In Which I Read Books

And get bored enough to blog about them. Actually, I’m not bored, I’m procrastinating: I’m supposed to be taking a shower.

 

So, here are the books I’ve been reading lately:

The Ringmaster’s Daughter by Jostein Gaarder
I thought this book was ok. Coulda done without the sex scenes. The book was engaging enough to keep me reading it. It’s about this kid/adult named Petter who has an overactive imagination. He then uses this overimagination by creating plots for writers that need ideas. I don’t get the thing at the end where he feels his life is threatened, because I do not see at all how this could be life threatening, and didn’t feel like the book did a good job of explaining it.

I’m still not sure what the point of the book is. Lemme give you the basic overview: Petter meets Maria. Petter and Maria have child. Maria leaves. Years pass. Petter meets another woman who seems like his soul mate. They have sex. Afterwards, he finds out that this woman is his DAUGHTER. And that’s the end of the book.  The other stuff, like Petter’s business of selling stories to authors, had potential, but this particular storyline kind of… majorly sucked.

Freedom Crossing by Margaret Goff Clark— I liked this book. It’s about a 15 year old  girl (though we don’t find out that she is 15 until the end of the book, which is super stupidly annoying, as these are things I like to know right off the bat. I had to keep revising her age the whole way through.) who spent the last 4 years living in the south, because her mother died. Her father, however, is very much alive and well, and it was never quite explained why she had to go live with an aunt and uncle in the south when her father was alive and well. There was a one sentence explanation that didn’t make much sense, however, there was NO explanation at ALL why she suddenly returned to the North to live with her father, especially since she seems to have enjoyed the south so much.

Anyway, when the girl (whose name I’ve already forgotten, and Amazon is devoid of plot descriptions or reviews to get it from.) comes back to the North to find that her house is a stop on the underground railroad. Her father is away for a few days,s o she and her brother have to help 12 year old Marcus cross the river to Canada.

I personally thought the main character came across as a 12 year old rather than 15, however, if you’re appealing to the 12 year old audience, I could definitely understand that. I think that the character should have then BEEN 12, but whatever. I thought that the narration talked down to the audience a lot, but again, 12 year olds might need that, especially 12 year olds not familiar with slavery.

I also thought that the main character switches way too quickly from being pro to anti slavery, but could excuse that because it’s possible the author only had a limited number of pages to work with.

I’d highly recommend this book for the 8-12 crowd. At that age, this is something I would have been all over.
The Time Machine, by HG Wells.
This is an excellent book that everybody needs to go out and read RIGHT NOW. It’s awesome. A man goes forward in time to the future, and talks about the humans he meets in the future, which have regressed a lot since their time, which is 1860 something. One part of the human race grew very simple and childlike, and another race of human beings went to live under ground. The man (his name is never mentioned) is afraid of the humans who live underground, and spends most of the book trying to get his time machine back from them. He then travels forward until the end of time, then comes back. The people he tells the story to aren’t sure whether to believe him or not. In the end, the time traveler goes away on his time machine and never comes back. The end.

Surfing for God by Michael John Cusik

While I personally do not struggle with pornography, I do struggle with other addictions. Unless what he was saying was specifically related to sex, I could still pull out the principles and apply them. My major complaint with this book is that it is very masculine oriented. It is not acknowledged that women struggle with porn too, perhaps not AS much as men, but a LOT of women struggle with it, and I’d say it’s a pretty big issue. I think to ignore this and go on and on about porn making you feel more masculine, and finding true masculinity, bla bla bla, is very sexist. This is not even an issue of wishing the author would interchange pronouns “he” and “she.” What I’m talking about is an author who completely ignores the fact that he may very well have a huge female audience, and addresses his remarks only to men.

Aside from that, there are some VERY good principles in there, though some of his theology is off. He makes a lot of good points, offers a lot of good suggestions, and even tells us his testimony.

I actually got this book for free, because, for a time, it was available for free downloading on the website. I’m not sure if it still is, but I figured that if it was free, I’d take it. If I had to pay actual money for it, though, I’m sure I would’ve been disappointed. This is a great book for men, but if you’re a woman, I’d recommend finding a different book.

And now I’ve procrastinated to the point where I REALLY must go shower. I hope the water got warmer since I last checked though. Lukewarm showers in the middle of winter? Ugh! I’ll spongebathe in the sink if they don’t fix this!

Help Me

 

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In Which I Ponder Something…

So, last week, actually, a….er, well, someone from the SDA group, was complaining about a friend who was suicidal. Said friend was trying to get help, but was placed on a waiting list. So, in the meantime, said aforementioned friend is calling my…er, well, ok fine it’s Joana.

I feel like I should mention here that, since canvassing, our relationship has slightly improved. Slightly. It’s more like, we don’t talk about it. Secretly, I distrust her, but that’s as far as that goes at this point. Canvassing Joana is almost a separate person from not canvassing Joana.

Anyway, so Joana’s complaining to me about how her suicidal friend calls her when she feels suicidal because she can’t get help right now. She was complaining about an hour and 7 minute phone call which, to me, is nothing to complain about. I mean, for me personally that’s a decent phone conversation.

Joana: and she called me yesterday too! And talked a lot! And she’s really clingy and won’t leave me alone and it’s so draining and bla bla bla….

You know how dramatic Joana can get.

White hot rage surged through my veins. Outwardly I was calm, offering Joana support if she needed it. But inside I was screaming at her: how dare you. How dare you talk this way about your friend! If a friend of mine was calling me instead of killing themselves (which, yes, has happened) I might feel a bit drained, but that would be NOTHING compared to how RELIEVED I would be that the person decided to CALL ME rather than kill themselves. I’d be so relieved, in fact, that I might not even mention it. How dare this woman feel anything but relieved that her friend is safe? How dare she talk about how “drained” she feels and talk about how “she can’t take it anymore.”

Because the truth is, I’ve been on both ends of those kinds of phone calls. I know what it’s like from the other end too.

And then it hits me, so much so that afterward I have to go cry: Is that what people think of me? I haven’t been suicidal lately (and if I was, I would lie about it on a public blog, but I’m not lying now, and if I was, I wouldn’t tell you) but I have been heavily depressed, lonely, and a member of the Frequent Crier Club.

When I can’t handle things sometimes, I call people.

Am I just a burden to these people? Do these people say behind my back, “ugh! This is the second hour long phone call I’ve had with her this week where she won’t stop crying!” When I have my bad moments in front of people, are they drained by me? Repulsed? Do they feel burdened? Am I just a burden to people?

Tell me. And tell me the truth. I promise I won’t start crying, and I’ll go away and not bother you anymore.

Help Me

In Which I Watch A Movie

We had to watch When Harry Met Sally for our communications class. We are supposed to analyze their relationship, the steps they took, the turning points, etc.

OMG this movie was the LONGEST and most BORING movie EVER. Well not really, I’ve seen boringer, but still. Very few parts were actually funny, and this is supposed to be a comedy. I don’t get why the overwhelming majority of people liked this film. Nothing happens!

Actually, that’s not true, it just takes 12 YEARS for anything to happen. Not to mention: Harry is a JERK. It really annoys me when I watch movies in which the lead male is a jerk, but the female is SUPPOSED to fall in love with him because “destiny” or something. I believe tropes like this encourage the behavior in real life, both on the part of men and women, At least at the subconscious level.

The movie also has a lot of kissing, which is rather obnoxious. It’s like, ok, I get it, you love each other, now GET A ROOM.

Oh wait. They did. See the couple naked in bed together. Oiy! I do not have a problem with premarital sex in movies, but I DO have a problem with them showing scenes like this because I believe sex should be a private act between 2 consenting individuals, preferably of the married variety.

Basically, I don’t get the big deal about this movie. It’s boring. The most interesting part was noticing all the 80s stuff. Those godawful hairstyles, the horrid clothes, the New York City skyline with the World Trade Centers (that last one was more startling than anything else) and the karaoke machine with TAPES.

Yeah, basically a rant about a movie, and now I have to analyze it. Sigh. Why couldn’t he have picked a shorter, funnier, movie with likeable protagonists?

Help Me