Posted in Reading Challenge

When a book is so bad…

You forget half the point of the post, which would be updating your crew on the read challenges! OOPS! Let’s try this again. (If you missed my book review of this gem, check it out here.)

The Destroyer #46: Next of Kin by Warren Murphy

Reading Challenges
Here we go for reading challenge updates:

Below are the hashtags of the challenges that had them:
#popsugarreadingchallenge
#rockmytbr 🎸
#diversereads2017
#whatsinaname2017

Thanks, Team. ❤

Jobe

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Posted in Reading Challenge, Reviews

April, May reads in review

The diversity challenge for the month of April was “mental health,” and though it took me a little into May to finish it, I’m counting it for April. I chose a book that had been recommended by many friends in my Facebook group for OCPD, Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder. The easiest oversimplication for OCPD I could come up with that gives people a good general starting point is, “It’s like OCD, except I think I’m right about everything.” Of course it’s (much) more complicated than that, and if you’re interested in learning more about it, you should check out my friend Darryl’s youtube channel on the subject.

The book I chose was Autonomy and Rigid Character by David Shapiro. The first thing I would say about this book is that it is very “science-y.” If you’re looking for an easy read, this slim volume is not it. Shapiro writes as a scientist, presumably to other scientists. There’s no dumbing it down for the masses. I’m pretty smart, and I encountered several instances where I needed to go over a single sentence more than once to catch its meaning. I also read parts of the book aloud, which seemed to increase my reading comprehension for difficult sections. Another way this book differs from some of the softer science feel-good books popular today (and I enjoy those too, don’t get me wrong) is that it doesn’t really buffer or bracket the ideas presented. By that I mean, they are sectioned, but there isn’t really an introduction chapter, and there’s definitely no closing to review. The section ends a particular subject and without warning, the book is over, just like that.

I chose this book because I suspected some of its content might resonate for me, but there’s plenty in it that would be useful to anyone interested in trying to understand different kinds of people and different ways of thinking.

So here’s the basic premise. “The rigid person, it appears, continues to emulate and to identify himself with images of superior authority derived from the child’s image of the superior authority of the adult… The aims and purposes that rigid individuals impose on themselves, and live under (‘I should accomplish more.’ ‘I should move.’) have precisely the character of established authoritative rules or imperatives” (74, 75-76).

People with OCPD have experienced a very strong authority figure in childhood, and as adults police themselves with a strong sense of “should.” What they should or shouldn’t want, what they should or shouldn’t do. This concept also extends to how others should or shouldn’t act, though what is “just common courtesy” to one person might be an arbitrary determination for another. In the Facebook group, for example, we had a discussion about how late is too late to call another person’s phone, and while we all agreed that there was a certain lateness after which it was definitely rude, the specific time could not be agreed upon. People with OCPD take the way they were raised, and the ways they’ve determined as the best ways, and treat these somewhat arbitrary methods as the only right way to do things. You can see how this might lead to conflict with others.

“Duties and responsibilities, values that the compulsive individual imposes on himself, values whose authority he regards as superior to his own… They have, therefore, the status of rules and regulations… His awareness of such duties and responsibilities is to one degree or another oppressive, and this oppresive tension gives rise to a special kind of motivation, the motivation to seek relief… The urgent tone typical of these declarations, their language of will and resolve…They are reminders of duty—directives, admonitions, or reproaches in the manner of a superior addressing a subordinate… The experience of ‘I should’ is oppresive” (80-81).

Shapiro goes on to explain that ritual action, “is not aimed at altering the relationship of the individual to his environment” but is instead is aimed “at achieving peace of mind, merely by the performance of the act itself” (97). So ritual actions are actions that we feel compelled to complete. Adjusting objects slightly askew, checking that the door is locked several times, and so on. “These concerns and procedures are driven by a conscientiousness that will not be lastingly satisfied” so rituals end up being condensed “for the sake of economy,” which is why, “rituals frequently involve doing something a perscribed number of times, obviating the threat of an indefinite progression” (99).

I found all that insight extremely interesting! There’s a lot more in this book that others may find interesting: discussions of sadism and masochism both inside and outside the bedroom; a case study from around 1900 where a man feared he was being “turned into” a woman; and an explanation of paranoid thinking. So if you’re looking for a highly scientific exploration of thought processes, this might be the book for you. I’m definitely curious to pick up another of Shapiro’s volumes.

Cheers,
Jobe

 

Reading Challenges
Here are the reading challenge updates:

Below are the hashtags of the challenges that had them:
#popsugarreadingchallenge
#rockmytbr
#diversereads2017
#whatsinaname2017

 

Posted in Reading Challenge

March Reads in Review

IMG_5306Insurgent by Veronica Roth is the second book of the trilogy which started with Divergent. This story continues to be gripping, fast-paced, unpredictable, and fresh. I hit a little bit of a lull at one point and I had to look at why: I don’t like it when main character/love interests aren’t getting along. So, that’s a personal issue on me but the writing is really good all the way through. Could not put this book down, can’t wait for the THRILLING CONCLUSION in the next book!

Reading Challenges
And now, the reading challenges. For the PopSugar 2017 reading challenge I marked this book as No. 28, a novel set during war time. It isn’t any non-fiction war we’re familiar with, but there is a lot fighting, so I think it counts. For the Book Dragon’s Lair Audiobook challenge this one was not an audiobook, so I remain at 3 of 10. For the Book Dragon’s Lair Pages Read challenge, this 525 pgs puts me at 3,788 pgs. For My Reader’s Block Color Coded challenge this cover is green but I’ve already got that color covered. This was not a re-read, so it didn’t count for Read It Again, Sam. For My Reader’s Block Mount To Be Read (TBR) and Rock My TBR challenge it doesn’t count since I bought it very recently. For the Diverse Reads challenge (here and here) I didn’t really think of this book as diverse; the characters are briefly described as having different skin colors but nothing about their experiences are informed by any disparate treatment or history based on race. Our main character Tris has an injury but she just ignores it with her super willpower, so that’s a no for the mini month theme (Disability) too. For The Book Date Full House challenge I’m not sure!! I need to look over all my choices so far and see if I can juggle some. For The Book Date Read the Books You Buy challenge: Yes! I just bought this book! For the Whatever I Think Of Memoir Bingo challenge it is not a memoir, and for The Worm Hole’s What’s In A Name challenge, it doesn’t fit any of the categories. Below are the hashtags of the challenges that had them.

#popsugarreadingchallenge
#rockmytbr
#diversereads2017
#whatsinaname2017

 

Posted in Reading Challenge

March Reads in Review

IMG_5291The next book I finished was my audiobook of Dead Beat by Jim Butcher, book 7 in the Dresden Files series. These books may be structured in a formulaic way, but there are definitely plotlines getting more intense as the story arch progress, and the writing is HILARIOUS! I laugh out loud (yes I actually mean it) in my car all the time at these books because they’re so clever. I feel the same about Simon R. Green’s books but those I could predict and these I can’t, so that’s an added bonus. I’m not sure how to give a concise summary that doesn’t require lots of extra explanation, so here’s my super-condensed version about each of the books:

1 – You meet your main character, Harry Dresden, who is a wizard.
There’s a magic-using bad guy. There are also mobsters!
2 – Now that we know about wizards, we get to fight werewolves.
3 – This one has vampires! And ghosts. Bad ones.
4 – I know you were waiting for it, right? This book has fairies.
(Aw, yeah! My fave so far!)
5 – This one has paladins and demons.
6 – More bad magic, but this time, on the set of a porno!
7 – Necromancers! Bad ones! (Are there good ones?)

So now you’re all caught up on the series, and I didn’t give you any spoilers. Phew!!!

Reading Challenges

And now, the reading challenges. For the PopSugar 2017 reading challenge I marked this book as No. 29, unreliable narrator. I side with Harry most of the time but you’ll see why it applies once you read it yourself. For the Book Dragon’s Lair Audiobook challenge this one was an audiobook and I’m up to 3 of 10. For the Book Dragon’s Lair Pages Read challenge, this 396 pgs puts me at 3,263 pgs. For My Reader’s Block Color Coded challenge this cover is black but I’ve already got that color covered so I’m still at 4 of 9 completed. This is not a re-read, so for Read It Again, Sam I’m still at 2 of 4 at the Déjà vu level. For My Reader’s Block Mount To Be Read (TBR) and Rock My TBR challenge I’d say that all the Dresden books are on my TBR since I started the series, so this brings me to 7. For the Diverse Reads challenge (here and here) I don’t really think of these books as diverse, and Harry is not disabled, but he has lost the use of one of his hands which is interesting. For The Book Date Full House challenge this down as my “cozy mystery.” For The Book Date Read the Books You Buy challenge it doesn’t count because it’s a library book. For the Whatever I Think Of Memoir Bingo challenge it is not a memoir, and for The Worm Hole’s What’s In A Name challenge, it doesn’t fit any of the categories. Below are the hashtags of the challenges that had them.

#popsugarreadingchallenge
#rockmytbr
#diversereads2017
#whatsinaname2017

Boom! Chugga chugga chuggin’ along.

Jobe

Posted in Reading Challenge, Reviews

February Reads in Review

Didn’t think I’d make it through one more book before the month was out but I did!

Book No. 6
My sixth finished book was Divergent by Veronica Roth. This was one of those books and then movies that was all the rage and I kept meaning to but never picked up until now. OMG I finally understand why people got so excited about it! It’s a thrilling read! The main character and her crew are brave and good, and we as readers can admire and sometimes imagine ourselves as like them. The bad guys are pretty obviously bad guys, but it doesn’t really spoil the fun. Things keep getting crazier and crazier and you’re surrounded by all-out pandemonium and insanity. I could not put this book down. I tried to make an argument against grocery shopping so that I could keep reading instead. DANG. This book was so fast-paced and I’m left with my mind reeling wondering, if this much happens in a single book, what on earth will the next two be like!? I even forgave the author for the one thing that bugged me, naming her five factions with different parts of speech: why would she make Erudite and Dauntless adjectives while the others, Amity, Candor, and Abnegation are nouns! But yeah, I got over it, because the book is that good.

Reading Challenges
And now, the reading challenges. For the PopSugar 2017 reading challenge I marked this one for No. 39, the first book in a series you haven’t read before. For the Book Dragon’s Lair Audiobook challenge this one was not an audiobook, so I remain at 2 of 10 for the Byte level (don’t worry, I do have an audiobook in process). For the Book Dragon’s Lair Pages Read challenge, this 487 pgs puts me at 2,569 pgs of 12k pgs on the Bonsai level. For My Reader’s Block Color Coded challenge this cover is multi-colored and doesn’t really fit any of the requirements so I’m still at 4 of 9 completed. This is not a re-read, so for Read It Again, Sam I’m still at 1 of 4 at the Déjà vu level. For My Reader’s Block Mount To Be Read (TBR) this was definitely on my tbr list for a long while, putting me at 3 of 12 for the Pike’s Peak level, and Rock My TBR challenge at 3 of 12 too. For the Diverse Reads challenge (here and here) I didn’t really think of this book as diverse; there are characters of different skin colors but it’s so nominal it’s hard to even remember which are the non-white characters. However, the main character is constantly facing very dangerous situations, so I’ll be interested to see if the author explores physical disability in the series. For The Book Date Full House challenge I marked this book for being on my TBR list for more than 2 years. It came out in 2011 and the movie came out in 2014, so it’s been in the back of my brain for a long while. For The Book Date Read the Books You Buy challenge it doesn’t count because my mom gave me my copy. For the Whatever I Think Of Memoir Bingo challenge it doesn’t count because it is not a memoir. For The Worm Hole’s What’s In A Name challenge, it doesn’t fit any of the categories so I’m still at 2 of 6 completed. Below are the hashtags of the challenges that had them.

#popsugarreadingchallenge
#rockmytbr
#diversereads2017
#whatsinaname2017

I hope your February reading and writing has been absolutely fantastic and you can’t wait to see what March brings. Write strong, Read strong.

Love!
Jobe

Posted in Reading Challenge

February Reads in Review

And as we say goodbye to February, we say hello to March, which is my birthday month! For whatever reason my birthday has always been my absolute favorite holiday, even though I don’t want anyone to know about it on Facebook! Isn’t that ridiculous? I don’t even know.

Book No. 5
The fifth book I read this year was an absolute find. I went into the Bookworm for an Anne Rice trilogy I’d been needing to fill out my “complete works” shelves for favorite authors, and on my way out the door the owner asked if I wanted to also pick up his copy of Tithe by Holly Black, because of my interest in YA. Oh my gosh y’all, it is so good!! This is the kind of book you can read in one sitting or one day, it is that fast-paced and gripping. The story mixes dark imagery, modern day language, and mythic Irish faeries to spectacular effect. The language is beautiful and the characters are flawed yet lovable. Best of all, after I’d finished this book thinking it was a stand-alone, frosting on the cake: I discovered that it is the first in the trilogy! I immediately ordered books 2 and 3, of course. And here’s the sprinkles on the frosting: an absolutely unofficial fan made book trailer. YAY!!

Reading Challenges
And now for everyone’s favorite game, categorizing the book into my reading challenges. For the PopSugar 2017 reading challenge I marked this off as No. 17 a book involving a mythical creature (faeries). For the Book Dragon’s Lair Audiobook challenge this one was not, so I’m still at 2 of 10 for the Byte level. For the Book Dragon’s Lair Pages Read challenge, this 310 pgs puts me at a total of 2,060 pgs toward 12k pgs on the Bonsai level. For My Reader’s Block Color Coded challenge this cover color is Brown and is 5 of 9 completed. This is not a re-read, so for Read It Again, Sam I’m still at 1 of 4 at the Déjà vu level. For My Reader’s Block Mount To Be Read (TBR) this was in my tbr pile for a few months (I bought it toward the end of 2016) so I’m at 3 of 12 for the Pike’s Peak level, and Rock My TBR challenge 3 of 12 too. For the Diverse Reads challenge (here and here) I didn’t really see this book qualifying as a diverse read, but it is written by a woman, if we’re counting that. For The Book Date Full House challenge I marked this book for Attractive Cover. For The Book Date Read the Books You Buy challenge this is my first book! I bought a total of 4 books on that trip so this is 1 of 4 or 25% for a “Making Inroads” status. For the Whatever I Think Of Memoir Bingo challenge it doesn’t count because it is not a memoir (I’m doing really badly on this one! I need to hurry up and pick something!). For The Worm Hole’s What’s In A Name challenge, it doesn’t fit any categories (I’m having a hard time with this one) so I’m still at 2 of 6 completed. Below are the hashtags of the challenges that had them.

#popsugarreadingchallenge
#rockmytbr
#diversereads2017
#whatsinaname2017

I hope your March is totally kickass. Keep on reading and keep on writing, no matter what.

Love,
Jobe

Posted in Reading Challenge

February Reads in Review

Is it just me or is February really zooming by? How strange to have rain when this time a few years ago we were snowed in!

Book No. 4
The fourth book I finished reading was the second book of the Abarat series, Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War by Clive Barker. As expected we are in for another full-color painting filled book just as gorgeous as the one before it. Barker knows how to sparsely recap so a new reader won’t be lost and a continuing reader won’t be bored. The story for Candy and her friends continues onward with crazy dream-like circumstances and consequences. I found myself trudging a bit but the middle but the end starts to really pick up again: there are several chapters that are swapping cliff-hanger-ending-style between two exciting scenes and I had to keep reading to find out how both would conclude! The progression of Candy as a character is interesting to witness as she comes into her own. I look forward to seeing how the next book will advance the story!

Reading Challenges
And now for everyone’s favorite game, categorizing the book into my reading challenges. For the PopSugar 2017 reading challenge I marked this off as No. 15, a book with a subtitle. For the Book Dragon’s Lair Audiobook challenge this one was not, so I’m still at 2 of 10 for the Byte level. For the Book Dragon’s Lair Pages Read challenge, this 512 pgs puts me at a total of 1,750 pgs toward 12k pgs on the Bonsai level. For My Reader’s Block Color Coded challenge this cover color is Red and is 4 of 9 completed. This is not a re-read, so for Read It Again, Sam I’m still at 1 of 4 at the Déjà vu level. For My Reader’s Block Mount To Be Read (TBR) this was on my tbr list so I’m at 2 of 12 for the Pike’s Peak level, and Rock My TBR challenge is 2 of 12 too. For the Diverse Reads challenge (here and here) this book qualifies as diverse because its author is queer. For The Book Date Full House challenge I marked this book for the UK Author category. For The Book Date Read the Books You Buy challenge it doesn’t count because I already had it–I think I got it as a discard from the library. For the Whatever I Think Of Memoir Bingo challenge it doesn’t count because it is not a memoir. For The Worm Hole’s What’s In A Name challenge, it doesn’t fit any categories (I’m having a hard time with this one) so I’m still at 2 of 6 completed. Below are the hashtags of the challenges that had them.

#popsugarreadingchallenge
#rockmytbr
#diversereads2017
#whatsinaname2017

I hope your February reading continues to be wonderful and you keep your pages out of the rain.

Love,
Jobe