travel

365 Challenge: Day 210 – Pastimes (Top 10)

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Pastimes: top 10 hobbies that keep Jay busy, and that he loves doing 

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Sunday posts, the end of each week, have become a theme on This-Is-My-Truth-Now, organized by groups of five (5) focused on interesting things about my life. 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.

  • Weeks 1 – 5: Primary ethnicity groups and nationalities
  • Weeks 6 – 10: A to Z Favorites
  • Weeks 11 – 15: Colors with an important meaning
  • Weeks 16 – 20: Cities I’ve lived
  • Weeks 21 – 25: Jobs I’ve held

The next set of 5 Sundays covers the ‘Top 10’ of entertainment options that I spend my time thinking about or doing and this week is the “pastimes that keep me busy or that I absolutely love.” They are in no particular order, simply as I thought of them when typing. For anyone who’s read my blog before, these should be pretty obvious, but for someone new, this list will give you a sense of who I am! Then you can run the other direction if it’s not what you want to read about. Note: Writing is now a job, so I don’t consider it my pastime anymore!!!

  • Reading
    • Give me a mystery, thriller, suspense or historical book and I’m set for hours. If there’s a biography on someone I enjoy, or a non-fiction history about something, it will keep me happy all day long!
  • Genealogy
    • I’ve traced about 2000 relatives to date from all over North America and Europe. My early posts covered all my ethnicity groups and some interesting stories about my relatives. You can see one here.
  • Gardening
    • When I owned houses in the past, I spent many hours planting and weeding. It’s been hard in NYC, but with a 700 square foot terrace garden that includes 10′ trees, we’ve made it work!
  • Traveling
    • I have been all over the world, from Cambodia to Argentina, Canada to Spain. I have probably visited 35 of 50 states in America. I love exploring cultures.
  • Cooking
    • If you read last week’s post, enough said. If not, I listed the top 10 dishes which you can read here. I have less time to cook these days with my writing schedule, but weekends are usually more free.
  • TV Viewing
    • If you read the post from a few weeks ago, enough said. If not, I listed my top 10 TV shows which you can read here. I am slowing my TV viewing to only shows I really love, as my creative time needs to be focused on reading and writing, particularly when it comes to fiction.
  • Wine Tasting
    • When I lived in San Francisco, there was a monthly trip to Napa and Sonoma. I could spend all day at a few wineries. Too bad I need a designated driver to truly sample each one and enjoy myself! Champagne anyone? And while I hate to admit this aloud, my favorites were in Mendoza. The stunning architecture while drinking in a stone estate on cliffs overlooking the water…
  • Research
    • I’m an academic. I wish I could attend colleges and universities every year. I love to teach, mentor and learn. Give me a thrilling topic and I can spend an entire night researching it on the computer, never interested in going to sleep. I thrive on the challenge of learning as much as I can in as little time as possible.
  • Playing with animals
    • I’ve had so many pets over the course of my life: hamsters, ferrets, cats, dogs, fish, squirrels… went horseback riding, to the zoo… looking in an innocent animal’s eyes, knowing they love you no matter what, is unparalleled.
  • Gym
    • The gym and I were never acquainted for most of my early life. I played soccer and baseball in middle school, and I took a few required courses in college however, I was not an athlete. Sometime after college, I started working out, even buying all the equipment to create a home gym in my basement. Now I have one in my apartment building. 5 times a week. Swap off cardio and weights. Not looking to be huge, just fit and energetic. If I want to live to 120, I gotta keep everything in line! And at 120, I’ll really be only 60 cause of all the work I’ve put in. Maybe “making up stories” should have been the last pastime…

 

Which ones do you agree with? What have I missed? Make it a fun response…

 

 

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

 

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365 Challenge: Day 207 – Peanut

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Peanut: the oval seed of a South American plant, widely roasted and salted and eaten as a snack — also a big allergy for many people

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Choosing today’s 365 Daily Challenge word was rough. My mind is not focused on the blog because I received overnight the final cover photos of my book. There may have been a small happy dance at one point prior to my first cup of coffee. And I think Ryder told me to stop and get his breakfast before he barked at me. Oh well… point being… I can’t come up with a word, but I did have an emotion I was feeling. Although the word is ‘peanut,’ it really stands for something different, which I believe will come to light at the end of the post.

On the final flight home earlier this week, an airline employee announced prior to boarding that one of the passengers had a severe peanut allergy. No peanut products would be served on board nor could anyone bring or open anything with peanuts on the flight. When we boarded the plane, an attendant reminded everyone again and noted the parent of the small child was currently reading the labels on the flight’s snacks to determine what could and could not be served that day. You can imagine a few of the reactions from fellow passengers. Lots of things crossed my mind, and before anyone thinks I’m being unfair, all I’m noting below are things that occurred to me as I considered the entire situation. Not that I agreed with or supported the thought.

  1. Is it fair to stop other people from eating a snack they like because one person is allergic and chooses that flight?
  2. Should there be a separate enclosed place on a plane for passengers with allergies?
  3. Is it right to expect someone not to fly because their allergy limits other people?
  4. Why would someone get upset over not being able to eat peanuts for 3 hours when it really has very little impact on them?
  5. Can someone really be so allergic that even another passenger 30 feet away eating peanuts could cause a problem?
  6. Why would a parent risk their child’s life on a plane, assuming that all passengers truly follow the rule and don’t open their own peanut snack?
  7. Was this just a preventative warning to limit the amount of exposure, knowing the parent had the epi in case something peanut-related did happen?
  8. How awful must it be for that parent to know they have to always worry about the allergy and put limits on others to ensure the safety of their own child?
  9. What must that child feel knowing they are potentially the reason another passenger is upset or angry?
  10. Is there really any correct solution or answer to this situation?

I’m sure there are more questions, answers, thoughts and points of view. I included only the first ten that popped into my head. As I mentioned earlier, it’s not really about peanuts. It could have been chocolate or dairy or any other food item. It may have been certain kinds of material or animal fur. The ultimate point is where do you draw the line between something being too much of an impact on the person with the allergy/issue versus the people impacted by it? The person with the allergy didn’t choose the issue. I suppose it comes down to good communication, money and alternative options. No real answers in my post, just something to think about without judgment. I’m sure many people reading this either have a similar allergy or care for someone with a similar allergy.

I’m one of those people who would say: For a 3-hour flight, who really cares if I have to abstain from peanuts or chocolate? Even for a 12-hour flight. It’s a minor inconvenience and ultimately prevents a larger problem, so I’d happily keep my peanuts locked in a bag somewhere. But what if it’s about allergies to pet fur and I need to bring my pet on the plane? Then I’m inclined to think that’s impacting my entire travel option, so it’s probably more a responsibility for the person with the allergy to find another way to travel or another way to limit the exposure. I’m not putting the value of a pet before that of a person… ultimately plane travel is for people not for dogs. And as much as I love my pet, people should come first; however, it’s a tough situation.

I had listened to both peanut announcements. W and I briefly discussed it. Neither really cared and we ignored the few groans around us. What struck me most was how the poor parent and child felt about the whole situation, as they deal with it for an entire lifetime. Those passengers dealt with it for less than three hours. How does everyone else feel about the topic?

 

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.

365 Challenge: Day 202 – Wedding

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Wedding: purpose of this trip, to attend the marriage of two good friends

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It was the big day yesterday — the purpose of our trip — to attend the wedding of two good friends in Orlando. All the wedding photos from the official photographer won’t be available for a few days/weeks, but we took a few before shots so you can see what I look like in a bowtie and suspenders. What a fun day! It was a quiet morning spent poolside by the lake, and then we had lunch in the hotel. Afterwards, we got dressed and met the wedding group for pictures. W took a couple of photos of me, but I don’t photograph well, so I am only picking two or three of them to share.

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Above is a picture in the room before I finished cleaning up. Decided to leave a few day’s stubble instead of go completely clean-shaven. Thought it might make for a more fun look! Then I had to figure out what to do with my hair, as it’s in-between lengths right now. I am trying to grow it out, but it’s getting unmanageable. It covers my eyes, so I wanted to keep it wet and slicked back, but in the humidity down here, it wouldn’t work!

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I left it alone to dry and that’s how it ended up! After the ceremony, I stopped back up in the room to drop off a few things before we left for more pictures with the photographer. We all had name cards for where to sit. And yes, cut out in the shape of dachshunds because the wedding couple have always had them for the last ten years. Too cute. W took this picture before we left, and it’s one of the rare pictures of me that I actually like. I smiled, which is unusual for me. My hair stayed out of my eyes. And the outfit worked. The wedding was so much fun… but we head to the Disney parks with the main group for the weekend, so more pictures to come early next week. Tomorrow is a normal list day!

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I’m thinking this might be my new profile pic since it tells my 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.

365 Challenge: Day 196 – Country (Top 10)

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Country: (a) the third entry in the list series for Jay’s favorite pastimes, (b) a part of the US that is beautiful to visit

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Sunday posts, the end of each week, have become a theme on This-Is-My-Truth-Now, organized by groups of five (5) focused on interesting things about my life. 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.

  • Weeks 1 – 5: Primary ethnicity groups and nationalities
  • Weeks 6 – 10: A to Z Favorites
  • Weeks 11 – 15: Colors with an important meaning
  • Weeks 16 – 20: Cities I’ve lived
  • Weeks 21 – 25: Jobs I’ve held

The current set of 5 Sundays covers the top 10 countries Jay has visited or researched extensively and would like to visit or live in; however, since I’m on a vacation and unable to post a lot, this is just a brief list and some pictures of the ‘country’ trip to Asheville, North Carolina. The ‘Top 10’ list for countries listed below, other than the USA, come from places I’ve either been and loved, or I know I want to I want to visit, as potential options for the future as a home or extended vacation. There are tons of other ones that I think would be cool, but these all have a special place in my heart, e.g. ancestry, things to do, culture or historical educational review:

  1. Canada
  2. Spain
  3. England
  4. Argentina
  5. France
  6. Scotland
  7. Ireland
  8. Australia
  9. Germany
  10. Italy

Below are all the pictures from today’s drive between Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and Asheville, North Carolina. It includes a few pictures from the Great Smoky Mountains, Cherokee Indian Nation properties and the views from the hotel where I am staying on the Biltmore property. More to come this week when I share all the pictures from the Biltmore House and grounds.

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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.

365 Challenge: Day 188 – Dog (A Ryder Rant)

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Dog: 10-year old shiba inu with an attitude

ryder

Someone knows we are leaving today and he is not happy!

Hi. It’s Ryder. I know I usually post on Mondays, but is seems my schedule is all twisted up for the next two weeks. Dads leave on their trip early tomorrow morning and told me to get my post out today instead of Monday. Apparently Monday begins something Dad 1 calls “Picture Posts,” where he’ll take a picture of something on his trip, choose an appropriate word and riff about it for a paragraph. WhatEv’s… I can be flexible and post today instead of Monday. I chose the word ‘dog’ since that’s what I am and I never actually used that on the 365 Daily Challenge… how funny! Welcome to an early edition of Ryder’s Rants. I’ve only got a couple of stories to share today.

Suitcases are out. That means packing begins. Dad 1 does not pack. He takes his clothes out, leaves them on the bed and makes Dad 2 pack. And Dad 1 is normally the organized one. He’s got spreadsheets for everything. I’ve seen him pack before, and it ain’t pretty. He gets frustrated easily over those types of things. Dad 2 would rather pack for both than listen to Dad 1. If my paws were big enough, I’d try to hold the iPhone and take a video of it for you. It’s usually amusing as Dad 1 keeps taking out more and more clothes to try to squeeze in, but Dad 2 yells at him to stop. “You bring 7 shirts for a 3-day trip and never wear them” It’s true. Dad 1 isn’t very good at these things. It’d be better if they brought me along to supervise the trip. They’ll probably end up in Kentucky instead of North Carolina at this rate. They leave in twenty-one hours for a 15-day trip and not a stitch of packing has been done. It’s gonna be a fun day watching this little farce.

I’m planning to spend a lot of time in the Enchanted Garden today since I won’t see it for a long time. I was flipping through a new outdoor catalog that arrived this week and stumbled across a bunch of things I wanted. I told Dad 1, and when he went out to visit his parents on Thursday, they went to the flower and garden store. Dad 1 took tons of pictures to show Dad 2, who was jealous as he had to work. Dad 1 told Dad 2 he could have $3 to spend… ha… that was an amusing text message conversation. I learned a few new words that day! Anyways, Dad 1 wanted to buy a birdbath for me. Dad 2 said no, he was tired of finding dead birds and feathers hidden behind the trees and large flower boxes. In my opinion, if they choose to leave me alone during the day, it’s my right to do whatever I want to do to keep myself occupied. As you can imagine, there’s no birdbath coming this year. Dad 2 got his way on this one.

Ella picks me up tomorrow morning at 8am. I complained last night that I wouldn’t get any real meals while Dads were gone. They bought a lasagna pizza for dinner. I got a few pieces of crust out of the deal, so it wasn’t all that bad. It’s quite tasty. Think of a lasagna, minus the noodles, baked into a pizza. I think I gained about a pound from eating it, which is 5% of my body weight (I’m a svelte 20 pounds), so I’ll have to run around the apartment today to lose the extra weight before I go on my trip. You never know when you might meet a fine single female doggy while away from home. I’ve got a lot to offer others, so maybe I won’t be on my own the whole time. But if not, it’s better that I don’t eat too much people food as it can be harmful to my belly. I wonder what I’ll get tonight, though I believe they’re going out to dinner since there’s no time to cook.

I’m not sure if I’ll get to post while they are away since I might be so busy with my own trips. If we don’t get to chat again for a couple of weeks, rest assured, I promise I’ll be back in early October with lots of stories about my own vacation, what Dads bought me while they were away and how the homecoming turns out. And the best part is while I’m away, the season will turn to autumn, which I love. I can’t wait to go frolic in all the leaves, take long walks in the park and maybe even sneak a piece of apple pie. I heard rumors they’ve already planned a two-day weekend to visit some friends up in the Hudson Valley at the end of October. I love that place… fresh farm stands, orchards, wineries, antique shoppes, romps in the woods… ooh, very exciting. Have a wonderful rest of your September and talk to y’all next month.

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Bye! Miss you!

 

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.

TAG: Amsterdam Books

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Many thanks to Sophie @ Blame It On Chocolate for tagging me in this fun tag. If you haven’t checked out her site, please go visit it now, then come back and read this tag post. Thank you for playing along.

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WHY DO WE HAVE SO MANY CHEESE STORES IN ONE STREET? — A CHEESY READ

Murder on the Oceania: Thought it would be a fun way to have a mystery, but they solved it in two chapters… it was supposed to be an intro to a new series, but at over 125 pages, it needed more substance

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CANAL PARADE — A BOOK THAT CELEBRATES THE LGBT-COMMUNITY

Will & Patrick Wake Up Married: It seems I don’t read a lot of books that out-and-out celebrate LGBT… mental note to fix that… but this was the last book I read that prominently displayed gay characters. I had one other to pick, but the character who comes out in the book is a surprise, and I don’t want to spoil the read for anyone.

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ANNE FRANK HOUSE — A BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY

The Mother’s Promise: I felt her pain of wanting a child of her own, but never being blessed.

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MUSEUM SQUARE — AN ARTSY BOOK

A Trip to the Hardware Store: Made me laugh with all the fun stories…

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PIGEONS, PIGEONS EVERYWHERE — AN ANNOYING CHARACTER

The White Feather Murders: I couldn’t get into these two detectives. I’m good with historical fiction, but they seemed so unable to listen to anyone other than themselves…

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RED WHITE BLUE — RECREATE THE DUTCH FLAG USING BOOKS

 

I Tag:

 

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! 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.

Review: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

From what I can tell, I’m not in the majority when it comes to rating The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. I’m giving it a 3, which means I still liked it… but unfortunately, I wasn’t as fond of the humor as most people are.

This was a book club selection from about 6 or 7 years ago. We agreed to read just the first one in the series. And it was the first science-fiction novel we took on. I was excited. Several had already read it but wanted to again.

I’m generally a fan of crazy humor. I love Spaceballs, the movie. I kinda liken it to that, but for some reason, this wasn’t as funny as I felt everyone said it was. Tons of laughs. Many great lines. The characters were memorable. I’m pretty sure there are a few movie or cartoon adaptions of it.

And I honestly would recommend that everyone read it — even non SF fans. There are parts you will totally enjoy. But it’s hard to get into for a non-SF reader right from the beginning. My first reactions were “Oh that’s not possible…” But then I realized I wasn’t reading a typical novel, so I suspended the lil’ bit o’ grouch in me… and I was able to enjoy it.

Very imaginative. Lots of cool commentary on life as other people would see it. A fair approach for someone new to the universe, so to speak.

I may go back and read it now that I’m older and have read a few other SF and fantasy books. I’m curious… what’s the huge appeal for others about this book?

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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