Friday, November 16, 2018

Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot

I first learned about Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot in February of this year. I'd read great things about Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot in the articles I'd discovered online. So, I decided to buy a hardback copy of it in March. 

Additionally, Sherman Alexie wrote a glowing introduction for Heart Berries: A Memoir. The afterward features Joan Naviyuk Kane interviewing Terese Marie Mailhot about Mailhot's memoir... And both Roxane Gay and Lidia Yuknavitch praised Heart Berries: A Memoir

November is Native American Heritage Month here in the USA. With that in mind, I decided it was time to read Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot as the author is Native American and grew up on the Seabird Island First Nation reservation in British Columbia.

I was excited to read Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot. I was expecting great things from this memoir from all the praise I'd read about it. Sadly, reading a Heart Berries: A Memoirby Terese Marie Mailhot was a huge disappointment to me. I wanted to love this memoir. Listening to various interviews of the author talking about her memoir, Heart Berries, has me appreciate the message she has to share in her memoir... But Heart Berries: A Memoir in and of itself, simply didn't do it for me.

Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot is written in chapters that read like essays and are epistolary in nature. This memoir also felt very 'stream of consciousness' in nature to me as well.

Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot also felt raw to me. I do like many of the sentences and paragraphs that impart very vivid imagery that does make one pause and give thought to what the author is saying in her memoir. Additionally, I also feel like the way in which Heart Berries is written was at times depressing, very depressing. At other times, I felt it was frustrating to read Heart Berries as I felt it was too artistic and took too long for the author to make her thoughts and feelings known... And at other times, I didn't understand what the author was trying to say at all. The last chapter in Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot titled, Better Parts, left me wondering what the author was trying to impart to readers. 

Below is a video of Terese Marie Mailhot speaking about the idea of role models.

When all is said and done, I felt like Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot was simply an okay read. I am giving Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot a rating of 2 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday - Bookish Items/Merchandise I’d Like to Own

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader GirlTop Ten Tuesday was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

1. More bookcases, PLEASE!! I've run out of shelf space and have books hiding under my bed, on my night stand, and just about everywhere else imaginable in my home.

2. Book ends for book shelves to keep books standing upright.

3. More magnetic bookmarks as I prefer these to regular bookmarks.

4. Book scented candles sound intriguing... However, I'm pretty particular/sensitive about scents/smells in general (I can't wear perfumes or other scented products any more), so it would have to be a smell I like and also a smell that doesn't give me a headache either.

5. Socks or tee shirts with either bookish quotes or book covers on them would be fun to wear.

6. Personalized bookplates.

7. Bookish jewelry made in sterling silver.

8. A subscription to a book club/box!! In all fairness, I've recently signed up for John Green's new book club, Life's Library, and am waiting for the first bundle to ship on December 4th of this year. I can't wait to receive the first box filled with the novel we'll be reading and the additional merchandise provided! You have through the 16th of this month to sign up to receive the first book club shipment. There's a physical subscription and a digital one as well. Click on the above link to read more.

9. A reading journal! Sure I have a blog and am also on Goodreads. I leave a digital version of my book reviews in both places, but it would be fun to go old school and keep a physical reading journal.

10. A bookish themed phone case for my iphone!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Between Then and Now by Zoe York

Between Then and Now by Zoe York is a short, contemporary romance read and is approximately 66 pages in length. I was able to download the ebook edition to my Kindle for FREE from Amazon! Below is my honest, unbiased opinion of Between Then and Now by Zoe York.

Between Then and Now by Zoe York is the first read in 'The Wardham Series'. It's a very quick contemporary romance read with decent characters, plot, and pacing throughout the entire story. I enjoyed the writing and storyline, but felt like this was your average romance read. I doubt I will be reading the rest of 'The Wardham Series', since I wasn't overly wowed by Between Then and Now.

Below is the plot summary for Between Then and Now by Zoe York from Amazon:
Their story didn’t start with a fairytale romance. Their marriage wasn’t chosen for love. But they still chose each other...time and again.
Romance is the last thing on Ian's mind. He's juggling two jobs, his kids are crazy and every time he gets close to his wife, she snaps at him. Communication has never been their strong suit, and now their physical connection is fizzling as well. 
Carrie knows she's being too hard on her husband, but eight years ago she had a one-night stand that turned into a lifetime of diapers and dinners. She can't shake the feeling that she wants more. Too bad she has no idea what that might be.
Between Then and Now is a standalone novella in The Wardham Series. 5 chapters, 16,000 words. Also includes an excerpt from the next book in the series.
I am giving Between Then and Now by Zoe York a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Patti Smith at the Minetta Lane by Patti Smith

I'm only very, very vaguely familiar with Patti Smith's life as a singer-songwriter, poet, and visual artist... I can only name one song that she has sung. I'm also familiar with her memoir, Just Kids by Patti Smith, by title only as I've never read her memoir. I've recently learned learned that her memoir won the National Book Award in 2010 for nonfiction.

With that said, I decided to listen to Patti Smith at the Minetta Lane by Patti Smith, which is a live audio performance of Patti Smith at the Minetta Lane Theatre in Greenwich Village in New York. I felt like this was my opportunity to learn more about Patti Smith through her singing intermixed with her stories. I am glad that I took the time to listen and discover more about Patti Smith's life through stories she shared and hear her sing, but ultimately I wasn't wowed by what I heard. I just thought the entire program presented in Patti Smith at the Minetta Lane was okay. I think if you are a Patti Smith fan, you'd probably love Patti Smith at the Minetta Lane.

As an Audible member, I was able to download Patti Smith at the Minetta Lane by Patti Smith for FREE this month. The above paragraph expresses my honest and biased opinion of Patti Smith at the Minetta Lane by Patti Smith.

Listening time for Patti Smith at the Minetta Lane by Patti Smith is 1 hour, 23 minutes.

The following is more about Patti Smith at the Minetta Lane by Patti Smith from Audible:
Patti Smith at the Minetta Lane features live audio of performances captured over three evenings in September of 2018 at the Minetta Lane Theatre in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, woven into a single, one-of-a-kind audio event. Pioneering artist and writer Patti Smith commands the stage to perform original spoken-word stories from her life, interwoven with the music of her beloved catalogue, played live by Smith, her son and daughter–Jackson and Jesse Paris Smith–and longtime collaborator Tony Shanahan. What transpires is a personally revelatory showcase, an intimate portrait of an icon, focusing on family and taking stock of a near to 50-year career devoted to artistic integrity.
I am giving Patti Smith at the Minetta Lane a rating of 2 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Haunting of Hill House - Netflix TV Series

I read the novel, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, back in October 2016. I liked the novel, but didn't love it. 

Nonetheless, when I discovered that Netflix had created a television series based on the The Haunting of Hill House, my husband and I decided to watched the series... Especially, since we'd heard great things about the series from other people who have watched the series!

Let me state upfront for the record, that the Netflix series, 'The Haunting of Hill House', is nothing like the novel it is based on. So, if you've read the novel and have yet to watch the Netflix series, you've been forewarned that the series doesn't follow the novel's plot.

With that said, we did enjoy watching season one of 'The Haunting of Hill House' on Netflix. The actors do a fabulous job in this series. I loved the cinematography for this series as well as the special effects. Plus, the storyline was well done even if it didn't follow the novel.

I've heard there is season two in the works for 'The Haunting of Hill House', which I find difficult to imagine. I felt like the ten episodes wrapped up the storyline pretty nicely. So, I can't imagine where they could possibly go for season two and beyond without the series becoming unrealistic. In other words, I feel like everything that needed to be said in Netflix's series, 'The Haunting of Hill House' was said during season one... Nothing else needed to be added. Leave the storyline be and move on.

For those of you who have read then novel, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, and seen the Netflix series, 'The Haunting of Hill House', what are your thoughts about both the novel and the series?

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy

I purchased the hardback edition of The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy at the Friends of the Library Used Bookstore in Fort Bragg, California in April 2018. I'd heard good things about this memoir, but had never heard of Ariel Levy before discovering her memoir, The Rules Do Not Apply.

I am so glad I read The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy. Her writing is just as amazing as I expected it to be from someone who writes for The New Yorker magazine. 

Ms. Levy writes early on in her memoir that as a child she was "domineering, impatient, relentlessly verbal, and as an only child, often baffled by the mores of other kids." 

Books were also something Ms. Levy enjoyed very much as a youngster and she decided early on in her life that she wanted to become a writer... "That, I thought, was the profession that went with the kind of woman I wanted to become: one who is free to do whatever she chooses." 

The above quotes set up the initial tone and feel at the start of the memoir as it unfolds to reveal the unconventional life Ariel Levy goes on to live. I loved reading how Ariel Levy goes after the life she wants to live. She becomes a successful writer, travels the world, meets the love of her life, and decides to start a family... Just when you think life is going perfectly for her, the bottom drops out. 

Life isn't always perfect. You may never obtain everything you desire in life. But everything happens for a reason, right? 

With candor, Ariel Levy writes about her life and the resiliency that inevitably follows in the aftermath of tragedy. 

After reading The Rules Do Not Apply, I was surprised to read other reviewers write that they thought the author was a 'Drama Queen' or a 'Narcissist'. I didn't sense any of that at all about the author from reading her memoir. 

The following is a summary of The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy from Amazon:
All her life, Ariel Levy was told that she was too fervent, too forceful, too much. As a young woman, she decided that becoming a writer would perfectly channel her strength and desire. She would be a professional explorer—“the kind of woman who is free to do whatever she chooses.” Levy moved to Manhattan to pursue her dream, and spent years of adventure, traveling all over the world writing stories about unconventional heroines, following their fearless examples in her own life.
But when she experiences unthinkable heartbreak, Levy is forced to surrender her illusion of control. In telling her story, Levy has captured a portrait of our time, of the shifting forces in American culture, of what has changed and what has remained. And of how to begin again.
I am giving The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Monday, November 5, 2018

3 Books On The History Of Voting Rights

With the midterm election tomorrow, it seems more important than ever to vote in tomorrow's election. I've already voted via absentee ballot. However, my mind is still on the election and am curiously awaiting to find out the results of the midterm elections. 

In the meantime, I've come across an article about 3 books on the history of voting rights that look like they would make for great reading. I discovered the following article on Bustle titled, 3 Books On The History Of Voting Rights & Why It's More Complicated Than #GoVote by Maddy Foley. In the article, Maddy Foley wrote the following information:
It's become a common refrain on social media: You counter a post about a mass shooting, a police shooting, or threat of a devastating executive order with "VOTE" or #GoVote or "Oh my god please, I'm begging you, vote." It absolutely makes sense. According to CNN, voter turnout in the 2016 presidential election was at a 20-year low. Even in 2008, considered a high point for the country's voting history, only about 64 percent of eligible voters punched a ballot. But despite its public persona — voting as a right, not a privilege, voting as ugh, so easy, so simple — voting has long been an act clung to tightly by certain populations. And for others, it's often been held out of reach. These three books on the history of voting rights will explain why it's more complicated than #GoVote.
The history of voting in the United States is a deeply fractured story, one frequently punctuated by racism, classism, and sexism. Americans often learn in school about the suffrage movement of the 1920s. It's an easily teachable moment in history — of course women should have the right to vote! But it's also, in part, a story of white women succeeding on the backs of disenfranchised African-American women.
The Voter Rights Act of 1965, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, is often heralded as a crowning achievement of the Civil Rights Movement. After all, it made illegal the common practice of denying or suppressing votes within minority communities. But Americans often lose sight of its course after the 1960s. We forget that a major provision, which kept a watchful eye over areas with a history of racially-motivated voter suppression, was deemed unconstitutional in 2013 by the Supreme Court.
Even today, voter identification requirements have sufficiently snuffed out eligibility for entire communities. Poll closures, combined with a lack of public transportation, physically bar people from casting their votes. Gerrymandering, the re-drawing of political boundaries to give a certain political party a numerical advantage, have stolen the voice of counties and states across the country. And we forget that for certain communities, the idea of fulfilling a civic duty for a country with policies and politicians who systematically chip away at your humanity isn't exactly a selling point.
Click on the very top link to view the three books about the history of voting rights!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Winter's Guardian by G. Bailey

I listened to the unabridged audio version of Winter's Guardian by G. Bailey and narrated by Kevin T. Collins and Natasha Soudek. Winter's Guardian is the first novel in a series and is a paranormal romance that deals with supernatural beings like vampires, werewolves, and angels. Winter's Guardian is also the last novel I read during the month of October.

Listening time for Winter's Guardian by G. Bailey is 5 hours, 56 minutes.

I didn't care much for the narrators for Winter's Guardian by G. Bailey. I felt like Natasha Soudek narrated too slowly and Kevin T. Collins narrated too swiftly. Also, there were times while listening to this novel being narrated that it was difficult to figure out which characters were speaking because of the narration, which made for a confusing read at times.

I like paranormal romance novels generally, but I didn't enjoy how juvenile/immature the storyline and/or characters seemed to be at times. Winter's Guardian by G. Bailey seemed more geared to young adults or for those in college than older adults.

Also the ending for Winter's Guardian by G. Bailey, was so so... And because Winter's Guardian is the first novel in a series, the ending purposely hooks you into wanting to read the next novel in the series... This isn't necessarily a bad thing if you want to read the next novel in the series. But quite frankly, I am not interested in reading the rest of this series after reading Winter's Guardian.

The following is a plot summary for Winter's Guardian by G. Bailey from Audible:
When Winter started university with her best friend, Alex, she didn't expect to find herself in the middle of a supernatural war. Who knew saving a stray wolf could earn you the alliance of the pack?
To make things more complicated, the broody and very attractive Jaxson is tasked with keeping her safe from the growing vampire threat in town. It's a shame he can't stand her and enjoys irritating the hell out of her.
When she finds out her new boyfriend has his own secrets, can she trust anyone anymore?
What happens when you get yourself stuck in the middle of a war?
This is a reverse harem book series. Seventeen+ listeners only.
I am giving Winter's Guardian by G. Bailey a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!