Review: Critiques & criticisms

I wanted to take a few minutes to talk about my form of critique.  I had a friend who mentioned that I’m only blogging about books I enjoyed.  Their actual comment was something along the lines of, “You like everything you read.” That isn’t true.  I’m reading something right now I’m not enjoying very much. And there is a chance I won’t review it. And not every review I’ve put on this blog has been glowing praise. Lately (the last six months or so) it has been. Some of that has been that I’ve been enjoying most of what I read and when I consider which books I want to share – well, I tend to only share the ones I’ve been enjoying. I considered doing a more harshly critical take on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 when I watched it last week (for the second time). I could. I think the movie is significantly weaker than #1, and it’s ripe

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Musings: Books I want to see on screen

I was looking through this article (here) about 100 books being (maybe) turned into movies.  I found myself rolling my eyes at another remake of 1984.  As much as I’m looking forward to (I hope!) a good movie version of A Wrinkle of Time, there are some titles I think are grossly missing from this list. #1: Codex of Alera (Jim Butcher) I reviewed this series here.  There is some seriously fun imagery and ideas in here.  It would probably need to be a TV series.  Tavi would be a tough guy to cast, but I think as long as they managed to find someone who could pull off “small and skinny” and then bulk up (some)…. He wouldn’t need a lot of bulk.  I totally think Kitai should be played by Millie Bobby Brown – she can pull off the “scary but not at the same time” look perfectly. #2 Alanna (Tamora Pierce) I have wanted a “Tortall” series since I first

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Shopping!

Today is Black Friday in the US.  The ultimate holiday of capitalism. I will be spending my day hanging out with my family.  We will play board games, cook delicious food, and probably get into a political argument.  It’s like doing Thanksgiving 2 days in a row. So much better than going out and dealing with strangers who are elbowing each other for the latest “greatest” gadget or toy….

Review: Akata Witch/Warrior (Nnedi Okorafor)

This is Nnedi Okorafor’s young adult books.  I can’t wait to start reading Binti next (I found it on Google Play sale and already have it downloaded… now I just need time). Akata Witch & Akata Warrior both follow Sunny as she learns her albino curse isn’t a curse but a sign that she is a witch.  In the best of ways.  Americans hear the word “juju” and think New Orleans and voodoo, but Nigerian juju is neither good nor bad itself- it is just the word for magic. The book starts with a bang and follows some relatively traditional paths as far as plot points.  Both books I knew when I was coming up to the climax not because of rising action (and with ebooks not by how much paper each hand is holding…) but because we’d hit some pretty clear plot-arcs.  That would be my harshest criticism – its plot is awesome but patterned.  Especially the second book. To be honest, when we

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Manners: Apologies

Apparently, it needs to be covered: How To Make an Apology. Let’s start with some context. WHEN to apologize. The answer is “yes.” 1. Whether it’s been 10 minutes or 10 years (or 90 years)- if you need to apologize, do it.   This is a hard one, but there it is: it is never too late to apologize.  If it’s something you believe you did that was “wrong” – even if you (or maybe especially) if you thought differently at the time. There are a ton of examples I could pull of my behavior as a teenage that I’m downright embarrassed by today. And some of it is that I was 17 and stupid (I blame lacking a complete prefrontal cortex). Some of it was that I was stupid. Some of it I look back and cringe. I have apologized for things years after they happened because in retrospect I learned they were bad ideas or actions. And as often as not, the person

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Review: The Song of the Lioness

Tamora Pierce is one of my favorite authors.  She is on the short list of “oh, I saw one of Tamora’s books I haven’t read. I’ll pick that up and read it.”  I don’t love every book of hers I’ve read, but I’ve loved enough. And pretty much anything she wrote in Tortall is a win for me.  All of those books stem from this series.  I recently re-read it (for probably the hundredth time), but this time on audiobook.  So I some of those sections I’ve skimmed the last few read throughs came back into focus. So first off – this book is a 10/10.  I think everyone (male, female, young, old) should read this series.  It isn’t long or arduous or painful.  Each book is an awesome ~150 pages of really solid writing.  I know I’m pretty much drooling over it, but if anything listening to it and honing in on those sections I’ve skipped a few times reminded me

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Life Memories: Systemic Sexism

So this entire post comes with history. A LOT of history.  There are stories within stories here and I can’t fully explore them in a single post.  So, I’ll skip some bits here and jump straight into the pieces you need (well, I’ll try, it’s hard to unpack all the inter-tangled pieces). All the best stories are complicated. I started playing tabletop RPGs around end-of-middle-school when my older brother wanted to try this new book GURPS.  Yes, I learned on GURPS.  It has made me a weird gamer ever since because I don’t particularly like D&D or Pathfinder… classes frustrate me.  When I was in high school I started gaming with his guy-friends (most of them in college) with a Wheel of Time game.  When my brother “disappeared” into the military, I kept going. We met every first Saturday of the month about noon and gamed until 5-7pm, went to dinner and hung out.  So from the time I was 16/17 until

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Life Memories: Hunting Season

When I was kid (like eight maybe nine) my best friend came over and we watched Bambi.  She had never seen it and I was shocked.  How did someone make it to this age without seeing this Disney classic.  So I fixed this oversight in her upbringing like a good friend should and would (and did!). Her dad tried to say we could never see each other ever again. The problem was this: her dad worked for the GA parks and hunted. He had never wanted her to see Bambi and was (apparently) furious at my intrusion on this choice. I never thought of Bambi as an actively anti-hunting movie, but I get it – it does make it seem like the hunters are evil.  I mean – they are evil “from a certain point of view” (5 points to whoever can place that quote!). A deal was struck between the mothers (I assume it was the mothers, my mother broke the

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Review: Adblocking

I have an adblocker. A lot of news sites (mostly news sites) I really like have started doing the “oh no! we see you have an adblocker. Please turn it off so we can get revenue!” like I am doing something wrong or unethical. You want the revenue back? Talk to your ad providers who allow malware to sneak through their ads. I have an adblocker because I got a trojan.  I don’t know where either. But a long time (like 5-7 years) ago I was just doing my usual jaunts through a few webpages and I got a trojan on my pc.  Fortunately, my antivirus caught it, quarantined it, and removed it.  But I was sitting there thinking “I didn’t click on anything.”  A co-worker at the time explained how trojans were being hidden on ad-cookies.  ADS. So I  went and got an adblocker and I’ve used it ever since. And I haven’t had a trojan since. So much like “I

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Writing: Word Breakdown – Unanimous

I was listening to the news and heard the word “unanimous” and the way the person said it my brain began playing with the word. Un-animus. Huh. So Un means not.  Easy enough. Animus is the root word of animosity. Meaning hostility but it also means “motivation to do something”  (i.e. The animus for change came after the accident) So un-animus would be not-hostile or not-motivated to do something.  Am I the only one fascinated by this word now? I used to think unanimous meant everyone agreed.  Now I am thinking it can have a lot more depth of meaning.  I know I’m going to forever have to use it with more purpose. Think about it, congress passes stupid legislation “unanimously” are they doing it because there is no hostility or before they don’t want to come up with something better? (yes, the news story was about something that passed congress unanimously). I know I’m never going to hear this word

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