I’ve been on a slight nonfiction kick, so be prepared to learn for a bit. While I entered this book knowing I would most likely learn something, I never expected to learn as much as I did. Sure, I read the summary and synopsis, but that did not prepare me for the brain blasts I had multiple times and the profound effect this would have more me. The most recent book to add to my list was Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson.
For those who don’t feel like reading the summary, this experience argues, quite effectively, I might add, that America was built on a caste system. It does this by comparing the historically well-known and long-lasting caste system found in India, as well as the short-lived one that is the Nazi occupation of Germany, by bringing up the eight pillars: divine will, heritability, endogamy, purity, occupation hierarchy, dehumanization, terror as enforcement, and inherent superiority. This book discusses many historical facts that I had never heard about but is both surprising to never hear about and not surprising that it was covered up. One surprising fact was that the dehumanization of people in Europe during the Nazi occupation was based on the horrendous Jim Crowe laws that proliferated through society after the American Civil War, but then again, why not copy a system that has been shown to work.
Yes, there are some antidotes directly from the author, but I agree that this is necessary since history is built on the human experience. As another African American female, I felt many of the antidotes on a spiritual level, as I have felt many similar feelings in similar experiences. On top of hearing this compelling argument, it also speaks to my experiences, which probably made it a more profound experience for me. There are also other perspectives that should be heard from this book. That is why I would recommend anyone interested in the systemic racial structuring of the United States to read this book. It is a perspective that I never thought of before, and it completely made sense to me.
I’m back in the land of Oz, and this time, we are back with short stories. Unlike another one with a certain bug at the forefront, this one wasn’t complete nonsense. This one was in-universe for the entire series and actually felt like a children’s book.
Little Wizard Stories of Oz is exactly as the title says. They are short stories, bedtime stories if you will. There is no timeline that you have to keep up with, no characterizations that you need to remember, nor any thought to be had. It was cute, simple, and straight to the point. I could definitely see this short book being included in a stack you put on your child’s bedside table to read them asleep. It was cute. What more could I say?
I tried my hand at another book centered around the circus. I thought it would be decent, seeing as there was a movie made based on the book. I thought it would be a cutesy romance, because that was what I saw in the movie trailers. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen was an experience that will be hard to replicate.
This books shows what is portrayed by the author as a true experience behind the circus in the 30s, I think. (I don’t remember if we were given an actual date.) It’s not the glitz and glam that is often portrayed in stories, although there is a nostalgic factor coming from the protagonist flowing throughout. From many of the characters, the circus is truly a horrifying experience, but it’s the only thing that they have. The romance sprinkled throughout is the only light at the end of the tunnel. But that’s what I think makes it more satisfying in the end. I was honestly cheering at the end.
This book is more on the mature side that I was expecting. There is lots of offensive language, some explicit sexual content, and animal abuse (hey, it’s the circus). Do take care while reading. And then please tell me who is your favorite character and why it is Rosie.
I’ll admit, I may have a problem with constantly reading Nicholas Sparks novels. I found two I loved to death, to the point where the covers are falling off. Now, I’m treating his books like Pokémon, and I need to read them all, for better and worse. This book, A Bend in the Road, falls squarely in the middle. Reading the description, I was expecting an adorable romance about two people from previously failed relationships, for very different reasons, coming together and finding love again. That was true for the first half of the novel. The second half was a terribly written cop drama that made no sense.
The second half of the book was a beautiful description of police brutality when of course, the only recourse for the protagonists’ actions was suspension with pay. Other things could have been happening, but I was just so mad. A message to Sparks:
Stop writing cops! You are terrible at it! Just because you made the cop the main protagonist doesn’t mean we will forgive his insane actions!
And by trying to make us forgive him, he did try by having our cop protagonists do a cute flashback to when the book was a romance novel. I one hundred percent support just stopping and the middle and pretending that the ending didn’t happen; you will be much happier that way.
I finished reading the forth book within the Chronicles of Narnia series, and now I’m wondering if there is a point in finishing the series. If not for the fact that I’ve pretty much promised myself and the fact that my friends are adamant that the later books are better. I’ve just feel like I myself am getting more annoyed at the books than I spend time caring about what’s going on.
For example, at this point, as we found out in t he previous books, the characters that we gained a connection to, will no longer be showing up. Instead, we get random boy and girl who we could care less about and have no development other than being stupid, because pushing someone off a cliff is the logical response to having a conversation. Also, evil chair… I whish I was joking, but there was an evil chair. I don’t think I need to say more. Avoid this book at all costs, mainly for your sanity.
As I was making my way through what is left of the Oz series, I realized that I missed an installment. Being the completionist that I am, I of course had to go back and read The Woggle-Bug Book. It takes places, directly after the second book, The Marvelous Land of Oz, I think. To be honest, I don’t know why this book exists, and book is being very generous.
This fanfiction of a short story is about how Mr. Insect-with-too-many-names-to-be-taken-seriously somehow ends up in America, I think, and tries to by a wife because he like a dress. And then some other things happened. I’m also pretty surer there was a random section with a dash a racism but I was just trying to get through to the end. It sounded stupid, and I’m pretty sure that if I put any actually though into it I would cry because of it. Just take my advice. This “book” isn’t worth your sanity. Literally do anything else.
I finally got around to reading the third book in the Chronicles of Narnia series, and I gotta say, I was not worth it. More characters that you won’t carry about show up nor get even a page of description. All of our “favorite” character’s weren’t even then because Peter was off at school and Susan was busy finding a husband. The common things we’re looking forward to in a fantasy series.
In time, instead of sitting around listening to a story, we’re sitting around on a boat. Why? Because Aslan told us to. With nonsense side plots that make no sense? Absolutely. At times, the story felts like an Oz book with the random tangents of fantasy Dorothy had to go on. It wasn’t worth the time it took to read. Am I happy our “favorite” family won’t be going back to Narnia, and we’ll hear someone else’s story? Yes, yes, and more yes. The four we’ve learned to “love” should have stopped after their first adventure.
Sometimes, we all just need to read a book that answers the question of “how did we get here.” Other times, it’s a question of how in the world has humanity not destroyed the world five times over by now. I’m still surprised that half the US hasn’t gone up in flames with people announcing the sex f their almost babies. Anyway, the answers to both those questions and more are answered in Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari.
On top of explaining some of the important advances in human evolution, such as the scam that was the Agricultural Revolution, it also asks questions that I don’t think many people think about. Such as assuming imperialism is bad, is there really any way of getting rid of the effects, or are we just doomed to live with it? How money came about is still super confusing to me, but it is still interesting to me how it came about. I still don’t understand lots of things, but it was really interesting reading some thoughts about the last couple of thousands of years that the human species have been on the earth. If you like history of any kind, I’m positive you’ll love this book.
Every year, I try to read at least one book on financial literacy. Here, in the US, it is a sorely undertaught subject, that really should. The first time I had to fill out a tax return, I was nearly sent into a panic attack. I do my best, not to understand everything there is to know, but I want to at least understand the basics. There are people who go to school for years to actually understand everything this. This time around, I read Stacked: You Super-Serious Guide to Modern Money Management Joe Saul-Sehy and Emily Guy Birken.
The “super-serious” book is written in the style of one of my old girl scout badge manuals. It gives all of the basics of personal finance without going to far in depth requiring your to constantly look things up. There are also “achievements” for every aspect of going through your finances. It gives you step-by-step guide on how you should handle researching for yourself the best strategies to implement. There is no size fits all method, but at least there is some comic relief from the musings of the very nerdy authors (my favorite kind). I would definitely suggest reading this book whether it is your first ever personal finance book or you need a refresher. It’s not dry, and will keep you every engaged.
I’ve been making my way through several older novels that have been on my “to-read” list for what feels like years now. The book I decided to conquer next was Lord of the Flies by William Golding. This classic novel was a trip and a half, discussing the fragility of human nature and groupthink in a pseudo-World War III situation. Apparently, this was a rewriting of another book, but written as a way to make the children more “realistic.” Reading this, I’ve noticed several things about myself. I am not the biggest fan of dystopian novels. If you do, you may want to take the next section with a grain of salt.
The book follows the exploit of a group of boys as they crash land on an inhabited island. The entire time, I felt I was yelling at the characters for their quick descent into madness. I don’t know if it was the fact that it was a short novel or the fact that you had to imagine everything happening in a shorter amount of time than what really happened. I do find the concepts behind groupthink in a more academic sense. I found The Lucifer Effect fascinating because of every fact, but the senselessness got to me. I know that it was supposed to make a point in many ways, but maybe I just would like to believe that children are not as cruel as Golding made them out to be in this novel. I think, in many ways, I was more horrified than interested in the character development that we saw portrayed. Was I meant to feel this way, or did I read too much into everything? I’ll let you decide.