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Books #158 – #161: So-call children’s classics

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Yes, gurl, twirl, turn, pose, live your best life, werk! Oops, I forgot where I was. Wrong place for this.

Classic Books 4-7

Somewhere along the road, I took the liberty to also read a few children’s classics that I’ve never read before and a reread. 

Book #158: Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

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Top Promise: This Dr. Seuss classic starring Sam-I-Am will have readers of all ages craving Green Eggs and Ham!

Here’s the thing, I’ve never read any books from this fake doctor and decided to give one of his most popular books a chance. I was left disappointed by this travesty. Sam I Am is probably the most obnoxious thing I’ve ever come across. He’s vile and nasty when it comes to forcing his disgusting food upon others. Learn to respect others’ opinions when it comes to food!

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via food.com

The book didn’t make sense and it was really boring. Bottom line message: if you keep on pressuring and insisting, they’ll eventually say yes. This is not a great message for children. 

Yuck! I don’t care if its name is Sam, and he’ll eat it in a boat, with a goat in a very green coat, no second serving for me.

Final Verdict:

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Book #159: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

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Fun Fact: This book was banned from a public library in Colorado in 1988 because it was deemed too sexist as some readers believed that the young protagonist continually took from the tree without ever giving anything in return.

And in a way, they’re right… just not about the sexist thing. We can look at this book from several points of view, but I dislike it because it’s a horrible and depressing story for children. The Bible tells us that it’s better to give than to receive (Acts 20:35), but THIS  kind of giving is inexcusable. The tree loves the boy and is at its happiest whenever she gives, gives, gives! This crazy giving is not self-sacrificial, but rather vile. Vile that the tree can’t learn to say no at times because it makes the thankless boy even greedier. Vile that he took all of her fruits, branches, and trunk until the stump alone remained. Vile that it’s implied that when someone loves you it’s okay to take advantage of them for all that you want/need for they’re always going to be there for you.

This one-sided love is vile.

I know I can look at this story from so many points of view, but from a child’s point of view, what message are they receiving? Most of them are going to cry over how unfair it was for the dead tree anyway. 

Final Verdict:

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Book #160: Eloise by Kay Thompson 

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There is no better way to say this and believe me, I tried to come up with better words, but that’ll be sugarcoating it, so that disclaimer of sorts out of the way: I HATE THIS BOOK!!

I knew I was going to dislike this book from the cover at how the spoiled ugly twerp – yes, I called a child ugly, deal with it, but she’s ugly inside-out – was climbing to scrawl her name on the mirror. Here are some things I STRONGLY dislike about this book:

^ The brat is 6, rich and automatically entitled. Her hobbies include hitting adults, drawing on the hotel walls, and bending over to show her knickers to everyone. She looks as untidy as her room.

^ Where are the brat’s parents? Her mother is across the world meeting important people (probably in Tahiti as I write this) and her father is never mentioned.

^ I feel as if she abuses her pets. She has a dog and a turtle. Those poor, poor animals!

^ The only person kind of tolerable in this story is the English nanny and Eloise enjoys making fun of her accent. What am I talking? The world enjoys making fun of the English accent for some sad reason.

^ I get it. I do. Her mother is rich and has no time for her, so she’s entrusted to a nanny as do most rich brats, but I can’t feel sympathy for her. Mama abandons her at the plaza to go on extravagant trips and to have an affair with her lawyer. Or maybe the poor lawyer is the brat’s father. I don’t care at this point.

^ And calling the name of the Lord in vain after picking up this trait from the English nanny? Oh, little twerp, no! This idiot gets in people’s way all the time and what is the she-devil doing in the men’s room?! 

^ Every time the twerp mentions her name, she practically screams it: ELOISE. Eew! This child is always around adults, mostly males, and yes, I am insinuating. Some of these men are creeps. I see you, Philipi. Creepy French tutoring pervert with a garter.

^ The twerp’s favorite word? Charge it. Entitled sad stupid brat.

^ I do not need to see a naked child!

^ Nanny smokes and drinks while the twerp watches TV with a parasol (in case of a glare) and binoculars.

For those saying that the thing is just a child, being 6 is no excuse to hit people, destroy things and call the Lord’s Name in vain. Solomon tells us so in Proverbs 20:11. This book is not okay for children to read and the subtle sexual references didn’t go unnoticed.

Final Verdict:

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Book #161: Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

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This line: “The smallest one was Madeline…” All of them looked the same size in the same two straight lines for me. I recall liking this book at first read when I was young, but now… erm, I love the rhyming and I love Miss Clavel for she’s patient, sweet, and kind. I don’t get what is it with children authors showing little girls in their underwear, but it’s annoying.

And here’s something you don’t hear from me often, I still like this little treasure, but what was so special about Madeline anyway? All she had was an appendix removed.

Final Verdict:

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If I make reading unfun, I don’t apologize. I have no reason to sugarcoat things not even for a children’s book.

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My reading so far…

And the TBR continues to go down, down, down! YAY! This calls for a confetti celebration!

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Expectation vs…

But there’s still so MANY books to go! 🙄

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…reality.

I’m currently on my 38th book of the year as I write this, and I’ve realized that books are becoming even more meaningless and distasteful, so much, that I’ve been lowering my expectations with every book I choose to read. In this way, I won’t be totally disappointed if the book turns out to be boring or just didn’t quite live up to its gloating standards.

As for the classic challenge that I’m currently doing, well, let’s just say that I haven’t read as many classics as I would’ve liked to (as yet), but I’ll devote a month or two for that sometime just to get them out of the way and out of my life.

So far…

Books I enjoyed:

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Books I didn’t enjoy:

Murder, Handcrafted (Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Book 5) by Isabella Alan

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Amish quilt shop owner Angie Braddock solves mysteries and whines a lot! She’s not Amish, but her best friend is, and almost every chapter, she reminds readers about this and seems to subtly poke fun at Amish clothes and culture. I’m glad to get rid of this cozy mystery from my TBR. 

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

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Reviewers RAVED about the cleverness of this book, but it was all over-hyped, for there was nothing clever, new, or original about this story. I unraveled the so-call “you won’t see it coming twist” from the very first page and the other one as soon as Emma stepped into the picture, so I don’t understand the glowing and high-as-the-mountain reviews for this book. The entire book is a joke.

All of This Is True by Lygia Day Peñaflor

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All of this is stupid, irrelevant, pretentious, poorly executed, bland, and downright boring. 

I CAN’T

Books I revisited:

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Books I DNF’ed:

#Prettyboy Must Die by Kimberly Reid

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This so-call pretty boy CIA agent didn’t do it for me. He spends the majority of the story being sexist, and he’s a proper right arrogant jerk that looks down on everyone. He spends almost every chapter talking about his so-call good looks and whining. I have a strong dislike for whiny protagonists. I had to put this book down for many reasons that if I were to go into them, it’ll end up being a full review and I don’t want a reminder of why I STRONGLY disliked this drivel.

When it comes to saving the world, I’d rather leave my life in another pretty boy’s hands: Ethan Hunt’s. 

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Book #157: The Recordsetter Book of World Records

This book can safely be called ‘Humans Doing Foolish Things for 15 Minutes of Fame’.

I mentioned this book back then in a 2018 book haul and I just got around to it. I got it for only $10 at my favorite bookstore. After reading this book, I’m glad that I didn’t pay the full $101 for it. 

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This book falls under nine categories – The Creative Arts, Food & Drink, Sports & Games, Science & Technology, Money & Style, Groups, Visionaries, Earth & Environment, and The Human Body. It gets useless from the very first so-call record: Most Polaroid Shakes in 1 Minute. Why? Why would I waste my time trying to see how fast I can shake a picture in a minute?

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Here are some other “records” I found over the top or just plain silly:

* Highest Tap Dance: Heather O’Neal, a travel guide, actually went to Mount Everest (17, 598 feet) just to tap dance. I love tap dancing, but I am not climbing any mountain just to do so. I’d rather tap dance on top of a table.

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* Most Times Smiling While Listening to “Beat It”: Someone smiled 302 times to this song and I’m here wondering, “How does someone even smile for this song?” It’s not even a feel-good song! What about “Librarian Girl” or “Fly Away”? Those are beautiful songs and I can see myself smiling along to them. Also, someone thought that putting on socks (57 in total for the crazy record) while listening to “Beat It” was a fantastic idea.

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* Slowest Time to Eat a Bowl of Cereal: Why? Who wants to sit for 22 minutes, 47.4 seconds just to eat a bowl of wheat that could take up to 2 minutes at least?

* Most Pizza Slice Face Slaps in 15 Seconds: Attention seeker loves playing with food so much that she got someone to slap her with a slice of pizza 210 times on the face. Did she not hear the saying about playing with food?

* Most Trivial Pursuit Questions Answered Incorrectly in 1 Minute: Pure ignorance! I didn’t mind if he was trying, but he was deliberately sprouting stupid things. For example, he answered lipstick for the most popular crop in the U.S. home vegetable gardens. 

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* Most Images of “Uncle Jesse” Viewed on a Web Browser at Once: I don’t know what’s people’s fascination with this character, but to view 92 photos in one sitting? I have better things to do with my time than to watch images of pervert Jesse.

* Fastest Time to Direct Twenty Insults at a Fire Hydrant: She clocked in at 15.49 seconds. Hello, looney bin! Although I wonder if the hydrant could’ve spoken, what its insults at her would’ve been like. Hmm, we’ll never know. 

* Largest Group of People Pretending to be Sea Otters: 10 loonies.

* Most Times Slapping Someone in the Face in 1 Minute: 660 times. Axel slapped his brother Petter this many times as the mom stood at the back of the room giggling because it’s the funniest thing she has ever seen in her entire life. 

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Overall, this book shows how stupid, desperate, and just sad some people can be just to get their name in neon lights for 15 minutes.

Final Verdict:

love coffee

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20 Books I want to read in 2020! 📚

This should’ve been posted since last month, but today’s the 20th, so hey! In no particular order, these are the books I hope to read this year:

1. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

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For those of you that read this blog, no explanation is needed. This was my first literature book and the book that made a Francophile out of me. I’m not sure if I’ll get to this book before 2020, but the year’s still young and I’m curious to see if I still like the book… although I don’t think it’ll be a 5-star book anymore.

2. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

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This book was only recommended to me 1,000 times. I might’ve exaggerated, but many bookworms have recommended it, so I put it on the list. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything from EH, so this short novel should be the first. 

3. 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die by Peter Boxall

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1001? I’m certain that I haven’t read 90% of the books in there and if I did, I probably strongly disliked them. I love lists, but don’t tell me what to do before I die. However, I’m curious to see how bias this complied list is.

4. Paris Was Ours by Penelope Rowlands

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32 writers share their observations and revelations about the world’s most romantic city. I’m naturally intrigued by anything Paris, so this collection of memoirs should hit the spot.

5. Khu: A Tale of Ancient Egypt by Jocelyn Murray

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I got this book for two things: the cover and the location. I honestly have no idea what the story is about so it’ll be a surprise read.

6. Napoleon by Andrew Roberts

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This man! In 1804, Napoleon declared himself emperor for life. He is one of history’s greatest military leaders and although he won many battles, the defeat at Waterloo probably haunted him to death. When simulations are run today, they show the French winning, so he had no right to lose. However, like Nebuchadnezzar and many other heads of state over the years, they needed to learn WHO really is in charge. 

7. Love and Louis XIV by Antonia Fraser

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This man! I’ve been trying to read this book for so many years now, but I keep putting it off. Louis XIV is fascinating, but I am more intrigued by the way he handled his crown and put France on the map. I’m actually looking forward to reading the detailed part of this Sun King’s reign.

8. Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

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I am only familiar with a few works from this man that is said to be a genius and one of the most influential writers in American literary history. I recall “The Tell-Tale Heart” because it was one of the first short stories I had to read for a writing class and also in Spanish. Then there is “Annabel Lee” because I listened to Matthew Gray Gubler read it with such emotion. EAP sounds like an acquired taste, so I’m quite curious to see if it’s a taste that I’ll enjoy.

9. The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer

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I don’t normally chase after Christian Literature, but it’s A.W. Tozer. This book focuses on God’s character throughout and I can’t wait to get into it.

10. Akhenaten, Dweller in Truth by Naguib Mahfouz 

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I’ve had this book on my TBR for the longest while, and I am hoping that this is the year that I can finally get this Sun King off it. When I came across it, I had to remind myself that this is a novel and not a history book about the heretic King.

11. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

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I have no idea as to how I’ve never read this book in my teenage years. Absolutely no idea! Inspired by a real-life case of wrongful imprisonment, the protagonist Edmond Dantès appears to capture so many hearts, that I am hoping he can live up to the hype when I get into this book. 

12. How the French Invented Love by Marilyn Yalom

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When this book first came out – I think it was 2012 – I couldn’t wait to put my hands on it. Then I got it and I dumped it into the ever-growing pile of TBR and forgot all about it… until now. The French didn’t invent love, God did, but the French are so devoted to the pleasures of love, I can’t even stereotype it. Throughout centuries, the French have been exemplary when it comes to showing affection and it’s been recorded in their movies and printed in their literature, but the question is: are they truly the world’s greatest lovers? Eh, anybody can love. This book focuses on love through the eyes of French culture and literature.

13. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

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Here’s the thing: I tried reading this book waaaayyy back and I just couldn’t get into it so when I came across it in my TBR, the first thought was to throw it out, but I relented because I believe in second chances. I also couldn’t get into the movie because Keira Knightley does nothing for me. Neither do Jude Law, or Matthew Macfadyen or any of the actors for that matter. The book was first published in 1878 and many writers consider it to the greatest work of literature ever. 

14. A House for Mr. Biswas by V.S. Naipaul

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I could never get into books from Caribbean authors for we tend not to see eye to eye. V.S. Naipaul fits perfectly into this category and that’s why I stayed away from reading any work of his for so long, but now, the time has come for that moment of truth, so I really hope to get around to this one before the year ends. 

15. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

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I have no idea what this book is about, I just want to read it, although I didn’t like the last book I read from this author. 

16. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby

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This memoir describes Jean-Dominique Bauby’s life before and after suffering a massive stroke that left him with locked-in syndrome. The entire book was dictated, letter by letter, by the blinking of his left eye. He died two days later after the publication of his book. I look forward to actually reading this book.

17. The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport

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Their story is a tragic one. This book is a look at the last royal family of Russia and I look forward to seeing how Rappaport painted these girls’ portraits.

18. Alexander the Great by Philip Freeman

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This warrior needs no introduction, but I’ve had this book on my TBR for too long and it’s time to finally get over it.

19. 1984 by George Orwell

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This book mirrors a lot of what’s happening in the world today. Written in 1949, this book is said to be a great masterpiece and reasonably “prophetic”. People are in awe of his psychic skills when in fact, God warned us about what was going to come to pass in these last days if we don’t repent in a book written way before 1984 called the Bible for it’s the living and standing Word.

20. The Epic of Gilgamesh, an epic poem from ancient Mesopotamia

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This epic mythological tale is regarded as the earliest surviving great work of literature and the second oldest religious text after the Pyramid Texts. I think it’s a knockoff of the Bible as do all mythologies, but hey, I gotta read it before I knock it. It’s been on my TBR like forever, so I’ll try to get to this one before the year kisses us adieu. 

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To be honest, I am not sure if I’ll even get to read all the books that I mentioned here, but I am looking to expand my reading horizons a little. Lately, I’ve been engrossed in French Literature and I could’ve easily listed 20 French books I’ll love to read before the end of 2020.

What books are you looking forward to reading this year?

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Book #156: F in Exams: The Best Test Paper Blunders

And here’s a book that supposed to be funny. 🙂

I had mixed feelings going into this book, for most authors do not know what funny is. This book somewhat falls into this category for it was not very funny, but it had its moments. 

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I’ll just get right into it. These were sort of the funniest answers for each featured subject.

CHEMISTRY

Q: What is the meaning of the term “activation energy”.

A: It’s what needed to get up in the morning.

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BIOLOGY 

Q: What does “terminal illness” means?

A: When you become ill at the airport.

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PHYSICS

Q: Explain the word “momentum”.

A: A brief moment.

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MATH

Q: A car company is having a sale. A car that was $50,000 before the sale is now 30 percent off. What is the new price?

A: Still too expensive.

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BUSINESS & TECHNOLOGY

Q: Explain the word “wholesaler”.

A: Someone who sells you whole items, e.g. a whole cake.

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Now, this is what you call selling a whole cake.

Q: What is a “partnership”?

A: A ship that takes two people to drive.

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PSYCHOLOGY

Q: Describe what is meant by “forgetting”?

A: I can’t remember.

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HISTORY & GEOGRAPHY

Q: Define the phrase “commercial farming”.

A: It’s when a farmer advertises his farm on TV to get more customers.

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Q: Name the smaller rivers that run into the Nile.

A: The Juveniles.

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Q: Name six animals that live specifically in the Arctic.

A: Two polar bears; four seals.

Are the penguins a joke to you?!

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Q: Explain the term “autocracy”.

A: A country that has lots of cars.

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Q: Upon ascending the throne the first thing Queen Elizabeth II did was…

A: sit down

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Not gonna lie, I would’ve said the same thing, too!

Q: Who was Solomon?

A: He was a very popular man who had 700 wives and 300 porcupines.

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ENGLISH

Q: Use the word “judicious” in a sentence to illustrate its meaning.

A: I am using “judicious” in this sentence to illustrate its meaning.

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A decent read and I like the different types of handwriting. Nevertheless, it was a fun book to read and I got a few chuckles out of it. If you’re a student, please study so you can do well in your exams.

love coffeelove coffeelove coffee

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Book Haul 2020 📚

It’s hard not to buy books when you’re on a book ban, but when they’re books that leave you no choice but to buy them, then why resist?

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Yes, yes, it does make me happy! 😃 It might be my first and last of 2020, but it’s book haul time!

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The Extraordinary Journeys of Clockwork Charlie by Dave Butler

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I got this one for my youngest sister. I don’t know much about this book, but it’s part 1 of a 3-part series. She tends to gravitate towards books for a younger audience and I hope the story in this book will be engaging enough to hold her interest until the last page.

Mi Casa Uptown by Rich Perez

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This one was brought for my other sister. Pastor Pérez talks about the importance of love including how to love our neighbor… even when it hurts to do so. It’s part memoir and part sermon that teaches hospitality is at the heart of God as we can see throughout the Bible as early as Genesis. It’s about growing a Christ-like love for everyone. 

Agents of Babylon by Dr. David Jeremiah

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I’ve wanted this book for a long while now, so when I saw it, there was no way I was going to not buy it. I’m currently studying Biblical prophecies again and this book is said to explain what was already fulfilled and what is to be fulfilled. However, I must admit that I am skeptical about it, as I am with many books based on Christianity, for many authors seem to misquote the Bible and misrepresent God. Still, I’ll read it at some point.

A Concise Guide to Bible Prophecy by Stan Guthrie

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Another prophecy book! This book is said to be great for new Christians as a guide to the prophecies in the Bible. I am not new to prophesy for it’s a topic I studied zealously back then when I was rediscovering the Bible, but this book wouldn’t hurt.

The Devil in Pew Number Seven by Rebecca Nichols Alonzo

This one was an impulse buy. I have no idea what it is about only that a pastor and his young family moved to a church in a small town only to be terrorized by a member who didn’t like the brand of Jesus the pastor was selling. This real-life story is told by the pastor’s oldest daughter. Based on the font, I’m sure Rebecca is not a great storyteller, but I’ll still read it.

Beginnings by Steve Wiens

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The author said that this book is not meant to answer all of our questions, but if it does, it will create new questions that will lead the reader on a path of discovery. I’m not here for neither; I just want to make sure that Mr. Wiens stuck to the Word as it is written for he tends to explore what’s holy in humanity. 

Bible Stories: Mini Collection by Miles Kelly

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I’m not going to lie. I saw the cover, liked the illustrations, and brought it. Yes, just like that. 

The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

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The only reason why I got this book is due to the fact that I am planning a reread. The narrator defends the story that he’s about to tell of a man named Christian. The story itself is framed as a dream and is told in allegorical style. When I first read it, I rated it a 3 out of 5 overall, for there was some bothersome stuff, but when I read it again – and for good – I hope to put the case to rest. 

Life Promises for Eternity by Randy Alcorn

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This book is meant to be read during devotional studies.

God is Holy and We’re Not by R.C.Sproul

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Looks like a short and sweet read.

A Bouquet of Favorite Psalms to Inspire Your Soul

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This is also to be read during devotional studies. It’s such a beautiful book inside and out!

The Book of Useless Information and The Book of Who Said That?

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When I saw these books at my favorite bookstore, I grabbed them up without batting an eye for the covers felt soft to the touch, but they’re books I’ll certainly read for I love the randomness of it!

Although most of those books are based on Christianity, I know that a few of them, if not all, are going to let me down, so I won’t be holding my breath. I’ve been reading a lot lately, two-four books at a time, so I’ll have to wait a while to read any of these, but I look forward to getting around to at least five of them before the year runs out.

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Books #153-#155: Adventure on the high seas!

Classic Books 1-3

It’s been a while since I’ve done a book review, so I hope this works. 

I’m not sure how many classics I’ll read this year from my TBR, but I’m off to an okay start. I usually start off the year by reading a lot before the big slump hits and so far, it’s the same story. Anyways, I started off with sea adventures for when I was younger, I enjoyed these books. And now? Well, we’ll see if anything has changed from these short thoughts.

Book #153: Mutiny of the Bounty by Sir John Barrow

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To think I enjoyed this book when I was little! Now, I found it slow and boring, I eventually tossed it aside. There was no way I was finishing this book this time around. love coffee

Book #154: The Coral Island by R.M. Ballantyne

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We have Young Peterkin, Jack, and Ralph who are marooned on an island in Polynesia. *sighs* Cutting straight to the point, this story could’ve been exciting, but it bored me to tears. There were some innuendos that were probably unintentional, but overall, it lacked storytelling. The book seemed to drag on forever and the scenes of cannibalism and savagery are too graphic for young ones to read. love coffee

Book #155: Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

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I left the best for last… or so I thought. This book was supposed to be epic! It was the book that started my love for adventure and RLS was the first author I actually loved and rereading this after X amount of years, I don’t know how to feel about it. It started off well, but like the other two, it fizzled out quickly and I dislike saying this word, but it’s the truth: it was boring.

The Scottish terms didn’t bother me for it made the setting more realistic and I have to take into consideration that the book was written in 1886 so it reflects the time period perfectly. My favorite character was the Scot with the French coat, Mr. Alan Breck Stewart.

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This character was actually based on a real-life Scottish soldier and Jacobite of the same name. Alan is an excellent swordsman, guide, and this book’s saving grace. He was lovable from the first mention and I only stayed for him.

RLS was a favorite author of mine growing up for he wrote adventure like it was nobody’s business, but after rereading this book, I have to say that I’m glad I’m over all of these stories. love coffee

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Well, there you have it. The classic reading is off to a disappointing start. At least I got 3 books out of the way, so I’m delighted about that. However, I am now skeptical about the other classics. I feel as if I can only trust Dorian Gray at this point.

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But then again, I shouldn’t even hold my breath.

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Reading Classics Challenge! 📚🔖🕮

A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.

Italo Calvino

I don’t intend to read a lot of material this year, just what’s on my TBR… but wait, that’s quite a lot! While I do intend to read through my TBR, I also want to read a couple of classics.

A classic is supposed to withstand the test of time and have relevance to many generations. In short, a classic is something that never goes out of style… like kindness. Throughout the years, I’ve read some classics. Some I liked, some I couldn’t get past, some I simply wanted to throw into a fire and some, well, they were overrated.

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Oh, but you are… overrated, that is, just as many classics out there!

So here we are. It all boils down to this…

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It’s going to be torture trying to read some of these classics, but…

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These are already on my TBR:

The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas (I read this book at a very young age too many times to count! This adventure made a Francophile out of me. Although I still like to think of this book as an utmost favorite of mine, I’m not the little girl who read for the sake of forgetting reality for a few pages anymore and my views may change.) 

Around the World in Eighty Days – Jules Verne (Loved. Loved. LOVED! I wouldn’t watch movies or read re-tellings of this story ever, but now, I’m certain that my views wouldn’t be the same after all these years.)

The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (This is going to be my second reread.)

Kidnapped – Robert Louis Stevenson (Read a lot of RLS growing up & loved his work. I hope I still do after all these years.)

The Coral Island – R.M. Ballantyne

Mutiny of the Bounty – Sir John Barrow 

Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift

The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde (Read this book twice and loved it twice! Hopefully, I’ll love it a third time.)

Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

Body in the Library – Agatha Christe (I honestly don’t think I’ll like Agatha’s work, but I’m willing to give her a chance.)

Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

The Old Man & the Sea – Ernest Hemingway

The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger

1984 – George Orwell

The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho (I honestly think I’m going to dislike this book, but it’s been suggested to me only so many times.)

Romeo and Juliet – Shakespeare (This book has been on my TBR way too long!)

Art of War – Sun Tzu

I’ve seen bookworms ridicule for not liking or understanding a classic. If I don’t like a classic, I am going to state so and if I can’t finish one, then I’ll put it down. I ain’t got no time to waste on books that scholars or media tell us we should love and cherish.

Read the books you want to read; not the books you think you should read.

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꧁ TBR Book Tag ꧂

Madame Writer always discovers the best book tags around and although I’m not as invested in books as I used to be, I couldn’t let the TBR Book Tag pass me by! Let’s do… wait, let me grab a coffee first… okay, let’s do this!

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How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

I actually don’t. I used to keep a notebook, now, I read whenever the impulse to do so kicks in and when I do, I choose a book at random.

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Is your TBR mostly print or ebook?

The printed format suits me better as I’ll devour it faster than an E-book!

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How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

Refer to Q. 1.

A book that’s been on your TBR list the longest

This book:

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And this one:

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There are others that have been in my TBR even longer, but every time I look at the bookshelf, I keep wondering why I haven’t read those books as yet. The first one was a gift; the second one I bought when I was going through my lawyer phase.

Hopefully, I’ll get to them sooner rather than later.

A book recently added to your TBR

Alex is some kind of wonderful, intelligent mathematical sciencey genius who makes cooking look easy. I used to watch his YouTube channel (Alex French Guy Cooking), so when I saw his book, I had to get it.

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I love how he experiments with food and cooking methods. I love it when he goes in-depth into a technique as he demystifies (or complicate) cooking. He made me appreciate food chemistry. The best part of his cooking journey? He was self-taught. 😄

A book in your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover

Beautiful? What even is that?

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Okay, you caught me. I bought like 4 books because of their pretty shiny covers, but to keep them strictly in my TBR? A no-no. I already read them and passed them on to new owners. 

A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading

I’ve gotten rid of a lot of books I don’t ever plan on reading recently, so I guess it’s safe to say that I plan to read what’s left of my TBR.

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An Unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for

I am not excited about books anymore for they end up being disappointments as authors are forgetting how to author and expectations end up shattering like a favorite tea or coffee cup.

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However, I’ll like to get my hands on a copy of Antoine Griezmann’s freshly printed manga Goal

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A book on your TBR that basically everyone’s read but you

A few years ago, I got this really awesome book “The Greater Journey: Americans In Paris” on sale at my favorite bookstore. One year later after the purchase, it starts trending everywhere even on Twitter! And I was like, “I’ve got that book and I’ll read it soon!” It still sits on my bookshelf to this day sadly wasting away.

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A book on your TBR everyone recommends to you

I don’t recommend books anymore – unless it’s the Bible – so I don’t take recommendations from anyone for every time someone recommends a book to me, I end up disliking it greatly… I don’t know why. However, there is one book that people kept recommending to me because I used to read voraciously and that is “Evening Class” by Maeve Binchy. I have no idea what it’s about for I want it to be a surprise read.

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A book on your TBR you’re dying to read

Did Lestat ask this question? The brat!

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How many books are on your Goodreads TBR shelf?

I don’t do Goodreads. I live my TBR life through the bookshelf in my room and I refuse to count how many books left to read – over 300 I guess – but I’ll inform you when I get to 20.

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If you’re up to do this challenge, feel free to and don’t forget to check out Madame Writer’s entry here:

The TBR Book Tag

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Book #152: Michael Jackson: The Magic, The Madness, The Whole Story, 1958-2009

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But was he, really? 🤔

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Pages: 765

Unless you have been living under a rock for your entire life, EVERYONE knows who Michael Jackson was. He was a man of many talents and one of those was beatboxing. MJ could’ve beatboxed the instrumental of a song before it came together. 

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Now, this book took me many years to read believe it or not. A friend of my mom gifted the book to me in 2010 and I left it for a while. I started reading it sometime in 2012 or so, then left it again and returned to it sometime in 2014. Then, late last year was the final straw. I finally picked the book up and read until the last page which I completed earlier this year. I was glad to get this off my TBR.

“I want my whole career to be the greatest show on earth”

Michael Jackson

The author had known MJ since they were little – MJ was 10 – and so he decided that he was MJ’s official biographer. However, Randy struggled with accuracy throughout the book and you can tell that Michael’s youth up until he was 20 was the best-researched part of the book for as the years rolled by, they weren’t that close anymore. MJ had shut a lot of people out of his life, for he was always insecure, mistrusting, and suspicious.

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Some things/thoughts I took away from the book:

* The author overwrote. There was no need to talk at length of the Thriller video. We know it scene for scene. At one point, I wonder if I was reading a bio or a journal. 

* MJ didn’t want to do the Pepsi deal for he had a bad feeling about it, but his money-hungry brothers and father forced him to sign the contract anyway.

* MJ wanted to rename the “Victory Tour” to “The Final Curtain”. Many, many years later, he got to call his final shows “This Is It”.

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* Paul McCartney is a proper right hypocrite.

* Berry Gordy and Diana Ross taught MJ to lie about his age when he was about 9. I still don’t know why he idolized this woman.

* Elizabeth Taylor was a brat and a handler who always knew how to get under MJ’s skin. She made decisions for him as if she wishes she was Katherine Jackson. She was high maintenance and expected MJ to gift her with extravagant things. At one point, she moved MJ to her home. She nagged MJ about opening up himself to a romantic relationship and when he finally had something with Lisa, she felt jealous and left out. She even took charge of his life and legal proceedings in 1993. I never trusted her friendship with MJ, but I also think MJ was infatuated with her and she knew it and she held him at arm’s length for she had control and power over him. 

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And I think I’ll stop here for there was nothing to really surprise me about the man and the myth. Now, my rant… or something like it.

The Magic

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Trust me, there was nothing magical about MJJ. He was programmed and brainwashed by Disney just like many of us were as children into believing in magic and that’s probably why he preferred fantasy over reality. MJ was an enigma and he beheld the world with a childlike wonder and curiosity, but his talents had nothing to do with magic. He was just crazily gifted. Did you know he also drew and painted? Exceptionally well, too?

See, crazily gifted. No magic there.

The Madness

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MJ was highly valued by his mother as the son who can do no wrong and put on a pedestal by fans making him a god. In the 80s, he was said to be battling with lupus and vitiligo. 

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He often shied away from talking about his skin condition and that was fine by me. I did not need to know every medical detail. But it spiraled him to another height of madness for over the years people were crazy over his skin and his eccentricity. It was as if he was in a circus peep show except that he was viewed in front of the entire world as a freak at a P.T. Barnum circus show. 

The greatest madness of MJ’s career were/are his fans. 

The Whole Story

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Hmm… will the REAL MJ, please stand up?

Did we really know the whole story? Do we really know the real MJ? Alas! We don’t. Michael was a slave to Hollywood and the devil for he used his God-given talents to carry out the devil’s work through his lustful and sexual dancing. He was the ultimate sex symbol and sexual fantasy for both men and women. He ripped his shirts, thrust his pelvis and gyrated his hips in ways no man – or woman for that matter – ever should.

It seems like he had childhood trauma, but sometimes I wondered if he also had DID. He was a terrific father, but he avoided communication and conflict. He loved giving and visiting the orphanages, but he was also a narcissist who quickly became bored with people so he discarded them like unwanted toys.

Over the years, I couldn’t decide if Michael was too feminine for my liking (he really blurred the lines between masculinity and femininity), but his smile endured and up to this day, I still think he had one of the most beautiful smiles in the world if not the most beautiful. I mean, come on, that smile could bless a nation!

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Overall:

MJ was a gifted, talented genius, but he was also battered, bruised, broken, and the poster boy for why you shouldn’t love the world and all that is in it (1 John 2:15; Mark 8:36). He was tortured, twisted, molded and created in their image – turning him into a caricature of his former self; the image God created him in – for our entertainment and we contributed by enjoying his work or ridiculing him (especially by mocking the way he looked in photos when he was just probably miserable, silently pleading for help while dying inside) whichever suited us best. He never found the happiness he passionately yearned for, for he was looking in the wrong places.

Only God could’ve granted him what he was searching for.

Michael died as he lived for the worldly desires: the King of Pain, never freed,  always chained.

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love coffeelove coffeelove coffee

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