This is one of those times where I wish Goodreads had a half star rating scale...but then again, what do all these stars matter anyway? In any case, IThis is one of those times where I wish Goodreads had a half star rating scale...but then again, what do all these stars matter anyway? In any case, I would have given this one 3.5 stars. I liked the first one (hence the 3 stars) and I felt this one was a step up. If anything, Quintin is much less of a dick in this one and, really, could I ask for more? That and it gave me some more characters to enjoy and adventure on with.
I will say, for a trilogy, these books could easily be stand alones, no dangling edges in these puppies - which makes me wonder what sort of a punch the latter is packing to make it worth being a trilogy. Well, on to find that out....more
In the midst of processing new books at the library I work at, I saw this hefty hunk of a story land on my table. With such an eye catching cover, cooIn the midst of processing new books at the library I work at, I saw this hefty hunk of a story land on my table. With such an eye catching cover, cool concept, and noting the writer, Brian K. Vaughan (of Y: The Last Man and Saga), I had to give it a shot.
I always find myself completely enthralled with stories (more often than not, sci-fi) that particularly make a statement about our current times and offer a glimpse into a possible, or just an alternate future for us. It sort of forces you to question the status-quo, why we got here and where we're headed.
Set 60 years after the digital cloud 'bursts' exposes everyone's most confidential hopes and fears, where all now have a secret identity and the 'Internet' and iPhones are a thing of the past, one unlicensed P.I. finds himself thrust into a case which 'explores the nature of privacy with frightening prescience.'
Honestly, the concept to me offers so much realism into our possible future - or at least one aspect of it. In a world where so many people so freely share every bit about themselves on any platform possible, who behave in ways they would not offline, who's egos - without their even realizing- balloon, who don't consider the permanence of their digital footprint and check the 'accept terms and conditions' box despite knowing really what that entails and whom are so jacked in that they forget how to truly connect, it isn't all that unrealistic to see a future where all are seeking anonymity for their former actions. People who are wanting a clean slate of it all.
I connect deeply with this concept, having taken a rather massive step back from technology in a way that honestly separates me from society. Though I've been no stranger to being an 'outcast,' an 'oddball,' or the one who strays from the crowd, I admit it can have its challenges. Not being on social media (outside of here) stimulates that fear of missing out, giving up a cell phone years ago limits my options in comparison to others, challenging myself in limiting how and when I use the internet limits my accessibility. So, no I can't GPS my every move, be contacted at every moment or won't see that link shared, but what it has done is force me to connect with others, with myself and challenges my thinking. It's forced me to call and find out what's going on with those I care about, to make time and message and not make the age old excuse of 'I don't have time,' to talk to the stranger next to me on the train who too isn't looking head down at their phone, to look at a map and learn the city I live in, and that gives me more fulfillment than the drawbacks that come with not being a part of the masses. And I realize I've gone on a bit of a tangent here, especially being that this isn't a non-fiction book about the downsides of technology, but that's what I love about storytelling. Stories are a depiction of our current times and possible future and I love how that gets me thinking.
And to tech advocates shaking your head at my one-sided approach, yes technology certainly has its advantages too. There are ways to use it to connect. I do get to live in another state and talk to my mom via Skype, as close a feeling to almost being there. The thing is (and this is also the minimalist in me coming out) it's equally as important to take a huge step back and weigh the good and bad, really evaluate, with honesty, what is adding value to our lives and what is detracting from it and to limit to only the aspects of good, the parts that are connecting us, challenging us, and let all else go, to allow ourselves to step away and be real, to be human, and to be vulnerable.
But, back to the story...
So not only was the concept cool but the characters were a hoot, especially that grandpa. I love how the main character is paparazzi, the very people whom we loathe for that invasion of privacy, and who becomes the one needed for his skills - it's an interesting flip of the switch that forces the audience to look on with a different pair of lenses. Not to mention the art (though no surprise in a Vaughan story) is such fun that I even enjoyed the sketches in the back, which I honestly tend to skip. Just an enjoyable ride that got me thinking. Can't go wrong there. ...more
I don't have much to say other than I'm still very much enjoying this series. This particular volume took it in a direction I was not expecting, in aI don't have much to say other than I'm still very much enjoying this series. This particular volume took it in a direction I was not expecting, in a good way (or I hope, we'll see in the coming issues). I look forward to reading more about the adventure Alex and Ada will go on....more
Gah! I just adored this. When I first read the premise, about a boy who gets the latest X5 model (the most up to date 'realistic android') as a companGah! I just adored this. When I first read the premise, about a boy who gets the latest X5 model (the most up to date 'realistic android') as a companion, I worried that it would just become either super mushy or super gross. Either they fall in love in this 'happenstance' unrealistic way or he gets her for, ahem, 'other reasons.' Happily, it was neither.
It really felt like something that could happen. Maybe I'm reaching here, and it's sort of weird to say, but I kind of identified with this android and her transformation in the story. It felt like a realistic portrayal of how she'd feel. Also aspects of the story would just be cool to see or were a telling of things that many sci-fi books predict will happen with technology but here they showed the repercussions of those things happening and I thoroughly enjoy how they handled each idea. I'm already on hold for the next volume!...more
When I first heard about this series it was that it was opted for film before the first issue was even released, resulting in that initial issue runniWhen I first heard about this series it was that it was opted for film before the first issue was even released, resulting in that initial issue running for around $40 and up (which if you aren't a reader of comics... ahem,that's pretty damn high - what with your typical single issue running around $3.99). That alone had me intrigued, though still cautious, since we all know that just because something is opted for film doesn't mean it's good. In this case, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and can absolutely see this playing out on screen.
This book really cements the fact that I ironically struggle with most sci-fi novels (not out of an inability to keep up but more out of sheer boredom of the technological descriptions and otherwise). Yet, when given that imagery (be it a comic or a film) I latch on completely and sci-fi finds itself, yet again, up there with my love of fantasy. I so adored this little story, finishing it in one trip on the train into Portland and back. Can't wait to read the next installment!...more
I'm still in somewhat shock that I both read and thoroughly enjoyed, let alone picked up, a book on teeth. I read this book a few days ago and am stilI'm still in somewhat shock that I both read and thoroughly enjoyed, let alone picked up, a book on teeth. I read this book a few days ago and am still taking notes.
Here's the thing. There is a lot of misconceptions about health (be it dental or otherwise) and while I am not a doctor or dentist I can say one thing resolutely, your health is in your hands. The body is truly incredible, both in how much damage it can take but also how quickly it can recover if you treat it right. This book covers a lot of major confusion out there about the mouth. The biggest thing to remember though is that your teeth are alive and everything is connected.
A quick story to show the power of holistic care. After months to years of a experiencing symptoms of hypothyroidism, I was tired of being tired. The thyroid is an underestimated part of your body that, when out of whack, messes with everything because it regulates your hormones. When your hormones are not in balance everything, and I mean everything, is not right. So for so long, all the way up until about a week and a half ago, I was experiencing extreme fatigue - to where you wake up and could pass out again (or even moments on the job when I thought I was going to pass out but had to keep it together), lack of desire to do anything, depression, 'brain fog' and other things. I was headed downhill very quickly and felt very frustrated. I don't have health insurance and if I did I knew the options the typical doctor would present me. For people who are hypothyroid they prescribe hormones (often taken from a pig or cow) and you then take those pills for the rest of your life. And unfortunately a very large portion of the population has thyroid issues. I knew there had to be a way out of this, back to my old self. After trying many things I reminded myself that diet is the key to everything. So I introduced two things, iodine (in natural forms - like seaweed and kelp) and Ashwagandha Extract (a little known plant used for centuries, known for balancing out hormones). I started the Ashwagandha, twice a day, about a week and a half ago and it was like a complete 180. I have so much more energy, can think clearly, am happier, excited for life and back to my old ambitious self wanting to explore and try new things.
Here is my point - your health is in your hands and you really are what you eat. Nutrition is the most powerful source you have for healing. I was always that person that had at least one cavity when I went to the dentist and I have parents who have had a lot of teeth issues. So, for so much of my young adult life, I just figured I was doomed to be a frequent visitor of the always dreaded dental chair. But after educating myself on diet, as pertains to the body, I began thinking about my teeth and wondering, is there something I can do to make my teeth as strong and healthy as possible (because clearly this whole brush, floss thing isn't working). So I made quite a few changes starting over a year ago to a few months ago. I now drink reverse osmosis water only (after learning about the dangers of fluoride and heavy metals), make my own toothpaste (free of all the crap they put in both conventional and 'natural' toothpastes), tongue scrapping, started daily oil pulling (seriously, look into it - there's a reason it's been done for centuries), cut down sugar (and am now starting this December added sugar free), and drink a whole lot more water (which is also discussed in this book), and got rid of store bought mouthwash. After noticing a huge difference in my teeth, with no problems and now years of not going to the dentist I still wanted to learn more. So when I saw this book, while working at the library - after someone returned it, I had to snag it.
Nadine covers all of those things and then some. She clears up major misconceptions like: the dangers of fluoride; why sugar is not good for you - and not in the way you think because it's not the sugar left on your teeth that's the problem but the lack of nutrition and minerals your teeth get from a poor diet high in sugar, processed foods and other things; that yes, enamel can be grown back; decay can be stopped and even reversed; and then some. After reading this book I have a whole other understanding of my mouth and have a very similar feeling I had after reading 'The China Study.' Honestly, I could ramble endlessly about this topic of holistic health, so I'll just say, read it, read The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, And Long-term Health and take control of your health and wellness. It starts and ends with you....more
I could write countless paragraphs on why I related to Felicia's story, my adoration for her honesty, whilst revealing my inner geek (though it's notI could write countless paragraphs on why I related to Felicia's story, my adoration for her honesty, whilst revealing my inner geek (though it's not very hidden) and extreme girl crush (and not many fall on that list, I'm looking to you too Veronica Belmont), but I'll just say one thing.
This book was just what I needed at just the right time. And isn't that all we ever ask from a book?
Moral of the story, embrace your inner weirdo. For until you do you will never become that great thing you are capable of being. And P.S. You are not alone....more
The premise of this book is simple, that creativity boils down to a science. That there isn't this select group of people only capable of being creatiThe premise of this book is simple, that creativity boils down to a science. That there isn't this select group of people only capable of being creative because they are 'born that way,' all the rest bound for living off the somewhat limiting logical left side of our brains. It's proof that the ability to be creative is in us all. It's up to us to flex that muscle, to place ourselves in situations and around people that encourage it, to design a way of living that embodies tapping into the side of your brain that takes you out of the box and into the clouds. It wasn't just the science that was interesting in this book but also how it's been put to use, by people, schools and companies, and how it's being proven possible. Yup. Science is pretty cool. ...more
I first heard about this book from a TED talk, by a woman who referenced how your surroundings (the friends you choose, the place you live in, the infI first heard about this book from a TED talk, by a woman who referenced how your surroundings (the friends you choose, the place you live in, the information you ingest) makes you who you are because you made the choice to invite them in. So you can invite in people you call friends who do nothing but complain, blame and remain stagnant all their life, with little to no dreams. You can live in a place that feels limiting to your dreams and goals and ingest in information that is nothing but toxic (ie the news in general). And when you are around that 24/7, those people, places, and things, you become it. But when you eliminate those things - you choose friends who are smarter than you, more ambitious, positive, accountable, live in a place that fosters and encourages your dreams and take in information that is encouraging and positive, you become that. Which do you choose?
That was just one bit of this book she referenced. That alone was enough for me to pick it up and read it. Granted, when I saw the title I thought to myself, 'oh another rich white guy defining success by how much money you make, telling me how to be successful per his standards of success.' And that, in itself, showed my negative attitude, my predefined generalized bias I already had. But luckily, it didn't stop me from reading it. Having now read it, I think the greatest compliment I can give this book and its writer, is that I will reread it again, right after this review. Having only reread one book in my life, consider it a great compliment.
If you want to live a life that is successful (success being defined by your terms, not society's), that is happy, joyful and fulfilling, then you have to take a look at you. It's never them, it's you. It's your choice to be their friend, your choice in where you live, how you think, what you do and don't do, what you listen to, read and watch. And because it's your choice, you can unchoose and/or choose wisely.
Just the other day I was out at my local grocer having some freshly cooked stir fry for dinner, and in a pause of conversation with my husband, I heard what the people next to me where discussing. One lady in the conversation was discussing the parents of these kids that she teaches, explaining that they are 'the kind of people' who don't have much to say. When you state something, they say, 'oh yes' or something else of brevity. She went on to say how she hates people like that, who 'have nothing to say,' 'no opinions on things' and who make for awkward conversation. And I couldn't help but think about the recent walks my husband and I have been going on and how many people we pass who don't smile back or even purposely look the other way. And I saw myself in this woman, but then I saw something I don't think she did, something that may help her attitude when chatting with 'those kinds of people' and something that will help me when passing by strangers and smiling at them. It's not them, it's you. It's a simple idea but when practiced can unleash amazing results, embodying the 'you get what you give' attitude. It's not the people with short answers, it's how you phrase the question. It's not the people who don't smile but how you smile, how inviting you are and having zero expectation in return.
It's the simple act of accountability. We live in a world constantly playing the blame game. Oh the weather makes me sad, so I'm sad. So and so looked at me this way, and now I'm mad. I gained weight because of x,y,z that has nothing to do with me. A world where your failure and your feelings are somehow someone's fault but your own. The simple realization that you and you alone are to blame, your choices, is both haunting (because only you can fix your attitude, your happiness, the actualization of your dreams) and liberating (because, hey, you have complete control, as long as you take the reigns).
This book is, hands down, going in my top ten non-fiction reads. There are many ways I have embodied some of the actions described in this book. I've learned to minimize, to delete that which doesn't benefit me and my goals - I'm not 100% at it but I'm darn near there, looking to make more changes after reading this. I'm not afraid to follow my dreams, lately being moving to the place (the Portland, OR metro area) that I felt would welcome my passions and goals, and display, with open arms, options and opportunities I would not have elsewhere. And while coming here was sort of scary, not knowing anyone, many times lonely, and I knew that some people would drop out of my life, would let me go - not realizing they are letting go of the wrong thing, that I made the right choice for me. And while I'm in a bit of a plateau, with a lately slogging attitude and feelings of hopelessness, depression and even anger, this book gave me the ass kicking that I needed and have said in my head, but needed said to me by someone I don't know, which is, it's not them, it's me. You can do it one consistent, unrelenting, step at a time. You can be the success you want to be....more