crazy

Book Review: A Smidge of Crazy by Barbara Venkataraman

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I’m a fan of Barbara Venkataraman‘s writing style, stories and characters. She’s written several humorous essays and the Jamie Quinn mystery series. In her latest release, another fun essay, A Smidge of Crazy, a short-n-quick read, Venkataraman gets a little personal covering some hysterical memoirs and happenings thus far in her life. Perhaps some are true, perhaps some are just ways to entertain us. Either case, they make you laugh from start to finish. From the thought of buying Depends undergarments to how many different people could possibly be related in her family, she brings a great wit and head shake to each story in the collection. Some are just a few paragraphs, others are two to three pages, but each has an insight that will make you go “oh, I’ve said/done/thought THAT before.” Maybe we’re not all that different in the end, right? Great mini-release to get me through until her next Jamie Quinn book… thank you!

smidge

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read 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 find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also 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. 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. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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Book Review: Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

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3 out of 5 stars to Hidden Bodies, the second book in a thriller and suspense series by Caroline Kepnes.

hidden

Last month, my buddy Medhat suggested a read of You, the first novel in the series. It was such a fantastic book, probably in my top 2 of 2017 to date, that I had to continue reading the series. I’ve heard rumors there will be a third book, but I’ve yet to see it confirmed. I need to check on that! I am also completely excited as Lifetime is turning the books into a television series. I can’t wait… but until then, let’s get on with the review of this second book. While I enjoyed several parts of it, it doesn’t hold a candle to the first book and I’ll explain why below.

Plot, Characters & Setting
When we left off at the end of [book:You|20821614], our protagonist/villain, Joe, completed his vicious cycle of crossing many lines and breaking tons of laws in NYC all in the name of love, also known to most people as stalking your prey. Yet he escaped without anyone knowing of his crimes and found himself falling in love with a new potential victim, Amy Adam. Joe begins trusting Amy, realizing she’s a much-improved version of his last girlfriend, Beck. Amy begins pushing him for a key to his bookstore, which we all know from reading the first book contains a few secrets Joe would prefer stay buried, like some bodies. He hides everything as much as he possibly can, caving in to his girlfriend in order to hold on to her. When he arrives for work a few days later, the place has been robbed and Amy is missing. Did she do it? Was she kidnapped as payback for his prior crimes? What does she know? You’ll find out… he finds a lead that shows she may be in Los Angeles. Joe quits his job and moves cross-country, where he meets an interesting cast of characters in his typical LA apartment. He negotiates/manipulates his way into working closely with a few Hollywood type agents and producers, finding himself falling in love with a new woman, coincidentally named Love.

Love is perfect for Joe. She adores him. And he soon forgets about Amy. All seems well for a short period of time. But he keeps worrying about the one piece of evidence of his former crimes back in Rhode Island… and it drives him nearly insane, especially when the case is re-opened. He knows he has to find a way to retrieve it without anyone seeing him in the victim’s house. Unfortunately, he’s distracted by Delilah, one of the women in his apartment complex who has the hots for him. And then there’s a cop who has taken a dislike to Joe, tailing him at different parts of the day while Joe is trying to tie up loose ends. But it’s when Love’s ex-boyfriend and her brother monopolize all of Love’s time, Joe goes off the rails. As he begins to unwind, adding more and more crimes to his list in order to cover up the past and protect himself from losing Love, Joe finds himself getting careless. It all comes crashing down in the last few chapters of the book, ending at a place where it’s very clear, a third book is necessary. Readers will not be OK with this ending, as it opens more holes than the one’s Joe’s already had to dig for each of his hidden bodies.

Approach & Style
Whereas in the first book, Joe talks to the readers almost as if they are Beck, it’s quite different in this second book. It’s still told in first person with the perspective only on Joe throughout the whole story; however, there’s no concept of “you” this time around. It works just as well, given the title is no longer “You,” which means alternative progression is an expected path.

I read a large-sized soft-cover book with ~430 pages. There are 56 chapters, so each one is less than 8 pages long on average. It took me 4 days over the course of a week, as I couldn’t read each day; in total, probably about 6 hours. Some sections are a bit slow-paced while others are ultimate page-turners where you probably skip every fifth word just to see more quickly what’s happening.

Strengths
Kepnes can certainly dream up extremely aggravating and realistic characters. Everyone she incorporates feels like someone I’ve met before, and at times, I wish I could be Joe and punish them for the things they say and do. But I’m a good guy and I don’t commit many crimes. I mean any crimes.

When she’s on point with a dramatic scene, the plot and action is amazing. A few scenes were just as good as the initial book, especially when Joe is dealing with Delilah and the cop. It’s almost like we never left the first book.

Love is a really multi-dimensional woman; she has moments of brilliance followed by sheer silliness. I want her to be with Joe, but sometimes, she seems too good for him.

The settings are crystal clear for the most part. I can always tell where we are and whether it’s gonna be a safe zone or all hands to the battle field.

Concerns
It was such a let-down from the first book. Joe became weak. I didn’t buy his drama. He seemed to cause problems for the sake of causing problems. He had the girl. But he let himself get caught up in other areas, ones that made him a true criminal and not a man in love. That’s where he becomes a bad stalker. In the first book, he loved the girl so much, you could see why he did the things he did. This time, I struggled connecting with his motivation. He became every other evil antagonist, rather than the guy you wanted to root for.

The ending gets closer to the original strength, but not all the way. I was pleasantly surprised when the last 100 or so pages took the story in quite a different and unexpected direction, but it wasn’t enough to turn the book around for me. If this were the only book I read, and I didn’t know much about the original plot, it wouldn’t have been a book I’d recommend to friends. And that’s sad because Joe is an amazing villain. I toyed with giving this less than 3 stars but I know that is mostly the disappointment in ruining a good character. It’s redeemable in a third book, so I will have faith things get better.

Final Thoughts
The story is still good. It’s got major problems with his constant quest for sex, which is just an overused plot component in this book. Pull that out. Take out the section where he turns into a whiny mess. And maybe give him a few more close calls, and we’re back in the game.

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.

365 Challenge: Day 122 – Weirdo

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Weirdo: a person whose dress or behavior seems strange or eccentric

weirdo

It’s important as part of a discovery process to allow a little time for fun. Occasionally, you’ll learn something quite unexpected. And so today, rather than dissect a serious topic, I’ve chosen a word that immediately makes you smile, giggle or laugh; undoubtedly a different than normal expression appears on your face when you say the word ‘weirdo,’ whether it’s in your eyes, lips or entire facial structure. Do it. Look in the mirror when you say it. It’s gonna happen. I’m telling you. Believe me. And if it doesn’t, well then… you’re just weird, my friend.

A fairly significant percentage of the population strives not to be weird. They always want to fit in and keep any attention focused elsewhere, that is, excluding people’s whose jobs or professions include behaving in a weird manner in order to earn a living or fans. As a child, we often keep our weird behaviors to ourselves, as we don’t want to be judged or humiliated. When we grow older, we try to hide the things that make us look different than others in a way we perceive as potentially hurtful or negative. But as I grow older, I am celebrating those things that perhaps set me apart from others. I’m still shy and quiet, consider myself average, and don’t like to have attention on me; however, rather than run the opposite direction from the things that make me a weirdo, I am embracing them.

Sometimes these things are simple and meaningless, but we make more out of them. Sometimes they are truly ‘out there,’ waiting for someone to recognize them as not the norm. No matter what they are, let’s make today (and as much of your future as you can convince yourself is possible) about celebrating those things that have always made us look weird. In honor of the word ‘weirdo,’ I’ve selected five (5) things about myself that either I’ve always thought were considered peculiar, unusual, strange, odd, freaky, loony, eccentric, crazy, nuts, unusual, different, or weird. And I’m not afraid to share them today. Some are rather harmless… some are just funny… some aren’t so weird any more… but at one point or another in the past, I kept them hidden from others. But now I accept it as the details of who I really am!

  • #1 – Weird noises

As a child, I kept to myself a lot. I didn’t have an imaginary friend, but I would talk to myself. Full out conversations. And often, it would devolve into elaborate conversations with alternative noises and sounds to mean different things. There is one noise in particular that has carried through my entire lifetime, and I often find myself sharing it with new people in a very unusual way. It’s always a different method, too. If I think the person is scared by peculiar noises, I’ll do it in such a way that it sounds like it’s coming from a different part of the room. If they will know it’s me, I won’t hide it but I’ll just keep doing it for a few minutes until they are just totally puzzled. I must seem like the most immature nonsensical person when it happens, but it brings me such joy. I basically puff my cheeks out while pushing the air towards the top portion of my mouth. Using those muscles, I hold the air up and to the back and let it seep out almost like you would with air coming out of a balloon. Then I part my lips either a tiny bit or a significant amount, depending on the volume I’m selecting, and push the air out at different speeds. It’s a cross between a baby crying, a duck quacking, helium-voice from a balloon and some sort of ancient clicking language. I’ve been in tears when people freaked out not realizing it was me. And that is why I love being a weirdo. (No, that’s not me below)

  • #2 – Twisting my wrist and hands

While I’m not quite double-jointed, I have extreme flexibility in my wrists, although I’m noticing it’s getting less and less as I grow older each year. I can bring my entire thumb a full 180 degrees backwards to land on my wrist, as well as a few other fingers. I previously could place all five there, but that went away during a growth spurt in my teenage years. Nonetheless, it almost looks like a bit of lobster claws. And when I do it, my knuckles and other joints crack. It freaks some people out. Others try to do it, then I laugh hysterically when they cannot even come close. All in all, nothing huge, but it always draws a bit of attention to me, and it kind of tickles me something fierce to know I’ve either amused or completely unnerved someone else. I should twist my wrist and the noise I mentioned above. Why have I never thought about this before? Oh! I think I know what I’m gonna wander around Manhattan and do this afternoon. I’d be locked up for it, tho, I’m sure. And now I’m laughing hysterically at myself as I type this. The pics I wanted to post might caught some people to vomit, so I’ll go mechanical instead.

  • #3 – Vegetables

I have never liked vegetables. There are a few normal ones that I’ll eat if I have to, generally raw and with some sort of a dipping sauce. But I claim to be a healthy guy who balances all his food groups. Yet vegetables just freak me out. I like growing them. I enjoy how some look, smell or feel. But I just can’t deal with the taste. It’s like eating dry dirt, even when they are prepared with other sauces and in different methods. But there is one vegetable that I absolutely love… though some don’t really consider it a vegetable. LIMA BEANS! Most people find them disgusting. I adore them. Plain. Simple. Butter, Salt and Pepper. The flavor is fantastic. The texture is amazing. I love them so. And people look at me like a freak because of it. But I accept it. I love lima beans and I cannot lie.

  • #4 – Food can’t touch on a plate

As a child, my mom’s rule was always “You don’t have to eat what’s on the table for dinner. But if you put it on your plate, you will finish it. If you don’t like what’s on the table, you don’t get anything else. You can choose to go to your room for the rest of the evening.” It was a good rule. It taught me to not take things for granted and that food is precious. But it also taught me that I had a choice. And I often chose to go to my room and not eat dinner. She was a good cook, too. But there were always vegetables. And often the foods touched each other. Once foods touched each other on my plate, I couldn’t eat them. If the juice from the creamed corn bled onto the meat, I was done for. I had to try not to gag. If the rice or potatoes were left on the fork after a bite, I had to clean it off before I took a bite of something else. For school lunches, I took a sandwich as I refused to eat anything from a cafeteria. I would bring a piece of bread, a piece of turkey and a piece of cheese. I ate them separately. Not as a sandwich. Unfortunately, this has carried through my whole life… and people often can’t eat their own meal because they are stuck watching me move things around on my plate so they are at least 1 inch away from each other. I will eat a sandwich on occasion now, tho. But no condiments. That’s disgusting!

  • #5 – Varied styles

Most people have a style or a somewhat consistent way of doing things. I am very consistent in most things in my life; however, I am a bit eclectic across the board when you add everything up. I enjoy music people would never expect me to enjoy. I watch TV shows that only teenage girls watch followed by something that you generally need to be older than 80 to enjoy. I’ll read books back-to-back that are so different, no one can guess what my real style is. I will love the way a shirt looks on me one day and the next day (nothing that much could have changed) and I think it’s been sent my the devil to torture me. I want to go out clubbing for 3 hours and then I need to be alone and away from people as it was all just too much for me. I could go from being utterly bored to having too much to do in a matter of minutes. I’m just a few hundred people trapped in one body. And while this can be a fun thing… and happens to lots of people from time to time… this is my daily life. My friends and family always say “we never know which Jay we’re going to get.” They don’t mean it in a bad way, as all my personalities are generally likable. But they can be very different. {Aside: I don’t have multiple personality disorder. I just embrace everything in life and try to find something good about everything and try new things… except vegetables, but that’s been covered before.}

As always, I turn this 365 Daily Challenge post back to you… with two key questions today: (1) What other words do you use in replace of ‘weirdo’  and (2) What are a few ‘weirdo’ things about you that you are comfortable sharing? Let’s have some fun today…

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is the wonderful lady who calls herself the ‘Aspiring Curmudgeon‘ in her About Me section on WakingUpOnTheWrongSideOf50. I just happen to know her real name, but since I’m afraid she might put a curse on me if I say too much, I’m gonna behave myself and stay on her ‘right’ side of 50! On a more serious note, while we’ve only probably been chatting about 6 weeks via our blogs, she is one of my favorite people to talk with throughout the day. She reminded me to celebrate who I am and not worry about others… and since I am weird, and she reminded me of it, that’s why today she’s the recommended blogger. In many ways, we are very similar in our approach to organization and communicating with other people. We’ve had some similar life experiences. We both live in NYC and understand all that comes with it. But the best thing about her and her blog are the voice, point of view and perspective that come along for the ride… well actually, it’s all those things that do the driving… as she is one very funny woman in clear control of the vehicle she’s driving AKA her blog. If you’ve not read some of her posts, there are 3 or 4 you must check out, including “Change: A Fairy Tale,” “I’m Too Old For That,” and “DBQ – Emoji.” These aren’t even my top favorites, but I think they give a really complete picture of the beauty in her writing style and the natural humor surrounding her presence. So… please go find your way to check out her site… and maybe you too one day will know her real name!!!

 

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.

Review: You

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You4 out of 5 stars to You, the first of a two-book thriller and suspense series, written in 2014 by Caroline Kepnes. All I can start out with is wow – I loved it! I’ve tried to pull out all spoilers, but I do give a little bit of the high-level plot and antics away, as I think it will make you want to read it more.

 



Why This Book


My friend Medhat asked if I’d be interested in a buddy read with him and proposed 5 different books. I’d read 1 already, didn’t have an interest in 1 of them, and 2 were a re-read for him, which left this one as something new for both of us. So we went with it… I knew nothing about the author or the novel prior to him bringing it up, and I’m grateful he did. I had been in a slight reading slump and this book was extremely refreshing and strong, directly in my sweet spot as far as genres and styles go. Please go check out Medhat’s profile and look at his review of this book.



Plot, Characters & Setting


Joe runs a bookstore on the Lower East Side of NYC, sort of inheriting it from the man who basically adopted him as a boy from parents who weren’t doing a very good job at raising him. Joe’s witty, sarcastic and on the edge of being a little psychotic for his 25-30ish years. Guinivere Beck, known simply as Beck, stops in his store to make a purchase, and Joe immediately falls in love…. No that’s not the right word… obsession, yeah… falls into an obsession…that’s the right word… with her. He stalks her social media profiles, learns everything he can about her, then engineers the downfall of her on again / off again jerk of a boyfriend. He tries to isolate Beck from her friends and create situations where they keep running into another until she finally decides to pursue him. They begin dating for a few weeks and have a very peculiar relationship where they take steps to get closer, then she pulls away and looks for her ex-boyfriend. After a few weeks of the back-and-forth, some major event take place that show Joe’s true colors… and eventually we learn just how broken Beck also is. When one of them attempts to break off the relationship, the other goes berserk and takes the situation to an entirely new level of crazy. As the book comes to an end, a dramatic conclusion forces a major plot change and probably begins the focus for the second book in the series, which as a nice little teaser for you… is called Hidden Bodies. {Phew… this is a hard one to describe without giving any spoilers}

Beyond Joe and Beck, you’ve got an ex-girlfriend of Joe’s and an ex-boyfriend of Beck’s. Beck’s psychiatrist enters the picture for a good chunk of the book, as well as her friend, Peach. Peach is an annoying and pompous witch (I have another word in mind but I’ll be nice today) who is almost more psychotic than Joe. Joe’s got a few workers at the book store who interact from time to time, as well as a cop intervening for a few chapters.

The action mostly takes place in NYC, but there are a few short trips to Rhode Island and other parts of the immediate vicinity. It all takes place in current times, where social media and technology are very important to the plot and character actions.



Approach & Style


The book is told from Joe’s point of view, as he is the narrator which means it’s told in a first-person perspective. However, the big difference in this book is that Joe is telling the story as if the reader is Beck, constantly referring to her as “You” throughout the book. As a reader, you start feeling like everything he’s doing, he’s doing to you. And when your character, Beck, makes decisions or reacts in an unexpected way, it’s a roller-coaster of fun trying to balance your amusement and your frustration with your anger and your confusion. All in a good approach. I haven’t really read much else using this perspective, and it was done in a very strong way.
The book is about 400 pages and broken into about 50 chapters, so each one is relatively short but consistent in its narration, style and language. The language is a bit convoluted at times, as they are both avid readers and writers, work in a book store and get quite philosophical. It’s definitely a 17+ book in the sense that there are many 4-letter word bombs and extensive sexual content. Some will find it on the vulgar side, and while it certainly had a few moments where it was on the edge, I thought the author only included such content when it felt appropriate.



Strengths


Due to the style, you are immediately drawn into Joe’s psychotic attraction and dangerous personality. However… there is something so wonderful and charming about him, you want to look past the stalker he becomes, as he has a heart of hold. And when Beck begins to show signs of being venomous, you almost don’t mind some of the things he does to or against her, in spite of their growing attraction and relationship. It’s truly like watching a train wreck, knowing you can’t really stop it, but kinda wanting to see every little gory detail as it unfolds.

Joe is so crystal clear, you would think he’s standing right next you. Beck is almost as real as he is, but given Joe narrates the story, you tend to feel closer to him. For an author to make you almost root for the bad guy, it’s a good book. The interaction, the imagination, the internal thoughts, the passive-aggressive behavior… it’s all so spot-on, I can’t even begin to explain how real this situation seems to play out, with the exception of he’s a stalker and basically invaded her life. If they had just met and gotten into a relationship, everything from that point on felt 100% real – from their fights to their make-up sessions, as well as from the games they played and the way in which their friends took sides. Amazing slice of life to watch play out.



Concerns


The last few chapters felt a bit rushed. It was quite suspenseful and you could see the whole sequence of events unfolding in real-time before your eyes; however, because it’s all from Joe’s point of view, I’m unsure exactly how much Beck knows in those last few chapters. She clearly articulates that she was aware of what he had done before she told him she knew about it. But you don’t know how much of a preview she had into his psychotic mind, or if she was happy or scared with it. {Again, sorry, don’t want to give away any spoilers} For me, I would have loved to read a journal entry she’d written saying exactly what she knew and when she knew it. Otherwise, we’re left guessing a little bit, and having that information may help us decide whether or not she’s a good person or a bad person.

Joe gets away with a lot. He’s sneaky. He’s smart. He’s vengeful. He’s manipulative. But it seems no one picks up on it until too late. I can pretty much buy off on it; however, in the scenes where he is caught, I can’t tell if it’s remorse or anger. I would love to know if he wanted to be caught, if he accepts the consequences or if he is just growing more volatile. It’s a pretty clear ending to the book, so you know when it’s done what is going on in his head, but it would have been fantastic to watch him spiral a bit more out of control in the last 20% of the novel.



Author & Other Similar Books


As far as the way the story is told, I can’t think of anything. As far as the type of story, perhaps Fatal Attraction? Joe also feels like a diabolical version of a narcissistic Holden Caulfield from Catcher in the Rye. Loveable and annoying, but be careful as you never know what he’s truly capable of until after it’s already happened.



Questions & Final Thoughts


I need to read the second book ASAP. This is such a different kind of story… one where you may side with the criminal in this story. You see both perspectives. You want him to get everything he deserves – both the good and the bad. And in some strange way, I think I was even attracted to parts of his personality (and that’s scary, given how the book ends up). If you need something to pull you out of a slump, this is the book. It’s still sitting on my brain, as vivid as though I were reading the words on the page. It’s that kind of book… one where you will want to keep thinking about it and talking about it for a long time after you are done.



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: Hamlet

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Hamlet Book Review
4 out of 5 stars to Hamlet, a tragedy published in 1600 by William Shakespeare. Buckle your seat belts, as I have a 38 page review to share… Just Kidding! Well, I do have a lengthy review I could include from a previous course on Shakespeare, but I will not do so here… chance are you’ve already read the play or seen some film adaption, perhaps even a staged version. I’ve seen a bunch of them and read the place 4 times (once in high school, twice in college and once just for pleasure). Here’s the thing about this play: There is WAY too much to absorb in just one or two reads. Each time you read the play, you pick up on new interpretations, new meanings and new thought patterns. Each time you watch a new performance, the actors and directors choose a different angle or approach. Hamlet is all of us. And we will always take from it something we want to believe… likely based on what’s going on in our life at that time. If you are having relationship issues, you’ll probably focus on that aspect of Hamlet’s life. If you feel depressed, you’ll questions “to be or not to be.” If you are happy, you’ll root for him to do the right things. I’m not sure if that’s how Shakespeare intended it to happen, but he certainly left it open on purpose. Maybe not to allow us to have completely widespread views and interpretations, but enough to choose the key things we want to focus on. I think maybe I need to read it again this summer!

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

Blog: Midweek Meltdown – A Moment of Clarity, Liebster and WP Angst!

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Hello Friends!

I’m either having early-onset “he’s lost his mind” syndrome, someone’s deleted a few posts or WordPress is just messing with me today for its own evil pleasure.  I thought I’d share my mini-meltdown from today. I try not to post silly notes like this one, but I’ve spent the last 2 hours trying to figure out what went wrong and that’s a lot of lost time.

meltdown

I read all the posts from people I follow this morning when I woke up — around 400 of them — and then took care of my normal routine. I went back to start drafts for anything I had to respond to or answer, and all of a sudden, it was like 50 new messages showed up from earlier in the morning that I had not previously read. And 1 message disappeared. Who stole it!??!?!

WordPress: Are you trying to take advantage of this rainy day and turn my mini-meltdown into a massive-meltdown. I can only have one of those year, and I’m holding off for the end of year holiday season when tourists takeover midtown and I can’t go anywhere!!! (I love tourists and my friends who come visit NYC, but oh my… when they hold hands and block the entire sidewalk, screaming on cell phones and just stand there not moving anywhere…  #@$#@$@#… some of us live here and have to commute and use the sidewalks to get to stores and subways and…. oh… gotta stop… meltdown temperature increasing)…

Phew… avoided the meltdown. Thank you, glass #2 of a lovely French Sancerre at 3:55 in the afternoon.

Disappearing Message: I KNOW I saw a post this morning where I was nominated for  a blogging award (Liebster Award, I believe). I went back around lunch-time to thank the person and respond, and realized it was gone. Disappeared. I searched 400+ posts twice today, and it’s just been sucked up into a vortex. Where??????

If you nominated me, please send me the link to the message, as I can’t find it and don’t want you to think I am ignoring you… and it wasn’t a ping-back, as I checked my notifications. Oh… WordPress… I’ve been so good to you, why are you messing with me. Taking things away. Sending them back at different times. Changing what I see on my iPhone versus laptop. It’s so unfair. I’ve been so generous to you… why???????????

Maybe it’s not you, WordPress. Maybe it’s me?  Too many juice boxes today?

 

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.

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.

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