Category Archives: Books

Ready for marriage?

Before We Kiss (Fool’s Gold Book 16)” by Susan Mallery –

“Sam glanced at the door and thought about bolting. This wasn’t his area of expertise. Yet even as he inched toward freedom, he realized that he knew exactly what she was doing wrong. His mother would be so proud. He took a seat across from Fayrene.

“This has to stop,” he told her. “Put on your big-girl panties and tell Ryan what you want.”

She rolled her eyes. “I can’t.”

“You won’t. There’s a difference. If you’re not prepared to ask for what you want from a man who loves you very much, then you’re not ready for marriage. It’s a full-time commitment. It requires everything you have, and being honest about how you feel is the cornerstone to success. If you can’t be honest about this, what else won’t you be able to talk about?””

This is some excellent advice :-).

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Books, eBooks; Libraries and Bookstores

I have always dreamed about having a library in my home. A cozy room filled with beautiful books, lots of windows, dark wood, comfy chairs with soft ottomans and possibly a fireplace.

 

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McGregor Room at the University of Virginia

Here’s the problem, though: I actually hate buying books! I’ve always been a library girl. In fact, I remember signing my first library card when I was in like first grade. And I was incredibly insulted when I was in high school and my dad and I decided to get cards from a different city (when it was free to do so) and I was told that my dad had to sign my card because I was a minor and apparently couldn’t be trusted with their books!

When eBooks came into vogue, I vowed I would never switch to them. I love everything about physical books. The look of them. The weight of them. The smell of them. But I don’t like the price of them, so I shall never have my beautiful library full of books in my home.

In high school I finally got access to the internet at home (dial-up on an ancient computer) and learned all about ordering library books from home to be available for pickup at my leisure. This solved the problem I’d developed after years of library usage: I’d pretty much read everything that I knew I’d like and was having trouble finding new books to read. I dreaded having to search the shelves.

Then I went to college and didn’t have much time for personal reading despite access to more than 5 million books and gorgeous libraries.

After college, I was back to devouring books. I’d found the Goodreads website and quickly had a to-read list of nearly a thousand books! With even better internet access at home (WIFI and a laptop!) I was able to peruse the library catalog at my leisure, compare it to my to-read list and order a stack for my dad to pick up on his way home from work (he was also doing all his book ordering online).

It was a great system, but with one small flaw: the quickest possible turnaround was about 24 hours, so even when I really wanted to read the next book in a series, I was forced to wait. I always had to anticipate what I’d be in the mood to read for the next 3 weeks or so, because I had a personal rule not to order more than 5 books at a time, with the expectation that they would come in 2 or 3 at a time because of other people checking them out.

I was content with this system for a good 5 years, but then I moved in with my husband and even though I had no trouble getting my library books because I work with my dad and he’d bring them with him, I was starting to seriously consider eBooks. I’d already started playing around with them because the library had been advertising their eBooks on their website and the Overdrive app was easy to install on my computer. It was very convenient to get the books I wanted to read immediately, except of course, when someone had already checked them out. The problem was that the computer screen isn’t very conducive to reading traditional books, for me at least. It’s just not comfortable, especially when I’m laying in bed to read myself to sleep.

Reading in bed has actually been one of the biggest selling points for switching to eBooks on an eReader. After fumbling with 2 different book-lights and getting annoyed with falling asleep with the lamp on or not being able to have the lamp on because my husband was in bed with me, I decided that I needed to make the switch.

I knew I wanted a tablet because I wanted it to double as a radio for work. I knew I wanted it to have a screen about the size of a paperback book. The Amazon Fire at $50 was the perfect price and since I knew I was going to get most of my eBooks from the library (the rest from Project Gutenberg), it didn’t matter if it didn’t have much internal memory (because library books expire).

After a year of having my tablet (which I call “my book” and it’s case is decorated as a black and white composition book) I still feel some guilt about abandoning traditional books, but then I remind myself that in all reality, my consumption of books has not changed. I still get nearly all of my books from the library and so long as they are comparatively priced, the authors who create the works are not harmed by the switch.

As for the printers, I work in a print shop and am still confused about timecards. I am resigned to the fact that I will most likely lose my job within 20 years (and this is being generous for the industry). This is reality. I am not sad. Besides, there are so many damn typos in modern books it’s nauseating and I have always preferred letterpress to offset printing, so it’s not like I’m going to fall in love with the typography of modern books any time soon. Okay, there are a few that are very pretty (The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor instantly come to mind) and I do like that many hardcover books today have the trend of leaving the edges of the pages (the signatures?) rough instead of cutting them flush and are using nicer and nicer papers…but the cost!

I know in my heart that I will never purchase them so long as the library owns them and I will only re-read them about once a decade if I ever decide to re-read them!

At the end of the day, what matters to me most is the story and an eBook can give that to me easier than a traditional book. Because I do so love to read in bed!

But…I do have a confession to make. When the occasion occurs that I want to purchase a book because the library doesn’t own it (and refuses to purchase it), or because it’s something I really, really, really want on my bookshelf, I will purchase the traditional book not the eBook. Of course, it will most likely be used and come via Amazon because finding used books in a shop is like finding a book in the library…a bit of a crap-shoot. Great for the people who love that, not so much fun for me.

Early American Policing:

The Thieves of Threadneedle Street: The Incredible True Story of the American Forgers Who Nearly Broke the Bank of England” by Nicholas Booth –

“across the United States was a patchwork quilt of localised detectives who were either overwhelmed or incompetent. Their sights were never set much higher than the next county line. There was neither a national police force nor any central, federal repository of information. A simple check with records in other cities would have flagged the Bidwells up so much sooner. ‘The police authority throughout the country at this time was purely a local matter’, is how one academic review succinctly summarises the situation. Unless a crime was committed against the public mails or committed on the high seas, the federal government could not do a thing.”

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Crime is worse today than ever before?

The Thieves of Threadneedle Street: The Incredible True Story of the American Forgers Who Nearly Broke the Bank of England” by Nicholas Booth –

“The Windy City in the 1860s was the sort of town where you could not help becoming involved in crime. ‘If the Angel Gabriel came to Chicago,’ an appalled evangelist remarked at the time, ‘he would lose his character.’ Though lawlessness characterised much of the contemporary American experience, nowhere was it quite as acute as on the shores of Lake Michigan and the self-styled ‘gem of the prairie’. ‘Chicago’s ecological position as the gateway to the unsettled lands of the west also contributed to its involvement in crime,’ notes one professor of modern jurisprudence in the city. It was the start – both figuratively and literally – of the ‘Wild West’.”

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Lives Worth Saving

 “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” by J.K. Rowling –

“I’d like to appeal to all our listeners to emulate their example, perhaps by casting a protective charm over any Muggle dwellings in your street. Many lives could be saved if such simple measures are taken.” 

“And what would you say, Royal, to those who reply that in these dangerous times, it should be ‘Wizards first’?” asked Lee. 

“I’d say that it’s one short step from ‘Wizards first’ to ‘Purebloods first,’ and then to ‘Death Eaters,’” replied Kingsley. “We’re all human, aren’t we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.””

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Muggle-born Registry

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” by J.K. Rowling –

““‘Recent research undertaken by the Department of Mysteries reveals that magic can only be passed from person to person when Wizards reproduce. Where no proven Wizarding ancestry exists, therefore, the so-called Muggle-born is likely to have obtained magical power by theft or force. 

“‘The Ministry is determined to root out such usurpers of magical power, and to this end has issued an invitation to every so-called Muggle-born to present themselves for interview by the newly appointed Muggle-born Registration Commission.’””

It starts so innocuously…

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Amish guy speaking:

 “Murder, Plainly Read: An Amish Quilt Shop Mystery” by Isabella Alan –

““Everyone in my old district disliked the old bishop in some way or another. He was a hard man. To him, life was meant to be about work and suffering. There was no joy in his heart. He believed the more you worked and the more miserable you were, the closer you were to Gott. It was something I could never believe. If Gott loves us so much, how could he want us to suffer?”

 I blew on a spoonful of stew. “Even still, it must have been hard to leave.” 

He was quiet for a moment. “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.” He smiled at his wife. “But I have never regretted my decision. I know this is the path that Gott wanted for me.””

Yes, this is fiction, but the idea is true for most conservative religions: one person trying to pick the path of another by proclaiming that “it’s what God wants”. A prominent example that routinely pisses me off is the idea that women belong in the home while men are the sole income earner. The abuse that tends to come out of this “ideal” is appalling.

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Is Ann Coulter ProLife?

I really don’t think so. This is the second time she’s written with a negative tone about immigrants and “their expensive premature babies”. This whole chapter is on how WORTHLESS (her words, NOT mine) most recent immigrants to America are. I guess that for her, the only lives that matter are American, if and only if they’re like minded Conservatives (she seems to think liberals are better off dead, too, rather than wasting her time, space, and money).

“Adios, America: The Left’s Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole” by Ann Coulter –

“So it’s lucky, in a way, that Democrats are the party of government workers. Unending immigration means we need rafts of government workers to educate non-English speakers, teach cultural sensitivity classes, arrest criminals, man prisons, clean up parks, distribute food stamps, arrange subsidized housing, and work in hospital emergency rooms to deliver all those premature babies.”

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Anti-Choice is misogynistic

 “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” by Irin Carmon, Shana Knizhnik –

“Unable to win majority support, over time anti-choice advocates began to justify restrictions on abortion as protecting women and not just the unborn. Kennedy’s opinion reflects the influence of this new anti-abortion argument. 

This way of thinking reflects ancient notions about women’s place in the family and under the Constitution— ideas that have long since been discredited. 

RBG is calling out the rationale for prohibiting abortion as “protecting women.” She says that this kind of anti-abortion argument reflects and reinforces the very stereotypes about women’s decision-making capacity and social roles that the court struck down as unconstitutional in sex discrimination cases— including in ones RBG argued herself. Once again, women are being told not to worry their pretty heads about it, this is for their own good.”

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