Flora 717 is a bad girl. She's born different than the rest of the Floras. She's bigger, darker, smarter and more talented than th...moreI enjoyed The Bees.
Flora 717 is a bad girl. She's born different than the rest of the Floras. She's bigger, darker, smarter and more talented than the rest of her clan, and this is dangerous. She even breeds and everybody knows only the Queen may breed.
This is an odd little book that fascinated me with a bunch of bee facts, and it was very interesting...
Then I came across this video that I watched more than a few times and it brought this book to mind. It holds pretty much all you need to know about bees in a stunning fashion.(less)
Today, with all the ridiculous reality shows, I thought this time period had the corner on drama. But I was wrong. We don’t hold a candle...moreOh the drama!
Today, with all the ridiculous reality shows, I thought this time period had the corner on drama. But I was wrong. We don’t hold a candle to the drama during the mid 1800s.
Maybe I’m not sophisticated enough to see the greatness in this book. This is the second classic I've read where I don't seem to see the charm. I thought Heathcliff and Catherine were supposedly a 'great love story' kind of couple. But Heathcliff was an asshole from his childhood on, mean, angry and violent, I don't understand what Cathy could have seen in him. And Cathy was so self absorbed I'm not sure how she even noticed him at all! I’m confused.
There's even a song with a crazy video that convinced me it was a great love story!
(Kate Bush was singing to me in my head the whole time I was reading this, by the way.)
In fact, I don’t think I've ever read a book where every character in it was so thoroughly unlikable. I wanted to set fire to Wuthering Heights and the whole lot and just walk away. I hated everyone in it.
The narrator, Nelly Dean, seems to have an amazing recall. Astounding! She tells the entire tale to Mr. Lockwood, a tenant of Mr. Heathcliff’s while he is bedridden with an illness, (Everyone is bedridden with an illness at some point in this book, ah…. The pre-penicillin days.) with total recall, including entire conversations. This was not only unbelievable but it didn't really work with the flow. I had to keep remembering that it was Nelly telling the story. Odd.
Oh, and bad things happened to dogs....I don't like that.
Wuthering Heights was not at all what I was expecting and I’m fairly certain I missed the point.
Brown Dog, or B.D., is a simple man of simple needs and simple pleasures. These are in no particular order, sex, alcohol, cooking, sex, nature, sex, m...moreBrown Dog, or B.D., is a simple man of simple needs and simple pleasures. These are in no particular order, sex, alcohol, cooking, sex, nature, sex, menial work, alcohol, fishing, sex, alcohol....etc.
The 'Dog' part of B.D.'s name is supposedly because it's his spirit animal being a dog, but I think he lives up to it in other ways.
This book is a series of novellas about B.D., part white and part Chippewa, who lives in the U.P. of Michigan(I hear it's lovely.) He is a man who has mastered the art of living one day at a time on as little money as possible. Subsistence living (I'll pass).
He survives by living in shacks in the woods and doing odd jobs, like shoveling snow (The U.P. has a lot of that I reckon) hunting and fishing and growing some veggies. He was orphaned when young, raised by his white grandfather and later lives with his Chippewa uncle to take care of him in his old age.
Sounds a bit dull doesn't it?
Well B.D. finds ways to entertain himself. He takes long walks in the woods. I mean long, ten miles at the least everyday. Drinking heavily and having sex with as many women that will have him.....any women will do. Skinny, fat, mean, nice, lesbian, literally any women. He is attracted to all of them. His hard on never fails at the sight or touch of a women. Never.
It's kind of impressive.
At one point he was in the process of passing a kidney stone the size of a small marble, for fuck sake, and when nurse merely brushes his hand and he gets a full on erection from that. All the while he's in severe pain.
I don't have boy parts, but I find this a bit far fetched.
But get this. The next morning after he passes this huge stone he does bump uglies with a fellow sex addict. Of course, as you do. Um...apparently at...ahem..that special moment, it hurts like crazy just after you pass a kidney stone.
Huh...who could have seen that coming? No pun intended.
I did enjoy these novellas. Brown Dog is a ridiculous man, with a good heart. Worth a read.
I'm going to review this soon (mostly under a spoiler tag, cause there is no other way)......but, damn, this was one weird book! It probably had one o...moreI'm going to review this soon (mostly under a spoiler tag, cause there is no other way)......but, damn, this was one weird book! It probably had one of the most disgusting things I've ever read in it. My stomach is a flipping and a flopping.
I know EVERY place the author mentions in this book because I live in the same general area. I've eaten in the restaurants and had the same meals. I even lived in Loveland Ohio for a year-ish and I'm thankful to say I did not run across anything odd at the time.(less)
Imagine one day you are fine, going to work and doing what you always done, then out of the blue you start acting strange. You become paranoid, eventu...moreImagine one day you are fine, going to work and doing what you always done, then out of the blue you start acting strange. You become paranoid, eventually you start hearing voices and attempt jumping out of moving vehicles.
You must caught a bit of the crazy right?
Maybe not. This is what happened to Susannah Cahalen, a reporter for the New York Post. One morning she saw a couple of bug bites on her arm and was convinced she had a bed bug infestation. She brought exterminators into her home, even though she couldn't find any evidence of the critters. The exterminator couldn't find them, said they didn't exist, but she insisted they treat the apartment for them anyway.
This was only the beginning. Susannah kept deteriorating, doctors mis-diagnosed her many times, one even blamed it on excessive drinking with a 'wink'. You know, a young girl in New York obviously was partying too hard.....I think I would have punched that jerk in the dangly bits and blamed it on a seizure(of which she had many)"oops! Sorry doc but I couldn't help it!"
One day after about a million dollars worth of tests came up with zilch, Dr. Souhel Najjar came aboard Susannah's case, and it's a darn lucky thing that he did, because he had recently discovered a rare auto immune disease called Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis. This basically will make you seem like a crazy person, and make you do odd enough things and movements that will cause people to call in an exorcist. Since this disease has been in existence as long as humans have, it's a pretty safe bet that many of those poor people who were thought to be possessed and subsequently exorcised had in fact Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis and not the devil inside them.
"Magic is only science we haven't discovered yet." Someone said...?? Christopher Moore??
And that is the truly scary part in a very scary tale, that millions of people over countless years have been mis-diagnosed, put in institutions and left to die, or treated as evil and possibly put to a horrible death.
I enjoyed this book and found it fascinating. I just wish Sussanah din't have to go through this for us to get this book, but since she did I appreciate it even more.(less)
Oh, I thought there were pretty funny moments in this book.....and this book was meant to be funny, but for me it was a book of horror.
Okay, Brian goe...moreOh, I thought there were pretty funny moments in this book.....and this book was meant to be funny, but for me it was a book of horror.
Okay, Brian goes on a bunch of Internet dates (I think it was 100) for a duel purpose. One, to find the love of his life (spoiler, he does not) and to get material for a website/book (which he does). What he got for his Herculean effort was a parade of 'bat shit crazy'.
He says in the book that he couldn't say whether or not Internet dating was worse than actual normal dating, but from what I got from this book was that all dating pretty much sucks, and everybody is totally crazy.
Personal note: I'm single, and yes, I do go through my 'Gee, it would be nice if I could find a nice, interesting, funny guy to spend my days with' moments. But then I read books like this that make me rethink that notion.
One thing this book has definately done for me is that if I date anyone in the future, that person will not come from an internet dating site......(less)
I'm not sure if this type of book could really have spoilers, but I am going to say a great deal about what's in this book. If you don't want to see i...moreI'm not sure if this type of book could really have spoilers, but I am going to say a great deal about what's in this book. If you don't want to see it...then read the book and come back and read my review.
Barbara Ehrenreich was born and raised atheist in a fairly dysfunctional household. Her parents were intelligent, but also alcoholic and they moved regularly which caused problems with Barbara's education and socialization.
Barbara didn't see other people as intelligent and in possession of a mind, she felt completely apart from her species. She would have the fantasy that one morning she would wake up and find that all the people had just up and disappeared (what self respecting introvert hasn't had that one?). She would work out survival scenarios and all the possible situations that would kill her, and she would work out solutions. Some of them were pretty ingenious. But in the end she decided living alone on the planet would be impossible so thought it best the other people exist, but she didn't have to like it.
One day Barbara started having dissociative episodes, where her mind basically detached from reality....same deal that you'd get from LSD, I suppose. The experiences were both incredible and terrifying, which left her changed, as well as pretty saddened that the episode had ended.
One day, heading home from a ski trip with her brother and her friend, they took a detour. The friend wanted to drive through the desert on the way home, and as it got late they decided to sleep in the car by the side of the road. Barbara woke up earlier than the rest and for some reason wandered away from the car...in the desert. She had the most profound and long lasting dissociative episode which lasted the entire day (there about). Not to worry, she did make it back to the others.
When people have this type of episode they change in a big, and (from what I've read) for the better, way. Eckhart Tolle had one on the night he decided to kill himself....he was deep in despair, then something clicked and he had one of these episodes and he came out the other end of it a completely different person. Even my aunt, who was a wild child, partied all the time...rode motorcycles, had one in the shower (of all places) and immediately became her mother.
Both Eckhart and my aunt attributed their experiences as the work of god. Eckhart in a more general, spiritual sense and my aunt in a completely Catholic sense. I'm sure the majority of people who have gone through this call it god, basically for lack of a better explanation. But Barbara, being atheist, did not immediately label it god. She thought she was going coo-coo-banana-cakes....which she kind of did for a while since the experience was almost too much for her brain to process. Instead, she did a lot of research into what might have caused this to happen on a scientific level, and basically kept her mouth shut about it until now, worried that people would label her as crazy and not take her work seriously.
How did this episode change Barbara? She started seeing other people as people, as having their own minds and feelings. She started to become a part of her species for the first time in her life. She became an activist, a feminist...writing such books as Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America.
I thought this book was fascinating and I really enjoyed her perspective.(less)
I picked this book up after I heard this author interviewed on NPR and the book sounded interesting,...moreI did not experience flow while I read this book.
I picked this book up after I heard this author interviewed on NPR and the book sounded interesting, but it really wasn't. I'm fascinated by the concept of flow, which was what this book was supposed to be about, and it was...a little. Mostly it read like a history book about ancient Asian religions, which I'm also interested in, but the book was dry, flat and boring.
I read this as an audio book and I was trying not to stop listening to it. Then I tried not to try and get through it. That didn't work, so I tried really hard to listen and pay attention. That wasn't happening, so I just let it play because I refused to give up on it and from time to time there was something kind of interesting of which I would respond with an audible "huh".
Back in March I met up with a couple of good friends, Kevin and Kristie (Kristie, I have known for almost 30 years) at a restaurant called The B Spot....moreBack in March I met up with a couple of good friends, Kevin and Kristie (Kristie, I have known for almost 30 years) at a restaurant called The B Spot. Fantastic! Check out the menu....
During dinner Kristie mentioned that they had just finished this cleanse from this book, Clean, for the second time. They explained, in short, what it was. You eliminate certain foods from your diet, stuff that can cause inflammation and allergic reactions. Then during a three week period you have a liquid meal in the morning, a smoothie, a full lunch (of stuff you can eat) and a liquid meal for dinner (juice, or a soup). That's it.
Easy right? I didn't think I would be able to do it. It sounded perfectly awful. No caffeine (what, no coffee?). No alcohol, that's right, you heard me. I had friends "LOL" me when they heard I was going to attempt it.
But I decided that I was going to read the book and try this cleanse. Sure I might fail on the second day, but I had never tried anything like this before and I thought "what could it hurt?"
I surprised myself! I did three days of the elimination diet first (eating normally, but only the foods you can eat on the cleanse), and then I made it right through to the very end and it wasn't a struggle at all. I don't know how it happened.
I noticed a lot of changes for the better.
I lost weight. 7 lbs on the first three days of the elimination diet alone. 15 lbs in all.
My blood pressure normalized....it ran a bit high.
My moods balanced. I have a bit of an anxiety/depression issue, that went away. Huh.
I gained energy and was able to wake up easier.
Lots of good things. Now that I'm done, I'm sticking with the smoothies in the morning, cause they are yummy. No processed or fast food, because I don't want it.
Some things that I noticed when I brought back foods that were off limits. Coffee, it didn't taste good and I didn't finish it. I noticed that later in the day I was feeling anxiety for no good reason. Huh.
Sugar... I ran into a friend who works at the Starbucks at Kroger, she was raving about things that were on Starbucks secret menu (I didn't know they had one, I guess because it's a secret) and insisted on making something for me that was supposed to taste like a Werther's candy. Not to be rude, I took it, tasted it and it felt like someone punched me in the face. Terrible!! Too damn sweet. I said it was fantastic (lied) and threw the rest out as soon as I could.
I'm sure I would have liked it just fine before doing this cleanse. That's how much sugar we are eating, so much we don't even notice anymore. I had read in Salt, Sugar, Fat that big food would test kids by adding sugar to cereal until they said it was too sweet, and the formula they would use would be the one directly before "too sweet". And they would do this test every so often, and the sweet tolerance would steadily increase over time. So, I'm staying away from the sugar.
Alcohol? Not a problem, so I'll keep it, until I do this again in a year.....(less)
“Hi Catlin, this is Stephanie. I just read the second book in the WWW. Series...more“Catlin” tap tap tap “Catlin Decter?”
“Is this Catlin Decter?”
“Hi Catlin, this is Stephanie. I just read the second book in the WWW. Series and I had to see if I could make contact with you trough your implant under your left eye that enables you to see the real world and the web. I hoped I could work my way in and, what do you know, I did it. May I ask you a few questions?”
“I liked the concept of this book, the series is unique and, overall, I enjoyed the book but there was one thing that bugged the hell out of me, and that was the ridiculous overuse of the word ‘yes’. Seriously, at some point I doubted was even reading a science fiction book and thought I’d stumbled onto some weird erotica with all the ‘yes, yes, YESes’ going on. I couldn’t really follow the story after a while because every time I heard the word ‘yes’ I felt a rage boiling inside me.”
“I know the author is Canadian and the book was set in Toronto. Is the use of the word ‘yes’ as question common in place of “what?” “Pardon me?” “Excuse me?”
“Yes, at least I think so.”
“Oh that’s right, you are supposed to be an American, from Austin Texas. Is that right?”
“But if you are a Texan wouldn't you use “Ma’am?” “Sir?” “I beg your pardon?” and stuff like that?”
“Well, yes…..yes that would make sense.”
“Stop it Catlin.”
“Stop what Stephanie?”
“Stop with all the god damn yeses!! I have a self destruct code that I can send to your implant at anytime. Try saying yes one more time!! Go on.”
“Uh…..no I don't think so.”
4 stars for the story, one point knocked off for the ‘yeses’ that drove me insane. (less)