995 and written by Lilian Jackson Braun. Braun had a solid edition with this one, full of great characters, small town charm and a tasty murder or two. The cat are at it again with a flair for different cheeses… and after all, when the cat’s away, the mice will play. I enjoyed this book, and it’s one of the better ones in the series. The Great Food Expo hits Pickax, and we know this town loves food. When a murder happens, everyone’s surprised… even tho it’s at least the 18th time in 5 years. People just die in this town, quite frequently; however, that’s what makes it so fun. In this one, all the townspeople try to help Qwill figure out who did the deed… and they expect him to solve it. His mustache is twitching and that usually means he’s on to something. When you live in a small town, people will talk. When out-of-towners from outside the county venture in, people will talk. But in the end, it’s all those helpful clues which make the puzzle that much more easy to solve. These are fun books to devour in a single sitting for a few hours… makes for a doozy of an afternoon when you need some light reading.

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 67 – Pet-Dad

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Pet-Dad: male caregiver and parent to a pet

I woke up this morning in the most uncomfortable position, with the covers trapped around me, feeling like I had a heavy weight atop me in a coffin. No… I wasn’t dreaming. Ryder pulled one of his little tricks again last night and basically locked me into such a position by laying exactly between my legs with this head on my knee.

dad

For those that many not have read a post where I’ve previously mentioned Ryder, here’s the scoop: Ryder is my 9 and a half year old shiba inu (dog). Like many, I had no idea what a shiba was ten years ago, when my ex said “let’s get a dog” and proceeded to send me pictures of various breeds.  We eventually settled on getting a shiba, which comes from the mountains of Japan. My ex and I split up shortly afterwards, which eventually led to me meeting my current better half many years ago. Six years later… Ryder’s quite happy with the situation.

Shibas come in 3 or 4 “colors” — red, sesame, black & tan and cream. Ryder is a red shiba and came from a small town in Pennsylvania. We picked him up in a pet store while visiting my parents in Carlisle on Thanksgiving weekend. Below is a picture of him at about 3 months… yes, I’m in it too, but that’s the only one I could easily find:

baby

He was adorable. Male shibas get to be about 25 pounds. Ryder tops out around 20 pounds and is a bit small for the breed. He’s just a little too big to be a lap dog, and although he is deeply attached to me, doesn’t like to be held for very long. He much prefers throwing himself against me on the couch or in bed, so he’s pushed right up against my thigh or leg. And then he can get angry with me if/when I have to move for any reason; he enjoys playing mind games with me. He also gets moody when he doesn’t get what he wants, and then he ignores me. He once got his paw caught in the blanket I had thrown over me on the couch. He yelped and was obviously hurt for a few seconds, but it went away. His attitude towards me did not. For 3 days, I couldn’t pick him up, pet him or talk to him. I got such a cold shoulder attitude. I gave up after 24 hours, telling my better half to deal with Ryder or I was leaving, until Ryder’s attitude changed. It took two more days, but we let it go. I caved first and humbly apologized, tho I did nothing wrong. He thinks he’s perfect.

They say dogs develop personalities like their “owners.” There is no better example than Ryder. He is my twin, but as a dog. Not so much in looks, but in attitude and behavior. He is obsessed with food and must constantly have something off my plate at any meal. It’s gotten so bad that he often gets his own plate, and sometimes gets put out on the terrace, so that I have have at least 15 minutes to finish my own meal. Below is a picture of him outside the dining room, trying to figure out why I won’t let him in… he knows I just made brisket and wants another plate.

food

Ryder is quite spoiled. He has tons of stuffed animal toys and loves to rip out the stuffing from inside them.  A few months ago, I came home from a lunch meeting to find he took every toy out of his toy box (yes, he has his own… it’s like he’s my kid sometimes)… and threw them all about the dining room, as if to tell me he didn’t appreciate being alone. Who needs that many toys all at once? This dog has some personality… but then again, look at where he’s likely learned the behavior from.

toys

I’ve had pets most of my life, and I was usually very close with them. Cats, dogs, ferrets, fish, hamsters, you name it. But Ryder’s been with me for almost ten years now… and thought I’m tempted to adopt another one, we haven’t done it yet. Ryder, like me, seems to enjoy being the spoiled only child. Although, I’m sure he’d grow to love a sibling and playmate for when we’re both out working or socializing.

Thought it would be a nice break today to show a different side of me… a different characteristic… that probably says a lot more about me than I could say with just 1 new word. And that’s why today is all about Pet Parents.

Are you a pet parent? Do you have a dog or cat or something else that drives you crazy, takes up all your time, but you’d never give up and will be heartbroken over when something happens to him or her? Tell me all about your favorite 4-legged (or other kinds) friend…

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.

Blog: A Book Bucket List

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As I was looking through a few new sites this morning, I came across a brilliant idea. We all have our “To Be Read” list on Goodreads. We all have our favorite authors and genres. But how many of us have our very own “Book Bucket List?” I cannot claim to be the creator of this very cool idea, as I found it on a new online friend’s page: Laura @ thebookcorps.  She’s got a fun site, full of book reviews, blog postings and great ideas. Go take a look to see more. I’m thankful to her for posting her own “bucket list” and being OK with me borrowing her idea!

book.jpg

I’m not exactly sure how this works, so I’m going to make up my own rules. Today, I’ve started it with the top 12 books I want to read: 1 for every month in the next year, including a link to the book on Goodreads. I’ve also included the two books from 2017 that would have been on the list if I hadn’t already read them. I will keep adding to this page as I find new books that I absolutely must read. And when I cross one off the list, I’ll literally cross it off this list (see below) and provide a link to my book review. Without any further ado, below is my official “Book Bucket List” for everyone to see and monitor progress with this initial post, but the permanent page where I will track each update is located here:  Book Bucket List

  1. Arden, Katherine — The Bear and the Nightingale
  2. Bardugo, Leigh — Six of Crows
  3. Brown, Dan — Origin
  4. Follett, Ken — A Column of Fire
  5. Forman, Gayle — If I Stay
  6. Gabaldon, Diana — Dragonfly in Amber
  7. Hawkins, Paula — Into the Water
  8. Maas, Sarah — A Court of Thorns and Roses
  9. Macintosh, Claire — I Let You Go
  10. McKinlay, Jenn — A Likely Story
  11. Morton, Kate — The Distant Hours
  12. Morton, Kate — The Lake House
  13. Mosse, Kate — Citadel
  14. Reichert, Amy E. — The Simplicity of Cider

 

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! Each month, I will post a summary of a trip I’ve taken somewhere in the world. I’ll cover the transportation, hotel, restaurants, activities, who, what, when, where and why… and let you decide for yourself if it’s a trip worth taking.

Feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Tell me what you think. Note: All 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.