I suppose I picked this book up for a rather odd reason, after reading in Joss Whedon: The Biography that it was Joss' favorite book. As someone I looI suppose I picked this book up for a rather odd reason, after reading in Joss Whedon: The Biography that it was Joss' favorite book. As someone I look up to creatively, I quickly went on a search to find this book and find it I did. I hadn't ever heard of it prior and didn't know a thing about it before turning the first page. Sometimes that's the best kind of way to enter into a new story, knowing little of it. I was truly delighted by this book, and particularly by Sara.
While rich, Sara was never struck with greed nor self-interest as I would expect a young child of her circumstances to be. Instead she was humbled by the love of her father. And when all that she loved was taken from her she didn't react in a way many would, when forced to become a servant - to feel the pain of hunger. Though she hurt, she found story and hope in everything. Gosh to have her ability, I would be a much less anxious person. I would worry much less if I too found story in everything. Sara has taught me a great deal and reminded me that everything boils down to the way you look at it. She chose to find friends in mice, to make believe things weren't the way they were - and that she was instead a princess, to give when she too was in need. She wasn't delusional. She knew her chilling circumstances. She was hopeful. She was a dreamer and she shared her dreams with all so that they too would have enough hope to be able to smile that day. I loved this little story and all its characters and look forward to reading more from Mrs. Burnett....more
I picked up this anthology solely for reading Rothfuss' short story in it, mostly because I have to read some more of the other authors before readingI picked up this anthology solely for reading Rothfuss' short story in it, mostly because I have to read some more of the other authors before reading their stories. It's a simple story of the ever popular Bast and was a light and fun read. Rothfuss always has a way of putting storytelling within storytelling and I find that quite delightful!...more
I have been following Tammy's blog, Rowdy Kittens, for quite some time and am happy to have finally read her writing. Sure, much of her findings are aI have been following Tammy's blog, Rowdy Kittens, for quite some time and am happy to have finally read her writing. Sure, much of her findings are already apparent to a fellow simple living soul. It's true. But I didn't much tune in for her findings but more for her story. Her passion, her felt friendship of a like-minded individual. As someone who too has radically simplified my life, I felt a connection with Tammy - a kinship, and sometimes you need that when you feel as though you are one of few who understand a certain way of things. It was truly a pleasure to read her take, offered with such honesty and authenticity. A reader can't ask for much more....more
This past half a year or so we've been living full-time on the road in a house on wheels. We've seen such beautiful places with landscapes varying froThis past half a year or so we've been living full-time on the road in a house on wheels. We've seen such beautiful places with landscapes varying from mountainous depths filled with elk and reindeer, the unique colors of the desert to a flatter place here in Florida covered in lakes and a wide array of birds. I love nature. I love this planet and I want to keep it beautiful.
Unfortunately, we are trashing it without acknowledgment for our waste and actions. Granted, the planet will always be here. It is ourselves we are dooming to extinction, but we're taking others down with us. We're depleting the oceans with our waste, the bees and dirt with our pesticides, our air with our poor choices of what we eat.
Since roughly 2007 I have made strides to live more sustainably. And now, knowing there is always more I can do, I'm pleased to come across books like this and people like Bea who are showing what is possible. Even if viewed as extreme, it's no sweat off my back because I've always been viewed as extreme. To me, extreme is what we are doing to the planet and how often we are willing to look away and not take responsibility. All it takes are little actions that build up to being great things. So, I now strive to live as plastic and completely waste free as I can. And boy has it been liberating and enlightening all the same. I'm excited for this next chapter and hope more consider living with less waste, a smaller impact but a greater and more mindful heart....more
Back in late 2006 (my last bit of time in the Air Force) was when I first became both environmentally conscious in my impact and active about it. It sBack in late 2006 (my last bit of time in the Air Force) was when I first became both environmentally conscious in my impact and active about it. It started with unplugging unused electronics and boy did it drive my co-workers nuts. They even had a nickname for me. But hey, you do what you think is best, given what you know, as best you can. From then on I made change after change after change.
It ranged from the typical change of the type of light bulb I used, to going completely plant-based in diet (the best change you can ever make environmentally - see the new documentary 'Cowspiracy' for why that is so - more so than the impact cars have on the environment), to composting in my apartment, going garbage bag free and many other ways I can list. But it's my belief that there is always more you can do, more aware you can be of your impact, the consequences and how you can combat those consequences.
I've known for a long time that plastic is not good for the environment. It doesn't take many brain cells to figure that out. I remember learning, years back, about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (just one of five gyres in the ocean - this one being twice the size of Texas consisting of swirling plastic). I went BPA-free but something in me recently wanted to learn more, and also felt a little gyped by this 'BPA-Free' craze (call it my lack of trust in corporations caring about my well being).
So about a week ago I sought out more information on plastic. First I watched the documentary 'Bag It.' 'Bag It' is an incredibly good documentary of one guy trying to make a difference by going plastic bag free and realizing much more in the process, learning more about plastic, it's effects on the environment and our health, and taking action beyond that 'urban tumbleweed,' also known as the plastic bag.
Then I heard of Beth Terry, a woman who did the same. She started with herself, with counting her plastic, informing herself of plastic, the laws regarding plastic, the incredibly damaging consequences of it to our wildlife, oceans, children and ourselves. She started with one website. I had known of her website some time back but didn't much stick around.
Now, having read her book 'Plastic-Free: How I kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too,' I'm inspired. I love that feeling you get after you read a good piece of non-fiction or watch a quality documentary. You feel empowered. Sure, there is anger at the lies you've been told in the past, the truths hidden by big business and large wallets but in the end you walk away with knowledge that you can do something, anything.
Since watching that film I have made drastic and rapid changes in my life regarding plastic and I will continue to do so. I realize know why BPA-free doesn't necessarily mean better (in fact, it's worse). There are many changes in my home I've made. My pantry now free of plastic, near all plastic appliances donated - realizing other ways I can do what I did with them but without them. My shopping habits have changed, who I'll buy from, letters I will write and so on. My home is almost completely free of plastic and damn it feels good.
It's not much different then when I read 'The China Study' or saw 'Meet your Meat' and realized the power of food. I made a connection. We live in a very disconnected world. Sure, we have some pretty incredible advancements in technologies. But even with that we've become more disconnected. We are disconnected with one another, with knowing how our food was made, where that new product we bought came from. It's so much easier to put our heads in the sand on touchy topics and instead have hope that other people will 'figure it out.' Unfortunately that method only gets us so far. Anything that has ever positively impacted this world has started first with you, on a grassroots level and then on a collaborative level. To make an impact we have to connect. To make change we have to connect. Connect to each other, understand where, how and what is in our stuff, become more knowledgeable of our impact. For our future, right now, is not just unknown (as the future typically is) but very bleak, shaky and quite scary.
I am on a mission. To go beyond just myself and what I can do but also on a collaborative level. Because, while small changes are good - and we absolutely need those changes - they aren't enough and they aren't quick enough. And I'm hoping, with my ability to move full-time that I can utilize that gift to learn more from others along the way - around the globe, to document it on video, share it with the world on a website, give people tools to work with, and when - after our next 2 years on the road- we settle down and start building our off-the-grid earthen home we've dreamed of for some time, to use that knowledge for further power to help, to keep giving, for we have taken enough from this world and one another. Because, the truth is, the planet will be just fine. It always bounces back from catastrophes. Lives are lost, species go extinct and things shift but it's us we are going to kill off, without a doubt. We, the 'smartest species on the planet' are both slowly and quickly killing ourselves via our action and lack of action. And damn it, I'm on a mission. A mission to keep this now eight year learning process going at a more accelerated rate, to find ways to take it to a level beyond just me and keep my head out of the sand. Because plugging your ears to not hear doesn't mean what is being told isn't true.
In a nutshell, I recommend this book for absolutely anyone. ...more
All of us have this inner battle in our minds, with whatever struggle we go through in that moment in time. We can be the happiest of people but stillAll of us have this inner battle in our minds, with whatever struggle we go through in that moment in time. We can be the happiest of people but still have thoughts that conflict, questions we have, things we have to work through. It could be a decision we have to make, a relationship gone downhill or any otherwise change that sets us aback in thought. In the end, how we feel is up to us. There's a balance we have to find. That balance between self-righteousness and self-judgement. And it's a journey to find that balance. This book really helps to give you the tools to combat that. It's not going to do it for you, obviously, but instead open its hands of wisdom and say 'here.'
I'm glad my husband picked this little book up on a whim in Denver, CO in the clearance section. I have already passed it on and would like to grab a couple more and pass them on too. There is too much in these few words that I think could better the world, if we start with ourselves. Make us more giving, more mindful, and more understanding of our own thoughts....more
Had I read this book years prior, I may have very well put it down. Hell, I probably would have scoffed at it. Now 30, writing, a deep lover of fantasHad I read this book years prior, I may have very well put it down. Hell, I probably would have scoffed at it. Now 30, writing, a deep lover of fantasy, and with a greater sense of adventure now than ever, I appreciate this story, truly. Oh Mr. Baggins, you sweet little man. Every time I read a book considered a 'classic' I approach it with great hesitancy. But this little story is truly a fantasy classic, a pure story of adventure, a story of the little guy...literally and figuratively.
I loved the many characters, the songs, riddles and rhymes. I loved the setting. By golly I loved the setting. Long before reading this book we decided that we will build a hobbit house of our own. Not just because, hey they are pretty cool looking but because they are sustainable and cheap and, after reading this book, I want that house thus more. After we finish our full-time travels, like the journey Bilbo took for a time, I will return into my hole in the world...also literally and figuratively. I look forward to that time but cherish the adventure of now. Now I must turn to playing out this story again in Lego 'The Hobbit' on my Wii U and am grateful to have pushed off seeing the movies so that, come December, I can marathon them all. ...more
How does one go about writing a review on said book (taps fingers on chin). Joss Whedon has, without sounding like an obsessed fan (though I am), beenHow does one go about writing a review on said book (taps fingers on chin). Joss Whedon has, without sounding like an obsessed fan (though I am), been the most influential on my life, with regards to inspiring me to do what it is I want to do creatively. He is my favorite writer. For writers tell their stories in different mediums (though the most recognized writers tend to be of books). Do a search for best writers and it will only pull up links to authors, just one of the many forms writers come in. Trust me, I tried. Joss broke those bounds and really was the first ever writer of film to get such a fan base as a writer, not as a celebrity, but a damn good writer and storyteller. Like mentioned in the book, fans didn't want his autograph, they wanted to pick his brain and bond over his well crafted stories. And everything I read of his character and how he treats others, his motivations, are proof as to why he is so well supported.
This book is like a friend talking to me about a friend. I want to prop it up on my desk or wall indefinitely, as a constant reminder to achieve, to be kind, to stand up for what you believe in, and be only you until the end. Unfortunately, my cat threw up on this brand new book in the midst of my reading it. Desperate to know more, I managed to salvage it because Joss is the kind of guy you continue reading even with vomit residue on the tops of pages.
For me, it started with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A show, likely seen by some as simply a teen only appealing show. And, as I was a teen at the time, I was mesmerized by the writing, his rather famously unique way with dialogue and understanding of what he wants to tell. He gave me (along with my other favorites: Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor) a strong female character to admire. Someone who wasn't perfect, who screwed up but never gave up. Recently I watched an interview with Stephanie Meyer. Having not been a fan of her storytelling and wanting to understand her more so I knew why I wasn't, she gave me that answer when she responded to the question of how she feels about the flack she got for creating a meek female character for little girls to admire. She responded saying that we shouldn't admire fictional characters because they're 'just fiction.' That's where I realized our disconnect. For I think we should. We should take from wherever there is good, fictional or not, and draw from it to improve ourselves as people. And if written well, fictional characters are mimicked after reality, it's why we are able to relate.
From there it went on to all of his other works where he tapped into some of my favorite things, like horror - as a fresh take with Cabin in the Woods, comics with The Avengers, and even going with the unexpected with things like Much Ado About Nothing and Dr. Horrible' Sing-Along Blog. But the coolest part of this book, done so well by Amy Pascale and with a sincerely sweet forward by Nathan Fillion, was understanding how his life has influenced his writing. How he worked, how he thought about things, what role he really played, but how things in his life lead to certain characters, stories, and mediums of which he told in. He takes who he is and fits it in his work with such charm, authenticity and whit. He is a true original.
If you are a fan of his work, then this is a book to pick up. It's hard not to walk away with your jaw dropped and heart full.
Gosh I'm loving these covers. And this particular issue felt much more reminiscent of the 'old days' in Buffy, without being repetitive. I also love tGosh I'm loving these covers. And this particular issue felt much more reminiscent of the 'old days' in Buffy, without being repetitive. I also love the topics being addressed, this one being about getting what you want....more
I wasn't sure that 'If I Stay' needed a sequel with the way it closed. But Gayle reminded me with this one that you can't just have some blaring trageI wasn't sure that 'If I Stay' needed a sequel with the way it closed. But Gayle reminded me with this one that you can't just have some blaring tragedy and not deal with it. You can't have some life altering thing happen without showing the altering of life, how we as mere humans, flawed and all, deal with it. I think Gayle had a bit of guts on this one, starting a sequel with a very different person's point of view running the show and Mia (the main character in this duology) be only seen through another's eyes. Whereas the first story was through her eyes, though closed. And despite some of the parts that I felt were't as daring, and a bit 'okay, I've heard that one before,' that risk alone was impressive that she pulled it off and worth acknowledging.
A light but enjoyable read, told with the same tone as the first. The first had one thing this one didn't, a sense of immediacy. I don't know that the second needed that feeling but that feeling certainly played a role in my enjoyment of the first book....more
After reading Mistborn: The Final Empire I was in complete awe. Every moment intrigued me, chapter surprised me. The magic system was unique and increAfter reading Mistborn: The Final Empire I was in complete awe. Every moment intrigued me, chapter surprised me. The magic system was unique and incredibly fascinating. Sanderson went straight to becoming a favorite, just one book in. And I'll still continue on reading his books. Though this second book didn't give me that same feeling. I felt let down. The main premise dragged on much too long. Much was predictable, more and more as it progressed. For me, this book, though I did like it overall, fell into the trap that many second books in a trilogy do. They become mere transitions. Just a step, less a meaningful one, to get to the final piece. It wasn't until the very end of the story that I felt what I did with the first, this eagerness to turn the next page, to stop myself from peeking. I will finish the series because I must know what happens. I'm too deep into the world not to, but I do hope it wraps up in a way that the first book started, with a level of excitement and world building I haven't read since Patrick Rothfuss' writing....more
I have long been intrigued by the relationship between us and technology. It's naive to focus solely on what we get out of it, for with every give theI have long been intrigued by the relationship between us and technology. It's naive to focus solely on what we get out of it, for with every give there is a take, and I'm really fascinated by the takes of technology. For years now I have been slowing down my use of it. Deleting profiles on social networks, unsubscribing from what I found to be filler, letting go of my cell phone and up until recently, limiting when I allow myself on and becoming more diligent and resourceful about my use of it.
Like Carr, I noticed many changes within myself, the number one being ease of distraction. Distraction with everything. Carr does such a great job of really showing you just how distracting the internet can be. Something always vying for your attention. Even the studies about hyperlinks that he shared really enlightened me. Me, being naive, would use hyperlinks on former websites because I thought I was being helpful to the readers. But, in retrospect, I was offering distractions. That particular study he shared stood out the most to me, how people who read articles without hyperlinks comprehended the articles much more whereas those who read them with hyperlinks were distracted, clicking from that hyperlink to another, not always finishing the original article and if they did, not comprehending it quite as much.
I noticed differences in talking to people about articles. It became apparent that many would talk about an article having only read the title or first couple of sentences. That is partly the internets role in their thinking. This pressure to do so much that you end up with abstract pieces from everywhere, easily mixed together, never really understanding one because you didn't allow for that deeper thinking that the internet doesn't encourage.
I was a bit disappointed that the book focused solely on reading comprehension and the role a distracted and newly wired mind (the result of internet usage) had on reading. I kind of wanted to know more, beyond reading. Every day, everything, how it has an impact because I know it does. And gosh would I love to read a book that discusses the emotional impact the internet has on individuals and society as a whole. I've seen an escalation in envy, comparison, self loathing, enhanced egos, disappointment in others due to a lack of a immediate response that the internet allows. I would love to read about that. In addition, the book was highly academically written which isn't always intriguing. However, I did find myself talking about it to others, passing on information I learned and even recommending it. I might check out more of what Carr has to say with his other works but I surely will continue reading more on this topic.
Without being spoiler-y, I feel this that this issue really brought everything back home. It came full circle. And I loved that, getting back to the bWithout being spoiler-y, I feel this that this issue really brought everything back home. It came full circle. And I loved that, getting back to the basics with still other emerging aspects to explore. And the art in this one really impressed me. I absolutely love that cover and felt everything just got better in this issue. ...more
Historical fiction is a genre I read little of, though I have yet to be let down by it. This one, in all honesty, drew me to it for rather shallow reaHistorical fiction is a genre I read little of, though I have yet to be let down by it. This one, in all honesty, drew me to it for rather shallow reasons. When I heard that this book was optioned for film and Jennifer Lawrence will be playing Agnes (yet another book to movie that I've read of which she's in and will later release - the other being 'The Glass Castle') I was immediately hooked. Not only do I (for the most part) enjoy reading a book before seeing the film adaptation, but I'm also a rather big fan of Jennifer's body of work thus far.
Honestly, I read that she was playing a murderer and I wanted to read it. I didn't know what I was getting myself into. I didn't know it was historical fiction or that the story is inspired by a true story that took place in the 1820s set in northern Iceland. But what I did end up reading I rather enjoyed. It isn't a thriller. It's truth hidden in fiction (though, really, that's all fiction) and the thing about truth is that bitter truth is more haunting than any piece of fictional horror writing. It's no wonder the story remained with Hannah Kent, after she first heard of it on a visit to Iceland. It's haunting and the more haunting thing, is this kind of stuff still happens but the way she accounts it all is done with such care for each individual and moment in time. I surely look forward to the adaptation.