Trailer & Filmy Thoughts

The truth about ‘The Good Doctor’ 🩺

Why Did Dr. Melendez Die on The Good Doctor? | POPSUGAR Entertainment

The Good Doctor is the #1 most-watched drama in the world. It stars Freddie Highmore (maybe you remember him from Finding Neverland? Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Or August Rush? Or maybe he’s your favorite actor?) as Shaun Murphy, a young autistic surgical resident with savant syndrome at the fictional San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital. 

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The medical drama is based on the 2013 South Korean series of the same name and it revolves around Dr. Shaun Murphy. Now, I don’t know a lot about the autism spectrum and I’ve been doing some research for a character write-up, but this role is difficult for anyone to play as producers strive for realism. However, I give Freddie his props for taking on this role and becoming it. The character Shaun is not defined by his diagnosis. 

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I think this show is just like every other show on TV where it concerns characters, themes, and current agendas. Take, for example, the 2nd episode of season 2 “Middle Ground” in which Paul, a hospital janitor advises Shaun to lie when the truth is unhelpful. Paul is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and is given a year to live, but his wife and adult children encourage him to have risky surgery. Paul doesn’t want to have the surgery, but he wants to please his family, so he has the surgery and dies from a complication. In the event, his family squabbles and Shaun lies, telling them that Paul wanted the surgery, so they’ll stop blaming each other for his death.

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How is that any of Shaun’s business? Also, the Bible makes it clear that we shouldn’t lie; it is one of the 6 things that God loathes (Proverbs 6:16-19). How did the Bible come into this? Simples, as Christians, we’re not here to be entertained. Also, the show – thus do all shows – has religious themes stamped all over it for they need to cater to every religious affiliation. There is also a hardcore feminist and an atheist. 🙄

As for relationships, well, color me disappointed or whatever, but I won’t be getting on the Shaun and Lea bandwagon. 

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Yet, Freddie is actually brilliant in this role as Dr. Murphy.

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And so too is Will Yun Lee as Dr. Alex Park. 💙

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And that’s about it.

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

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Books & Reviews 📚

Books I’m anticipating this year

Eh, more like book, for I’m still making my pitiful way through my TBR. Not only that, but I’m not feeling the garbage passing off as books lately. As far as anticipating books this year goes, I’ve been looking forward to Superman: Dawnbreaker by Matt de la Peña since April 2017. I dislike the cover, though, for Clark Kent be out here looking like a grown version of Harry Potter. Eww!

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Release Date: March 5th, 2019

Superman flies around saving people, his hair is sleek, he’s much too handsome, and his eyes too blue. In short, he’s perfect. I get it. I get why people dislike him because he’s so perfect that it’s unbelievably boring. But he’s not perfect otherwise he wouldn’t be humbled by kryptonite. And it’s the ONE THING I’ve always hated about Superman! Stupid kryptonite-inflicted injuries!

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But in this book, we go back to Clark Kent’s youthful days in Smallville where he grew up. I’m here for it, but looking back at the TV series Smallville, I had a love-hate relationship with that show. In season 1, Clark is OBSESSED with Lana Lane when Chole was right in front of him. What am I talking about? Everyone in Smallville was obsessed with Lana that at times, I forgot the show was about Clark. I eventually stopped watching before the 4th season or so, but Tom Welling made a fantastic Clark!

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Best looking Kent ever, hands down!

Lex, on the other hand, was a little too creepy for my liking and he looked at Clark as if he was a snack. If I recall correctly, whenever the wealthy bald headed eccentric stood a bit too close to the oblivious nerdy attractive hunk of a teenage Superman, Lex’s gaze tended to linger on Clark’s eyes or lips.

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Get you, someone, the way Lex looks at Clark.

So, yeah, this is the only book I’ll like to read for 2019. If other books happen to catch my interest, then I might be game.  

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Oh, wait, there’s one more:

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Release Date: April 02nd, 2019

Matthew Gray Gubler (ladies and nerds, you may know him as Dr. Spencer Reid so there’s no need to even mention the show he’s on) has finally released his labor of love. I recall MGG working on a book a few years ago and now that it’s finally here, I just have to get a copy. If I’m not mistaken, the book is painstakingly handwritten and the cover is also illustrated by him so kudos to the man.

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Yep, that’s MGG’s eligible handwriting and drawing. 

He also narrated it. 

He was involved in every single process from writing to publishing and I can’t wait to hold the end result in my hands… even if I end up not liking it. The book is also a #1 New York Times Best Seller.

He even wore a banana shirt to the narration! 

***GIFs and images via Google Search.

Books & Reviews 📚, Challenges/Tags/Fun Stuff

The Entertainer Book Tag 📚

I haven’t done a book tag in a while, but when I saw The Entertainer Book Tag on Jade’s blog, I thought I’ll give it a try. It’s a short one, but you know the drill: grab your coffee and let’s go!

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1) Your favorite form of reading (ebook, audiobook, etc.)?

This question pops up in almost every book tag I come across. My answer is always the same no matter how many years I age: physical books. I tried ebook, but we were not compatible. I’m yet to try an audiobook, so maybe I’ll give that a chance one day.

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2) If you could trade places with any other MC in their fictional world facing the same problems as them, who would you trade places with?

Haha! This is funny, for although I’ve read hundreds of books, it’s always the male characters that resonate with me the most. Like, I can name five of my all-time favorite male characters at the snap of a finger (d’Artagnan, Spencer Reid, Luc Moncrief, Alex Cross, and Ethan Hunt!), but I can’t do the same when it comes to female MCs.

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Eh, guess I adore male MCs more than their female counterparts. Oh, wait, I didn’t answer the question. Well, to be honest, when I was into mangas and the then anime for Yu-Gi-Oh! I wanted to trade places with Yami Yugi for at least one episode. He was the coolest dude around and perhaps in the world of anime, still is. No one has spiky hair like him, the deep baritone or can even dream of wearing a jacket like him. Not even one Seto Kaiba. 

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3) Favorite Movie?

I don’t watch movies anymore. The only ones I’m currently attempting to watch are the ones that I’m doing for the TC Challenge which I may not complete, but that’s okay. Anyway, my favorite movie is the Mission: Impossible franchise. If I have to choose one, Ghost Protocol.

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Only in my dreams, I am this free to fly off buildings like this!

4) What do you wish you could see more of in books?

Characters that aren’t reduced to stereotypes such as Frenchmen. Almost every book I read, Frenchmen are reduced to the same great looking, adorable, lovable, philandering, smothering, delicious heartthrobs! Why can’t we have Frenchmen who aren’t dreamboats and hair that aren’t the best? The Frenchmen who have flaws like their other fictional male counterparts. Why can’t we have that?

5) Favorite first line from a book?

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:1

(The Holy Bible)

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6) A book that isn’t your favorite all-time read, but one that you could read over and over again?

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*** GIFs via Google Images

Challenges/Tags/Fun Stuff

The last ten books tag!

I saw this tag going around BookTube last month and decided to have a crack at it. 

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1) The last book you didn’t finish?

I recently DNF’ed Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts for it was not engaging. I’ll probably return to it after reading some better books. At one point a movie was in the works reportedly starring Johnny Depp *yawns* but now a TV series has been proposed with Depp in the production seat *yawns*.

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2) The last book you re-read?

Besides the Bible, it was Violets Are Blue by James Patterson in April. I hardly do rereads apart from the Bible, but I plan to reread some of my favorite childhood books at some point.

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3) The last book you bought?

A few I mentioned here: A mini book haul. I look forward to reading them for the Classic Challenge I plan on doing sometime early next year God’s willing. 

4) The last book you said you read but didn’t?

I don’t ever lie about not reading a book for it doesn’t make sense to lie if I can’t explain what’s it really about from my point of view.

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5) The last book you wrote in the margins of?

I was probably ten or so. Yes, I used to write in my books when I was really young especially the ones I know I would be disposing of after reading. I recall one of those books being Fearless by Francine Pascal. I found Gaia awesome at first, but as the series wore on I got bored with her perfect human antics. I can’t recall much of the series for I stopped reading somewhere around the 3rd one, but this book is like an ode to 90s culture. When it comes to spy stuff I’ll stick with Ethan Hunt.

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6) The last book you had signed?

I don’t care for authors’ signatures.

7) The last book you lost?

I can’t recall losing a book, but I do recall lending books and never seeing them again, so I labeled them as lost. Quite surprisingly, I hardly got my James Patterson books back, so I stopped lending them out to the ‘suspects’.

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8) The last book you had to replace?

The Mutiny on Board HMS Bounty by William Bligh and Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne. While cleaning out I found tattered copies and had to replace those epic books immediately.

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9) The last book you had an argument over?

I don’t argue over books for everyone is entitled to their opinions whether I like a book or not.

10) The last book you couldn’t get hold of?

What even is this question? I hold my books close to my heart all the time.

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And that’s the end of this awesome tag!

***Photos (except the 2nd one which belongs to me) and Spencer Reid GIFs via Google Search

Books & Reviews 📚

Books #110-#112

I’m currently reading Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. It’s a 900+ page book, but it’s slow and boring thus far and I’m thinking of temporarily abandoning it. I love huge books and I’ll read a 2000+ page book, but it must be exciting and able to keep my focus. Anyway, let’s get the latest reviews.

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Book #110: Yes, Chef: A Memoir by Marcus Samuelsson

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How often does one hear a story about an Ethiopian child adopted by Swedish parents? Well, this is Marcus Samuelsson’s story and although the first part of his childhood was nice to read, as the story drag on, it became about the self and it turned me off to the point where I started to skim pages.

This book is not a memoir. It is a self-serving PR machine that serves to give more publicity to a man who has catered for the Obamas at the White House and has appeared on many television shows. 

Before I get dirty, Samuelsson was raised by wonderful Swedish parents after he was orphaned in Ethiopia. [His biological father is another story by itself.] This man missed his father’s funeral because of some visa paperwork that prevented him from traveling. This man also missed his grandmother’s funeral and this woman was a huge source of inspiration for him becoming the chef that he is today. This man couldn’t fathom why Christina (a wonderful girl he’d been dating for years) was still hanging onto him after he left Sweden to pursue his dream of working in a Swiss restaurant. He thought when he left home, he would’ve been leaving everything behind including the girl. Yet, he goes to Austria on an internship and knocks up another girl during a one-night stand thus producing a daughter whom he refused to meet until she was 14.

No, really. He paid the child support (this was all down to his mother for he wanted to skip out of paying it. The bastard!) but refused to meet his own flesh and blood because he was busy crafting a career in New York and marrying a model, some Ethiopian woman. How does he make up for lost time with his daughter? He took her to meet Kanye West at a party because he wanted to be seen as the world’s coolest dad.

This man treats the most important people – his adopted parents, his daughter, women in general – like hand me downs. Yet, YET, this very same man has the utmost gall to turn around and talk about sending monthly financial support to his biological family in Ethiopia. I was turned off by all the FOOD, FOOD, FOOD! Yes, I know that he’s a chef, but this is supposed to be a memoir and I found the f-bombs off-putting as well.

At one point I grew frustrated with the book and started skimming. If Marcus was likable before reading this rubbish he calls a memoir, he is certainly unlikable now after coming across as a narcissistic jerk. I mean, he is such a hypocrite. He ponders how his birth father never looked for him, yet he had a daughter he never saw until she was 14. Dude, you were ADOPTED. You should know what’s it like to miss parents.

At the end of the day, we all make mistakes and we hate to admit it, but Marcus came across as ungrateful and self-serving. Maybe he should’ve kept those things to himself instead of revealing them to the world. We have our plates to clean too. He also overplayed the race card and his dislike of French gastronomy was so personal that it felt as if he was holding a grudge against the French. And he was too repetitive for my liking.

I am thankful that my money was not part of this marketing scheme. No, chef, please pass the plate. 1/5.

Book #111: Cross Justice by James Patterson

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“And in this life, a man is only as good as his word.”

After 3 and a half decades, Alex Cross is finally coming home. Home to Starksville, North Carolina, where a cousin of his has been accused of a murder. He reconnects with distant relatives and learns that some events of his past are wrong where it concerns his parents. Many readers complain that too much goes on within an Alex Cross story, so here’s a breakdown of what to expect:

^ Cross’s cousin is on trial for an unthinkable murder. 

^ In Florida, a cross-dressing killer name Coco is causing havoc. 

^ A subplot about Cross’s daughter Janine and her athletic career. Pretty soon we’ll see her in Olympics!

Patterson surprises with his shocking twists, but I must say, I already knew who was Alex Cross’s father even before we crossed that bridge. I would’ve given this book four stars (heck, even five!) had it not been for the ending. That part where said Jason Cross burst into the courtroom with his hostage at gunpoint. 3/5

Book #112: Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill

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I devoured this book in one sitting. Although some parts were hilarious, some parts dragged and I found myself skimming through some chapters. Offill has written a book about marriage and motherhood and I admire her writing style. It was kind of refreshing to read. 

The main protagonist is known as ‘the wife’ throughout the story. The husband and baby also didn’t get names. At one time, the wife wanted a life in art (hello, ‘art monster’!), but she ended up teaching in a college after having a child. The book revolves around the mindset of the wife who is trying to figure out her place in this world. 

Depicting the rise and fall of a marriage, the book is easy to read and it has its moments, but with the characters having no names, it underscores their lack of identity. At the end of the book, I was still wondering who were these people. 

I especially found this bit hilarious:

And that phrase – “sleeping like a baby.” Some blonde said it blithely on the subway the other day. I wanted to lie down next to her and scream for five hours in her ear. (Page 26)

🤣🤣🤣🤣This brought back pleasant memories of the prank war that never was between Dr. Spencer Reid and Derek Morgan on Criminal Minds. I was all #TeamReid! Morgan had it coming for him!

This book is a 3/5.

I know it’s still early in May, but I DNF’ed 3 books and carted them off to the library. It’s been a fantastic reading month! I love watching my TBR go down. 😄

Entertainment

Criminal Minds S14 renewal!

Well, we were waiting for this. Sort of… kind of.

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When CBS announced that Criminal Minds was going to be back for the 13th season, I have to be honest: I was not pleased. I did not see how they could’ve come up with interesting concepts after capturing Mr. Scratch and I was right because I found the season boring despite Mattew Gray Gubler turning out to be its saving grace (when is he never?). I rated S13 a 3/5. Had it not been for Spencer, the entire season would’ve been a total disaster.

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After the last episode left us with a cliffhanger, CBS was in no hurry to renew the show. Had it ended on a different note, I would’ve agreed, but it was a cliffhanger with Spencer and Penelope’s lives hanging in the balance. How dare Erica Messer do this? How dare she force CBS into renewing the best show ever to grace TV? 

But CM did manage to clinch a last-minute S14 renewal over the weekend. However, the exact order size has not been determined and there is speculation that it’s going to be a 13-22 (or 18 for that matter) episode finale. The S14 premiere will mark the BAU’s 300th episode. And I’m still not fluent in another language. Et patati et patata!

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Anyways, for S14, I do not want to see the return of Hotch. I haven’t missed him since he left and I won’t miss him now. If he makes a cameo appearance, fine. Prentiss is doing a wonderful job as team leader. Sometimes change is for the better. The upcoming season needs to deal with Rossi aging (possible retirement?) and this:

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There is so much tension between Luke and Garcia and that needs to be resolved. I know it’s against the rules for agents to have a relationship, but if the show is coming to an end, why not? They can quit the BAU and get married. Any blind person can see that they like each other. 😆 Wishful thinking isn’t going to get me anywhere. 

And Reid needs a girlfriend. With all the teaching and sabbatical he did last season, there better be some sort of budding relationship in there for our resident genius. Over the years, we’ve seen him in an “almost” relationship with a celebrity (“Somebody’s Watching”), two ladies fought for his affection (“Zugzwang”), and one heart was broken, his. 

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FUNFACT: “Zugzwang” happens to be my all-time favorite episode of CM. It had everything although it was hard not to feel for Reid. MGG emotionally went in!

Can’t the man just have a normal relationship in which he doesn’t have to speak to his girlfriend by phone only for her to die when they finally meet because of another woman’s jealousy? Can’t the kid just be happy for once? 

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Just stop playing with his heart already! 

I’ve loved this show from the get-go and it’s the only show I watch on TV, but there comes a time when we have to say goodbye. One more GIF for the road:

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I’m good now. 🙂

Here’s to the 14th season… I guess?

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***Images & GIFs via Google Search

Books & Reviews 📚

Book #104: Private India: City on Fire

When Jack Morgan opens the Mumbai branch of Private, the world’s most elite detective agency, he hands the reins to top agent Santosh Wagh. Now, in this teeming metropolis of over thirteen million people where the guilty have everywhere to hide, Santosh goes on the hunt for one elusive killer. A killer who is targeting seemingly unconnected women and placing strange objects at their death scenes in a series of chilling rituals. 

As the Private team races to find a link that will lead them to the next victim, an unseen menace threatens to destroy the agency from within -and plunge the city into chaos. With countless lives hanging in the balance, Santosh must confront the demons of his past . . . before Private India meets an explosive end.

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Someday I will be even more celebrated and they will worship me like a deity.

This story is a collaboration between the world’s bestselling author and a man who can hold his very own in the literary world, Mr. Ashwin Sanghi. However, I can tell that this book was not written by JP as I can’t find any trace of his DNA in the story. I’ll give his involvement 40% given that he worked on character development.

The good? I felt as if I was transported to Mumbai. I felt the people, the pulsing of the street and the eclectic atmosphere that only Sanghi can take credit for. And I love Santosh Wagh.

The bad? Jack Morgan (I’ve never warmed up to this character) and the violence on Private’s end. Also, everything felt jam-packed into one book. Some could’ve been left over for a sequel.

Private India is headed by Santosh Wagh, a brilliant PI with a murky past. He is aided by the beautiful Nisha Gandhe, ex-cop turned PI, Mubeen the medical expert and the macho techie, Hari.

The first ten chapters or so were boring and depressing, but flawed characters were introduced. At times, I felt as if I was reading a history book about India, the goddess Durga and the Thugees.

What we have on our hand is a killer targeting women. 9 in particular as this killer is killing in the 9 stages of the goddess mother Durga. Each victim is garroted with a yellow scarf and left with tokens that represent the goddess during the 9 stages. Sanghi took us around town in Mumbai introducing us to exotic places like the Parsi Tower of Silence in Malabar Hill. Trust me, the Tower of Silence is terrifying!

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via Google Images. One cannot see the place unless you’re a Parsi.

Overall, the book was a page-turner (I put my work on hold just to finish this book) with many twists and turns, you may or may not see coming.

I was left disappointed by the ending but it left the premises open for more Santosh Wagh so yes, Patterson and Sanghi, bring it!

Despite falling in love with Santosh Wagh, almost every ‘Private’ story is the same when the lead character is called into question: they’re dealing with a death of a loved one (in this case, Santosh’s son and wife) and they’re enemies with the friend they once were good with (in this case, Rupesh). I had tied in Rupesh and Santogh’s unfortunate story in the early stages of the story as a love triangle. Almost everyone in this story was up to something or living double lives and I loved how every character was tied together in this murderer’s spree.

Some reviewers had trouble reading this book because of the strange names. It’s India. You don’t see names such as Tom, Garth or James getting tossed around often. I often associate India with the exotic and the names suited each character well. The names were easy for me to remember and I had no trouble pronouncing the names at all.

UNSUB

3/5. Before the big reveal, I had put all of the pieces together. Nice try, though, Ashwin.

SANTOSH

Santosh was my absolute favorite! He is the Chief of the Indian’s Private firm and he is still battling with many problems. He has an encyclopedic memory and is a history nut who can recite stats at any time. Fascinating! I’m always on the look-out for characters as such. He’s India’s very own Dr. Spencer Reid and I love that he was flawed.

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DIALOGUE

“Your bodies are ready,” announced the police surgeon, opening the door to the refrigerator chamber, like a baker announcing a fresh batch of bread from the oven. (page 45) The writing was well done and I like this baking metaphor. 

COVER

1/5 … call me whatever you like, but since the story focuses on Mr. Santosh Wagh, an Indian detective should’ve been on the cover.

OPENING:

THEY EXPLODED DURING rush hour.

VERDICT:

love coffeelove coffeelove coffee… because James Patterson didn’t write this novel and I still can’t stand Jack Morgan. I picked up this book despite my lack of love for Jack Morgan because my love for India has no boundaries. 💙

 

Challenges/Tags/Fun Stuff

Day 21: What is one of your favorite TV shows and why?

One of? There is only one and that’s Criminal Minds. Why? Let’s just say that if they didn’t have someone call Dr. Spencer Reid, then I wouldn’t have been a fan although I do like the BAU family.

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Speaking of CM, season 13 ended on a sour note for me. If you’re a fan and haven’t watched the season finale as yet, then stop reading right now. As I was saying, the season finale didn’t sit well with me for I just can’t see why CBS should renew a show that should be put to rest already. Putting Spencer Reid and Penelope Garcia’s life in the balance without the solid word from CBS about renewal and leaving us with a cold cliffhanger was just cruel. 

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The show had a good run and now it’s time to say good night although I’ll definitely tune in for the first episode of S14 to see what happens to Spence and Garcia.

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Books & Reviews 📚, Challenges/Tags/Fun Stuff

The Reader’s Confession Tag

I love doing tags! I did this tag two years ago, but not on this blog, so I’ll be doing it once again for this blog. Anyway, enough chit-chat, here we go!

Have you ever damaged a book?

I can happily say no. 

Have you ever damaged a borrowed book?

Again, I can say no. Whenever I borrow a book from someone, I keep it in tip-top condition, even if the book is not in excellent shape! 

How long does it take you to read a book?

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If only I can still read 4-5 books in a week! I realized that although I have a huge TBR to kill, my reading is a bit slow lately. I am currently reading 3 books at once, but I don’t have the zeal to finish them right away. If it’s a James Patterson book I’ll gobble it up in one day or two no matter how bad. 

Books that you haven’t finished?

Hmm… I think I may have mentioned some of those books during my book reviews. I was able to finish all of my recent reads. Oh, there was one I couldn’t get into and therefore, I didn’t finish and that was Paper Towns by John Green. Ooh, and that Jane Austen book, Pride and Prejudice. I tried reading it thrice already and it just ain’t for me. 

Hyped/Popular books that you don’t like?

I don’t really care for hyped books for most of them are YA anyway. Ah! James Patterson’s Confession series. Man, I dislike everything about that series! 

Is there a book you wouldn’t tell anyone you were reading?

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I am never embarrassed about what I read. After all, I was the one who chose the book, so even if it’s an awful YA book, I’ll tell you that I’m reading an awful YA book.

How many books do you own?

There is no way that I’m going to count them all. I’m happy that I have at least 150 books after unhauling to make way for more books. By the end of the year, I may have 400! 🙄

Are you a fast reader or a slow reader?

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I’m no way in Spencer Reid’s gifted reading field, but I’m a pretty fast reader when I can get into the book. I can speed read, but lately, I’m reading like a snail. 🐌

Do you like to buddy read?

No, but I’m willing to try it… that is if anyone wants to buddy read with me.

Do you read better in your head or out loud?

I read better in my head, but lately, I’ve found myself reading the Bible out loud. 💙

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If you were only allowed to own one book, what would it be and why?

The Bible for it is the Word of God and it is the foundation on which I stand on when it comes to my relationship with the Creator. 

***All Spencer Reid GIFs via Google Search

The Community

Thankful Thursday: Blogger’s edition #3

I waited with bated breath as my sister shakes the bag, then puts her hand inside it and swish the pieces of paper around a little. Finally, she withdraws her hand and opens the piece of paper to reveal the blog that I’m grateful for today:

Pop in for a visit at Following Him Beside Still Waters

I love Grace and I am extremely happy to know this wonderful being. She is a woman after God’s heart and the beautiful name of her blog was inspired by Psalms 23. You can visit her About page to learn more about the woman behind the blog.

See Post!|About

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Grace is multi-talented. She writes poems, stories, takes exceptional photos, fixes pipes, writes wonderful book reviews, maintains a garden, and she builds snowcats! Yes, I kid you not! She is really good with her hands. 😊

Read all about it!|Snow Cat

The fabulous Snow Cat via Grace

Grace is also a Criminal Minds and Spencer Reid fan and we spent quite some time talking about the show and the character two weeks or so ago. If you haven’t visit Grace today, pop in for one. I promise you that you won’t regret it. 💙