Books & Reviews 📚

Books #162 – #164: Christian lit

These reviews might be shortish… 

Book #162: Mi Casa Uptown: Learning to Love Again by Rich Pérez

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The book is part memoir, part sermon; a good blend of uptown and faith, but in all honesty, I couldn’t bring myself to love it. I partially liked the book for I like a few of the messages, but I didn’t like that lyrically or musically, Mary was compared to the likes of Kendrick Lamar. What does Lamar spiritually and positively bring to the table? Yes, I might be petty, but I didn’t like it. The author loves his city so much that he’ll have a hard time believing that God would want to call him away to another city. 🙄

Final Verdict:

love coffeelove coffee

Book #163: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

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This book was first published in 1942. It’s a Christian Apologetic novel that has been dedicated to Lewis’ then good friend, J.R.R. Tolkien. What even is the purpose of this partially self-help, satire book? This book consists of 31 letters and in the very first one, we see Screwtape advising his nephew Wormwood (named after a star in Revelation) on how to tempt his human, “the Patient” into sin and hell.

The bottom line is that Lewis gives us a very black and white view of right and wrong. Whatever we think is good is Christian-based and whatever we think is bad is anti-Christian. Christians think deeply, but non-Christians don’t? War hurts people, but it’s better to die young than to live to 70 as a non-believer? 

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This is exactly the kind of book that can cause non-believers to run for the hills. The fear tactics employed in this book! The smugness that clung to the pages. I felt like I went to a sanctimonious church service and the preacher thinks that he’ll be a whole lotta funny to impersonate a devilish figure. He wanted to be funny without being preachy, but it didn’t work. 

Although this was satire, meaning that it was supposed to be funny, there was nothing to laugh about for it was too arrogant. Doing the Lord’s work is not a joke and this reverse Psychology of how to stay close to Christianity was not effective. Lewis said that he didn’t enjoy writing this book – I didn’t enjoy reading it – and he spent nights awake worried about this book. Well, one look at Ephesians 5:11 would’ve halt his anxiety and insomnia, and put a stop to writing this book. 

Not because a lot of Christians like it, doesn’t mean I have to like it. 

Final Verdict:

love coffee

Book #164: Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

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I thought this book would’ve been redemptive from the Screwtape show, but alas! I was wrong. This book was adapted from a series of BBC radio talks between 1941 and 1944. It should’ve stayed on the radio. 

He calls Matthew 24:34 the most embarrassing verse in the Bible because: “Say what you like,’ we shall be told, ‘the apocalyptic beliefs of the first Christians have been proved to be false. It is clear from the New Testament that they all expected the Second Coming in their own lifetime. And, worse still, they had a reason, and one which you will find very embarrassing. Their Master had told them so. He shared, and indeed created, their delusion. He said in so many words, “this generation shall not pass till all these things be done.” And he was wrong. He clearly knew no more about the end of the world than anyone else.’ It is certainly the most embarrassing verse in the Bible. Yet how teasing, also, that within fourteen words of it should come the statement ‘But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.’ The one exhibition of error and the one confession of ignorance.”

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Give. Me. A. Break! Lewis was in the wrong, not Jesus. Lewis probably didn’t understand prophesy when he called this verse embarrassing. Jesus wasn’t even talking about the Second Coming. This was Jesus’ most prophetic message concerning the end of the world. Where it concerns His Second Coming, Jesus addresses what we should do (watch) for no one knows the appointed time of His glorious Coming (Matthew 24:36-51).

After many so-call believers read this book, they flocked to atheism because they were looking for a sad excuse albeit a pathetic one to turn their backs on God Who gave them the gift of life. I’m a Christian and after reading this so-call Christian book, I’ll continue to stick with God for He is my EVERYTHING. I have no excuse to turn my back on Him. I don’t need any convincing.

C.S. Lewis comes across as pompous and after reading two of his books, I’ve come to the decision that they’re not my cup of coffee. If I do come across any more of his books such as these in my TBR, I’ll get rid of them. Lewis is canceled. 

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Final Verdict:

love coffee

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

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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

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

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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

***GIFs and images via Google Search

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

Books & Reviews 📚

Book #142: Who Moved My Cheese?

Well, this feels awkward given that I haven’t talked about books in a long time, but it also feels right, for I enjoy talking about books… even when I’m bashing ’em. However, I haven’t been reading much lately, for my interest in books are shifting. Too much garbage out here lately. I haven’t purchased any new books in months so my current TBR (after weeding) would take me into 2019 God’s willing. Anyways, enough chit-chat. Let’s talk about the book I just literally finished reading.

I dislike motivational books and I’ve been avoiding this one for years. However, recently, I was cleaning out the empty back office of the library, and this book ended up in a stack of books intended to be shelved. My friend saw it, borrowed it, read it in one day, talked wonderfully about it and suggest that I read it, too. I hesitated. I kept insisting that I wouldn’t like the book for it’s not my cup of coffee, but I decided to stop “judging” and see for myself.

And I honestly don’t know what to make of this book because it assaulted my intelligence! 😔

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Okay, let me start off by listing the few things I sort of liked about this book:

* Haw’s so-call inspiring cheesy notes for his best friend, Hem who didn’t like change. Life moves on and so should we. Embrace change. Learn to adapt. I can contradict this also by saying that life can sometimes be complicated to be resolved by embracing change and adapting for it’s a process for some.

* Page 70: He pulled off his shoes, tied the laces together, and hung them around his neck in case he needed them again. We shouldn’t get too comfortable. Be always ready to move if necessary.

* And of course, the various cheeses mentioned! There could never be enough cheese! Oddly enough, I am not eating any cheese while writing this. I should rectify this. *Heads for the fridge in search of cheese* Okay, we’re out of cheese. Who ate my cheese?!

‘Cheese’ is whatever you desire. It’s a metaphor for what you desire to have in life be it a relationship, recognition, a mansion, etc. ‘The Maze’ represents where you spend time looking for what you want. There are 4 main characters: two mice (Sniff & Scurry) and two little people (Hem and Haw). They spend their time scurrying around the maze when the cheese from their comfort zone is gone. 

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Yep! Hardworking employees are reduced to lab rats in this book!

Then for the remainder of the book (which I didn’t finish), we get to listen to a group of friends discuss how the awesome philosophy behind the missing cheese relate to their boring lives. Talk about a marketing ploy to encourage managers to buy this oversimplified rubbish! I rather listen to Seto Kaiba talk about duel disks! Now, there’s a CEO who’ll call this book for what it is! 😉

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I don’t like the book. I also don’t like that the author comes off as a bragging pompous bore: “This book has helped lives and marriages and even saved careers.” Maybe it did, but so what? There’s no need to act as if this is the only self-help book on planet earth. If your friend gives you this to read, dump him/her. If your boss gifts this to you, hand in your two-weeks notice.

I wish I could un-read this book. If I need self-help, I can always count on the Holy Bible. And I just realized that the question ‘who moved my cheese?’ was never answered. Hmm… maybe it was The Man testing the system after all. Whether we like it or not, we’re slaves to the system and when things get taken away from us, we all react differently to change. 

At least there’ll always be cheese! 😋

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COVER

For a book that talked about the world of cheeses, there was a lack of cheese on the cover. Although I understand that the cover has to sync with the genre, I found the cover boring. 1/3

VERDICT:

love coffee

*** GIFs and photos used are not mine unless stated otherwise. Credit goes to Google Search. 

 

Books & Reviews 📚

Book #116: Champagne: A Global History

From the smash of a bottle on the side of a new ship to the pop of the cork at a New Year’s Eve party champagne signals celebration, fun, and camaraderie all over the world. Bubbly, as we affectionately call it, is a symbol of luxury and decadence and the go-to drink whenever there is an important toast. This history from Becky Sue Epstein is a celebration of the world’s most celebratory drink.

Here, Epstein chronicles champagne’s story, from the world’s first sparkling wine, produced in Limoux, Languedoc, in 1531 by monks at an abbey in Saint-Hilaire to the celebrities who made champagnes famous and continue to do so today— from Dom Perignon to the widow Veuve Cliquot. Most important, Epstein fully explains the distinction between champagne and sparkling wine. In this informative chronicle, she answers whether French champagne is really better than other sparkling wines and elucidates the science behind that characteristic fizz and bubble. She takes the reader on a tour of vineyards in wine regions around the world and teaches the correct techniques for storing and serving champagne and sparkling wines.

Whether you prefer magnums of Cristal or the affordable thrill of Cold Duck, Champagne is an invaluable complement to any bubbly glass and an informative, elegant gift for connoisseurs, beginners, and wine lovers of all kinds.

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The tradition of celebrating with champagne began with French royalty.

This book briefs us on the history of champagne. Champagne is given to the name of the sparkling wines produced in the region of Champagne, France (100 miles east of Paris). Outsiders are not allowed to use ‘sparkling wine’ on their product. 

The monk Dom Pérignon is often associated with inventing champagne.

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Dom Pérignon

I enjoyed reading about some of the French champagne pioneers and how champagne came to be. This book is perfect for students studying Food and Beverage and it’s also perfect for the history lover.

We should toast this book. Here’s to you, Epstein!

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COVER

4/5

OPENING

In the month of June, right in the middle of the recent recession, the world’s longest champagne bar opened in London: 95.8 metres of confidence that travellers on the high-speed Eurostar train between London and Paris will continue to toast departures and arrivals in a celebratory manner – with a glass of champagne. Champagne bars like New York City’s Flute and The Bubble Lounge are opening branches in San Francisco, London and Paris, while British department store Harvey Nichols recently launched a Belle Époque champagne bar at its flagship Knightsbridge store in London.

VERDICT:

love coffeelove coffeelove coffee

Books & Reviews 📚

Day 10: A book that reminds you of home

Any book by Michael Anthony!

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He is a local author (Trinidadian). His books take me back in time to when my country was under the rule of English, the Spanish, with the French leaving the most notable influence on Trinidad. He takes me back to my mother’s time when the country actually had a tram. I learned the meanings behind the names of our towns and villages. I am currently reading some of these historical books right now and learning even more where it concerns the first World War.

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Books & Reviews 📚

Book #75: Don’t Bring Home A White Boy. And Other Notions That Keep Black Women From Dating Out.

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In Don’t Bring Home a White Boy, writer Karyn Langhorne Folan debunks the myths about interracial relationships. Drawing on real-life testimonials, she boldly tackles this difficult subject with warmth, humor, and understanding, as she explores stereotypes of black female sexuality and white male perspectives on black female beauty.

Folan goes beyond statistics and offers firsthand insights on her own interracial relationship and attempts to tap into a woman’s desire to have all that they deserve instead of restricting themselves, simply because they want a “good black man.” Frank, authoritative, and universally relevant, her message to women is to look beyond skin color, accept themselves for who they are, and seek a man who truly loves them, regardless of race.

Author: Karyn Langhorne Folan 
Publisher: Karen Hunter Publishing (2010)
Pages: 248

But I like white boys! They’re amazing, they’re beautiful, they’re funny, they light up my world, they’re life!

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via CoolChaser

Oh, right, this is a review. 🙂

When I took this book to work, people looked at the cover and then at me judgementally. Some simply went, “Oh,” while some looked me in the eyes and slyly grinned, “I never knew you liked white men!” I then had to point out the rest of the accompanying title that didn’t stand out so much to the judging public. I had fun with this book cover because I enjoyed the public’s reaction.

This book was written with the black American women in mind. The author encourages the reader to keep an open mind when it comes to exploring relationships and debunked the myths of black women. The author tackled issues such as domestic abuse, racism, sexism, multiracial children etc.

Karyn also talks about black women doing it for themselves especially Michelle Obama and Beyoncé. Yes, sure, Bey be doing it as a black woman, but then she takes her clothes off and becomes an object of sexual gratification just like everyone else all in the name of girl power. I’d rather be a Proverbs 31 woman than a sensual gyrating siren whoring out my body and soul in front of millions all in the name of the girl power agenda.

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Some of the interracial couples shared their stories with the author and I liked that. Some met online and they’re still going strong. I don’t like online meetings given out most of them turn out in the end, but I’m glad that I read happy accounts in this book and I support interracial couples. ❤

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The author also touched on how a European man sees a black woman *rolls eyes* sorry, I meant the black American woman: an American first, a woman after, black last.

Women who shared their stories encouraged other black women to travel especially to Europe. I’ve always wanted to visit Paris, well, the whole of France and although I’m saving the money it’s never enough and then something pops up and I have to dip into the savings. I keep chanting, ‘One day Paris. One day for you and me.’ So I read every book there is on Paris; mostly travel accounts and I am learning French… well, I am always learning the most beautiful language that ever existed!

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We will not conquer racism in this time and age. Just look at football! We can fight it, but conquering it fully is still a long way off. For every racist sentiment we fight, there is a racist out there making things triple times worse.

So yes, in a sense, the book was written with the black American woman in mind, but every black woman can learn a thing or two from it. Just keep an open mind when it comes to relationships outside of your normal brother for you never know where love is waiting for you.

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the author and her husband 🙂

VERDICT:

3

NEXT UP:

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The Hit by David Baldacci

Books & Reviews 📚

Book #60: Born Evil: A True Story of Cannibalism and Serial Murder

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HE HAD NO ENEMIES AND NO FRIENDS.

Homeless and living in his truck, forty-year-old Hadden Clark often drew stares in Bethesda, Maryland. He also slept with a teddy bear, and dressed as a woman, strolling through town, carried carving knives, a straight razor, and a gun in his truck. When the reclusive loner was arrested in 1992 for the stabbing murder of a beautiful young woman, no one was surprised. It was after his incarceration that the surprises came, popping up like half-buried corpses in a heavy rain.

JUST VICTIMS…

While serving a seventy-year sentence, Hadden confessed to having a split personality, dominated by a psychotic mother and daughter who were vying for attention. He also admitted to murdering at least a dozen more women – the ones he could remember – cannibalizing them, using their leftover body parts as fishing bait, and burying their remains everywhere from a local cemetery to a sand dune on Cape Cod. Authorities didn’t believe him – until Hadden took them on a personal four-state tour.

HE EXISTED FOR ONE REASON ONLY: TO KILL.

Separated by a thick glass wall, and under the most stringent security precautions, author Adrian Havill sat face-to-face with a murderer as he participated in several in-person interviews with Hadden Clark, and learned what made this monster kill again and again…

Author: Adrian Havill
Publisher: St. Martin’s True Crime (December 9, 2001)
Chapters: 16 + Epilogue
Pages: 273

The very worst kind of killers can come from the very best of families. Mothers and fathers can go bad, despite their illustrious ancestors, and spawn demon seeds that they unknowingly nurture into depraved adults. 

Mr. Hadden Clarke. Crossdressing cannibal?

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The author set out to tell the story of Hadden Clark, but I felt cheated. The author talked at length about Hadden’s childhood and family which was acceptable up to a certain point because you get a feel of where Clark came from, but going into details about family members and other people threw the story off. I read the cover and I thought it was going to be an intense story because of Hadden’s so-call cannibalism, but after reading, I didn’t even get that feeling. So he drank some blood, but it wasn’t even human’s. However, his brother Brad cannibalized his victim and if the author was looking for Hannibal Lector’s brother, then he should have written the book about Brad.

At one point, I thought I was reading fiction. True crimes stories have always fascinated me to the point where I wanted to be a lawyer one time. I still love the law and I keep up with fascinating cases, but it just was not to be.

Hadden was relentlessly teased by his own parents. They called him ‘retard’. He suffered from hemochromatosis and cerebral palsy. It didn’t stop him from attending the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. He was in the Navy. Just when you thought the poor boy could have some sense of normalcy, something disrupts his life.

At one point, the author spends like ten or so pages going back and forth with Hadden and the cops when he was arrested. I understand that the cops needed to do what they did in order to get Hadden to confess to the crimes, but they were crude, nasty and annoying. And what did Hadden say every time they pleaded with him to confess? ‘I want my lawyer’. Any idiot could see he had played them and he played them patiently well. The cops were simply embarrassed that the killer was under their noses for such a long time and one was there with a vendetta for the Dorr murder.

Cannibalism was not mentioned during court proceedings. So did he or did he not, Mr. Adrian Havill?

Yes, the man’s life was tragic and I feel bad about the unloved childhood he had to endure, but it doesn’t excuse what he did. Hadden cannot be rehabilitated at this point in his life, but he should have gotten treatment at a mental facility. He was not born evil, he was damaged because of the mistreatment he endured from his parents and brothers. This life is wicked.

Hadden is currently serving a 30-year sentence and he draws in his spare time.

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QUOTABLES:

> “A lot of people close to my mom, well, they only saw the good side. When you don’t live with a person, you don’t see the other side.” Hadden (Page 58)

“Why is there evil? It’s not such an easy question to answer. But the fact remains, that we as human beings are imperfect. We hurt and we destroy and all because we are free to do as we please. There is an evil in every one of us, which is exactly why we truly need God. If we were perfect we would be gods ourselves, and life would be irrelevant.” Laura Houghteling (Page 135)

> “A few things I’ve done have been very bad, and maybe if I got the proper care or people hadn’t abused me, I might not have done what I have done.” (Page 230)

^ Salzman was acting as a lawyer should; he was sworn to defend his client to the best of his ability. He knew Hadden was a convicted murderer. He knew of his other crimes. But he wasn’t about to just go through the motions. What he really believed about Hadden would remain his secret. Today he was to be his advocate, and it was his duty to provide him with the strongest defense possible.

It irks me to no end that a lawyer would defend a guilty killer. Guilty killers with STRONG evidence linking/pointing to them shouldn’t get lawyers, but hey, it’s the law.

VERDICT:

2

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Burn by James Patterson

Books & Reviews 📚

Book #15: Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?

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Author: Steven Tyler
Publisher: Ecco (May 03rd, 2011)
Pages: 390

BLURB:

Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? is the rock memoir to end all rock memoirs—the straight-up, no-holds-barred life of Grammy Award-winning,  Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee, and all around superstar legend Steven Tyler, lead singer of Aerosmith (and celebrity judge on American Idol). This is it—“the unbridled truth, the in-your-face, up-close and prodigious tale of Steven Tyler straight from the horse’s lips”—as Tyler tells all, from the early years through the glory days, “All the unexpurgated, brain-jangling tales of debauchery, sex & drugs and transcendence you will ever want to hear.”

review

…REVIEW!

“Life is short. Break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that makes you smile.”

I don’t like memoirs. I’ve stated the reason why in my first memoir review, but I still have a few more to go.

Anyways, I remember growing up on Aerosmith. I liked many of their songs, including “Janie’s Got A Gun”, “Angel” and “Dude Looks Like A Lady”. To this day, I still like “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” and “Dream On”. I like/d Steven Tyler too. He is hard not to like. He is blunt, yet, compassionate. A flamboyant dresser, never a top looker (in many people’s opinions and he is all right with this), but oozes confidence from his pores likes blood. He was also the sole reason I watched American Idol. When he left, I never tuned back in. He is effortlessly cool and I wished he was my grandpa.

In a nutshell, this is Mr. Tyler:

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And his Tylerisms is my kind of mannerism.

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Basically, this memoir is about sex, drugs, more sex, creating music, drugs, even more sex, medical terms, more sex… I couldn’t stop altering between those. Then it was using, rehab, relapse, detox, back to using, back to rehab, back to re… makes me wonder if he’s using/thinking about using now.

However, there were light moments as well and I learned about the origin of some of the album titles and songs. ST wanted to name the band The Hookers, but no one liked it. I wouldn’t have liked it either and I can’t believe the band and Joe’s wife, Elyssa didn’t like “Dream On”! What was wrong with them? That song redefined Aerosmith.

“People ask me all these questions about ‘Dream On.’ ‘What does it mean?’ What do you mean, ‘What does it mean?’ It means Dream On. You figure it out. You’re the one listening to it make up your own meaning.”

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Steven also makes excuses by pulling the rock star card about can’t keeping it in the pants because he’s a man and what’s a man to do when women (groupies) throw their desperate selves at him just because he’s a rock star. Steven, I got news for you: There are men like you who keep thinking about sex all the time and then there are men who think about their loved ones while out on the road and refrain from jumping a groupie’s bone. And that’s just it, you’re a rock star. Had you not been a rock star, thousands of women wouldn’t have given you the second glance, time or day.

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Sometimes I feel as if he rambled, wanting to set things straight and clear the air, but overall, I think it was as honest as I can get while reading a rock star’s diary, erm, I mean a memoir. He holds no punches. Steven was a genius, a troubled soul, a creative banshee, the best rhymer I know and a thief, but overall, he is a survivor. He has come a pretty long way!

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So, the noise in his head doesn’t bother me, but if you’re not a rock fan, an Aerosmith fan (I don’t rock out anymore), or simply don’t know what you’ll get from Steven Tyler, you won’t like this book because Tyler is Tyler and Tyler is offensive, rude, and nasty. In another life, he’d be Jack Sparrow’s long lost father.

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Yeah! I can’t UNSEE that either! 😛

QUOTABLES:

> Because nowadays, everything’s recycled. There’s nothing new. Everything’s in quotation marks. What wasn’t before?

– Chapter 4; page 101

> I believe in life imitating art, but who is art and why is je imitating me anyway?

– Chapter 4; page 117

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RATING:

3

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The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat