Books & Reviews 📚

Books #143-#146: The DNFs!

I don’t keep count of the books I read, but I’ve read quite a lot since the beginning of the year. I had to DNF some, though, for they were pretty boring, not my cup of tea, or expletives hit me harder than the harsh cold weather currently outside my window.

I mostly do these reviews for me dearest Margaret and my goal was to review 200 books (I think) so here we go with a few more.

Book #143: Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris 

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Boy, am I finally glad to get rid of this book from my TBR! It’s been there for a while now. David Sedaris is supposed to be, well, the critics said he was a humorist (as you can see on the cover), but I did not find anything humorous in his writing. I found the book inane. It was a boring disappointment!

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Reminds me of Kevin Hart. They’re reaching, but they’re not funny. Image result for thumbs down gif

Matthew Gray Gubler portraying the so-call author in the award-winning ‘The Learning Curve’ (a short 16-minute film based on a Sedaris’s essay) is funnier. What a shame! And MGG is poetic looking (whatever that is) so he pulled it off well. Wished he had written this book instead for he’s actually funnier than the real Mr. Sedaris.

Anyways, back to the book. Sedaris had a lisp when he was younger which made him the class ridicule (hence the title of the book), but I do not find speech impediment funny, and maybe that’s why this book wasn’t funny, to begin with. Some people shouldn’t write memoirs, but I guess this guy didn’t get the memo!

I had to abandon ship! DNF

Book #144: Jack Reacher’s Rules by Lee Child

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Jack Reacher is everyone’s favorite drifter! I tried getting into Mr. Reacher before Tom Cruise made him popular, but I couldn’t get past the first page. Then the movies came out and I found them acceptable and Tom was memorable as Jack, but I still couldn’t get into the books. So how did I end up with this in my TBR? 

Well, I have a friend who LOVES Jack Reacher and she wanted me to read from her collection, so I wanted to prepare myself as I was willing to give Reacher a third chance as I did Jane Austen, so I thought this book would’ve been a pretty good start in getting to know the character.

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I could be wrong, but this book read like a compilation of Reacher’s greatest hits. There are rules on being prepared (Go to bed fully clothed so you are always ready for action), fighting, food, first aid, and sleep among MANY others. Some of these rules don’t even make sense. Let’s look at some rules/quotes that I may have liked or not:

* Rules of coffee: Never say no to a cup of coffee. YASS, Jack! Never say no. Maybe your enemy would pour a wallop of poison into a nice big cup of black coffee and you’ll be dead in no time.

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* Conquering fear: “Sometimes if you want to know if the stove is hot the only way to find out is to touch it.” Sorry, Jack, but playing with fire is not my specialty.

* Dogs: Don’t run away from dogs, walk. Alright. I can understand if you’ll enjoy getting maul to death by a pack of angry dogs.

* On finding the Western Union in a city: Stand on a street corner and ask yourself, Is it more likely to be left or right now? Then turn left or right as appropriate, and pretty soon you are in the right neighborhood, and pretty soon you’ll find it. If in doubt, turn left. Jack gives direction like a five-year-old kid. Shows how out of touch he is with reality, too. 

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* Keeping on the move: Own nothing, carry nothing. Don’t do permanent, be a Reacher, not a Settler. As much as the drifter life sounds promising… 

This book kind of confirmed why I can’t be down with Reacher. It was worthless and I had to DNF it. How did Tom ever cruise through all of Reacher’s books still eludes me. And I like to think that Reacher was somewhat inspired by Michael Knight (Knight Rider). DNF

Book #145: I Haiku You by Betsy E. Snyder

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This book was written with children in mind celebrating love, family, fun, and friendship. The illustrations are cute, too. 

I love the title of the book, though, and I am thinking of borrowing it for a short story.

A quick and okay read. love coffeelove coffee

Book #146: If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

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A mystery wrapped in Shakespearean theatre, this book was extremely dull and nothing special. All the characters did was quote Bard even while trying to have a regular conversation and it was annoying! I did not finish this book, but I’m thinking that Alexander was the one who died, James was the murderer, but Oliver took the fall because he was in love with James. It’s what I gathered from the first few pages so I figure that there was no need to finish this trash. 

Also, I don’t understand why people are OBSESSED with Shakespeare. They speak about him and his writing on a godlike level and while I understand that his plays were meant to be watched rather than to be read, he is not a genius and he is not original. I plan to read some of his works during my classic reading challenge and I’ll be tearing his work apart inside-out. As an avid reader, I’ve been encouraged to read his work because he’s “one of a kind”, but I’ve always found his books boring. Who knows? Maybe my mind would change now that I’m older. 

Didn’t get past the first act, but I was liking James somewhat. DNF

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And there’s a lot more of DNFs to come, unfortunately. Of this, I am certain.

***GIFs and images via Google Search

Football ⚽

Welcome to the quarter-finals!

These teams are here for they played hard and fought even harder. Uruguay and France played with passion and joy. Brazil with attitude (and Neymar slipping one too many times for many fans liking!), Belgium with pride, Russia with determination, Croatia with heart, Sweden with focus and England with pleasure. 

This World Cup is the most entertaining I’ve witnessed since France 1998. It was mostly unpredictable from the first whistle, although I got all of mine right. Some teams stole my heart all over again (Japan, Nigeria, Senegal, and Mexico) and some teams played beautiful football but were unable to it make to the round of 16 (Morocco and Tunisia). Some teams still need improvement (Saudi Arabia, Australia, and Serbia) and some teams were present, but their mindset wasn’t (Argentina, Poland, and Germany).

And I still love you, Iceland!

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THE QUARTER-FINALISTS

Uruguay v France – July 06th @10 am

I love these two teams. Whichever one wins I’ll be happy, but I’m leaning more towards Les Bleus. They’ve played some of the best football during the tournament although they didn’t start off convincingly prompting the Danish coach to say that we’re nothing special. Well, we might not be anything special, but we’re giving it our all and we deserve to be here. The boys are not going home without a good fight. 

France is the youngest team in the quarter-finals and I know I’m always stressing on this, but I’m going to stress on it anyway: Room. For. Improvement. Despite playing our best game against Argentina and despite playing with beautiful passion, I still see room for improvement, especially at the back. We need to tighten defense and we need a stronger flowing rhythm in midfield. At the end of the day, we’re all about teamwork and it’s the reason why we’ve reached this far.

France vs. Argentina: Round Of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Uruguay also did a fine job at shutting the critics up and Edison Cavani finally stepped out of Luis Suárez’s shadow and lost his scapegoat status. Antoine Greizmann is looking forward to this match because of his Atlético teammate, good friend, and godfather to his daughter, Diego Godin. Because of Godin, Greizmann feels half Uruguayan as he has immersed himself in their culture, language, and tradition. However, Suárez thinks Greizmann should stop pretending to be Uruguayan. 🙄 Like, dude, todo bien! I love Uruguayan culture and know some Uruguayan-isms and I love listening to the gentle Uruguayan Spanish coming from El Matador’s mouth, but I have no claims to be an Uruguayan… not even if I can move to the rhythm like Cavani!

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It’s the same thing with French culture. I do consider myself a Francophile but at the end of the day, I do not feel or want to be French despite having French in my family.

Griezmann gave the country a beautiful compliment, so shut up, take it, and stop being so literal. At this time, we’re still unsure about the extent of Cavani’s injury, but it’s most likely he won’t start/face the French. I think Uruguay might make the mistake of focusing on Kylian Mbappé and this can cost them, so I hope that this won’t be the case. 

  

I won’t be able to talk about the other 6 teams like this, but I think nothing less of them.

Brazil v Belgium – July 06th @2 pm

This is going to be a good match! Brazil has a great team, but one of the reasons they’re turning fans off everywhere is due to Neymar’s unnecessary falling to the ground and then making a spectacle out of it by rolling around as if he got hit by Jack Reacher.

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Sometimes, he’s barely touched and down he goes, flopping on his back and then proceeds to imitate a rolling rock. This display is appalling. Even a bar in Rio de Janeiro had invented a new drinking game: free shots every time he falls down. And this was during Brazil’s crucial game during Serbia. Dude, leave the acting to Tom Cruise.

Although I’m not a fan of Brazil, I have nothing but love for Marcelo. 

Brazil vs. Switzerland: Group E - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Belgium is having an amazing time at this tournament! Their football makes me smile. They’ve produced exceptional players and this generation is crafting a name for themselves. I won’t underestimate them for they’re capable of springing surprises. I don’t know why, but I’m feeling a France-Belgium semi-final showdown, but like I said, I won’t take anything away from these teams for it can also be an Uruguay-Brazil/Belgium showdown. 

Belgium vs. Japan: Round Of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Sweden v England – July 07th @10 am

Sweden’s football might not be the most beautiful, but their focus is on another level. Many have said that they wouldn’t have strived without their talisman, but they’re proving that life without Zlatan is actually sweet.

Germany vs. Sweden: Group F - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

As for England, this is the best I’ve seen them and they’re giving their nation hope of winning it all. When Gareth Southgate came on, despite not getting the backing, I just knew that he was going to be the one to propel England to greatness and Harry Kane is simply a joy to watch even more so than David Beckham.

     

Russia v Croatia – July 07th @2 pm

Even before the tournament kicked off last month, Russia was written off. Although I chose Russia and Uruguay to advance from the group stage, the odds were expecting Egypt to advance with Uruguay. But even after advancing, the Russians were still written off, but when they beat Spain to remain in the tournament, many people started taking them seriously. And who would’ve thought it, eh? That the host nation was going to give a good fight? I am happy with their progress.

Spain vs. Russia: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

I’ve come to love Croatia a long time ago. I believe that’s when I saw them participate in France 1998 and… wait, today is the 4th of July! On this day, 20 years ago, Croatia handed Germany a 3-0 defeat in Lyon, France during the 1998 tournament! That was the first game I saw the Croatians play and they stole a piece of my heart. Just like that.

Although I didn’t get to watch most of their games this tournament, they played with heart and proved critics wrong. They deserve to be here. They can go on and win this thing and they know it.

     

All the best to everyone and don’t forget to check your local schedule for listings.

*** GIFs and images via Google Search and Zimbio

365 Days of Writing

December 27th: You’re a winner

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You’ve just won $1 billion dollars in the local lottery. You do not have to pay tax on your winnings. How will you spend the money?

This question is getting rather old now. I’ve answered it like, a million times this year! I’ll make it rain! Whoo!

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Joking! Joking! But my answer is going to be somewhat different than the ones I usually give. Lately, I’ve been looking at how the world is going downhill and I sometimes find myself wondering if there is a way for me to disappear off the face of the earth. I know it’s impossible, but I’ll probably change my name and erase my history, and live off the grid like Jack Reacher.

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Entertainment

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back: 10 fun things

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You amazing followers know by now that I have the softest spot for Tom Cruise. I haven’t been watching lots of movies lately and I’ve avoided going to the cinema because movies just don’t hold that appeal for me anymore. I’ve decided to attend the movies only if a favorite actor of mine is involved, and hey, in reality, I only have a few favorites. 

I just came home from watching Jack Reacher: Never Go Back with my sister. We both enjoyed the film as did the spectators in the cinema. It was a fast-paced top notch action drama in which every single character delivered no matter how minor their role was. I simply love the fact that…

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I’ve never read any of Lee Child’s books. I tried once, but it wasn’t my thing and I abandoned the book halfway. And here comes TC who is waaayy shorter than the actual Reacher and he DELIVERS! TC literally NAILS IT! Fans of the actual book need to calm down. This is Hollywood. This is what they do. They don’t stick with the actual book. TC is like, the last action hero alive and not to mention, the biggest on the face of the planet, so it’s quite easy to see why he was offered the role. Plus, this is an adaptation. I swear some people need to learn the difference between adaptation and actuality.

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LOVING this book cover!

Lee Child isn’t complaining anymore, so you can probably ask him (and Anne Rice too) how much extra profit TC has brought them.

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No role isn’t too big or too small for TC and that was the main reason I fell in love with most of his films.

And to those complaining that there’s no emotion in the film between the characters, um, the military are always portrayed as stern individuals. We don’t ever see them smiling (except in rare instances). Also, Reacher is not supposed to be chipper. He is emotionless, personality-less and unable to form any type of bonds. For character loving sake, the man is a drifter! He doesn’t communicate with the real world as often as he should. You don’t find him, he finds you. Is he supposed to suddenly show up and be like…

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Without giving away the film (given that it is still relatively new), here are 10 fun things about the new Jack Reacher.

1. Be prepared for an onslaught of food! Jack, Susan Turner, and Samantha Dayton worked up quite the appetite. I should’ve foreseen this food binging given that it started really early on in the film where Reacher was sitting in the diner. 

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2. Jack Reacher is an expert hitchhiker.

3. Tom Cruise still got it. He is aging, and I like it! To those who says he isn’t, I think they need to trade in their eyes for newer ones. He’s packed on the weight too. Looks pretty darn good on him so good for him. And he still knows how to rock the leather too.

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4. They should’ve called this film Jack Reacher: Never Stop RunningReacher was running, his love interest was running, his maybe/maybe not daughter was running, the military police was running, heck! Even the psychopaths were running. 

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I swear that’s how Tom keeps in shape!

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5. The reviews I read focused their energy on trying to discredit Tom Cruise and Cobie Smulders, but they didn’t mention how AWESOME Patrick Heusinger was as The Hunter. Heusinger just played his BIGGEST Hollywood role yet, sharing the same breathing space with the most coveted action hero in the world, Mr. Tom Cruise.

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6. Kudos to Aldis Hodge as Major Espin. He rocked his role!

7. Lee Child, the author of Jack Reacher put in a cameo appearance at the airport. Blink and you’ll miss him. 

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8. Reacher and his maybe/maybe not daughter are expert pickpocketers. I stopped trying to count how many times they’ve lifted stuff from people after she picked the credit cards.

9. I simply LOVE Cruise in uniform.

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10. I want to go back!

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**GIFs/Images that don’t belong to LPM are via Google Search (Right-click for original source)

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